Tag Archives: grateful

Perspective is Everything

It all started with a Facebook post…a Facebook memory, actually, that a woman shared on her Timeline recently.

when1

It was a picture of her daughter, 2 years ago, sitting poolside, in a tankini, eating a sandwich.  It was summer.  The sky was a crystal clear blue.   The sun was glistening off the gentle waves in the water.

The caption she wrote with the picture reads:  Really missing our pool days this year.

See, her daughter, who is 7, is fighting cancer for a  second time.  And instead of spending the summer outside, drinking up the sun and swimming, she and her daughter are spending their time rotating between the children’s hospital and The Ronald McDonald House.

Here is where the perspective part comes in…

I have three, healthy children but they have been driving me crazy this summer.  There’s been a lot of bickering and not listening and acting out because Daddy is away at school.

I have found SEVERAL gray hairs that were not there a few months ago.  I have had more wine in the past couple of months than I have had in the past year.

It takes 2 hours, literally, for us to get ready to go to the pool.  There’s the packing of the pool bag (which is often interrupted by breaking up fights between my children) – change of clothes for 4 people, snacks, water bottles, extra swim diapers, baby wipes.

Then there’s the part where I have to get all the kids changed into their swimsuits.  I have to fight with my toddler to put it on because everything is “no” these days.

Then there’s the part where I have to get them into the car.  This, as many of you Mamas know, is like herding cats.  All of the sudden they can’t find their shoes that I have been asking them to put on for the last 30 minutes.  And then the baby makes a dirty diaper and I have to change him.  And then my daughter decides she needs to bring 5 books, 3 dolls and a pen and paper so she can writer her own book.

“Can you carry these, Mommy?”  She asks me as she thrusts her superfluous items into my hands, which are already full with a  pool bag, diaper bag and a baby in a car seat.

By the time I get everyone strapped into their seats – I’m exhausted.

There were days this summer that I found myself hoping it would rain so that going to the pool wasn’t an option.  Sometimes I would find excuses as to why we couldn’t go.  Sometimes I found myself rolling my eyes and losing my patience as I tried to get everything ready while they yelled at each other about whose turn it was to play with the little red car.

And then…that post popped up in my Newsfeed…and I thought – Well, shit.

Those two, that Mama and her daughter, would give anything to be able to go to the pool every single day, no matter how long it took them to get ready.

This weekend, I took the kids to the pool every day.  And as I wrestled my toddler into his bathing suit, stopped to feed the baby and packed the millions of things into the pool bag, I was grateful.

pool

So grateful that I could take my kids to the pool…that we could spend the afternoon there and play Sharks and Minnows and eat watermelon.

Life is ALL about what you make of it.

There are some things you can’t control, of course.  BUT – there are some things you most definitely can – like your thoughts and perspective.

If you change your perspective, does that change everything?

My answer:  YES.  (Case and point:  I happily packed up the pool bag this afternoon PLUS packed dinner for all the kiddos and the whole time I was thinking – even as my toddler, in nothing but his swim diaper, ran away from me as I tried to get him changed – this is going to be fun)

NEVER lose sight of what is TRULY important.

We live in a busy world.  It’s easy to take things for granted.

I will continue to try to do better.  I hope you do, too.

If you would like to learn more about this little girl’s story or how you can help through monetary donations, then go here:

https://www.facebook.com/TeamSavannahFightingLeukemia/

The Curse of the Girl’s Trip – But Why I’m Grateful

colorado

I just recently got back from visiting my dear, dear friend in Colorado. She has a 4 month old baby girl and her husband deployed about 6 weeks ago.  I haven’t seen her in a year!  (Which is entirely too long, by the way).  It was time for a girl’s trip!  We had big plans – I mean, wild and crazy – you know, going to brunch (not late breakfast, as she likes to call it because for some reason she abhors brunch), seeing the garden of the gods, checking out Fort Carson Army base, going to the library, catching up with some old friends and maybe, just maybe, throwing a glass of wine or two in there at night IF we could get our kids to go to bed first.

I know, I know, a little too wild for your taste, right?

The first couple of days went just as planned (except for the kids going to bed part). But we still had our wine and our nightly chats which I have missed!

garden of the gods

Then, Saturday morning comes…about 2 AM and I wake up to my daughter throwing up all over herself and the bed. So I clean everything up, strip the bed, dunk her in the bath because she is, unfortunately, covered in vomit, and then proceed to wake up every couple of hours to the sound of my daughter vomiting in the trash can.

By the time 9 AM came around, she was still throwing up and I decided she needed to go to Urgent Care since she couldn’t even hold water down. So, while my friend stayed at her house, sanitizing every surface we may have touched (literally) with bleach, I took her car and went to the nearest Urgent Care where my daughter proceeded to throw up in the reception area into a cup my friend had given us.  (Which I later discarded as quickly as I could.)  The nurse at Urgent Care directed us to the ER since my daughter seemed to be totally dehydrated and they were not able to administer fluids to her there.

Needless to say, we spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon in the ER instead of with my friend. They gave my daughter some medicine (she didn’t need fluids luckily) and she started to feel better quickly.  Thank goodness!

girls want to have fun

Now, before I get to the grateful part of all this, I would just like to add the caveat that a couple of years ago, this same friend and I took my daughter to Disney Land.   Just the three of us.  Girl’s trip to Disney Land!  Woo-hoo!  Well, we had a grand old time for the day and a half we were there until my daughter started throwing up all over herself while she was sitting in the stroller.  Basically, it was the same story all over again.  She couldn’t keep anything down.  We ended up taking her to the ER in L.A. at midnight and let me tell you…there were some shady characters there, not to mention several people in hand cuffs being escorted around by police officers.  (No joke).  Six hours later, when we were released from the ER, we went back to the hotel, packed our bags and got on the next flight out of there, cutting our trip short by a day.

I mean, what are the odds? Seriously?  That’s why I say our Girl’s Trips are cursed.

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BUT… let me tell you why I’m grateful.

When something like this happens, when one of my kids gets sick like this, or gets up several times at night because they are teething, or gets up several times at night because they are so congested they can’t breathe, or I have to push them around in the stroller in our living room in the wee hours of the morning because they can’t sleep for whatever reason, or I have to take them for a 2 AM drive around town because I can’t get them to sleep in their crib… I think about how lucky I am.

Say what?

No, really.

I am so grateful for how lucky I am – that I have two (mostly) healthy kids that I love endlessly. I know it could be so much worse.  I know there are children who have terminal illnesses, who spend their days in doctor’s offices or hospitals, who get poked and prodded all the time.  I know there are parents who have lost their children in some way, shape or form.

So when I have a rough night, or a disappointing situation such as the one that happened in Colorado, I remind myself of how lucky I am to have my perfect (well, not perfect, but perfect to me) children. I remind myself that a mother who has lost her child would give her right arm to have a miserable night with her kid as long as she could just have that kid back.

My heart truly goes out to all of those parents and families who have struggles like this.

And, because of this, because you never know what’s going to happen the next day or the next week, because you never know who is going to come in and out of your life in the blink of an eye, I remind myself of this – of how lucky I am and how grateful I am – even when they are crying and screaming in my face at 3 AM or puking all over me in the middle of the night – to have these two beautiful children in my life.

Attachment-1

REMEMBER: Always look on the bright side because no matter how black the moment may seem, there will be always be a light when you come out of the dark.

 

Then and Now

   I remember New Year’s Eve, five years ago. My husband and I had just moved to Washington from Oklahoma a few months prior, it was bone-chilling cold and we were walking to a friend’s house. We played poker (which I didn’t know how to play and still don’t because maybe… there was a little too much drinking involved) and drank Disaronno and Coke (which I’d never had before, and, is delicious).

poker chips

We stayed out until way past two in the morning and then staggered our way down the street to our house. I slept in until noon, drank coffee to clear my alcohol-saturated brain and took my dogs for a long walk. I probably took a nap somewhere in there and read a book. It sounds relaxing, right? Relaxing and quiet.

coffee cup

Fast forward to this New Year’s: We went to my mom’s house and played games while eight children ran up and down the halls (two of which are mine). The sweet noise of children screaming, chasing each other, crying, whining, tattling on each other, fighting over who gets the blue crayon and who gets the bigger piece of pizza filled the air. In between the tantrums, melt-downs and the carrying on, if you listened closely, sometimes you got lucky and you could hear the beautiful tinkering of their laughter. Ah, yes. That…right there…is one of my most favorite sounds in the world.

As the whining and tears escalated and the laughter dissipated, we decided it was time to pack up and go home. Was it 10:30? Why yes, yes it was. I know…we are party animals…what of it?

Just for the sake of posterity, we decided to go all out…and wait for it…stayed up until 11 PM so we could watch the ball drop in New York. My husband gave me a quick kiss before we scooped up the kids and dashed to the car.

2016 new years

This morning I got up at 6am, not by choice, but because my daughter jumped on top of me and said in perfect dramatic fashion, “The sky’s awake! So I’m awake! So we have to try on dresses! (The kid changes literally, at least 5 times a day). And even though I was exhausted because I’d only gotten five hours of asleep, not to mention that I haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep since December 18th when we started traveling, I smiled and got up with her.

It doesn’t sound relaxing does it? And it definitely doesn’t sound quiet, right? And it certainly sounds different from my New Year’s Eve five years ago…BUT, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

GRATEFUL&THANKFUL

Every day I am thankful and grateful for my healthy, beautiful children, my wonderful husband who works so hard for us and this family we have created.

What are you grateful for? Comment below and tell me! I’d love to hear it!

CHALLENGE: I challenge you to keep a gratitude journal! Every day, for the month of January, write down at least one thing you are grateful for. You can write it, draw it, or cut out magazine pictures and glue them in there. It doesn’t matter…make it your own! You will be amazed how this one SMALL activity can make a HUGE difference in your attitude and mood.

DID YOU KNOW: Studies have shown that happy people practice the habit of being grateful – that means that being grateful, genuinely grateful, is linked to happiness, a decrease in depression, an increase in positive attitude, and an overall appreciation of life and what’s in it. Try it today!

 

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