Yesterday, inspired by Ali Edwards, I began the journey of documenting my ordinary life for seven consecutive days, 168 hours.
I wasn't able pull together coordinated products over the weekend or ponder what shape I wanted this project to take so I almost didn't play along when Monday morning arrived. And then, I let it all go.
While it would be fantastic to be prepared I came to the realization that not being prepared shouldn't stop me. I don't need to have my product picked out to document my life. I don't need to have cute journaling cards at the ready. All I need is my heart, my camera & my life.
So yesterday with my camera in hand & my heart wide open I immersed myself in the details of life.
My process will be simple. My pictures will be kept on Flickr where I am able to keep notes related to the shots. My reflections will be kept here where I can easily refer back to them when I'm ready to put the finished project together.
Images Captured: Monday
The day started with our little family sleeping in a little late. Today this meant that Garrett was extremely attached to Mama. I couldn't get into the shower because he wouldn't let go of my hand. Mitch came in to help & as I stepped into the shower all I could hear were cries. By the time I came out I had a happy but still attached boy. His plea of "I just want to be with you!" was too much for my heart. I decided to be late to work so I could take him to school.
The morning was spent on the administrative side of my job tackling issues my team brought to me, resolving via email & calls. The kind of work that makes the day fly by. In the midst of all that I had an instant message from Mitch that he learned a coworker, someone he had worked for, had been lost in a car accident over the weekend.
This news brought to life the discussion we had this morning. We do not have a will & with Owen coming soon it really isn't something we can put off any longer. Do we know its necessary? Yes. But it's so hard to think of a world where we won't be here to raise our sons. How do you decide who you will leave your most loved ones with? Who will be most like you in the rearing of your children?
It's a decision we will have to make for their future but one no parent ever wants to see come to pass.
Mitch's coworker wasn't alone in the car. His daughter left this world with him and he is survived by his wife & grandson. My prayer is that that little boy is young enough as a toddler to have no memory of that horrible day.
Our lives are precious. Every mundane, ordinary moment is to be cherished. With my heart opened wide by the hurt of this family I will never know I continued to look at the beauty in my ordinary life.
An impromptu lunch invitation from a good friend I hadn't been able to see recently was a beautiful interruption to the workday. You know you are in good company when your conversation can span from the lighthearted & to the matters of the heart.
Back at the office I immersed into the other part of my day, reviewing of returns. I'm a lucky girl to have a job that helps support my family while still allowing me time to enjoy my family. I've looked long & hard for the right combination & am grateful that I've found it. For the first time I believe I am truly content in the fact that I work full time outside the home because I've found the right place to work. I'm encouraged to lead an authentic life and that in turn has me thriving.
Leaving work behind I slipped back into Mama mode and headed up the tollway to collect my little man. We had the task of grocery shopping ahead of us this afternoon & I couldn't have been more exhausted. All day I fought this cold that wants to take over my body so I hoped that he was in good spirits so our shopping trip would go smoothly.
Walking into the room I saw Ms. Kala looking at his notebook that he takes to school in hopes of receiving homework. Sprinkled between the work that Ms. Cynthia gives him to humor him are his many stories & illustrations. I overheard Ms. Kala telling Garrett that someday she will see a book, flip to the author's picture & be able to say that she knew that man when he was a little boy. I count myself lucky that he spends his afternoon with a woman who encourages his creative spirit as much as we do.
It will be because of the people that surround & encourage him that he will grow up knowing, appreciating & using the special gifts that God has given him.
I let out a sigh of relief as we picked TV Cart #3 and it actually worked. Many a meltdowns have been had because technology didn't cooperate. As I started going through our small list Garrett told me we had to hide from the mushroom heads. He would tell me who was & was not a mushroom head as we passed them in aisles. As we navigated the small aisles he kept opening his little door. As mothers tend to do, I brought it to his attention that he may get hurt if the door hits something. That is when I learned that there were bits of alien technology all around and he was simply gathering them. In hopes of keeping us accident free I started to help him collect these bits of technology that he saw.
Having an extremely imaginative child Mitch & I have been discussing a lot whether or not we should play along, encourage, these worlds he creates. Since we believe he does know the difference between reality & imagination we enter his worlds with him. One of my favorite things about him is his creative heart & I know his imagination fuels that.
As a result, at night we celebrated Gwen's birthday, a character from the series Ben 10. There was an invisible birthday cake & drawings were made to be given as presents. In the afternoon, Garrett played chase with Captain America and Batman joined us during snack.
Part of me thinks that he loves playing outside in the backyard so much because he can create any world his heart desires. He doesn't even come in the house anymore when we get home. He goes straight from the car to the backyard. Yes, I much rather he create & act out his own storyline than sit & watch one on television.
Mitch came home shortly after us & with Garrett watching Toy Story 2 because Gwen wanted to watch a movie for her birthday we were able to have some adult conversation.
I think we are falling in love again right now. Not that we were ever out of love but lately I can feel both of us connecting in deeper ways to each other. I am thrilled that this is still happening after a month shy of 10 years together.
Reminds of me of the song And I thought I loved you then by Brad Paisley
What I can’t see is how I’m gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before
Now you’re my whole life
Now you’re my whole world
We’ll look back someday at this moment that we’re in
And I’ll look at you and say
And I thought I loved you then
The evening then turned to dinner, bath & bedtime. The realities of our routine.