Meatloaf Day

Yesterday was the annual meatloaf day at our house.  My kids love meatloaf, so there are lots of days during the year we have meatloaf, however, August 10 is one day meatloaf is guaranteed to be in the menu.

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It was the idea of a friend almost four years ago.  On August 10 four years ago I fixed meatloaf for dinner (please don’t ask me any other meals I’ve made on a specific date in history.  However, it is possible I could tell you what I made for breakfast this morning.)  I planned ahead that day because we wanted to get to the library and get library cards.  So I stuck that meatloaf in a slow cooker knowing it would be ready for us when we got back.  Only we didn’t make it back as scheduled.  My body decided it’d be better to get to a hospital rather than go home and eat meatloaf.  Which is really messed up, because I make good meatloaf.  (Every one in my family likes it, which is a feat in and of itself.  Each child has requested it for their special birthday meal at least once.)  So I went to the hospital and had a preemie baby two days later.  My husband and older two kids made it back home that night, but the meatloaf was more than done, apparently.  It had moved well past the edible stage to the science-project-gone-bad stage.  (After that event I was a bit scared something traumatic would happen every time I made meatloaf.)

So in honor of a poor meatloaf gone bad we have meatloaf day every year.  Actually, it’s more to honor the very stressful beginning of my son’s life just a couple of days later.  Born too early too far from home.  But despite his rough beginning he is doing fabulously and meatloaf day helps me remember how far he has come and what God has already done in his and our lives.

This week we celebrate my youngest son’s birthday.  He is a sweet, smart, energetic boy.  He is a classic little brother who both loves to be with and loves to torment his siblings.  He is full of life and love and stubbornness.  It’s amazing to think how fast four years has gone, but I look forward to many more watching him grow.

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Little moments

 

In life we constantly juggle big things and little things.  The big elements are obviously important, whether they’re careers, illnesses, faith, relationships, etc.  But the little things can be worth noting too.  Often we’re overwhelmed by the big things (whether they’re good or bad) and we miss many little things.

Having kids around gives opportunities to remember the little things.  Sometimes I want to sit down and cry about a little detail and other times I want to celebrate a small experience.  Either way, the small things in life make it fuller, more fun, and more real.  The little pieces add dimension.

This morning I was reminded of the little things when my three-year-old came up to me and asked for breakfast.  He had already washed his hands without being asked.  Let me repeat: he had washed his hands without being asked.   This is the child who hates washing his hands.   I think parental pride oozed out of all my pores.  It was a moment of joy and bliss.

Now, will this brief moment affect whether or not he is a loving father some day?  Probably not.  Will it help him graduate from school?  Probably not.  However, it is a small part of our journey.  It might be only a tiny pebble in the path, but some pebbles are really beautiful when you take the time to look at them.  So I will celebrate today’s triumph.  It might even help me get through the next catastrophe.

Plus he hasn’t tortured the kitties today.  Yet.

I shall bask in the joy of the fleeting moments.

Take note of the little things in life.  They matter too.

 

 

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Swiss cake rolls

As I type I’m eating a swiss cake roll, otherwise known as a little piece of heaven.  They’re my weakness, my kryptonite.  I can keep chips in the house, candy, soda, etc. and they can sit on the shelves for weeks or months.  Swiss cake rolls last at most a week, and then only with lots of will power.  Why are they my favorite?  Got me.  Maybe the luscious combination of cake + chocolate.  Maybe it’s the throwback to my childhood.  I prefer to eat them when the children are sleeping so I don’t have to share.  I know, I know, I probably sound very selfish with my swiss cake rolls.  Yes.

This week one of our family members celebrated a birthday.  The queen of the family members, to be exact.  It was a very good day. Time with friends, lots of birthday wishes, and even a surprise by my husband.  S helped him carry it out.  All I knew was not to cook dinner.  Excellent.  Sounds like a good surprise already!

Since we have children, surprises are difficult to implement.  But they make for precious moments where Mom can chuckle to herself:

1. Mom picks that day of all days to look for some missing emery boards.  Clearly you can see the importance of this.  While looking I stumble upon a box swiss cake rolls!  AHHHH!  How could I possibly have missed this!  (As previously mentioned, these little guys rarely last a week here.)  I see birthday cards in the bag too, and I try to remember if I got them for my birthday last year.  How on earth did I forget about them!  However, I’m on a chocolate fast, so I can’t eat them.  I-can’t-eat-them.  *Sigh.*  So I quickly move them aside and return to my critical task of locating emery boards.  Within seconds I have an “aha” or “duh” moment…those are part of my birthday present…for that night.  Oops!!  Quick, practice fake surprise! (Thankfully I don’t have to practice my happiness in receiving such a gift!)

2. While Dad is at work my ten year old is in charge of coordinating the events for the evening.  He did an outstanding job, but he felt the pressure.  At one point K wanted to tell me what the surprise was and she and S argued about it.  Generally, when they argue it leads to K running to Mom in tears.  This time was no different and S was extra stressed she would blow the surprise.  I talk her down and explain she can tell me later (when it’s no longer a surprise, preferably). Throughout this entire exchange S is sweating it out and trying to interrupt so the surprise isn’t broken.  I promise him I can handle it but it takes several minutes of talking to each of them to calm the situation.  They finally are settled and Mom is non the wiser about the surprise.  Until minutes later when S blows part of it.  I laughed and laughed (to myself).  He was so worried about the three year old blowing the surprise and then he blows part it.  Oops!

3. A little later S calls my friend (while I’m in the room) and ‘gracefully’ asks her as soon as she’s on the phone, “Are you coming?!”  Gotta love Mr. Suave.  Then he camps out at the window and waits.  And waits.  He wouldn’t leave that window for anything!   The second he sees her car he tells me we have to go on an ‘errand.’  At which point we reach the part of the evening which Matt did not prep S well for: give Momma time to get ready.  (Matt told me I’d have time.  But S did not know these details and was pushing me to get out the door.) My friend comes to watch J while the rest of us go out to a restaurant.  One without slides, to Kianna’s disappointment.  A grown up one.  (One in which it would be hard to contain a one year old, thus the reason for my friend watching J.)  We had a lovely dinner.  Other than K crying most of the way to the restaurant because she “misses J” (awww…poor overtired girl!)  Finally I won her over when I explained we were going on a date with Daddy and S.   She still talks about how nice the date was at the restaurant.  *Smile.*  Yes, yes it was; even without slides.

Thanks to those who worked to  make my birthday special.  Surprises or no surprises I felt loved and cherished.  Now that’s a good birthday.

Today the chocolate fast is finally done.  I waited a whole hour after the end of the fast before diving into that box of swiss cake rolls. I know, my fortitude is amazing.  Feel free to stop by for a visit, I’d be happy to share…some chips.  Or a sandwich.  (My kryptonite will be in hiding.)

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