It was no coincidence that I began my summer break a week early this year.
I wanted to have the time to be intentional with my daughter during the final days before high school graduation.
After taking the girls to the mall for the nine hundredth time for more outfit tweaking, and a manicure, Brian and I set about preparing a lovely outdoor grad dinner. Brian got into his happy place, and I quickly got into my own.
I found a few yards of linen in my sewing stash, some milk glass vases in a storage cupboard, some daisies, dill, flowering cilantro, baby's breath, and other flowers from my gardens.
I may have a certain weakness for chairs, so my newly acquired turquoise set married nicely with this year's floral chrome chairs, and last years painted metal ones.
Brian's timber shed and parents' original 1956 chrome kitchen table provided the perfect backdrop.
I was happy with how things were turning out, and we hadn't even gotten to the dinner yet.
Not that I was worried.
I knew it would be pretty darned yumtastic.
One of Arianna's favorites: artichoke and olive linguini.
Ribs, done in the awesome Brian way. (you should know... this is not for Arianna. She's not a meat-a-tariun. She's more of a Kehler that way, and prefers her meat in purring furriness, laying on the couch).
Veggies with goat cheese.
Everyone had something to be happy about.
We celebrated with family.
Because we were also celebrating family.
It was something to think of where we had come from, where we had landed, and the places that were yet to come.
My prayer was in thanks of my daughter. Who she is, and the gift that raising her has been.
She eats her green beans.
But soon enough the greens were eaten, the bubblies toasted, the noodles noshed, and the shrimp dipped.
Time for our princess to close her eyes and hope for the best.
It was a bit of a trick.
A vintage camera to add to her collection.
Had we known how she'd love it.....
Well, we might have saved a buck or two.
But where's the fun in not having a package to unwrap?
All covered in hugs and kisses.
Those anxious moments of anticipation.
Sweet joyous relief!
The Nikon of her wildest dreams!
Though I'd rather been seen with the Yashica.
Just because it looks so sweet.
Just like my nearly adult daughter.
Who insisted in wearing her new gift on her shoulder for our very elegant dessert:
Ice cream at the local gas station.
So much to celebrate.
And just so barely
into summer vacation.