A mere week and a half into the New Year, there is so much to be grateful for. I could not begin to mention it all without spending hours and hours writing. However, I did want to mention three things that have been on my mind a lot today:
First, Mike! He recently made a difficult decision regarding work, school and career, with the family, not his own professional fulfillment, at its center… He wakes before dawn many weekdays so he can get to work with time enough to put in a full day before coming home to take care of the kids while I go to work. Then, he does not grumble when he has to wake just as early on weekends for drill, only to come home to help me take overtired kids to Mass on Sunday evening, missing both much-needed relaxation and his favorite football fixes… He has made a habit out of doing our evening dishes without me even asking… He takes over with bedtime when pregnancy-symptoms or lack of patience make it difficult for me to do so… No matter how tired he is, when he is home, he makes time for fun and “rough play” with the kids… In short, despite the fact that we are rarely in each other’s physical presence these days, without having to deal with the more mundane tasks of life like meal preparation, clean up, laundry, shoveling, and whatnot, he proves himself a dedicated husband and father daily. Although there is little time these days for sharing “just us” moments, I often find myself taking a moment on my own to thank God for giving me such a loving head of our household. Too seldom, however, do I thank Mike, himself. So, today, I wanted to do so for him and all the world to see: I am ever grateful for you, Sweet! Thank you for being the husband and father you are!
Second, my “Sunshine”. Nina wakes up almost every morning happier than almost anyone I have ever known. The way she scampers to whatever room I am in to give me big smiles and kisses brightens my every day and reminds me of the frame of mind we should all start each day with. This morning, she was especially sweet, cuddling up with me to sing me her own versions of so many songs – “Want ‘nother one, Mommy?… ‘Gain?” – and giving me an abundance of kisses – “On your cheek ? Rub it in…. On your other cheek? Rub it in. Your shoulder… Your chin….” It was too cute! So, by the time she demanded, “Get up now, Mommy!” I was giggling right along with her and ready to begin my day.
Third, answered prayers – both large and little. One small (and embarrassing) case in point: This morning, my Sunshine bright day got overcast when my car and house keys were missing as the kids and I were supposed to be heading off for an appointment. The more I searched for them, the more frustrated I got, culminating in an immature Mommy moment of tears and raging, with very loud requests shouted to God, St. Anthony and the Blessed Mother to help me find the keys, while the kids searched alongside, consoling, “It’s okay, Mommy.” (Luke even tried to add some magic to prayers. “Please, God, help Mommy… Mommy, it’s okay. Abracadabra. I will find them.”) And, then, just as it was nearing the point that if we didn’t find the keys five-minutes-ago we would miss the appointment, I spotted them while the phone began to ring. So, I grabbed the keys and answered the phone. It was the place we were headed off to calling to reschedule our appointment for tomorrow, since the specialist was out sick today. Boy, was I grateful and conciliatory, then. Keys found. No need to rush. And, realizing that I had been a big, sinful baby about the whole missing keys things in the first place. So, thank you, God, for helping me find the keys and, sorry, for being so angst in the first place!
Since the New Year began, we’ve had snow and cold. And, a lot of it. Doesn’t sound like much fun to most, but, for our little family, it has provided some mornings and afternoons of fun. Good exercise shoveling with the kids’ “help”… Laughing while making snow angels with Luke during Nina’s nap one afternoon… Plus, invigorating times sledding on the hill at our neighbor’s house. (Granted, Nina wasn’t too thrilled with the whole thing the day we went as a family, but Luke had a blast that time, as well as when Mike braved below-freezing temperatures to take him again.) This past Friday, especially, was an afternoon in the snow that was worthy of praise. For after a sleepless night and a busy morning, I was ever so grateful when Luke’s little buddy Will and his mom, my friend Elizabeth, came over for a play date and persuaded me to get back to my kid-roots.
Will had never been sledding on a hill, so Elizabeth wanted to bring him. Thus, after a little catching up and music play inside, we all bundled up and headed out. What fun! As we got to the hill, we noticed loads of animal tracks through the snow. Then, we made our own tracks, sliding down the decline time and time again – with even Nina willingly making a run with me – before going over to break the ice off the swing set for some winter swinging and see sawing. All the fresh air and exercise truly revived this tired mommy. Sometimes a little kid-perspective is just what one needs to feel young and vibrant again!
How have you been enjoying yourself and what have you been grateful for in the past week? Join me with Time Out Tuesdays by leaving a comment below or by grabbing the graphic above and linking through Mr. Linky below with your own Time-Out Tuesday post. Or, join Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers. The more we share our blessings the more abundant they seem. Please, share away!