03 Dec 2012

How to fall in love with your routine

Some days when I walk into Panera – my other office – I think about how ordinary my life feels. How there don’t seem to be Instagram-worthy moments between the car seats and the goldfish crackers and the exact same route walked every single day to pick up Jackson from first grade. Life can be small when we live it in the same pattern over and over and over again Monday to Monday.

The things I want to write about are small too. There is Zoe’s belly and how I could write a book about her eyelashes. How she backs up into me and sits her little diapered bottom down on my lap with authority. How she leans back into me and looks up at me the upside down perspective highlighting the blue blue core of her irises.

She leans back with her bottle pushed into the corner of her mouth and watches me as she gnaws at it. The world stops. So many cliches come true with a daughter. I softly stroke back gentle golden wisps from her forehead. I still haven’t taken her for a first hair cut. I’m lingering in this last baby phase. Her car seat smells of leftover snacks. I’m OK with that.

My life loops small, familiar circles around the same topics and I’m OK with that too.

So I do it. I record the seemingly small things; I write down the non events.

Else I will forget them. Else I will only remember the blur. Not how her voice sounded when she called me first thing in the morning. Or how stinky baby feet can smell through baby socks. I write down how she got done with her high chair seemingly over night and how it’s an act of courage for me to seat that crazy baby in a big chair knowing how closely her toes teeter to the edges. She laughs. My word how she laughs. Full bellied, full of life and we all laugh with her.

The dog chews at the chair legs no matter how much I reprimand him and the baby laughs wild and launches herself at us both.

I write down the rut and the routine and peel back the corners of wonder. This every day worship. This holy wash, rinse and repeat. This so much sameness that no one would think to look twice. My Instagram reads like a love letter to the preschool years and I’m OK with that.

I am. I am becoming OK with that.

And you? And you with the three day sweat suit, the pony tail, the smudged mascara. We can be OK together. We can revel in our in betweens and write them down with so much tired love because if we don’t we won’t know how much it all meant. This collective sleep deprivation, this trying to figure out the math homework. This heating up leftovers. This time of still believing in the tooth fairy.

We write it so we can look back and fall in love with it all over again.

Slowly. Deliberately. Extraordinarily.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    “Else I will only remember the blur” … Oh, how I know the blur. Lord, please remind me, day after normal day, to mark the moments. To revel in her soft sweetness. To look with holy wonder on her silly songs, crayon-eating & the (again) chasing of the cat that will inevitably result in tears of frustration.

  2. 2

    Yes. Write it down lest we forget.

    My favorite pages of journals are those filled with memories I rediscover upon reading.

    Plus, writing it down makes it so. Doesn’t it? If it’s wonderful AND written as such, how much more wonderful it becomes.

  3. 3

    Pictures help me remember those small moments – which can later be remembered as big moments or small moments that clump together to create a past, our histories.

    There is a picture of me holding my son just moments after I had him. My face, while it doesn’t say much to most, speaks volumes to me about where I was, what I was thinking. And now, I can look back at that one moment caught in one photograph and rejoice at the journey I have been on since then!

  4. 4
    Becky @ oursweetpeas says:

    This is is poignant and beautifully written. There are days when I ask myself why am I blogging and this post is my answer. You just said it a lot better! :)

  5. 5

    I just found your blog through Stroller Traffic, and I have to say – I have a six-month old son, and I am already feeling mournful for those early newborn days, with twenty million diapers a day and victory high-fives with my husband every time we got our little man to sleep. Thank you for sharing that this never ends, and that the fact that it never ends can be beautiful.

  6. 6

    This is lovely. So glad to find your blog today.

    I find myself lingering in these moments too, feeling them so deeply that it almost hurts. But that’s what makes it all so worth it.

    And how fun is it to browse through your own blog (or journal) and read the words that you spilled out when your heart was overflowing? It’s like getting to feel it all over again. :)

  7. 7

    I have a running file of non-events too, and could never picture what exactly I’d do with it when I’m old and gray (d.v.!). This helps me see it — yes, what a song it will be to call up the “ordinary miracles” of the old days when our feet are that much closer to stepping over the threshold of heaven. And maybe, in a sort of redemption only He could fashion, we’ll even worship and thank Him for things then that we couldn’t see beauty in now? Thank you for this… it’s so heartening to think we are now laying notes for a future refrain of praise.

  8. 8

    You make writing look so easy! As I’ve said before, mine are teenagers – one in college. I video many of my girls’ basketball games and people ask me what I’m going to do with all that footage. I say, “Watch them.” You’re awesome.

  9. 9

    Reading this today is so important for me. I am also a mom to 3 and lately I have fallen into a bit of a rut, not being fully present for some of these moments that I feel I am living all over again, going in a circle. Feeling like i can barely keep up with my 3 and not finding the time to write to them. (i journal to my kids). I recently discovered your blog and printed your tired mamas creed…so helpful to glance at and be reminded why I signed up for this job 5 years ago. Today, I read your words and I am reminded of how and why I am documenting these years with my babies. Because I know it will go too fast. I know I’ll miss it and look back and wish for it to be like it is, messy house, laundry heaps, crackers in car seats, etc. and I know, I will fall in love with it all over again…thank you for sharing your journey.

  10. 10

    Just tucked in the last one–up on top of his bunkbed. I will write, yes, I will write, to remember these days. Thank you, Lisa-Jo.

  11. 11

    Oh how I wish I new about blogging when I was having kids. My older teens, some of their young lives is a blur to me. They grow up so fast.

  12. 12

    Yes, “everyday worship”, YES!

  13. 13

    Thank yo for this post on today of all days, when it all seems too much and I am lying knackered, looking for a bit of encouragement before I sleep and it all starts again! YOU are a wonder.

  14. 14

    I wish I were a journal keeper when my son was younger. I know I would have written down things 20 years ago that I would love to read now!

    I love the way you write about the ordinary and make it seem extraordinary and almost holy! Many days you brings tears to my eyes, Lisa-Jo!

  15. 15

    In one word, yes! Write it down, especially the ordinary. Take a picture of those everyday moments and store them up to savor when your children are older. While they may seem to be an endless blur now, as you so wisely note, they will be snapshots of personalities and growth that will bring a smile to your face and take your breath away later!

  16. 16

    I just love getting your blog updates in my mailbox. They make me smile. :) Thank you so much for your writing. It always gives me a little boost.
    Ps. I didn’t cut my daughter’s hair until she was 3. :)

  17. 17

    Thank you for your words! With 18 month old twins, I feel accomplished if we are clean and fed at the end of the day! I love the moments of normalcy, that would bore others to tears!

  18. 18

    Why do you have to make so much sense when I am over here having a pity party about my house and that my kids and my life and my everything just don’t measure up to everyone else’s?

    You always make so much sense. I hated that pity party anyway.

  19. 19

    Thank you, Lisa-Jo, for bringing beauty to the every day. As a SAHM with a 3 year old and 5 month old, I feel like my life is an on-going re-run. Your writing reminds me to breathe in the little things and enjoy each moment. It helps me remember that I am blessed to be in the here and now with my children as they learn life. And it boosts my pride about being their teacher.

  20. 20

    Thank you for reminding me of the sweetness in the blur, because it goes even faster as they grow bigger and away from us.

    Thank you.

  21. 21

    Lisa-Jo- I have been really discouraged this week by allowing myself to become so unmotivated by my routine. And then I read this. My soul ached for something like this to refresh me! Blessings to you, you never fail to give my heart a boost. Thank you.

  22. 22

    BEE-YOU-TI-FULL!!! Thank you.

  23. 23

    Amazing. Thank you, for tearing out and exposing so eloquently, with raw emotion, yourself. It hits my heart as a mirror of my days and the grace that desperately needs to follow.


  1. […] seems someone else already wrote my weekly post of encouragement this week. So please, meet Lisa Jo and read about why she’s writing it down. {Thanks for the beautiful post this week, Lisa! It […]

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