Days filled with... {Life Lately}

I've found that I have to fill my days with moments for me. I never realized how valuable time really is. It's the hottest commodity around. Sometimes I think that I wasted days, let them pass, empty, never bothering to fill them with what matters. I've tried to change that in the last year. Tried to fill the time that I do have with memories and moments, and to be present for those around me. November was like that. Trying to fill every day with a little something, a memory, a moment, a treat.

When I was a little girl, my mom's best friend, Sandi, invited me to come over to her house and make cookies. This was a treat and a delight. My mom, did some baking, but she was a lot like me, if she could do it faster herself, that was the way to go. Baking with kids isn't efficient, it's usually messy and slow, and not for the faint of heart. At five, I knew nothing of those things. Sandi, was and is, in my mind, a master of the sugar cookie. She taught me the best ways to roll out dough, and use extra flour for cut outs. Sandi always had the best cookie cutters, vintage from the forties, passed down from her mother. I looked forward to making cookies with her every year, for every holiday, but as time went on and I grew up, we did our cookie baking less and less. Then when I was in high school she moved away, and cookie baking lost it's magic. Then I had kids of my own and that first year I baked with Caitlin the magic returned, yet the whole time all I could think of was, "Sandi should be here too".

This year, Sandi came to visit, and baking cookies was on her list of things to do. She couldn't wait to bake cookies with my girls. I'm not sure who was more excited. It was a wonderful and beautiful afternoon, filled with love and nostalgia, and stories I had never heard before. The girls loved baking with Sandi, and were very impressed that she jumped right in with flour up to her elbows. And by the time we were done with the cookies, we were so tired and our bodies stiff, but we were also so full. Full of joy and blessings and friendships that not only stood the test of time, but continue to stand the tests of generations.

It was a day filled with sugar, sprinkles, and smiles.

Some days are just made for ice cream dinners. For example, Fridays are my six a.m. days at work, and by the time I pick up Caitlin from school, I'm so tired I could go to bed right then and there. For whatever reason, I decided that it was a grand time to make tamales. So off to the Mexican grocer for supplies. It was packed and the kids started getting hangry, and so I walked up to the ice cream counter (because they have one) and ordered dinner. Sometimes you just have to go with it. Some days just beg to be filled with chocolate ice cream.

I got sick the Friday before Thanksgiving. With zero time off, I was able to finagle a few hours of rest before work. So from the couch, I watched Twilight with my seven year old, and wouldn't you know, the Cullens made me feel loads better. A cuddly blanket, hot water with honey and lemon, and a few hours of rest made me feel good enough to slap on some make-up for work. This day was filled with gratitude for a boss that knew that rest was what I needed, and gratitude for a daughter who knew that the Cullens help every ailment.

Most school days are filled with homework and errands and dance classes. Recently, most school days have been a blur. But on this school day, we stopped and took note that our girl is doing great at school. She is growing up to be quite the young lady, and she was quite proud of this achievement, and so was I. This day was filled with pride that even when you think you are failing at all the things, you realize that you must be doing something right.

We filled some of our days with gluten free treats. We have recently switched Caitlin to a gluten free diet with great results (more on that to come). On this day we took the Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake for a spin. I think she like it.

Mackenzie fills most days with debauchery. She is curious (read: nosy), she is funny (read: sarcastic), and she is always on a mission (read: bossy). Most days you will find her making elaborate meals in her play kitchen or dressing Monster High dolls for a fashion show. Mackenzie fills her days with what makes her happy, much to the dismay of those around her, because Mackenzie's happy isn't always a general happy. Whatever, she's the baby, we let her, and when she asks if she can play in her sister's make up, I say, sure why not... Not bad for a first time right?

November brought us days filled with snot and coughs and fevers. It sucked, but we survived, mostly. I'm still nursing a sinus infection, the girls still have coughs. But on this rare day off for all three of us, we made going to the doctor a real event. Filled with Starbucks, McNuggets, and even a trip to Target.

Because when your days are filled with work and chores and things you have to do, sometimes you just have to stop and fill them with things that make you happy. Which in my book always includes Starbucks, Instagram, and the people I love.

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