Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

You know you have a large family when...

Eating lunch at Ikea sets you back $50. Ba dum bum. True story.

Breaking all the buy-nothing-new rules, (which in our defense, are pretty hard to keep for an entire year (!) but we are still plugging away...except for when we abandon the restriction and load up like materialistic junkies on stuff manufactured in China...) we headed up to Denver for a minor pre-superbowl shopping spree. Oh, the enticing allure of the magical island that is Ikea. The perfectly poised, color coordinated rooms pristinely arranged, one after another, practically begging to be brought to your very home, promising a lovelier, more fulfilling existence for you and those you love most if only you lived like this. It's all rather intoxicating. Until I remember that, thanks to those I love most, our home more closely resembles a crash test center than a showroom. And that while the items may be pleading to be purchased, they probably aren't begging to be brought into our rough and tumble abode to quickly land themselves in a heap of broken debris that used to resemble beautiful merchandise.

Most of it just wouldn't stand the test of Deutschlets.

So I look much and buy little. Like these excessively bright, practically neon pillow covers that could scarcely match anything but make me strangely happy enough nonetheless.
When I was 20 weeks along, expecting our 1st baby, I suddenly became very ill only to discover I need an appendectomy. While pregnant! Afterward was touch and go, with me on bed rest having too many early contractions. I remember vividly, a well meaning friend telling me, "at least if you lose this baby you know you can get pregnant again." That baby was only a vague image in my mind at the time, one I couldn't really comprehend, but knew I loved her dearly. Every once in a while, I think about that when I look at my sweet girl and my heart swells big and positively overflows with pure adoration and affection and fondness and the miracle of the privilege of being this amazing creature's mother. And I wonder where I would be without her, such a tremendous gift. My beloved Jayla. This girl's presence on earth is precious. She is unequivocally irreplaceable. Every child's life is. Each single one.

Here she is performing in her school play.
6 of our kids are playing Upward basketball this year, which means we spend exactly half our lives at the court. They are all on different teams and regularly play head to head, against one another, which means we get to cheer for EVERY basket made! There is something uniquely special about watching each of your kids individually compete, witnessing their strengths emerge, which means we get to gather up joy x 6 every Saturday morning.
Last night I fried my life away slaving over vats of hot oil making 8 lbs. of hot wings and 10 lbs of french fries only to learn my people were left disappointed when it was all gone. Note to self: next year try 16 lbs of wings. The Superbowl chow fest comes just once a year. You will look back and remember these festive times - when your kids were young and excitable and they devoured your party food cooking like little gluttons - with such gladness one day.
Just think, once they're all grown and gone and only older, gentler people remain in your home, you can do this reminiscing while gazing around at your house full of Ikea treasures. And happy tears of a truly good life will fall onto your pretty, pretty merchandise.

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