Gratitude ~ Day 30

Has it really been a full month already?  Even with the Christmas lights twinkling from the decorated tree in the living room, and cards ordered and on their way, it doesn’t seem possible that the holidays are already upon us.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making a more concentrated effort to capture the moments that seem to pass so quickly and often go unnoticed.  It’s for those small moments – stolen kisses in the kitchen, afternoon hikes on a brisk, but sunny, fall day – that I am especially grateful.

And now, as we approach the holidays, I’m so thankful for the chance to celebrate the birth of our Savior and to share the joy of the season with my family.  Today, while decorating the tree, the kids asked me to play a song and hearing their little voices sing “The First Noel” or “Silent Night” or the “Glo-o-o-o-o-o-ria” of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” – there’s no sweeter sound!

I’m thankful to any and all of you who happened to read these few words here and there.  I look forward to writing more in the days and months to come, and I’m thankful for the chance to get back into the habit, and reflect on all the blessings in my life, through this exercise of gratitude.

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Gratitude ~ Day 29

There’s nothing like waking up early, while everyone else is still sleeping.  The whole day ahead unaccounted for, and everyone is home together.

Laundry started, blankets folder, coffee brewing, I sit just a moment before I hear the click of the bedroom door.  These mornings, when she wakes before her big brother, and I see her legs peeking further out the bottom of her pajamas pants, I’m reminded that like unaccounted for days, these years will fly by.

They make me want to remember the little moments, like when I sat her down to explain that she wouldn’t have a consequence if the circumstances were different.  And, sighing, she looks at me dejectedly and says, “Yeah, I know.  I just don’t even know what ‘circumstances’ are.”

And how she looks forward to climbing onto my lap so I can clean the “ear whack” out of her ears after bath time.

I’m reminded of the moments when she and Calder play together for hours – powering up and fighting villains.  Then each other.

The rejoining forces to take an imaginary hike through unknown lands.

Today, I’m choosing to savor the memory of the small moments.  Not the whole tree, but a few soft branches, gilded with the glow of white light.

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Gratitude ~ Day 28

After a busy day of waterpark fun yesterday, and an overtired attempt at the evening story-time, the kids climbed into bed and crashed.  Rested and refreshed, Seneca woke first needing help getting her hands washed, and Calder awoke shortly thereafter.

“Daddy, guess what today is?” he asked, stretching.

“I don’t know, Buddy, what is it?” Garth answered, knowing Calder wanted to share the news first.

“Thanksgiving!” he shouted excitedly.  “Happy, Thanksgiving, Daddy!”

“Happy Thanksgiving, Buddy,” Garth answered as Seneca made her way to her big brother’s bed to wish well and give him a hug.

Before joining the quiet celebration, I listened and tucked this little moment away for those times when it seems like they forget what’s really important.  Because when it really counts, they do know it.  They are grateful.  They are amazing kids and we are so lucky to be their parents.

Today, we are so thankful for the amazing family we as we were able to celebrate with Garth’s parents for Jill and Garett’s first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  Good food, great laughter, and loving family – what more could we ask for?

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Gratitude ~ Day 23

I love:

  • books that beg to be read
  • movies that bring those books to life
    • (even if the book is always better!)
  • afternoon matinées with cousins,
    • (even if they should still be 6 instead of 16!)
  • Saturday mornings spent lounging
  • and toting tubs of holiday decorations from the attic

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~ Happy Valentine’s Day ~

Being a middle school teacher I’m afforded annual reminders of young love – I wonder how many Candy-Grams I’ll get this year?  While I too gave and received various heart-shaped candy boxes or pillow-toting “I Love You” plush animals, I’m amazed by the breadth and growing depth of the love I know celebrate on Valentine’s Day.

I never understood how love could be anything but passionate.  And yet, falling asleep by 9pm, lacing legs with my equally weary husband or hearing the squeals of joy as we “play laundry” with the kids by folding them up and placing them in the closet  – those are the unexpected moments that I all-too-often forget to stop and appreciate, and recognize as unmistakable, all-consuming love. 

Here are a few shots of the fun we had last week in preparation for Lovey Dovey Day

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I love how they got giggly after the first “I’m-not-sure-what-she-wants-us-to-do” shot!

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Here we made my variation of these playdough cookies.  They turned out really cute, tasty, and are totally adaptable to any holiday!

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Valentine Treats

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I find it thoroughly adorable that he’s beginning to be a very willing subject!!

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I can’t find the exact site for the recipe I used, but here’s a different one.  It is REALLY good.  The only problem I had was that the extract changed up the melty goodness of my white chocolate.  I have a feeling this could become a regular treat for any holiday!  Looks like I’ll be stocking up on candy canes this coming Christmas!

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We did another little crafty project this weekend too, but I only got phone photos of it so far!  Hopefully I’ll get a picture added before too long!