I realize that it's been a while since I have done a post. Really, I have tons of stuff to say, but I wanted to make it truly count this time around. You see, this is my 500th post! In my head, I had built this up to be something bigger than it really is, thinking that I needed to write something that would be a summation of all that I am and all that this blog stands for. And now, I have decided to end my self-imposed writer's block by simply telling a story of something that made me smile at a time when I really needed it.
In addition to getting myself worked up over the significance of what to write next, I got super busy with Halloween preparations -- which I am sure many other moms out there can relate to. I actually lost count of how many hours I spent making my little man's Lightning McQueen Halloween costume (which came out pretty cool, and I promise I will post more on that later). Also, I may have said "yes" to taking on yet another project when I really should have said "no, not right now." And, I felt down because nobody was coming to a party that I had planned. Rationally, I knew that this wasn't personal, but it was upsetting nonetheless.
By Thursday evening, I was overtaxed, and I was definitely feeling it. The house looked like it was falling apart and I was getting pretty grumpy with the kids. I was exhausted in the evenings, looking around and feeling like I had accomplished nothing for an entire week -- except for yelling at my kids. (So, it turned out to be a blessing that no guests were coming to my party after all. This saved me from having to do one more thing: a "company clean!")
Then, Friday morning came, and things were starting to look up. After dropping Mia off at school, Logan and I headed to our MOPS group meeting, where I got to hear a great speaker share ways that we can do more "missions" as a family. This gave me hope for finding a solution to yet another thing that was weighing me down: the kids are currently going through a phase in which they seem to have a bad case of the "gimmes" -- not a good thing with the holidays fast approaching! After having some chat time with other mamas, and getting a much-needed hug, I left feeling excited about doing some random acts of kindness.
All the rest of that day, I spent countless hours hard at work transforming a cardboard box into a costume, because after the party was cancelled I realized that I would be taking the kids to a costume party, after all. This meant that my deadline was pushed up, waaaaaaay up, from this coming Thursday -- Halloween -- to the preceding Saturday! I was completely in a trance and had no idea what anybody else in the house was up to. I actually asked Brett at one point, "When did the toys get picked up from the living room floor?" and he told me, "You were painting." I asked something else, and got the same response, "You were painting." Then, I realized I missed quite a lot during that lost time.
The good news was that it came out well and Logan was very happy with his costume. They had a fun time at the party, but after 3 hours of treats and games, I was drained. We ended up doing a movie night just to get through the evening. Then after the kids went to bed, I tried to tackle some of the mess that had been left to accumulate "while I was painting." After 30 minutes or so, though, I was worn out. I had just sat down to take a break.
And then the doorbell rang...
Honestly, I was not at all happy about this. I was 8:45 at night, and my kids were (hopefully!) asleep. I glared at the dog and warned her not to do her usual machine-gun, someone's-at-the-door-and-I-must-alert-you! bark. Amazingly, she listened, but I was still alarmed at the thought of answering the door.
Who could be ringing the doorbell at this hour? Nervously, I looked out the window, and not seeing anybody there, I asked Brett what to do. I was thinking, Oh great! Somebody's pulling a Halloween prank on us and we're going to find a bag of flaming dog doo on the porch... or something worse! My next thought was, I hope it's not that Kirby vacuum salesman. He was ridiculously hard to get rid of! Brett suggested that we turn off the porch light, and after doing that, we noticed a large vehicle -- a van? -- parked on the street, slightly obscured by the neighbor's trees. Then, I tried to quiet my apprehensive and over-active imagination, It could be somebody doing something nice. You know we just talked about random acts of kindness at MOPS. They're waiting to see if we get the gift!
Feeling emboldened by my more positive thinking, I opened the front door...
And I found a purple plastic tub loaded with goodies: a preschool fishing game, a dice game meant for kids Mia's age, two bottles of flavored sparkling water, some sprinkle-covered chocolate doughnut holes, Halloween pencils, and glow-in-the-dark necklaces! There was also a note explaining that we had been boo'ed. (Now here was something I could relate to, after having done this for the past four years in our neighborhood!)
It turned out that nobody was out to get me, after all. Some sweet, thoughtful mama (and while I don't know for certain who is responsible, I have to assume that the most likely "suspects" are my MOPS friends) gave us everything we needed to have a fun family game night! She may have known that I was having a rough week (self-inflicted, mainly, but rough despite it all), or she might not have even realized that I was feeling overwhelmed with everything at that moment. Either way, I hope she knows that she brought a much needed smile to my face...
A smile that I intend to pay forward -- just not at night. That's when all the scary stuff happens -- at least in my imagination!