31. Naptime cuddles- The warmth and rosy cheeks of a child who just woke up from a nap are one of those things I wish I could bottle up and treasure forever. When I get the girls from their room after nap time, I love their reach for me to hold them. I love that they're still groggy, that their breath smells delightful, that they're still warm and cozy. I love bringing them out to the couch and snuggling with them, waiting for the other sister to wake up, or for big brother to come home from school, or for the fatigue to pass and their energy to regain full strength. There's something just so heart-filling about snuggling up and grabbing those cuddles when I can get them. I savor these after nap cuddles, and feel awful when I'm unable to do that on some days. I know these cuddles will end soon, and maybe it's me wanting to hold on to my babies, who are turning into little girls. Whatever it is, I'll keep snuggling until they don't let me :)
32. TWLF- Tonight we went to an auction for a friend whose family helps support an organization for suicide awareness. What was amazing was how the family pours their heart and soul into this organization in order to help others who have experienced loss through suicide, just as they had. Their goal is to provide resources for others who might have friends or family members showing signs of being suicidal, and support for families who have experienced loss as a result of suicide. It was hard to not feel blessed sitting there. Looking around, it was clear that every person in one of those bright yellow shirts was there for a reason. They love people, they love showing support, their hearts are heavy, they want to help, they want to raise awareness, they care. They care deeply. They are an inspiration to all of us, an encouragement, a reminder to think outside of ourselves. They are using a difficult situation and turning it around as an opportunity to help others. All of us have gone through difficult situations. I'm not sure if we can all say that we've used those difficult situations as opportunities to help others. Maybe, just maybe, God has us go through difficult situations so that he can use those opportunities to change lives. To open our eyes, to reach out to others, to call his children closer together.
33. Meltdowns- Ok, so maybe I'm not thankful for my children's meltdowns. But I know something more is usually going on. Tonight, before we left to go to the auction, all 3 of our kids were standing by the garage door crying their eyes out. Poor Grandma Rysdam was trying to keep them all in the house, meanwhile dodging Kaden's kicks and screams. I watched from inside the car as Andy tried to get Kaden to stay inside the house, as Grandma held the girls back from rushing out to the car, as the tears streamed down their faces. After about 5 minutes of watching this sheer chaos, I got out of the car. I picked up the girls, calmed them down, changed their diapers (which they did NOT want Grandma to do). Andy got Kaden settled down, and we took 5 minutes to get things under control. We reassured them that it was ok for us to leave every once in awhile, that we would be back, that they would be well-cared for by Grandma. I think sometimes kids just need that extra hug. Yeah, we needed to get going. Yeah, we wanted all of the kids to listen and stay inside. But, they're kids. They're human. They remind us that they love us, they need the extra hug goodbye, and they feel safe and secure with their Mom and Dad. It feels good to be loved, even if I need a meltdown to remind me of that sometimes.