I feel as though I am making my peace with a lot of things these days. I was feeling so guilty this last Valentine's Day because I had not planned anything fun for my kids. I didn't even get them a Valentine or candy or anything. I line with my current read (Desperate) I am "making a very conscious choice to be in the Word, eating the bread of life every day, and recognizing that I am not my bad days. I will not let the dark tell me who I am. I will give only God the authority to tell me who I am."
So far I am liking this book. I'm not defined as a mother by how amazing our Valentine's Days are, or how many kids crafts I can squeeze into my day. So out of love, and not any sort of cultural expectation, I made a special meal for my family the day after Valentine's Day. I brought out a tablecloth and the china. We drank sparkling grape juice from goblets and I made cooked some steak for Knut and I, and I bought the pre-packaged chicken cordon bleu for the kids that they love so much. (Silje calls it "chicken cordon purple" because she likes purple better than blue.) We lit candles, and I thanked each of them for giving me the honor of being their mommy. We worked on fancy table manners (like which fork to use first) and how to do things properly. The kids thought all the etiquette rules were funny and silly.
I'm so blessed to be a mommy, and it's so good to release the expectation pinterest and I have put on what holidays look like, and just enjoy where we're at.
I'm blessed by a husband who always wants to do fun stuff as a family, even though most people would see the craziness in it. He wants our kids to be active and he has this dream that we will all enjoy skiing together. Here's some pictures of our Sunday outing:
(Solveig is wearing her Little Pearl Vest from last year. Cozy wool!)
So Sunday afternoon, all 7 of us headed out to the ski gaard owned by some friends of ours for some cross country skiing. Silje and David are old pros at it now. Elias was on skis without poles, and he did pretty well for a 4 year old. He was super slow, but he stayed excited the whole time, and learned how to get up from falling about 14 times, so that was good. Solveig got a ride in the polk (sled) behind Knut, and Ingrid rode in the Moby that I tied on Knut. For the most part, Knut with the 2 little girls attached to him skied with Silje and David. Elias and I were far behind, working on the fundamentals.
I'm blessed to have this special time with Elias. I'm slowly learning not to be frustrated with his slow, careful way of doing things, and use each time I'm helping catch him up to the rest of the pack as an opportunity to be with just him. We talked about life, and cookies, and race cars, and whatever else was on his mind. For this middle child, it was a special time, and when I stopped rushing, we could enjoy it.
It was insane, though. With all 5 kids it was constant "go pick up your poles," "help her with her mittens," "Hurry up!" "I don't care if you want to read, you're going to ski with the family." "How many times to I have to say..." It was nuts. It felt like all of our training with them was not working, and the kids were constantly interrupting each other and Knut and I, and there was whining from little kids who skipped their naps to come, and crying from a baby who did not like her breakfast from my body after I had chili the night before.
Cindy, one of the owners, pulled out some wooden blocks for the little ones to play with as they were done much earlier than the big kids. Silje just wanted to read in the corner, and next to the old "Bob" the black lab out there. It's hard getting her outside, and we normally have to say things like "You have to ski one loop of this trail before you're allowed to come in." Reading is important, but so is exercise and playing outdoors. She's so much like me in this regard it's uncanny.
I'm blessed by being snowed in again this morning. Knut is home, we're in our sanctuary of a room by the fireplace and listening to the wind blow the snow hard outside. After a day like yesterday, I'm in desperate need of some quiet, and that's what this snowstorm outdoors has allowed me.
God has blessed me this week with:
Knut's adventurous spirit,
special time with each of my kids, and celebrating our family love,
snow that slows down life and makes obligations seem to disappear. With any luck we'll lose power to, and really get an adventure in peace.