Sometimes things don't feel beautiful.
Like right now (after midnight) when the 8-month-old is crying again and not learning this whole self soothing trick like I want her to.
Or when a kid vomits in the van for the second time in three days.
Or when someone falls out of bed and hits his head on a piece of furniture. The immediate goose egg, frantic call to the pediatrician, and checking him through the night do not feel beautiful.
Or when I wake up in the morning counting the hours until nap time because I'm so exhausted from being up with the baby.
Or when a preschooler pulls the stopper in the sink drain, turns the water on, and floods the bathroom.
Or when the older kids are noisy and wake the baby up from both her morning and afternoon naps.
Or when I have to ask my five-year-old for forgiveness for getting angry.
Or when the baby has a diaper blowout while the oven timer is going off while I am giving my older (crying) son a haircut.
Or when the house is messy after I just cleaned it.
Or when I have another draining OCD-filled day.
But the beauty is there.
In the way she snuggles in as soon as I pick her up.
In the way he asks for "spicy drink" because he's sick and I know he means Sprite.
In the way he trusts me so completely to keep him safe and do what's best for him.
In the slow mornings and relaxed way I can relate to the kids because there is nowhere to hurry off to.
In the forced way I had to clean under the bathroom sink when it needed it anyway.
In the way the boys play together even if they are noisy and wake the baby.
In the way he immediately and unquestioningly forgives me for becoming angry with him just minutes earlier.
In the health of the baby while I bake cookies and give haircuts at home to save money.
In the toys on the floor and the imagination and quality time together that they represent.
In the way that I know things will get better, because God has always brought me out of the valley before.
In the way decaf coffee and egg-free cookie dough at the end of a long and hard day make everything better. Because some days are just like that.