On Thursday evening we boarded a plane and flew to Chicago, and on Friday morning we drove down to Springfield to meet Soren in person (!!!!) and have a small family reunion.
We have a cute video of Grandma blowing pinwheels for the girls.
This morning I got up early and finished my book, All the Light We Cannot See. It was, hands down, the best contemporary fiction I have ever read. I want to read everything Anthony Doerr has ever written now. It was a great way to start the day.
Then I snuck out of the room to swim. This hotel has a lot of memories for me because Grandma would always take us here to swim whenever we visited her. I felt so happy swimming.
And then we had a great breakfast, after which I got to snuggle with Soren. So far it has been a beautiful day to start my thirty second year!
One of my friends in the ward invited me to a financial seminar this morning while her darling son babysat the girls. This sweet twelve-year-old had an outdoor tea party with the girls, patiently played dolls with them, did crafts projects with them, read books to them, and even played the game “Memory” with them. When I came home, they were gluing beads onto paper in the craft room, and when I came down with his check, the girls were laughing hysterically at the way he was putting a hat on his head.
I pray a lot for the future husbands of my girls, and seeing this boy was very reassuring; it is possible to raise good boys in today’s world! They still exist, and they are among us! Praise.
By the time I got home, it was nap time, so I had a really easy day. After naps, we did a Father’s Day craft and then went outside and played for the rest of the evening. The girls ate half a watermelon for dinner with gummies for dessert.
I am feeling massive, raw guilt about how I treated Lydia today. I was so snappy and impatient. I just feel so, so bad after the fact, and I wish so much that I could be a better, more patient mom. I am hoping and praying I am better tomorrow.
We did have a highlight today when Lucas and Kim came over for dinner. We always end up chatting with them for hours, and we enjoy them so much. Afterward we went out for gelato and Abe snapped this photo:
Lydia also had camp, and they took some cute pictures of her there:
I feel like I spent four hours this morning feeding the children every thirty minutes, and then my visiting teachers took me out to lunch for my birthday (even though it’s not for a couple of days). My visiting teachers are also my next door neighbors, and I love them. Summer babysat for free, and it was an all-around fun experience.
Afterward, Laurie (one of my visiting teachers) took me on a tour of our ward, which covers approximately five cul-de-sacs. Our neighborhood is literally one hundred percent LDS. She showed me where everyone lived, and I learned a new word from her: “redonkulus.” I love it.
The only other productive thing I did today was make dinner, which I did not take a picture of.
Abe took pictures of the girls biking. He also took twovideos.
Since having mobile kids, Sacrament meeting has become a challenge for me. I try to focus, but often I am so mortified by my kids’ poor behavior that I can’t quite have transcendent spiritual experiences during the meeting. Today I was too exhausted to care much, so we sat in the lobby while the kids actually ran laps and occasionally squealed in front of the open double doors to the chapel. I have tried to close those doors in the past, but the sweet doorman with Alzheimer’s is determined to keep them open. So whoever wants to witness our massive parental failures can feel free.
I ended the meeting grumbling to Abe that I can’t wait for the second coming so that we can finally just have church at home. He listened patiently and then did all of the work involved in cajoling our kids, by then bouncing off the walls in the church foyer, to go to their classrooms.
I had prayed in the morning to have a good experience in nursery, but after Sacrament, I felt depleted and annoyed. But my attitude turned completely around because the children in the nursery were positively charming today. They were so adorable and sweet. It didn’t even matter that I bombed my lesson. I was supposed to do a lesson review in nursery, but when it came time to teach, my mind went completely blank. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the words or melodies of the songs I was planning on singing to the kids. Since my lesson plan consisted of three songs and puppet-making, I found myself in a little bit of a bind.
Thankfully, the other teacher suggested we just take the kids outside to admire God’s nature. We watched a thunderstorm roll in over the distant mountains, and I enjoyed the whole experience more than if I had remembered the songs. The kids in nursery were so, so darling today, and I thoroughly enjoyed my calling.
Meanwhile, Abe taught a lesson on the Second Coming. He thought it fell a little flat, but I am sure it went better than he thought it did.
After church, we came home, ate, and collapsed for a couple hours while the kids played in their play spaces and watched Veggie Tales. Abe and I talked for a long time about lots of stuff. I always love talking with him.
Then we took the girls on a walk, even though it was already their bedtime.
Abe and I worked the whole day cleaning out the garage and clearing out the last rooms in the house that had boxes in them. The girls loved it because we were outside most of the time, and I sorted through bins while they played in the pool, blew bubbles, drew with chalk, ate tons of watermelon, sucked lollipops, and explored the yard searching for ants.
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The past couple nights I have woken up at 3 or 4 am and then couldn’t fall back asleep. Yesterday I solved the problem by giving in and heading to the gym to swim, but today I just lay in bed exhausted.
And then I was so grumpy with Abe and the girls all morning that I felt miserable and guilty. In the middle of my sad-sad inner dialogue, I heard the girls talking to each other about how much they like their mama. I couldn’t believe my ears. I felt so unlikeable! But that’s one of the many beautiful things about children–they still see the good, even when it’s not exactly shining through.
Then I called my mom and felt better. The rest of the day turned around and I didn’t feel grumpy at all. I hope I sleep through the night so I can stay on this happy train for the rest of the weekend (and not ruin everyone else’s weekend!).
Also, I didn’t take a picture of this, but I lost my mind and made gingerbread today. I have been craving it for a week and finally gave in. This might be the first time that gingerbread and watermelon teamed up to make a dessert…but my craving is satisfied!
Then we came home just in time for lunch and Lydia’s camp.
After dinner Abe took the girls down to craft.
I sneaked down to the basement and watched Mary crafting all alone while Abe put Lydia to bed. It was so cute to see her “painting” craft sticks with watercolor and carefully lining up her finished products. Then I took a video of her playing in the play room because her play delights me so.
I spent over an hour cleaning the basement today, but it was a joy because I discovered all sorts of evidence of creative child play. I don’t even mind if the space gets messed up right after I’m done because I figure the purpose of cleaning is just to rejuvenate the space so it stays attractive to the kids. Also, I get a lot of satisfaction thinking about how the space and toys are so much more utilized now.
Up until yesterday, I always worried when Abe biked to work because I was afraid he’d get hit by a car. Abe has been trying to show me his bike path for a while now, and today we finally had time to walk it. I want to walk it every day now! It is so beautiful. And I’m no longer worried about him because the path is so, so safe and secluded. I’ll still pray for him, but now I don’t have to worry.
Today is probably best summed up by bullet points.
Get girls ready for the day (dress, hair, teeth, shoes, pray)
Picnic with Abe at Qualtrics’ park
Read to girls
Drop Lydia off at camp
Mary and Mama nap
Pick Lydia up from camp
Read to girls
Give girls snacks
Set up kiddie pool and let girls play for an hour and a half
Clean kitchen and throw out four more garbage bags of stuff
Blog/email/online register girls for summer reading
Sometimes (all the time?) I feel like a lump on a log that does nothing but lie in bed all day. I do take long naps, and sometimes I retire to my bed more than once during the day. But that’s one of the reasons I like blogging. Hey, I wasn’t completely indolent!
Also, an anecdote: Abe was chasing Mary around pretending to steal her flower. Mary screamed, “Nooooo! DON’T!!! I’m so special to God!!!”