I had to think for a minute to remember what day it is today.
I'm confused because there's been a cold virus working its way through our house and we have spent several days doing nothing, staying inside trying to avoid sharing our illness and attempting to get well faster with rest. But today I did schlep the kids out to run a few errands: getting homeschooling papers notarized, picking up Brian's pictures at Target, and (later in the day) shopping for groceries. That last item really needed to be done on Monday. We managed just fine, but really, it needed to happen today. So today it was ... but we didn't get to it until 4:30 in the afternoon.
If you are a homemaker or simply astute (or both!) you realize what this means for the evening routine. Shopping at 4:30 = getting home after 5:30. At which time your baby will want to eat, the groceries will need to be put away, and dinner will need to be on the table. All at the same time.
You'll be happy to know I made it happen.
But certainly not all at once and not with much grace, either! While I got dinner heated up (and it was awesome: grocery store rotisserie chicken, canned green beans, and slices of bread - want the recipe?!) and put away only the perishable groceries, Katherine had to cry a little in her crib. She'd woken up at some point while I was bringing in groceries. (Colin was working from home; I did not leave her at home while we went shopping!) The children were watching a TV show, because the activities of the day had wiped them out. Sickness can make even short outings so much more exhausting, can't they?
Colin came up from his office at some point mid (gourmet) dinner prep and got Katherine from her crib. The kids finished up their show and came to the table. I quickly mixed up a little rice cereal for the baby child, grabbed her fruit and veggies, and sat down to pray at a table that Brian had moved into an odd angle at some point earlier in the afternoon. We ate dinner crooked, the floor half covered in bags of non-perishable, to-be-put-away-later groceries. It was, as I mentioned, awesome. We do family style for realz around here!
Elizabeth spent half the meal groaning about how her ears and throat hurt and finally made her way to the couch to wait for applesauce to come her direction, once I'd gotten Katherine fed. Feeding takes so much longer when it includes nursing and spoon food! At some point I spilled my glass of water all over the table while Katherine was nursing. Colin wiped it up. Brian got in some jokes and comments that included bodily function and parts vocabulary (a nightly tradition), but ate well. As it was getting close to seven, Colin took him up to bed. He went without argument; he loves when it's dad's night to put him to bed. (He and I take turns.)
The rest of the evening was really uneventful, (Brian and dad did their thing while Elizabeth, Katherine,* and I listened to A Wrinkle in Time.), but I found the 5:30-7 window quite hilarious.
Finally, at 10pm the trash is on the curb, the rest of those groceries have been tucked into cupboards, the surface of the kitchen table is cleared for breakfast, and I've gotten to sit and write.
I was writing to a friend earlier in the week about my recent thoughts on these years with young children, especially having a baby in the house:
"Right now, in life with your little ones and new ones (and, dude, your babies are still REALLY new!!!) you are in just the beautiful place you should be, getting "nothing" done because you've got other responsibilities. I have one 5 month old, and I feel like you feel a lot of the time. I've been comforted by the fact that my kids won't remember exactly what we did this summer, but they might be impacted if I'm constantly stressed out and complaining, rather than taking each day for what it is ... like today, when I was supposed to have a day "off." :) I want to give them a mommy who's trusting in the Lord and His care, not a mope who's always walking around with her head hanging because her expectations are not being met! I guess God thinks I need to learn a lot, because it has been quite a summer of practicing this!!!"
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. Eccl. 3:9-13
I think tonight in our house was kind of crazy-beautiful.
Did you have any crazy-beautiful in your day today?!
*If you want to know what Katherine is up to, click here. This was from two days ago, and similar to what she was doing during our time with the audio book this evening.