Monday, April 25, 2022

Rewind Life A Little Bit

 Here we are at the end of April and I have to ask myself, "where did it go?" It was a whirlwind. It began quietly enough, but then the rest had been absolute madness. As much as we love to live our life, life eventually comes to an end. We spent our month working, doing daily life, and our evenings and any free days spent crowded around my grandma's bedside as she neared the end. For three weeks, her five grown children and nearly all of the family spent time with her, with each other, and celebrating life. I couldn't have asked for a better example of family to model for my children than what we were a part of throughout the month. Of course, the emotional toll and exhaustion of it all was great. I am very much looking forward to my upcoming vacation to recoup a little bit.

Needless to say, April was an absolute jumble for us. Looking back on the photos on my phone, I can barely even remember some of these things. What these photos make me realize is that even in death we continued living life fully and with joy. As it should be.

The annual Easter egg lunch surprise. The kiddos love opening the eggs to discover their lunch. I soak the eggs and wash them so they're ready to use Easter morning. One of the metallic eggs turned the water pink as the color came off in the water! Oops! I take it as indication that these eggs have been well used throughout the years.

Giant card games and time with the youngest great grandchild that we met for the first time. The boys were rock stars and made breads and Texas sheet cake for the family since all 20+ family members were living at my grandparent's house for days on end.

We were surrounded by amazing foods and treats for the month of April. This box of treats from Jaarsma Bakery in Pella was a highlight. Catering from Tasty Tacos, Christopher's, and platters from Jimmy John's also came in quite handy. I'm in awe of some of my family members and how they planned and cooked for 20+ people for weeks.

Our family of five took a Sunday to breathe and took a hike at Woodland Mounds Preserve. We know all about Native American burial mounds in the Iowa area, but I wish these had more information signs along the hiking trail. Otherwise, I wouldn't have known anything about these mounds if I just chose this hiking spot off of All Trails (or a similar app). Regardless, this was a neat area and we had a quick 3 miles hike through the mounds. The we went to Goldie's for a late lunch/early dinner.

Wearing a Christmas shirt, drinking an afternoon coffee, out of my Super Mom mug. That's how we roll.

I had to take some days off due to the emotional toll the month took on me, but there was still lots of playing, birthdays, and fun. The Magformers balancing in the bowl cracked me up, as well as a child's requested birthday treat: chicken nuggets with tater tots and ice cream sundaes. I was unclear if the child wanted them as part of the ice cream sundae bar, but I made it all part of lunch one day. All kids were thrilled by the request and that I granted it.

Let's be honest, I did very little cooking or cleaning this month. Each day it was early wake ups, shower and get ready each morning, open business, go about my day and get as much done as possible, as soon as daycare closed it was off to run errands for those at my grandparent's house, and then each night at my grandparent's house spending time with family. The only cooking I did was for the kids during the days, otherwise it was take out or dinner with family. I have a newfound appreciation for those who cook for large crowds. I was only the errand person and occasionally the menu planner, I rarely helped get the food ready. My aunts and cousins totally rocked in the kitchen. Needless to say, while we ate some wonderful meals, I'm anxious to be back in my own kitchen cooking our regulars (even if they're less exciting).

One Saturday morning, we had zero breakfast items on hand, so we ordered delivery from Mullets. They have amazing drinks if you dine in, but delivery was on tap for that morning since we had places to be and things to do. 

And that folks was April 6 - 20th for us. I'm still in the "what the hell just happened this month?" stage, but once I'm out of that and reflect more, I hope to look back on these pictures to remind me of this time.