Sunday, May 10, 2009

And so today she wore her new white sandals outside to play in the dirt

After a night of dinner and shopping, Sal Gal and I sat in her driveway on Saturday night for at least a good hour and got all snotty. Sometimes life calls for laughter, sometimes it calls for tears, and sometimes it calls for snot. And Saturday night called for all three. Growing up, my mom (and dad) always made everything look so easy. If the world wasn't perfect, we surely didn't know it. I'm thankful for her hard work and determination and her ability to make being a mother and wife look like an enjoyable breeze.

As a kid, you don't realize what makes life 'life'. You never noticed when Aunt So and So got irritated with Uncle Somebody during Sunday dinner. You didn't notice, or at least didn't mind, having mac-n-cheese as a side dish two nights in a row. You couldn't understand the importance of changing into your 'play clothes' before going outside to play in the sand pile. And you certainly didn't put off having a friend sleep over just because you still had that same Holly Hobbie bedspread.

As an adult and now a mother myself, I realize life isn't always perfect. There are valleys and mountaintops, and God has assigned seasons for everything. Sometimes you find yourself praying for a certain season of your life to pass, while other times you're praying that it never does. Life itself is unpredictable. But it's finding joy in the little everyday things that makes it all worth while.

And now that I've sounded like some corny Hallmark card that no one would buy and has therefore been placed on the discount shelf, I'd like to share the following...

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I love you’s.” More “I’m sorry’s.”
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it… live it… and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what.
Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who DO love us.
Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with.

-Erma Bombeck

One of my favorite parts of my Mother's Day weekend was the way M to the Izz-A presented me with my gift from Kate. For the past several years, he's seen me put gifts into gift bags and then stuff the top with tissue paper to give it the finishing touch. I'm not a wrapping paper kind of girl. I 've never been able to fold the ends down smooth enough to look presentable. So I resort to bag and tissue paper. He has come a very long way as far as gifts and cards are concerned - from no card at all, to the generic ones with a random teddy bear on the front and a two-line rhyming poem inside, to now taking the time to write a little something extra before signing his name...he's obviously been listening to my whining trusty tips on how to choose the perfect card for his loving wife.

So as he hands me the gift bag, I notice that it has a big "Happy Birthday" written across the front. I look at him with a question mark glowing from my eyes and he explains that he thought he would do our family a favor and save the money on buying a new bag and just reuse one of the many we have stashed on the top shelf in our laundry room from previous occasions. (to be commended, I guess) He even had tissue paper coming out of the top of the bag, or at least it looked like tissue paper, at first glance. As I leaned in for a closer look I realized it wasn't quite. Since we had no tissue paper in the house, he used his industrial strength paper towels from the garage and arranged them into a beautiful fan-like spray and placed them in the top of the bag. At this point, it wouldn't have mattered what was in the bag because I was dying with laughter. If you know Matt, this story fits him perfectly. It's who he is. Inside the bag was a gift certificate to spend the day at a spa, getting pampered from head to dry heels...err, toe. And if I'm honest, he's probably just tired of seeing me soak my feet only to then go to town on my heels with my Sally Hansen pumice stone.

Hearing Kate tell me "Happy Mother's Day" in her sweet little voice was the highlight of my day. I never dreamed of all the joy this little girl would bring. Thank you Lord, for my sweet little angel.

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!


Miss Anne said...

sounds like the perfect day!
you and your family are so cute.
your husband is so sweet and resourceful!

Nice work!

Molly said...

Thanks for sharing all of that! Makes me feel better that I am not the only one that has no so awesome days sometimes.
You have the cutest little gal. Glad your Mother's Day was good!

Pamela said...

I would buy your card! :)
Enjoy these years with her, they go by so fast. Love you guys!

Tiffany said...

oh Hollie, thank you so much for this post. I feel very caught up in life right now and I needed a reminder to slow down and be thankful. As children we don't understand all that adults have going on and as an adult I am overwhelmed with it all. Thank you again and I know it's late, but Happy Mothers Day!

Kristy said...

Oh my heavens... the paper towels cracked me up!!!!!
That poem was precious! =)

Sarah said...

I really like this post. It's important to slow down and enjoy life. That can be very difficult to do sometimes.

The pictures are precious! You two are gorgeous!

Happy Mother's Day!

Anonymous said...

Great post and great little poem!

Anonymous said...

I love that poem and think of it often, even though I'm not a mom.

Hope you had a great mother's day!


Lindsay said...

I love that poem....and I try to live that way but sometimes it's really hard. Like when my daughter gets melted crayon all over a brand new dress...I know it's just a dress right. :)

Your husband sounds so much like mine. He says cards are a waste of money. That is so funny! I love the paper towel tissue paper, very creative!

Happy Mother's Day!

Megan said...

So glad you had a great mothers day! I love that poem thingy, thanks for sharing!

Kerri said...

Good...deep post:-) I got the SAME thing for Mother's Day...did they exchange ideas?

Legallyblondemel said...

What a nice post. Sounds like such a perfect gift, and I love the detail with which you describe it & how it was given by your loving husband.

Caroline said...

Oh how sweet!! That poem really makes you look at your life. It made me upset at how many times I have wasted the day just to do sometihing taht didn't matter unstead of talking with family.

Sweet Simplicity said...

I bet there is a lot of laughter in your house. This sounds just like something my hubs would do!

Heather said...

great post!! I loved reading and I like it when you sound like a hallmark card! So sweet. You and Kate look beautiful on Mother's day!

Johnson Boys said...

Oh Hollie you are precious... I printed the poem out and put it at my desk at work. Life is short and you just never know how fast you may check out... but some days it really is hard to take it all in. I am with ya is a snot bubble just for you!~

Cher said...

these pictures are so cute! Your daughter is a beauty!

Abbi said...

it can be sooo difficult and rewarding being a mom at the same time! i'm so glad that you posted about that! it makes everyone feel like they're not alone!
i'm glad you had a great mother's day!! pics are cute!

Anonymous said...

I tagged you on my blog! Check it out! :)

Two Little Lambs said...

Thanks for sharing your day. I hope you had a great Mother's Day! I agree that being a Mom is tough, but the most rewarding job of ALL....

Mandy Rose said...

You always have the most fabulous jewelry!! Glad you had a wonderful day!

Jaime said...

lol.. I'm a little late.. .but Happy Mother's Day to you too!!!

Katy said...

Oh, Hollie..
Sounds like a nice gift that Matt got you, very thoughtful. His wrapping sounds like my husband, so cute.
I LOVE the poem (if you'd call it that) above that you showed, so very very true and I try to think of this on a daily basis. (I try at least)
Thank you for the reminders to "live our lives".
Have a lovely week.
The pics. of you and yor daughter are precious!

writing4612 said...

Love the gift bag story!

Glad you had a great Mother'sDay!

Paige said...

Looks like a perfect day! You are soo pretty and I love your fashion! I'm so very late but I hope you had a great Mother's day!