It rained last weekend. A lot. I sat on the sofa for much of Saturday, either nursing the babies or reading to my older kids or (amazingly!) reading to myself. I even got to journal. And stare out the window.

The rain dripped off the leaves of the spirea bush outside the living room window, the water drops hanging like little pearl beads on the thin branches, the red and yellow leaves vibrant against the gray day.

Jack and Jane sat at the dining room table, bickering – but only a little – about who got to be what color in Sorry. Jack chose blue, Jane chose red, and they gave me green.

Doug stood over the stove, making quesadillas. The babies slept. Outside, the day was quiet except for the soft steady hush of the rain.

I sat on the sofa and looked at it all, listened to it all, noticed it all: the gift that is my life. It’s a small life, a quiet life – well, except when one or more of my children is crying – and even then, it’s a good life.

And I am grateful.

#1145. The call of a crow outside my window.

#1146. The rattle of the heat registers.

#1147. Tea with a friend and a conversation uninterrupted by children.

#1148. Coloring princesses with Jane in the giant coloring book she got for her birthday.

#1149. Chicken-apple sausage, green beans, and scrambled eggs for breakfast.

#1150. Orange and pink chrysanthemums on the organ at church.

#1151. Seven – count them: SEVEN – hours of uninterrupted sleep on Tuesday night!!!

#1152. Friends who make me food, watch my kids, fold my laundry, and help me to laugh at myself.