Slow Saturday Mornings

When my oldest two were four and seven and I was pregnant with the youngest, we went to Yellowstone. It was May. Deep snow lined the roads through the high mountain passes even while the sun made long sleeves unbearable.

Because I’m into conversation, every night I would ask the kids and my husband what their favorite thing had been from the day. My son talked about the bear we saw, hikes we took, and Castle Geyser’s eruption. My daughter’s answer? “That we ate breakfast together.”

It was the same every night.

She’d watched bison and elk, climbed rocks, and invented a game called “catch-stick” that we still play at the Firehole River Picnic Area. She hiked, quite happily, for miles, laid hold of a “bear-fighting stick” that she planned to defend the family with, and had even seen a bear. She did all this, and her favorite thing was that we ate breakfast together?


Breakfast together was a daily event at home. At least, it was for the kids and me. Her Daddy was at work by the time we sat down to eat. She is what we call in our family a “we,” one who, while extremely comfortable with her own company, likes to share even life’s little adventures with others,  adventures like breakfast.

That was ten years ago and while my kids have been busy growing and changing, some things have stayed the same. Castle is still my son’s favorite geyser. For my daughter, the best part of an evening or a visit with friends or family is, in her words, “just hanging out.”

Monday through Friday we still eat breakfast without Dad. On Saturdays, though, we have breakfast together. It’s a late one and we call it brunch. It’s one of the best parts of our week, the capstone of a slow Saturday morning.

Not all Saturday mornings are slow. Some start fast and don’t end until we’re ready to drop after dark. Our kids have activities. We have a home and a yard to keep up. Some days we’re just gone and on the go all day long.

But a slow Saturday morning when I’m up before the sun and the house stays quiet for a long time? This is where I carve out some mental space in the midst of a busy week. It’s where I create the stillness which I’ve learned that my soul needs to thrive.  I read. I think. The fog in my brain dissipates.

As the sun rises, the family trickles in sleepily from their rooms. Bearing books or blankets or Bibles, they snuggle up to me on the couch or crash in a big comfy chair. They read. They stare out at the window at the rising sun. Sometimes they drift back to sleep.

Eventually, though, we must rise and move toward our day and whatever tasks it holds. Mine are in the kitchen.

Life in my kitchen runs on a predictable cycle of feast then famine. A few days of food flowing from cupboard to oven to table are invariably followed by two or three weeks of culinary chaos. We eat. Looking back, I can never determine exactly what, because I didn’t cook enough to make that many leftovers.

Hopeful for less famine and more feast, I use these mornings to prepare not only our brunch but for the week ahead. While brunch bakes I mix up a batch of muffin mix, or dough for artisan Bread in Five, or prepare a big salad for the week. It helps.

My littlest girl likes to set a pretty table. When both she and the food are ready, we sit and pray and talk about the week behind and the one to come. Then the slow part is over. Life resumes again its normal pace, faster and louder than I would like, but tolerable after a slow Saturday morning.

And you? Is there a place in your week where you can make some mental space? Or, you already have that, what do you do?

Sharing at The Weekend Brew , Still SaturdayInspire Me Monday and Thought Provoking Thursday.

16 thoughts on “Slow Saturday Mornings

  1. joanneviola says:

    What a sweet post! And a sweet girl! Breakfast still is our favorite meal. Often we go out for breakfast after church on Sundays, even if it should be lunch 🙂 May she always cherish these family times as she grows up! And may you always hold onto the memories. They are precious! Blessings!

  2. Holly Barrett says:

    I love a slow Saturday morning! I’m still working on carving out that time for mental relaxation and downtime. Some weeks I do it better than others. In fact just yesterday, I laid on the sofa watching a couple of Twilight movies and dozing off and on despite the things that were running through my head that I needed to be doing. It was most refreshing!! 🙂

    • Natalie says:

      You mentioned things running through your head. I find that there are more of those in my head all of the time and that I have a hard time sitting with my family without wanting to do one more thing or check something quick. We all thrive when I slow, though, so I join and applaud you for ignoring the things running through your head.

  3. Barbie says:

    Children grow up so fast. I’ve strived to have at least one day where we eat together and am blessed to have two! I miss the days when they were young and just wanted to hang out with mom!

    • Natalie says:

      Those days pass quickly, don’t they? It help to have something we’re striving for, doesn’t it? Otherwise, for me, things just turn into a blur. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Gentle Joy says:

    The kids grow up so fast….but how precious that they enjoy together time… kids love it that we eat together and will say we are eating “all alone” if 1 out of 8 are missing. 🙂 I am treasuring this time. Thank you for sharing. Gentle Joy

  5. Carol Longenecker Hiestand says:

    lovely thoughts. I am a grandmother now, caring for me dad and ways to slow down are different for me, but when my three boys were young, I found someone who was care for my little ones and every other week, it was known as Mommy’s dad off. It was a time when I did just what you do on those slow Love it htat you are teaching your young ones to appreciate the slow…and that daughter of yours reminds me of me….just let us be together. that’s what I loved and what I still love.. visiting you here from weekend brew after your visit to me on Weekend Brew. I also read your “about.” I always like to know who is writing. blessings

    • Natalie says:

      It is fun to know who is writing, isn’t it? The ways to slow are different for all of us, especially in our different stages of life. Mommy’s day off is a great idea. I think that a little time like that makes me a better mommy so the time is well spent. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.

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