Life is really about the little things. The teeny, seemingly insignificant moments of everyday. But when you put them all together they make up who we are so much more than the “big”things. I was actually good about pulling out my camera last week and caught quite a bit of the details of our lives – much more than I’ve been recording lately. I like to see these little details – the moments that would be so easily forgotten and yet, day by day, layer upon layer, build our family into who and what we are.
Elle somehow managed to wriggle under the stool and then couldn’t figure out how to get out. I was waiting for her to stand up inside it because I thought that would be quite an accomplishment and a very cute picture, but Elle wasn’t having any of that. Sigh. Free the crying baby. Cuddle. Mmmm. Forget all about that silly picture that she wasn’t going to let me take.
We are not terribly original people. I think this is the fourth year we have given away lollipops with lips and mustachios for Valentine’s Day. They are just so stinkin’ cute. And I have one of those electric cutter machines that makes it all so easy (the first year I cut out EVERYTHING by hand – it took days (three kids had parties that year)). Last year my pregnant brain was not functioning at top speed and I miscalculated, cutting out far more lips and mustachios than my children needed. I wisely preserved them in a ziploc and, behold!, we had the easiest year ever for prepping Valentines. Note to self: Must screw up next year and make an enormous amount of extras to save me some time in 2017. (I think Erik may have entered the it’s-not-cool-to-smile stage.)
My Annabelle is amazing me almost daily right now. She is just an amazing girl. She is smart and kind and creative and good and so very determined. Last fall she decided she wanted to participate in Battle of the Books. She asked if I would coach her team. I said yes. Erik asked if I would coach his team. I said yes. As soon as the reality of my situation sunk in I started backpedaling. Coaching entails meeting with the team once or twice a week every week for a few months. Managing that with Alyx and the baby in tow for two separate teams was more than I could handle. I told the kids I would not be able to do it. Apparently Anna did not get the memo. No matter how many times or how many ways I told her I could not pull that off, she just kept plugging away, reading the books to her friends at recess and encouraging them to read on their own. About a week before her battles she finally realized I was not going to coach her team. She fell apart and I felt like a horrible mother. I patched up what I could, but my attempts felt pretty pathetic. So when she asked me on the morning of her battle if I would whip up a good-luck skirt for her I couldn’t refuse. She had picked out the fabric and cut it to length on Saturday, so I just had to sew one seam and put in a hem and waist band. I know it was a pretty sad excuse for a team coach, but it was my best for this year. We’ll try again next year because I know she will stick with it to the bitter end – against all odds.
On Presidents’ Day the kids built a castle in the living room. It kept them busy for hours and they loved making it. They drew bricks and flowers and rainbows around the outside then filled the inside with “a baby corner and a stuffed animal corner and a resting corner and a fireplace.” One of the water-filled milk jugs leaked (pretty ingenious idea for steadying the walls, no?) and we had to air out the rug and pray the swelling would go down on the wood floor (dah!!). Needless to say, jugs of water are no longer allowed in the living room.
The floor and rug survived. And Elle found her first piece of chocolate in the meantime. A rogue Hershey’s kiss found its way to the floor and Elle found her way to the chocolate. Who can blame her?
And last, but not least, we have a family dance session in progress. We listen to music while we clean up after dinner. Most of the time we listen, we clean, we turn it off, we have scriptures and prayer and we put kids to bed. But on this special little night a dance party broke out. “Twist and Shout” with Daddy and his girls. Do the little things in life get any better than that?
Oh, how I love my little things.