These Happy Golden Years

These Happy Golden Years

One of my favorite things that I do with Alice is our bedtime reading. After she gets her pajamas on and we brush her teeth and pray, I rock her in the big pink chair in her room and read a chapter of whatever book we're on. We've gone through several series and just finished the Little House on the Prairie books.

 (Disclaimer: yes, they're "over her head" and no, I don't think she's actually understanding them. Chill, folks. We read plenty of age-appropriate picture books, but I choose chapter books for night time because the chapters usually take just the right amount of time to read and I can read them in the dark off my Kindle app. Plus the benefits of reading aloud, etc. Anyway.) 

As you probably know, These Happy Golden Years is the title of the second to last book in the series and it's mostly about Laura's final years at home before her marriage to Almanzo. (#spoileralert, yes she marries "the Wilder boy." Is it a spoiler alert for a 75-year-old book?) I'll be honest- I loved these books but about halfway through The Long Winter I was ready to burn the book to keep warm- that's how sick I was of reading about yet another blizzard. Holy cow. Anyway, this one might have been my very favorite. And in it, Pa sings a song to Laura: 

"Happy years are passing by,
Happy, happy golden years.
Passing on the wings of time,
These happy golden years.

Call them back as they go by,
Sweet their memories are.
Oh, improve them as they fly,
These happy golden years."

Well, like the sap that I am I totally started crying while reading those words to my baby. And I immediately wrote them down and also asked my friend Sara to turn them into a printable for me (which she did and which is currently in my kitchen.) 

I love these words so much. And I love them even more on the days when I am in need of them, if you know what I mean. Days like this whole week when Alice has skipped her naps (heaven help us all.) Or days when I just need to run errands and she is fussy in the car seat or stroller or cart or whatever and is screaming in Target and I'm now that mom who can't make her kid zip it and I want to hide under a pile of bath towels. Or days when I'm in a t-shirt and yoga pants and my hair's wet (again, THAT mom going out with my wet hair up like that's hiding the fact that I look like a drowned rat) and I'm definitely not my best self or anyone's #momgoals by any stretch of the imagination. 

Yes, all those days. 

One thing I've learned so far as an adult is that as young people we tend to pine for the future and as older people we tend to pine for the past. Well, I have no idea what the Lord has in store for me or my family, but I know that these are my happy golden years.

A chubby little baby hand holding my hair. (Or yanking. But still.)

That same chubby hand waving frantically at anyone and everyone who will look her way.

The world's CUTEST baby whose bright blue eyes get comments everywhere we go.

Watching musicals with my toddler. What toddler loves Singin in the Rain and The Music Man- on repeat?? Mine, that's who. 

Pushing the stroller through the neighborhood. Or Hobby Lobby. Same thing. 

Getting big belly laughs with the silliest faces.

Watching Alice light up when her daddy gets home from work. 

String cheese. Green beans. Scrambled eggs. 

Books, books, books. (Everything is "book.") 

Alllll the snuggles. 

And the thing is, I know that fun times are ahead- talking! Independence! Kindergarten! (Wait, did I say fun things?) The fact is, it's easy for me to get overwhelmed by the changes that will happen with Alice in the next few years or even months. Parenting is no joke and the idea that I'm responsible for shaping this girl into a decent human being is mildly terrifying to say the least. 

So even though watching her become her own little person is exciting, I know that (nap strike notwithstanding) these days with my one baby definitely qualify as "happy golden years." 

Whether you're single or engaged or a newlywed or waiting for a baby or wrangling your third, or you're planning your baby's wedding or middle school graduation party... these can be your happy golden years. It may not feel that way, but we can all handle a reminder now and then to savor each season of life. There's good and bad in each one, but they can all be enjoyed to some degree.

And if you ever feel like you are about to lose it, remember that the Ingalls family survived basically nine straight months of blinding snowstorms and near starvation and didn't kill each other. Our lives are definitely happy and golden by comparison. 

P.S. If you want to the file to print this poem for yourself, I'll be happy to email it you. Just let me know. =) 

Thank You Note Friday

Thank You Note Friday

Here we are at the end of another week... as usual, the week itself has gone by fairly quickly while each day tends to drag a bit (given that my darling child is giving a reprisal performance of the Great Nap Strike of June 2016. Perhaps she's attempting to form a union. Should I raise her pay? Improve her working conditions? Oh wait. She doesn't work and neither of us get paid. Win/win.)

Moving on...

Thank you, IKEA, for basically being the Pied Piper of retail stores. "Oh, we'll just look around..." You're probably snickering in Swedish at all of us suckers who come in with the best of intentions and leave having spent ten trillion dollars on potted plants and furniture WE HAVE TO ASSEMBLE OURSELVES. "Man, Americans are really dumb. They're practically paying us to make them work." (*Evil laugh, eats more meatballs.*) But seriously, thank you for your insanely cheap picture frames and magical AS IS section where I purchased a perfectly good boxwood wreath for a whopping $5. All the praise hands.

Thank you, my dear cousin Charity, for alerting me to the amazing, glorious wonder that is this Alice in Wonderland bedding collection from The Land of Nod. Be right back... just gonna go sell some plasma really quick. (Oh my word!) Here's the thing... I'll never be able to NOT buy (or at least be tempted by) all the Alice things because everyone sends them to me! All my friends are like, "I think of you every time I see something Alice," and I'm like, "I know! I can't escape temptation!" My next child is going to have a non-literary/Disney name, for sure. (#notpregnant)

Thank you, Cadbury Eggs, for simultaneously bringing me joy and also being my annual springtime nemesis. You may be mini, but with the way I consume you, I certainly will not be.

Thank you, all the brave and committed souls who made it through my InstaStory book review this week (and who commented! Yay!) I know that those posts are really long (and some people don't love me enough- cough Amy cough-) to watch to the end but if you did and you enjoyed it, I'm so grateful that you were mildly entertained. And if you're really anxious for me to offer my daily routine in a hair and makeup tutorial, I may just be generous enough to oblige one of these days. (#hahajk #thatwouldberich)

I know... that's a lot of dots. In the words of another cousin, "My thumb is sore from swiping through your story." Also, please don't be intimated by my beauty. (#nofilter.) 

Thank you, Gymboree, for making the cutest baby sneakers I've ever seen. Also for marking them down to $7. Now let's make those available for adults because I would most definitely wear those bad boys every single day.

I mean, come on!

Thank you, people on buy/sell/trade pages, for trying to talk down the price of a $10 mirror while trying to charge $450 for a Kleenex you found in your pocket. (Slight exaggeration but really.) ALSO thank you for reserving an item for sale, agreeing upon a time and place to meet, and then not showing up and apparently tossing your phone into the toilet in order to avoid answering any messages. (Happened to me twice this week- two different people.) May I speak for all of us when I say- you are literally the worst.

Thank you, Target in Magnolia (yes, that specific one... the one I could walk to from our apartment, may it rest in peace) for having THE best dollar section in the land. I mean, that's not necessarily a good thing (pesky budget! pesky bills!) but when I need a wooden tray or a fake succulent, you do not disappoint. Now give dollar section lessons to the Target by my house.

Thank you, Alice, for not only somehow possessing a Go-go-Gadget type superpower, but also using it to reach an inexplicable distance across the bathroom counter and break my adorable, custom-made coffee mug. It's a good thing you're cute because I don't know anyone else I would be able to forgive for such a devastating incident. (Am I being melodramatic? Oh, I don't know... my mug said, "I'm silently correcting your grammar," so yes, it was the best mug ever and my sweet friend Emma made it and I'm still upset, okay? Give me time to grieve.)


Thank you, TimeHop, for gems like this one. Our Psych-watching/loving society was and is near and dear to my heart. And apparently we all had to have dark brown hair and bangs to secure membership. Oh, Psych. How I miss your pineapple goodness. (And Rory and Claire. Not Amy, because she won't watch my book reviews.)

And there it is. Happy Friday, my friends! Go forth into the weekend with a smile (unlike me... starting a soda fast today. Send prayers.)