Friday, October 30, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

Jeeper had a play date on Wednesday and we made and decorated pirate hats. Time to walk the plank mateys... argh!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Oh Say Can You See

Gratitude Challenge Day Ten: Pick one of your five senses to focus on. Take note of how many gifts come to you via that single port of entry. Write about this experience.

Usually autumn is my favorite time of year. However this fall hasn't filled me with the usual awe. I don't know if it is because of things that have me down: my family's stress over my dad's stroke, the struggle to live on one income (while trying to remind myself that doing so is a choice), or the ongoing search for meaning without a job title to define me (I still stubbornly refuse to call myself a SAHM - which is a whole other blog post.) Or has this autumn been less appealing because we had such an amazing, sun-filled summer? Probably all of the above.

However, thanks to the Gratitude Challenge, I had a brief appreciation for autumn after I chose to focus on being grateful for the ability to see. As I moved through my day I saw hundreds of things that I felt grateful to see, but then I had the moment. Walking out of the library with CeCe in my arms, the wind blew and we were showered with leaves. It was one of those scenes that stops time. The sun peeked through the clouds and shone on us. In that golden warmth, leaves fell all around us -- yellow and orange and red. So beautiful. CeCe looked at me with her big blue eyes and she grinned her adorable smile. And I felt so, so grateful. For the ability to see well enough to get into my car and drive to the library. Because my sight allows me to read the books I picked up there. For eyes to see the gorgeous fall colors. But most of all, I am grateful that everyday I am able to see my children. What an amazing gift.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

On Saturday my boys went to the park and played in the mud.  So fun!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

If at First You Don't Succeed

Day Nine of the Gratitude Challenge: Enjoy the people around you. Take a moment to appreciate their unique talents, abilities and personalities. I didn't do it perfectly every minute all day, BUT today, more than most days recently, I truly enjoyed my family. Here are some highlights:

CeCe started walking in the last couple of weeks and it is still so freaking cute. Her wobbly toddle -- bowlegged and unsteady -- melted my heart 100 times today. She looks a little like a drunken cowboy but her soft golden hair and big blue eyes make her 100 times cuter than any old coot. She is also suddenly into books and will bring one to me, grin and say "BAH," and then sit still for about 1/3 of the story before she wiggles and fights to get down. When her feet hit the floor she remembers she wants back up into my lap. She is a snuggle and cuddle bug and I adore her sweetness.

Jeeper sang to me a lot today. I L-O-V-E it when he sings just for me. Today not only did he sing two or three songs that he remembered from his preschool, but he stood right in front of me while I sat on the couch and sang me two different "original songs." He sings so sweetly and seriously and from his heart -- the music runs deep for my little guy. I also loved when he and CeCe played together today. He was driving her pink truck while pulling her behind him in her wagon walker. "I'm towing her," he told me matter-of-factly. You can tell by her grin that she thought it was super fun.

When my husband got home from work, he admitted he was feeling a little under the weather. But he spent a long time playing with the kids after dinner -- I especially enjoyed the funny magic tricks! AND he did a lot of vacuuming at my request even though I could tell he really wanted/needed to relax and rest. After the kids were asleep, we were sitting on the couch watching The Office and I was writing an email for an upcoming volunteer event and he played with my hair. He is always so good at saying loving words and showing affection.

The last few days I've been thinking I needed to get together with friends to complete this "enjoy the people around you" exercise. But today, just an average Thursday, proved that there is great joy right under my own roof.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gratitude Schmatitude Part 2

Okay. So the Tiny Prints Gratitude Challenge is kicking my behind. Not only because writing something everyday is hard, but ALSO because most of the assignments are truly challenging (hmmm... maybe that is how they came up with the name) if I do them honestly. So honestly, some days I'm NOT very grateful.

Last week I got stuck on Day Nine: Enjoy the people around you. Take a moment to appreciate their unique talents, abilities and personalities. I was all geared up to complete the assignment at my god-daughter's birthday dinner. I was even going to take my camera and capture every grateful moment on film. Then come home and entertain the masses with my witty analysis of these people that I love. But before we left home on Thursday, Bea called to let me know her husband felt like he had the flu... and in the midst of swine-flu paranoia, we decided not to to go to the party. Boo. Oh well, I decided I would delay the assignment one day and appreciate my friend Polly and her new baby on Friday. But then she sent a text that they were sick too! Grr. How am I supposed to enjoy the people around me if I don't get to be around anyone?! (Lovely how I've made it all about me, heh.)

I know I could have, probably should have, spent time being grateful for my two angel kiddos and my handsome, loving husband. But instead, I've let myself be a grump and I've focused on my frustration about not being able to be with my friends. So today, I'm completing the assignment for Day Nine Point Five: Give yourself a break and then get over your grumpy self. Seriously.

PS - I "borrowed" the above photo of the adorable, yet grumpy carrot, from bbk bags on etsy. Check out her super cute handbags! She is very talented and she has the best birthday ever.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back In the Saddle

Okay, so obviously I fell off the Gratitude Challenge wagon. Or I got on the wagon. Whichever one means I wasn't doing it - that metaphor always throws me for a loop. Anyway, while I have been trying to be grateful everyday, I wasn't keeping up with the assignments on the 21-day calendar. But now I'm BACK! I know you missed me.

Day Eight: Send thank you notes to five people who deserve a little recognition. I did it! Well, two notes still need address details, but all five thank you notes are written, stamped and will be mailed tomorrow. As always, I was blessed by writing the notes more than any of the recipients could be. If it weren't the middle of the night and my hand wasn't already cramping, I could easily write five more. So thank you Tiny Prints. For such a lovely idea. AND for not suing me for borrowing the lovely thank you note image in today's post.  :) Good night!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

The Cutest Chicken on the Farm!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

Thanks to Grandpa and Grandma for the wonderful visit
and for taking these great pictures.  We love you!


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Purple Mountain Majesties

Day Seven of the Gratitude Challenge: Take a picture of one thing, person, place or specific moment that makes you feel grateful. Share it with your social network.

I worked all day today at a fun event called The Kids Sale. And while there was much to be grateful for during my day, I was too busy to take any photos. So I am posting a photo from a few days ago -- one that my father-in-law snapped while he, my mother-in-law, husband, Jeeper and CeCe were visiting a local farm for Harvest Days. (I stayed at home and sorted through hundreds of items to prepare for The Kids Sale - grin.) This photo reflects just a tiny slice of the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I love that by driving a few miles we can get to the countryside OR to the beach and that either place has a stunning mountain view. I am grateful to live in such a lovely region of the world!