I had the BEST day today.
It was the first day of summer vacation, and if you remember yesterday’s post, you’ll recall that I was a little apprehensive about having four kids plus a niece home all day long. Let me just tell you, I worried needlessly.
(Seriously, I can’t stop grinning. It’s all rainbows and glitter and unicorns for me. I am THAT giddy!)
It wasn’t that the kids were extra good (they weren’t) or that we didn’t have any fights (oh, I wish!) or that Kenny changed all the stinky diapers (dream on!!!). I guess in retrospect, the day wasn’t really all that terrific when you factor in the time I woke up to take Abbie (5:30 AM), the fact that the kids (barely) slept in until 8:15, which was only a half-hour later than usual for Hannah and the boys, and 10 minutes later for Kendra, and the fact that it poured all day yesterday and was still raining when we got up, nixing all plans I had to go for a walk with everyone and eat popcicles outside.
Here’s the thing: I WAS HAPPY THAT EVERYONE WAS HOME. Kenny didn’t have to work until 1:00 PM, and we hung out together all morning long. The rain stopped about 10:00, and once Abbie fell asleep, we went outiside to ride bikes and graffiti the sidewalk with chalk. After 18 hours of steady rain, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pull up all the Morning Glory our former owner planted in the flower beds. (Side rant: Gaaaah! What was he THINKING? Sure, it makes good ground cover, but it also covers all the other plants, choking them in vines and killing them off. Who in their right mind plants Morning Glory ON PURPOSE in ten square feet of flower beds? Okay, rant over.) The kids came over to help, and we had a blast pulling up the weeds, getting muddy fingers and making repeated trips to the garbage can. We made a good dent in the weeds, even though we may have lost a few flowers along the way.
For lunch we had penne pasta in cheese sauce, which everyone enjoyed. Then Kenny said goodbye and headed off to the car dealership, Hannah and Anthony went down for a nap, and Alex, Kendra, Abbie and I watched Volcano, which the kids had never seen. (I LOVE that movie!) Abbie fell asleep, and since my two littles were still snoozing, I took advantage of the calm to slip in a quick nap myself, while Alex and Kendra played on the computer and Nintendo. I woke up feeling refreshed and happy, and I swear, if my life were a musical, we would have all broken out in song. You know, one of those big ensemble numbers with costumes and a dance sequence and hundreds of extras?
To round the day out, I did a few loads of laundry, Kristi came to pick up Abbie, the kids played outside in the back yard jungle (The grass weeds back there are knee-high on ME. The kids looked like they needed pith helmets and machetes!), and we sat down to eat dinner* together, sharing funny stories and embarrassing moments. At 9:00 I tucked the kids in and sat down to write my blog post, and I’m enjoying the last few minutes of peace and solitude before Kenny comes home from work.
So what made today so great? I’m not sure. I made a conscious decision to be happy when I woke up, so maybe that was what started it all. I looked for the joy in the simplest of things, and really tried to embrace it when I found it. It was putting together a puzzle on the kitchen floor or doing six quick games of Tic Tac Toe while catching up on my e-mails. This is the first night in AGES where bedtime routines weren’t hurried because I lacked the energy for proper follow-through. My home was a great place to be today, and my spirit is jubilant because of it.
Thanks for sharing my joy.
*CrockPot Potatoes and Ham
3-4 cups shredded potatoes (I use a large non-warehouse-sized bag of frozen hash browns)
2 cups diced ham
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
3/4 cup milk
shredded Cheddar cheese
Combine first six ingredients and place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 3-4 hours (2-3 on high). Add the milk and cheese the last hour of cooking. Stir to combine.
(This is a really great, REALLY easy recipe that works well as a main dish or a side.)