lately, and turning 30

I've been kayaking, enjoying homemade perogies, laying out in hot sunshine while the kids get muddy, eating strawberries, riding bikes and actually, most of the time, stuck with my nose in this book.

Last Friday I made this asparagus pizza with this alfredo sauce {that has seriously changed. my. life.} and we stole daddy away from work and had a little picnic in the grass. Delightful.

My grandparents have been visiting from Canada {aren't they cool?} so we've been eating lovely meals together and showing off what the kids can do {bmx track, rollerblading}. We took them both out for a spin in our new kayaks and they loved it.

Pete continues to run three miles each Sunday with vigor and enthusiasm. Just like his dad.

And then I turned the big 3-0 and cried some silly big fat tears over the solemnity of it all. Just kidding. I cried because of my sweet cousin's comment on FB and how it made me miss him and everyone I don't see very often and the good old days.

But these days...the here and now...are good too. And how blessed I am to always get to look back on my life with fondness and a smile.

And because birthdays always put me in a contemplative mood, I wrote down a few things I've learned over the past year.

Don't let affirmation become your only motivation for doing things.
There are many other good reasons to accomplish something -- because it's fun, because it might bless someone {and you might never know}, because it's good practice...

It's worthwhile to remove items from your to-do list that don't really truly need to be done. 
In fact, I've almost completely stopped making lists for myself. It was making me into a crazed, driven, gotta-finish-it-today-and-don't-get-in-my-way kinda woman. An empty day in front of me and deciding what to do next with every precious minute is working so so much better for me in this season.

Most things aren't urgent at all. However, doing some tasks now, rather than later, frees up the future. 
I can have inner stress about that stinky bathroom every time I walk down the hallway OR I can get out the sponge and spend five minutes doing a quick clean and the rest of the day smells much better. The wet clothes they just stripped off at the front door can sit for a few hours until I'm ready to do another load of laundry.

Live joyfully in the present moment. No need to yearn for the past or wish for the future. 
Seriously. It has taken me thirty years to learn this. And now I'm listening to chirping birds and really feeling warm sun and realizing that he'll only be five for a few more days and I'm just resting in the arms of the present. It feels so good.

Trade in neatness, serenity and solitude for laughter, silliness, and muddy feet. 
Because I will have plenty of lonely days in a quiet, clean house in the future. I'm just now starting to see this. I think it has something to do with potty training. The end of it, that is. But I'm not letting my house go to the dogs -- the kids need to learn to pick-up/clean-up/put-away. We will have sanity. 

Motherhood doesn't have to be a string of reasons to feel guilt.
My brow is forever less furrowed with my decision to let myself off the hook and stop it with the list of things-I-probably-should-be-doing. The kids are learning to take care of themselves.

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