bed time routine..with gratitude

Last night was wonderful and peaceful. Gratitude had done it’s work in my heart. I was finishing my evening routine. I decided to pick up the camera to give an idea of what is going on during my evening routine…(or late night routine, I may or may not have spent an hour watching BYU men’s volleyball team beat long beach state). I’m not a night person. I think I’ve mentioned that. My before bed routine frequently starts at noon. BUT I can’t escape the dishes and the only way to go to bed with a clean sink is to do it right before I go to bed.

Here is what was going on at 10:44pm last night at our home:

When you are an artist you use whatever quiet time you can find…for Natalie, that frequently means late at night. She’s been on a pottery kick lately. It’s cozy to have her in the dining room creating and talking through her day while I clean up around the kitchen. She’s a talker and there I was, a captive audience. It’s much more pleasant to do dishes with entertainment, especially if your teen is non drama filled.

sigh. Isn’t he a great dad? When the baby woke up he got her back to sleep so I could keep doing what I was doing and not fall into baby holding stupor…besides after a full day of work and choir with the older children, he was ready for a little stupor mixed with watching volleyball. And yes. my 3yo is awake at 10:44. Too often actually. She woke up with me yesterday morning some how at 5am, took an exceedingly long nap and then was wide awake quite late. She sat near her dad watching volleyball and declared “I like boys”. Dad was gently trying to encourage the focus towards the volleyball and away from the boys.

Raymond popped out of his room saying “Are you taking pictures?” WHHAAAAT? He had been up reading and came out to get a drink. He assured me he was actually asleep and not in all in breach of bedtime and proved it by sleepwalking for the picture…then having me retake it until he was happy with the effect. If I wasn’t in a good mood his book would have been confiscated.

The little lady has just been informed that the picture taking party is done and mom is actually going to bed to sleep. no matter how many times she pointed to the rocking chair and told me I need to hold her and rock…no matter how many pouty faces she made…I was tired. We went to bed.

this is what gratitude can do. Normally I would have grumpily tried to get everyone to bed, fallen into a baby stupor while watching volleyball…which except for the grump, doesn’t sound half bad…

Instead everyone ended up in bed, the kitchen cleaned, the team won, with a wonderful feeling of contentment. I love what gratitude can do. It’s amazing how frequently I forget that.

Why don’t we do what we know will make us happy? I know I’m happier with the dishes done, laundry caught up, home running smoothly, with gratitude in my heart. So why don’t I always live that way? I’m like a garden..gratitude is what makes the soul ready to plant and all that daily hard work is what keeps things growing…yet I skip a day, forget and before I know it, I’m a hard hearted fool wondering why I’m not happy.

That one reason I took those pictures last night…to remind me to see that way. To remind me that in the midst of a very average night I can feel joy.

Happy Friday.

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