Unearthing joy with a garden hose, a kiddie pool, and a rusty old swing set

Do you ever have those moments where you feel like you’re catching a glimpse of your life on a movie and you think to yourself “Wow, I really am a grown-up now!” or even just a simple “Oh my gosh, I’m a MOM and this is my family!”?

I had one of those moments the other day as we were Reclaiming Sunday.

It was a rare day of sunshine and blue skies smack dab in the middle of monsoon season and to maximize it we decided that instead of going out to a park or the beach we would slather on sunscreen, gather up our beach towels, and head out our back door.

Oh, it was glorious.

We pulled out the small, brittle plastic wading pool that we got from Freecycle and let Levi fill it with cool hose water. Ryan put up our “new” swing set (another Freecycle score) and attached the shiny, new toddler swing that Levi got for his birthday. Buckets and shovels and balls scattered across the surface of the yard. I reclined in a lounge chair under the frangipani tree eating grapes and feeling like the luckiest woman on the planet. Levi ran loose, buzzing between the pool and the swing set, the dirt patch and my lounge chair. Friends dropped in and stayed for a cool drink and to watch the unfolding show as Levi learned how the hose worked and stumbled gleefully through the sprinkler. Ryan got his BBQ groove on.

We laughed. We relished. We relaxed. We soaked it all in.

Yes, it was glorious. One of those days that is so simple, so unpretentious, so “normal”, and so perfect.

One of those days that goes down in my little mental record book titled “Best Days Ever”.

We got to the end of it wishing we could rewind and do it all again.

Not every day off is so Norman Rockwell – our lives are not perfect – and yet it’s days like these that somehow make their way into shaping both ideals and memories of what family time is all about. It’s days like these that prove how easy it is to find joy in the simple things… if only you take the time to slow down and look for it.

Dear friends, what are you doing to create some family time or good memories this week? What are you doing to unearth some joy in your life?

for the love of a sprinkler,

This post is part of my Reclaiming Sundays project – an intentional effort to carve out family time every week to rest, refresh, breathe, enjoy, laugh, relax… 
adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
do not reproduce without written permission

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • And then there was Anna...
    1 April 2011 at 1:27 pm

    that picture with him passed out in that swing is sooo cute, you can tell he had a great day!!

  • cooperl788
    1 April 2011 at 2:37 pm

    The last photo of Levi is just priceless. It's so true – those few days where everything seems to just be perfect are the ones we hold in our memory forever and ever.
    The week has been crazy with my in-laws visiting, but this weekend is going to be nice and quiet. Jeremy and Georgia are nursing a cold, so realistically, I'm going to be making homemade chicken soup for them and doing laundry. But when I read Georgia a bedtime story, and when I snuggle on the couch with my honey (not too close though, I don't want to get sick!) I'm going to relish those moments of being able to show my family just how much I love them.

  • Cari
    1 April 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I live for those "normal" days, they are the best! Those are also the memories our children will cherish, not the big adventures, so to speak, but the moments at home and with family. Thanks for the reminder.

  • JIll
    1 April 2011 at 7:42 pm

    I love the picture of him sleeping in the swing. I wish my boys would do that. I love days like this and as I read this on a chilly rainy day I look forward to haveing a backyard day soon, so very soon.

  • Branson @ Reflection of Something
    2 April 2011 at 12:19 pm

    That sounds so glorious! That last photo deserves to be frame! Darling!

  • Rachel
    2 April 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Eating croissants! I'm finally excited that as a family, we can start having Sundays again! I thought we wouldn't get our 'Sunday' on a Sunday but we did — even better!

  • Jessica
    2 April 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Looks like a great day to me. Sometimes it is hard to find time to enjoy time together like that but those moments are so precious. I love the picture of him sleeping in the swing.

  • Nessa
    3 April 2011 at 9:31 pm

    That is awesome! Oh the joys of a hose and sleeping outside.

  • Anonymous
    4 April 2011 at 5:05 am

    Love this Adriel! So amazing what you and Ryan have been able to obtain through freecycle – definitely God providing through your resourcefulness. Precious sleeping boy – kiss those sweet cheeks for me!



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