These are the things I learned today in no particular order of importance or occurrence:
It was wise to opt for the extra hour of sleep this morning. I was having a captivating, exciting dream about Chicago. It was more like tropical Hawaii than the windy city, and I was just so plussed that I could take a 90 minute drive instead of a 12 hour flight to partake in the beauty. See why I didn't want to wake up? I would have most likely used that hour to blog. I almost always blog in the morning from the vantage point of the day's potential. Now I sit here at the end of the day with a glass of wine instead of a cup of coffee and the perspective of what has happened, not what might.
70 degrees is the perfect temperature. Not too hot. Not too cold. Completely comfortable. Beautiful bliss.
More is the merrier and an even number is best. T. Bone had 3 buds over today and there was never an odd man out or an utterance of We don't know what to do.
There are literally a million games you can play with a ball, and every single activity can be made into a competition.
Boys love to eat and drink lots of lemonade and Gatorade.
A plain old Oscar Mayer wiener is really delicious once in awhile. They are best boiled and then served on squishy buns with ketchup, cheese and pickles.
Miss Bit is the most delightful and helpful sous chef I could ever wish for. Today she peeled and chopped all the carrots for chicken pastina soup. She mashed bananas and mixed the muffins from beginning to end. She happily mixed a huge pitcher of lemonade and then served the boys with a smile. She set the patio table for lunch and helped clear after.
When it's 70 degrees you can simmer stock and make chicken pastina soup. And since 70's during the day usually mean 60's at night, soup will taste and feel quite good.
Some of the best conversations happen when we are dicing and stirring side by side. Today she asked me who taught me to cook. I credit a few wonderful women and a man or two in my family with sharing their secrets and passions too. Almost all of them are passed on. She wistfully said, "I wish humans never had to die." I knew she was feeling the loss of the missed opportunity to cook beside Rosie, Aunt Helen and Nanny, and to connect with them.
I miss them all too. Viscerally.
It is always a good idea to keep a secret stash of frozen cookie dough ready to pop in the oven. It is completely the way to woo 12 year old boys. Well...really boys of any age. Girls too. I overheard T. Bone's friend, who is a welcome regular at our house, telling the other boys, "Mrs. W. makes the best desserts. You have to have her marshmallow pie. It is like the best! THE best!" I never get tired of baking when I know it is appreciated and most importantly...enjoyed.
My kids have some of the nicest friends. Good kids. No...great kids. And not just because they compliment my cooking.
If you aren't going to eat at the dining room table, it's perfectly OK to leave the game of Monopoly for later in the day or week.
If you have other things to do, it's OK to ignore the dust bunnies and unfolded laundry.
Dirty dishes are never OK.
Stock the garage fridge with popsicles and then don't keep tabs on them.
Listening to music instead of the television is more inspiring and uplifting.
It's great to have a plan and even better to know and very much accept that the plan can and will change.
Always. A-L-W-A-Y-S make time for exercise. Today I squeezed in my 4 miler between drop offs and pick ups. It wasn't when I planned and I almost relented because of that, but I know myself. I am a happier, healthier person in every way when I get my sweat on.
I can shower and get out the door looking somewhat respectable in 20 minutes.
Ask for and graciously accept help. They are called friends for a reason.
Wildflowers are often the prettiest. Weeds can be beautiful too.
I find joy in seeing my kids happy. Pure. True.
The things that make them the happiest are really quite simple and ordinary.
There is something to learn from everyone we encounter every day. Those we encounter are blessings or lessons. It really is that simple.
If the little voice in your head is telling you something...it means something. Listen.
I love where I live and I love my life.
I am blessed.