Snow Globes and Such

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One thing I know for sure- we all have struggles and times when it is not fun to be us. A while back, My Ansley (who has a one and three year old) was talking about how tough life felt and how exhausting it seemed. For some reason all I could think about was a snow globe. When you see them sitting on the shelf they look kind of blah. Sure they may have a pretty castle or scene in them but what’s so special about that? Now, turn a couple of four year olds loose and you see what all the fuss is about. Those wee beasties will pick up and shake each and every one of those snow globes over and over and over. Afterward, when you look at them you see a thing of rare and exquisite beauty. It mesmerizes you and you can hardly look away because just a few hundred pieces of glitter have made the ordinary look extraordinary. Life is like that sometimes, we look back and see that when it was all shaken up is when it was the absolute best.

Am I saying we should live in turmoil? NO! I’m simply saying that the times in our lives when the kids are little, the house is small, and the paycheck is just barely enough, tend to be some of the sweetest times I can remember. A Friday evening was spent watching the kids play in the yard, Saturday mornings brought the sport of the season (football/basketball/soccer/baseball) and all the fun that comes from watching kids run around with no idea what they are doing! Sunday mornings were for church and nothing is sweeter that hearing a five year old retelling Jonah and the whale. Sure there are meals to cook, laundry to wash and a bigger mess to clean. But friends those years last less than a fourth of your life! There will come a day when your house is painfully quiet and your refrigerator is sadly full. When you will look back at the photos of the chaos years and realize, yep, these were the best days.

What I’m simply trying to say people, is that life is a beautiful thing if you will only try to view the chaos as shiny pieces of sliver glitter swirling all around! After all, I promise you that you will laugh about it …. one day.

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The Kitchen Is Closed

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The Kitchen is closed… at least for a couple of days. Don’t get me wrong, it was WONDERFUL having all three of the boys home for the holidays but I have to admit, I’d forgotten how much of my time is spent in the kitchen while they are here. The best thing about the empty nest has been how easy it is to prepare food for two people neither of whom is a teenage male. I mean, when it is just the two of us we never run out of milk or bread but the boys had not been home for a day before I realized we were three sips away from a milk catastrophe!

Extra mouths also seemed to be more prevalent this holiday. My boys love their friends as do I, but not when they forget to tell me that they are all staying for dinner. Multiple times over the break, I’d realize about five minutes before meal time that there were anywhere from one to five extra guys in the house… oops! Hard to stretch seven corn muffins for ten people. Oh some of the time it was my own fault, I simply forgot there were extra people there but in my defense, a few times I didn’t even know there was one non-family member in the house much less four!

Yes, it was a wonderful holiday with some great memories made and stories that we’ll tell for years to come. Sure right now the house seems pretty quiet, and truthfully I really do miss the chaos of having them all here. But just between me and you, my grocery bill and kitchen are glad for the break. Now, where did I put the book I was reading before they got home…

Holiday Invasion

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Thanksgiving is almost here and there are a few things that I JUST know will happen. At some point the boys will start wrestling… in the den… all over the furniture… Tim will join in… someone will get hurt (probably Tim because he forgets he’s not 25 anymore… but don’t tell him I said that!) We will make plans as a family to do something but Luke will realize at the last minute he already has plans. Oops!! At some point the guitar, ukulele and harmonica will come out for an impromptu jam session. There will be a back porch session late one night where ALL the world’s problems will be solved. There will be at least one ball thrown … in the house… it will become a contest of some sort… something will get broken… the boys will put on their puppy dog faces to tell me how sorry they are… I’ll try to be mad but instead I’ll laugh… life will go on.

It’s always different when the boys come home for a holiday because they’ve been keeping their own schedule for months and it NEVER meshes with ours. Our morning starts around 7:00am… their morning starts about mid-afternoon. We go to bed the same day we got up… they don’t go to bed until early the next day. We eat at normal times… they just eat… and eat… and eat.

I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t love every minute regardless of the chaos. I have simply learned that with these three boys of mine, life is NEVER going to go as planned so that is just what I plan on. Well, that and buying out the grocery store. Happy Thanksgiving Week Y’all!!!

The Good Old Days?

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I’m not sure when it happened, but I know it was many years ago. One day instead of dreading bedtime, I found myself longing for bedtime. Counting the hours and minutes until I could crawl blissfully between the covers and shut out the world. I feel certain this happened around the time my children were born but I can’t be certain. There are many things about those days that are, well, fuzzy to be honest.

I remember the days way back when the boys were little and they were only up for an hour or so after dinner. That little bit of time was taken up with our bedtime ritual. It seemed like as soon as the dinner dishes were cleared, the marathon was on: bath time, the great toy clean up, wrestling them into their pj’s, picking out the bedtime book, prayers, then finally lights out. Ahhhhh…I still remember that feeling like it was yesterday. That beautiful feeling of sitting down for the evening knowing that my job was done, at least for the night. Of course there was still plenty to do around the house but what I then did was of my choosing, no longer dictated by the whims and wants of my adorable little boys. Some nights lots got done and others nights…well, books got read and rest happened.

It’s funny that I remember the hustle and bustle of bedtime when my boys have been out of that routine for so very long. Maybe it’s all the Halloween costumes posted online that make me feel nostalgic for the days gone by. Days when my boys were small enough to fit in my lap, little enough to run across the yard and jump into my arms, days when they would fall asleep on my shoulder after insisting they were not tired. It’s enough to make me want to go back to those days and do it all again…Nah! Who am I kidding? I loved them then, but I think I love them even more now… now that they can dress, feed and clothe themselves.

I’ll never be nominated as mother of the year but then again, who needs some silly trophy that requires cleaning when I’ve got three living breathing reminders of where we’ve been and where we are! Yes, this much you can be sure of, I love my boys… my just about fully grown, almost supporting themselves, handsome, intelligent boys.