It’s amazing how one tiny, wilted flower can instantly change a room.  This worn out gardenia bloom is permeating every corner of my family room right now and it’s power is amazing.  I went from tired and worn out (very much like this bloom actually!) to content and happy in the amount of time it takes me to inhale a slow, deep breath of heady scent.  It reminds me of my childhood.  It floods my tired brain with sweet memories… memories I wish sometimes I could go back and relive.  Surely a second time around I would absorb more, I would notice more and most importantly love more.

A pathetic looking bloom yes.  But one wiff makes me thankful.  The evening breeze blowing over it and carrying the scent through my hair as I do dishes makes me count my blessings.  All of a sudden I want to freeze time to make sure I absorb all the details of this evening.  I want to study the details of my children’s faces and the sound of their voices and of my husbands laugh as he listens to their funny stories about their day.

I am content.

I am happy.

I am forgiven and free.

I am been blessed beyond measure by my Savior who doesn’t see my tired, wilted petals but delights in the aroma of my thankful heart.

When you have kids who, for some reason that they can’t express, do not care for soup (and we’re talking ANY soup… not just the ones with veggies in them), you tend to get just a tad excited when you discover one that they actually like.  That’s how it is at our house with Wonton Soup.  It’s a favorite amongst all the family members.  And it causes much rejoicing in my soup-lovin’ soul.   Like a lot of my favorite recipes, this one belongs to Allrecipes.com.  If you have never been to this site, you better get your bootay over there pronto because you are plain missing out. 

In my new attempt to post fast or not post at all (as you can tell from my last year of blogging, I have been unable to post blog updates quickly and so I have gone without), I’m going to just provide you the link to the recipe.  

Wonton Soup

Enjoy!

You will need to know how to make paper airplanes.  

… and not ones that immediately nose-dive.  They will need to actually fly.  Obviously, the further the better but they won’t need to record-breakers. 

Advice:

Practice, learn to make them quickly and stock up on paper.  Try making them in the dark or with your hands behind your back for practice.  Practice, practice, practice.  And if you find that you can make a paper airplane that’ll stay afloat for 5 seconds, while holding a baby on one hip and stirring dinner on the stove with another…. well, my friend… YOU HAVE ARRIVED.

Here’s some websites that will help you develop your paper airplane skillz:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Paper-Airplane

http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/ 

http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/planes.php

You will be asked on a daily basis to assess the awesome-ness of teeny biceps.    

… and sometimes elbows (the younger ones tend to forget which part of their arm is the muscle).

Advice: 

NEVER be to busy and ALWAYS be impressed.  It might encourage more frequent assessment requests but when it comes to being a mom to boys, it’s impossible to over-compliment the muscles. 

I’m a firm believer of building my kids up and  if that means I have to oooh and aaahhh over sweet , scrawny little arms all day, you better believe I’ll do it.

Hubby and I were watching the movie Date Night the other day.  It’s a hilarious comedy with Steve Carroll and Tina Fey.  At the end of the movie, the main characters, a husband and wife, discuss if they’d ever wanted “out” of their marriage or been tempted to stray.  The wife, Tina Fey’s character, shared that the only secret temptation she’d ever to just escape by herself… check in to a hotel by herself and just be alone.   Let me tell you, I laughed out loud because I can relate.

I wasn’t able to put my finger on it until I heard Tina say the words but I instantly thought, “THAT’S IT!”  That’s exactly my idea of a perfect escape… sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life.  I love being a wife, mother, teacher, house cleaner, laundry person, chef, errand person, taxi, dish washer, boo-boo kisser, nurse, argument solver, etc. etc.  I do… I really DO. 

But there are always those days that pop up… those speed-bumps or detours in the road of an otherwise perfect week or month.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those are usually the days you could find me hiding in the bathroom, playing Sudoku on my phone just to get a few moments by myself.  Now don’t even try and pretend you haven’t done the same thing now… the game you play on your phone might be different but that’s about it! 

Hubby asked if I ever secretly dreamed of the same form of escape as Tina’s character.  While I downplayed my whole-hearted agreement with Tina, I did answer truthfully.  And while I didn’t actually say out loud that a surprise weekend at a local hotel by myself would be the best gift he could ever give me, I may or may not of secretly thought it. 

What about you?  What’s your idea of a perfect escape?  Most of the time, I know we’d all pick a getaway with our hubbies.  But if you could get away solo, what would you want to do? 

AClawfootTub.jpg A Clawfoot Tub image by davedave200Me?  I’d pack a suitcase so full of books, I’d struggle to drag/push/shove it into my hotel room.  I’d take a nice long soak in the tub, pull my hair back, put on a comfy new pair of jammies, brew some coffee and break out the snacks.  I would never step foot out of my room the whole time if I could help it. I’d just rotate between reading through my suitcase full of books and watching movies on tv…

… and wondering what Hubby and the kids were doing…

… and missing them desperately.

No wonder my poor husband can’t figure me out.

Today is one of those days of total contentment.  A day when I wouldn’t trade in my “mommy-card” for all the money in the world.  A day when I delight in picking Hubby’s socks off the floor and hum a little tune while I tackle the permanent mountain of laundry piled high next to the washer machine.  Have you had one of these days before?

They don’t come often enough for me, I’m ashamed to admit.  Contentment doesn’t come from my surroundings, for those are the same as they were yesterday.  Instead, it is truly a matter of the heart.  It’s a choice I don’t make everyday… every moment… every breath.  And I fail miserably most days.  For some reason I’d much rather wallow in a current pity-party or allow the stress of keeping all my “hats” balanced perfectly on my head to take over and consume me. 

Today was not perfect by any means.  My whiney child was still whining.  My boys were still rowdy and out of control at times.  My chore fairy still refused to show up for work.  My family still demanded to be fed.  The dog still needs exercise and attention.   And homeschooling is still starting on Monday.

***AAAAHHHHCCKKKKK!!!***  Slow….deep….breathing….

But today, I choose contentment over strife and stress.  I choose to delight in the little things… those things that often go unnoticed or under-appreciated because I’m to caught up in something else.  I choose to take a deep breath when the stress of a moment threatens to wash over me like a tidal wave and instead of capsizing under it, I choose to smile and go start a tickle-fest or pillow fight in the living room.

Why today, you may ask?  I’d love to say it was just something I chose to do on my own.  But I’m afraid not.  Rather, it is a result of an increasing number of tragedies that has rocked the people around me in one way or another.  Sons who have died unexpectedly… families wiped out in car crashes… sweet little babies who are terminally ill… buses from my own university involved in head-on collisions… the list goes on it seems.  Sometimes I wonder if it is a sign that the devastation of this earth is closer.  That maybe the coming of my sweet Savior and Lord is just around the corner.  While I know that is true because each moment that passes brings us closer to that day, I also wonder if it’s more a result of us all being more connected through technology.  When something bad happens to a friend of a friend or co-worker, we read it on Facebook or Twitter when a year or so ago, we might not have ever heard the news. 

Whatever the reason is, the tragedies and heartaches have caused me to stop in my tracks and turn to look at those who surround me on a daily basis.  And I mean, really look… and appreciate.

Life is a gift.

Tomorrow is not promised.

And I am blessed.

  US marks 9/11 anniversary amid Islam tensions

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no
forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died
in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will
remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the
…children. “- President Bush

watermelon,photography,summer,love

I’ve been so bad at blogging and had to apologize so many times you must be sick of the broken record.  Truth is, I came to the realization that I just couldn’t  juggle all my homeschooling, laundry, dishes, cleaning, parenting AND blogging.  So I had to take a break, at least for the rest of the school year. 

But guess what??!!  School is OUT!

**kids run, screaming, right on outta the house** 

So that means, blog posts here I come! 

So no more apologizing.  Just know that if I’m not here it’s not because I don’t want to be, it’s because it was the ball that had to be dropped in order to keep the rest of them up in the air.

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in an I Heart Faces contest.  But I’m back in the saddle again!  This week’s contest is dramatic black and     white.  This photo was taken at a recent downtown photo shoot.  Enjoy.

 

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