I remember in high school, being told that life only got busier and busier. At that point in my life I was waking up at 5:45 for early morning seminary that started at 6:50, then going straight to school all day, and then basketball practice immediately after school. I'd get home around 5 or 5:30, just in time for dinner, and then a night full of homework, studying, work, and/or church activities. I couldn't imagine things getting busier than THAT.
But, whoever said that to 16-year-old me, well, they were right. Holy smokes, life just keeps getting faster and busier and crazier and more hectic. With 3 kids, swim practice, swim team, gymnastics and dance, church callings, long hours at the office for G, family travels, housework, bills to pay, cars to fix, dentist and doctors appointments, etc, etc, etc, etc, ETC....it's pretty rare to find a decent chunk of time to really spend as a family, uninterrupted and undaunted by our ever growing to-do list.
We've found that in order to survive this crazy stage of life, we gotta be a lot more intentional, which just so happens to be my 'word' for the year, thank goodness. If you look at the amount of free time that we have right now, compared with the amount of free time we had a year ago, I'd guess that we're down at least 50%. But honestly, most of the time it's hard to tell because we've been working so hard at making the most of our time together. And I'm so glad that it's paying off.
A few Saturday's ago, we ditched the housework, yard work, and never-ending errands, left our phones in our bags, and went for a little family swim. It was 4-5 hours of interrupted family time, and we needed it. Belle sunbathed, then napped, then splashed in the pool for the very first time, then sunbathed again, then napped again. Johnny, pre-swimming lessons, put on a brave face and practiced jumping in the pool, off the diving board, and swimming on Daddy's back. Rae, our little fishy, practiced her strokes and dives for swim team, and had a blast fetching toys of the bottom of the pool. Garrett and I let the outing be kid-led, and smiled a hundred times as we watched our kiddos swim and play and squeal and laugh.
We brought our GoPro along too, which is quickly becoming my 4th child, always along for the adventure...which I'm thrilled about. When we came home I put together a little video of our morning, and it became something I know I'll always treasure.