Friday night, the kids, Scott and I ate dinner at Arctic Circle. It's a fast food type of restaurant that has a play area and isn't nearly as loud and crowded as McDonald's so it's a good eating-out-option for our family.
On our way out of Arctic Circle, we saw an older couple from church sitting together at a table, on a date. We talked with them for a few minutes about life. The husband said something like, "we were just remembering what it was like to be at your stage in life.(They had 7 kids, the youngest of which is my age, 26). And it was a lot of fun and the kids are so adorable. But now," he added pointing to the two of them sitting there together, "is the best. This is so great." And I just thought, how wonderful! How wonderful and what a refreshing thing to hear.
I think so many times in life, people want to be somewhere else, either in the past living a time again or in the future, hoping for something a little different and better--the grass is always greener on the other side-- and so I loved hearing him say this. I too, am so happy to be where I am right now. I truly am. It is a very very busy time for our little and energetic family, but it's wonderful! I love all the hugs and kisses I get every day from all the members of my family. I love listening to their conversations and watching them interact with one another. I love that if I go out by myself to run a few errands, when I get home all the kids run out into the garage to meet me and are so excited to see me again, even if it's only been half an hour. I love seeing the little shoes that are scattered about the house. I love that they'll crawl in bed with me in the morning and want to snuggle up before eating breakfast. I love watching the older siblings help their younger siblings get dressed or giving a push on a swing or helping them on to a chair. I love listening to them sing, so loud and sometimes off key, in their high pitched little voices. I love that they'll bring me book after book after book and snuggle up next to my side or on my lap and listen to me read these books for an endless amount of time. I love watching them try to learn and do the things that adults do: reading scriptures, saying their own prayers, helping clean toilets or vacuum etc. And there are so many more things that I love about this time in life but I'm not going to mention them all because it would take too much time and I don't think it would be possible for me to list them all, anyhow. It's like President Monson says, "find joy in the journey", be happy all the time, wherever you're at. Happiness is a choice and I love hearing that people are happy where they are, even if they don't seem to have it all or seem to have more challenges than others; it's just nice to hear that they're thankful for the ride.
Here's Charlie, excited to have found a cool pinecone:
Annabelle and Charlie sitting together on the couch while Elisabeth is at school. Notice Annabelle's "looking for trouble" shirt. It suits her well at this time in life :). Generally, if you ask her not to do something, or if she hears you telling one of her siblings not to do something, she'll do it. For instance I asked Charlie to please not drive his truck on the wall, and Annabelle immediately walked over to the wall, with a truck in hand and started driving it on the wall while watching me with a smile.