Friday, March 25

My bag

I think being stuck in the house all last week with sick kids gave me serious cabin fever. I've been so restless to get out of the house each day and that is just not me! Sadly, I've succumbed to a lot of selfishness. Thankfully, today took us to a new friend's house for a play date so my friend could unpack. Did that sound right? It's true and she's genius!

Most people wouldn't invite someone over a week after they'd moved in for a playdate, especially considering she's got eight kids! But while my crew was there, she was able to clear three dreaded boxes of miscellaneous stuff from her dining room table so the family can now eat meals together. All because her kids were entertained by their playmates and I got my baby fix while she had full uninterrupted use of her hips and both arms.

Weeks ago I had offered to watch her kids on the day they moved from the hotel into their house and had their household goods shipment delivered. And then my kids got the flu and I couldn't do the one thing I knew would be most helpful on a day like that. I felt awful. Now that we're well, I offered again but she just said to come over and keep her company while she unpacked. The isolation of being in her home after months of living in hotels with plenty of other people was starting to make her pretty lonely. The feeling of isolated loneliness with a move is still so fresh in my mind I just can't stand someone else going through it if I see it and can help.

We were able to attend a beautiful Relief Society meeting last night. The committee of talented women who pulled this and the previous two months' meetings off are really gifted - great themes, creative invitations, thoughtful speakers, delicious food, fabulous simple decor . . . I'm in awe of their mad skillz! January's meeting was mini-classes taught by a handful of sisters in the ward on the topics of prioritizing what's needful, home finances, getting to the temple, and nutrition. Then February's was so fun! Sisters volunteered to share something they knew in 5 minutes. There was scarf tying, how to select and cut a pineapple (contest), how to make a straw into a whistle, how to make homemade fresh cheese, how to tie a balloon animal, unique ways to display souvineers of our travels, how to accessorize with jewelry, how to make ribbon headbands and a few more. Last night's theme was purses.

What? Yup, purses. As March is celebrated as the birth month of the organizing of the Relief Society, it is always a celebration of sisters and their individual and collective power for good in saving souls and bringing families to Christ. Ours was a celebration of the phases of our lives signified by the purses or bags we carry to fulfill our purposes on this mortal journey. It began with a door prize game and a delicious taco bar with all the trimmings you could imagine. Fresh chips and salsa and Red Robin-esque raspberry lemonade! YUM!!! After the meal, my cute friend Dawn was beaming with happiness from within to the extent that she was kinda doing a happy dance in her chair. That's how good this evening was! They even had bags with noted goodies for the five graduating seniors to lovingly send them on to their next phase. We were all fed and taken care of. Replenished. Uplifted.

The evening ended with a 'what's in your purse' game. An item was called out and the first to hold the item up from their purse got the placard. Prizes were given in the end. It was truly hilarious! And so appropriate as the breadth of items sometimes reflected the spectrum of our stages in life. And bonus - now we all know who to go to with emergencies during our meetings! Them purses are mighty useful!

And then today. First thing every morning, I love watching the kids follow Ryan around egging him on to tickle them, scare them, and give them kisses before he leaves. Morgan's the cutest because at that age her demands for affection just melt you like butter. We finally got out the door for our fun playdate and had a great time. Afterwards, the kids were tired from their long day so that when chores had to be completed before their customary, cherished Friday video game time - there was some weeping and wailing. When I mandated game time breaks, hunger consumed them. But apparently not enough for Easton to fully commit and like his rice and beans. He just "half-liked" it since black beans aren't his thing.

Morgan began melting down and so I put her to bed early. She didn't even fight it, just asked for a baby and then sweetly snuggled into her blankets. Man she's so beautiful and sometimes when we're looking at each other, I see an old soul that looks familiar and it startles me. How did I get to be this lucky to have this gig?!

Ryan is nose-deep in his work with the X24 exercise which is kicking off this coming week. It is so great to see him excitedly nervous about his work, he's positively giddy sometimes lately! It's a great thing!

The announcement of imminent bedtime sent McKay into tears until he was told they could have Jell-O for dessert. He stopped mid-cry, it was hilarious! I seriously can't remember the last time I had Jell-O but the kids are always asking for it at the store so I made some the other day in little containers. What fun to remember how much I like Jell-O, especially with a bit of whipping cream on top! I overheard the boys tell Ryan tonight they like him best because he gives them more whip cream on top. True enough!

And throughout the day, my mind was drawn back to my bag [I've never been a purse gal although they're lovely but it would require shopping and I'm not good at that yet.] All day long whether on the go or just at home, I'm always reaching into my bag for something. And sometimes what I need isn't there and it's disheartening that my lack of preparation or attention to detail has failed me or someone I love in a time of need. It's got me thinking of how to replenish and keep a deeper store. I've got work to do. But first, I'll get a good night's rest!