Thursday, January 24, 2013

What I Do....

I've been taking part in a photo a day challenge this month.
My dream is to keep up for the whole year.
We'll see.
So far I have missed 1 day.
If you knew how many pictures I take already (and if you are friends with me on Facebook, you have an idea) then you would wonder why I feel the need to take more.
Well, for starters, I just love to take pictures.
Often the pictures I take are of my children, or of the things we do together everyday.
The photo a day list helps me branch out, and think about taking pictures in a different way.
Even if the subject matter is the same, it pushes me to be a little bit more creative.
It's fun.
Also, I often find the photo prompt serves as a writing prompt.
(If you only knew the number of post ideas are floating in my head, or written in my notebook, but never fully realized because of my limited amount of free time)
This was one of those prompts.
I took a picture in the middle of our school day.
The table is littered with books, my coffee cup, markers, pens, and papers. 
I'm helping Lilly dress her bear, helping WIlliam do his math, and reading Minn of the Mississippi to James.
Out of the picture is Davy, asking me to throw a baseball for him to chase across the room over and over again.
I had already been up for hours, done dishes, prepared breakfast, made beds, sorted out disagreements, and tamed a wild toddler.
When I looked at the picture later that night, I started writing down all the things that picture represents--the things that I do.
And it turned into this James Joyce-esque, stream of conciseness, piece of writing.
I probably could have gone on much longer.
But I'll spare you that.
And just give you the "shorter" version.
Photo a Day 21: 
What I Do
I teach math, spelling, reading, history, literature, and science.
I read good books to my kids and to myself.
I drink far too much coffee.
I don't drink enough water.
I button up dresses on stuffed bears.
I make snacks, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I long for more time to follow some of my passions, but I am slowly, sometimes painfully, learning that I am living in a different kind of season right now.
I bake from scratch. 
I preach the merits of homemade food versus store bought.
I do laundry endlessly.
I kiss my husband.
I kiss my children.
I do spider man pushups and run bleachers.
I take lots and lots and lots of pictures.
I wipe noses and bottoms.
I mess up often.
I can't believe that God's love for me never ends, despite my failings.
I look for beauty in every part of my day.
I am thrilled every time I see a hawk fly overhead.
I take my children on adventures every week.
I get frustrated that my house never stays clean.
I love, admire ,and respect my parents a whole lot.
I sometimes grocery shop alone, at night, just to get a breather.
I am simultaneously overwhelmed and overjoyed at this responsibility I have of helping 4 little people grow into loving, responsible, beautiful, adults.
I lesson plan.
I meal plan.
I love being outside in creation so much that when I am, my heart beats in my chest until it almost feels like it will explode with joy.
I am so very grateful for deep, honest, and true friendships.
I cuddle with my daughter while she falls asleep and I whisper sweet nothings into her ear and into her heart.
I live for the moment when she whispers back, "you're the best mommy in the world."
I am called away or interrupted from every task or activity I am doing, and sometimes it makes me want to scream.
I wish nearly everyday that our garage was clean.
I love my kids so much that sometimes I cry just from looking at them.
I eat chocolate.
I feel an incredible sense of lightness and of release when I run--like I can do anything I set my mind to.
I admire many different people, for many different reasons.
I teach my kids how to bake bread, make hummus, and at Christmas, cinnamon rolls.
I collect cuckoo clocks.
I collect vintage dishes, vintage scarves, vintage books, and paint by number paintings.
I stand in the shower sometimes, where I cry and pray, and ask for strength to meet the needs of my children and husband, and somehow not explode at everyone.
I make my children clean the base boards.
I long for the Central Coast of California like it is my home.
I dream of taking my children hiking through the Swiss Alps.
I don't clean my bathroom nearly often enough.
I write.
I do not think my marriage is perfect, but I think it is better now than it ever has been, and I pray it will only get better.
I read Shakespeare with my 8 year old son and I pinch myself because I can't believe how lucky I am.
I am stuck in the place of being terrified at the thought of caring for another baby, and terribly sad at the thought of never having another one.
I don't let my kids play video or computer games.
I organize Legos over and over again.
I organize closets and drawers and cabinets over and over again.
I read poetry with my kids every school day.
I got my eyebrows done for the first time ever and I wonder why in the world I waited so long.
I waste time getting angry over things that don't matter.
I don't read my Bible every day, and then when I do, it feels like cool, refreshing water washing over me.
I turn the music up loud and dance with my kids, even when they think it's embarrassing.
I do sit ups and push ups throughout the day whenever I remember.
I feel peace when I see a golden field dotted with Live Oak trees.
I smile often.
I still miss my baby in heaven.
I think my husband is crazy handsome.  And talented, funny, and giving.
I put on bandaids, find the one thing a child with a sore throat can eat, and hold bowls for barfing children.
I teach art history.
I love to host parties--even though I always get a little crazy trying to get everything together.
I realize it is best to let a lot of things go.
I love most things mid-century.
I am a believer in natural childbirth.
I am with my children, all day, everyday.
I don't travel the world with my kids, but I try to make their world as big as I can.
I make a pot of home made pinto beans every week.
I thrift.
I work out almost every day, and I miss it terribly when I don't.
I love going to new places.
I stay up too late every night.
I waste time on Facebook.
I love Sycamore trees.
I teach, I cook, I clean, I nurture, I love, I protect,  I give, I complain, I dream, I plan, I fall apart.
I keep going.
This is what I do.
Love from,

PS.  Here is the link to the Photo a Day album I am keeping on my Picnics in the Park Facebook page.
You can go here, like the page, and follow along.
I update it every few days.
Much more frequently than the blog!

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