The first week of the year. The first week of a few household changes. And our rhythm has shifted. So I feel the need to summarize it as best as I can. We went through the week with less technology and more books. We worked through spelling words and math equations. We told time and kept time. We listened to more music, saw old friends, spent time with family, and walked in brisk air. Our Christmas tree was relieved of it’s duties (though the dying branches didn’t make it far…it’s resting outside of the front door). I mailed Ezra’s attendance and reading list for the second quarter. And marveled at how quickly first grade is passing. He read an entire chapter book this week. And that too left me blinking in amazement.
5 things to do when you log out and switch off…
1. Read. A lot. I recommend having three books on rotation.
2. Tackle two big tasks you’ve been putting off.
3. Invite a friend over. Wine optional.
4. Find some new music to love.
5. Pack a large box with things you no longer use and give them away.
This week seemed to be in a hurry. Somehow time moved faster around the slow tasks. We ate dinner together and chose conversation over distraction. We danced to music in the living room and played a new game at the dining room table. We walked to the store, folded laundry, and watched the fog roll in… but still it all somehow went quickly. Ezra finished another book. And we embarked on a field trip to the fire station. In the cheerful chaos of excited small voices his eyes were transfixed on every detail of equipment. We went out for dinner and ice cream last night. Isaiah gobbled up every bit placed in front of him and returned every smile he was given. Ezra straightened his bowtie and proclaimed the evening a rousing success. This week, Damon and I found each other in the quiet. We fought to make time ours and won. An important victory filled with shared laughs and tenderness. Without a television screen or endless phone scrolling, the time between the boys’ sleep and ours sounds more like slow music and looks more like the shine in his eyes. Even with less outside distraction and stimulation of media throughout the week; time does not stand still. It moves swiftly all the same. Don’t miss the details.
5 ways to fill an evening without tv or social media…
1. Cook and eat together. From scratch and at the table.
2. Let the music play a little louder than you should and dance to it.
3. Grab a blanket and a book. Get lost.
4. Do something with your hands; games, puzzles, and paint are too often forgotten.
5. Sit in silence. Soak it up. Don’t be afraid of the quiet. Dare to face your thoughts.
This was a week of anticipation and release. My bone has healed and so we turn the final page on that challenging chapter. Week after week, my sisters came around to help me while Damon was working. Yesterday was the first day I had my boys all on my own in five weeks. A strange and glorious thing to be “back to normal”; yet I am still processing the bizarre dream-like “Did that really all happen?” feeling while dripping in gratitude and awe over all the sacrifices that were made to accommodate my brokenness. Damon worked late, long, and hard on a big work project. Ezra wrote stories and spent hours upon hours playing outside in brisk air. And little Isaiah just seems happy to be held in his mama’s arms again… he won’t let go.
5 ways to celebrate being together…
1. Drive an hour in any direction together and explore.
2. Eat tacos and drink wine late at night in the kitchen while talking about your day.
3. Turn the music up in the car and sing as loud as you can together.
4. Get the whole family together for a “brinner party” (breakfast for dinner).
5. Snuggle up on the couch and talk about your dreams.
The structure is returning to our lives. Though a teething baby can tear at the seams of routine quite easily. Some days ticked by with regularly scheduled naps and glorious outdoor lunches. Some looked more like stained sweatpants, the clingy arms of a crying baby, and a long to-do list. But regardless, tasks were completed and school work was conquered. All the while, seedlings in the garden kept growing. The rain fell, fog rolled in, and then sunshine returned. I celebrated sisterhood and sung praises with some of the dearest ladies in my life. Damon and I celebrated an old friend returning from many hard months of facing war on desert soil. And the next day we had an afternoon all to ourselves. It looked like a long walk, raw oysters, and champagne. The week finished with church, family brunch, and a fondue birthday party for a dear friend. It was a week of celebration and struggle. Life wearing all of it’s many hats at once.
5 ways to change the tides when things get tough…
1. Talk it out with your best friend.
2. Listen to someone tell their “This is how I made it through” story.
3. Sweat. Whether it comes from squats or getting your hands dirty.
4. Cry. It is a gift of release.
5. Go out into the world.