Friday, March 30, 2012

The Power of Thank You

It's not intentional that my recent posts have seemed a little melancholy.  I am not sad or unhappy. I am just humble.  And fearful that I am not grateful enough for all the goodness that is mine.  It's is my preference to smile broadly, love deeply and laugh loudly.  Always my preference.  And now added to that list is "say thank you".  Thank you is a word that comes easily to me, but maybe not enough. 

Amber over at London Reid is someone that I follow and admire. She makes beautiful jewelry and has handsome little boys. That should be enough, I think.  But she also is taking the time to say thank you in a very big way.  I am planning to join her.

This weekend I will be headed to the book store to pick up this book and get started on my thank yous. 

via London Reid 
 One thank you a day for 365 days.  My first thank you will go to Amber and it will come from the very bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grammar Jammer

My super sweet first grade girl sounded SO cute sharing her grammar jammer with me. She wasn't camera ready, but was willing to let me film her American Girl lookalike doll while she shared.

You can see the YouTube link here

She won't sound this sweet forever and I just wanted to be sure not to take the moment for granted.  Loving the little things . . .

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Donut Day

Orange juice and extra quarters pushed me out of bed just a few minutes earlier this morning.  Before I left for the store I kissed both of my warm, sleepy babies and asked them to get moving.  It was our turn to sell donuts after mass and we needed to be there a little early to set up.  I left with my fingers crossed that they would at least roll over before I returned.

Driving to the store I couldn't help thinking of the girl I didn't know.  She wouldn't ever get to sell donuts with her brand new baby boy and her 10 year old son that plays baseball on an opposing team will never have his Mom wake him up on a Sunday again.  Their story makes me unimaginably sad.  Young, healthy and happy this lovely woman died in child birth.   Her Dad is the principal of the school where the Athlete went to kindergarten.  Two little boys lost their Mom and a loving family lost their daughter, their sister, their wife.  Everyone is talking about it and everyone hurts for their family. We are not different.

Armed with coffee, the required gallon of orange juice and a roll of quarters I opened the front door and they were dancing. Music blaring, fully dressed and dancing.  My sweet husband had cranked up the tunes as an incentive for the Princess to get out of bed.  It worked.  They were healthy and laughing and dancing in the family room before mass.  My heart was so full.

We got to church in plenty of time and set up the donut room per the instructions.  The other family that was scheduled with us is a single Mom who we know casually.  She wasn't planning to stay for mass because she said they'd already been and right away I didn't believe her.  My imperfect heart immediately judged her for not sitting through mass before her donut duty.  Outside of the fact that it's none of my business what this woman chooses to do with her time. I was judging her in the house of the Lord.

The tears threatened me more than once in the mass.  I knelt when we arrived and prayed for my own family and for the Gerhard and Weisberg families.  The memorial service had been in the church on Saturday and I thought about how different their Sunday morning must have felt.  With one arm tucked under E's elbow and the other one around my son and holding my daughter's hand my heart was undeservingly full.  We were unexpectedly asked to present the gifts to Father and I was so humbled proud of the excitement in my son's face.  My full heart got even fuller.  We presented the gifts and left the sanctuary right after communion for our donut duty.

The other Mom and her daughter arrived not from mass and the judgement swirled in me even as I told myself that it should not be there. I don't really know her and I have no reason to be questioning anything about her.  The kids had a great time serving donuts to their classmates and the other parishioners and the time passed quickly. We started to clean and I watched her load donuts onto a coffee filter to take with her.

"What is she doing?  How tacky to take donuts that we're selling for the church."

"I will be the better person and make sure that I leave money for the donuts that she is taking.  I will be better than her.  I would not do that."

There is leftover orange juice that we both purchased for our duty and I tell her that we don't want it and offer it to her if she and her daughter will drink it.

"I can't take it.  I am living in my car right now."

The tears threaten me again but for entirely different reasons.  I am absolutely speechless and humiliated by myself and my dark heart. I desperately want to go the next service also and stay on my knees the entire time in repentance for my cruelty.  And I remember the post from last week that struck me so deeply.  KC wrote "Criticism is not a gift".  Clearly I should have held it a little closer to my heart throughout the week.  I have been mourning for someone I didn't know and was silently condemning someone I DO know for no known reason.

The Lord is always teaching me that I am my own worst enemy.  The devil delights in me because I am so weak to his power.  The lesson was learned and I need to translate my pride and bounty into true gratitude and humility.  I am, as always, a work in progress.

Romans 12:16
“Agree with each other. Don’t be proud.
Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important.
Don’t think that you are better than others.”

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sunny and Bright

The little things are warming my heart today

A view of the sunrise and daffodils in my office

The Princess telling me she was only able to get up because she knows she doesn't have school tomorrow : )

Wishing the Athlete good luck on his test and hearing him say "I got this, Mom"

Leaving a note on the mirror for my one true love

Looking forward to the weekend

Sweet and simple <3

Monday, March 19, 2012

Aww, not again

Graduation couldn't come fast enough. I was TOO cool to live at home for five more minutes and could not wait to rush my 17 year old self into the world. My girlfriend and I got an apartment before the ink dried on our high school diplomas and I went straight to work and college summer school courses. The thing I was the least interested in back then was my parents' opinions.

It's been many, many moons since that summer. I've grown up an awful lot in the last twenty years and I've developed an awful lot of respect for my parents. I am, however, still a little "too big for my britches" sometimes and don't reach out to my parents for help very often. Independence is a big part of who I am. Stubborn plays a pretty big part, too. Not asking for help is not my favorite thing about myself and I am still learning not to take offense when my Mama says "I'm worried about you". My instinct is "awww come on, not again. I am fine!"

The dialogue in my head sounds just like this - - -

"Do not worry about me. I AM too busy, but it's a choice I've made and I'm fine."

"I am tough. I am happy. I will catch up on sleep sometime in the next six years. I am fine."

"My kids are healthy. E is so good to me. I can see the ocean from the kitchen. I am fine."

And the truth is that I am fine.

Like that same sassy girl that couldn't wait to move into her first apartment I don't want anyone else in my beeswax. Especially my Mom. But I am twenty years better than that and I don't regret my manic rambling truth like I might have before. If nothing else,the blog is a time capsule for our family and an outlet for me.

But more than anything I am grateful for the love and concern of my parents. I have friends who have lost their parents and I absolutely know they would give anything for their Mom to tell them to take care. Or for their Dad to tell them one more time that he never hears from them. I am so very grateful my parents loved me long enough to see past the selfish, defiant girl I was and are still willing to love the tired, somewhat weary woman I am at this moment. It is only a moment. You can count on that.

I am fine, Mama and I love you so much. You are very welcome in my beeswax.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Just a Girl

The words swirl constantly and I cannot organize the thoughts enough to put them in order.  The idea of stringing together sentences to express myself clearly is more overwhelming than the crowd of thoughts themselves.  Tonight is not different. 

It's cold and wet outside, but our home is warm and safe.  The satisfaction of physical comfort won't stick because of how desperately I need everything to be as calm as this room.  Our life is not calm.  Our life is mostly likely an antonym for the word calm.

At least three nights this week I worked until I was delirious and should probably do it a few more nights to meet my deadlines.  That damn dog eats everything that's not tied down.  My failures as a parent are crushing me.  And I want to run.  If I sit still long enough to think I am crippled by the enormity of it all.  I am totally a fraud in the pressure and expectations of the world I inhabit.  Whoever thought I was qualified enough to take on all of this and do it well was very, very wrong.  I am just a girl that fell in love with a boy from far away.  How the rest of it happened is purely a miracle.

In acknowledgment of my rambling thoughts and overwhelming need to spill I will just talk about me.  The me that I forget about sometimes.  The me that I want my kids to know about.

My Nanny has been my favorite person for my whole life. I miss her every single day.

 Handwritten notes are one of my favorite things. No tweet, email or text can ever replace getting a personal note on paper from someone.

Country music is comfort food to me.

An outdoor concert is my idea of a perfect date.

If I could sit alone {guilt free} for an afternoon I would get a LOOOONG pedicure with all the extras and read a book. I wouldn't talk. I wouldn't listen to music. I would just read and have my feet rubbed.

photo courtesy of the Athlete
I love getting dressed up.
I love to see E in a suit.

I wear earrings, a watch and my wedding ring even when I am wearing sweats and haven't showered.  Jewelry is totally my thing.

My husband impresses me more every day. I am so glad I married the right person for me.

The idea of teaching my kids how to drive scares me to death.

I am not good at praying.  My heart is TOTALLY in it but I am never sure what to say.  I always make sure that I say thank you if I can't think of anything else.  Thank you is always in my heart when I talk to God.

My fitness level (or lack of it) scares me.  I want to be healthier than I am right now.

My constant level of exhaustion also scares me.  I don't think it's healthy to be this tired all the time.

Hawaii is where I go to when I dream. My dreams even smell better in Hawaii.

The cross I had made with my diamonds from my Grandmother's cocktail ring is my favorite piece of jewelry.

My obsession with Pinterest may have been replaced by my new obsession with houzz.  Oh what I could do with endless amounts of money and a trustworthy handy man!  And a decorator . . .  and endless amounts of money . . .

Lunch with a girlfriend is always a treat for me.  I love to hang with my girlfriends one on one.

I hope that my children inherit my courage.  I really want them to be fearless and always willing to apologize if they trip anyone while they're charging ahead.

Aging is not my favorite thing.  My hair is thinning, my skin looks terrible and I have started wondering if I need to have something done about the veins in my legs.  Oh brother!

Even though I lack patience with the chewing and shedding of our new puppy I really, really like dogs.

Taking our golf cart to the beach always makes me happy.

My children inspire me to hang in there every day.  I walk taller and push harder because I want to be worthy of them.

My children make me know that there's nothing I can't get through.  Sometimes I just need to take a deep breath.  Or two.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week at a Glance

My favorite Sundays are sunny and crisp and end with a clean(er) house, clean pure hearts and a sense of accomplishment and preparedness for the week ahead. 

We're working towards that today in the spring sunshine and as I scrub the counters I am mentally recounting our week.  None of the pressures of week stick to me like the cooking spray that I can't get off the stove top.  NONE of that stays. It's only the sweet stuff that lingers.

Stuffed animal sleepovers

Pitching four innings

Cloudless skies and crashing waves

Undivided attention and hugs that last longer

So many of the moments in the week feel like chores, but it's so nice to remember how much goodness dwells in the every day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ten Things to Smile About - February 2012

We'll pretend like this week is last week and I am not halfway through March while recounting my favorite things about February.  Just.Pretend.Please.

Ten Things to Smile About: February 2012

Traveling every single week with my new boss and really, really liking her.  I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be appreciated and treated well.

Staying out too late on a school night!

Celebrating our youngest niece's FIRST birthday.  Love that little bug so much.


Ponte Vecchio - Florence

The Colosseum - Rome

Trevi Fountain - Rome

Positano - The Amalfi Coast

Coming home from a trip to find my car perfectly spotless and wearing a (much needed) brand new set of tires.

My baby boy turning ten and enjoying all the well-deserved hoopla!

Basketball season ending with a first place win for my boys.
So proud of them both for such great skill and sportsmanship.

E's family being there for us unconditionally whenever we need them. Whoever said "it takes a village" was talking about us.  We have the most wonderful village ever.

Attending Ash Wednesday mass with my favorite blessings

Entering the Lenten season with a heart full of humble gratitude for a wonderful God.

my cup runneth over . . .


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