i'm a day late...and not really sure how many smiles there will be...but i figured i was a bit overdue to post...so here goes. sitting down to blog is a much needed break after a morning full of organizing, cleaning, and "shepherding"....and, oh my, what a morning it has been...and it isn't even 11:30. i know you all have them too...the moments where you just feel like perhaps God wasn't thinking clearly when He entrusted your children's little souls to you...those moments when you simply fall upon your face...humbled, grieved by your own sinfulness and "ick", asking your kiddos for forgiveness (ugh...talk about humbling)...those moments where you aren't sure if you can take one more hour--much less minute--of the ongoing cycle of keeping up with the house, finding time to read and snuggle and love, disciplining, dealing with tantrums and melt-downs and disobedience. and yet, i know it is worth it...there are SO many tender, sweet moments in the midst of the craziness....there is so much purpose in being a mommy...there is such great reward in making the choice to spend my days at home with my children as opposed to out in the working world...there are so many hugs and kisses....there are more and more moments each day when i see my girls sharing and loving and enjoying each other. but once again i find myself starting my smiles and reflections on this past week with a fresh realization of just how thankful i am for God's grace...for His mercy and forgiveness to me...a sinner in major need of heart trasformation.....
and so perhaps i am most in need of reflecting on this weeks smiles...so here goes...
1. some backyard pool time with my two favorite girls...
elizabeth didn't actually want to sit in the pool...just stick her head in like an ostrich in the sand...silly girl!
2. my pedicure...and even better, the fact that most of the cost was covered by a gift card...AND the fact that the bestower of the gift card also included free baby-sitting for the girls!
4. some major progress around the house....a rearranged living room "toy set-up"...including a lot of organizing, purging, and relocating to the new and improved (still in progress) upstairs playroom...a newly organized linen closet....a purged and organized closet in the playroom (something we have been working on/needing to do since before kate was born!)...and many more "little" things. now i just need to keep up with things...and finish a few more...any suggestions??? seriously...keeping up with the house is definitely among the things i could use vast improvement in when it comes to domestic skills!
5. anyone remember these puppies? yep..."goody" plastic barrettes...the old school kind...like i used to wear as a little girl. my mom had a few she passed along when elizabeth was born...remnants of my sister and my childhood. and quite honestly, i have tried ALL kinds of barrettes and rubberbands...the barrettes (even the supposed no-slip grip ones i've ordered through etsy) don't want to hold my girls bangs back (and i don't want to cut those bangs!)...and as for the rubberbands...well, they work but usually result in tears both when being put in and when coming out at the end of the day. but the good old plastic, el cheapo, old-school plastic barettes...these puppies actually work. how exciting to find them at target...and elizabeth is LOVING all the different designs...which, by the way, haven't changed since we were kiddos...they still have the butterflies and ducks and poodles...just in different color combos!
this one is for you, aunt shell, our little cross-country runner in training...she literally did laps around the perimeter of the yard the other days...and she's got good form! :) guess we know she didn't get that from her mama!
"here's a flower, mama"...and here is my girly girl...picking the daisies...well, actually, they both like to pick flowers...but not so much daisies, just the white weedy kind that are taking over our yard!
8. smoother bedtime routines....lets be honest, i do enjoy bedtime...especially the quiet that comes after they are tucked nicely in their beds--the time when i get to spend some quality time alone with my hubby, feet up, relaxing...but lately the actual bedtime process has been a chore...especially since we moved the girls into their shared room. but the past week we've made a few changes, and oh my, i am actually really enjoying the bedtime process as well....loving watching kate "dance" her way around the room as we sing bedtime songs, hearing what little thankfuls elizabeth has and who she wants to pray for, reading stories with little girls who actually sit and pay attention as opposed to running amuk...let's just hope the smoother process continues when the baby arrives and life is turned topsy turvy once again.
9. the simple joy of an emptied diaper box. i emptied this of some children's books, and the girls quickly confiscated it and were thoroughly entertained for almost an entire hour...PRICELESS! daddy even had his turn crawling through it when he came home from work....and mommy would have joined in as well...except for the whole baby belly thing.
11. and finally...i leave you with this video...of my soon-to-be-no-longer baby of the family--who incidentally turns 2 tomorrow! we are definitely looking forward to celebrating her birthday with fabulous friends and family on saturday!