Baseball, Pumpkins & Not So Perfect Moments

Our weekend was made up of these perfect moments that take your breath away and make you wonder how God could trust you with these precious lives he made. That included Ben sipping on his hot chocolate, and then sweetly smiling and telling me how much he loves everyone around him. It included Michael arriving at dewy baseball fields two hours ahead of most anyone else, to quietly and without thanks, prepare for kids to play. And Ben laughing so loud it makes your heart hurt. That included Drew coming in as the pitcher when there were already bases loaded, and working his team out of that jam, cool as a cucumber. And Drew running while pulling his brother in a wagon that also held their prized pumpkins, both laughing heartily. It included Drew happily making a sandwich for Ben. It included both boys cuddled up with me at the end of a night, eventually drifting off together.

These are the moments we love to remember, to take photos of and store away in our hearts and heads forever.

And I could end the post here, with a few photos of these beautiful moments. But I won’t.

Because our weekend was also made up of these ugly moments. Ben telling me that I’m making him crazy, in a very serious tone, and me not responding in love. Ben swinging on a kitchen drawer, sending silverware crashing as the drawer broke. Drew  procrastinating on homework and ending up much too late finishing it. Michael and I not communicating about something simple that led to ugly words. Me losing my cool way too often.

That’s reality. We have this amazingly beautiful life that is full of the sweetest moments, but is also real and full of ugly. And heck, that’s on the good days.

I’ve been praying for a good friend of a friend and their family, as they are just praying for any moments with their son after a horrific accident this weekend. We shouldn’t need tragedies to remind us to just be grateful for whatever moments we have, but as is so often true, in those moments I just forget. I should have taken photos of some of those moments we’d rather forget, because they’re part of this life and part of who we are.

So, here are a few photos from the weekend, but with some honest captions to go with them.

Ben_cheeringat2nd_10-15-14

Excited to play 2nd! Cries when he has to play somewhere else, and sat down in the grass at one point. (though in reality, one ball hit the grass all game, so I kinda got his point!)

Drew_atbat_10-17-14

so mad about the umps erratic strike zone that he threw his helmet

 

B&D_WagonRunning 2014

me too busy trying to capture the moment to really enjoy the moment

Brothers_wagon 2014

I take back anything bad I said- they’re perfect! :)

Starting Off Right

The kids have been in school for about 4 weeks now, and we decided to make a change to how we started our day.  Okay, I decided and had to find a way to get them on board.  Because here is how our normal school/work mornings look.

6:30 My first alarm  (hit snooze till it quits)

7:00 My second alarm  (turn off then lay there for a few)

7:05 Start waking everyone up

7:15 Get in shower

7:30 Realize that no one is actually yet up and moving though they are awake

7:31  Yelling to move! move! move! as I put on clothes, brush teeth and decide makeup and fixed hair is overrated

7:50 Grab stuff (including travel mug of coffee) while yelling:  brush teeth!  put on shoes!  we’ve all got to go! and getting quick kisses and hugs as I run out the door and hubs gets them finished and out to school.

That routine stinks. 

So we started this school year differently.  I convinced Drew that this was a great workout to help him with baseball, so now he is on board, and as tough as it is, it now starts us off MUCH MUCH better.

Now, we’re starting off right and the new school/work mornings look like this:

6:30 My alarm and Drew’s alarm go off.  I lay there till he comes in and ‘wakes’ me

6:38  We are dressed and out the door on our bikes.  Or, now that the mornings are getting darker, doing a cardio video on TV.  Bike time was especially great, as we were able to chat some and pick different routes each day

7:05  Walk in the door to hubs starting the dishwasher, picking out clothes or getting lunches ready

7:06  Make sure Ben is up, put him in the bath, and Drew and I head to different bathrooms to shower

7:20 Everyone out and getting dressed

7:30 Breakfast for the boys, me finishing up getting ready

7:40  Finish making lunches, checking backpacks, drink coffee

7:45 Kiss boys, walk out door as the guys do final prep to leave

 

It’s not been easy, and it gets tougher as we have to figure out an indoor activity that we’ll both enjoy until the time changes and we can start biking again.  But the difference it’s making is well worth it.

What are your tips for getting the right start to your day?

 

 riding

 

 

Cracked Eggs

I have calculated that I need 82 more vacation days to successfully organize my house.  And that would not even count the garage, which I won’t touch if my life depends on it.

This drives me nuts.  As in, certifiably, would prefer to run away, nuts.

So why don’t I work on it piece by piece in the hour or two I have here and there?  Because in the hour or two I have here and there, I prefer to enjoy our life.  And because I require sleep (and oddly enough, massive hours of sleep, and always have).  And because I do, but a house full of people and dogs and birds and hermit crabs (yes, there are technically 8 animals in our home) undoes it.  So my life house stays unorganized and cluttered and not at all like a Pottery Barn catalog, which is exactly how I picture it will be one day- you know, when I somehow have the ability to take 82 days of vacation that I dedicate solely to the house.  That day.

But life is messy, and out of control and will likely never be the storybook picture.  So much of our life is completely out of my control, that it doesn’t take a psychologist to see that I try to grasp it where I can (though some suggest I still need to see one regularly, but I’m sure they’re wrong and nuts themselves!).  And while I do  try to accept the lack of control and give everything up to God about the big things, I keep grasping at the smaller ones. 

Saturday night while we were coloring Easter eggs, I looked down at an egg that had not turned out at all like we planned.  It wasn’t the color we thought (I may have mixed a few three tablets in one bowl), and I didn’t think it particularly pretty.  But the boys thought it was one of the coolest.

I would really prefer them all to be crafted beautifully, you know, Pinterest worthy.  I’d like to show off our creations, and have you jealous.  Have you ask us to show you how we could have possibly made these amazing pieces of art. 

But instead, we had fun.  We laughed.  We cracked them.  We got our fingers stained.

We ended up with eggs just like life- not what you expect, not what you’d design, but beautiful and messy, and what you wouldn’t trade for the world.

I think God sees us like that too.  We are cracked and stained, and not exactly perfect.  But He loves us and accepts us, and even celebrates us. He holds us up to the world and claims us as His own.  I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)