Beauty in EVERY Moment

My husband’s Grandma Jane made the BEST cinnamon rolls in the world. years ago on one particular visit I decided I was determined to learn her sticky bun magic. Pen and paper out, I jotted down everything, from the type of spoon she used to the number of times she stirred the dough. How she sprinkled on the sugar and cinnamon and the color of the pan she cooked them in. With my careful calculations and particular care I took in writing everything down I just knew I would be pulling out the most golden, soft, moist cinnamon rolls when we got home.

The batches that followed never quite measured up. Rock hard. Too crunchy, too doughy, not sweet enough. Even when following the directions I so carefully jotted down that day I have yet to master her perfect rolls.

Every spring I make a Little Shutterfly book for the previous year. Last July Grandma Jane passed away quickly and unexpectedly. While I looked through pictures to create our annual book and tried to decide what to say for the summer months, I thought about all that I wished I had learned from her before she left. If I could have watched her make those cinnamon rolls one more time I just might have discovered her magic. Just maybe.

IMG_0414But as amazing as her cinnamon rolls were, they dimmed in comparison to the other life lessons I wish I could have learned. In her funeral program is something she wrote.

“Every moment is beautiful and captures the attention.”

Right after our third son was born I remember feeling exhausted, exasperated, and at the end of my rope. Our then four-year-old and two-year-old had demanded one too many things and made far too many messes. I took the baby and locked myself in the bedroom. I could hear the two little criminal master minds contemplating how to break in as I sat with the baby in the rocking chair and cried. Whoever came up with the saying not to cry over spilled milk must have understood mother-dom well. That cup of spilled milk has reduced me to tears far more often than I would like to admit.

THAT moment was not my prettiest, nor what I would have called beautiful.

For months we fought a whitey tighty war against our middle son. Every time he woke up, every time he used the bathroom, every time he escaped my view I had to ask him, “M, are you wearing underwear?” and that was always, always followed by, “Please go get your underwear on.” Sometimes my response was anything but beautiful. Sometimes I was so tired of the constant questioning that it was downright mean. One day M came running down the stairs. “DAD! DAD! Guess what?? I remembered underwear! Wanna see?” With that he pulled down his pants, revealing a naked little bottom. His shocked face was priceless as he yanked up his pants and scampered back up the stairs.

As a mom I can’t say that I find every moment beautiful. Sure, it often captures the attention, but all-too-often in a “You spilled your milk AGAIN?!” sort of way. The scraped knees, the toddler tantrums, the cleaning up after every single messy meal. The legos that I always manage to step on and the beds that never get made. Frankly, motherhood often leaves me a grumpy old witch.

But Grandma Jane didn’t just write that every moment was beautiful. They were so much more than words. I have no doubt that she felt it. She really and truly believed it. Every moment DID seem beautiful to her and did capture her attention. She had an incredible way of finding the best in even the most rotten person or crummy situation. Grandma Jane left behind a legacy of finding beauty.

HPIM0657Some moments might not seem beautiful as a mom. Some moments are downright dirty. But I am sure that with effort we can, like Grandma Jane, find beauty in even the ugliest moment.

Maybe it will take a healthy dose of humor.
I’m sure we will have to seek for a good measure of forgiveness.
We occasionally will have to throw common sense to the wind, forget we’re adults and jump in the mud with the kids.
Sometimes it might mean taking a step back and just being thankful that it wasn’t worse than it was. We might have to be grateful for those that help us through those particularly hard days.

Beauty is there for the finding. We often just might have to look extra hard. And eventually I hope it will get easier and easier for the beauty to capture the attention instead of the mess.

Someday I will master her cinnamon roll recipe. It might take years to achieve the ooy-gooy Grandma Jane-y goodness, but someday I’m determined to serve up a plate of the best rolls you have ever tasted. And today, today I’m going to try to look on life with such Grandma Jane optimism, such happiness, such joy. And I will try to find beauty in every moment.


7 Comments on “Beauty in EVERY Moment

  1. And some day… least one of these boys of yours is going to produce at least one child that writes a blog post about his Grandma Chelsi and how oohey-gooey her cinnamon rolls are, how deeply she cares, what a difference she’s made to him, and how much thought she put into everything she did. I’m quite sure of this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Torrie, you are so kind. I hope so much my grandkids can remember me this way! I’m sure yours will. 🙂 and those cinnamon rolls…maybe in 30 years I’ll have them mastered to her perfection. That oohey-gooey goodness must be passed to future generations!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Dianne, we miss you too! Thinking of you this Easter morning and hoping you are spending it with family and loved ones. This is the grandma I think I told you once that you remind me of. 🙂 So thankful for your friendship!


  2. Chelsi!! This is such a beautiful post. Beautifully worded and filled with beautiful thoughts. I can relate to this so much– stepping on too many toys, stepping in something sticky, picking up toys {endlessly} and drowning in diapers. I feel like you wrote what I have been trying to work on recently–really enjoying motherhood. It is hard to look up and focus on the smiles, the giggles, the fun, and the memories, but the days that I do are so much more rewarding. Your grandmother sounds like such a wonderful woman. I have to agree with Torrie. I’m sure you will have grandchildren who look up to you and are inspired by you, because you already inspire me. Love you my friend!! Sometime you should do a pregnancy update, cause I’d love to see and hear how this pregnancy has been treating you! I think about you often 🙂


  3. Thanks so much, Marla! I completely agree–the days I actually look up and focus on the smiles, giggles, fun and memories are much more rewarding. You inspire me too! 🙂 I will have to do a pregnancy update soon. This time has definitely been different than any of my kids before–I keep wondering if just maybe the ultrasound was wrong and it’s really a girl…I doubt it, but who knows! I hope you are having a wonderful Easter and coference weekend! I Think this is one of my favorite weekends of the entire year. I’ve been thinking about you too and hoping that the last bit of school this semester has gone well!


  4. Chelsi, I love reading your blog. You are good at writing your feelings. One day you will be able to look back at all of the things that seem to be so hard and say you miss it. You made me smile. I would love to have my girls little again. Thank you for sharing


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