Sunday, December 21, 2014

Our Daily Story: A Walk, Caramels and Stillness

Today we woke up to kids that weren't feeling 100%  so, we had to stay home from church. The thought of entire day spent indoors made me feel a little claustrophobic and when we started talking about what we should do, Judah chimed in with the idea that we should go for a family walk. I love that his idea of family fun is getting outside and enjoying this beautiful area in which we live together. I love that he wants to run trails and find big sticks. 
As we walked along, I wore Eliza on my back. For awhile, with each step that I took, she said "Weee! Weeee!". I had forgotten how sweet it is to have her snuggled into me like that. Now that she's so active and all over the place, we have less time like this together. I'm thankful for her next to me today as we walked along. 
It's not very often that I wonder what the world must look like when you're the height of a 5 year old, but today I noticed something about this kid. He always finds the best spots. I wouldn't have even noticed that this bridge had a few of the railing pieces missing, but just like that, I look over and without missing a beat, he's there, making ripples. Even as he gets taller, I hope he still notices these things. I hope he is still fully present and not rushed, so that he is able to notice these little things.

I think that's the problem with most of us adults. We're not present and we ARE rushed.
Later in the afternoon, our entire house fell silent while everyone napped. I enjoyed the quiet and planned our week and packaged up these caramels. I had to get them packaged because if I'm not careful, I could eat the entire batch. If you're looking for a good caramel recipe, try out this one. 
Goals for the new week: I guess my main goal would be to create moments of stillness for myself and for the kids. After watching them just enjoy the world out on our walk today, I want them to see more stillness in me. I feel like as a Mom, I need to model this for them and it's not easy, especially around this time of year. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we create what's "normal" in our kids minds. I don't want a stressed out, hurried Mom to become their normal.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”    – Psalm 46:10

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Our Daily Story: Bathroom Humor and Cheers to all the Procrastinators

A wise friend of mine recently said that before Christmas, it's best to sit down with your husband and each share your expectations and make a plan. So, a few nights ago, we snuggled into the couch and we had our little Christmas meeting. I'm a huge fan of this Christmas planning time. I think it avoids so much confusion and possible conflict.

When we sat down, we had just about zero Christmas shopping done and the month was flying by. Together we decided that I'd leave early on a Saturday morning and tackle it, while he stayed home with the kids.

This morning I left the house alone, and just about 4 hours later, I came home with ALL the shopping done! NEVER EVER underestimate what a mom can do when she has a coffee in hand and a few hours alone! Zoom...zoom...zoom! When you're used to having kids hanging all over you, while still taking on the world, it's like you actually have real-life super powers when you go out by yourself. You fly through the store, crossing items off your list, without feeling like you might lose a kid if you look away. You let the lady behind you go first, just because it feels like the best day ever and you sometimes talk to yourself, because hey- you're used to talking all the time. Oops. 

Today I wanted to high five any Mom out there in the store who had that undeniable look of freedom all over her face. It was like we were friends, like they just knew that I had a minivan filled with carseats, but that I was ALONE. You know it's that smile you share with another Mom when you just know she has weird stuff in her purse, just like you do. And the Moms out on a Saturday finishing shopping with kids well----I wished I could have bought them all coffee. Most years that's me. Actually, most years I've had to take nursing breaks out in the parking lot and hide presents in the cart, hoping the kids didn't see. You do what you do, you rock it to the best of your ability and you survive. I guess if we didn't have those less than ideal days, then we wouldn't appreciate the easier ones so much.

So, cheers to all the procrastinators, to the folks who haven't started shopping yet and to the ones who just finished.

Wrapping this up with a photo from today. I'd like to call this one "Bathroom Humor". 'Nuf said.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Daily Story: Cookies and Cousins


Christmas Break Day 1.
The kids slept in today until almost 8am, which is pretty unusual for them. While they slept, I organized our junk drawer while I had my coffee. You know that drawer with all the pens, scissors, tape, paperclips and 1 billion other things that get thrown in there? Yeah, I should have taken a "before" picture because it was an absolute disaster. But, not anymore! It's amazing how good it feels to tackle a little project that you've been putting off for weeks, or even months- which was the case for that drawer. The sad news is that the kids were already getting stuff out of it this afternoon and it's looking like it might stay organized for like......1 day. Oh well, it was pretty for a morning.

After the kids woke up, they had breakfast and then I helped them do a little "school", which is really just a few worksheets---please don't think we're super hard core, since we definitely are not. I guess you can just say that I'm that Mom---the one who says we're going to do a little schoolwork each day on Christmas break. It went fast and well, as you'd expect it to, when you tell your kids that they're about to go decorate cookies with their cousins after they finish up.

My sister might be finding sprinkles around her house for the next year or two, but this time with them was so needed. I feel like life gets busy and we end up spending less time with our absolute favorite, core people. When we just had 1 kid each, sister Sally and I hung out multiple times a week. Now, it's just not that easy.

Today kids played, we visited and then we let our kids squirt frosting all over and use up entire containers of sprinkles. Memories were made for sure. Sometimes I just want to pinch myself when I think about how my kids actually have cousins to grow up along side of. I didn't have this when I was younger and I don't take one ounce of it for granted, nope not at all. 

A morning of sprinkles, frosting, cookies and cousins. I'd say that Christmas break is off to a great start. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our Daily Story: Welcoming Christmas Break

Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Grooveshark

With sleeping kids and a husband that's waiting to watch a movie with me, I'm sharing a quick little snippet today and joining in with Ali Edwards, while I continue to share a bit of our December story. Part of our story today includes my Paisley girl throwing up in the car after eating a hot dog from Costco and getting car sick.... darn it, she totally has inherited that from me. Another part of our story from today is a morning spent with sweet friends from church, eating cookies and drinking coffee. But, in between the morning with friends and the Costco trip that ended badly with the kids, what was most memorable today is that we welcomed winter break.

We welcomed it loudly and I couldn't be more excited to have all my kids home everyday. For the next couple weeks, I won't be rushing them to the car in the morning and I'm so looking forward to slower days, more time to be creative with them and do more of the things that we enjoy doing together, but never seem to have time for.

In the car line this afternoon, I queued up "Wizards in Winter" on my phone. As Judah hopped it, we blasted it loudly and drove off hootin' and hollerin'. Christmas break is here and we're ready!

So, for tonight, I'm done on the computer and I'm off to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation with Jeremiah, while I fold laundry.

Happy Christmas break to you, if that's something that's relevant in your life right now. What was the best part of your day today?

A little throwback Thursday to wrap this up....
Exactly one year ago to the day. They were so small!

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