scenes from the pumpkin patch
I tell you what, when the weather cools, my heart gets soft for Texas and I remember how much I really love it here. The past ten days were 10 kinds of busy, which you might have surmised from my blog-absence. My kids are going to wake up any minute, so I'm going to generate a stream-of-conscious recap, listing thoughts as they come. Please forgive the disorganization. And I'm sorry for what you don't understand.
Monday - trip to the outlets and target (my children have, between them, maybe four things (?) suitable to wear in chilly weather. we've been bargain hunting for long-sleeved apparel everywhere we go). henry and i have been learning about the planets together - my favorite thing is when he mixes up their names and we get guesses like: 'urcury?' and 'veranus?'
that evening, babysitting tiny Mia, was such a soft, warm, milk-scented treat. having a tiny bird spend a cozy night in my front-door wreath - also a sweet treat.
Tuesday - library (and henry's first card - as previously chronicled). i remember tuesday being a really nice day. nate didn't have young men's that evening (a welcome respite) but instead filled the evening with a lengthy phone call and a meeting that didn't end 'til midnight. i love my husband dearly, but he has a knack for making things take longer than they need to.
a note about lily: she pretty much just tags along happily for all of life, usually carrying someone's toothbrush or wearing a random shoe(s). this phase of her life is characterized by magnificently unruly hair, unbounded curiosity, and a budding vocabulary (baby, bye-bye, bubble, mama, dada, and ba-ba, uh-oh, no-no and hello). she is wild-haired sunshine.
Wednesday - henry made such a mess in his room, it was irrecognizable. he is a professional mess-maker, actually. emptying every item from his dresser drawers, "packing" for a long adventure (ie removing every toy from its proper location and loading them into suitcases, large moving boxes, etc) - these are favorite pastimes of my little man. i try to remind him as he's embarking on such a mess, "don't you think you've packed enough stuff? you might want to stop 'cause you're going to have to clean all that stuff up and you're not going to like that part..." to no avail.
and then...when clean-up time is upon him, i hear colorful declarations like the following:
'you used to be a nice mom, but you're not a good mom anymore! you're turning into a mean mom since you always, always make me clean things. why didn't you think that mess was fun?' we left our worries (and our messes) at home wednesday afternoon and met Natalie and her boys at the church for an afternoon of playing (kids) and chatting (moms) and life was about seven shades brighter when we left.
Thursday - we babysat the Walden children in the morning. Parker came home from school with his first missing tooth clenched tightly in his fist. Henry was amazed (and a little terrified, I think) by the whole situation. since then though, he's shown quite a fascination with extracted teeth and the fairy who collects them (the other night I found a small acorn in a baggie under his pillow, and a few nights later, a withered green pea in the same place).
thursday afternoon stretched on indefinitely until our sweet neighbor, joe, called just as i was starting dinner to see if henry could "come out and play." joe is fifty-something and very kind. he came over, a huge pumpkin in one hand and a blue playground ball in the other, and entertained henry in the front yard for 30 minutes while I finished dinner. It was just what we all needed - i sliced veggies in the kitchen and wondered how Joe knew to call. Truly, he made all the difference in our day, especially since Nate walked in the door just at the moment the doorbell rang announcing that his ride had arrived to take him to the concert of one of his young men. I wilted as I watched him walk from back door to front door without being able to play with Henry or help with bedtime or eat dinner with us.
He had a church engagement every single night last week - some were required of him and some he arranged because he's a good man and wants those boys to know that he's their advocate, supporting them in their endeavors (like choir concerts and late nights of capture the flag). Even though I know how pure his intentions are and how valuable his service is, I struggle to give my full support sometimes. I question whether those boys need him as much as I (or his own boy) need him some nights. It's something we're trying to balance - and something that I'm personally working on - being more supportive when he needs to serve. I know we are blessed for our service. And who knows what Henry's teenage years will be like. I know I would pray like crazy for a young men's leader who might be able to reach him if there ever comes a time when he's unreachable (to us). And just to be clear, last week was an exception (exceptionally busy) - Nate's not usually away from home every night, but there are always a few engagements each week. I think the fact that his work schedule is so rigid (ie we do not see him between the hours of 7am and 7 pm) makes me a little jealous of his time. anyway...tangent - I just wanted to be real about the fact that this is something I struggle with.
Friday: was a gorgeous day. we played at the park all afternoon. lily wanted to snuggle with every doggie that walked by (and there were several!) she would have followed each one for a mile if i let her; she got really sad every time I pulled her off and let the dog continue on its way - she LOVES dogs. nate was gone 'til after 11 friday night playing capture the flag with some of the boys in the ward. i can't even remember what I did while he was gone - cleaned up the house and did a few things on the computer, i think.
Saturday: we had a rehearsal for the primary program from 8-10 am. i play the piano in primary (which I LOVE), so henry and i went together. it was a loooong time for those little kids to sit, but the practice went well. in the afternoon, we packed up the kids, grabbed some Jimmy John's sandwiches and headed to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch. It was super busy, but really fun. I just loved being out "in the country" - the smell of manure wafting through the air, horses tails switching side to side and miles and miles of fenced pastures on every side.
that evening we met some friends for dinner - several aspects of the conversation gave me reason for reflection and introspection (I hope to write more about this later). We always love the conversation with Brian and Virginia - thought provoking and interesting every time. the date almost didn't happen as our babysitter called a few hours before we were supposed to leave and said she was sick (darn!)
thank heavens for the Colton's who came over on an hour's notice, did dinner and bedtime with our children and then stayed to chat with us for 2 hours after we came home. we love them so, so much. their wisdom about raising children, living the gospel, and making a life just resonates with me on every level. they both truly have gifts of wisdom and discernment. we could have talked to them all night, but Nate had to chaperone a youth dance (I told you he had a church engagement every night :) while he was gone, I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and practiced the piano in anticipation of the primary program the following day.
i'm sure the only one still reading this is my mother (hi mom!) sunday was a really nice, much needed, slow day. the primary program was lovely. i had to cry a few times as i listened to those sweet kids talk about the importance of families, and sing their little hearts right up to heaven. i love primary. i prayed a lot before the program that I would be able to play the piano well - not make any mistakes that would stop the show...and I did it. I had shaky legs and fingers the entire time, but I didn't mess up too badly. Thank goodness! after church we all took naps, except Henry - I think he watched a movie and sneaked a few pumpkin cookies :)
We're still hoping that the sale of our house goes through, but we're waiting for official news from the lender. in the mean time, i am trying to just go on with my life and am so happy for every day we get to stay here in our house.
i have several unfinished drafts on my blogger dashboard about things I've been thinking about and experiences I've had. unfinished business seems to be a recurring theme of my life these days. I'd really like to get those drafts posted as I feel like those introspective pieces are more indicative of some aspects of my life than these frenetic weekly summaries. in fact, i'm contemplating a different format altogether. hmmmm. we'll see.