A Year of Habits, no. 38

It is a beautiful evening.   A few golden rays of sunlight splash horizontally across a sliver of the cherry tree as I sit in the yard to type this.  The sound of crickets chirping combine with an occasional call of birds and the happy laughter of my children on the other end of the yard.  Across the street a dog is barking while a gentle breeze plays across my face.  The children have constructed, dismantled, and built a new fort several times this weekend.  Right now they lay together on blankets beneath the structure they built most recently.  I can hear enough to make out their voices but not their words, which are punctuated often with laughter.  I watch this little group and feel so lucky to call them mine.  I hope that someday they will look back at their childhood together and recognize the great gift of friendship they enjoyed because we have so many of them and because we had them close together.  I wish I could bottle this happiness to use as medicine on the days when they can’t stand one another, with an extra bottle to save for the days when it hurts to have them grown years from now.

It has been a great weekend.  Evidence of groups come and gone is everywhere.  It’s in the folding chairs on the lawn, the pile of trash bags in the garbage can, the collection of towels to be washed, the toys strewn across the house, the tired eyes of little ones.  But mostly, I suppose, the evidence is in my heart.  There’s this happy feeling that treasures the messes as a final reminder of all the smiles, conversations, hugs and memories that have been exchanged here in the past three days.  I feel so honored that so much of it took place here .  Just a little while ago we said good-bye to the last of our guests and my children “ran” my parents down the street to the stop sign.  A few last waves and then they were gone.  It was busy, noisy, but oh-so-much-fun!  All of us were together, something that becomes more precious with time and distance.  My brother was married yesterday.  Another brother blessed his baby in our home yesterday.  The men and older children cheered themselves hoarse at the BYU football game Friday night, the women enjoyed an evening together and the younger children spent magical hours in the backyard and basement.  My heart is full.  Can it get better than this?

I got a lot done, but the things I didn’t get to in preparation for the weekend remains much longer than what I crossed off.  Still, it all worked out.  What was dirty is still dirty and what was clean is now cluttered.  And that’s ok.  It’s as it should be.   When all is said and done it’s people that matter.  Tonight I feel blessed to have so many people that matter to me and my greatest hope is that in some small way this weekend was an “I love you” to them.  To those of my family who read this blog I say, “Thank you so much for coming. I love you.”  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

And now for the habits.  I threw my ultra healthy diet to the wind for a few days but am excited to get back in the groove tomorrow.   I am grateful for my progress in this area.

I worked so hard on the house this week and while it’s nowhere near my standard I am encouraged.  If I work hard again this week I think I can recover what was lost over the weekend and continue to improve.  I also got the basement clean so we’ve got a large, tidy space to play ping pong, air hockey, or the basketball double shot.  The children loved it and on Saturday night we had some teenagers down there, too.  Just what I pictured.

I finished several projects in anticipation of this weekend and am close on others.  I intend to finish them by mid-October.  For the record, here is the list:  two headboards to paint, an end table to paint, and another dresser to sand down and paint.    I have a few chairs to tackle as well.  I also have some sewing to do and a couple of curtains to hang.

After a few days’ break from our school routine I’ve got to hit it hard again tomorrow so the homework and music lessons move forward as they should.

I’m behind on my weeding in the yard, but anxious to get out here and knock it out.

A soft reply.  There were a few times I butted heads with a couple of children, but many times when I held my tongue and tried to respond with patience and kindness.  I hope someday to be the mother my children deserve.

Service.  I did find a few small opportunities to serve and I also followed a couple of promptings I had.  Nothing spectacular, but it feels good to do what is right.

I am so blessed.  My husband is so good to me.  I love him with all my heart.  I am so blessed to have this great group of children and feel privileged that we get to learn how to be a family together.   Nothing else beats this.  It is what live is all about.

The sun is now down and the darkness gathers around us.  The temperature has dropped a few degrees and I’m now batting away the mosquitoes.  The crickets sing more loudly as we head indoors.

We’re tired.  We need sleep.  It’s going to be a great week.


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