Unexpected events caused the postponement of a shin-dig I was supposed to speak at last Saturday.

And although I feel bad because I would have loved to help, the thought of having an ordinary Saturday in the midst of two months of every single Saturday being taken away was like velvet in my mind. It was the biggest gift I could have asked for right at that moment:

The gift of an ordinary Saturday.

I love how even the mundane and frustrating things are gifts when you haven’t been around them as often as you’d like.

We do Saturday jobs.

A couple neighbor girls show up to drag Claire to an impromptu neighbor breakfast.

I listen to girls squabbling over who’s turn it is to clean what.

We pack up the treats for soccer (we are the snack-givers today).

We run from one end of the city to another, Dave and I, tag-teaming to Elle’s tennis tournament and Claire’s soccer game.

I get to see Elle warm up with friends…big, nervous smiles in quiet acceptance that their crazy mothers signed them up for the 15-intermediate tournament. Dave gets Claire to her game lugging the snacks along.
We cross paths as we make the switch…Dave and his half of our children get to see Elle defeat her friend in a drawn-out battle in the semi-finals and then take second place against a high school sophomore. He gets to watch her glow as the high school tennis coach seeks her out…telling her he’ll be looking for her next year.
I race back to watch Claire’s red face hustling in the heat…scrambling for that ball.

Lucy slumps her whole body over mine like a giant slug in the heat, her face two-inches from my iPhone, mesmerized by and ABC game.

It is hot and we try to squeeze into the shade of a friend’s umbrella. The other parents and I complain about Mother Nature inching up close to 100 degrees at the end of October.

The kids quarrel in the car.
Lucy sits in the tub for approx. 30 minutes and we have a talk about all things “squinkie.”
We head to one of our Halloween parties…I marvel about how the years have gone by…from carrying toddlers and spending hours on dressing up to telling the children to wear whatever they want and losing track of them the second we hit the party.
Then I marvel that still, every year one thing stays the same: the children unload portions of their costumes into my arms, one by one, until I am carrying a huge load by the end of the night.
My arms are always full, even though I no longer have a baby on my hip. Sometimes I feel I am a “carrier” rather than a mother, lugging things from here to there…my camera over my shoulder, Lucy’s discarded flip-flops, camp chairs and left-over soccer snacks.

Although I am weighted down by “things,” and Grace is wailing over the fact that Elle’s elbow accidentally “nudged” her, Claire is huffy because her witch broom keeps falling apart, I am wondering when Max will be back from his party and wishing Lucy would walk faster while Dave is trying to catch part of a game on his iPhone, my heart is soaring and light.

Because being in the midst of this little whirlwind of activity means I am there.

I get to spend an ordinary Saturday with my family.

And I realize once again that things like that are to be cherished above rubies:

The gift of an ordinary day.

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  1. My name is Alice Gold. I am a fairly new follower and lover of your blog. Thanks for being so inspiring. It's so wonderful when you can read someone's blog and just know that they "get it". They have a knowledge of the Savior and they live in gratitude. Love it.

    I really don't want to spam your blog so please feel free to delete this. I just couldn't find anywhere on your blog to e-mail you. I recently entered my cousin DeAnne as AllState's HeroMom. She has 16 children. Most she adopted. Many with special needs. I really want her to win and we've done a pretty good job at getting a lot of votes, but I just can't get into first place no matter how much I campaign. The contest only runs for 3 more days and I wouldn't bother you if I wasn't desperate.

    If you find it in your heart to ask your readers to help out another amazing mom I would love you forever. If not, still consider me a loyal reader.


  2. I cherish being bored with my kids for this reason exactly, they are going to grow up darn it! Gotta love a regular ole day : ) Boredom is sacred in our house, not idleness, but just happy boring afternoons.

  3. I am also a big believer in having ordinary days and documenting them! I upload my weekly phone photos to my blog at the end of every week and document "our ordinary days" so that I can look back and remember that even though they were nothing spectacular, they were the days that counted the most.

  4. I can't wait for an ordinary day after this week- an unprecented early snowstorm that has left us without power and finding shelter where we can while my husband mans our freezing cold home and I keep the kiddos in warm places. food spoiled and thrown out, no school, eating on the run and schedule out the door, frustration, shuffling to find warm places to stay. It all makes me thankful for all the ordinary days, the mundane things I take for granted – the ability to flush toilets, wash dishes, do laundry, flick on a light switch.

  5. I absolutely cherish ordinary Saturdays and in the hustle & bustle if fall sports I sometimes long for them. I find it funny that while you spent Saturday complainig about 100 degree weather we spent the day complaining about the impending snow storm…which we are still without power from…oh, mother narure

  6. Your ordinary Saturday makes me want to take a nap!!!! Wow, you get a lot done!!! I can't believe how hot it is there! We've had a few freezes, which have turned the leaves ablaze with color. Fall is in the air here in NW Washington!!
    Have a great week! Thanks for the encouragement as always!

  7. The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Elements of the customs connected with Halloween can be traced to a Druid [ancient Celtic priesthood] ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods—a sun god and a god of the dead . . . , whose festival was held on November 1, the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The festival of the dead was gradually incorporated into Christian ritual.”
    Pumpkin carving originated from an ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated from sunset on October 31st to sunset on November 1st, to honor the deceased relatives and friends. The carved pumpkins were set on porches and in windows, to welcome the spirits of loved ones and guide their way. They were believed to protect people from evil and malevolent spirits.
    “We all know that you can be really good things for Halloween, not just scary, crazy things, right?”
    Just because you dress up as a missionary does not make Halloween any less pagan, thus a slap in the face to God. Most people know that Halloween is from pagan origin but still feel that it is not wrong to celebrate it. Most people are not thinking about false worship when they observe holidays. These occasions give families opportunities to draw close together. That may sound ok on the surface, but to illustrate: Suppose you saw a piece of candy lying in the gutter. Would you pick up that candy and eat it? Of course not! That candy is unclean. Like that candy, holidays may seem sweet, but they have been picked up from unclean places. To take a stand for true worship, we need to have a viewpoint like that of the prophet Isaiah, who told true worshipers: “Touch nothing unclean.”—Isaiah 52:11.

  8. This is priceless, love love what you wrote. Thank you for the reminder of an ordinary Saturday.

    All the Halloween photos above are so cute and love their costumes.

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