Right now there are shoes on the couch and shoes on the table. About half of the cupboards in the kitchen are hanging open. The juicer is still full of pulp from this morning's orange juice.
I spent the day taking care of a very sick little Eli, who thought, apparently, that spitting at me or hitting me in the face would somehow make him feel better. I missed the girls' choir concert, because I haven't been here for the little boys' bedtime routine for 8 days in a row.
There was a big mix-up with the irrigation, a doctors appointment, my turn to cook for three large families, and a minor emotional break-down on my part.
Yet somehow, as I knelt down by my bed tonight, I felt such a flood of gratitude for all of the blessings in my life. Even, or right now especially, for the messiness of life.
I am grateful to be here, in the middle of this beautiful chaos that goes along with raising a family.
When I was straddling the irrigation ditch, hoping I would be able to hoist myself back up without falling in the water, I happened to look up and see the most beautiful bright yellow leaves on the trees down the road.
When Savannah saw the signs of my impending emotional break-down, she jumped right in and helped with dinner. Jeff went out after dinner to get me some chocolate chip cookies that felt really important in that moment.
And for only the second or third time so far this month, I got to sit with the boys and read our "traditional, nightly" Christmas story.
I love moments of clarity that come, usually unexpectedly, in the midst of the daily whirlwind. It feels like time stops racing forward just long enough for me to take a deep breath and let the beauty of my life make an imprint on my heart.
And tomorrow the whirlwind will begin again, but my heart will be just a little bit different.
My inspiration for this record of my days:
“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen