Today, I need a bit of a pep talk, so prepare yourself for 7 positives and some random cuteness from the kids. Please don't read these like life is all sunshine and rainbows around here. It's not. I'm just choosing not to moan and groan (today) about the crazy, the sad, and the mundane.
I can't be Canadian and not talk about the weather. This time though, it's because it is BEAUTIFUL. I'm barefoot right now, albeit, badly in need of some nail-polish, and we have been outside for at least 60 consecutive minutes every day this week!
My littlest, Zachary, loves outside. At 6 months old, he loved to just crawl around and explore. By 7 months, we were so confident in his happiness outside that we lost him in the back yard! He had just crawled around the corner of the garage, and we found him playing with a small stick, content as can be.
I'm really looking forward to the summer when I can just keep the cool drinks, snacks, sunscreen and sprinkler going, because all three boys can basically take care of themselves in the back yard for more than 20 minutes.
20 minutes of quiet house. Think about it.
It's over halfway through Lent and I've come to that point where I'm realizing that I took on way too much and was a leeetle ambitious in what I thought I could do, but all is not lost:
40 Bags in 40 Days was on my radar last year, and I started and completely failed because, well... newborns. This year, I have no excuse, just laziness. But also, I realized that I'm a bit more organized and clutter-less than I thought. So I've looked at areas I've written down to declutter and fix up, and thought, "Actually, I just need a box for all these winter clothes! Viola! Done."
But the whole idea has struck a chord in me that I need to cleanse my life of the superfluous. With most of the giveaways I've done throughout Lent, I've just realized that I could just as easily left these items in the store to begin with, and never have had to deal with them later. Buh-bye beautiful black boots that were uncomfortable to begin with, but I thought I would "break them in." Lesson learned.
That, and the spiritual side of things, where I've realized I don't need to bog myself down in "clutter" like guilt (confessing those sins like a boss!) and over-thinking and analyzing "What are you doing with me, Lord!?"
I've realized that God is giving me the Lent for me because I'm open to the possibilities He has. Victory!
I'm in a good place here. I have bad days, but overall, good place.
Our renovations are going so well!
We've got a play-room, an office and a laundry room/closet framed, drywalled and painted!
One night, I had this crazy dream that I had a grand-opening of our new-improved playroom, complete with a bouncy castle outside, some form of entertainment (a magician?) and lots and lots of pink lemonade.
I may not be able to afford entertainment or a bouncy castle, but a grand-opening of the kid's space is actually a great idea, and may materialize once we have carpet, shelving and the toys all in place again. I love the idea of christening the space, and who doesn't love a good kid's party?!
Good job subconscious!
Speaking of parties. This year for Patrick's 5th, I opened the "drop-your-child-off" can of worms. I invited 6 other 4-5 year-olds over and decided that Joseph and I could handle it. Some of my family was like, "You're doing what? Are you crazy?! Why would you outnumber yourself like that?!" My mother-in-law stopped by and said I seemed to be doing great, and made some comment about how I'm probably going to need a drink afterward. But you know what?
I liked it more than any other birthday I've had for the kids. It was simple, less chaotic than filling my house with people, and fun for the kids, and me.
I did have one mom offer to stay and help, which was great, because it turned out Zachary and Carter were going to have meltdowns (Tired, and Jealous, respectively), and having that extra pair of hands to clear dishes etc. was wonderful while Joseph was dealing with the other two.
But the kids, void of parents, were so well-behaved. Really, this probably speaks to the kind of parents I hang out with, who actually expect things of their children, but I was actually surprised there were no fights, no major messes and kids left saying what fun they had.
Last Saturday I went to my great-uncle's funeral. He left a legacy of 5 children, all with families and spouses and each of the children spoke about him.
This was not a close great-uncle, unfortunately, but I somehow really connected to what his children, my Dad's cousins, were saying about him. He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing and camping. He loved music, and he was handy and good at fixing things. Maybe I connected because my own Dad was a similar type of man.
Anyway, the positive in this, was that while I was listening to these grown-children speak about their Dad, all I could think was, "What a nice family," and I was just so happy that someone could leave this world so loved and so cherished for who they were.
Rest in Peace, Great Uncle John. Rest in Peace.
Some good reads and inspiration this week:
When God Makes You Wait by Anna Bachinsky
I really loved this. So much of my life is like this, always waiting, always wondering what next. I think it applies to a lot of situations, so it was really encouraging.
This Mailbag question to Kendra of Catholic All Year It's about how to introduce little kids to the idea of a new sibling. I just love Kendra's "life goes on, and it is what you make it" approach. I feel like she doesn't let life overwhelm her (as I
Fountains of Carrots: This Painful, Beautiful Life with Karen Edmisten
I have to admit, I cried a little listening to this podcast. I have been thinking a lot lately about how to support friends who are experiencing infertility, miscarriage and child loss and this conversation was just beautiful in that regard.
It's Friday, so we are cooking something meatless! We are typically really bad at abstaining from meat within the year. I make the excuse that my husband works hard at his physically demanding job, and loves his meat, but really, I just forget it is Friday most of the time, so for Lent, I really remind myself and stick to it. Plus, with the kids doing a Lenten calendar, it is convenient that they see the fish on the Friday and remind me too!
So, without further adieu, a link to a recipe: Bean Me Up, Scotty (When I saw the name of this, I was like ehhhrrrrmmmm, but it is actually worth eating! Also, this is the only link I could find, the original is from the Looneyspoons cookbooks)
My friend Michelle introduced me to this recipe, which is a soup, but she serves it over rice with little sprigs of cilantro and sour cream on top, and it is great. So Michelle, if you're reading this, thank-you for your culinary genius and recipe. My kids actually like it too. And the husband? Well, he never complains about anything I cook, but he hates cilantro, so I omit it for him. That's love right there.
Have a great weekend!