Today was such a good day I just had to write about it.
I got ready before Sam left for work (the day goes so much better when I do that and I've been making an effort to do it), fed Levi, read my scriptures, and then got the kids dressed.
Anna ate breakfast while Levi napped and I prepped things for the day: making lunch, gathering packages to be sent and items to lend, packing cookies for visiting teaching, printing maps of where we were going. After breakfast Anna told me she needed to go potty and I left her sitting there with some books. She waddled out with her pants around her ankles and said, "I did it!!" And there was pee and poo in the potty. So she earned a candy. And with a little extra time I quickly googled a craft idea and made a painting with Anna to send to my parents with their Christmas gift. And best of all, she loved it and talked about it for the rest of the day.
Then, we were off. First, to playgroup, where Anna got to play with friends and I nursed and fed Levi. All the little girls took turns spooning mashed peas into Levi's mouth and they all loved it. Another mom complimented my kids on their cuteness and politeness.
Anna and I ate lunch in the car and then we drove to our first visiting teaching appointment. I got completely lost, but my wonderful husband spent his lunch break getting me to where I needed to go. While visiting teaching we got to talk about how wonderful the Christmas season is for seeing our children's testimonies of the Savior grow. Anna knew all the people in the nativity and told all about the gifts she's making for others. Levi, bless him, slept the whole appointment. Again, we left with my friend telling me how sweet my children were.
By this point it was nap time for Anna, and time to eat and have a diaper change for Levi, but we went to the store to pick out Christmas presents anyway, which of course took longer than expected since there were more options of some items than I expected and fewer of others. Still, Levi was quiet and Anna played with whatever she could reach on the shelf.
It was a quiet ride home while Anna sucked her thumb but every once in a while she'd burst into song with the primary songs that were playing. I can not describe how much I love her little voice singing, "He KNOWS I will follow Him, give all my life to Him. I feel my Saviors love, the love He freely gives me."
We got home and found a package from my mom waiting for us. Anna, begging to get into bed, fell asleep immediately. I fed Levi and then he played happily while I unwrapped the package. Inside was my Grandma Fawnie's Christmas table runner, ornaments from her tree, and presents for the kids. And at the very bottom were baggies of homemade Andes-ish mints and toffee. I nearly cried. My kids had been so wonderful being dragged around and then I got this taste of home of my dear mother and grandmother and the joy of family and Christmas just wrapped me up.
But, a short hour later, I had the kids back in the car to go to another visiting teaching appointment. We met this friend in her classroom where she's a 6th grade teacher. She had it filled with globes and books and flags and fun projects her class was doing. I could just feel the excitement for learning in her classroom. We talked and laughed and found Boston (where we live) and Tahiti (where Uncle Seth lives) on all the globes. She let Anna pick some prizes from her treasure chest-- pens and a notebook shaped like a purse. Anna nearly had a fit trying to get them open, but I asked her if I could help and all was well. My friend said, "That was amazing! I didn't learn how to do that till my kids were 10!" Again, I felt so grateful for my wonderful parents (and Sam's wonderful parents) who taught us well so that we can be on our way to being good parents. We shared our thoughts about the temple and what we can offer the Lord and marveled at the gifts and grace He gives us. And then she told me how well-behaved my children were and she was glad to see they weren't indulged.
Riding the high of Anna's good behavior, we drove to the library (it was now dinner time) where I had intended to feed Levi, but, bless him even more, he had fallen asleep. I found a book I'd been wanting to read and Anna read some picture books to the baby dolls and teddy bears. I called Sam who was just arriving home and told him to meet me at McDonalds.
Anna and I stopped in the post office where she pushed all the buttons on the package mailing machine and charmed the other mom and daughter waiting behind us in the lobby.
Then, off to McDonalds for a 7PM dinner where Anna was literally bouncing in her seat and nearly shouting with excitement over "chicken nuggets and chocolate milk with DADDY at OLD MCDONALDS!!!!!" So easy to make her happy after such a long day. I told her over and over how proud I was that she had been such a good and patient girl all day.
We came home and had baths and Anna didn't fight brushing her teeth. We sang songs and Anna recited to Daddy the 8th Article of Faith and then were hugs and kisses and Anna singing Mary's Lullabye into her microphone/flashlight. Levi snuggled and giggled and nursed to sleep all cozy and clean and pink and fleecy.
My heart is just bursting with love and joy in my family. I feel so rewarded today for all the hard days and hard work that have come before. It was a day engaged in good causes and I felt peace in that despite all the driving and going. I needed to write down this day so that on all those other days I can come back and read this and be reminded of what we're working for.
Merry Christmas! I hope you get a day filled with as much joy and love and peace this season as this one was.