Friday, November 27, 2015

The day after

Maybe your Thanksgiving was perfect and phenomenal and all of the dishes were finished at the same time and no one talked about Donald Trump or refugees and then argued or gave/got the silent treatment for the rest of the day. Maybe all the kids wore matching outfits and no one judged your parenting and no one got the stomach flu.

But maybe, just maybe, someone threw up (that happened here) or wept into their mashed potatoes because this is the first holiday (or thirteenth holiday) without a beloved family member. Maybe someone got in an epic argument for the ages. . . politics, religion, the proper way to stuff a bird . . . really, it could be anything, and no one is really sure how it will turn out.

Or maybe it was in between. A nice little day with people you sometimes argue with and sometimes laugh with, but always love fiercely, even when you don't exactly like them all that much. The food was good. You ate too much. Football. Cards.

We put a lot of pressure on the holidays. If they don't go well, we are a big failure. If they go well, our lives are great, right up until the minute that they aren't. But boil it down and the holidays are just another day wrapped up in traditions. The purpose of them isn't stress and outdoing ourselves or the people on facebookinstagramtwitterlatestnewthingidon'tknowabout. It's about celebrating the good. Being the good. Offering thanks. Living thankful. Loving harder. Forgiving bigger. Holidays are just another day.

So, please, let us all remember that no matter how yesterday went, it's not an indication of how today will go. We can move forward from whatever happened yesterday or last week or last Christmas Eve or on our 3rd anniversary or when we were kids. We can let go of the expectations of how the next month will go and how 2016 will start.

We can live today, the very best we can.

I truly hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. But if you didn't, it'll be okay. Today's a new day with a fresh start and a new chance to do the best we can.

(Psssst. If today's rough, too, we have the same chance tomorrow. The sunrise is good like that. It just keeps on coming, with love and opportunity anew.)

Here's to Friday and fresh starts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I don't have good china

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My grandparents are visiting from South Dakota and we are having seven people over that we don't really know. I opened our home up to people without somewhere to go or someone with whom to celebrate, so we have seven people coming over. We have never met one of the people and the other six are a family we've met about three times. I put the invite out on our town's facebook page because I wanted people to know they didn't have to be alone. From the deal, we get seven new friends and a house full of festivities. Plus, one person offered to bring the turkey, which I consider a huge victory on my part. Vegetarian + cooking turkey for a feast = recipe for disaster. (pun totally intended.)

Here's the thing: I don't have good china. In fact, I may not even have enough silverware for the guests that will sit around my mismatched tables, one end flanked by a piano bench for two to ensure everyone at least has a spot to sit. Some people might have the great honor of using plastic silverware. We don't have two table cloths big enough and table cloths didn't make the budget. There will be no ornate centerpiece. What I'm saying is, if you want to eat with Martha Stewart, you might not like dining at my house. Party planning is not my forte and home decor is about as far from my forte as possible.

But, if you're looking for laughter and loud kids, card games and football, friendship and heart, this is your spot. Warts and all. Mismatched tables and zero fancy appetizers. Dog hair on the furniture and no trim on the walls. Petty arguments and plastic forks.

Let's put ourselves out there. We'll get our hearts stomped on now and again. We'll also gain relationships. We'll take risks. We'll see what we're made of. We'll realize, again and again, what is really important. And it's not table cloths. Or china. It's people. It's living love. It's showing up. Warts and all.

Happy Thanksgiving.
                                                                        ~Bob Goff

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Perks of homeschooling

"We are probably the luckiest people in the world."

My 11-year-old was speaking to the fact that we got to spend the first real, play in the snow, snow day outside. There are days he fully understands the benefits of homeschooling and snowy days rank right up there. (On the other hand, we are reading a book that talked about kids sometimes wishing they had different parents. Isaac admitted that he sometimes wishes he had different parents when he doesn't want the food we're having for lunch and we tell him he'll have to have it for snack if he doesn't eat it now. I'm okay with that and feel pretty good if that's my worst offense.)

Audrey walked downstairs this morning, saw the snow, grabbed a ruler to measure it, and ran to the school room to get a head start on the day, knowing that means extra time to frolic.
Up early to measure the snowfall

Snow angels. Sledding. Shoveling. Building a snow horse (instead of man). Eating snow. Rolling in snow. You get the point. It was the perfect snowy day to break out the shovels and sleds and enjoy the beautiful weather.

They played for a few hours. We ate, read, finished school, and now Audrey and Elliot are back out, taking advantage of the iced over sled track.

For the record, Bear loves the snow like he's a caribou or something and Asher is slowly warming to it, which means before he came in he worked up the nerve to stick his booted foot into the corner of the shoveled snow. Living on the edge!

 Now lasagna is in the oven for an early dinner before volunteering at church and confirmation class for Isaac.

It was a lovely little snow day. Sometimes those kinds of days come just when you need them.
Sending a little bit of snowy happiness your way! Or we can subtract the snow if you're not into that sort of thing.