Enjoy the little things. Matching clothes, earrings from Daddy that hadn't gotten lost yet. Days swimming with just one little baby in the apartment pool. Reading little books. Listening to lullabies. Enjoy those fleeting moments!
Smile through. I have always been known for my smile. So many days I lose that smile in the monotony of the days...in my impatience...in my frustrations. Just a smile brings peace to my heart and peace to these children.
Rely on grace. Oh the journeys we'd go through over these next 10 years. 5 more homes, 5 more jobs, babies, and miscarriages, c-sections, and heart surgery. My new mommy heart wouldn't be able to handle that knowledge, but just encouragement to rely on God's grace in the sacraments. To visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament. And with that...
Soak in daily mass. One day I'll get back there again. Those days with just one little nursling were so carefree. I could go to different masses on different days. Meet friends there, go out to lunch or breakfast. Go to the park or walk around the mall. Spend the afternoon at my parents' house. Now an outing of any kind feels like an Olympic sport.
Pray and pray some more. My prayer life has slowly disintegrated into not much other than random prayers with family, attempts at quiet prayer here and there, commitments to reflect on the daily readings where my mind flies away. I always need a reminder to get back to where it all begins. And to teach them from the littlest ages to talk to Jesus!
Slow down. As the kids started to get older, I started to want to do every possible activity. Instead of continuing to work on our family home life, I worked more on our social life. Home relationships should be the priority. Closeness with children, sibling love and respect, so many things are formed in those early years.
Ideals are personal. We started our marriage quite judgmental and opinionated on all sorts of issues of parenthood. As the years went by, slowly we started to understand the uniqueness of each family. That even within our close circles of Catholic friends, we can have differences in family choices and traditions. And that's okay.
Form good habits. Meal planning, house cleaning, laundry, naptimes, bedtimes, daily routines. I struggle so much with this kind of organization. Habit training starts early, and I'm not sure I'll ever get to where I'd like to be. But I'll keep trying.
Unplug often. When we got married, the internet was nothing like it is today. It's amazing how far technology has come in just 12 years! Now I have the internet on my phone at my fingertips, and it's often hard to take a break. I got into an online forum when Mary Clare was a toddler, and unfortunately haven't recovered from that longing for online social interaction. Every opportunity to take a break from technology is so good for us.
And so I'll end there. I haven't been visiting this little space as much recently, but I'll be back! Right now we're deep in the throws of back-to-homeschooling, co-op starting, other homeschool group activities, ballet studio 3 times a week, and soaking up these last weekdays of pool outings! We're also preparing for a trip home, my 12 week OB visit, the godparents coming to visit, and then our big Florida vacation! I'll surely have some good photos to share in the coming weeks!
But sometimes it's just nice to pause and reminisce a bit! Thanks for visiting!