The other night while putting the girls to bed I was bugged.

It had been a long day. I was tired. I was achy. And I was ready for my children to drift off into sweet slumber.

I told them to brush their teeth.

They giggled and wrestled.

I begged them to put their pj’s on.

They formed a dog-pile on Grace’s bed.

I knelt down for prayers in a huff, ready to launch into a lecture about how late it was and how we MUST get to bed.

But as I looked over at them all in a huddle of laughter and smiles…feet and arms and straggly hair going every which way, something clicked inside me.

I forgot my achy tired-ness and filled up with still-ness and love for those three sweet girls bunched up on the bed together. I thought of Nancy and how she lay in her own bed unable to move a muscle for so many years. Here I was completely able bodied, how could I be grumpy?

Sometimes I forget to cherish the “doing” and instead I worry so much about the “getting it done” as my favorite Anna Quindlen quote always reminds me to do (click here to see that quote and further thoughts on it…I have a lot of them). Sure, there are things that need to be checked off, and yes, we all need sleep. But what was five extra minutes going to hurt?

So I joined them. My smile joining theirs.

I do love the “doing.” I love the journey itself. Who really cares what’s at the end of my “treasure hunt” when my “treasures” are right here in front of me.

I just need to stop and remind myself of that every once in a while.

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  1. You are in my brain!! I was just thinking last night, as I was doing 100 things-these things are all indirectly for my kids (baking for school, tagging for a consignment sale,making bean bags for a teacher, and on and on) but they were all keeping my from BEING with my kids. Ironic. I need to stop getting things done and start cherishing the moments more! Thanks, as always, for reminding me.

  2. Thanks for this, Shawni. Sometimes I really need a swift kick in the pants to appreciate what I have and what a gift it is.

    Last night, I had. had. it. Fixed Sunday dinner all by myself. Had the kids set the table, but had to ask nine times. Then I called everyone to the table. Dad was no where to be found. Napping, I found out later. Kids never stopped what they were doing to come to the table. After three tries, I gave up. I sat down and ate the lovely dinner all by myself. Then I put it away, all by myself. Husband and children arrived on the scene as the last of the food went in the fridge. I said, "Good luck," and took the dog on an hour long walk. When I arrived home, all dishes were done and the kitchen was spotless.

    I decided that Mom taking a time out once in a while can be a really good thing…but I'm wondering if there was a better way to handle the situation. Life as a wife/mom is sooooo much more challenging than I ever dreamed it would be!

  3. I feel like that a lot. It's the stuff like is made of, and sometimes we just need see ourselves from an outside perspective to realize we need to take a deep breath, slow down and realize there is a moment to enjoy.

  4. THANKS for always reminding us.
    We so need it. I feel like that too, and then I cry because it is slipping away every minute.
    I hope to meet you at the retreat in New Hampshire!!!???

  5. Oh man I SO needed this tonight as my husband is on call and I was beyond tired and had 0 patience… new attitude here 🙂
    So I am friends with darling Kara Pothier and have followed your amazing blog for years!!!! Shared it with friends and family and there is a group of us in Rochester, Mn. who talk about you and your blog at ladies night out together :). We always fill so inspired!!

    I do have a quick question for you though and although I know you are SO busy and get asked a million questions, if you ever have a quick second, I would love you to email me so I can ask you something…. my email is

    Thanks for keeping us all inspired and moving forward in the right direction!!!

  6. Exactly! One of my favorite quotes too! I needed to read this today. I got all sorts of crabby with my little guy today as I was trying to cook dinner and get out the door for an obligation. I stopped, sat with him, and gave him my whole attention. It wasn't easy – the burning chicken roast was in the back of my mind. At some point, I was able to tend to it, and thought, "I spent $5 on this roast chicken. I would spend all the money in the world for my son to know he mattered more than a piece of poultry. It's crazy how some things can seem more important in a frenzy.

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