I didn't get to see the ginkgo trees this year. 

Every Fall, I keep a watchful eye out for my favorite fan-leafed trees to don their gold coats. There's a particularly glorious row of ginkgos--at our Wal-mart no less--that gets set ablaze in every shade of yellow during Autumn.  I look forward to seeing it unfold every late October. 

It was the middle of November before I realized, "Wait. We haven't drove by to see them!" My sentimental heart twinged a little with disappointment. Well, it's too late now.  

Life hasn't been easy lately. I wouldn't call it particularly hard (just like, everyday life sort of hard). I'm a bit...weary. I simply feel as though I've been so deep in the trenches of nursing every two hours and potty training and coaxing to sleep and cutting grapes in half and tending to diaper rash and three year old emotions and hormonal adjustments and the time change that I'm missing the flashes of joy God has lovingly placed in this intense season. 

This past Tuesday, we made the worthwhile drive to Newport for some Carabello Coffee; our favorite little corner coffee shop just across the river from Cincinnati. We stepped from the van onto the cold sidewalk and soon found ourselves shuffling through a confetti  explosion of gold completely covering the street. 

Ginkgo leaves. 

A mosaic of Jesus' loving placed details spread thick right there at our feet. 

He made sure I got to see them after all

Inside Carabello, we sat at a square table with the bright afternoon sun leaking light through the windowpanes. Scout wobbled on Jonathan's lap while Behr played a game on a phone so we could sip our coffee in peace. I exhaled a little. The view from where I sat: our little family, the ones I get to love the most. All of us will never be this young together again. What a beautiful thing to partake in. 

She's got cheeks as round and fluffy-soft as cumulus clouds. We can't help but leave ten kisses on each one every hour. His inquisitive, connective spirit has rocketed in intensity since he turned three. I'm simultaneously playing an exhausting game of catch up and and in awe of the person he's becoming. 

Then Jonathan and I, we're tired. So tired. Have you ever tried to keep two beautifully needy humans alive, clean, fed and happy while also working demanding jobs while also trying to make sure your marriage doesn't shrivel up from neglect? It's hard, you guys. But I can't think of more worthwhile work. 

After a hot maple spice latte for me , an iced mocha for Jonathan, and a tiny cup of  "coffee" (almond milk) for Behr we walked back out into the crisp air. 

Behr threw a small tantrum when we took the phone away but quickly recovered when he got to hold Jonathan's hand to cross the street instead of being carried. We stopped where the ginkgo leaves had fallen for a few pictures. I knelt down to Behr's level to find him holding a single leaf in his ever growing but still baby-dimpled hands. "Is that for me, buddy? Oh, this is my favorite!" He nodded, a bit bashful that I was making such a fuss. 

I've got news for him: I'll always make a fuss over Jesus using other's to shout His love right when we need it most.

Ok, so maybe life currently isn't what I thought it would be. Maybe we're still figuring it all out as we go (I have a growing, relieving sort of suspicion that we're all still figuring out as we go).

Maybe I'm learning to stop holding onto my expectations and instead live expectant for whatever goodness God chooses to bring our way.