Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life is Good (and other birthday thoughts).

Twenty-nine. My dad says this is the age his mom stayed for the rest of her life. Whenever someone asked, she was still twenty-nine. And I'm thinking about snatching that one from Nanny and doing the same thing. Because in my fourteen hours of being twenty-nine so far, things are looking pretty good.

Unlike the profound reflection I was able to dedicate to a post last year, we are right in between naps and more celebrations and so my reflections on this past year (and this big day of birthday fun) will have to wait for another post. So in three words, how would I describe things right now?

Life is good, my friend. So very sweet and so very good.

And while I don't know everything, in my twenty-eight complete years on this earth, I know how important it is to treasure the little everyday moments of your life. And if I sound like a broken record since I've said that once or twice, I apologize. But I'd by lying if I told you I won't say it again. Because I will. Because today so many of us get wrapped up in the crazy, hectic schedules - forty plus hour work weeks, email communications past business hours, and petty little no-good nonsense.

I edited at a coffee shop yesterday while Jacob was in school and for two hours, I overheard a boss and two of his employers bicker and blame and raise their voices because the two employers were not getting along and not responding to each other's text messages in timely fashion and not working well enough together in their "team." For two hours they discussed this. And it drove me so crazy that I honestly had to stop myself from inching over to their table two feet away from me to say, "I want you to each take two minutes of silence. Think about something really good in your life. Think about being a good person and the impact that you can have in someone's life, however small, and then ask yourself if this little conversation over some petty text messages is really necessary." But I didn't.

And so I will say it here. I will ask you to step away for a few moments from your crazed work schedule or desire to have the house spic and span and pause. Appreciate the little moments. And embrace them. Because this is what life is about. This is what makes life worth living. And what's doing it for me this past week?

* A nephew's third birthday celebration.

* Bug faces. Yes, this looks strange. But I dare you to wear these masks and not bust out laughing.

* Dangerously fast wagon rides.

You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Look at Philip's face... he means business and his job is take those kiddies on a ride they have never felt before.

Look at my little one holding on for dear life.

* Pink bows on the world's cutest dog. That would be mine, of course. I have to beg Philip to not rip them out of her hair and I now have Jacob saying "pretty bows, Ellie."

Outdoor birthday parties get me excited about the fact that our second little one (how awesome does that feel writing that), our fall baby, will be able to have outdoor parties as well.

* "Not-too-tight-hugs" from Poppy.

* And bubbles, of course. Actually, remember in a post a few months back when I said bubbles can make anyone smile. That's what I should have done to those bickering employers at the coffee shop. Just blown a whole pack of bubbles their way.

See, the bug faces again... still makes me laugh.

* And, almost as enjoyable as dangerous wagon rides, dangerous tricycle rides.

Happy Birthday, Jackson Zane.

* A very special award given to my mother-in-law, whom has dedicated years and years of her life to giving to others.

During her speech, she spoke about the time (many, many years ago), when she went off to college. Her family was extremely poor and all her mother could give to her was a simple "good luck." During her junior year, her grandfather sent her a bag full of nickels, with a note saying that one day, when she could, to pass it to someone else and fill it with dimes. This is what she has lived by her entire life, filling up her bags of dimes and quarters and dollars and helping others out. And this is how she encouraged others to live as well, to give of yourself to those who are less fortunate. And it's quite impossible to not feel empowered to be a better person after hearing her speak.

And I loved watching how touched my father-in-law was when she spoke.

* The baby bump. Ok, the dress is black so you can't quite see it unless you look really closely. But I promise, it's really cute.

Why else is life so good right now?

* Because of waking up from our nap to hear the ice cream truck and beelining it to the front door with two dollars in hand to score ourselves two bomb pops.

* Twenty-six months. I wonder if once you hit two years old, you shouldn't count by months anymore, but this kid is growing up fast. He says "bless you, mommy" when I sneeze, gives the baby bump his goldfishes for a snack, and is quite possibly the world's sweetest kid. And that's really what makes my life so grand.

* That, and this little one that is growing bigger everyday.

* Yes, it's a good time indeed to be turning twenty-nine. And with the day only half over, I know that many good things are in store for me. I am so thankful that, above anything, I have given myself the opportunity to enjoy these little wonders of our everyday life. You should do it, too. Because there is so much to love about this life.

Bye-bye for now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

To Spring...

Springtime is the land awakening. [lewis grizzard]

And my goodness, we are waking up. Waking up to birds chirping, blue skies, and trees turning green so quickly, you'd think it was magic. I told Philip I'd like to move to Florida down the road... I'd like to wear flip-flops year round, spring dresses in November, and take dips in the ocean in the middle of December. And while I'll contemplate later on whether I could actually uproot our family and move away from a place that has been home for our entire life, I started thinking that maybe those cold winter days, desolate branches, and days indoors makes us actually appreciate this gorgeous time of the year even more...

Maybe it's me being sappy, maybe it's the Cat Stevens playing in the background, but oh my, what is there not to like about this time of year?

I like the chalk strewn all about the driveway, the chalk dust all over the little one's hands, and the absolute masterpieces that are created.

I like the little flowers that are just poking their heads up and the way that Little Man wants to smell and hold every single flower he grazes by.

Oh yes, I like bare feet... always have, always will. And look who even squeezed in a pedicure this past week?

I like a little one that now wants to see every single image of himself after it is taken. See picture, Mommy? Which is quite cute, yes, until you realize that taking a stream of fifty images is really quite difficult when we have to pause every second to admire them.

I like the fish in my parent's pond that are awakening as well, ready to be overfed from little grandchildren's hands.

I like catching the Yaya and Jacob moments... the moments that make you think, man, I got lucky to have such an amazingly special momma of my own. And how lucky that Jacob gets to grow up with the same love?

And just as special? Oh, do I love those daddy moments. I realize that there are some unbelievably strong women who raise children on their own, that do all the loving, disciplining, caring, and crying all on their own. And to these women, I will tell you that I respect you more than you know. Because I couldn't imagine having to do it on my own.

And side note, for those of you gasping at how high the little one is in these pictures, I'll tell you that Daddy caught him every single time. And he only hit those branches right above his head one time.

And welcome activity #83 of the spring/summer. Flying kites.

Oh, do I like this new adventure.

Not only is it adorable to watch your two-year-old chase after the object flying so high above the ground, but it is equally amusing watching your thirty-seven-year-old husband exhibit such extreme dedication (and, at times, extreme frustration) to get the kite off the ground for more than five minutes.

Yes, flying the kite in the park results in a grand day. And I highly suggest you do this. Even if you don't have children.

I like heading back outdoors even after bath time and pajamas. And pleasing momma by putting on some sandals so his clean little feet stay relatively clean for bedtime.

Of course, I like the jumps. And seeing where the little one learns to jump. And watching the little one finally understand that momma is not jumping right now. Momma no jump. Baby. Yea.

And last, but certainly not the least on what I'm liking right now, I love, love that baby bump that is on its way out.

Here's to spring...to finding all the little things there are to like about life right now. Happy Sunday to you.

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