The Scrawl Vol. 1, No. 23

  
On Tuesday, after a busy and delightful weekend with company and everything, Maria and I did laundry, and then stayed outside because it was so beautiful. Maria kept her hat on for maybe 1.4 minutes. We’re working on it. Maybe we’ll have it down before it gets so cold she’ll have to wear her hats outside.

  
Yikes, Mommy, so much sunlight!

  
This goodie bucket she received is normally her pretend thurible, but it works to store things in, too.

  
Better count the leaves and make sure none have escaped…

  
More exciting than the leaves were the not-quite-empty beer can, the cigarette butt, the shards of glass, and of course the baby in the window. And she wonders why Mama gets stressed out about playing with her in the yard. Next time I’ll just have to police the yard/porch first.

  
 I was helping her take the maple syrup to the table, and she decided she needed a tasting break. The verdict? Not quite as good as Grandpa H’s salsa. Let’s just have salsa for breakfast, momma.

  
Maria was so excited about the Advent calendar from Grandma T in the mail! We had to try it out on the wall, and I set up all the ornaments that I had made for it amidst all the bustle of wedding preparations a couple years ago. And yes, my hair had not been washed for five days when this picture was taken. Just keepin’ it real, y’all. Apparently when ten free minutes miraculously show up on my horizon, showers aren’t usually my indulgence of choice.

  
She’s all about sweaters this week. Well, and laundry quarters and mail keys and other things that might possibly fit in the heat register slot. But yes. She found Daddy’s fleece on the couch and insisted that she needed to wear it as well as her own.

  
Seriously, my family is pretty cute.

  
Some days, I think the bad things outnumber the good. The husband is stressed out with how much work he has to do, I’m stressed out with how much work I have to do, and the baby is in pain because teeth. (These last two weeks have been the worst for teething for several months! And our teething gel disappeared. I finally remembered to pick up some new tablets at the store. Sweet brief relief). I want so badly to be a good wife and mother, but it’s not enough. Yet the the sun shines. The baby brings me the Ergo because she wants to go outside (although that had a sad ending; she was heartbroken that I threw away the dead flowers from our table). I find that one of the geranium seeds I planted has germinated. The husband comes home for a (late) lunch and says he’s off the clock for a few hours. The baby signs “toilet” when she wants to go. We take a tiny nap together to take the edge off our exhaustion. We try out some Norwegian cheese. And maybe, even though the house is a pig sty and I have to do laundry in the morning and Sunday’s sermon still needs editing and there are too many emails that need sent out and the baby will probably be just as miserable tomorrow and we still have to rearrange a few rooms before our new windows(!) are installed, it was still a good day. There was grace.

  
She’s figured out how to climb onto the hassock, but not how to get down. I once found her on it, lying on her back, stuck because she didn’t want to roll off and hurt herself, and she couldn’t sit back up. Oh, the problems of an almost toddler!

  
Occasionally, my child needs a real good lickin’. So I give her one. And I take the other for myself.

  
Here, Mommy, you can have the rest.

  
Stephen’s folks snagged a couple of crucifixes for us from the vintage corner at the church’s tea. We now have these beautiful reminders of what real love looks like in action in most of the rooms in our house, and I especially appreciate this one’s position in the kitchen.

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This study on the impact that personalized vows have on marriages was quite fascinating.

On weeks when I’m exhausted and it seems like there’s way too much to be done and I feel like I’m doing everything wrong (or at least, I think people think I’m doing everything wrong, which is almost as bad) and I wonder how we’ll all survive at least until Christmas, it’s good to take a step back, surrender the anxiety, and remember a few things. God loves me. A lot. So much he sent his Son to die for me. My husband loves me. A lot. So much he is learning with me to daily die to ourselves for each other. My baby loves me. A lot. So much that she wants to spend every minute of her day and night with me, or at least in my sight. My family is healthy. They are well-fed. And, depending on levels of teething and tiredness and stress, they are happy. My home is tidy at least once a week. And that should be good enough for me. Which was supposed to be just a sentence or two to introduce this encouraging post, but it turned into a paragraph. Oh well.

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