Choices | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Friday nights are usually movie nights in our household, and they are pretty Daddy-centric.  In fact, I am pretty sure that my husband senses my need for alone time after the always stressful and busy week and gives it to me by going upstairs and doing movie night with the girls.  We've never really talked about it, but that's how it's been for years and everybody is cool with the arrangement.

But this past Friday, Joel was out of town for the night.  Before he left, I had been at the Preschool helping sort loads and loads of donated goods and I was exhausted.  So, I sent the girls upstairs to start their movie while I finished getting some things done downstairs.

When I finished my work, I really, really, really just wanted to go to bed with a book or watch the movie I've had from Netflix for over a week now, but something told me I really should go spend some quality time with my children instead.  Knowing they were up there watching Hannah Montana didn't really encourage me to obey the little voice I was hearing, but I went.

They were so excited to see me that they turned off the movie for a bit and we talked about all sorts of things:  Field trips, friends, fears, frustrations, and feelings in general.  Tears were shed as I listened to them describe the things that were kind of hard in their little lives, I watched sisters comfort each other and laugh together, and mostly I just felt closer to my daughters than I have since school started and my crazy schedule overtook my life.

After we were all warm and fuzzy and talked out, we went downstairs and I showed them how to make homemade popcorn.  We took a big bowl of it upstairs and we resumed watching Hannah Montana.  And the best part is, that once it was over (it didn't take long--they'd already watched most of it), they were excited about my idea of reading a book together.  So, I took out The Mysterious Benedict Society and began to read it aloud to them.  Sophia fell asleep in my lap, Chloe fell asleep on my shoulder and Bria wanted me to keep reading please.  I didn't keep reading, but I do think this will be a wonderful new way to get everyone to go to bed happily.

Once I got them to bed, I realized I felt energized by it all.  Not drained, like I usually do on the movie nights I so rarely participate in.  In fact, I felt enough energized that I stayed upstairs and cleaned the very messy playroom (especially after popcorn eating!) and put away all of Sophia's laundry.

Now, I'm not saying that I never need alone time again, but I am saying that I will be more careful of my choices when it comes to family time.  President Uchtdorf's talk yesterday continued to bring this notion home.  I will be reading it often, to keep it fresh in my mind.  It really touched my heart and answered many of the questions I brought to Conference this weekend.

What was your favorite talk?  Why?


  1. I always have a hard time choosing a favorite, but Uchtdorf's was up there. How sweet for you to have had that time with your girls! And how great that it was so energizing.

  2. I just posted about things being so rushed in my life lately. It's nice to slow down and just be with your kids no matter what activity you choose.

  3. I LOVE this post!! It's like a golden prize, I think, when our children share more personally what they feel.

  4. What a wonderful memory for you and your kids. I have SUCH great memories of reading with my mom---your girls are lucky you do the same thing:)

  5. Fantastic story, Lara, thanks for sharing that. I feel that way so often- I'm so busy running the household that I forget to develop actual relationships sometimes.

    I didn't get to listen to a lot of President Uctdorf's talk yesterday, because I had lots of noisy little ones, but I had a feeling during it that it was a talk that I definitely needed to spend some time reviewing.

    I loved Elder Bednar's talk today about receiving the spirit, and actively working on that every day. And of course, President Monson about gratitude.

    Thanks for making your blog such an uplifting place to visit.

  6. I will need to listen to Elder Uchtdorf's talk again. But that is my habit--to get so busy with doing THINGS that I forget about the WHOs. I am very much a Martha and not a Mary. I constantly need to remind myself to be more Mary-ish. This summer, we have started reading a book before bed every night. We have been reading all of Roald Dahl's books (right now it's "James and the Giant Peach". Everyone settles down, and I really think it's helping both Eva and Oliver to develop a love of reading. Plus nice family time. :) Thanks for a good post. :)

  7. That same talk really got me. When he said to be careful because milestones can become millstones, I thought about how rabid I get in meeting a goal. SOmetimes I fear I sacrifice what really matters.

  8. Hi, Lara! Have pretty much dropped off the blogging world, but wanted to stop by and say hi. I loved Pres. Uchtdorf's talk, too. Maybe just because I already have cut way back on everything - there are certainly times when it is important to simplify. Being pregnant with baby 5 has sort of forced that on me, and it was so good to hear that it is okay, and even important to do.

    Enjoyed reading all your posts on your Chicago trip - made me miss it! Ben and I lived in Chicago for 4 years while he was in Med school. The best about the Chi. temple is that, if you get there early, you can sit by each other during the session! Glad you enjoyed your trip so much!

  9. We can learn so much from our kids when we take the time to really listen! I need/WANT to do it more often. Thanks for the post.

  10. that was also my favorite! Family is so important, even when they are all grown and start their own families! OH the American Girl dolls, you should please look at my sister's blog, she is the most incredible seamstress and sews clothes for the American Girl Doll or any 18" or 22" doll! Incredible! and soooo inexpensive, she actually makes clothes to match for the little girls!

    hugs and smiles....

  11. I am loving reading about everyon's post conference posts. Your struck a def chord with me since I missed most of conference, and then was so tired and in pain when I finally did get home to my boys that I grouched at everyone until I was forced into my bed.

    Tonight is another night right? And it doesn't matter that my boys are adult men, I'm not done being a Mom.

    Thanks for the great post.

  12. Awh, I do agree that you need some special time with the kiddos. Enrichment for the soul. Someimtes. :)

  13. I can just picture all you girls giggling & sharing & crying on the bed. Wish I was there.
    So many amazing talks-I loved one from the seventy guys, but I can't remember his name. About kids..hmmm, can we say I have a retention problem?

  14. I don't know that I can pick a favorite because they were all so wonderful. I loved Jeffery Holland's (I bawled) and Pres. Uchtdorf's talks always uplift me. The prophet's was excellent too. I think I just love them all.

    So glad you had some quality time with your girls. =]

  15. I do love The Mysterious Benedict Society. LOVE IT! And I love th eway that the Lord sends us exactly what we need at exactly the right moment.

  16. I read The Mysterious Benedict Society!

    Kate's been listening to Ramona the Pest (on audiobook) at bedtime. That's after picture books and Calvin and Hobbes. Bedtime keeps getting dragged out longer and longer.