Yesterday we visited Nana for lunch and a swim and a small birthday celebration for my mom. We ate miniature cupcakes, talked about child rearing (I love talking with my mom, my aunt, and Nana because they have such good hearts about parenting and know that you have to observe just your own child and make decisions based on your own child, not what anyone else says---they help me keep it all in perspective and are calming influences), and, as you can see below, played with our Disney princess friends:
Aunt Debbie is now back from Thailand, and yesterday was the first time I have been able to see her and give her a hug. I missed her so much at our luncheons! I am so excited to see Jed, Fon, and Violet when they return!
Today we had a perfect autumn day. Bill stayed home from work, which was cozy to begin with. Then, before making breakfast, Katie and I prepared our slow-cooking pot roast for dinner. She put in all of the chopped onions and carrots, helped pour on the water, added the dried bay leaf, and unwrapped the beef bouillon cube. She is such a helper! I have had her in the kitchen with me from the start, and I would love nothing more than to give her the skill of cooking from an early age just as my mom gave to me. (Now if only I had my mom's ability to sew...)
After breakfast, we made some homemade oatmeal bread, and I taught Kate about yeast and rising. Making bread is so easy (well, not really, but once you know the chemistry behind it, it becomes easy)---I am not in the habit of doing it, but now that I get to be a homemaker, I really should start making it more often. Fresh bread is one of life's chief delights. The whole house smelled of autumn all day long, and I just pretended it was nice and grey outside. Oh how I long for some genuine autumn weather here... I just adore fall and have so many memories to create with Kate that if I wait any longer, September will be over! So, we will persist in being cozy despite the climate.
While our bread was rising, we went with Amie to Target and Baby Gap to bolster Kate's fall wardrobe. She went through a big growth spurt last week, resulting in the outgrowing of some key clothing. I am loving her fall clothes right now... I am very happy with how her wardrobe is turning out. I love to dress her and style her hair and do all the girly girl things with her!
Then we had a visit from my cousins Kd and Jocelyn. They were sweet to drive up to see us, knowing we couldn't make it down for the cousin party tonight. Jocelyn is heading off to college next week---I am so proud of her!!!---and this will be our last time to see her for awhile. I cannot wait to go visit her in Washington! We had an amazing visit, talking much about Grandpa Don and life in general. I love all of my cousins so much. I am really blessed that they came to see me and that Kate gets to know them. What is there in life without family?
Oh my goodness, I am so excited about Kate's second birthday party plans. I must get invitations out next week!
You know, there are definitely days when the relentlessness of household chores does get to me...but for the most part, especially when I keep it all in perspective, life is truly such fun... I guess that is why I identify with Snow White, "Whistle while you work/And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place/So hum a merry tune/It won't take long/When there's a song/To help us set the pace." I also constantly think about my Amish ancestors and the idea of being in tune with God when you are doing even the most mundane tasks simply by virtue of living in that moment and embracing the physical effort. To me this means that if you are really loving life and have your heart set on appreciating your existence, even a chore becomes a miraculous thing---for the fact that we have arms and legs and minds to perform it and for the fact that we are healthy and happy in that moment. I love being a homemaker; I even love that my job lasts 24 hours a day everyday. I do love moments to myself now and again, and I love being able to have time just with my husband (who works so very hard to provide all we need so that I can be home raising our baby in a traditional model), but I would never trade any of it for anything else.
Speaking of which, I better wrap this up... Katie and Daddy are having father-daughter time while I do my night routine, but I am feeling like I have been away from them too long. Everything in balance, as they say.