As I count my blessings this week, I'm going to jot down some of my thoughts each day. So here goes for today:
- My bike and the bike trailer for the twins. I love riding my bike. I love the feeling of accomplishment (and the great workout) involved in towing about 100lbs behind me (two almost 40 lb kids and a 20 lb bike trailer) up a hill. I love going downhill and feeling the wind and hearing the twins calling out behind me "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" I adore the scenery and the feeling of the gentle sun on my back. I love hearing conversations between Ollie and Si behind me as I ride - here's one from this morning: "Ollie, are you mad?" "No, I forgive you." "Good. I wuv you, brudder." There are, of course, the occasional fights going on back there in the trailer that lead to the occasional threats from me that they're going to have to get out and walk. But mostly, it's sweetness and light as we bike around together.
- St George in the fall. It's SO nice here right now - 60's and perfect bike-riding and hiking weather. I love how the twins call out "golden tree!" whenever we see one - fall's really setting in around here. I love the colors of fall in the desert - brilliant deep golds, rich terra cotta soil and rocks, gentle sage greens and soft yellows, all in the slanted light that makes colors stand out better than in the summer. And the sky is SO blue. Every morning I wake up to Red Mountain on fire with the rising sun and my heart rejoices.
- The new Family Center at the kids' school. I love checking out new educational toys and games and books from there every week and having so much fun doing new and interesting things with the kids. The Family Center has given us a big shot in the arm of family fun and we're all loving it.
- Jared. It's so great to have him back! Once again, the garbage is out on time for the garbage man, the kids and I have something wonderful to look forward to around 6pm and there's someone around to really appreciate my cooking. Once again, I get awesome backrubs at the end of a long day and the snake has someone to bring it live mice to eat. Once again, the kids get to read scriptures with Daddy who's so much better at it than I am and we get to have family prayer every morning with our whole family. Once again, I have a partner to make the kids' bedtime so much less exhausting and I've got this wonderful guy to talk to about all the things that happened that day as I lay in bed at night, warm and secure in the presence of my sweetheart. We all appreciate Jared more than ever after missing him for 11 whole days! He had a wonderful time and came back with wonderful tales and pictures of caymen (like crocodiles) and catfish and dogfish and so many gorgeous peacock bass. So glad he could go. So glad he's back.
- Big kids. Now that Eliza's officially a great little biker, we went on a big long (about 16 miles round trip) bike ride out to Kayenta on Saturday. So fun to see those three big, strong, agile kids biking along in front of me and Jared and see our two cute little towheads behind in their trailer. I look at Saydi's blog and tears come to my eyes as I see and read about her little newborn and think about how those days are over for me. But then I think about our fun day on Saturday and look at all these wonderful big kids I have and I feel that I'm truly in my element as a mom now. These kids are just so fun - and it keeps getting better and better as they are all able to enjoy and do many of the same things.
- The Power of Moms. It's been such a good brain work-out for me to work with my friend, April to revise and prepare this website for a launch in January. It's such a joy to work with such a bright and inspirational and motivated hard-working partner and to participate in the creation of something that can help so many bright, inspirational and hard-working mothers learn from and help each other.
P.S. Sorry there are no pictures. One sad side-effect of Jared's trip was that our camera ended up somewhere in the depths of the Amazon (or in the belly of one of those crazy-looking fish!). Jared got stung by a wasp and the shock of the sting sent the camera flying out of his hands. Luckily he had a cheapo camera from work that he took along as a spare so he was able to keep taking pictures but he lost some of his best photos and videos with the camera and we lost our lovely little camera. Oh well! The kids certainly aren't complaining that I haven't made them pose for pictures lately!