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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Moments of Joy

This Christmas season I have been making a conscious effort to find moments of real joy amid all the hustle and bustle.

On Monday I went shopping (at the dollar store) with Eli to pick out his gifts for everyone.  It was so sweet to watch how much thought he put into each gift!  He really wanted to find something that each sibling would really love.

On the way over he told me he knew for sure what to get for Savannah.   He was planning on picking out some "kafume," also known as "girl smell" that she could spray on herself.  I agreed that perfume was a good choice for Savannah.  But as we were walking down the beauty products aisle (or island, as he calls it) he spotted some lip balm that really grabbed his attention.  "I can get DIS for Savannah AND Becca, because it's really for girls!"

He decided on band-aids for Caleb "because he always gets hurt, but he doesn't even cry!"

Each of the gifts he picked was equally as thoughtful. He searched until he found something he was excited to give.  I couldn't stop smiling the whole time.  I am so glad I still have a five year old!  And especially one as fun as Eli!

Yesterday was full of the joy of Christmas baking.

We made LOTS of cookies, and spent the evening caroling and delivering.  The caroling was especially successful this year.  We pulled a trailer full of kids behind the car, which alleviated all the fighting that happens while getting in and out of the car.  And as we drove I could hear everyone singing together at the top of their lungs, laughing, and enjoying each other.  That sound especially warmed my heart because I had to really put my foot down and insist that this was an important family activity.  Even though a couple of them had really tried to get out of this outing, they still chose to participate with good attitudes, and it ended up being a great bonding time.

I did have a moment of sadness when I realized that I will have no girls living at home with me next Christmas.  And the girls have been my allies when it comes to keeping traditions alive!  The boys (at least the older ones) seem to fight against them.  I need my girls!!

In this last general conference, Elder Russell M Nelson gave a talk about JOY that spoke straight to my heart.  One of the things he said was "Joy is powerful, and focusing on joy brings God's power into our lives."  As I have looked for moments of joy, I have felt an increase of the Spirit in our home.  And an increase of the Spirit makes for a happier home for sure!