For the last two days, I have worn pajamas. I have napped. I have watched movies. I feel rested for the first time in a loooong while. What an amazing blessing.
Between Sophia's birth and today a lot of busy occurred.
*We traveled to Minneapolis to celebrate the life of Chad's grandma. We enjoyed a bit of time with extended family. We helped pack up his grandparent's home.
Joshua and cousin Kaden helping pack.
Joshua being silly in front of our hotel.
*Sierra turned 17. We were in Minneapolis for the funeral on her birthday, which was a bit of a bummer. The high point was spending a few hours at the Mall of America just us girls.
Mataya literally shopped until she dropped!
Mine is on top. I never really wanted a tatoo - but it was a fun experience. Sierra, Krissy, and I all have the same cross. (Krissy had it first, and she allowed us to mimic her. Mine is scaled down from the girls' because my tat is smaller.) Bonding with my daughters is painful sometimes. HA!
*Jamison came home for his four day Thanksgiving break. This was the first time he had stayed here since August. The highlight of the weekend was watching him run races with Mataya. Mataya is always racing. She starts in the kitchen and races to the living room window and back. My job is to cheer. When Jay say her favorite game, he joined in. They were too fast to photograph, however they are hidden in my heart forever.
*We celebrated Thanksgiving. I cooked everything from scratch - including stuffing, pie crusts, and homemade whipped cream. And even more shockingly - I loved every minute.
*We had Chad's family over for a potluck meal.
*Joshua turned 9.
No cake for my kids. Joshua wanted pizza and do-nuts instead!
*We went to the Regner Farm for a gorgeous open house jewelry party. It was very special to see my Grandparent's home decorated for Christmas and spend a bit of time there. I miss them so very much. Being in their home, and seeing the beautiful ways their children have honored them in this season of grief is really special.
*I have worked weekly shifts with the teens. I am loving the time I spend with the kids. I am starting to feel like I understand them and the program a bit. Connections are forming. It has been much harder balancing home and this little job than I expected. I often feel torn about where my time is most needed - but I do love the time I have with these teens.
*I got to babysit my grandkids and give Sophia her first bottle. Oh, how I love them!
*We got all our Christmas decorations up. I love the transformation of this holiday.
*I have almost all of my Christmas shopping done and I have not entered one store. Once FedEx and UPS drop it off, it will be wrapped and ready. I LOVE online shopping!
*I played in the snow with Mataya. We made her very first snowman. Unfortunately, it snowed so much that the snowman is now buried under a snow pile! Poor Mataya was not happy when she woke up and her snowman had gone away!
Simultaneously, I am thankful for the joy and peace I had found in the midst of crazy. The weeks of the funeral and Thanksgiving were so full. At times that fullness brings me anxiety and frustration. I allow it to steal my joy. However, this year I found joy in the chaos. Chad was in awe. He commented many times on the joy radiating through me as I cooked and entertained for hours and hours.
Perhaps I am learning. This season of our family is going to be FULL. We have children and grandchildren at absolutely every age and stage. It has been a year in which we have lost many precious to us. We have also been blessed to gain family members. There will not be many days in which I can rest and savor. I must learn to treasure up moments in my heart and embrace the chaos or I will miss the joy and beauty that surrounds me.
I think often of these verses. And I long to celebrate each season, each time, for each and every moment the Lord gives is a gift.