This past weekend I packed one bag and slipped out the door all alone. I spent 3 hours in a quiet car and drove north to Knoxville, TN. For the past 11 years I have been escaping life for 2 days to sit in a room with dear friends and do nothing more than eat and talk. These women entered my life when we were just girls and through thick and thin have remained by my side through it all. We have watched each other fall in love and get married, held each other up through heartache and deaths of parents. It is amazing to me the relationship that I have with these women. In the last 3 years 5 lakehouse babies have been born and 4 more are due by the end of the summer.
Craig got EJ all to himself for 2 days and I was more than ready to get home to my boys. It is truly amazing how much I miss waking up next to my love and hearing my son asking for me to come get him. A lot has changed since those early days of our friendship but one thing is for sure… time and distance will never keep us from picking right back up where we left off. These friends are truly some of my best friends and I look forward to many more years of memories with them.
Our days are getting shorter and shorter. Rising early to a beautiful sunrise is simply not the norm any more. My alarm goes off and the darkness of the world inspires me to snuggle down, close my eyes and hit snooze over and over again. Gone are the days of pool play dates and wanting to hide inside to escape the heat. We have traded those days in for cool mornings and warm afternoons, pumpkins and changing leaves. Stores have exploded holiday decor and news stations have started the shopping days to Christmas countdown. This is my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of the crisp air as the world prepares itself for winter and watching the leaves slowly turn bright orange and yellow as they prepare to fall to the ground.
I love cooking for the holidays and look forward to the day when everyone comes to us. When our family plays host and everyone gets excited to come join the fun, food and football. I love the Macy’s day parade and love watching Santa roll in. In that moment for me Christmas can begin. The hysterics of Black Friday get my blood rushing as the promise of a great bargain inspires me to get up way too early and hit the stores. Christmas carols and beautifully decorated trees make me smile all the way down to my toes.
Its this time of year that reminds me I am so thankful for a family that I love and the little family of three we have made. As I watch EJ grow and start to understand things the promise of the holidays to come excite me beyond belief. I can not wait for the day when our family holidays are full of cousins and siblings. When the days are focused around the kids and making their memories special. Gone are days of sleeping to 10 and slowly opening presents while we recover from way to much wine from the night before. We may still be recovering from too much adult fun but the doors will be knocked on and excitement will rise us early on Christmas morning.
What a wonderful day it will be. And I am so thankful for the promise of the days to come. For my big extended family and most importantly for the family I made… my husband and my boy.
I am thankful for pumpkins spiced lattes, pumpkin bread and pumpkin patches.
I am thankful for afternoon hikes alone with my husband even when I get attacked by chiggers.
I am thankful for the pitter patter of my son’s feet playing quietly each morning as he waits for us to come get him.
I am thankful for fall and the promise of the holiday season.
Life has been busy lately. We seem to go from one place to another. Spending our days with one project after another to complete. And as each day passes by a little too quickly, I seem to feel more of a loss and less completion.
I am one more day away from babyhood turning toddlerhood. One day, the sight of me will not bring a huge grin and great big bear hug. One day, I will be boring old mom who doesn’t get it. I will be uncool and will need to walk three steps behind him. My heart breaks a little for those days to come. I was reminded this week that these are the best days of my life. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with life, bills, toddlerhood that I swear it can’t be true. But, if you take step back and look at the generations that have walk this road before the majority have nothing but fondness for these days. Yes, they have more money, more stability, and more things but there is always a special place in their heart for the memory of life as young family. Its bittersweet but I try to soak it in and remember that there will be a day I will miss this moment. Even yearn for it.
This week, I have tried to live in the day. Ignore the mess that is our bathroom. Ignore the disaster that is our laundry room. I have stayed home everyday and done a lot of nothing. I rediscovered my love for creativity, designing some labels and thought ahead to our holiday card. I took a nap because I was totally worn out from playing outside all morning with my kid. We have had a family walk at the park the last three nights and they have been amazing. Craig enjoys the quiet and peace of the outdoors. I enjoy the togetherness of our family with no other distractions. I squashed my mild panic attack as it occurred to me that there is no way EJ will make his bedtime if we take a walk every night. Instead, I centered my focus on what really was important… that we were being active as a family, that we were together and that we ate healthy every night even it meant staying up an extra 30 minutes so I could cook. I overcame the urge every night to freak out that my precious schedule was being tampered with and just enjoyed us.
I snuggled with my husband instead of popping out of bed. I have just enjoyed my life this week. We have laughed, we have made messes; we have just hung out. I am vowing to be better about staying still, being home and keeping my cleaning freak-outs minimal. Because I am so blessed.
This week I am thankful that I get to be a wife to a wonderful man, that I was blessed to be a Mom and that through thick and thin “our” little family is really all that matters.
Check her out she is all kinds of inspiring.
Have you stopped and looked at life through your child’s eyes? Really paused and tried to see the world the way they do? I try really hard to pause and soak in the wonder of playing in the rain or the first taste of chocolate milk. But, the business of life robs me of this act more than I would like to admit.
Our to-do list couldn’t be longer and the reality that our family’s fall seems to be busier than our summer this year doesn’t help. I seem to be drowning in world of boxes, touch-up painting and cleaning out. Instead of seeing the joy in my son’s eyes as he climbs in out of a big box or dumping my freshly folded laundry on the floor I find myself boiling over with annoyance. Selling a house is hard work but needed. Is it imperative that we sell it? Absolutely not. Will it make our lives easier to move out to the suburbs? Certainly. We are just throwing our hat in the ring and seeing what happens but I am overachiever. If I am going to do something then I put 110% effort into and do it right.
I broke down this week and ugly cried for hours… like snotty, stressed ball of mess. Along with getting our house sell ready, I also decided to move the baby boy to a toddler bed. Mr. Monkey Man climbs right out of his crib with zero effort and does what he wants. Banging his head on our hard wood floor haunted me so onto the toddler bed we went and it was awesome… for about 2 weeks. He slept better than he has slept in months. And then a switch flipped and refused to stay in bed would trash his room, play and scream for hours. Well the screaming has about sent me to a mental institution.
Last night, I screamed “uncle” and put the crib back together in hopes of resetting that switch. He has at least forgotten how to climb out of the crib for now. My plan is that he will learn to sleep again, recover from the sheer exhaustion of many sleepless nights and then we will retry the toddler bed. Hopefully with more success this time. The house is getting there and I even got the hubs to agree to spend all weekend helping me get this house in ship shape. We are getting there slowly but surely and I am just excited to see the light at the end of this tunnel.
This Thursday, I am thankful for loving supportive families. One that offers to drive hours to take a child for a few nights so that you can breathe and get some sleep even if they know I will not take them up on it. A husband who tries to see life from my perspective even if he doesn’t really get it. A perfectly beautiful son whose zest for life is intoxicating. Whether it be dancing in the rain, eating his Great Grandma’s homemade fried chicken or telling me who’s really boss when it comes to bedtime, I am so thankful for his energy for life even if it leaves me exhausted.
So this week, vow to be a cliche. Stop and smell the roses or dance in the rain. It is those little wonders that can turn an ordinary day extraordinary.
|Dancing in the Rain in his brand new rain coat.
|No, you may not take my chicken bone, its way too yummy!
|I want to be just like my Daddy!
|Yes, I am a Monkey… that’s all.
I really don’t remember life before…life before Reel Daddy. I remember meeting him, I remember seeing him and thinking to myself “He’s really good looking” and I remember the days, months and years after.
But, what I can’t remember is making through a day without thinking about him, kissing him and just spending time with him. It is strange to think that there was life before him and it was good but just not as great as it now. It is strange to think how I went from being nervous about what to wear around him to having him hold my numb leg up while I pushed our son out.
Before us there was no EJ, no silly puggle named Bruno. There were a lot of pieces missing. Here I was walking through life thinking it was good yet having no idea how good it was going to be. I had no idea that I would form my own arm of our family clan. I had plans to do it and dreamed about it but I no idea the beauty of what was to come.
Family is the greatest gift of life. There is nothing like spending a few days with all the people that you love to remind you just how blessed you are.
This Thursday I am reminded of the gift of family. Immediate and extended. Near and far. I am so thankful to a part of great, big family and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.
Isn’t he handsome? Taken at the begining of the night we met.
Our first concert together, the first of many.
Or a Friday, yesterday got away from me. Take a minute and think what are you thankful for today.
For our house that over the last year has become our home there is nothing like a quiet evening at home with my little family. I am so thankful for our home.
For my grandparents who will celebrate 60+ years of marriage this weekend. At a glance you might wonder if they were newly-weds, they have never stopped holding hands or reminding the other how much they care for each other. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful picture of marriage to strive for.
A year ago we introduced our son to the great wonder of the ocean. Our little boy got to touch sand and feel the water for the first time on the very beach we got married on. I am so thankful for that day.
And for no longer being the puffy postpartum monster, the difference of a year is truly amazing.
Wonderful date nights at home. Baby in bed early, appetizers, steak on the grill, a glass or two of wine and homemade cupcakes. Who needs to go out for dinner when you can have a night like that in the comfort of your own home. I am thankful for those nights.
My husband who offered to work from home so that I could take an afternoon to myself and go spend way to much on a hair appointment and buy a new dress. I am thankful for the man who worked hard all day to make the money to pay for us to have a nice life and his willingness for me to spoil myself every once in awhile.
I will choose to be Thankful on this Thursday, that even though life seems unfair. I will not let others choices in life steal my happiness. So sit back and think what moments this week have reminded you of the sweetness of life.
A little boy with strawberry blonde hair that loves his Momma, for every moment that he is a Momma’s boy I am thankful.
A belly laugh followed by a slight snort as I chase him around the room, for that happiness I am thankful.
A husband that doesn’t care that the house could be cleaner and the fridge is empty and will eat pizza over and over again because right now getting it together is too much for me, for that heart I am thankful.
Orange roses that remind me of our first moments as a couple especially when they arrive as a surprise combined with a bear hug from the man who loves me I am so very thankful.
Hot, hot coffee in the morning when the house is quiet and the day has just begun for that moment to start my day I am thankful.
A steadfast family that cares and always loves. For them I am thankful.
What are you thankful for?
Everyday I wake and choose to be thankful for my love, for the man who works everyday for me, for his family. He carries my heart and is life to me. From quiet nights with wine on our porch to laying in bed laughing and playing Scrabble. He holds me up when I am weak and cheers me on as I dream. For this man I am thankful for.
I am thankful for the family we made. In spite of the twists and turns in the road, we paved our way. We formed our family. I am thankful for our dreams and the mystery of the future.
I am thankful for the father-son bond that grows with each passing day. I am thankful that my child was blessed with strong and steadfast father.
I am thankful for my very best friend and the love of my life.
I am thankful for family who stopped their lives to join us as we celebrated the wonder of a baby who came to us.
I am thankful for 5 women who entered my life when we were just girls. Who blessed me with entangling their lives with mine and no matter the distance nothing changes. Old friends, dear friends… their stability and encouragement will forever be an inspiration to me.
There is nothing better than watching the sun rise on a summer morning, warm yet crisp air is refreshing and renewing. I am so thankful for a moment of quiet each morning as I get my family ready to start a new day.
Freshly-brewed coffee still steaming full of cream and sugar first thing in morning.
Evening swims with my family where I get to watch my two loves fall more in love with each other. There really is something special about the father/son bond.
Hitting the point postpartum where I feel like myself again, it took longer than I wanted but I can say that almost a year later I am finally feeling like LA again and it’s wonderful.
Thankful on Thursday is brought to you by Nish@ TheOutdoorWife & The Tarr Pit.
Put. Down.the Spray Bleach.
You can fold the laundry in a minute. Relax
Everyday I am thankful for this man…
Who loves me through hormone imbalances, my OCD cleaning habits and burnt food.
He goes to work everyday to make sure we have food on the table, diapers in the drawer and to pay a lot of money for formula because I hated breast feeding.
The love of my life, my perfect match.
I am thankful for baby belly laughs, there is absolutely nothing better.
Hot coffee with cream and real sugar and trash tv… a mommy moment of escape.