.... wait. let me back up and preface this little story with this:  i have been babysitting so much lately.  this week alone, i have been gone from like 8 in the morning until at least 9 or 10 at night.  it's been pretty nuts.  i now know why moms of little kids yearn for adult conversation every once in a while.  i feel like i talk baby talk all the time.  sometimes i catch myself and laugh.  it's been fun being able to "practice" being a mom.  i really love these kids that i spend hours with. but back to the story.

so.  tonight,

i was babysitting.  {shocker.}  i had put the kidlets in bed and was watching american idol while straightening up the disaster of a playroom.  all of a sudden i hear, "miss shayleeeee!!"  {maddie calls me "miss shaylee."  cutest thing ever.}  so i go upstairs to her room and poke my head in the door.

"what, maddie girl?"

"um, my finger started hurting."

i looked at it.  no blood, no scrapes, no nothing.  i kissed it and said, "does it feel better now?"  maddie smiled at me.  "yep!"  i shook my head at her and said, "okay maddie, time to go to sleep now, okay?"

"okay.  goodnight! see you in the morning!"

"goodnight maddie. see you in the morning."

"yeah! see you in the morning too!"  this is a direct quote. haha sooo stinkin' cute.

and i go back downstairs.

literally 30 seconds later: "miss shayleeeee!!!"  i ignored it.  "miss shayleeee!!!"  trudge back up the stairs.  poke my head in the door.  this time, it's that the light is too bright in the hallway.  i turn it off, say, "maddie, you really need to go to sleep, okay?" and after another round of kisses and hugs and 'goodnights', i'm headed back down the stairs.

this happened about 12 more times.

after i finally convinced her to go to sleep {or she got too tired to keep coming up with excuses}, i had some time by myself to just sit and think.  and lemme tell ya...

i love this part of what i'm doing right now.  

i love kids and their sweet spirits, their innocence, their laughter, their tight hugs, their messy kisses, their freedom.  they are absolutely precious.  Heavenly Father knew what He wanted me to do these months before my mission.  i can say wholeheartedly that i am in love with my life right now.

God is in charge.  i can either wish for time to go by faster and miss what's right in front of me, or i can embrace the beauty in every day, every hour, every minute.  i can either be frustrated that maddie wants me to go upstairs 15 times after i've tucked her in, or i can be grateful that she trusts me, that i'm there for her, and that her sweet spirit can affect me and the way i think.

yes.  yes he is.  and how grateful i am! 

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