Wednesday was a day that I honestly thought would kill me.
I dreaded it completely the night before, knowing I would be sapped of all signs of life by the end.
But I am a soldier. I went in, facing my doom, courage shining bright, and I succeeded.
First, it is important to note that I was still recovering a bit from that awful bug that has been hitting people so much lately. It seems to be making the rounds at our house. So my energy level was completely sapped out.
I had an appointment first thing in the morning, which lasted until about noon. The kids were wonderful through it all, and so, to reward them, we went to Red Robin. That is Keith's favorite restaurant because they have arcade games there. A boy of simple pleasures, you know?
It was so fun to be there with them. Faye was very cuddly and kept randomly reaching over and giving me kisses.
I especially loved their choice in food.
Keith ordered the pizza with a side of steamed broccoli. Faye ordered the cheese sandwich with a side of sliced apples. They knew that fries were available, but they chose the healthy foods.
We waited for our food, and Keith colored while Faye and I cuddled and played "I Spy," and played and giggled a whole lot. Absolutely a wonderful afternoon spent. I just loved the time with those little ones. Despite the fact I was so tired, I was not irritable at all, I sucked every second up, savoring it, swishing it around, and swallowing it. I wanted to snatch that afternoon up, put it in my pocket, and take it home to place in a safe, to save forever.
As delightful as it was, all good things have to come to an end. We went home, the kids took naps, and I got ready for my meeting. A meeting from 5-9:30. It was ridiculously long. Truth be told, it was actually three different meetings. I am on the policy council for my county's Head Start program, and all the meetings had to do with that. But it was positively exhausting!
I collapsed into my bed that night. Amazingly, when I woke up Thursday morning, I had energy! For the first time since Christmas, I had energy to get things done. My bug was gone! I worked on getting Christmas put away, which took well into Friday because we had so much Christmas to put away. I was so excited to actually get things put away! Normally, Christmas is put away the day after. Sometimes even on the day of. I just don't like to have things stale. So getting everything packed up was like a breath of fresh air for me!
And then, Saturday, things were crazy and lovely all wrapped up into one.
While I was gone, Jeffrey had taken the kids to the toy store. Together they decided it would be fun to have a Nerf war.
Happily, after attacking me, they did give me something to defend myself with, and I was allowed to join in the war.
Have I ever told you what a great dad Jeffrey is? I mean, really! He is just wonderful. I love that man more and more every day. I love the way he plays with his kids.
After we cleaned up the warzone, it was time to make cake.
Our friends were coming over to play some games, and celebrate a birthday.
Our friend who has the birthday absolutely loves cats. He has had a cat for as long as Jeffrey has known him, and they have been friends since they were three. So the cake needed to be special, right?
I had seen a kitty themed cake floating around the internet for a while, and decided it would be completely perfect!
Our friend was rather dubious about eating it.
It is a very tasty cake.
I made a German chocolate cake, and a white cake. Bake them in a jelly roll pan. Seriously, it makes it so much faster, and cools so much faster, and if the cake needs to be crumbled, it doesn't matter what it looks like anyway. While the cakes were baking I made the pudding and put it in the fridge for later. I then took the blonde sandwich cookies and crumbled them in the food processor. I took 1/4 out, and added blue and green food coloring to that 1/4.
Once the cake was cooled, I threw it all into a large bowl and mixed the cakes together. I then added the pudding and the 3/4 bowl of crumbled cookie crumbs, mixing it all together.
To make it real, I then tossed everything into a kitty litter box that I had purchased during my errands. Yes, I scrubbed it out before putting the food in it. I sprinkled the blue/green crumbs on top of that, and then put some tootsie rolls in the microwave for 12 seconds. Made them nice and pliable. I was then able to shape the tootsie rolls into the convincing shapes I wanted, rolled some of them in the crumbs to make it a little more convincing and disgusting. I then got the pooper scooper (again, scrubbed clean, bought from the store that day) and put it in the cake as the serving spoon.
It was a very busy week. Each night at the end, I collapsed into bed, promising myself I would write in the morning. And then the whirlwind of the day would hit. And my time was sucked away in the cyclone of busy-ness. But it sure is nice living life, you know?
This whole week, I have been remembering something my neighbor said last week. Several of us were visiting, all of us in different walks of life (some with little ones, some with teens, some with adult children, some with grand kids, etc) and some were complaining about the difficulties with their children. One mom was asking if anyone wanted her daughter as she just didn't know what to do with her anymore. We laughed, and shared advice, and frustrations, and our knowledge. But then my neighbor said something that amazed me. After a few minutes of this knowledge sharing, she chimed in with "I love my kids. I have loved every minute with them. I love them as little ones. I loved them as teens. I love them now. Even when they have their difficulties, I just love everything about them. I don't think the saying 'grand kids are the reason to have kids' is true at all. My kids are simply wonderful and I have loved every moment of being their mother."
What a wise woman! I think a big part of her success was her attitude. I love her attitude! I want to be like her. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day. It is so easy to let life sweep you along, and the moments are lost because we don't take them. We don't worry about them savoring, taking them and tucking those moments into your heart. I think doing that makes it so much more enjoyable for me as a mother, and I am sure for my kids as well. This week that has been my focus, and I have seen the results of it. The results have been divine!
And this week, I have enjoyed every second with those little darlings. I think it is good for me to be reminded to treasure these moments sometimes. It seems every time I seem to get caught up in the craziness of life, something happens to remind me of these precious moments, and I am able to remember, and cherish just a little more, just a little longer. Its the tender mercies, you know?