Sunday, November 11, 2012

Slow, not frozen...

We had one of those days. Those really good days. The kind that when I start to think about it, I think, "Wow, wish I could freeze this day."

Then I got to thinking, freezing stops things. Leaves them just as they are. And some moments are best that way. 

(Like two happy kids, even when sitting this close together...) But freezing in my mind ends things. You have the moment, and that's that. 

So thinking back over today, I think I came to realize something that rings true deep in me. There are these days. Beautiful. Slow. Quiet. Joy-filled days.

And, I think I realize it's not just chance. It's not just something that happens and you have to stop and freeze it and store it in your memory forever because this kind of day might never happen again.

But, I think it happens because you do stop, and you do notice, you do look around. Now, a beautiful setting really does help. 

And I'm not saying things are perfect. Kids get whiney and tell you they're hungry a million times. That particular two year old also would like to know what's for dinner... at 7:30 a.m. 

And it takes work. Packing up a mini-van with every possible thing you could ever might need because your going a whole hour and a half away from home, making sure you have plenty of food, realizing you are on an "easy" trail, in which the map forgets to mention is super, I mean super, steep, slippery, and I don't think they take into account women wearing baby carriers and worn out, too big cowboy boots.

But it always ends up being worth it. 

I have to admit, it is easy to see life so brightly when the kids are in bed, I'm sitting in bed clean and well-fed (a dinner that someone cooked other than me), and with lots of happy children pictures to look through, but I think you have to relish the contentment and joy when it comes. And learn from it. How can these feelings come in the everyday...

Trying to live slow. To avoid an agenda when possible. To notice things and see them with thankful eyes. 

Like, the fact that she can't keep her hands off of his cheeks. And, sometimes he cries because she pinches, I mean loves on too hard, and I get tired of telling her to be gentle, but then I think about those cheeks. I have a hard time keeping my hands off too.

Really looking at things. 

We weren't hurried today. We had no plan or time frame.

We took time to stop when a little one wanted to see a bug up close.

To eat together.

And treat ourselves together, too!

To see how many different shades of red and orange that God decided to tuck away in these leaves.

And to take the scenic way.

Eric and I have spent a lot of time talking about how we want life for our family to look like. And, I notice a theme, slow, in a fast world, simple, in a world filled with distractions (good ones and not so great ones), and  thankful, for the beautiful and also the mundane, the fun, and also the tiring, the special, but also the necessary duties. This is all about perspective. And not super easy. 

But, that's where we are hoping to live. And, days like today, are good to stop, refocus, and remember the path we want to take. And, I am a big fan of the whole "nature is good for the soul" thing anyway.

He knows how to enjoy the ride.

Those cheeks we were talking about. 

So, I hope one day, to look back on these days, not as a bunch of really great memories here and there (which I so do hope to have), but at a lifestyle that brought contentment. One of gratitude and of trying to live slowly and intentionally. 


DavidandSteff said...

Hands down, your best post ever. Pictures were beautiful and so were your thoughts. I'm constantly telling myself to be productive, yet slow down :) I really think if you let them, children can help us parents slow down and take in the sights and smells. I, too, want to be thankful and have a simple existence. It's that balance thing again...thanks for the reminder as I'm knee deep in paint right now ;)

Ellen said...

Oh my goodness, I love everything about this post! The leaves, the scenery, Ellie's adorable personality, Will's cheeks, seeing ya'll so happy together as a family - but most of all your amazing perspective on life. These little years will for sure be gone so fast. It was a good reminder for me today - to slow down and breathe and take in every moment. Love you dear friend!

N Muchnick said...

Emily, what a beautiful perspective, thoughts, and pictures. I always enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for the reminder to live in the moment!