I’m starting to sound like a broken record with my intros to these Lately posts, but it’s true: this past month was a bit of a blur, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that 2021 is now a third of the way through.
In a recent podcast, the hosts of Annie and Eddie Keep Talking shared how, when asked “how are you doing” these days, they can easily give a top 10% answer of everything being great or a lower 10% answer of the deep challenges and personal pain points they are facing—with not much going on in the middle 80%. The “great” response is true to a point (and the only really appropriate answer in most instances), but that “not so great” answer is also true—and important to acknowledge within the right context. I can very much relate to this: on the surface life is wonderful, and while there is absolutely a bottom 10% that I’m exploring with my journal and my therapist, I’ll focus on that fine and dandy upper 10% today.
// READING LATELY //
I read a number of eye-opening nonfiction titles this month, including this terrifying but important book on a problem today’s youth are facing and this one on how Christians can build bridges inside and outside the church. This book and this one were both valuable resources in my continued spiritual exploration and formation.
As for fiction, this cozy mystery was a delight and this retelling of the Prodigal Son was remarkable. This mystery, however, was a definite miss for me. As always, I’ll be sharing full reviews in the next couple of weeks.
// TWIN CORNER //
The twins’ development seems to have moved into overdrive since they passed the 1.5-year mark last month; there’s no doubt that we have two active toddlers in our house, with toddler-sized emotions and personalities to match. Sully has (finally!) transitioned from crawling to fully walking and is on his way to being able to catch up with Kali, who practically sprints everywhere she goes. For her part, Kali is doing a lot more talking these days, and now the two of them are nearly on the same level when it comes to their speech, even mimicking each other’s words and sounds; for instance, they both say “awa” for water and “nonnies” for milkies (nursing), and they both attempt to say “see you later alligator” (it sounds like “awa AWA awa-awa”) every time they or someone else leaves a room.
Kali and Sully both love playing outside and often bring their shoes to me, attempting to put them on their feet and saying “go.” When inside, they spend most of their days pushing toys around the house or looking at board books. They are obsessed with applesauce pouches, climbing on the couch, and their brother’s water bottle.
// MONTHLY CHARLIE-ISMS //
Charleston has also made some huge strides in the last month. We finished his reading curriculum for the year and he is now (willingly) reading complete picture books on his own; we are SO proud of him for passing this milestone. I’ve loved seeing his spiritual maturity as well. He has memorized (and can explain the meaning behind) the whole Apostle’s Creed, and has begun asking to pray before meals (something he was always reluctant to do before this month). Of course he had some fun quotes this month, too.
+ Me: “Thanks for helping me clean up that mess.” Charleston: “Of course, that’s what people are made for. Sharing, caring, and helping. And having fun, probably.”
+ “I think you’re my favorite more than daddy. Because, I mean, I couldn’t have been born without YOU.” To which I followed up with an explanation of how Daddy was involved in his being born, too. (Yep, we went there.)
+ “Is the Holy Spirit like a mailbox that delivers our prayers to God?”
+ When I referred to the Bible as God’s Word: “What is God’s word? Is it love? And why does he only get one word?”
+ Learning about singular and plural. Me: “What’s the base word of children?” Charleston: “Kid.”
+ When Sully was crying. Me: “Charleston, I need you to leave the room.” Charleston: “I can’t, I’m busy feeling sorry for Sully.”
+ While working on a To Do list: “I am going to add grow up to be 13.” Me: “You don’t want to grow up to be any older than that?” Charleston: “You’re right, you have to be, like, 35 to be president, so maybe I’ll add grow up to be 40 or something.”
+ Referring to the Ninja Turtles: “I didn’t know they were teenagers. I thought they were just normal people.”
+ Asking if he would be alive in the year 2100 and I said he would be 85. “I’ll be alive, but that will be after I become president. I want to be president as fast as possible. I’m okay being president right now, actually. Even I’m okay with anyone in our family being president now, because we all know about God. So I think we’d be better than the president we have right now.”
+ About Luke’s brother who is turning forty today: “I know it isn’t true, but Tío Tommy seems like he’s younger than you and daddy. Because most people get kind of crinkly skin when they get older and his skin isn’t crinkly.”
+ “How many people are there in the world?” Me: “Almost 8 billion.” Charleston: “Is that counting us in our family?”
+ “Are the twins milkiesing?” (About them nursing.)
// HAPPENINGS AND HIGHLIGHTS //
On Easter weekend, my friend Cara and her husband, Dan, were visiting Texas from South Dakota and we got to spend a couple of days with them! Cara and I have been friends since our high school youth group days, but this was my first time meeting Dan (they were married last June), and I was so thankful to the two of them for jumping on board the crazy train that is life in the Jernejcic household for the weekend. All five of us Jernejcics had an awesome time with them! We went to lunch at a local bbq restaurant, played endless games of cards and Monkey in the Middle with Charleston, and did our best to entertain fussy twins. Cara and Dan also joined us at our church’s wonderful Easter service on Saturday evening.
On the night before Easter, we participated in our tradition of putting out carrots for the Easter Bunny along with empty plastic eggs for him to hide. This year Charleston contributed a hand-written note. And on Easter morning, we woke up to goody-filled Easter Baskets and a candy egg hunt in our living room. This year the twins were very interested in their Easter baskets, but still a little young to catch on to the idea of finding eggs (despite much practicing ahead of time); of course, Charleston was happy to take on full egg-finding responsibilities. I have mixed feelings about combining secular traditions with such a sacred holiday, but continue to look forward to Easter Bunny shenanigans every spring, and am glad that Charleston loves it, too. His enthusiasm over our Bunny preparations melted me, and his reaction on seeing the filled baskets Easter morning was priceless. It was so sweet to see him helping his brother and sister get excited, too.
We didn’t attend church Easter Sunday because we’d gone the night before, so after the twins’ morning nap we headed to my in-laws house for an afternoon of food and confetti-egg hunting. I loved seeing my kids run around the yard with their cousin Collin, and even Kali and Sully got in on some of the egg-smashing action. It was a perfect Easter celebration.
The rest of April since Easter has been fairly low key. We’ve done school work and gone to church, played together as a family, and soaked in the beauty of Texas spring. We are looking forward to wrapping up our year of Kindergarten in the next couple of weeks and are starting to make some summer plans. We are definitely looking forward to a bit more normalcy this summer—whatever “normal” looks like, these days!