Every year, this week is a very interesting one for me. It is the perfect storm of reminiscing, nostalgia, frantic preparations for a birthday I can't believe is coming so quickly, and the busy-ness of normal life. I will confess, I swing violently back and forth between tearful nostalgia, sadness over the days that are gone that only come back through memories, to joy and happiness over our life and the fun we have now, to frustration at the party plans that aren't going how I planned, to excited dreaming and planning about the little special things I want to do for their party, to exhaustion from all the emotions and trying to do too many things. It is weeks like these that I have to constantly remind myself to BE PRESENT, to live this day and this moment, to avoid wishing myself in the past or the future and appreciate the awesomeness of the present. Sometimes I just need to pause and take a deep breath.
Today, I had the presence of mind to realize that I needed to step back from frantic birthday preparations and enjoy some time with the twins...and we all needed to get out of the house. We bundled up to play in the snow (after the lack of snow last year, we are trying to enjoy every minute). After our last, big snow, the twins and I made a mini sled run in the front yard. It isn't big, but it is thrilling (and I love that they can sled without me having to load them in the van and drive to the nearest sledding hill). They were having so much fun that I wanted to get it on video. The good news is that, this time, I managed to correctly orient the camera!
Ryan's goal was to get all the way to the tree. He finally made it today (but not in this video)!!
We spent almost an hour and a half outside - sledding, digging, playing tennis (odd, I know, but Ryan really wanted to), and burying shells in the snow to be surprised by when it all melts. As is tradition, when we go inside we warm up with a cup of hot chocolate!
A rich, homemade hot chocolate mix topped with mini marshmallows in a "grown up" mug. Can life get any better?
Allie starts with a careful sip to make sure it isn't too hot (I never make it truly hot), and then gulps it down. Her cup is always empty within minutes...sometimes seconds...
I love how Ryan is drinking his with one hand. He looks like a mini grown up!
Today, they also wanted to work in their favorite new workbooks. Have you ever heard of the Kumon workbooks? There are dozens, for everything, spanning all different ages (they list the age range at the top right of each book cover). I first bought the cutting book so the twins could work on their cutting. I loved it so much that I bought the tracing book (as a precursor to learn to write), and then I bought the maze book for fun! The cutting book is legitimately work, but they love the maze and tracing books so much that they beg for them.
Allie has trouble with straight lines. She would much rather draw loops and squiggles and "decorate" (as she says).
Ryan likes the lines to be perfect. In fact, he hates having any lines out of place so much, that he frequently figures out the maze first so that, when he does the maze with his pencil, he won't have any marks except the one right path. I used to do the same thing as a kid. I liked my mazes looking clean and perfect.
Seriously, if you have kids, consider buying one (or a few) of these books! We have a whole bunch on our amazon wishlist, and I know there will be more in our future! Oh, and I'm not getting paid for endorsing this product or anything. We just really love them!
We capped off the day with the twins giving their beloved dinosaurs a bath in the water table while I cooked dinner.
With all of the things swimming around in my head that I needed to do, an afternoon of playing was exactly what I needed. The perfect deep breath to calm my mind, relax my thoughts, and bring me into the perfect present.