Thursday, April 24, 2008


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Did I just say beautiful? Scratch that. Day whatever of rain, wind, and cold.

I managed to sleep all night. I got myself out of bed this morning. I made the bed and took a shower. So far, so good. Unfortunately I'll have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to think of nice things to say about the rest of the day. Feel free to skip the monologue and enjoy the pictures.

You know that picture you're told to use as a focus when you're in labor? (Well, I imagine not all of you can relate. So sorry about that.) Sometimes I feel like that is the purpose of my blog. 'Ignore the frustrating stuff, focus on this.'

Some people use their blogs to vent. They get stuff off their chest and feel better. Somehow, I just feel worse. I'm afraid, however, that you all might get the idea that life around here is song birds and roses, so I'm stating for the record that I'm not trying to deceive you all with my rose-colored glasses.

It's just that the point of my blog, for me, is to direct my attention to the wonderful little things that do exist all around me. Even on the cruddy days.

So, please, as I am thinking about this today, I pray that none of my readers use my blog as a picture of what everything should look like in their own life, but as a reminder to find the beautiful little things that exist among the dirt and mess and frustrations.

Take, for instance, this beautiful child: I could tell you that this morning, as his big brother was wailing and moaning and telling me that he couldn't empty the dishwasher because it was much to hard, my Luke was quietly emptying the dishwasher. It isn't his job, he just does it without being asked. As he was quietly sorting the flatware, he says sweetly, 'Levi, you're doing a good job.' The boy is so sweet. All he wants to do is help.

I could tell you that he asks every day if I will do lessons with him. He sits quietly on the couch with his reading lesson book until I can sit with him. When we got in the car to take Levi to TKD, he begged for his 'Prime, Prime, Numbers' song. He sounds brilliant, no?

Or, I could tell you that everything he touches looks something like this (which is, incidentally, what my entire house looked like today):

And he touches everything. Everything. Every project I'm trying to get done. My arm as I'm cooking. The math manipulatives I am using to teach Levi (which is why he was sent to my bed to play with blocks). He must. touch. everything. He hates to be alone. When he is alone, he is either making a huge mess or performing a dare-devil stunt like jumping off the porch railing.

How about this gorgeous little boy?

I could tell you that he is a blast. Crazy fun. Animated. Delightful. Loves people. He knows all his letter sounds, and I'm sure that he's a genius.

Or, I could casually mention that this picture was taken after his mother spent hours trying to get him to take a nap. He didn't. And that this line-backer child (in size and personality) has started throwing raging, thrashing fits when it is time to get his diaper changed, brush his teeth, or walk in the direction that his mother wants him to walk in. And that he is only 20 months old. He's gonna be a fun two year old.

There's Levi. I could tell you all sorts of wonderful things about him. Like the fact that he happily listened to 5 hours of The Secret Garden yesterday. Or that he reads on a fourth grade level. Or that he says the funniest things. Or that he makes a five minute chore become a 60 minute dramatic fit.

Oh, but it's not just the children. I would love to tell you that I had a delicious green smoothie for breakfast, but I'd be lying. It was a three Dr. Pepper day. Something had to wash down the pan of brownies.

I did manage to get Levi to Tae Kwon Do on time. One point for me. When we made it back home, I decided to turn things around. I put in a kid's praise CD (instead of turning on the usual tv show), put a spiral ham in the oven, did the dishes, guzzled some water, cleaned off the table, cleaned the entire playroom with a cooperative 3 year old, and picked up the surface mess in the house.

The second Russ got home with Levi, I headed out. Yep. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I met up with my little sister at my favorite theater to watch a chick flick.

Tomorrow is another day. I will find beauty in the little things. Some days I just have to dig a little deeper than others.


Jenny said...

I loved this post! Oh how I can relate! Thanks for sharing what your day was like...It encouraged me after having a very similar kind of day with my girls.

The good news is...Today is a NEW day! Have a great one!

Barb said...

Ah, thanks Heidi. I was beginning to think you lived in Paradise and now I see you live in the same place I do. But that doesn't mean to quit writing about and photographing the peace and beauty you experience everyday. It is all encouragement from your blog.

Carrie said... are so funny! Thanks for keeping it real!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I recently described my blog as a way to see the forest in spite of the trees... I already enjoyed your blog, now even more.

Sarah at SmallWorld said...

Oh my goodness! This post needs to win a prize! I LOVE IT!!!!!!

{marie} said...

so glad to see you are just like all of us. i was feeling a little less than worthy. i think in the end we are all so much alike. you are doing a great job and i admire the fact that you find so much beauty in your everyday life. you are doing a great job. but, i do have to admit, it was nice to hear about the dr pepper and brownies and the building blocks all over the floor.

Darcy @ m3b said...

Heidi - I'm going to link this post. If you object I'll take it down. but this sweet little dose of reality was refreshingly poignant.

great read! Thanks.

carole said...

A nice combination of humor and reflection. Thanks! It is so funny to hear about your boys and their personalities. Will is my take-34minutes-to-put-your-socks-on kind of guy. Ian has the lobbying protest down when it comes to how "hard" it is to unload the dishwasher, however. And Peter is SO happy to serve and help out at every possible moment. Isn't it so interesting to see how they're wired?

our little acorns said...

Bless you, bless you, bless you! (Laughed out loud at the dr pepper and brownies) :)

Anonymous said...

1. I love that your house could possibly look as messy as mine sometimes!

2. I love that you drink 3 Dr. Peppers after brownies in a day! We could be sisters.

Anonymous said...

oh, I, too, can relate! My Daniel (almost 4) makes a 60 minute drama out of a 5 minute chore (like putting away train pieces or blocks), and my Jonathan (almost 2 - he's actually also 20 months) sounds like both Luke and times a sweet, quiet little helper, just waiting for me to read a book, other times destroying a room, climbing up the *outside* of the stair railing, or throwing a fit when it's time for a diaper change. Do you think it's the first-born/second-born connection? Yesterday was my escape day...I went to a scrap book store and just looked at all the pretties ;o) Hang in there! I just keep reminding myself that I'm not the first mother to live through this, so it must be possible!
~Michelle :o)

Laura said...

And in the midst of all that, you still take stunning photographs!

This reminds me that God doesn't necessarily withhold our gifts when we are less than perfect. Even when we are sick and our entire family is misbehavin', God might very well use our gifts in powerful ways.

Keep on!

Anonymous said...

Awww sorry to hear you had a rough day, but thanks for posting that pic of your mess! Oh, and The Secret Garden, which I read for the first time this year, is an absolute favourite! Of the 25 books I've read this year, it's definitely number 1!

spanki said...

oh how i can relate! posting your "cruddy days" helps too! i'm just thankful to know that it happens to the best of us! and that Dr Pepper is your "go to guy" also!! i think he's got a PHD in therapy!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty and for giving me a much needed laugh!! I've been lurking on your blog for awhile and I keep wondering how you hold everything together so beautifully with 3 active boys! LOL!! At least this looks more like MY days! (minus the Dr. Pepper, I'm a coffee girl!) Oh, thank you for this post, I know it's been months after you wrote it but it truly made me smile (oh, and your middle "touchy" child is EXACTLY like my oldest! They will be your best friend and worst nightmare all rolled into one!)