Friday did it for me. I woke up and everything that I felt was happy. Actually this past week has felt like that in many ways. I have sacrificed exercise for good food, time alone for time with friends and everything in the world was shouting happy, wonderful, autumn anthems in my direction.
Even my hair, in it's simple cut and perfect color seemed to get it just right this week. It was all I needed to feel energetic and confident. It needed to be leaf-falling red.
Bringing Nora home from school after only going for 3 days was by far the greatest choice I could have made. Watching her enjoy learning in the comfort of our home makes my heart beat wildly. I have taken a lot of quiet time in my mind this week to reflect on why it was I wanted to homeschool in the first place and she has done a brilliant job of reminding me.
She sat at our kitchen table as I sat beside her and she read to me. She laughed at the things that she was understanding and she took great pride in hearing herself pronounce the words. I felt so alive watching my oldest child learning. I am overwhelmed at how God has equipped our family for this. It was His plan all along.
Friday, as both of the older children sat at the table and did their school work [quietly-gasp], Mabel played on the floor [quietly-gasp]. The house, for a moment, was just how I had always envisioned it would be. It was surreal considering that in order for my day to be this calm, everything must align just perfectly in the universe.
But it did and it was almost as if I could see the shiniest, most beautiful rainbow doing front flips in the sky. It was perfection.
I had this unbelievable love for my little family. I hugged Mabel a little tighter, watched Braden a little closer and enjoyed Nora so much more. This was why I became a mom.
Thus started my weekend of tearful encounters and beautiful memories. Friday was an unforgettable perfect day.
With hesitation instead of anticipation, Friday turned to Saturday. I had been watching the temperatures all week and knew that this was the day.
The day that it would finally feel like fall. The day that I would decorate my house for such. The day that the mums and pumpkins would magically find their way into my heart and home and I would feel total peace and incredibly joy.
And all of that was true.
It was. I did.
My fall Saturday delivered.
I woke up and pulled out boxes of fall decor, I pulled blankets from places where they've been tightly tucked away and allowed them to make home on the backs of couches. I drank coffee and dressed kids in long pants and long sleeves.
We took a fall walk and enjoyed the perfectly brisk air. When Braden walked outside he claimed that 'this day was a miracle!'
He was right. It was.
There is nothing in the world that compares to the feeling I get on that first cool day of the year. It is overtaking. It is refreshing in a hunker-down-as-a-family kind of way. It is preparation for the months of solitude and slumber to come. But this year, rather than forcing it I was simpley able to feel it.
The happy has returned and this life has resumed. Grief didn't join me in my decorating, or on my walk, or in the homeschooling or even in the dressing of my children. Instead it was this balance that I had felt so many times before in my life of knowing that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be at this exact time and indescribable awe of where I truly am.
I am living life fully again. Not with hesitation or with fear. With other emotions (very difficult ones some days) but not with question. We have the answers now.
We aren't searching. We are just living.
We ended my almost too perfect Saturday with friends, babies, and a fall festival. There we had food, dancing, laughing and face painting.
I watched as my friends loaded their babes into the van and I never once thought about how these kids are the same age as Mabel. I just didn't.
Instead I thought about how big my redheads have gotten and how finally things feel so much simpler. Taking them to a festival is enjoyable and the days have escaped me. Instead I thought about how these babies that we are loading into the vans will probably be the last babies these friends and I share.
I watched as my kids were care free and I felt that way too. Inside of myself I even breathed a deep sigh of relief knowing that the crisp air had delivered and so had my spirit.
For Friday, For Satuday, For today...
I feel like I am the mom that they deserve once again.
And nothing feels better.
Letting my kids run free in the small towns that I grew up in reminds me of all it is to be little. I was them once.
And my kids are sure good at cutting loose. They are wild but each one of them knows how to bust a move wherever they are.
Our kitchen dance parties have transitioned them well.
They hear music; they dance.
These days are so critically special to me. They are like water to my soul. Truly there is nothing like seeing these kids and knowing that we are all doing the same things--
raising, caring, praying, depending, living.
My whole village and I...just doing our very best.
I'm overwhelmed by the days. I am so thankful for them.
I'm overwhelmed by the people surrounding me and the children looking up at me.
It's all part of this beautiful, messy journey that helps me know I'm alive.
On the agenda for today?
Oh yes. I am riding that rainbow til it disappears, friends.