5:37 a.m. The alarm sounds. Wipe the crust from my eyes and try to remind myself why a working mom like me is rolling out of bed while the house is still quiet. I could get at least another hour of good sleep.

5:51 Fill up my water bottle and head for the gym. I want my kids to know that moms are healthy, too. This is my “me time” for the day.

6:48 As I pull into the garage, a blonde-headed smiler peeks her head out of the kitchen door.  “Momma,” she squeals and darts out dragging her blanket across the garage debris. That’s okay because we’ll wash it … well never. My four-year-old can’t live without it, so I’ll just shake off the dried spider and call it good.

6:49  Kiss my husband good morning. Add an extra hug because he has coffee brewing. Then kiss him goodbye as he heads to work for the day.

7:03 Nod along while brushing my teeth to my six-year-old’s telling of Polly Pocket borrows Barbie’s car to take her baby sister to the zoo to see T-Rex and meet a firefighter buying a snow cone.

7:53 How is it almost 8?! Seven minutes to throw on a wrinkled shirt I left in the dryer too long. I pair it with wedges and cute earrings, hoping that will look like I tried for work today.

7:59 With a mouthful of granola bar breakfast, I welcome the nanny. After describing how to drop the girls off for vacation Bible school, I leave $20 for her to take the girls to lunch. Kiss and squeeze two girls who I’ll miss all day long. Still nightgowned, they wave and blow me kisses from the garage step.

At the office

8:05 Coffee. Wait where’s my coffee? Check my Google calendar. I note that my first meeting doesn’t start till 8:30, so I drive through Starbucks on the way to the office.

8:12 The barista knows me by my drive-through voice. He asks if I have the girls or not. What he means is, “Do you need two cookies straws with your iced coffee?” “It’s a workday,” I remind him.

8:32 Slip into the last open seat at my meeting. Pull out my laptop from my purse and drag a stray Elsa sock and old sucker with it. My coworkers laugh knowingly. At least one of them is a working mom, too.

11:23 Text my friend to confirm lunch plans. In clinical talk, she’s helping me sort through my daughter’s sensory sensitivities. Mom talk means she’s helping me keep it together when my daughter completely melts down because her sock is too itchy and her ponytail feels too tight for the millionth morning in a row. Phew! Thankful to be in this together.

11:48 Text the nanny to be see how VBS went. Ogle over the cute pictures she sends me of my kids and marvel with my lunch date how socks never seem to itch when my daughter is with anyone else. Lucky for them. And me, too, because I need to keep a good nanny!

2:30 Soaking up the quiet desk hours while I can. Quiet time is hard to come by for a woman in demand at work and at home.

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What’s for dinner?

4:33 p.m. Start wondering what we’ll have for dinner. I have no idea if I remembered to thaw the chicken. Pack up my computer to head for home.

4:52 Tackled welcome by swimsuited little girls who’ve been running through the backyard sprinkler. See? We have the best nanny! But those girls are hungry! So what am I making for dinner?

5:07 Scoot two chairs over to the kitchen counter for my chefs in training. One cracks eggs into a bowl. One lines biscuits onto the baking pan. “But biscuits are for breakfast,” she suggests. “Not tonight, sweetie. We’re making breakfast for dinner.” Her eyes grow wide with excitement. I love how the little things are such a delight to them. Instead of a dinner fail, they see it as dinner treat.

5:28 The girls’ ears detect the faintest sound of a Jeep turning onto our road. “DADDY!!!” they yell and rush to the window. They tackle him welcome too and brag about eggs and hash browns for a surprise.

5:35 Eight hands lock together around the table. We give thanks for each other and the plates in front of us. The youngest ends with her rote recitation: “God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen.”  My husband winks at me with a swig of orange juice on his lips. “I saw the chicken in the freezer this morning,” he says, “But I had my heart set on eggs for dinner, too.”

Bedtime prayers

7:18 Shower time. The girls argue over who starts the water, who rinses her hair first, who squirts the conditioner, who gets to turn the water off, and who gets to brush the baby doll’s hair.

7:28 We coax two clean, bickering girls from the shower. Dress them in PJs and pour cups of bedtime milk.

7:43 Four of us snuggle into our oldest’s full-size bed for three Bible stories and bedtime prayers. Each girl requests that I say a special prayer for her sister. One for the sister’s skinned knee. Another for the sister’s upcoming spelling test. I add on a prayer that they’ll both sleep through the night and a sincere thank you for the daily motherhood privilege that belongs to me.

8:20 Kitchen clean up time while the husband and I unhash our days. Settle on the couch to watch a rerun of Fixer Upper or Master Chef.

9:50 Spread out blanket pallets on the floor for our nighttime sleepwalkers. Together thank God for today and ask Him for the faith for tomorrow so we can live up another regular day with gratitude and courage.

The days are tiring but they’re worth it. Making memories, teaching our children, passing on our faith to the next generation, is what our moments are made of. In the midst of each busy second, I try to focus on fully living in every single one.

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