Friday, April 9, 2010

Wonderfully Random

I love to capture life's random moments.
Snapshots of an ordinary day.
Reminders of simple pleasures and chances to choose joy.

Here's a little wonderful randomness from my little man. He makes me smile.
Hope these make you smile, too.


What did you say?

Do you smell something stinky?

Hat's off to me!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Taking Productivity off Her Pedestal

I often struggle with measuring the quality of my day by my level of productivity.

I love lists. Even more, I love checking things off my lists. (I've been known to add an item to a list even after it's been completed, just for the satisfaction of drawing a big checkmark in that box and knowing I accomplished one more thing that day.)

And certainly productivity has its merits. Without it the necessary tasks would never get done and many would find themselves in serious coach-potato status. In fact, the Bible affirms the value of productivity when it talks about the woman of noble character in Proverbs 31. "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks...She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." These are good things and part of being a faithful steward of the people and things God has entrusted to our care.

Yet, sometimes, I, and I think others, can put productivity on a pedestal. I can make it an idol of sorts. So that it is my productivity that gives me validation, significance, and worth. At the end of the day I can look at my lists and weigh the checked boxes against the empty ones and say, "Well done, you!" or "You fell short again. Better try harder tomorrow." This is not what God had in mind.

For what my lists don't consider are the unexpected moments, the unquantifiable responsibilities, beauty, feelings, or the Spirit's leading. This is what I'm learning to lean into.

So today, I did not clean the stove or reorganize Noah's closet. I didn't go to Target, call the airline to confirm next week's flight, or prepare an elaborate dinner. I only did one load of laundry instead of three and there are several emails sitting in my inbox waiting for a deserved reply. So many empty boxes.

But this is what I did do: I read my son Dr. Seuss stories and built 20 block towers. I gave Noah uncountable kisses and fed him a healthy lunch. I scoured the kitchen sink and took out the trash. I sang extra songs at naptime, then listened to my body (and my other growing baby) and took a nap myself. I shared a stack of Mini Nilla Wafers with Noah, to our mutual delight. I went to dinner and Home Depot with my two favorite guys.

I like my house to be in order and all my duckies in a row. I like checkmarks, a visible sign of all that I've accomplished. I like knowing that I used my time and energy wisely. But what is wise?

I’m learning to say, “Today was a good day”—not because I was productive but because I was present for my family. I'm learning the wisdom of living for love, not lists.

How about you?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Egg-citing Moments

While we were in Atascedero, Noah enjoyed his very first Easter Egg Hunt! It was so fun watching him find the brightly colored eggs in the grass, excited for each new plastic treasure.

On Easter Sunday, we spent the afternoon with Chris' family at Vellano Park in Chino Hills. (I love this park!) Another family picnicking nearby had a visit from the Easter Bunny and kindly sent their furry friend over to us later for a picture with the kids.

Cousins Caden, Ezekiel, Ezra, and "Baby Noah"

Later, Grandma and Grandpa set up an egg hunt for all the boys. This time Noah was more interested in his new keys from Aunt Sara. (Probably better that he didn't collect more candy that "someone" would have to help eat.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Two Cows, One Laundry Basket, and Lots of Sand

After leaving Santa Barbara, our grand time continued when we arrived at Mike and Mary's in Atascedero.

Our first adventure led us on a quest for a highly recommended field of wild flowers. I pictured frolicking with Noah among endless spring blooms, encircled by beautiful rolling green hills under a brilliant blue sky. Well...I got my hills and sky. After a solid 40-minute search yielding no such sweeping flower field, we finally decided to turn around and go home. Since Noah was getting pretty antsy at this point, we stopped in front of two friendly cows as our country consolation prize. (Turns out just another mile or two and the wonders of Shell Creek Road would have been ours! Next time.)

When we got home it was Noah's bath time. On our first night at Mike and Mary's, this usually fun night-time ritual was met with screaming and protest. Apparently Noah was craving the security of his blue plastic baby tub and the big white porcelain tub was just too scary. Wanting to avoid another pre-bed meltdown, I racked my brain for a solution. He was really too big for the kitchen sink, not to mention that Aunt Mary's kitchen would surely be drenched afterward. Finally, the mommy ingenuity kicked in. As you can see, the result was a hit!

On Saturday our lovely hosts took us to nearby Morro Bay. We strolled along the boardwalk, perused the cute shops, ate scrumptious halibut tacos and fresh fish & chips, then headed down to the beach.

Noah had a great time chasing waves, playing with his new sand toys, and running like a crazy little man.

Though Chris was close at hand, Noah inevitably took a tumble in the surf. The sunscreen and sand in his hair made a lovely gray paste.

Noah was conked out before we even left the beach parking lot.

It was a lovely day of fun in the California sun!