Simple. Quality. {week 30}

simplequality

It’s a happy night at the Harrison home as I type this.  A cracked but totally awesome bread board I picked up for a steal on my recent girls weekend away has been re-purposed as a tabletop on our small ottoman.  The last few hours have held the sound of dice shaking, rolling, landing as my husband and older children enjoy playing a new game.  I just finished cleaning up the kitchen after a Sunday dinner of gourmet pizza – and my twelve year old made the most amazing Hawaiian style pizza on his own.  The younger children folded my pile of clean kitchen towels and we all did a taste test on a new lavender cupcake recipe I tried this afternoon.  It’s been so normal around here today, the sounds of disagreements, of laughter and love and happiness mingled with all the messes, spills and clean-ups that necessarily accompany family life.  By some miracle I found time before church this morning to dry and curl the hair of my two youngest daughters instead of doing the usual super quick pig tails, so I had the happy experience of being kind of awestruck every time I looked at my youngest daughter today.  Struck by how very pretty and little and grown-up she looked all at the same time.  How can it possibly be that she will turn four two weeks from today?  How can it be that this week we passed our six year mark living in this home?  And that the little girl who turned three right after we moved in is turning nine this week?  It’s all painfully precious to me at the moment.

The dishwashers hum as I sit here; the youngest four are in a world of their own in the dining room.  I listen to their animated voices, alive with imagination and the common phrase repeated, “Let’s say that in the game…” as they set up, negotiate, and talk in pretend voices.  I remind myself that these are the times when I’m paid in advance for the experience of walking into the room later to find practically everything rearranged at their whim.  I smile at two boys stretched out on couches reading books and just soak in the blessing of being here.  All here.  Here together.

It’s been a busy month; last night we completed our revolving door segment of the summer with someone different out of town every week and a couple of trips overlapping others.  I’m thrilled with the experiences that have blessed our lives and particularly the lives of my children this month but I’m immensely happy at the thought of having everyone around tomorrow.  The summer has slipped through my fingers in so many ways, but has been rich and joyful in others.   I found it difficult this week to get things done at the pace I should have – too much on my mind – and the coming week is jam-packed full of commitments, details and lists.  I’ve had to work hard today to make myself mentally slow down and enjoy the moment instead of letting what’s ahead crowd out the peace of the Sabbath.

How about a specific report?

S – smile and savor.  Well, I’ve certainly done that today.  Actually, I did it a lot this week.  It was a happy week.
I – influence.  Not much that I can think of here.  I did attend the temple this week, which was a good influence on me.  And enjoyed many good conversations.
M – my health.  I only went for a jog 3 times this week, but that’s better than 0, 1 or 2 times!
P – participate.   I’m drawing a blank here as well.
L – live ahead.  I’m terribly behind on my plans for a birthday party this week, and have two other real birthdays to prep for.  Lots more work to do and more deadlines than I care to dwell on.  I feel like there’s an awful lot to figure out in a very short time.
E – embrace technology.  Nothing accomplished.

Q – quality of life.  I would say this area has seen the most consistent improvement of them all over the year.  Even while I felt mentally off my game, we’re doing well with keeping the house running smoothly.  I am behind on laundry at the moment, however.
U – urgency in important matters.  I’m dis-sastisfied with my performance in this area.  I feel like too often lately I’m just trying to keep up with the day and I need to be more purposeful in what I’m trying to achieve.  That said, I will express satisfaction and gratitude for the thoughts, impressions, ideas and direction I feel I’m receiving for the individual children.  It just takes time, money and effort to follow those promptings and bring things to life.  I would say there are several things under construction that will be of value and other plans in the hatching stage.  So much work to do, but it’s nice to know what you’re supposed to be doing.
A – aim higher.  The same goes here.  It’s all about planning and working harder.  I keep thinking that I’ve got to be more dynamic, able to summon more enthusiasm and energy for a longer list each day, able to stay in control of the list.
L – laugh.  Moderate success here.  Definitely some really good moments and fun things to chuckle at.
I – inject the spirit.  A few good experiences with this, but once again I look back and see that I need to do a better job of navigating so these things happen with greater frequency and power.
T – take inventory.  Nothing accomplished.
Y – yes to youth.  Another good week.  We made it to the pool four days this week, did some weeding as a family, attended a birthday party for a family friend, a Pioneer Day breakfast, spent several hours as a family watching my daughter play in a soccer tournament, took the kids out for ice cream.  It was a really awesome week to be a family.

And there you have it.  I’m so grateful for these Sunday night posts as they’re an excellent opportunity to compare what’s going on with what I envision and work on course corrections.  I know of no better way to get on target again, and let’s hope that next week I can report a higher rate of success!

Now the noise has moved upstairs.  The post was put on hold while we read scripture together as a family, knelt in family prayer, and sent the younger group up to brush their teeth.  Blankets and wood blocks litter the floor and I’m anxious to get up there to give the last hugs of the day and hopefully get to sleep in time to make my schedule work tomorrow.

I’m wishing you a happy and purposeful week, with lots of sunshine and old fashioned summer delights.

Jennifer

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