I make him a ham and cheese sandwich — it’s always ham and cheese, every day — and put it in the fridge for him to build around in the morning. I don’t do it every day, but I do it some days because making a sandwich in the morning can seem like a monumental task. See also: Getting the coffee machine ready and brewing.

Morning sees sleepy-eyed children emerging from their bedrooms and stopping on the second step of the staircase for a hug. I feel their sleepy warmth and remark on their rosy cheeks and ask them what I can make for breakfast. She likes (soy) milk warmed in a coffee cup and all three of them like variations of cereal and toast and eggs and then the dudes are rushing out to catch the bus so that they can be with their friends and she and I have an extra forty-five minutes to fuss with socks that DON’T FEEL RIGHT and decide on the dress du jour and pick out the perfect color of hair clips to match her outfit.

I bring her to school and three out of the five school days, I run after dropping her off. Some days it’s amazing, some days I suck wind, but most days it is the best reprieve from the every day that a girl could ask for.

A few hours pass and it is time to retrieve them from school. She tackle-hugs me every day and then asks to play at the playground with her friends while I get her brother(s). I make my way around the school and my middle child jumps up and wraps his arms and legs around me. My eldest will join us if his friends won’t be on the bus. We convene, we walk to the van, and we car-dance to ridiculous pop songs because why not?

Every afternoon I line up the three lunch kits in birth order (I can’t help it) and I load them for the next day. Fruit, cheese strings, sandwich of choice, yogurt, homemade cookies. I love to bake and I love to cook and I love to host big dinners but sometimes making breakfast, lunch, and dinner gets tedious. It’s worth it, I know, because I love them. It doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

We work on math homework and we do our home reading time and they practice the piano and I spend an hour or more cooking a meal that will fill them up and help their bodies grow in the best way that they can. Then we’re sitting around the dinner table. Stories are told, they learn to try new things and about which foods make them stronger, and then are freed from their set places around the table. He and I will catch up if we have time, or will jump into clearing the table if we have other commitments.

The hour before bedtime consists of couch time, of reading time, of teeth brushing and of bedtime stalling. We pray for others and for what we’re thankful for and for a good night’s rest and a good day tomorrow.

There are days where I wish I could outsource some of the menial tasks and there are days where I wish there were more hours in a day but there are no days where I wish to be anywhere else or with anyone else or doing anything else differently. It’s a good place to be.


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  1. Hannah February 21, 2013 6:03 am edit

    Great post! I’m a lover of routines so I don’t really mind that most weekdays follow a similar pattern. Although I think that’s also why going on vacation is SO. MUCH. FUN. Just because it’s so different :-)

  2. angella February 21, 2013 6:43 pm edit


  3. Stephanie February 21, 2013 9:40 am edit

    Just beautiful… :)

  4. angella February 21, 2013 6:44 pm edit

    Thank you. :)

  5. Victoria February 21, 2013 11:19 am edit

    A lovely read

  6. angella February 21, 2013 6:44 pm edit

    Thanks, you.

  7. Kristabella February 21, 2013 1:07 pm edit

    My mom made my lunch for us every day, through high school and even in college, when we’d come home for summer jobs. I know she hated it and loved it at the same time.

  8. angella February 21, 2013 6:45 pm edit

    Yes, THAT. :)

  9. ememby February 21, 2013 3:28 pm edit

    Love this: “…but there are no days where I wish to be anywhere else or with anyone else or doing anything else differently.”
    Great writing.

  10. angella February 21, 2013 6:45 pm edit

    Thanks, you. xo

  11. Megan @ Mama Bub February 21, 2013 3:50 pm edit

    Ah, perfection. We’re in our first year of school every day, and it’s such a routine, easy to think of it as a chore. It IS a chore sometimes, but man if I don’t love being the one in charge of all of the things.

  12. angella February 21, 2013 6:46 pm edit

    ME TOO.

  13. Lisa February 21, 2013 4:04 pm edit

    So lovely. I long for the slower paced mornings school will bring… Sounds like you have great days :D

  14. angella February 21, 2013 6:46 pm edit

    I really, truly do.

  15. Cori February 21, 2013 4:34 pm edit

    What a beautiful story! I’ve been feeling the love-hate thing between the constant breakfast-lunch-dinner making, but when it gets me down, I try to remember that these are the golden years and like you – there’s no place I’d rather be. And when my son said to me the other day: “Mom, you make the best lunches,” all the angst disappeared and I was so grateful for this beautiful life of routine. Thanks for your story! Will definitely share with my Momoir peeps.

  16. angella February 21, 2013 6:47 pm edit


  17. JENN February 21, 2013 4:41 pm edit

    I feel like you just gave me a beautiful warm hug…. love this.

  18. angella February 21, 2013 6:47 pm edit

    And you made mme smile. :)

  19. gorillabuns February 21, 2013 5:34 pm edit

    I used to love making the girls lunches and writing handwritten notes. Now I’m not sure why I can’t stand to do it but I can’t.

  20. angella February 21, 2013 6:47 pm edit

    Hugs, friend. xo

  21. alimartell February 21, 2013 6:00 pm edit

    I line my kids’ lunch boxes up in birth order too.


  22. angella February 21, 2013 6:48 pm edit

    Per usual.

  23. Jen Wilson February 22, 2013 10:27 am edit

    Does Emily not like taking the bus? I can see it being a monumental task for Liliana, should the need ever occur.

    I always line up the kids’ plates, lunch bags, whatever in birth order, too. They even have a “colour” (when we use those IKEA plates/cups/utensils).

    It’s neat having a peek into your everyday. :)

  24. angella February 24, 2013 11:18 pm edit


    Emily is not a fan of the bus, and I don’t mind driving her. She’ll take it with her brothers if we need her to (ski date, food bank shift, etc.)

  25. Steph February 22, 2013 3:36 pm edit

    Beautiful. All of it-your heart and perspective, your family, your love! Thanks for sharing!

  26. angella February 24, 2013 11:18 pm edit

    Thanks, you. :)

  27. Rhi February 23, 2013 11:13 am edit

    This is beautiful, friend. These are things that I never expected to love, but I do. Filling up sippy cups, cutting grilled cheese sandwiches into tiny squares, folding tiny pants and socks. I love it all.

  28. angella February 24, 2013 11:19 pm edit

    Right? WHO KNEW?!?

  29. Ninabi February 24, 2013 6:14 pm edit

    You brought it all back to me as if it were yesterday- the sweet routines of family life where it seems as if everyone will be school age forever.

    You wrote about it so beautifully. What a good family- and good parents.

  30. angella February 24, 2013 11:20 pm edit

    Aw, thank you. It was fun to write. :)

  31. Hillary February 25, 2013 4:38 am edit

    Love this. And you.

  32. Nava February 25, 2013 12:09 pm edit

    Love this post. I remember a similar routine, from when I was a kid. I always wondered what my Mom did while we were at school. I loved thinking that she was organizing our lunches and thinking about us during that time. Thanks for reinforcing that image!

  33. D March 6, 2013 11:33 am edit

    Great post!
    One of my favorite things about our visit was seeing you with your kids. Amanda too!

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