Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Present moments

We had a lot of people at the house this weekend. A LOT. My oldest son's birthday was July 20, but because of crazy-full schedules, we didn't have a chance to do his birthday party until this weekend. In many ways, that worked out great, because it was also a weekend that my parents, sister and two of my  nephews could come visit and join the festivities. With all the aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, grandparents, and even great-grandparents, we had 40+ people at the house. (Have I mentioned that we have a large family?)

It was loud. It was crowded. It was barely organized chaos. It was exhausting. It was also loads of fun. Since my parents live 5+ hours away and we have two-thirds of our boys only sometimes and we have a rather full family schedule, we don't get to see my parents as often as we'd like. They come to us when we can't come to them, like this weekend. I love seeing my parents interact with the boys. Sam adores them and charms them as only a toddler can charm grandparents. Jacob and Caleb love having family around and cousins to play with and entertain.

So, how many pictures did I take this weekend, you might wonder? With all of the birthday party fun and out-of-town family visiting, I simply must have taken tons of pictures and video, right? Um, I took ONE picture (the one in this post) the whole weekend. My sister's in-laws live in Southwest Fort Worth, and when I was at their house on Sunday to see them off from the weekend, "Oma" gave me this adorable Radio Flyer wheeled horse ride-on toy for Sam. He. LOVES. It. (Can't you tell?) I snapped this shot so that I could email it to her with a thank you note. And you know what? I'm glad this was the only picture I took this weekend. Later down the road, I might lament not having recorded some of the adorable shots that happened this weekend. But right now? Right now I'm happy that I didn't miss a minute by searching for the camera or watching the events unfold on a 1.5" screen.

I've been painfully aware lately how fast it all goes by, so I struggle with wanting to record it all so I don't forget, and wanting to experience it all so that I truly remember. I'm not talented enough to do both, so this weekend I made a choice. What do you think? Will I regret not having the pictures and videos from the weekend, or was really being present in the moment the best choice?

Julie Daneman is wife to Bryan, Stepmom to Jacob and Caleb, and Mommy to Sam. They are a boisterous, loving, happy interfaith family.

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