Sometimes I like to capture just a little slice of an evening when things went right, when I got into my happy place.
And sometimes I like to do it because, one day, these will no longer be my days.
I won't be cooking and cleaning for lots of little mouths and the needs won't be so incessant.
There will come a time when my house will be quiet.
And even tho I sometimes scream inside for a break, I wouldn't trade this for anything.
And so, if I offer just a teeny peek, it gives me a snapshot of my life to relish.
Like the other evening.
Wanna come along?
I'll take you there.
It's late on a Monday afternoon.
(Truth be told, I knew what I'd be doing that afternoon the night before when I couldn't fall asleep until 4:00 a.m. and was up a little after 6:30. When I was lying awake in my bed, I figured out what I was making for dinner. Yes. That happened. I think about food often. I dream about it, too. Ha! Not sure what it says, but there you have it.)
Earlier in the day I had made bread dough and stuck it on the table for the next few hours.
Come 5:00ish this is what my kitchen looked like, late afternoon sunlight spilling in (it's one of my favorite things).
Kids were off playing.
I made a favorite salad dressing.
Went outside and filled my apron with freshly picked tomatoes and basil leaves.
About this time, my gal came home and I had the pleasure of watching these two on the couch reading together while I kept making food.
I rolled out dough.
Drizzled it with olive oil and fresh crushed garlic.
Spread it all over with bare hands.
Sprinkled liberally with cheese and sliced those fresh garden tomatoes on the top, followed by chopped fresh basil and put it in the oven to bake.
We all gathered for dinner around that table.
There is always constant talking at the table, but this night I tried to have a focused discussion for family night about Sunday vs. Sabbath, and how (and why) this was instituted for our blessing. I got to tell them why I love Sundays, and why we do what we do on that day.
Afterward, we gathered at the piano to sing the Little Miss' favorite hymn, a Christmas one, which we sing every week. I think the kids get tired of it, but I love it. It makes me warm just watching her sing her heart out to "Gloria in excelsis deo."
The boys and I ended up singing, several times, a round of "For Health and Strength," and it was the first time we successfully pulled off a round together where they were able to carry their own part. That was another little moment for me.
And in the middle of all of this, one of them spied this guy on the window screen outside.
So...that led to praying mantis admiring in the backyard as the sun was getting lower in the sky.
It felt like a quiet end-of-summer blessing.
Thinking about it now I want to hold it for just a second: my four kids, barefoot, fascination on their faces, everyone gathered round, night coming on.
We came back in and started a movie in my room.
I nursed my baby and then she stopped and wanted to watch, too.
That was repeated, but eventually on one of the subsequent tries, she finally crashed.
I put her in bed and went upstairs to scoop ice cream for the older kids.
And while they finished the movie, I cleaned up my messy kitchen, grateful for those small, few hours where things seemed to align and I felt gratitude and peace and purpose.
I need those moments of reminder and renewal, pretty much on the daily.
There's a quote I have on my fridge.
I can still remember where I saw it. I had gone in to drop off some documents at an office building. I think? this is where I found it.
Anyway, these words were on the wall and I had to write them down, and then they came to rest on my fridge.
"It's hard work, but there's happiness in it."
It's meaningful work.
That pretty much sums up what I feel about it.