My dear friend Jodi, her man Owen and their kidlets packed up their lives and left for L.A. this morning. They're leaving us for 8 months to pursue artistic endeavors. Today, I count knowing Jodi and her family at the top of my list of gratitudes. Thanks for sharing the love and laughs and being with us...and by us I mean the enormous group of people here in the ATX who are crying in our coffee, beer, wine, and kombucha over your departure. Come back soooooooooon.
The fact that my office is at the house means my work is never far from me. This can lead to a fairly unhealthy mixing of work and home life. It can mean a lot of "Just a second honey, I can't look at your Lego creation just yet." or "Please turn down the television, I'm on a work call." It can mean sitting at my desk at 2:00 in the morning doing data entry or crunching numbers. But the upside is that when I'm done, I can stumble upstairs and curl up with The Man. I have the luxury of working the nightshift in my jammies. This workspace allows me to let my kids sleep until noon during Winter Break and to care for them when they're under the weather without fear of missing work. It allows me to hop up and set a bowl of beans to soak in the afternoon, or take a picture of the way the sun streams through my window as I make a cup of coffee in the morning. All small interruptions that allow me to feel a little more human during the grind that is our daily work.
I love that we can take the kids to the same places that my parents took me and that these places still hold the same magic and wonder to them that they held for me as a child. Watching The Girl spin around under the Zilker Tree with her Papa, made me remember back to our yearly trek downtown with my own Papa to partake in the same simple pleasure. Remarkably, it really is almost exactly the same as when we were kids. There are a few food vendors that I don't remember there being, but other than that, it's just the same simple tree. It was such a treat to watch The Girl's eyes light up when she walked underneath the tree, and then watching her spin with her doll, with her Papa, with me, and by herself until she just couldn't spin any more....
There are so many things to be grateful on a day like today, but right now, at this moment...the thing I am most thankful for is sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. The Girl cuddled up next to me on the the couch for one nap, and The Man shared another a little later in the afternoon. I can't remember the last time I took a nap during the middle of the day, let alone two. There really is nothing like enjoying the warmth of a cozy nap on a chilly winter's day.
*P.S. I snagged this picture from a post last year about sleeping in. I slept too much today to even snap a picture. That's a nice problem to have.
I love it. I can't help myself. I love the hiding of precious little things until the time is right. I love the exhale on Christmas Eve when I realize that all of my craftiness will bear fruit in mere hours. Smiles all around, y'all. Happy everything and anything to you. Peace.
This is the second year that we've made 'gingerbread' houses on one of our holiday craft nights. We make cards, ornaments and cookies every year...and last year we added these houses. I love that the kids really enjoy making them, and that they now just assume that making houses is part of our build up to Christmas. It may be more about a table full of every type of candy...but whatever.
We've made a concerted effort over the last couple of years to spend the month of December, collectively crafting toward the holiday, rather than concentrating all of our energy on the one or two days of give/get. I love that The boy Teenager opted to stay in with us and make ornaments last week, rather than go to the movies with his friends. We must be doing something right.
*P.S. I also love that Auntie brings. it. The igloo and baby seal? Auntie.
Some nights I am driven crazy by the sound of kids that should be sleeping, but aren't. In desperate need of 'adult time' I beg and plead for some semblance of quiet as the night stretches out long (and cranky).
Nights like tonight are different. Big family holiday night. Plays and songs performed by the littles, The Boy watching Bruce Lee with his uncles. Funny dances, belly laughs, frosting laden gingerbread houses...
Watching my whole family around the kitchen table...
Trekked in from the far reaches of town, or high-tailed it from work, or scootered over in the chilly air, or fresh from helping new babies into this world...
All gathered around the table. Together. Completes me.
Today was one of those days that at first blush would seem difficult to find gratitude in. On the way to a no-funny-business meeting that I was already dreading, I was rear-ended while sitting at a stop sign at a highway off-ramp. Consequently, my vehicle will be spending a chunk of time at a local body shop in the near future. It was frustrating and overwhelming...and I had a good cry over the unfairness of it all. I mean I was just sitting there! Doing nothing wrong! And someone HIT me! And then I still needed to go to my dreaded meeting! Unfair! Whew...got that out of my system. And then I started thinking about all of the 'at leasts'. At least he stopped and then followed me to a safe place to exchange information. At least he was insured. At least my kids weren't in the car. At least I'm only a little sore. At least when the collision pushed me out into the intersection, the cars coming at me were paying attention...and pulled around me. At least The Man dropped everything to make sure that I was taken care of...to be by my side, like the champ that he is. At least my family loves and cares for me, checks on me and heals me. At least, at least, at least.
On a day like today, when it feels like one second in either direction could have changed my life in the blink of an eye...today especially, I am grateful that all of these 'at leasts' translate so much 'more' when I look around my life. I feel like I've got a silver lining wrapped around me snug tonight...with a big, fat bow on top.