Everyday Balance, Vol 1
Sometimes I just need to know other people struggle with balance as much as I do. Ironically, it’s the very knowing that helps me stay balanced. Then I look at my chaos and go, “Okay, this is normal, Sandy. Carry on.”
Maybe you feel that way, too.
That’s the idea behind my new feature called “Everyday Balance.” This is where I simply give you a glimpse into my imperfectly balanced life. The good, the bad and the messy. And let you know it’s normal.
I look at this first thing every morning to get my brain on straight and remind me who I am. It’s a printed copy of this. And it’s taped to my bathroom mirror.
The other night, Rebekah and I set out to make two dozen cupcakes for an 8th grade demonstration speech. Four hours, lots of red dye 40, and two trips to the grocery store later…They came out beautifully. But not without some tears and frustration first. I’m not exaggerating when I confess they were a lot of work.
Speaking of school, Elliana had to do a “kind deed” for her kindergarten homework. Since her daddy was working very late, she chose to write him a note and stick it to his mirror. She wrote it sans help from Mommy. How adorable is this?
If you have small children, you know how difficult it can be to have an uninterrupted adult conversation in the house. So sometimes, after dinner, I follow Jon into our bedroom and lock the door. I know it sounds very steamy, eh? But honestly,it’s very boring as I sit on the edge of the bathtub and catch him up on the day’s happenings. Elliana hates when we do this, and usually sits right outside the door until we are finished. Here is what we found outside our bedroom door when we came out the other night.
Let’s get a close-up on that carpet. Before you tell me how “not gross” it is, let me just say it was installed in 1999 by the previous owner of the house, I’ve potty trained two kids on it, and it’s supposed to be white. We are replacing it in the spring. I. Can’t. Wait.
I finally tackled this job. For nearly a month, I had a pile of new clothes on top of a giant bin of hand-me-downs plopped in the middle of Elliana’s room. I couldn’t hang anything until I first removed all the out-of-season and too-small clothes from the closet. A few weeks ago, it was 45 degrees outside and Elliana was coming down in a sundress and flip flops because that’s all she had in her closet. Man, how I dread that job. I’m so happy to have it finished. Clean closets bring me peace. You think I’m kidding?
This is what Elijah means by “I made my bed neatly.”
And check this out. Elijah has been working on this Lego fortress for about a year. Every night, he goes up to his room and adds a few more pieces.
Apparently, there is some kind of Lego battle going on, because there are a few dead guys lying around.
Tonight Elijah came down after his shower to give me an impromptu concert on his viola. He started taking lessons this year. He played me “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” It was fabulous. And I’m not just saying that because I’m his Momma. I was truly impressed.
Every year Jon and I try to do something generous for another family for Christmas. This year we adopted a family with two kids, ages 3 and 5. We always try to make it a fun family project, you know, to help our children focus on giving rather than getting. It was hardly the true-meaning-of-Christmas moment I was going for. One of our kids didn’t want to be there. And the other kids also did not want to be there. After a lot of, “No you cannot have that.” And, “I said we are NOT shopping for you right now.” And, “You can BOTH hold onto the cart!!!!” we planted a little seed of generosity in their hearts. I hope.
And finally, Jon and I spent 6 hours shopping today and just about wiped out our entire list in one day—and that’s sayin something because we have 37,000 people to buy for and we hadn’t done a lick of shopping prior to this day, exept for 3 presents I ordered off Amazon last week that have yet to arrive.
We would have had it completely done, except we forgot the malls close early on Sunday. We were in Panera and we were all, “Why are they locking the doors?”
I don’t have a picture of the loot, because it’s locked in the storage room and I’m dog-tired and my eyes are stuck to my contacts and I’m fairly certain I’m no longer writing coherent sentences.
(Insert picture of giant pile of Christmas presents here)
Q4U: How are you enjoying the holiday season? I’m feeling a little more stressed and overwhelmed than usual. Is it just me? Are you done with your shopping? Are you one of those people who have it all wrapped and under the tree by Thanksgiving? Please say no.
Linking up with Emily today at Tuesdays Unwrapped
I needed this today! Feeling unbalance! My closet, well my whole bedroom is literally trashed, shopping not done, sink full, sick kid at home and I am at work struggling with my responsiblities. Thanks for the reassuring!
But at least you got your Christmas cards out. 🙂
I think so much of life is choosing what are we going to do with our time. We know we will never get to all that we want to get to. Something will not get done or will not get done well. So we must choose where our precious time is spent. Hopefully it is spent on things that support those we love like your doing the laundry or moving clothes around or making awesome looking cup cakes. Different things will occupy that top slot in your life at different points in your life. Now I am sure your children require your efforts. Ken Levine said “we all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.” Life is an unstable surface and I think you do a great job staying balanced on the unstable surface because you choose to do the right things.
Awww….Thanks, Mark. I keep telling myself that this season is unique with the kinds of things that eat up large chunks of my time. Someday this season will end and balance will mean something completely different. For me, most important aspect of balance is being exactly where God has you, doing your best to use your gifts and talents to serve others and glorify God. And for me right now, that means a lot of laundry and cooking. 🙂
Wish I had told you this last week……we made apple cupcakes for Noah’s class in September. They were easy. Red sugar, mint leaves, and pretzel sticks. However they were NOT as nice as yours. So good job!
I am having an unbalanced day. After 3 months of back pain and physio, I am seeing my personal trainer today in less than an hour for the first time since the beginning of August. But of course my nerve pain in my leg has been worse this weekend then it has in weeks. Then my son’s bus didn’t show up this morning, so I had to drive him in my pj’s the 30 mins it takes there and back, come home, wolf down breakfast, pack my gym bag, and try to convince my 3 yr old to leave the house again when his favourite cartoon is on. And my leg hurts. Yet I still make time for you. While wolfing down breakfast. I still need to get dressed. And brush my teeth. And comb my hair. And drive the 20 mins to the gym. And sign Ryan in to the playroom (which he already informed me he does not want to go to today). Before my appointment. In 48 minutes. I gotta go!
Those cupcakes look so perfect… how did you do it and how did you get the cupcakes to not topple in that pan?
Love the updates on the family and have a sneak peek at your life.
Love these snapshots of domestic life. It’s good to remember the ordinary moments that make up our days.
There are so many things I want to write! Those cupcakes are gorgeous! My oldest did a cupcake decorating demo for a class too, and each kid had the chance to do their own cupcake. Hilarious. I wrote about it if you want a giggle (at least, I hope it would make you giggle…I thought it was funny 😉 ). http://fivewalkers.com/a-recipe-for-disaster/2012/10/23/my-cup-runneth-over.html
I wrote the other day on your post about loss how relevant it was. I haven’t lost anything lately in particular, but some of the stuff you wrote applies to just everyday life, relating. I don’t do that very well a lot of the time. I’m trying to learn though. (Old dog…new tricks? Yes, it’s hard.)
The picture is so precious. I know that made his day!
Your carpet made me laugh. I’m a germaphobe, but my house is so gross! It’s not our germs that gross me out! haha My mom makes fun of our car because it’s so…icky. 🙂 I’ve tried to get better about that too.
The Legos! They have completely taken over our son’s room. That creation of Elijah’s is amazing! There are always dead Lego guys around here. Some of them are actually casualties of Eliana’s. 🙂
Planting seeds…that’s what we can hope for, right? 🙂