I get stuck sometimes, wondering if my kids are only going to have memories of a grumpy, impatient Mom.  Sometimes a trip to the Photo Archives on my computer is just what I need to remind myself of the fun we have as a family.   These days can be physical and mentally draining, but there is much joy sandwiched in there, too.
 Today, I want to remember….
  1. The way Nine Year Old Boys smile for the camera.  And how the moments before and after pictures are filled with genuine, amazing laughter.  I just have to be sneaky to catch it.
 2.  The day the kids decided to make homemade flip flops and the grass was a glorious green (coming soon again!!)
 3.  Their shrieks of joy when I make blueberry muffins.
 4.  The way she poses even when I’m not taking pictures of her.
 5.  Smiles after tears.
 6.  How she wears this hat all the time, even to bed. (Note to self: Throw hat in laundry asap)
 7. The way the animals run around the corner when they hear the kitchen door slam, hoping for a bit of our leftovers. (Those branches from the Christmas ice storm are still there, unfortunately…. but the snow is not!  Hallelujah!)
 8.   The surprise that she no longer needs a chair, but the relief that at least she still has to stand on tip toes.
 9.  The way she so carefully set up her dolly to take the picture, sweet talking her the whole time.
 10.  The way we celebrate Annie’s birthday with banana muffins, every year.
11.  And maybe my favorite?  Not a particularly great picture, but it is so perfectly my kids this week.  William riding his bike (always active), Kate taking pictures of everything in sight (always artistic), and Eliza sporting a huge mud spot from falling moments before (always hilarious… You’d think I’d have it figured out by now not to dress her in white pants for a spring walk).
Do yourself a favor on this Thursday and remind yourself of the great snapshots you’re building into your family.  Don’t be discouraged by the sticky floors, bickering kids, looming decisions or tears of grief.  Instead, take a deep breath, be courageous and embrace the beautiful mess of a life you’ve been given by God.
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 (The Message)