I never wrote my grateful moment for December 31st because it was too important to me to write down only to print it off and not see it again (I erase my Grateful Moments at the end of every month and start new with the first). So, here goes:
December 31, 2008: Today I'm grateful that Paige actually woke up as we were ringing in the new year. After enjoying her company for about an hour, I went to put her down as Greg shut down the house. That night, I decided to rock-a-bye for a minute. My intention was to sing her favorite song ("Winnie the Pooh" Theme Song), kiss her goodnight, and put her in her crib. But, I ended up rocking her for a half an hour. After every song, without moving her head from its resting spot on my shoulder, Paige would pat my back and say, "Sing Mommy...Pease." Every other song was "Winnie the Pooh" and I snuck in some of my favorites in between. Even though it was 1:30 in the morning, and I knew I would pay for it the next day, I just couldn't bear to put her down. I just sat there, rocking my three babies (these twins are extremely active so I am aware of them constantly), trying to squeak out pathetic singing through my tears (I am pregnant after all), never wanting this moment to end and feeling extremely grateful to have a baby to rock.
Austin's teacher sent home an Optional Homework Packet for the Christmas Vacation. I threw it in the garbage. We enjoyed early church today (Thank Heavens), and I really wanted to take a nap this afternoon, but instead, I played some games with Austin. We have spent the entire Christmas Vacation as schedule-less as possible. The kids played in the snow, earned a movie in the theater, spent countless hours playing Princess Legos (a made-up game consisting of their two favorite things: Princesses for Macy and Legos for Austin), coloring, hours at Nana and Papa's, picnics in the family room, and anything else they could possible imagine. They have been so excited about everything! Last night, Greg observed, "You know, we just forget that the ordinary is new to them."
Tonight at bedtime, Macy picked out two books. I made it incredibly clear that she was going to bed when those two books were over. She inevitably begged for just one more story, and I willingly gave in. It was a three-story night, and if I was being completely honest, she probably could have turned it into a nine or ten-story night with very little effort. Even though I tend to rush bedtime too often, I love this precious time with my children.
I did something tonight that I rarely do - I let Paige stay up an hour and a half past bedtime. She was so entertaining. She put on Macy's new patent-leather purple boots over her sleeper, pushing the button on the back of Sleeping Beauty's neck and singing over and over again "Once Upon a Dream," and tapping me on the arm and saying, "Mommy, more puzzle pease" while pointing to the puzzle closet. She was so completely enjoyable. Greg teases me that I love her more than the other kids, which is absolutely not true. I have the happiest memories of Austin and Macy at this age. I love watching toddlers learn from their surroundings and figure out language. This is certainly a highlight in my life. I have too many expectations for Austin - He is the unfortunate first child. Macy is four, and it has been my experience that four is a bi-polar age (hilarious and deliriously happy one minute/snotty and bratty and naughty the next minute). Even though the relationship may be more complex and less carefree with Austin and Macy, I still love them so much. My heart aches every night when they go to bed because I am too hard on them, I lose my patience too easily, and I so desperately want to be a good, happy, loving mother.
My Point: Remember that this is such a short time of my life. One that I will miss terribly when it is gone. I constantly have a child on my lap or in my arms. Even my seven-year-old is still so affectionate and loves one-on-one time with Mom and Dad. Remember that all my children will have is their memories. I want them to always feel loved unconditionally by their mother. When I had Austin, I received the following advice at a baby shower: "Always act like it is the highlight of your day when your child walks in the room." I am going to remember to act accordingly more often. (I stole this one from Brother Bos's testimony this morning) Remember that every day, even every hour of the day, I have the choice to make it a little bit better than the last. Remember my Savior more frequently throughout the day and follow His example.
Relish this time of my life and live "In the Moment" more frequently. Relish these babies (no matter how challenging it gets), recognizing that these will be my last in this life. Relish in each of my children's (and my husband's) god-given gifts and abilities. Relish in the things I choose to do as equally as the things I choose not to do - recognize that I can't do everything and that is okay. Relish in the "Little Moments" (just "one more" story, more rock-a-bye, more Sunday afternoon games, more laughter, more chubby-cheek kisses, more nights in my husband's arms, more childhood observations, more "All By Myself" prayers, more candid photographs, more dinner conversations - The possibilities are endless really).
2009 is going to be a monumental year!