DPP Day 16 - Love

The greatest gift we give.
My DPP picture is a good reminder for what really matters in a season that it is easy to get lost in what doesn't matter.  I am just like everyone else - endless internet searches and pounding the pavement searching for those perfect gifts.  Trying to select something that will let someone know that they are special to me.  But ultimately, isn't the way we let people know we care is by loving them well? 

This picture is my picture because it got to the end of the day and I hadn't take any pictures.  So I played around with my camera taking pictures around my house.  Exercising a little of my artistic side.  I didn't get a lot of pictures taken because my evening went completely haywire.  When confiding with a friend, I may have labeled it a complete mom fail.  I picked up my kids at the last possible moment (which they hate because their Daddy is usually one of the first to pick them up) - I got a little bit of a late start but traffic had really held me up.  Their faces were kind but disappointed.  It is a painful mixture of love and excitement to see their mama - mixed with that look that lets you know they have been looking for you. . . for awhile.  Their lack of complaining tells me that they read my face - that I was hurrying, that I was sorry, and that I wanted to see them a long time ago too.  E had basketball at 6:00.  We arrived at 6:30 - and practice is 20 minutes away - so coming home would have just meant we turned around to come back.  So we had a barely able to be called food dinner, sat in the car to eat it, and watched movies.  A hustle home after practice, to rush through spelling and homework, bathe all the kiddos, and get them off to bed.  I am not sure I would make it as a single parent.  So - it was no surprise the camera never made it out.  Truth be told - I am just impressed that I got all the littles bathed after the way the rest of the night went.  ;)

But today was a good day and I sit here happy and fulfilled. There were lots of things to love and lots of love to give throughout the day. 

The morning routine this morning was smooth and snuggly.  Lots of love being shown by everyone.  A little parade through the house trying to find Windle (our elf).  Big hugs and kisses before everyone went out the door.  And no shouting. . . I love it when there is no shouting.  Love.

A special gift from a mama that I love.  She had a conversation with me quite awhile ago and clearly remembered, took the idea, added one of my favorite things - in quite the elaborate way, and brought me a gift that is so perfect I can hardly stand it.  The fact that it involved two other pretty amazing ladies that I love - only makes it better.  Love.
Thoughtful in every way.
A friend who provided a listening ear and a reassuring word when I was frustrated and feeling like a bad mama.  Sharing fond memories from childhood that mirrored the crazy evening we were having.  And reminding me that it doesn't matter what I am doing with my kiddos. . . even if it is eating by the light of the DVD player in the car  . . .I can still make it special.  Friendships that pick you up when you are down.....Love.

Today - I got the giggles. . . at the most inopportune time.  It is not surprising that this happened.  I have been burning the midnight oil for a couple weeks now and the sleep deprivation is starting to add up.  I am so sleepy and tired.  During a meeting today - I said something silly. . .but not really all that funny.  But I cracked myself up. . . and could. not. stop. giggling.  But you know what?  I LOVE those types of giggles.  I love the laugh until your eyes water and sometimes you even snort (Sadly - yes, that did happen) giggles.  I am SO fortunate that I work with such fun people that tolerate my sleep deprived hysterics.  And those same people - make me laugh, mold me to be better, keep me on my toes, challenge my abilities, support me the whole way, allow me to do the same for them, and have become some of the best friends I have ever had.  Love.

Hearing that my brother's nephrologist is going to bat for him.  Advocating for him the way we hope our medical providers will do for us.  Giving my brother some hope after a long season without it.  Love.

Leftover cupcakes.  Enough said.   Love.

Bedtime routine.  Truth be told - there is a love/hate relationship with bedtime routine.  It drives me crazy to keep reminding them through the same steps that we take every night.  And when you remind them of a step they missed (BRUSHING TEETH. . . .every. single. day.) - they act surprised that it is expected.  But the payoff comes with reading stories all snuggled up together.  Hearing the little details about their day that waits for this quiet time at night.  Sometimes these are when the heartaches and the sad moments are expressed.  While I don't love the struggle times anymore than the next mama, I treasure that they share and allow me into their experiences, both good and bad.  Tonight was all happy reports. They had great things to tell me about their day, things they loved, successes at school, a pick at recess football, and even a "thank you for letting us have dinner and watch movies in the car".  As if it were planned all along.  Guess my friend was on to something. . . And then - the grand finale of lullabies (they each have their own special lullaby that they decided when they were young that they liked best:  Elizabeth:  "No one like you"  Ben "Goodnight My Someone"  Brandon "You Are My Sunshine"  and Katherine "Daydream Believer"); kisses and hugs, and then lights out.  Love.

Getting all the laundry put away.  Lov....well - I don't love doing that.  It is my least favorite.  But - I love that it is done!  :)

Finally - it is the end of the night conversation.  Hearing that voice that I love to hear the most.  Inquiring about my day, asking about the evening, telling me about his day.  Love.  A great big Love.

Here are a couple more shots from my playing with my camera. 
Lots of ornaments.
A gift from my favorite supervising physician.

The Reason.