Monday, December 14, 2015

Cookies and Adjusting Your Focus

"I don't see anything," Lucy said as she peered through the microscope.  

"You have to adjust your focus, then you will see something," Tim told her patiently.

"I see it now, it's so hard to see, but I see it," she replied after fiddling with the microscope.

I was standing in the kitchen watching and listening to them.  It felt like a pretty in-your-face metaphor for my weekend. This weekend was stupid in so many ways. Every special Christmas-y moment that I just knew the kids would remember for the rest of their lives was a major fail. For example, I thought it was a spectacular idea to take the kids on a carriage ride through our town (I live in a very Christmas-y town that has horse-drawn carriage rides available every Friday night until Jan. 1). It would have been spectacular, if we had ever gone. After waiting over an hour in line, they shut it down because closing at 9 p.m. means closing at 9 p.m., no matter who is still in line. 

I was disappointed by no carriage ride, but not devastated. I mean I get it, things happen, horses get tired. I was looking forward to a Saturday stay-at-home date night, one where we order a pizza, sit on the couch and watch a movie after the kids go to bed. Tim and I were planning on watching The Family Stone, it's a tradition, we watch it every Christmastime.  But we didn't watch the movie and didn't have our sort of sad, but cozy living room date night. Life just got busy and hectic and before we knew it, it was almost midnight and we were exhausted.

Not to mention, Wade got sick with Strep again (third time) and had to go the doctor, the kids were fighting about everything and anything, someone flipped me off in traffic on Saturday and ahhhhhh.

By late Sunday afternoon, I was snapping at the kids and Tim and if someone had cut me off in traffic I probably would have flipped them off. It wasn't pretty. 

There was one final Christmas-y item on the "Weekend Christmas Fun" to do list....cookies.  

Making gluten free sugar cookies and involving all the children in on it seemed a daunting task, especially after the ego busting, semi soul sucking weekend I had just had.  But I went forward with my plan because that's what families do on Christmas. Right?

We measured and stirred and worked together. The kids cut out their shapes. I was a little fragile and might have teared up and asked "why do I have such bad luck?" in my head when the cookies broke apart a little and the kids fought a little. I looked around the kitchen and saw broken cookies and the piles of paper (my piles) that I had to go through. I noticed homework that hadn't been touched by one of the kids. I saw some of the dirty dishes from dinner still in the sink. I saw my reflection in the window and felt fat. Everything looked and felt wrong and stupid.

Then I stopped and listened, it was the sound of my kids laughing and getting along and sort of being nice to each other. I looked up and saw them smiling and actually enjoying each other. I took a breath and sighed. I exhaled all(well, a lot of) the negative.  Just like Lucy and her microscope, I adjusted my focus and saw something different. I saw all the good, not the perfect, but the good. I changed my focus away from what wasn't going right to what was indeed going right. My kids and cookies and tons of sugar-y frosting and laughter.

Here's to no more stupid weekends, in-your-face metaphors and focusing on the good parts of it all. And to cookies!

Sure some of these are more cookie parts than cookies, but they all still taste good. 

Awwww, aren't they cute? JT is the Matthew McConaughey of our family...always shirtless. lol.

And always causing trouble and having fun. JT said or did something to the older two while I was taking pics. If I still did Christmas cards, this one might be the cover shot. 

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