Monday, March 31, 2014

Good in the Trenches

Today was the last day of spring break. Though we didn’t really go anywhere out of the ordinary this past week, the notion of “last” still roused the same scarcity sensors that initiate swiping the last brownie and ordering a drink for last call.  Lap It Up Before It’s Gone seemed to whisper everywhere this morning, even though I’m smart enough to realize we can create these days whenever we want, and “before it’s gone” is an entirely overdramatic phrase regarding doing fun stuff with the kids on the last day of spring break. Nevertheless (how awesome is that word?—I mean, it’s three words in one.), Mercury’s not in retrograde until June which means life’s dramatic flair might need some kindling. So I’m going to go full throttle Suck the Marrow on this one: Spring Break, Spring Break, wherefore art thou, Spring Break?


I dedicated the day to complete enjoyment of the kids and our surroundings and called time of death on any and all work/to-do list tasks at 9 this morning which left the entire day to carpe'-ing the diem.  So we set out to do just that, planning a very rough outline that looked like Have Lunch Together, Drive Somewhere Fun. We packed a blanket in case our fun destination required sitting and a stroller in case our day extended into naps.

Lunch turned into park, park turned into beach, and beach eventually turned into pool at home.

 photo print26_zps9ef99efb.jpg

 photo print27_zps487cbc2b.jpg

 photo print28_zps86e6a87a.jpg

 photo print32_zps981ab0b8.jpg

 photo print34_zps47bdaf5c.jpg

 photo print35_zps2f69868c.jpg

Today was calm and redeeming--both the perfect end to spring break and the perfect beginning to a new week.

A new week sounds lovely because last week can be summed up as nothing less than "Aw, hell naw"--the low point reflected in that scene at the local bakery where I met my cousins from Michigan for what was supposed to be a nice lunch and ended up being a 20-minute trailer for that imaginary documentary, The Trenches of Parenthood. The scene ended with me asking, "Can you help me get to the car?" because I honestly couldn't manage my kids by myself. Crying jags, flailing limbs, one who insisted on wearing a beach blanket as a cape, macaroni and cheese that one wanted but then didn't want but then wanted again but then didn't want, and a baby who couldn't accept that climbing on booth tables was uncouth. We were the restaurant spectacles, and everyone knew it.

But it's over as quick as it begins. And for every "God, I'm going to lose it today" conversations I have with my sister, there's ten more stories that follow--Did I tell you what Nella said today? Dash just fell asleep on my chest. Lainey wrote another poem today. One's my favorite age. Four's my favorite age. Six's my favorite age. 

 photo print2_zpsf9c0fa5f.jpg

 photo print3_zps2f8f87e3.jpg

 photo print5_zpsf8c4a1b9.jpg

 photo print6_zps627136f1.jpg

Throughout our adventures today, we happened to witness a few unfortunate mishaps--a fender bender, a minivan door that accidentally opened and spilled belongings all over a parking lot, and a girl on the beach that took a hit to the face with a volleyball. I didn't realize Lainey was keeping track until after the volleyball incident. "Mom, we keep seeing bad things happen," she noted. "We saw three. I wonder what the next one will be."

My, how easy it is for all of us to give notice to the bad things--to add them up, to give them thought, to wait for them to happen and fear their arrival.

"Bad things happen every day for all of us," I told her, "but good things happen too. Instead of waiting to see what the next bad thing will be, how about we start looking for good things that happen, or better yet--we could make something good happen."

"Like you buy me something?" she asked.

Okay, that wasn't what I was thinking.

Lainey tripped and fell later in the afternoon, scraping her knees and alerting our entire county of her tragedy in the process. I waited for her to make note of that fourth bad thing, but she never did. We had shells to categorize and sandy shoes to shake out, and Nella said "Elsa butt" which, according to Lainey, was the funniest thing that happened this year, ever.

Bad things happen.
Good things happen.

Some photos of the latter...

 photo print8_zps7b182286.jpg

 photo print9_zps99a5f496.jpg

Outside picnic table allows for reasonable climbing
 photo print11_zps88d6605d.jpg

 photo print14_zps671c2ad3.jpg

 photo print18_zpse19b27f1.jpg

When Grandma takes kids to Target...mermaid Barbie follows.
 photo print20_zps27764da1.jpg

 photo print22_zpsa65cf4b8.jpg

 photo print23_zps1a423999.jpg

Braid hair
 photo print24_zps8f168449.jpg

 photo print17_zpsbbac03b8.jpg

Good night.
 photo print39_zps0ea9a4cf.jpg

35 comments:

Jennifer said...

Gah! Nella is getting so big! What beautiful littles ♥

miranda lee said...

My goodness, that boy is going to keep you on your toes....Life will never be dull!

I love the life that you capture in your photos. They speak love.

Amy K said...

I must just come out and say it...you're kind of amazing. I hope to grow in the carpe diem ways you have. With four littles under five my "I'm going to loose it" moments are many. But, I am inspired by you and your beautiful words. Thank you.

Rachel said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely...I wish I had a spring break. Although since I don't have kids, that would mean that I was back at school...so just kidding. I'll pretend weekends are mini spring breaks instead. =]

Nancy said...

Whenever I would tell my aunt (who recently died from cancer) anything any of my kids had said or done, she would say, "Ohh! Every age is best. Every age is best." I'm pretty sure, if asked about her 28 year old son and 30 year old daughter, she would say, "Oh they are at the funnest ages right now! I think 28 and 30 are my favorite."

medina family said...

Laughed while reading "Can you help me get to the car?" I had a day recently where random strangers kept offering me help. And the best part, I kept saying, "Yes!" Hard to do sometimes, but Hello, My Name is Mama of Four and I need Help.

Benny Johans said...

That was really worth spending you last day of spring break. The kids are so lovely!
Jumping Castle Hire Werribee

Kaara A said...

I love your point of view, I hope tone a mom like that as well ;)

pegRX said...

Elsa Butt!!! Wish there was video!

lthelibrarylover said...

Wow! Nella's hair is getting so long! Love your photos as always :)

Argyrie said...

Each photo is so special. You have a true gift for capturing the special moments. Loved the photo of Dash and Latte on picnic table...that dog is so adorable, too!

Jensamom23 said...

We have all been there as parents, but looking for the good things is such an amazing thing.

Ryan Wood said...

Loving this post Kelle! Reminds me of why I fell so hard for your blog. Beautiful writing and cracking me up as usual! Your recount of the hellish visit out in public was killin me - I can so relate ha! Happy Tuesday!

Kris said...

I always find myself smiling and shaking my head "yes" when I read your posts. I love that. Absolutely adore that last picture of you and Nella. <3

Molly said...

You have such a beautiful family, Kelle. I haven't visited in awhile as I finally had my third baby and wowsers, it kinda rocked our world ;)

You are so right. Bad things and good things every day! I need to focus on the good! Especially now when we're trying to find a new groove as a family of five.

Reenie said...

{ "Elsa butt" which, according to Lainey, was the funniest thing that happened this year, ever. }

That cracked me up!!

Adorable photos.... all of them.

xo


Marilou Blundell said...

beautiful children...love to see as they grow and develop into their own person...beautiful!!!

Heather said...

Such a beautiful family you have!! I love that you turned Carpe Deim into an action word - Carpe-ing the Deim!!! I'm going to keep that one close! Thanks for sharing yourself and your days with us.

Amanda(girlathome.wordpress.com) said...

Ha. My almost two year old just hit that stage they call terrible. ohmagosh, tantrums, no no no no no no no no, etc. I can totally see you asking for help packing up your outing. I hardly have enough arms to manage one limp and howling kid. :D Anyway, glad your week ended on a good note. :)

Robbie K said...

So glad the good outweighed the bad on your final day of spring break!I'll go on record as saying that anything containing the word butt or butts is always hilarious!

Alicia said...

Bad things...but oh the good things. Well said, mama.

JennM said...

Your pictures of sunshine outside your home and in are truly getting me through this never ending winter. Thank you for sharing!

Sabrina said...

Such beautiful photos...so magical...

Jessica said...

Dude, you live in Florida. EVERY week is spring break! Kids around here drive for 3 days, in order to spend 8 hours getting drunk and sunburned, and then 3 days driving back to face college exams again.

Enjoy (I know you are)!

PS *love* the turtle

Larn said...

""Bad things happen every day for all of us," I told her, "but good things happen too. Instead of waiting to see what the next bad thing will be, how about we start looking for good things that happen, or better yet--we could make something good happen."
This quote needs to be plastered everywhere. I think we all need this as a reminder every once in a while. Thank you.

Lynn DontBlameTheKids said...

How do you get such amazing pictures?! That top one completely melted my heart. I'm just a pile of goo now.

sbruce said...

After my Craptastic day....backed into someone. And a rough couple weeks...I so needed to read this.

Thank you! thank you!

Bad things happen.
Good things happen.

Forever grateful for the words you share.

Raelyn said...


Kelle....
"I dedicated the day to complete enjoyment of the kids and our surroundings and called time of death on any and all work/to-do list tasks at 9 this morning which left the entire day to carpe'-ing the diem.". Mmmm..... What an excellent reminder for me, the to-do list-maker!! Thank-you!! ;-D
Wait. Lainey writes poetry?! Cool!! So do I!! ;)
"My, how easy it is for all of us to give notice to the bad things--to add them up, to give them thought, to wait for them to happen and fear their arrival.". So true, so true!! ;-/
--Raelyn

melissa said...

So good Kelle! My response to people about parenthood is that it is an extremely tough job, but SO rewarding and uplifting.
Enjoy the sunshine!...we are in Tejas too :)
Love,
Melissa

melissa said...

PS - our story this week would be like the minivan door that accidentally opened and spilled belongings all over a parking lot...including my child who decided to unbuckle the the carseat straps and topple out with it. Embarrassment and scraped knees let me tell you. But, so thankful it wasn't worse!
~Melissa

Victoria said...

Loved this. Thank you for sharing!

Beverly said...

Your children are beautiful!

C-DEEZY said...

OH! I can't tell you how much I LOVE the braid hair!!

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, and Dylan Too! said...

Beautiful kids, beautiful pictures. Always!

Maina Khan said...

nice


luxury villa phuket