We had an impromtu “Christmas Party” at our house last night with the four of us and Missy.  Grace loves to plan and look forward to any kind of party, so on Friday we decided to make a “party” out of Sunday dinner this week.  Grace and I have been talking about making a blueberry pie for a long time now, and when we starting thinking of having a special dinner, she quickly suggested that this was our chance to make the pie.  So we did.  We had spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread, and pie for dessert.

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Grace and I worked hard on the pie.  I look for opportunities for her to help me bake — I love the company and baking with my daughter is an idealistic image in my head that so easily comes true.  I think she gets something out of it too.  I can see her learning and she seems to stand taller when she does things to contribute and especially when she does them on her own.

So we ate dinner in the dining room, watched Rudolf on TV after dinner and then had our pie.  It was the first pie I’ve ever made in my life and it didn’t really turn out looking or tasting how I expected.  Grace burst into tears when she took a bite and said it was ruining her icecream.  She cried and cried.   I haven’t figured out how to ease her in to the disappointments that come along with cooking (cooking with me, that is) but we got her another bowl of ice cream and went on. Dan and Missy put on a good show and forced two bowls of the “pie” down their throats.  I ate about half of mine.  Somehow the blueberries swallowed the pie whole.  It would have been better as a topping to ice cream as opposed to vice-versa.

After the pie and a big fight between the kids over the camera, we got Grace and Max in their jammies (their wooly warms, to be exact) and drove through the Winter Wonderland lights at Tilles Park.  They both sat in my lap and seemed to enjoy seeing all of the wild lights.

The less I plan and the more we do in the moment, the better it gets.  These kids are teaching me the joy of keeping it simple – I’m finding so much joy in the moments, the anticipation, the cooking, the unintended events and the tasks of being their mom versus the outcome, the meal, the accomplishments.  Once again, this is the good life.

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