Saturday, October 19, 2013

my fall funk

Brace yourselves, fellow mom bloggers, pinterest pinners, etsy spree'ers, etc...I'm going to confess something that may shock you a bit.  I may regret saying this later, especially with plans for butternut squash soup, canned applesauce, and a new pair of mustard tights on the agenda for the weekend, but here goes...

Fall has not been my favorite lately.  

I had plans.  Big ones.  Plans for apple baking, soup simmering, tight wearing, pumpkin patching, and fall crafting.  Every day.  Plans for weekends hiding under leaf piles, having apple cider at my disposal all the time, and reading every one of Thoreau's and John Green's books.  You know I actually considered attempting to try a new pumpkin recipe every day? (I don't even really like pumpkin to be perfectly honest).  While I truly love the season of fall as much as the next person, my plans to live deeply in the indulgences it offers carelessly left out one big equation.  


Yes, life and all its selfish demands quickly caught up with me and soon every day started to look a lot messier than the pinterest, instagram, or Martha Stewart catalog I had in my head.  Instead of attempting to make the most of the time I did have, I would quickly dismiss the entire day as a waste and a failed attempt to truly appreciate the season I so looked forward to.  It was all-or-nothing in my head, and soon the calendar informed me it was mid-October and I was wasting precious days waiting around for an unrealistic perfection.

The last few days, I've been hearing October whisper in my ear, "What exactly are you waiting for?  Silly girl, open your eyes and look around."  My house doesn't need to be sparkly clean in order for me to stop and admire the sparkle of the gold trees across the street.  And every night is a perfect night for comfort food, whether its planned or not.  If I continue waiting for just-the-right moment to take part in my plans for fall, it will dissolve away before I've stopped to witness its beauty all around me.  

I believe God exists in what I'm calling my 'fall funk' right now, too, slowly transforming me to see the good within the mess.  Life is only going to get busier, more demanding, and likely, messier, as we multiply our family this winter, and I think God is preparing me to find contentment in my imperfect.  I'm learning that if things always looked like a Martha Stewart magazine, there would be no opportunity to clean up the mess.  And the cleaning is where the transformation is.  The opportunity to transform the ugly into a joy that makes us better people.  Ann Voskamp says, "pain and joy are arteries of the same heart - and mourning and dancing are but movements in His unfinished symphony of beauty."  

I like to think my symphony sounds a lot like the one coming from our kitchen floor last night.  Supper was cleaned up and the three of us opened up a new set of wooden blocks from Cruz's birthday.  Soon, our tower building was accompanied with the three of us singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider in various tones and pitches.  We woke the baby up and laughed as we each took turns feeling her move to our inconsistent beat.  At one point, Beau's hand was on my belly and Cruz joined in on the moment, only putting his hand right on my boob, then waited in anticipation for a kick.  Not gonna happen there, bud!  These moments, the little crescendos in a staccato life are the ones worth waiting for.    

I'm a work in progress, but I'm learning the hard discipline in abandoning my desire for perfection and finding the beauty in the mess.  I begin to list the good and soon words spill onto pages faster than I can keep up.   

Good things from our October thus far...

26. tomato soup and grilled cheese on a lazy Sunday night

27. Beau's head on my lap singing to the baby

28. a fruit snack fight in the living room, accompanied with tearful laughter and tickles.  we lost ourselves for a few minutes.

29. bare toes on warm pavement on a beautiful afternoon

30. Cruz's new routine of wanting "just one more" hug when dropping him off at school.  He waits until we start to walk to away, then comes running for a hug.  This happens at least four times every morning.

31. listening to him play pretend in the bathtub

32. a quiet big girl drive home from Des Moines after a conference.  Just me and the farmers in the fields, a pretty sunset in my rearview mirror and two hours of quiet time to myself.  even the smell of pigs made me thankful for home.

33. Cruz's silhouette in the mirror brushing teeth at bedtime.  

34. when his hair lays just right after a bath 

35. walking in the house to the surprising smell of a pepsi roast in the slow cooker. I love my husband.

36. a new apple craft hung in an empty frame in Cruz's room.

37. a trip to Trader Joes and the purchase of every pumpkin item they sell. 

38. an hour at Carter's, all to myself, touching every fleece sleeper and dreaming of a warm baby on my chest

39. fresh chili topped with fresh cilantro  

40. new books before bed.  Pete the Cat and Cruz saying, "It's all gooood," after prayers. 

41. criss cross applesauce and apples on the kitchen table 

42. birthday treats for school   

43. meat loaf, corn casserole, and acorn squash on a Friday night in

44. paint samples for a little girl's room

45. those, lump-in-the-throat, stop-me-in-the-tracks moments when I stare at my son and am so thankful he is mine   

Happy Weekend, everyone.  Here's wishing you lots beauty in the messy.         

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