Friday, August 31, 2012

Memories to Savor

Waaaay back in the day we received this plate as a wedding gift.  i distinctly remember registering for it in a small boutique dreaming of all the special moments and people we'd whoop it up with.  There would be celebrations, special announcements, promotions and i knew someday my future Littles would celebrate birthday meals upon its shiny redness!  i had great plans for this little plate it was going to be heaped high with memories for our family to savor!  

(i even remember EXACTLY who gave it to us: Mr. Manley, the principle i worked for my first year of teaching which also happened to be the same principle my husband spent much of his 7th and 8th grade years with (Ahem).  Thankfully i was not considered guilty by association.)  

For years it sat upon the shelf and was pulled out for the occasions deemed "Special" enough.  Four to five times a year it would be dusted off to make its grand appearance.  Oddly enough no one else at the table seemed to be as enthusiastic about it as i was. 

 Within the last few months the Red Plate has reinvented herself and here in Dubai, the Red Plate has made a major comeback.  i stumbled upon a way to force encourage our family to LOVE the Red Plate and the memories we are building as a family.  It doesn't even matter that the motivating factor was the desperate need for a clean dish 'cause in the end we have found a way to fill our home with more good stuff. And really, why let a perfectly clean plate go to waste?

So instead of sitting high on display (as there is no room around here for that) the plate gets shuffled in with the regular stuff of life and doesn't have to wait for a big special occasion to make her resplendent appearance.  Once a day whomever gets the Red Plate at meal time receives lavish praise and attention from the rest of the family on why we think they are special and what we enjoyed doing with them that particular day.  Now at meal time my kids anxiously ask, 
"Who's getting the Plate!?" 
Rather than waiting for a grand event to occur we are discovering the special in everyday.    

"Encourage each other daily, while it is still today..." Hebrews 3:13  
Because we all can use a little encouragement!

Last night at dinner back in sweet ole Dubai, after a 2 hours of grocery shopping, 12 solid hours of laundry (which is STILL not complete) and a temperature outside that clambered up to 42 Celsius (107F, plus humidity),  this Little Red Plate got me thinking.

See, we just got back from Paris where everything seems so exciting, adventurous and SPECIAL.   

Late night picnic under the Eiffel tower

Early morning climbs up LOTS of stairs

Slimy snails which the kids typically cover with salt and watch bubble and ooze in the garden magically transform into edible escargot in Paris

Art @ the Louvre

The original Nike ;-)

And the Real Deal Mona Lisa

Paris views with lots of sketching inspiration for our blossoming artist

Having this jogging path everyday  *sigh*

Past this

 Down this

To This!!

(For the record, Paris 6:30am is WAY different than Paris 10:00am!)

We were able to create some AMAZING memories that we will savor and many of them are worthy of the OLD Red Plate that sat high upon the shelf.

But the NEW Red Plate reminds me to look for the special in the ordinary.  As i have observed our kids travel to various memorable places, i realize their faces light up with the same excitement whether they are climbing UP the Eiffel Tower or racing me DOWN 44 flights of some random hotel stairwell on a dare.
They feel just as important donning an apron to help Daddy BBQ in the 107 degree heat as they do helping locate world famous monuments.

A game of  "Who Spies it First" is exciting whether looking  for the Eiffel Tower in Paris or in desperation searching for a destination in Dubai.

The most common, "Hey, remember when we first moved to Dubai..." moment wasn't their first camel ride (though they did love that!) it was the impromptu game of forehead charades played in our hotel.

While traveling we have received comments like:

"What an amazing experience your kids are having."
"Your kids are going to have GREAT pictures for their wedding."
"Such great memories for your family." 

Yes, Yes, and Yes!

But guess what memories are sticking?  
New Red Plate sort of stuff, the memories based on family time together and not location.  

So now that we are back to the dust of Dubai where my brand new dishwasher is in need of repair and it is way to HOT to run anywhere, and the Eiffel Tower is nowhere in sight, we are choosing to create good memories.

Our final night in Paris, we asked the kids what they thought the last thing was that we should do before leaving The City of Lights.  

"Play Charades as a family."

Right there in a Parisian cafe while waiting for our dinner we played charades.

Good Stuff


Lovella said...

WOW! I LOVE this! It's something that everyone needs to look for and remember to do. Your heart blesses me so much, Tami! Mom

Les said...

You can pack so much into a brief report of your lives, and what you have done. I trust that you are backing up all of your blog, because some day, your littles, their spouses, and even your own grand children will look back on this part of your lives and be blessed, just like we are know. God has given you a special opportunity to reach out to your world, and to friends, known and even unknown. Love you all Dad

Betty said...

Just the simple pleasures in life can be more meaningful that the famous are creating great memories for your kids even as you're playing charades!

rentz said...

Great idea, Tami. And great verse too!