Reflecting on my blessings – Part 1

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-10-42-06-amSo, I missed Slice of Life Tuesday.  I have vacation brain!  But, you see, I did have every intention of writing yesterday, but then got distracted.  My plan was to write in the morning,  but the pool was calling our names.  Then, I thought I’d write in the afternoon, but going out for a drive to explore Myrtle Beach had called our names.  Then, I decided to write when we got home after dinner, but snuggles on the couch with my girl called my name.  So, here I am a day late, but feeling the need to write.   These past few days of relaxation, thinking, reading, and spending time with family, has made me notice and focus on the people and things that I’m blessed with in my life.

There are so so so many things in life to be grateful for, so I’m thinking this is going to be a multi-part post.  Today, I’m just going to start by highlighting some (there are many more) of the people in my family that I’m truly blessed with.

My blessings:

  • A wonderful husband who knows me better than I know myself many days.  Who is my rock and knows how to help and comfort me when I need it.  Who is protective and takes care of our whole family.  Now, if only he could read my mind and know what chores/jobs need to be done without me asking – yeah that would be even more wonderful 🙂
  • An amazing daughter who has a determined but loving personality.  She amazes me every day with the things she does and says and I need to be better at pointing those out to her.  She’s feisty and has trouble controlling her emotions.  But, she’s also very kind and attuned to how others are feeling.  She knows when people are feeling down and will give hugs to make them feel better.
  • A mom who is my best friend and quite possibly the strongest person I know.  At times I know she doesn’t feel so strong, and I wish she would just lean on us a little bit to help her keep her strength.  She has been through many hard times, but my wish for her is to put the most focus on all the good times.  I hope she knows that we are all her supports that will keep her standing tall – no matter what.
  • A brother who has gone from being my “little” brother, to being my friend.  He’s had to grow up faster than most people his age, but he has become an amazing man.  I often think he worries too much about filling my dad’s shoes, and wonder if he realizes that he doesn’t need to fill any shoes.  He has his own shoes and my dad is walking right there with him – always.  As he gets older, I see more and more of my dad’s personality in him.  It definitely makes my heart happy and I hope it makes him smile.
  •  An aunt who is like a second mom to me.  Her and my mom are technically cousins, but they might as well be sisters.  I love everything about their relationship.  They laugh, they bicker, the love each other.  Every night at 9pm my aunt calls my mom.  It’s their nightly check in (even though they’ve probably spoken like 50 times during the day).  She looks out for us and my mom looks out for her boys.  She’s such a huge part of our family.
  • My father-in-law who was the missing piece to our family.  Finding him and reuniting with him six years ago just filled our lives with so much joy.  Old wounds were healed and we got to experience a father’s love again.  Also, I now know where my husband and daughter get their hard heads from!

What are you grateful for today?  What are the blessings in your life?  Take a minute out of your day to stop and think about them.  It truly puts a smile on your face and fills your heart with joy.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Arthur Ward

Come back tomorrow to read Part 2 of my gratitude posts!

#sol17 ~ Early morning

My eyes shot open. I looked around the room. “What in the world was that sound?” I quickly jump out of the recliner where I had fallen asleep last night. My heart pounding in my chest, my eyes not quite focusing yet. I quick go to check on Brad. He’s totally fine, snoring away. Next stop – Mom’s room. She was sound asleep as well.

And there on the couch, where I cuddled her to sleep, was Emma sleeping soundly.  She had some trouble settling down at bedtime, so I put on some guided meditation, cuddled her close, and off to dreamland she went.  Hence, the reason I was sleeping in a “not so comfy” recliner, in the living room of my mom’s country house.

Anyway, back to the sound….Yeah, never did figure out where the sound came from. Maybe it was all in my dreams! Those dreams that were long gone. I tried and tried and tried to get myself back to sleep. I cuddled up with my blanket in the chair. Couldn’t get comfortable. I tried to snuggle up on the other couch – that didn’t work either. Why oh why didn’t I just go lay down in the bedroom?!

While making one last attempt at sleep, I turned on my side, and caught a glimpse of the lake through the window. The sky was just starting to lighten a teeny tiny bit. It made me think about watching sunrises with my dad when I was little. And there it was, my sign. I got up, went into the bedroom and put on my sweatpants, sweatshirt, and socks (5am and 55 degrees on this July morning). I made a nice hot cup of coffee, and tip toed out to the back porch. While everyone was still sleeping inside, the world was just waking up outside.

I sat and sat and sat, taking it all in – sipping my coffee. I looked, listened, felt, and just breathed. The birds were singing their morning tunes. So many different songs. The fish were popping in and out of the water, leaving rings on the water’s surface. The fog was floating slowly over the water. Right before my eyes, the world was slowly saying “good morning.” It was peaceful and calm – pure bliss.

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For a second, I thought about how tired I was going to be later, but just pushed that thought aside. I just sat there looking out at the water, listening to the sounds, watching the sky change colors, and all I could feel was gratitude in my heart. I was grateful for whatever woke me up. Grateful for the peace and quiet I got to experience on this chilly early morning. Grateful for being able to realize the benefits of being up so early and for taking the time to “stop and smell the roses.” Grateful for my dad waking me up on beach vacations when I was little to see the sunrise – I totally get it now, but hated it as a kid. Grateful for letting myself be present in the moment!

And then, my silence was broken by teeny knocks on the window. Yup, there was Emma, smiling with a blanket wrapped around her. I glanced down at my phone to check the time. It was 5:45am and she was wide awake. I helped her put on sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and together we sat and watched the sun peek up over the hills. Her first sunrise!

“Oh my goodness Momma – it’s so so so beautiful,” she said with a huge smile on her face.

I hugged her close and said, “Yes, baby it sure is.”

And there we sat, cuddled up on that chilly July morning. Her eyes sparkling with excitement, and me filled with gratitude for all the blessings in my life.  A memory I will cherish forever!

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Our view!

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Thank you to the team of writers at Two Writing Teachers for this wonderful writing community.  A place for us to grow together as writers.  Join us for SOL Tuesdays!