I miss writing.
Sometimes there is almost an ache for it.
I long to get words down, out of my head and heart, and sort of clear things out in there.
But by the time the evening rolls around, the only time of day when there is quiet and time enough to think and write, I still can't seem to get the writing done.
Two things hold me back: I'm just too tired, or that list of tasks that weren't completed during the day are calling my name, and I must answer.
Usually it's both.
The combination of keeping up with a very active toddler, and schooling 3 kids, fills my day.
There isn't room for much more.
It seems like every night now there is a pile of laundry sitting on the living room chair waiting to be folded after the kids go to bed.
The bathroom doesn't get cleaned very often.
We didn't get all our school work done.
My car is always a mess.
The leaves need to be raked.
I can't remember the last time I attempted to iron anything.
House projects are a distant dream.
Sometimes I feel like my entire life is half finished.
And that's on a good day!
On a bad day, it's not even half finished--it's just unfinished.
And so the stories stay in my head--a growing list.
At times a source of frustration because they are stuck there.
And other times I am able to rest in the knowledge that I am investing myself in the things that matter most, the things that are fleeting, and that this is just one of the seasons of my life.
But I won't lie and say it hasn't been a hard season.
This past year has stretched me, and many, many times, made me sigh or cry in frustration, "it never used to be like this!"
I know there are lessons to be learned from this time.
Like this one.
Still, I struggle.
What I live for though, is that moment in the day when I look at my children and my husband, and my heart becomes so full of love for them that my eyes overflow with it, and everything else is simply washed away.
The struggling ceases, if only for a moment, and I rest in this truth:
And that is why, on this day, my husband's 39th birthday, he is in Portugal.
That doesn't make a lick of sense, does it?
Hear me out.
We mothers often talk about our lack of "me" time.
How we need girls night out, a spa day, a craft weekend, or just a trip to Target all by ourselves.
We are giving all we have to everyone else-- kids, jobs, husbands, parents, charity, the home, the dog, the gym--that we don't have anything left for ourselves.
You know, we're not alone.
I often think of my husband, and how he struggles with the same feelings I do.
He leaves for work in the morning, maybe getting in a run or a short workout if he's lucky, and he's there all day.
He gets a half hour of sunshine and fresh air at lunch.
Unless he has to work through lunch at his desk.
When he gets home, he gets attacked by the kids.
He's glad to see them, but they immediately clamor for all of his attention and I am so glad that they're finally leaving me alone that I let them ask him for a million things at once while I hide in the kitchen to finish dinner.
We eat dinner, and it's nice to be together, but let's face it, it's not super relaxing.
There are 4 little people who are still learning the ways of proper dinner table etiquette, and the teaching of it happens best at the table.
There are baths to be done, teeth to be brushed, maybe a wife who slips out for a work out.
He reads stories to the baby and puts him down.
Then the big kids want their stories, and a last push on the swing, or it's "Daddy will you play a little catch with me?", and "Daddy, will you draw with me?" and he says, "yes. But it's almost bed time, so we have to hurry."
He puts them down, and they want to cuddle a bit and he falls asleep with them, or he sneaks out to the gym after I get home, and I fall asleep with them.
In the hour or two that remains of the night, he finds himself often in the state that I find myself: too tired to paint in his studio, or dealing with that pile of laundry that needs to be folded.
Because I fell asleep with the kids and he doesn't want me to have to face it again in the morning.
Sometimes a day goes by and we've hardly said more than hello.
And those are the nights without baseball, or cub scouts, or some other obligation.
Life is full.
He gives us his all.
And there isn't much left over for him.
Dads feel it too, not just us Moms.
That's why Aaron is in Europe.
What better way to start his 39th year than by having an adventure?
I prayed for this time for him, without knowing what it would be.
And then this opportunity presented itself--a hike on the Camino, and my Dad was going, and it all came together so fast.
Sometimes a good thing comes along, and you just have to go for it.
Adventure is out there!
And since you are far away, my love, with a pack on your back that can't be filled with heavy things, I give you this list of my wishes for you as you embark on your 39th year.
First, I wish for you a vision of what truly matters.
I wish for you the ability to see your world with enthusiasm.
I wish for you time outside.
I wish for you fun!
I'm so happy you're starting this year off right.
Enjoy every moment.
I can't wait to see you.
I love you.
And maybe in another 2 months I'll be back.