I'm doing a happy dance right now. Today is the official first day of spring! Winter is O.V.E.R! Happy dance! I know, I know in Montana the first day of spring does not mean the snow will magically melt, trees blossom and tulips begin popping up. However, it means these good things are coming. Of course they will be interspersed with snow storms and sad flowers that pushed their way through the dirt will get covered with snow, but the fact they are pushing their way up means spring! This makes me very happy indeed. And, just wait until the first day of summer...that's as good as Christmas morning in my book.
Because I am so thankful spring is finally here, I've been thinking a lot about gratitude. There's a blog I follow that has been talking a lot about being grateful...for big things, little things, all things. It's amazing how focusing on a small amount of the things you are grateful for each day can really make everything better. What I've been trying to do is first thing in the morning, before I even get out of bed is take a moment to think about things I am grateful for right then. In the dark, quiet of the morning, while everyone else in the house is still sound asleep (well, everyone except Layla...she's up patiently staring at her clock waiting for it to say 6:30 so she can get up). I have found it to be a great way to start my day. Take Monday morning for example. No one likes getting up on Monday. I always wish it was still the weekend and never feel quite ready to take on another week. But, instead of thinking about that, I thought of a few things I felt grateful for and it made it so much easier to get up and ready to face a brand new week. Try it...you'll see.
To keep with this gratitude waterfall of thoughts I have going on, I think I'll go with things I'm grateful for right now.
After a week of sick, everyone finally began to feel better. Little girls got their sparkle back. To salvage what was left of spring break, we threw on suits and headed to Chico. The beauty of the Paradise Valley never ceases to make me smile...
The sun was out, the water warm and our little fish happy to finally be out of the house, splashing around. And, one happy mama watching them with the sun on her face and bloody mary in hand. I felt so very grateful to see them feeling like themselves again. It's so sad when they are sick...sad eyes looking at me telling me their tummy hurts and not being able to do anything about it but have them sip on Ginger Ale. I always feel extra grateful for health after they've been sick.
After soaking we headed to lunch in Livingston where it was ever apparent Layla's appetite was back as she put french fries on her salad.
I think I would have let her eat whatever she wanted. Both girls looked extra scrawny in their swimsuits after not eating much all week. Poor babes.
Funny lunch story...the place we went, Gil's, is a fantastic restaurant where they make almost everything from scratch. It's delicious. However, to use the restroom you have to go to the bar that is attached. I took the girls, each one goes in a separate stall.
Layla starts giggling and proclaims: "Eager Beaver!"
Ava responds "What?"
Layla "It's says eager beaver...if you want to keep them eager you got to shave the beaver!"
Both girls begin giggling hysterically over this, not having a clue what this writing on the wall was really referring too. Only in Livingston people, only in Livingston.
Next up on my gratitude list..
Sister and her hubby had a night away this past weekend and we watched their boys. It felt a lot less scary to watch the baby this time than it did two months ago when we did it. Now he's a giggly, happy baby with plenty of snuggles. It's good for me to get my baby fix. There are times I wonder if we should have had a third to round out our family. And then I watch a baby overnight and feel quite happy we are done. Babies are hard. You so easily forget this. It's been almost 7 years since we've had a baby. That means we've been sleeping soundly for a long time and it's hard to go back to waking to put a pacifier back in, change a diaper, or get a bottle ready at 4 am. You forget that it's hard to cook a meal in the ten minutes a baby is happy. My girls play for hours without needing a thing...babies and toddlers simply need more. I am grateful for where we are in our parenthood journey. I sometimes miss the girls being babies and that is where nephews come in. I get to snuggle and love on them and then happily return them to their mama. It's a win win. And I get to catch moments like this...
Big cousin reading bedtime stories to little cousin. We were getting ready for bed and I had to leave the room to grab something and came back to find Layla reading his bedtime story for him. It melted my heart.
Only a couple more on the grateful journey today...
A Moonlit Run-
With the time change the days are longer in the evenings. No longer is it dark when Matt is coming home from work...this is a sure sign of spring. However, it means the mornings are dark. The moon lit up the sky this morning on my run so it didn't feel quite as dark. In fact, it was beautiful. I finally got over being afraid of running in the dark. I enjoy the solitude of it now. I feel hidden as I run along the dark sidewalks with the occasional headlights from a car passing by. I am also grateful I was able to run my usual time this morning. About a month ago I tweaked my knee. I've been babying it the last few weeks with a mix of running and walking. I've been trying not to be too bummed about it. Running is so important to me and when I can't do it, I feel defeated. Instead of pushing through this injury like I've done in the past, I've chosen to be gentle. Ease myself back into it so running can continue to be a part of my future. And with hiking just around the corner, I know I want it to be healed up. The snow is melting off the Bridgers and the "M" is almost visible which means a spring hike is in the very near future. Running this morning gave me hope that my patience has paid off and my knee is healing.
And, one more for the road...
Always, always on the top of my gratitude list each day are my girls. My family. We are together and life is good. It may get busy, kids get sick, we forget to be kind to each other. But, remembering to stop and feel grateful for what we have makes all that stuff go away. Catching my girls in a moment like this-
These girls fight as sisters will do. They have a hard time agreeing on what to play. Layla always wanting to play school where she gets to be the teacher. Ava always wanting to play horses. Compromising doesn't happen very often. Then there are the moments they play beautifully. Ava setting up a salon, complete with "magazines" to read during the pedicure and music playing softly in the background. Yes, these moments I feel extremely grateful for.