Random Pieces of my Heart
If you’re in the basement cleaning up random junk that your children have strewn all over the place and you suddenly get a two inch view of the sunset from down there which causes you to race upstairs, grab your camera, and run outside to watch it…. are you addicted to sunsets?
The junk that’s been working it’s way through our children hit me Monday. This early morning must have sealed the deal for my already battling immune system. I wish I could live on 4 or 5 hours of sleep like I could once upon a time. I feel blessed to have skipped the fever, but it’s been interesting to have my voice coming and going, and to feel (for the first time in years) my throat closing to the degree that I can’t get enough air. When you’re doing simple housework and you’re sweating and breathing hard something is definitely wrong. Tonight I made this and this for dinner… I was wanting a simple meal and it was the perfect pairing. My family loved it. I don’t know why I haven’t made them together before. I love that soup.
For all the complaining I’ve done about Utah’s gray skies, I must gratefully acknowledge a great deal of sun lately. The cold temperatures seem to have driven the clouds away and I couldn’t be happier about it. Blue skies, white capped mountains, sunlight filtering through my windows… they’re the kind of days that make winter bearable.
I had an appointment this morning so we made it an errand day. I’m really not a fan of taking little children on errands. I’ve done it for so many years (usually with three children) that I’m just not interested anymore. One thing I’ve learned is that errands with children will NOT be a quick experience, and today certainly proved it again. As we were getting in the car after our last stop I was tempted to feel discouraged/frustrated/guilty about all the housework I hadn’t been working on all day when suddenly I had this thought instead: “I’ve been teaching my little ones how life in public works, and it’s been a lot of fun.” I had to admit that because my expectations were low and because I assumed it would take a long time I’d been much more relaxed. I enjoyed it. I didn’t rush them. I hung out in the toy department at TJ Maxx just so they could explore. I enjoyed watching my baby summon courage to wave to a stuffed animal on the toy aisle before she turned and ran away in fear. I enjoyed watching my four year old carry lunch to his oldest brother and generally be a little guardian for his younger sisters all day. I enjoyed listening to my three year old’s running commentary on the general cuteness of everything in the store (“and Mommy can we buy it?”), and hearing her sweet voice explain so much of life to me. No, I didn’t get any cleaning done, but I thoroughly enjoyed my little ones.
I love this store. As in, really, really love it. We had a bit of time before we had to get back to pick up children so we stopped. I pulled into the only parking spot available, right in front of the store doors. As I brought the space shuttle to a halt I was keenly aware that I was parking my 600 foot long, splattered with mud from gymnastics, vehicle right between a Porsche 911 and a Porsche Cayenne. I turned off the car as a size 2 woman at least ten years my senior came sauntering out in a ruffled skirt, fish net tights, six inch heels and flowing blouse. She looked strangely at my van and at me before getting in her Porsche. For a moment I wondered what on earth I was doing there, what right a woman like me has to care about design. I sat there and felt all these crazy feelings… why do I love it so much? I know it doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things, but I love it. I’ve loved it my whole life. Why do I care? Why can’t I manage my life better? Why does having a large family sometimes have to feel so painfully out of place in our society? Why does a tiny, expensively dressed woman driving an expensive car make me feel second-rate?
I sat there feeling slightly stunned by this barrage of thoughts and feelings. Then I climbed out of my dirty van in my jeans, t-shirt and cardigan (does it help that it’s gray and has a ruffle on it?), my vans (LOVE these shoes) and a blood blister on my bottom lip from my three year old’s head early in the week and went in. I am what I am, a late-thirties mother of 8 children who drives a monster vehicle and still needs to drop a bunch of baby weight but who happens to love design. I’m sure I’ll never be one of their top customers, although I could probably spend about $25,000 here in ten minutes flat, but I can enjoy it. And I can dream. And I can be inspired by their talents and by gorgeous pieces and products that inspire me to go home and do a little more with what I have. Right? I saw some of the most gorgeous pillows. Expensive, but stunningly pretty. I wanted to run straight home and sew instead of running to a futsal game, but again, I am what I am. A mother. A mother who’s totally in love with her children.
And speaking of being in love with your children, can I please turn back the clock 13 years and start fresh with a nursery like this? I won’t even get started on how much I love this room, but I will say that I’m dreaming of putting this rug in my entry. The one we have has seen better days. If I save my fun money….
My husband and I are grappling with some big decisions this week. Well, one much smaller than the other but for some reason they both feel big to me. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of good things, not because they aren’t good enough, but because they’re secondary. And sometimes big choices find you when you’re not even looking for them. Life is oh, so interesting.
And as for good design? Well, the etageres I would love to put in my family room in place of the sturdy but not at all pretty bookshelves we’ve got would only cost us $3,000.00 and in all honesty, I’m sure someone would find a way to break them the same way my boys put holes in 5 doors (yes, five) within two days of moving into our newly built home a few years ago. We’ll stick with what we’ve got, and really, I like my house. It’s coming along.
On my way back inside after chasing down the sunset I paused at the sight of my front porch. Simple, but inviting.
I went back inside and gathered the ten of us around our awesome, huge kitchen table and ate dinner. We sat there, my husband and I, at opposite ends of the table, and I couldn’t help but smile with joy. I felt so happy to be right where we were at that moment. We are a family. Nothing else really matters. These people belong to me. I love them.
Life is SO good.
P.S. Stay tuned for an awesome recipe and a super cute but simple Valentine treat idea. You deserve it after reading this random post!