One week ago, this came into town:


Home!  In edible form!  (Plus some bonus Twizzlers and Peeps for kicks.)  Richmond has this funny way of drawing people in and stealing a piece of their hearts.  And it’s often via Ukrops bakery goods.   I don’t even want to admit how many rainbow cookies I’ve consumed in the past seven days.  That’s between me and the good Lord who rained them down from the heavens above.  Or, you know, from the hands of my parents. IMG_6206So, yes- Mimi and Grandad came into town.  It was fun.  Loud.  Sugar-filled.

IMG_6205My poor parents were clearly exhausted by the time they headed home.  Which was, in a sick way, kind of validating.   “Catherine, you just gotta keep ’em alive and keep on going,”  my mom said.  I decided that I would adopt that as my new mantra of parenting.

IMG_6191As validating as my parents’ exhaustion was to me, I still headed into work this week and begged one of my co-workers to prick my finger for some labwork.  I told her that my levels of severe exhaustion clearly suggested one of two diagnoses: severe anemia or swiftly impending death.

IMG_6211  Shockingly, my labs were fine so I remain a medical mystery.  Until you consider precious  little moments like this and realize that HEY maybe, just maybe, it’s because I expend every last drop of fuel within me keeping my beautiful, brilliant, and oh-so-tiring children alive and thriving. IMG_6216Oh yeah.  That.

We were driving to church last weekend when all heck broke loose.  All three kids simultaneously decided to unleash their angst to the tune of deafening screams and cries, and my poor poor parents had to endure it.  It was lovely.  And I started laughing.  Because, y’all, some moments are infuriating and others are just outright ridiculous.  This was the latter.  Anyway, my dad was sitting next to me and looked at me like I had lost it.  “HOW can you LAUGH with all of this going on, Catherine?” he asked.

These days are so full.  Full of sweetness and crying and incessant Frozen-soundtrack-singing and gnashing of teeth.  Full of plastic high heeled princess shoes and ninja chopping and fight-breaking-upping.  Full of so many crumbs and spills and so much noise and chaos that some days I think mama’s gonna lose her mind.  But I get through it.  I don’t want to just get through it.  I want to enjoy every little moment like people say.  To drink it all up because, as we’re constantly reminded, these days are long and the years are short.  But let’s be real- it ain’t always pretty.  And I’m surely a little worse for the wear after these years of raising littles.

Do I try to inhale their sweetness and enjoy their little-ness every chance I get?  Yes.  But are there (many) days in which bedtime seems like the freakin promised land?  Oh yes, my friend.  But the laughter is what keeps me going.

Well, that and God’s grace.  And lotsa coffee.  And rainbow cookies…