Joy, week 35

Happy.  Tired.  Busy.  Relaxing.  Frantic.  Full.  Perfect.  Breathless.

All those words describe life this week.  It was crazy but wonderful, slow and frantic, full of mistakes and yet perfect all at once.  We’re working on the school routine, and this was the week when “tired” hit a majority of the bodies that live here.  Getting everyone out of bed in the morning became more challenging, getting the homework done went from novel to boring, and so forth. I’m proud of my older children who are sincerely working at managing their time wisely, getting work done, and trying to stay organized/ahead.  The workload has certainly increased for some of them and I hope we rise to the occasion well.

I had planned to work like crazy all week long on the house, which I did, but found that the projects I tackled required at least twice as much time as I anticipated.  I’m in the mood to go through every little tiny detail of this house and everything in it, get rid of as much as possible and find a better way to live.  I want to take care of people, not things.  Regardless, this was not the week for micro.  The house needed a macro sweep to just get everything presentable before the weekend, so I did my best and I guess I got a little of both done.  But beware the basement… it’s unbelievable.  I have no nice words for what the children have done to it, so we’re not talking about it, only staying out of it.

My daughter had her graft done in her mouth this week.  I’m so proud of her and we  hope it takes, which means we also hope she doesn’t get hit in the face at soccer practices or games, and that she can’t bite anything with her front teeth.  She can only eat what she can spoon/fork into the back of her mouth.  That makes a breakfast sandwich rather complicated, so while everyone else is eating their simple meals we’re cutting her food into small pieces.  Bless her heart, she’s been such a trooper.  No complaining, no drama.  She’s a special girl, that one.

The highlight of our week happened yesterday.  Our third daughter (child #5) was baptized.  My parents flew in for it (with plenty of stress and drama to make it complicated, but they did it anyway, the saints that they are), my sister and brother-in-law came down from Logan, and my brother and his family came as well.  My husband’s brother’s family also joined us and it was a lovely morning.  There was so much I didn’t get done, so many little things that didn’t end up just right, and yet the morning was perfect.  Everything worked out, we all felt happy, and my heart was satisfied.  There were some small and yet huge victories in there that warmed my soul.  I felt happy watching everyone else be happy and of course my heart overflowed with love for my precious daughter on her special day.  Oh, I love that girl!

And as quickly as they came, they went, but not before we shared great food, wonderful conversations, lots of laughter and compliments and catching up on life.  My brother was also in town from Spokane the day before and I enjoyed spending time with he and my dad.  The whole week was wonderful, but breathless would be one of the adjectives in neon lights.  I’ve decided these are breathless years, these last few years before the dynamics of our family start changing again when the children start leaving.  And leave they will, in quick succession, so the time I have with all of them here has taken on a kind of breathless, precious quality.  I want to make it wonderful for all of us, which means simultaneously working harder and spending more time doing nothing but being with them.

I took a nap today, something I only do a handful of times a year.  I’ve learned to live tired, so it surprises me sometimes when I truly can’t keep my eyes open.  We played games tonight with the older ones while the younger children went from room to room, setting up whatever tickled their imaginations:  stores, restaurants, cowboy scenes and so forth.  It was loud but happy.  And very healthy.

So today we’re back to just the ten of us.   It makes me laugh to type that.  Just the ten of us.  That is a production by most standards, but it’s our normal.  What a lucky normal it is.  The last few months have had a lot of moments for me when I look around at all of them, do a quick head count to make sure no one is missing, and then a feeling of wonder washes over me as I think, “All these people belong to me!  Wow!”   They’re moments when, deep in  my soul, I feel aware of the blessing it is to have my life so connected to each of theirs,  aware that the abundance of those fibers is my life’s greatest treasure no matter how the rest of the world measures wealth.   And in those moments my mind and heart are just humming with gratitude and joy that I can’t quite wrap my arms around, it’s so big.

I’m grateful for the holiday tomorrow.  After two very full weekends I’m really not ready to dress everyone in their uniforms, make breakfast, pack lunches, and get everyone out the door by 7:15 a.m.   A quiet morning sounds perfect. Tomorrow will be used to fold some laundry, rescue the house again, check all the homework lists and try to get us prepped for school life once more.  And if I’m super lucky, I’ll spend a few minutes at my sewing table before they all wake up to catch up on a quilt along I’ve fallen behind on (already).

I’ve got big plans for September.  I’ve been going through all my lists from January as well as the things that have piled up since then.  I’m hoping to knock out a lot of tasks in the next few weeks.  If I work really hard I just might feel better about things come October.   The calendar is filling at an alarming rate, however, so it will be no small thing to stick to my priorities.  I’ll do my best and we’ll see how it goes!

I hope you have a great day tomorrow and a happy week.


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