As much as I love writing for websites and blogs, sometimes life just gets so busy that I need to "live my life, not blog my life," as we discussed at one of our Power of Moms Retreats.
But just as a little snapshot of what's going on here, I've put together a quick record of my day (which actually turned out not to be so quick):
12:05 a.m. (I know, WAY too late): Finally got in bed after a long, but good day. Eric and I had a late-night Skype phone call with Saren and Jared, our wonderful partners on The Power of Moms. We're transferring to a brand new website platform and starting our affiliate program, so there was a lot to discuss, but it was fun to get on the same page and have some time with them.
5:40 a.m. Woke up to Spencer screaming at Ethan, the way he does every single morning between 5:15 and 5:45. Eric was kind enough to take care of things downstairs so I could sleep in a bit.
6:30 a.m. Finally got out of bed, but made sure to take time for personal prayer. David A. Bednar gave a beautiful talk about prayer in October of 2008, and I love the idea that morning prayer is when you "spiritually create" your day with the help of the Lord.
Before School: Helped make lunches, brushed everyone's hair, hugged my children, put a load of laundry in the dryer (that I forgot about last night), and got all of us dressed in our 100-Mile Club t-shirts. Eric gathered us all around for family prayer, and then afterward, we all gave each other kisses.
At School: Went running/walking at our elementary school's 100 Mile Club. It is one of the best things I've ever seen a PTA do. Students and their families get to run laps and earn a popsicle stick for each lap. Then we earn one mile for every four sticks, and as you accrue 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles, you get to check off a little chart on the back of your t-shirt. Spencer (age 3) prays every morning that we can go to the 100 Mile Club. There are several moms who come every single time to pass out sticks, and I so appreciate them. Our children love it, too.
Early Morning: Talked with my husband for a little while and hugged him in the kitchen while Spencer ate some oatmeal. Eric consistently reminds me that I am moving my projects forward, even when I feel like I'm spinning my wheels all day. I love him so much. While Spencer played with his toys, I made Eric a little lunch and tried to decorate his sandwich bag with a love note written in permanent marker. Then, since Spencer was still quiet, I took 20 minutes to study my scriptures and prepare a lesson I'm teaching for Relief Society at church on Sunday. It's about Work and Personal Responsibility. The more I studied, the more I could feel the Lord teaching me that the work we do to serve Him is the most important work there is to do. I love having time in the scriptures each day, and I love the feeling I get when I hear Him speaking to me. When I finished studying, I cleaned up the house, took care of Spencer, did some laundry, and continued thinking about the wonderful things I had just learned. I felt like I was floating).
Mid-Morning: Dropped Spencer off at Betty's house (thank you, Betty!!) for a few hours. We do a mommy preschool co-op that has been such a blessing. Got to work on my Mind Organization for Moms Weekly Review (because the paperwork just piles up every few days, and it's amazing how much better I feel once I get things organized). Talked with Rebecca at Persnickety Graphics, who is doing a lovely job redesigning our logo and our entire Mind Organization for Moms program. She's fabulous. Then I prepped a podcast I had scheduled with Allyson Reynolds.
Late Morning: Recorded a podcast with Allyson Reynolds about "The Power of Love"--our Power of the Month at The Power of Moms. It was so much fun to get to talk with Allyson, and the podcast will be posting this Saturday on The Power of Moms (if all goes as planned). Then I organized my desk and emails and got kind of excited when I saw my guest post on GTD Times. They have a great staff there who I really admire.
Lunchtime: Picked up Spencer and taught him how to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Then we ate together, and he played with some Playmobil toys while I sent emails out to the 12 Authors of our Power of Moms book, pairing them up to edit each other's chapters. These chapters are beautiful. I keep thinking about them during the day, and the messages are shaping how I feel about my life as a mom. I know this book will change lives. It just takes a LOT of work to get it to publication.
Early Afternoon: After recording that podcast with Allyson, I felt so excited to show love to my family that I decided to make a heart-shaped snack for my children to eat when they got home from school. I laid out our heart-shaped plates and put little groups of blueberries, pineapple, and pistachios on the plate--also in heart-shapes. It took about 3 minutes, but they were excited to see it when they got home. Then we had a quiet time/nap time with the whole family. Have I mentioned I love naps? My children are so sweet to respect that quiet time of day, and it makes a huge difference for all of us.
Mid-Late Afternoon: We all worked together to juggle laundry, an early dinner, homework, house clean-up, after-school discussions, etc. And then I took Alia to her Activity Days (a bi-monthly afternoon out with her peers and some wonderful ladies who teach them new skills and help them develop their faith in God). The other children accompanied me to the Dollar Store, where we got them some treats and cards for Valentine's Day, and then we zipped off to Grace's soccer practice (we're just doing a simple Soccer Academy for a few weeks, and she loves it).
Early Evening: While Grace practiced soccer, Ethan and Spencer skated around the park on their roller skates. I am SO happy to have discovered that when Spencer is on skates, he doesn't run away from me--because he can't move fast enough. If I could keep him in skates all day, I would. For the last 15 minutes, I let Spencer play on the playground with his regular shoes, but then he started running as fast as he could toward the bathrooms (he's recently potty trained), and I had to yell for Grace and Ethan to follow me as I sprinted after him. I chased him into the restroom, helped him take care of things, and then thought on the way out, "How nice that they have urinals in here so when moms take their little boys to the bathroom, the boys have that convenience." Then I thought, "Wait, I haven't seen those in here before." And, of course, I discovered that I was in the men's bathroom at this totally crowded soccer park, and I got a weird look from another mom as I came out. Oh, the fun.
Mid-Evening: Ethan worked on his homework and Spencer ate about seven cups of popcorn (I don't know how it all fits in his little body) while Grace, Alia, and I folded laundry and sang Taylor Swift and EFY songs together. Grace wanted to surprise Ethan by folding his laundry for him, so we were very sneaky, and that made Ethan feel happy. Then I tried to type up this blog while Grace quizzed Ethan on his vocabulary words, Alia hard-boiled eggs for her lunch tomorrow, and Spencer threw toy cars all over the living room. That didn't work very well.
Late Evening: I tucked Spencer into my bed and read him a new little book he loves called "Little Quack." Then he said, "Seep by me for 30 minutes," and I snuggled with him and said, "You are getting so big!" And he said, "Yes. Big like you." And then we just held each other for a few minutes, and I could practically feel him growing--which makes me quite sad. Then I tucked in Grace by singing our nightly "Baby Mine" song while giving her back tickles (no one else likes those, but she LIVES for them). Ethan was practically asleep when I went in to see him, so I gave him a quick kiss, and he was out. Now Alia is up and we're going to look online and learn more about what's going on in Egypt because I'm so busy in my own little world sometimes, and my heart is hurting for all the people who are suffering there (and in so many other places).
It's been a great day, and I don't know who, besides maybe my sisters, would have read this far, but that's a little snippet of my life right now.
If you have any fun/helpful ideas for things to include in my daily routine that would bring more joy, more love, more purpose, and more meaning, I would love to hear what works for you, and I am always looking for new ideas.