Tag Archives: small things

Picnicking

AS much as I wanted to use the post I wrote yesterday for a Bigger Picture Moment, I just couldn’t do it. The prompt for Bigger Picture Moment goes like this: Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Found yours? Join us!

Yesterday’s post was about running away and hiding. Not much intentional living in running away, right? And so I began to think…how do I live intentionally?

I’ve been thinking about summer. Many posts and tweets that I have been reading lately have been lamenting the end of summer–it has flown by, hasn’t it? As I read these end-of-summer writings, I remembered THE LIST.

At the beginning of summer, I wrote out of list of things I wanted to do with the girls. My list has since been lost, but I remember one item I wrote:

HAVE PICNICS WITH PICNIC BASKET

The picnic basket has not left its home in the basement closet. The picnic basket is so cute, so functional…but it has never been used.

Thinking back, we have had a lot of picnics this summer. We picnicked on drives to Des Moines, Iowa. We picnicked on the beach. We picnicked at the playground. We ate on patios and decks.

Just this past Tuesday, I called Ed up at work. “Let’s meet at the roller slide park for a picnic,” I said. (Our names for parks are dictated by the girls’ favorite feature; there’s the boat park, the pool park, the roller slide park…you get the idea.)

And so for dinner we had fried chicken from the Jewel and plenty of playtime with Lily and Emmy.

Simple, spontaneous, and fun. Spending summer time with our daughters. Intentional living? I think so.

And just the kind of ending a summer should have.

Yummy watermelon!

Simple BPM

Visit Hyacynth for more Intentional Living through Simple Moments.

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Bigger Picture Blogs’ Birthday!

There is a place online where you are always welcome. A place that invites you to pull up a chair and kick off your shoes. A place where you can make friendships and forge bonds. A place that cares. And that place, Bigger Picture Blogs, is celebrating its first birthday!

BPBirthday

I first became involved in Bigger Picture Blogs last October, when the wonderful women who joined together to form Bigger Picture Blogs were raising breast cancer awareness through a blog carnival named Write Pink: From the Head, Heart and Feet. Since then, I have participated in their Thursday link-up about Simple Moments, Bigger Picture. It has been a joy to belong to this community of bloggers. Won’t you join us? Hop on over to Bigger Picture Blogs, and read what we’re all about. Join us on Thursdays to celebrate the simple moments of life. We’d love to have you.

As a part of the birthday celebration over at Bigger Picture Blogs, here is a re-posting of my favorite Bigger Picture Moment.

“Mommy, come quick!” both my daughters cry from the family room. “MOMMY!”

Sometimes I start to get irritated when I hear that call…what could they possibly want at 6:25 in the morning? Can’t they at least let me drink my coffee before they start demanding breakfast?

“MOMMY!” they both yell again. It only takes me a couple of seconds to remember why they are calling me. “CAPTAIN HUGGY FACE IS GOING TO DANCE!”

And so I start dancing along with Captain Huggy Face in the middle of the family room, much to the delight of my little girls. They know I love Captain Huggy Face.

They also know which song on our Vacation Bible School CD is my favorite. “Mom, it’s the shifting sand song!” Emmy will exclaim every time track 2 starts playing. They know that I won’t eat watermelon and I don’t like chocolate shakes.

Just as my daughters know my preferences, I know theirs. Lily loves watermelon, especially when I give her my portion. Emmy like cheese — lots and lots of cheese. I know what they will wear and what they will refuse to wear when it’s time to get dressed in the morning. When I am shopping for their birthday gifts, I know what toys they would love to receive.

What about Ed? My husband hides his dislike for cucumbers. He doesn’t want the girls to stop eating them if Daddy won’t eat them. When the girls don’t wake up early enough to say goodbye to him in the morning, he writes them each a small note and puts it at their place on the table.

All little things. But these little things have big meaning. Knowing these little things shows my daughters: “You are important to us. You matter to us.”

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What small things do you notice about your loved ones?

Here’s a little Capt. Huggy Face to brighten your day:

P.S. I had insomnia last night, and Captain Huggy Face’s word “drowsy” suits me quite well today!

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Mexican Cinnamon Buns, Skype and Soccer Balls

Along with most kids, I was always ravenous after school. A day of learning and running and socializing left little time for eating and so I was hungry by the time 3:30 rolled around. One day as I was walking home from third grade, I had a brilliant idea for a snack. As soon as I got home, I asked my mom to help me, and she turned on the oven. I lined up Triskets in neat rows on a cookie sheet, put a square of American cheese on each cracker, and put the sheet in the oven. Voila! Melted cheese on crackers! It is still one of my favorite snacks.

Lily loves creating her own treats, too. When we ran out of bagels but had cream cheese, she put cream cheese on crackers. She thought they were great; I didn’t care for them much. One weekend morning she invented her specialty which she named “Mexican Cinnamon Buns.” We took a flour tortilla, heated it for 10 seconds in the microwave, and spread a little bit of butter on it. The butter melted deliciously. We sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over the butter and folded the tortilla into quarters. Yum!

Emmy is enjoying a Mexican Cinnamon Bun.

As my daughters grow older, I enjoy watching them do things that I once did when I was a little girl, such as creating their own snacks. They will probably do a lot of things differently. I only had an oven in the 70’s and today we have a microwave. Technology is constantly changing the way we do things. My husband tells the girls that he only dreamed about video phones, never imagining his daughter would use Skype in her Kindergarten class to virtually meet a pen pal.

Yet a bike still has training wheels and a soccer ball still begs to be kicked.

And Lily agrees with me…melted crackers on cheese is still a great after-school snack!

Simple BPM

For more Simple Moments, visit Hyacynth.

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A Hug For Mother’s Day

I was dropping off Emmy in the three year old room for MOPS when one of the mentor moms came up to me. “Oh,” she said as she enveloped me in a big mama bear hug, “I’ve been thinking about you this week!”

It was the week before Mother’s Day, and she had seen some Mother’s Day cards. Looking at them, she thought about how she hasn’t needed to buy a Mother’s Day card for several years now, and it still was hard. She thought about me losing my mom just a year and a half ago.

Oh, how I needed that hug! I needed that hug more than I even knew.

That Friday, Lily woke up with a fever. As the morning wore on, her temperature slowly went higher even after I gave her some Tylenol. She lay limply on the couch, not wanting to move. She wasn’t eating or drinking much. As I carried her from the TV room to the living room she told me she didn’t feel well, and then promptly threw up. It was barely anything to clean up since her stomach was empty, but I put a big bowl by her place on the couch and called the doctor.

Both Lily and her sister had had strep throat twice in April, so her doctor and I were relieved when the strep test was negative. I was to treat her symptoms at home and call if she got worse.

Saturday, Lily continued to have a fever and curled up in her favorite chair. Unused to seeing our vibrant child so inactive, Ed decided to entertain her. He danced and sang around the room, making us all laugh, even Lily. And then…he stepped back, landed on one foot right on the throw-up bowl (empty of contents) and fell hard. His ankle swelled instantly.

Fortunately, Ed’s sister happened to call a few minutes later, and I asked her to take Ed to the immediate care center by us. In one short hour he was home, no broken bones but a bad sprain.

We decided to cancel Mother’s Day.

Okay, that’s not really true. We just canceled the reservations at the fancy brunch we had planned on going to. I still took Emmy to church and sang in the choir that morning, ordering Lily (still feverish) and Ed to rest. The youth group gave all mothers a beautiful rose, and by the time Emmy and I got home, Lily was feeling better. So we went off for a low-key Mother’s Day lunch at Steak ‘n Shake.

That quick lunch wore out Lily, and her fever came back that afternoon. She rested, and I cried. I worried about Ed’s ankle, which kept him off his feet for most of the day. I wanted to call my mom.

But she is gone.

Instead, I got a phone call from my sister, who was also missing Mom.

By the end of the day, I was just grateful for all my blessings. Lily was feeling better (I kept her home from school for one more day; her fever went away and she is back to normal) and Ed’s ankle was not broken.

My thoughts went to the mentor mom who gave me a hug, who was also missing her mom on this day. I was grateful for that simple hug; grateful that someone else remembered that Mother’s Day would be difficult.

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For more simple moments that make up the bigger picture, visit Alita.

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Wishing for the Simple Life

Back from the playground much later than expected on this beautiful, spring day, I rush around the house, trying to accomplish the items on my to-do list in a concentrated amount of time. I put a pan of rice on the stove, run downstairs to put my load of laundry in the dryer, and try to vacuum the kitchen floor before dinner. (MOM! Where are my Ariel flip-flops!!!) Vacuuming stops for a minute as I pull the flip-flops out of the last place she left them…the mini-van. Vacuuming resumes. I know that food will fall on the floor again at dinnertime, but all the gathering crumbs in the corners have been bothering me for days.

It has been a full day; MOPS meeting, watching a friend’s children, trying to take advantage of the nice weather. How did I end up here, as an overwhelmed, overly-scheduled suburban mom?

I think about the nice, elderly couple who live down the street from me. I see them reading the morning and evening paper in their easy chairs by the large, bay window. They walk to morning mass together on Sundays. I even saw them take a leisurely bike ride this past weekend.

I sometimes wish to switch places with them; to have time to be with my husband, to relax and enjoy life.

But perhaps they are looking at my noisy, boisterous family… and wishing the same.

Simple BPM
For more simple moments that make up the bigger picture, visit Alita.

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