I’m sitting here writing this post the very day it’s going to go live. I’ve had a lot on my mind and in my heart lately and things have been mulling and stewing for a while. You, dear reader, are about to get a little dose of all my thoughts.
I’ve been deep in the trenches of motherhood this past while.
I’m on 15 straight days of seriously sick kids. Something that isn’t chickenpox but is related to it has gotten a killer grip on my house. The illness lasts super long (like 10-14 days long), it’s slow to spread but inevitably spreading, and even Thomas has gotten it now. I have kids with opened sores on their faces, rashes all over their trunks, a rash down their throat, swollen lips and gums, fevers, throwing up blood (super scary), and just plain misery on all fronts. I feel like someone is yelling at me all day long. Their little bodies are so taxed they can’t help but demand, whine, and cry often. I even went out and bought a bottle of Lysol spray. That stuff is awfully strong but strong is what we need. The doctor reassured me it’ll pass and that “comfort care” is all that I can offer my family. No magic, no medicine, just lots of loads of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms twice a day, washing pillow cases and clothes daily, Lysoling all the surfaces once they are in bed. Over and over and over again.
I woke up to my freezer door being left open all night. There are little bugs that look like black centipedes that come under our back door every night into my house and I have to vacuum them up. Over and over and over again. I spent hours making a Halloween costume that Macey tried on and cried over because it wasn’t just what she had in mind. The shirt is “too baggy” (her tears are anxiety induced, not brattiness, Halloween is a hard social situation for anxious little souls). It’s red ribbon week at school, which is another anxiety trigger (crazy hair day for example, she wants to participate but gets so nervous about it. We have to practice and plan and practice again and she is still almost sick in the morning over it).
Sometimes these crazy days limit my perspective and mire down my heart.
Then a little perspective is washed over me and my own mire and muck seem so easy. Like a little dust on the top of my shoes and not actual mud at all.
I have a little cousin, just older than Macey. She passed away last week after a long (3 or so years) battle with brain cancer. She’s her parents’ only child. Their only baby. I didn’t know her well, she’s lived in Indiana while I’ve been in Utah all these years, but from one mom to another, my heart breaks for her mama and the rest of her family.
Then this week my blogging colleague, Joan (from Chocolate, Chocolate, and More), passed away unexpectedly in her sleep. She was 49 and has 3 teenagers and a husband at home. She’s gone from them. I can’t imagine waking up to that kind of nightmare in the middle of my teenage years (those years are hard enough with a mama).
Perspective, perspective, perspective.
My trials are still hard. This illness is still awful, but I’d rather do many more weeks of this than be without my kids or them without me. I can do hard things. Over and over and over again.
And then there are the little rays of sunshine that penetrate my own hard days.
Sunday was our annual childrens’ program at church. The kids sing songs, memorize little speaking parts, and do the whole meeting that one time a year. It’s my favorite Sunday of the year. I had missed the Sunday before to stay at home with sick kids and I mentioned on the phone that week that I was bummed to miss the Primary program because I still had sick kids. I just mentioned this in passing, but Sunday morning rolled around and my friend came to my house at 8:45am, leaving her own four kids at home, to sit in my living room and read to my sick babies so that I could go and see the oldest two in the program. I just kept thinking of the phrase “Love Does.” It’s a title of a book I read recently.
Love does. I like that.
Love does a million loads of laundry.
Love does mourn with those who mourn.
Love does send the card, the package, dials the phone.
Love does surprise babysitting, kind words, and plates of brownies.
Today I’m sharing a recipe from Joan’s site, her fabulous Lunch Lady Brownies. I’d love for you to make these today for your family and maybe take a little plate over to a neighbor or friend. It’s simple but sometimes simple is all that is needed.
These are thick, fudgy, and not too “dark”. Perfect for the milk chocolate lovers in your life.
For the Brownies
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Frosting
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish well.
- In a large bowl add the melted butter, cocoa, and sugar. Beat until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour and stir until combined. Place the batter in the baking dish and spread it out evenly. It will be very thick, so make sure it gets to all of the edges of the pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- To make the frosting add the butter, milk, and cocoa to a large bowl and beat until the mixture comes together, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat until combined. Frost the brownies while they are still warm.
This holiday season as you need recipe inspiration think of Joan’s blog. Bloggers get paid by how many visitors they have, so the more people on a blog, the more they get paid. You can keep income from her blog coming in to her kids just by visiting it.
This is my tribute to you mamas who are in the trenches of motherhood too. To my friend Joan. To my cousin Christina. To Christina’s parents and my grandparents, and to all of you who love and your love does.
Thank you for being here. Enjoy the brownies from my home to yours. I wish I could really bring you a plate.