11:30 am - Pausing for another breath. and a snack. How is it that while fixing so much food, I can forget to eat!? Half the family is still in bed, sick. One 12 year old daughter and I are getting things done. Got the potatoes cooked, ready to reheat and mash when people come in the door. The house is getting some last minute straightening. Thank you, Father, for help for the flood at my friend's house. I hope she has a good holiday after all. Now, I have to start the bread. An hour to rise, another hour to bake... should come out about right. I love holidays like this. Thank you, God for holidays! Please be with those today who have not enough. May they see the bits of beauty in their own lives, in spite of everything, and may someone help to meet their needs today, please, Father. And Lord, if there is someone who you want me to help out, please show me who that is today. Thank you, Lord. I gotta go start that bread.
1:15 pm - I can't believe how nice the house looks! Even shorthanded, even with all the breaks we've taken, the rooms are all picked up and the food is getting ready. It is time to put the bread in the oven. The tablecloth is being ironed on the table; the house smells wonderful, and people are soon going to be here! I pause right now to slow my mind a minute, and savor it all. Breathe, self, breathe.
7:30 pm - The last people leave. What a great day! Everyone got here around 2 pm, and we ate about 3. Everyone helped. There was way more food than we needed. It was a feast, after all! Family together, laughing, talking, eating, cleaning up. Babies everywhere!
I missed having the bigger girls here, but they are at a friend's wedding this weekend. Oldest son is on a short vacation with his sweet wife. All's well. Everyone is having a good time wherever they are. But here - here at my house - we eat and everyone is full and happy. Tiny cousinlets play together, people make music, we laugh and talk, babies get hugged, toys get strewn. It's a happy time. By the time the last one leaves, the little one is way past time to sleep, but she will fall asleep very soon, and she has learned today a little more of what it means to feel loved and surrounded by family. It's been a good day.
Now... everyone has gone, and I have the whole house to myself. The dishes will wait for another day. I can just relax in the quietness.
So much to be thankful for.