I’m out of town, again, and only talked to Dan and Max on the phone briefly today from Dan’s car. Max was so excited to tell me a funny story about how they heard the song “I had a bad day” and Max asked Dan what happened if you heard that song but you weren’t having a bad day. Witty Dan said that you just change the radio station and did just that. The new station was playing “it was the best day of my life.” They thought that was hilarious. Hilarious. Which made my day, for the second time.

In unrelated news, this is Max and his self portrait.

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The first time my day was made was when I got off the plane and got an email from Dan about how much the kids loved the bread we made last night and some other tidbits from their morning. That’s the stuff I live for.

And I loved this on the floor at the Tampa airport. Have you ever noticed that airports many times have really cool designs in terrazzo floors?

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Tampa, not so cool. 80 degrees plus and humid.

Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have, is all you need. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today I’m grateful for:

Tulips in full color.

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Max writing out football huddles and plays during church.

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These little birdies who hatched in a plant hanging in our breezeway.

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And the chuckle we all had that mama bird chose the plant and not one of these…bird houses.

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And ending the weekend with our house filled with the smell of fresh baked bread. So thankful for my all-pro baking friend who tipped me off to a recipe I’ve had all along.

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That’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball. ~Bill Veeck, 1976

We spent quite a bit of time at the baseball fields this weekend. Football and soccer too, but mostly baseball.

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I’m glad that Max will try anything. He’s game for any sport.

I am grateful that Dan’s on the field with the team. He loves being out there. Max loves having him there. And I love the stories from the field after the game. They are hilarious and sweet.

I am thankful for the friends Grace has to play with while the boys play their games. The girls roam around and around getting into whatever they get into. Kid stuff at its finest.

I am grateful for the community that the kids activities create for our whole family and for all of the friends we shared a smile or wave or hello or a laugh or a quick hug or a quick story or a long laugh or long story and/or a beer with in the last two days.

And I am thankful for this mama and friend. She is kind and sincere and real. And she was missed this weekend due to mishaps and sick kids.

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In essence, I’m grateful for people to share this busy and probably-we’re-over-scheduling-our-kids time of life with. At the core of it we come and go as a family and time with all those other warm hearts is really, really good. It is so good to connect and know that we’re all simply doing our best. Just like our little guys out on the baseball field.

My fear of flying starts as soon as I buckle myself in and then the guy up front mumbles a few unintelligible words then before I know it I’m thrust into the back of my seat by acceleration that seems way too fast and the rest of the trip is an endless nightmare of turbulence, of near misses. And then the cabbie drops me off at the airport. ~Dennis Miller

I am thankful to be home after a crazy busy business trip.

I am thankful for a good work day yesterday, in our new DC office. I am pleased to work with such talented people, one of our guys designed this whole office and it rocks. It is bumpy working for a tiny startup company but at the same time I’m grateful to be in the midst of it.

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I’m glad for the resurrection and life that spring brings. Seeing spring blooms is heaven on earth. Cherry blossom leaves were blowing through the air while we ate lunch outside. Spring in DC is gorgeous. Spring anywhere is gorgeous, I guess.

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I had a disturbing and heartbreaking phone conversation while I waited at the airport. I was feeling wrecked. I talked to a friend who helped sort things a bit and reminded me that grace is real.

I hung up and went to wait on my delayed flight when I saw a group of disabled vets- very old men, most in wheel chairs, also waiting for a flight to STL. I talked to one of the gentlemen who proudly wore his “Korea Army Vet” ball cap and thanked him for his service. He thanked me for saying that. Everyone clapped as these guys got on the plane.

As I sat down I realized that so much is taken care of for us- way beyond our own doing and I was deeply, deeply grateful. This is about a third of them; they were tickled when I asked for their picture and told them I was honored to be on a flight with them.

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One of the most contented feelings I have is leaving a city and heading home after hard work. A plane ride at dusk is a peaceful place.

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And the view of the horizon is so clear from way up there.

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As the plane descended into STL, it seemed as if a crash was eminent. There was some sort of storm and the plane was bouncing everywhere and the flight attendants were yelling to people to sit down. I did my usual and closed my eyes and pretended I was on a train and that all that bouncing was normal, but it bounced too much for that illusion. Then I focused on the fact that a plane full of wounded warriors returning from an honor ceremony could not go down.

Once again, thanks to the vets.

It is ok to say, “that could have been so much worse,” which is always the case. ~Anne Lamott in Help, Thanks, Wow about how saying thanks is a prayer

I am thankful today and yesterday for arriving safely in DC for a business trip. I took Southwest Airlines and my flight was pleasant; it could have been so much worse.

I am thankful that even though I am not as organized as one would hope, and there were no hotel rooms left in the entire District of Columbia when I went to book one 20 hours before my flight, such that I am staying at a B&B which is really just some older people’s house, it could have been so much worse. These two didn’t haunt me in my sleep…

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And my friends helped me to laugh about it. I can never be thankful enough for my friends laughing with me. It could be so much worse.

Any my littles calling me on FaceTime also rocks. They are precious little gems. And I miss them and their skin and faces and activities and messes and needs and fights and rudeness and kindness and offness and right-sweet-on-ness and voices saying mom, mom, mom, mama, MAMA, mommy pants, with my entire being. Being away from them is physically painful for me. And it could be so much worse than a few day business trip.

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I also have to say that I am so grateful that my parents are still here in their physical form as my parents. They won’t always be and we have gotten through times when we thought they wouldn’t be for many more days. I don’t know how many more we have, but it could have been so much worse.

Halleluia. And thanks.

PS I am not thankful for how FaceTime makes everyone look like they have a pig nose and twelve neck rolls. I’m not sure it could be much worse than that FaceTime. Thanks for your service, no thanks for the look.

Oh, mirror in the sky,
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life
~Landslide by Stevie Nicks

I am grateful for these spring sunset colors.

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I am grateful for this boy doing his chores before school. See him there?

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And I am grateful for the knowledge that I *can* handle the seasons of my life, even when my flawed little brain tells me that I am getting it all wrong, that I am not (good, loving, kind, thoughtful, warm, attentive, organized, parents-as-teachers-ish, skinny, involved, fast, funny, giving, etc, etc) enough. I surely can’t sail through the changing ocean tides by myself but life keeps proving my little brain wrong and people, grace and luck keep showing up to share life anyway. I know this and I am going to focus on knowing that hard days are bookended by those things, most every time.

The child within my heart will rise above.

But what the heck about the landslide… I don’t know what that song means.

>

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day. ~Robert Frost

I didn’t get a chance to write down my gratitude the last couple of days, but it was there and noted.

I am thankful every day that I get to pick my kids up from school. I love that privilege.

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I’m thankful for company as I wait in the carpool line.

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I am thankful for the goat cheese cookie my friend brought over on Friday evening.

I am thankful for the chance to swim twice this week. It shook the cobwebs out and put things back in order on the shelves in my head.

I’m so glad to be reading a page turner- Mother, Daughter, Me by Katie Hafner.

I am glad that I had time with just me and Grace at her swim meet on Saturday afternoon.

I am thankful that Dan and I had a night out and that our babysitter is such an outstanding young man.

I am glad to have heard young voices singing in church today (and Grace was one of them) and that the gospel reading was about Lazarus.

I am so very thankful that we had an unscheduled day today and that I got to start some spring cleaning and tackle the mountain of laundry that had been piling up for weeks. Now the shelves are actually getting back in order!

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I am glad that Max got to play outside all day long and also appreciative of neighborhood kids. It is so lovely that he can walk out the door and play ball with friends.

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I am thankful that Grace enjoyed her downtime doing what she loves to do.

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I am thankful for healthy whole food and the chance to serve it up and eat it too. The three of us had a lovely easy dinner while Dan was away working on a grant.

And so very thankful for a quiet Sunday night on the couch under my very favorite quilt.

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