Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ebb and Flow...

This time of year our weekends tend to be one extreme or the other.  One may be just our little family of four the entire weekend..no one else, no phone calls, no plans, nothing more than a lazy Saturday and Sunday.  Others will be very full...lots of plans, activities, things to get done.  This weekend was the latter.  It was even an extra long one as the girls and I had Friday off.  This should have meant more free time to be lazy.  It did not.  It was busy.  It verged on chaotic at times and I found myself a little tired here and there...longing for a weekend of nothing.  However, I remind myself that it's this ebb and flow of things that makes you appreciative.  The lazy weekends I sometimes crave getting out and doing something social.  Then on a busy one I want to tuck my family into our home, turn off the phones and ignore the rest of the world.  I try to keep this in mind so I can appreciate what is happening at the moment and know we always get a balance of both.  

Our whirlwind weekend began early on Thursday evening.  We had parent teacher conferences for the girls.  Oh, how I love these.  I think my girls are fantastic and smart and all that good stuff parents are supposed to think.  What's better is when you have teachers confirm how fantastic these little girls are.  We heard such beautiful things about them being polite, kind and hard workers.  These words make me a prouder mama than hearing they are in the top reading level or are the smartest kids in the class.  Kindness and manners trump a lot in my book.  I take in what these women who get to spend all day with my kids have to say and left feeling happy that these are more positive influences in their lives.  We are so freakin lucky to live someplace with such amazing public schools.  I am well aware this is not the case everywhere and as we approach the holiday of gratitude I put this education community very high on my list.  After leaving the school full of parental pride, we took advantage of having Grandma and Grandpa home with the kiddos and headed downtown for a proper date night...

We got some food and then had tickets to Broad Comedy, a show that comes to town once a year.  It was SO funny!  I laughed so hard my stomach hurt when we got home.  That kind of laughing is good for the soul.  

Every year right before the holidays I feel compelled to clean out the girls rooms and get rid of things before the onslaught of more gifts.  I'm what you call an "anti-hoarder" so sometimes the amount of stuff they accumulate stresses me out.  I try to be chill about it and let the little trinkets and junk  treasures they have in their rooms be, however once a year I take control.  I let them be a part of it and tell them we need to get rid of some old toys to donate to others.  This buys them off and they part with a few stuffed animals and books and old toys.  During this process, I secretly fill our garbage with SO much junk that isn't even suitable to give away.  I love their creativity, but seriously...the things I find...hundreds of crafts, rock collections, plastic nonsense, just randomness...it's got to go.  REALLY...who needs this many baby dolls...
It's freaky.  Now I love their sweet little thoughts...they say "We can't get rid of this one, it's the one Kim plays with when she's here"  However...not all of the above dolls made the cut.  Any with pen all over their face, that Layla claimed to have done when "she was a baby or two years old" had to go.  

We took a break from all this cleaning out to have play time with cousins and my sisters.  Because the majority of them are in school all day it was fun to have them all together on a day off.  This all ups the noise level and chaos and it was a very loud, crazy afternoon.  The evening didn't slow down as we dropped Layla off at a birthday party, took Ava out for pizza then headed home to put very sleepy girls to bed and settle in for an at home date night.  Thank goodness it was boy date night turn and I got to relax with a glass of wine and watch Matt cook.  I must say, he is getting good at this...

It was a very summer-like meal...salad with grilled peaches and blue cheese and a caprese sandwich.  Delicious.  And for dessert?  An absolutely ridiculous amount of ice cream with almonds...

When I get myself ice cream at night, it's a small little bowl.  When Matt does it, it's at least three scoops.  Now, I'm not one to waste perfectly good ice cream so I ended the night very, very full.

Saturday I got to spend with my sisters shopping and lunching.  Now, this may not be quite the same as it has been in the past but I'll take it.  A few hours alone with my two lovely sisters with no children needing anything from us.  I know we'll get back to the more carefree, full of ridiculous laughter and antics again in the future...but for now I'll take this.  They are two of my favorite women in the world so any time with them I enjoy.  The day turned into the evening and family staying for dinner.  It ended yet again with very tired little girls going to bed after another full day of playing with their cousins.
  Love it.

Sunday didn't slow down.  It continued to feel very busy.  Thank goodness for our lazy mornings of cartoons for kids and coffee for us in bed.  Those were the quiet moments.  We had plans of neighbors coming over for dinner so a good deal of the day was spent cooking.  That and working on school projects...

Ava had to create a musical instrument.  I tried really hard to keep quiet about my thoughts and let her creativity really take the lead on this.  What came was 100% Ava.  Glass bottles filled with water that makes music by hitting with a metal stick.  She named it the "tap ding"  Much better than the version of a drum I would have suggested she make.  Because I felt we had done so much already the past few days I wasn't super excited about a night of company.  However...we had such a lovely time.  We have two sets of neighbors that we hang out with occasionally.  We often try, but rarely get all of us together at the same time. This evening it all came together and it was the whole group.  This meant SO much good food and SO much laughter.  It just feels easy and fun. Bonus of the evening?  The flourless chocolate cake for dessert that our one neighbors brought.  This is why it pays to be friends with a restaurant owner.  A ten dollar slice of cake in the comfort of your own home, because they are trying out a new recipe?  Yea...not bad at all.

I like to remember to enjoy the ebb and flow of these times.  I end this weekend feeling very fulfilled by spending so much of it with friends and family.  I also feel a little tired and like I missed out on some quality time with my family of four.  However, I know this week we get five whole days together.  Five whole days to be filled with cooking, eating, family and many quality moments.  Moments where I plan on feeling nothing but thankfulness for all I have.  Yes, there will be some gushing about all I am grateful for in the next few days.  For now...I'm going to join my exhausted family and tuck myself into bed.

Happy Thanksgiving Week.

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