We had Family Fabulous-ness (sure it is a word) Upside Down Night!!
One of my goals is to be more present in the right now with our girls. Confession: there are many days I feel like I am trying to survive from sunrise to sunset without anyone needing serious medical attention, without sibling fights requiring said medical attention, and deal with the endless emotions of our 5 year old and the destructive behavior of our almost-but-not-quite-yet 2 year old. Add that to my own issues, time for our marriage, work here, and needs around us and lots of days I am plan spent. Like for sure. But all in the same whirlwind I know He is calling me to treasure the Crazy. To really be present. And with Him at the center carve out for our family space and time to just be together...each one bringing our own faults, gifts, and chaos but loving and accepting that us being together on this road was no accident and is meant for our growth. Not easy this family thing.
I want my children to know they are loved. Deeply. To know their Mama and Papa value them and want to spend time in pursuit of their joy. Our joy as a family. One way we are trying to do that around here is making Fam Fab nights. An idea birthed by the fact that really there is not a whole lot to do around these parts but we still want to have fun together and just be "us" since we live most of our reality in an in-between-ness. The first real installment was Upside down night!ok, so I completely ripped this idea off. True story. (Thanks Kim and the web) as I firmly believe most great ideas are ripped off and then tweaked and I have lots of awesome Mama's to steal ideas from. Yep. Now the key to Fam Fab nights is the anticipation. Everyday for a week Anni had been asking if it is the night yet. To which I would report the count down of days. We made invites (as we are prone to do for any reason), planned clothes that could be worn upside down with the aid of a few safety pins, selected the menu, and talked endlessly about the sillyness of everything being upside down.
Here is the run down of the night....Anni helped me make the upside down pizza (which was actually quite good) and we drank juice bottles with straws through the bottom (hammer and nails were needed for that). While our yummy dinner was baking we got dressed wearing everything upside down and as I was safety pinning my dress in place Jason yelled out those words I most fear when doing something crazy "una Mgeni" (you have a guest). seriously not a great moment. I decided I was positively certain I did not want to explain why Wazungu wear their clothes upside down in their homes on weekends as would obviously be what the guest would derive from seeing me looking like a fool and opted for a quick kanga cover-up. Fortunately it was a quick visit to drop off some green peppers and we were back to crazy Wazungu land in minutes. We each took turns standing on our heads and taking silly family pictures. We flipped our coffee table upside down and ate our dinner giggling when the cheap table lost a couple slats in the process, played Chutes and Ladders from the end to the start, and enjoyed upside down ice cream sundaes (we put the chocolate sauce in the bowl first of course). But not everything was perfect snapshots. As we were getting ready our kids did not stop the fighting and Anni was in tears at least twice about pins coming lose or Evy getting something she didn't and it occurred to us to just drop the whole thing. But it also came so strongly to me that this is real family time. A mix of the sweet and the difficult. Yet, it is us right now. It is more our story than perfect pictures or all seemly wonderful moments strung together. But I am so glad we continued through the unexpected guests, the food splattered floor, the tears about wanting more games because in the end it was special.....not the kind of special that is perfect but the kind that is us. And that is why it was full of love.
Evy could not get enough.....more Fam Fab in our future...