Friday, December 23, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Clean Bathrooms, Replacing the Nutcracker, and How to Save a Closet from Disaster

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Our 18-year-old is home for Christmas!

On her first day here, she noticed that the bathroom was quite dirty and without comment or fanfare, she emptied the trash and cleaned the sink without anyone even suggesting that it needed to be done.

Have I died? Is this heaven? Is this what having adult children is like?? 


Having a kid go to college isn't at all like I thought it would be. Day to day, it's honestly not all that different: during their last few years of high school they're so busy you just don't see them a ton. But at the same time, when they actually leave it causes a pervasive shift in the household dynamic. Everything seems a little less fun.

So we are loving having her home for the next few weeks. She's been practicing a Christmas violin-piano duet to play at church on Sunday with the 16-year-old, reading bedtime stories for the 6- and 8-year-old, and giving pointers to the 11-year-old on how to play the flute.

Our first order of business when she arrived, though, was to decorate the Christmas tree:

Second consecutive year that I've forgotten we need to get a new tree topper.

The only bad part is that my younger kids have school all this week, and it's physically painful to send them every day when we all just want to stay home and bake cookies and watch Christmas movies and be on vacaaaaaationnnnnn!


The kids are growing out of The Nutcracker, which we've seen every year since forever, so this year we did something different and went to see a stage play of A Christmas Carol.

The night before, we watched A Muppet Christmas Carol so the little kids would understand what was going on. 

And it worked, because the whole time the 6-year-old was leaning over and asking me while pointing at an actor, "Is that the frog? Are they the pigs? Is that the guy with the long nose?" So to him, the original story has muppets, and this was just a nice adaptation.


Speaking of Christmas, we are a little behind. And by a little, I mean a lot.

The cookie plates we deliver to the neighbors still aren't finished and the Christmas cards are definitely going to get there on New Years, but for some reason it's not bothering me. I feel like it'll get done when it gets done and there's no point in stressing about it. 

I think it's because I'm 40 this year. I've heard this about being 40. I'm excited.


Another reason I'm not stressed about Christmas prep is probably that I'm absorbed in something new I'm doing at church. I was asked to be the Young Women president, which means I'm going to be leading the teenage girls' organization for the next few years.

It's a time-consuming endeavor, and even more importantly it requires a lot of empathy and prayer. Anyone who's ever been between the ages of 12 and 17 knows what a critical time of your life that is, and I want to facilitate these girls developing a relationship with God that will carry them through the best and the worst of it. That feels like a really tall order.


One of my first duties was cleaning out the closet in the Young Women's room at church, which was no joke. Think about how messy the closets in your home get: now imagine how much worse it would be if multiple families were using them, and every few years a new person took over but the old one left all their stuff behind, and anything leftover always got stashed in there "just in case," and no one ever wanted to throw anything out because they weren't sure if it was being used by someone else. 

That's the Young Women closet.

To make matters worse, the previous president told me she just found out after 4 years that the right half of the closet didn't belong to another organization like she'd assumed. So there was some old, old stuff in there. (When I cleaned it out, I found a poster from 2015.)

My 18-year-old, bless her heart, volunteered to come and help me. When we looked inside the stuffed closet, she turned to me and murmured, "Mom, I think this is why God called you to be the Young Women president."

Which might be true. As horrible as this looks, I actually love tackling stuff like this, and I think I'm pretty good at it.

Me, in the middle of a two-hour archaeological dig through the contents.

"I can't believe this all fit in one closet," my daughter mused once we had everything out where we could see it. "It barely fits in one room."

Several days and a few trips to the dump later, it looked like this:
All I have to do now is label the bins so everyone knows what goes where.

Is an organized closet the most important part of being Young Women president? No. But I can't concentrate in the middle of chaos, and I want to devote my full attention to the girls and to Jesus Christ. This is just what I need to do first.


My 6-year-old competed in his first gymnastics meet. I don't stay and watch his practices too often because I usually have to be home for the other kids, so it was pretty cool to see everything he's been learning. He's really starting to move like a gymnast, with a degree of control over his body that is weird to see in a little kid. 

It makes sense, though, because his practices are intense. Case in point: their coach is giving them a "break" for the week between Christmas and New Years, which means only 5½  hours of practice instead of 7½. It's a good thing (1) my son loves gymnastics and (2) I love his coach Mr. Chris, who is the best role model a little boy could have.

Click to Share:
Unremarkable Files

No comments: