All's well that ends well.
After a disconcerting beginning, the week ended well. Here are a few of the highlights, in no particular order. This is going to be quick and dirty because my house is, well...dirty.
1. David took the girls to our ward's daddy-daughter camp-out on Friday night. This is one of those things that only adds to my love affair with him. He takes them every year, without fail and really spends time with them. My girls love it. They didn't get back until about 2 on Saturday afternoon and only then because Olivia was so excited to open her birthday presents. I wish I had a picture of them, but I can easily imagine them in my mind, beaming all the way to the mountains.
They got a late start this year because David had a late budget meeting at the hospital, so they pumped up the air mattress and laid it in the back of the car instead of setting up the tent. On Saturday morning the men in charge of the whole thing had brought BB guns and cups for the girls to shoot. I know...I wouldn't have thought of that either. But David just grinned when he was telling me about it and said that we really need to get some BB guns...apparently all of our kids are great shots. He said we could hang cups and bottles from the trees in our backyard and let the kids shoot to their hearts content. Of all the "wholesome recreational activities" out there, this is honestly one I have never considered. Color me surprised.
2. On Saturday night I met my mom at her stake center to watch the Relief Society General Broadcast from Salt Lake. I just loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk. It was exactly what I need to hear and, I thought, absolutely inspired in the way he talked about finding happiness through creation and compassion. It seemed to raise most of the "ordinary" activities of my life into something much more exalted, and gave me a vision of what I'm really doing. And I keep repeating the line, "Happiness is your heritage" to myself over and over. It was a beautiful talk and I'm so happy to have heard it.
3. A picture from my Saturday morning:
In addition to these three, I also made two lemon pies for Olivia. Of all the pies, lemon is the most labor and time intensive. But Olivia's effusive gratitude, makes the effort worth it every time. There are two slices of the lemon left, and she and Caleb have plans to enjoy them as soon as they get home from school today.
4. David and I had a long and lachrymose discussion with Caleb on Sunday afternoon. The last month has been a bit emotional and difficult for him, and this has made living with him a bit more difficult as well. We had a good talk on Sunday and he confessed that he has much more than he can handle on his plate right now and his stress level is very high. David reminded all of us that Caleb is only in 5th grade, which made it easier to eliminate some of his heavy burdens in exchange for more play time. This means that he is probably going to give up the aerospace project for this year (a hard one for him to let go of). I went to bed feeling better about our relationship, but again wondering if I really have the skills to be a mother.
5. David brilliantly bought Olivia the first season of the Little House of the Prairie television show for her birthday and it has been running here ever since. Can I say how fabulous it is? I never saw this show growing up and was unfamiliar with it, but have been amazed at the wholesomeness and goodness of it, and absolutely astounded that it once played on national television. So far we have seen the Ingalls family kneel in family prayer, go to church two times, learn lessons about keeping your word and the golden rule and charity. When I compare this to what was offered from the networks on television this week, I am shocked, flummoxed, and disgusted by the changes that have occurred in my lifetime, and deeply saddened by the world my children face. (see the last sentence of #4) Give me strength.
Okay...admittedly those last two were a bit disconcerting, but for the most part we are determinedly moving on to "fealty." Onward, ever onward...