22 Days For Gratitude — Day 19: {Time}

How I Measure time:

In piles of laundry folded, sometimes unfolded. In fact, normally left unfolded. Thats about right.

In cups of juice made every morning.

In breakfasts made, blueberries put into tiny bowls, milk poured unto cereal.

In cartoons watched.

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In baths given. Baths that have had to be re-given because a certain one year old likes to use the bathroom during her tub time.

In laughter with friends over cups of coffee or in the car when we actually get to escape from our children.

In emails sent to the husband when he is at work, normally wondering when he plans on coming back home to me.

In text messages sent to my sisters, wondering what they’re doing for the day.

In red lights and green lights on the way to the gym.

In calories counted on the elliptical, watching the resistance go up and, not soon enough, back down again.

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In french fries from McDonald’s because mom doesn’t want to make lunch today – and yes, unfortunately these were sometimes immediately following trips to the gym.

In spontaneous trips to stop by Rob’s work, just for the kids and I to say ‘hi!’

In cookies made, loaves of bread kneaded and baked and casseroles prepared.

If we're doing this, we're doing it right.

In frozen pizzas for the nights that mom just doesn’t want to make dinner.

In a sink and dishwasher filled with dishes.

In a sink full of dishes that have been left until morning…or longer

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In reruns of sitcoms watched on television while the kids napped.

In crayons that I have found on the floor, under the sofa, under the dining room table, in the kitchen…

In toys that I have fished out from under the sofa.

In the number of times I have sent the husband a text message with pictures of the babies doing something epic.

In the number of times that I have had my trips to the bathroom interrupted by a request for juice, crying, whining, requests for more cartoons, requests to go for car rides…

In trips to Target for diapers.

At least they're together...

At least they’re together…

In trips to Target where I have forgotten one thing or another.

In trips to the grocery store where the kids have knocked something over, pulled something into the cart without asking, fished something out of the back of the cart and dropped in on the floor, threw a jar of salsa on the floor…

In looks from people when my children are melting down.

In trips to Chick Fil A.

In the number of times that my son has said, “I love you, mommy.”

In the number of times within that my son has said, “I love you, mommy” within 2 minutes.

In the number of times Clara says, “mwaaah!” when giving me a kiss now that she has learned how.

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In the number of times I hear, “mommy!” in the middle of the night.

In the number of times I’ve stolen the covers BACK from my husband.

In the number of times I have snuck downstairs to the kitchen to get a midnight snack (don’t tell Rob.)

In the number of times I have admired the sky.

In the number of times we have stopped on the way home from town for the kids to point at and talk to the cows and goats at the farm up the road.

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In the number of times that I have tried to take the perfect picture of my kids doing something epic and have succeeded.

In the number of times that I have tried in vain to get the perfect picture of my kids doing one thing or another and have failed. Miserably.

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In the number of times that I have forgotten to thaw something for dinner.

In the number of times that I have forgotten to put something BACK into the refrigerator or freezer.

In the number of times I have forgotten one appointment or another.

In the number of hands, lifted high on a Sunday morning in worship.

In the number of amen’s from a joyful congregation.

In the number of candles my husband has lit for me and asked me to dance with him in the living room once the babies are asleep.

In the number of Christmas ornaments broken this year. (4)

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In blog posts.

In unfinished, but will be finished one day, blog posts.

In Facebook likes and comments.

In phone calls to friends that I don’t get to see very often.

In phone calls to my grandmother.

In good movies seen and some, well, not so good.

In times that I have blared the music in the car on the way to town, convinced that I still got “it.”

In laying little ones down for their nap. And then sometimes having to lay them back down again.

In Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Dove Chocolate and Hershey Kisses eaten – way to many for one person.

In tears of frustration, joy and sadness.

In conversations with mom and dad, with big and little sis.

In pillow talk with Rob, enjoying the silence after the kids go to bed.

In bedtime prayers, babies tucked in, fetching the “special” blanket and last kisses of the evening.

I really could keep going. But I’ve probably already bored you enough. I wrote that more for myself than for you. I sometimes don’t know where the time goes. Yesterday I was newly married, last week I was attending college and the week before that I was blowing out the candles on my 16th birthday cake. Or at least that’s how I feel sometimes. I can’t remember a time when there weren’t tiny socks or Minnie Mouse pajamas in my laundry area, or when I wasn’t stepping over toys to make it from the living room to the kitchen. This wasn’t always the way that it was, this isn’t always the way that it will be. And as I read this list again, I think about how I could be confused about where my time goes.

365 days,
8,760 hours,
525,600 minutes
31,536,000 seconds.

Time is the one commodity that is endless, but irreplaceable. Well, that and now Twinkies. Time is infinite, but you only get one shot at it. I don’t know why it seems to slip by so quickly. I think that this quickening of time is a side affect of the pace we set for ourselves. We measure our time only in accomplishments, measuring ourselves against one standard or another. Never pacing ourselves. Never living time in its completion. Never appreciating fully those moments that don’t linger with us long enough.

But I do know that as these last hours of 2012 dwindle into the evening, as my children sleep upstairs and my house sits and has still not recovered from Christmas that I don’t consider the messes. The chores of days past. The miniature failures from days where I just didn’t get it all done. I remember the good moments with my children, tender moments with Rob and joyful times with friends. I remember, though not each of them individually, good cups of coffee, savory dinners and midnight snacks. I remember fondly laughter over silly things the kids do, laughing at myself when I have an inevitable blonde moment and put a loaf of bread under the sink – thankfully it was sealed.

These things that have built this house into a home. These things that have turned hours into time well spent.

I wish you all a very blessed, safe and joyful 2013.

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