Week In My Life 2015: Wednesday

This week I’m joining Kathryn at Team Whitaker to blog every day during Week In My Life. So happy you’re here!

The boys are stirring in their blankets on our bedroom floor as I wake up, but they’re not actually bouncing around the room. So of course I start worrying that maybe they are getting sick. They clearly have colds, but could it be something else? I’m hoping that it’s just that I’m waking up earlier than usual.

I could take more time in bed because our sons agreed to order lunch today at school—Italian cold cut subs, which they are really hoping will have salami on them. So all I have to do is pack snacks, except I am also making a crockpot dinner for tonight.
So we get up. I tell them they can watch one TV show—cooking with helpers in the morning can be a recipe for disaster—and they want a snack to eat while they watch. I give each a cup of dry cereal. Everyone is happy, especially when no one spills cereal.

I look out the window and remember that the neighborhood boy we hired to clean our leaves came the day before. The lawn looks surprisingly leaf-free.

It’s a rare morning where everything comes together on time—probably because I have no lunches to pack—and the crockpot dinner is cooking as we leave on time for school.
As I drive the boys to school, we discuss the proper way to wipe your nose when it is running. My theory is that using your hand is not a good idea, and that using your sleeve is just slightly better. Tissues, I insist, are the way to go.
Not everyone in the car agrees with me, and I don’t have time to win the argument before we arrive at school. I watch as some of the other children stroll leisurely to school and one sweet little girl waves to her mom the whole time. That’s not the Buettner way. We have a mad dash to get out of the car and sprint to the door. No one looks back. Hey, they’re happy to get to school, and we got there in time. Victory.
Today I have a headache, which could be for many reasons. I have several urgent projects on my plate, can’t remember the last time I slept enough, and my morning coffee may have been weak. That’s OK. I plow through the morning in my super-organized office.

I have a lunch meeting off campus, so I head out to pick up a colleague from another university who is taking the train in to meet. He climbs in at the train station, and we chat about creating university magazines, which is a really fun part of my job—and his. Our meeting is fun, a fantastic exchange of ideas about how to make a magazine. It’s amazing and reinvigorating.
Then I’m back to the train station to return my friend to his train, and off to pick up coffee for myself and a few colleagues who accept my offer.

The afternoon flies by, and soon enough I get to go pick up our boys—the best part of every day! They are happy to see me, but not overjoyed, of course, because they would always rather play a little longer. They have made paper plate spiders with pipe cleaner legs and we carry them proudly to the car, only losing one leg (a spider’s, that is) on the way.

I always ask about lunch, especially when I didn’t make it. One child loved it. One child said it was OK. No one mentions salami, and I decide not to pose the question. I’d rather not owe anyone salami.
At home our crockpot dinner smells like a success, and it is!
Everyone eats it, and John and Leo say it may be their favorite crockpot recipe ever, though Leo admits he can’t remember any others. Clearly I don’t use the crockpot enough. (Here’s the recipe for the beef ragu we had.) Oh, and definitely serve it with Parmesan cheese. Yum.

But even more exciting than dinner, which is hard to top, is an enormous package that is addressed to me. It’s not my birthday or my anything day. But my wonderful friend Cherie has made me a Christmas wreath bedazzled by flyswatters. It’s amazing, truly one-of-a-kind, and designed specifically for a flyswatter collector.

I love it. Of course, what’s not to love about it? It’s fantastic!

We hang it on the door right away and marvel at its beauty.

How will we ever put it away after Christmas? It is stunning.

After dinner, I hurry to load the dishwasher and make the boys’ beds—no floor camp-out for them tonight—and make sure Daniel finishes his kindergarten homework. Then he asks me to read him The Bear Scouts, so we sit and read it together. It makes us laugh every time.

I’m part of a prayer group that meets every month and tonight is the night. So I give everyone a see-you-later kiss and I drive to the host’s lovely home.
We chat about everything, families, life, worries, highlights, favorite grocery stores. We add intentions to our prayer book, thinking of family and friends, people we know, people we’ve never met. We pray for peace and people who are homeless and people for whom the holidays are a difficult time. There are only four of us, and that makes it a really beautiful, intimate time to share and pray. 
Driving home after 11 p.m., I think of how the day started with worries and stress and fear. I was so concerned I wouldn’t be able to do all I had on my plate. But people stepped in to help me. Somehow projects that seemed enormous and daunting came together smoothly. And there were moments of joy and fun and creativity and family and friends. And, I mean, I am now the owner of a flyswatter Christmas wreath.
This day will be hard to top. But I hope you’ll check back tomorrow anyway!

See Week In My Life: Tuesday

And Week In My Life: Monday

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.