Best MacBook Air configuration?

My MacBook Pro just died so I need to buy a new computer asap and my grandmother offered to buy me a new Mac. After reading reviews I settled on the 13" MacBook Air. I'd rather upgrade to the best version available, i.e, 2.0GhZ, 8GB, 512GB or at least pick and choose among these upgrades to make it faster/get more storage. I'm a grad student writing a thesis, I'm also a translator so I use office for Mac a lot. For that reason it would really help to get the computer sooner than later so I stop wasting time without working on my thesis or making money. If I skip the default 1.8ghz, 4gb, 256gb configuration, it will take about a week to get it, whereas if i get the default I can pick it up tomorrow at the store. On the other hand I don't want to be too big a burden on my grandmother by going to the highest price point possible.
I will use it to write thesis and do translations, store the photos and videos of my two babies I usually take with my iPhone, store my iTunes library, use Skype and browse the Internet. It's important that I have a light computer so I can travel light with two kids (we fly internationally quite frequently).
So how should I configure my MacBook Air? Is it worth the extra time and money spent to get all the upgrades that are available with the 13" MBA?

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