Today I had the opportunity to be at home! That is not necessarily an unusual thing but lately it hasn’t been as frequent. I had a lot of things on my list and was eager to get going. In the morning I needed to walk my daughter’s dog and feed her, I also wanted to get my Seminary lesson prepared, exercise, and get a shower. That all worked out great. Clean the bathroom and get the dishes washed and the kitchen clean, check and check. Pick the rest of my beets and onions and get them cleaned. That worked out great as the sun finally came out for a few hours and the weather was beautiful! Usually, I’m picking in the rain. Once the beets were cleaned, I got them peeled and cut into cubes and on the stove to cook. I was doing great with my timing. While they were cooking, I went back out to the garden and picked peas and lettuce for dinner. I was feeling prepared for everyone’s return home, and I was excited to get the rest of the beets pickled.

Just as I was getting the pickling liquid made my husband called and asked if I wanted to drive into Wasilla so we could go to dinner together as a family. What? … He never wants to take the kids to dinner because it’s expensive (although I take them out on occasion because I think it’s a fun treat sometimes). I was in the middle of getting dinner going and had the beets cooking and the pickling liquid mostly made. I had a brief moment of frustration as I was thinking of everything I was getting done and that none of it would get done now. But that moment was brief. I decided that spending time together as a family was way more important than beets and that they beets would keep until tomorrow. I also knew the kids would be thrilled to go to dinner together as a family.

The kids were already with their dad, so I was able to meet them at the job site before we went out to eat. He wasn’t sure where he wanted to go. I reminded him that fast food costs the same as a sit-down restaurant, but I also offered him a way out by going to the gas station and getting a hot dog for everyone for dinner. Nope, he wanted to go sit down somewhere. We ended up at Red Robin because we both knew the boys could fill up on bottomless fries, if need be, which they did. It was such a fun evening out. We heard about the kid’s days, heard stories about things going on in their lives, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We eat dinner together and visit almost every night, but it’s fun to have a change of scenery once in a while.

Years ago, I read an article written by a woman who said something to the effect that if your husband wants to go to dinner, even if you’re already preparing dinner, go to dinner. Whatever you’re making at home can be saved for the next day. I have found that to be exceptionally wise counsel and have always been grateful for that article because often my husband is very last minute in these kinds of decisions or suggestions. We are never looking for the unexpected in life because if we were it wouldn’t be unexpected. However, when we find the unexpected, quite often it is something great just waiting to happen. Today’s unexpected invitation turned into a great evening with our family. I am so grateful for unexpected opportunities.

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