Sunday, December 30, 2012

Another letter I wish I had written to my daughter

Diana turned 4 months on Friday, so I know I don't have to think about her leaving any time in the near future.  That being said, I also know that time is going to FLY - and I am going to wish I had said some of these things to her before she heads off into the big, crazy world. 

So, Diana - this is a letter that I wish I had written to you, written by another mom that looked at her young daughter this week and also realized that the day will come when she won't live under Mommy's roof anymore.  Just because I didn't write it myself does not mean that I don't relate to every word below - or mean it with all of my heart.  Love you to the moon and back, Mommy.  

P.S.  When I just searched for an image to post with this letter and typed in the words "girl going to college", I am straight up horrified at what I found.  Please, please, please don't ever pose for those kinds of photos.  They will haunt you forever, as in someday, your son or daughter might find them.  

Dear Viv,

Tomorrow, you're headed off to college. Your Dad and I are so fucking proud of you. What, you didn't know mom dropped F-bombs? I've been saving them up until you left the house. Your poor Dad is going feel like he's living with Sam Kinison.

Since your high school years were not nearly as tortured and awkward as your mother's, perhaps you will not feel the need to go full Girls-Gone-Wild bananas in college like I did, but just in case, here are some helpful guidelines:

Do not drink the punch. It's flammable and toxic and boys have most definitely peed in there. If you must drink, stick with beer, which will hopefully fill you up before you can poison yourself.

Please don't do drugs. But if you're going to try drugs, do like mom always taught you at Whole Foods and buy organic.

When you go out at night, always use the buddy system. (Your buddy is a nice girl from your dorm. Preferably a Mormon.) When that cute lacrosse player wants to show you the roof of his fraternity house, ask yourself, is my buddy here? No? Then go find her and walk home together.

No naked photos. If some boy you like really needs a permanent record of your boobs, suggest that he draw you from life, Titanic-style. He supplies the diamond.

Make friends with girls. Guys can also be terrific friends, but until the When Harry Met Sally theory of gender relations is formally disproven, some of those friendships may be lost to unrequited feelings or bad kissing. Girls are for life.

Speaking of permanence, I hear tattoo removal is quite painful.

Don't automatically skip the opening band. The Beastie Boys once opened for Madonna.

If someone offers you a chance to march on Washington for a cause you believe in, go. This rarely happens after college, and never again does it come with a shiny bus and matching t-shirts.

Courses like philosophy, art history and literature will open your mind, unveil the beauty in the world and make you really good at crossword puzzles. That said, it wouldn't hurt to take an accounting class.

I know it's more convenient, but remember that texting will never be as satisfying as an in-person conversation. Would you rather have a pizza described to you or delivered to your door?

And one more thing I learned in college a few times over: A broken heart feels like the end of the world, but it's just the beginning -- as well as the foundation for all the best songs and poetry.

Viv, I hope you'll take some of this advice to heart, but whether you do or not, I'll still be there whenever you need me. Once upon a time, I knew a lot about great novelists and boys. I can still talk with some authority about boys. (Or should you fall in love with girls, I'm a quick study.)

I'm so excited for you. As it says in our story book, I love all that you will be, and everything you are.

Love you madly,

(Written by Amy Wruble:  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Song: I Choose by India.Arie

My friend Alison introduced this song to me as an anthem for the days I need a little spiritual pick-me-up.  It's a great song for reminding me that I am in charge of my reaction to life - I may not be able to control my circumstances, but I can most certainly control my reaction to them and the attitude I bring to each day.   I am not defined by my past, and I can CHOOSE to move forward any time I want!

"I Choose"

Because you never know where life is gonna take you
and you can't change where you've been.
But today, I have the opportunity to choose.

[Verse 1:]
Here am I now looking at 30 and I got so much to say.
I gotta get this off of my chest, I gotta let it go today.
I was always too concerned about what everybody would think.
But I can't live for everybody, I gotta live my life for me.(Yeah)
I pitched a fork in the road of my life and ain't nothing gonna happen unless I decide.

(And I choose) to be the best that I can be.
(I choose) to be authentic in everything I do.
My past don't dictate who I am. I choose. (Yeah)

[Verse 2:]
I done been through some painful things I thought that I would never make it through.
Filled up with shame from the top of my head to the soles of my shoes.
I put myself in so many chaotic circumstances, but by the grace of God I've been given so many second chances.
But today I decided to let it all go. I'm dropping these bags, I'm making room for my joy.

(And I choose) to be the best that I can be.
(I choose) to be authentic in everything I do.
My past don't dictate who I am. I choose.

Because you never know where life is gonna take you and you can't change where you've been.
But today, I have the opportunity to choose. (Hey ey)
I used to have guilt about why things happen they way they did cuz life is gone do what it do.
And everyday, I have the opportunity to choose.

[Verse 3:]
From this day forward I'm going to be exactly who I am.
I don't need to change the way that I live just to get a man. (NO!)
I even had a talk with my mama and I told her the day I'm grown,
"from this day forward, every decision I make will be my own." And hey!

(And I choose) to be the best that I can be.
(I choose) to be courageous in everything I do.
My past don't dictate who I am. I choose.

(And I choose) to be the best that I can be.
(I choose) to be authentic in everything I do.
My past don't dictate who I am. I choose.

Because you never know where life is gonna take you and you can't change where you've been.
But today, I have the opportunity to choose. (Hey ey)
I used to have guilt about why things happen they way they did cuz life is gone do what it do.
And everyday, I have the opportunity to choose.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Why going to a Zac Brown Band concert is kind of stressing me out

Tomorrow night, S and I are going to see the Zac Brown Band concert at the BJCC.  I love seeing live music and have been excited for this show for week, but now, going to the concert is majorly stressing me out. I feel like it's like cramming for a test and prepping for prom at the same time!

About a week ago, I had the thought that I needed to spend some more time listening to the music of the band in order to better enjoy the show.  Now, I find myself driving around listening to all ZBB, all the time.  I almost feel like I am studying for a if learning the words to the songs is going to enhance my experience at the show or that there is going to be some penalty if the band plays a song I haven't heard before.  What is that all about?? 

Then, for Christmas, my brother in law and his girlfriend got tickets to the same show.  Initially, I was excited for them to be going to the same show, but then, the conversation turned to what we were all going to wear to the show and panic began to set in.  I have never been a girl that gets dressed up for shows - I always thought it was kind of silly to get all gussied up for a concert, since it was pretty unlikely that anyone from the band was going to look out to the audience and see some girl all dressed up and decide that she was "the one" (and admit it, that's the main reason girls get dressed up when they go to shows!).   However, now, I want to pick out the perfect outfit to wear when we go see the show - and I have spent more time than I care to admit, mentally going through my wardrobe to see what would be the best combination.  What is that all about?? 

Here's what's really going on:  I want to look "cool".  I want to have that moment where my husband or someone I don't even know looks at me, and I am perfectly lip syncing along to the song being sung from the stage, or even better, actually singing the words and harmonizing (the music geek in me just can't help attempting to harmonize!!).  I want them to think, "Wow, look how cool Jeannine is...she knows all the words!", or even better, "Holy cow, is she harmonizing??  She shouldn't be down here watching the show, she should be on stage!"  I want my brother in law's gorgeous girlfriend to have a minute where she looks at my outfit and thinks, "I wish I could wear that outfit and look like that!" or "She always looks so put together, I am so impressed" (which is what I usually think when I see HER!).

Especially since having the baby, I have been kind of struggling with my identity and self confidence.  Alright, that's a lie.  I have been REALLY struggling.  After years of working in a "cool" industry like radio, I now feel more defined by my role as a mom.  Can being a mom be "cool"?  Let me wipe the spit up off of my shoulder before I let you answer that question.

I am also struggling with my post-baby body.  My weight has been a struggle for a lot of my adult life, but I had gotten down to a good healthy weight for the wedding and was feeling pretty good about myself...before I got pregnant.  Now, I am staring down the barrel of needing to lose 40 MORE pounds to get back to where I started.  That will do a number on your psyche, or at least it has on mine.  Nothing fits right anymore.  I am still wearing maternity clothes a lot of the time, and the clothes that I have either gotten as gifts or as "holdovers" until I lose the weight are in sizes I was hoping never to see again.   I know that this can be temporary - but for today, I am not feeling that hot.

With all this said, I know that tomorrow night will be fun - if I can just take the pressure I've put on myself off and remember to just enjoy the show, and also, if I can remember they are performing for me and not the other way around. 

Anyone relate to feeling like that?  Have any tricks to get out of your own head when stuff like this comes up?  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How I embarrassed myself at church last night

Last night, I went to a meeting at my church, and when I was leaving, I stopped in the parking lot to talk to my friend Meredith for a few minutes.  After a much needed catch-up session, we quickly said goodbye and rushed to our cars to get out of the cold.

As I was getting into my car, I intended to let out a sigh - a sound of contentment and happiness.  I was feeling good because I had just spent some time with good people, and when I am alone, when I am happy, I often let out big sighs or make big noises like the Carol Burnett "Tarzan Yell".

(If you've never tried it, I dare you to do it and tell me it doesn't feel good!  I used to watch The Carol Burnett Show with my mom, and always loved it when someone would ask Carol to do the Tarzan Yell because it gave me a chance to test mine out, as well, as I played along at home.)

Well, I guess that, as a new mom, I have transitioned from sighs and Tarzan Yells to making raspberry noises that sound something like this:

So, I let out a sigh/raspberry - for a good 20-30 seconds.  It felt AWESOME, and I smiled as I finished.  I got into my car, and as I was looking left to reach for my seat belt, I saw a guy in the truck next to me staring at me with disgust on his face, and slowly back his truck away.  At first ,I could not figure out why he was so weirded out by my raspberry noise.  I know it's a little weird, but it's certainly not disgusting.  Then, it hit me:

The guy thinks I farted!  This random church guy thinks I farted for a good 20-30 seconds, and then, got into my car, smiling to myself about it!  Oh NO!  I tried to lower my window to tell him it wasn't what he thought, but it was too late.  He was gone.

I've never seen that guy before; he wasn't in the meeting I attended, and honestly, now, I couldn't pick him out of a two person line up.  It was dark, and he was wearing a baseball hat.  So, there is no way for me to track him down and clarify what really happened.  Now, I just have to live with the fact that out there, somewhere, there's a guy who thinks some lady at church let one rip in the parking lot. 

If you are him, by some incredible chance, please know that I am not that kind of person, and if you heard a guy telling a story about that happening, please set him straight! 

Am I the only one that has things like this happen to them?  Have any fun stories to share??

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Diana's First Christmas

It was a lovely first Christmas with Diana - S and I were reflecting as we drove home from Blountsville yesterday about how truly blessed we are - we have family that loves us and a healthy (and happy!) daughter.  Our families (and Santa!!) were beyond generous with the gifts they gave us, but the best part of all of it was the time spent together.  We made some great memories together, and since Santa brought me a new camera, we documented a lot of them (I think Diana is going to grow up thinking the paparazzi are following her around).  

Not feeling Mommy's new camera

Playing with Mommy

Up in the air!

Mommy is so silly!

Walking with Aunt Darby

Checking out the tree with Daddy!

Worn out from all the festivities

Santa Loves Me (or at least that's what my shirt says!)

Playing with Nicole, Aunt Dana and Nana

Snuggling Mommy while everyone opens presents

Story time with Nana and Uncle Tyler

Tuckered out again

Daddy putting together my new walker!

Loving my new walker!

Watching Mommy open my presents (gotta keep an eye on her!)

Christmas is hilarious!

For more pictures, check out this gallery:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Song: Think Good Thoughts

Driving home today, this song came up on my "shuffle", and I listened to the words more carefully than I usually do.  Anybody else ever think that God talks to them through the radio?  This is my theme song for the week! 

Colbie Caillat - "Think Good Thoughts"

I'm just gonna say it
There's no use in delaying
I'm tired of the angry hanging out inside me
So I'll quiet down the devil
I'm gonna knock him with a shovel
And I'll bury all my trouble underneath the revel
When I'm alone in a dark, dark room I have to tell myself to

Think good thoughts, think good thoughts
Imagine what the world would be if we will, we just
Think good thoughts, stop the bad from feeding
Oh won't let the negativity turn me into my enemy
Promise to myself that I won't let it get the best of me
That's how I want to be

Na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na (x2)

I'm not saying that it's easy
Especially when I'm moody
I might be cursing like a sailor
Til I remind myself I'm better
Cos words can be like weapons
Oh when you use them you will get them
Oh oh but I'm not gonna let them take away my heaven
And when I start feeling blue I remember to tell myself to

Whoa whoa whoa
Think good thoughts, think good thoughts
Imagine what the world would be if we will, we just
Think good thoughts, stop the bad from feeding
Oh won't let the negativity turn me into my enemy
Promise to myself that I won't let it get the best of me
That's how I want to be

I just think of rain on summer nights
Stars filling up the sky
Sun shining on my face
Making a secret wish
Finding my happiness
That always makes me hold my head up high
I wanna hold my head up high

Oh I wanna think good thoughts
Oh imagine what the world would be if we will, we just
(Think good thoughts)
Wouldn't that be something
Oh won't let the negativity turn me into my enemy
Promise to myself that I won't let it get the best of me
That's how I want to be

Na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na (x6)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Gratitude in the face of the Sandy Hook tragedy

Like everyone else, I was heartbroken as the news came in about the senseless tragedy in Newtown, CT at Sandy Hook Elementary.  The more details that became confirmed, the more that the whole situation seemed like it was out of some awful movie.  I just didn't want to believe that any of this was real.

What on Earth could make someone want to kill children?  How could things get so bad, so quickly?  How would that community, those families, the children and teachers left behind ever recover?

When tragedy strikes, I want to hide my head in the sand, and avoid the news, avoid the conversation about events, avoid the chaos, avoid the speculation about the details and motivations.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach to think of the terror those children and adults felt, and it brings tears to my eyes every single time I hear one of the stories of  the lives that were lost.

Then, it becomes time to "walk the walk".  If I truly believe that there is something to be grateful for in EVERY circumstance, I need to spend some time paying attention and looking for anything positive in what seems like a completely tragic circumstance.

Here goes - today, I am grateful for:

- being able to go home and hug my daughter at the end of the day.  The day before the shooting, I was feeling pretty grumpy about having to sit up with her because of her cold.  On the night of the shooting, I went home and held her all night long. 
- the "angels" that blocked the stupid protestors that were attempting to draw attention to their ridiculous cause by protesting the funerals.  There was literally a human wall of bikers (aka Hell's Angels) that blocked their attempts, and eventually, the protestors stood down and left.
- the movement to perform acts of kindness in remembrance of each of the lives lost - what a fantastic way to honor their memory. Instead of focusing on the awful details, instead, we can be looking for opportunities to perform a random act of kindness in their memory.
- a renewed conversation about how to keep our children safe.  I don't know what shape those measures will take, but as a new mom, I am grateful that this is causing our leaders and educators to revisit ways to keep our precious children safe at school.
- a revived sense of community.  I feel like everyone around me is being just a little nicer and more patient with each other.  Maybe I am imagining it, but it seems like after such an awful event, it makes all of us sit back and realize what is truly important.
- the power of prayer.  I've heard it said that when faced with a situation you feel powerless over, that you really have two powers:  the power of prayer and the power of example.  In this case, I am wearing out my ability to pray - for the families, for the classmates, for the first responders, for the funeral workers, for the community, for the country, for our leaders, for our educators, and more.  When I feel lost and scared, which is often, at this point, I can close my eyes and connect with a Power greater than me and ask Him to protect us all. 

I have to admit that I don't feel as "light" as I usually do after putting together a gratitude list - but I do feel better than when I started.  I hope you do too.

What did I leave out?  What else could we be grateful for, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting?  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who else feels like they are failing at motherhood?

The Huffington Post always hooks me with their catchy article headlines - but THIS one definitely caught my eye:  "Why You're Never Failing As A Mother".

Um, hello??  Are you reading my diary?? How did you know that I feel like that??  I love my daughter - but I feel like I am failing every day with her.  I have all these ideas of how things "should" be with her - and I never quite achieve that ideal in my head.  My "to do" list currently remains largely undone:  sending out birth announcements, making Christmas cookies, printing out pictures of the family to decorate her crib at day care, starting her baby book, sending out Christmas cards, getting laundry folded, spending the allotted time on her tummy each day, daily FaceTime appointments with friends and family, etc.

Most days, it's just a matter of survival, especially when S is traveling for work - making sure Diana's fed and clothed, has her diaper changed and a place to sleep when she wants to.  I do the best I can, but feel like I am falling way, way, way short every single day. 

So, that is why I kind of want to hug Amy Morrison from the Huffington Post today.  She wrote this:

I've gotten a lot of emails from women saying they feel overwhelmed by motherhood. Not in a dangerous way, just in a "I totally suck and I don't know how I'm supposed to manage all this" kind of way.

To this I say, you're not supposed to.

If you think about it, if you had a baby thousands, if not hundreds of years ago, you would have had your mother, all your sisters (all of whom were probably lactating) and your nieces all taking care of your baby. They would help with food preparation, show you how to manage and make sure your baby wasn't eaten by a bear. Your kid's feet probably wouldn't have touched the ground until they themselves would be able to carry around an infant.

Back then, the point of a child was to have free labor in the fields and someone to take care of your old ass down the road, and not much more.

As for the past generations that like to tell you that they raised six kids on their own and did it without a washing machine? Well, sort of. Keep in mind child rearing was viewed pretty differently not that long ago and you could stick a toddler on the front lawn with just the dog watching and nobody would bat an eye at it -- I used to walk to the store in my bare feet to buy my father's cigarettes when I was a kid. As a mother, you cooked, you cleaned, but nobody expected you to do anything much more than keep your kids fed and tidy.

My grandmother used to tell the story about how she forgot my mother at the grocery store in the early '40s. She walked up to the store with my mother sleeping in her carriage, parked it outside with all the other sleeping babies (I'll let that sink in), went inside to do her shopping, then walked home, forgetting that she'd taken the baby with her. She quickly realized her mistake and walked back and retrieved my mother, who was still sleeping outside the store.

There were no flashcards, there was no sign language (unless you were deaf), there were no organic, free-range bento boxes -- your job was to just see a kid through to adulthood and hope they didn't become an idiot.

Hey, I'm not judging, and I'm not saying one way is better than the other, but I'm just saying that we are part of a generation that considers parenting to be a skill. Like a true skill that needs to be mastered and perfected and if we don't get it right, we think our kids suffer for it -- and that's hard sh*t to keep up with. That's not to say other generations didn't have it tough or think parenting was important, but there just wasn't the same level of scrutiny that could be liked, tweeted or instagramed all at once.

You are in the trenches when you have a baby. To the untrained eye it seems pretty straightforward and easy -- you feed them, you bathe them, you pick them up when they cry -- but it's more than that. It's perpetual motion with a generous layer of guilt and self-doubt spread on top, and that takes its toll.

Feeling like you also need to keep on top of scrapbooking, weight loss, up-cycled onesies, handprints, crock pot meals, car seat recalls, sleeping patterns, poo consistency, pro-biotic supplements, swimming lessons, electromagnetic fields in your home and television exposure is like trying to knit on a rollercoaster -- it's f*cking hard.

We live in a time when we can Google everything, share ideas and expose our children to amazing opportunities, but anyone that implies that they have it figured out is either drunk or lying (or both), so don't be too hard on yourself.

Your job is to provide your child with food, shelter, encouragement and love, and that doesn't have to be solely provided by you either -- feel free to outsource, because they didn't just pull that "it takes a village" proverb out of the air.

Mommy and Me classes, homemade lactation cookies and learning Cantonese is all gravy, and if you can throw them in the mix once in a while, good on ya, Lady. I have about 9,000 things I've pinned on Pinterest and I think I've done four of them, which is fine by me, because those are above and beyond goodies, and not part of my just-scraping-by norm.

It's an amazing and exciting time to have a baby right now, but always keep in mind, no one has ever done it like this before -- you are pioneers that have to machete through the new terrain. Chin up. Hang in there. And remember, you're doing a great job.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking her cuteness for a walk

We went for a walk this afternoon with my friend Catherine - she and I can solve all of our problems in one spin around the neighborhood! It's like free therapy...

It was a little chilly today, so I wanted to bundle Diana up! She is officially the cutest baby alive - check out this hat!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Diana's Baptism

Presenting Diana for baptism
Pastors laying hands on Diana to baptize her

Pastor Jim showing off our sweet baby to the congregation
Diana resting on my shoulder after being baptised
Happy Family Picture (might be a Christmas Card!)

Yesterday, our little family had a very special day - it was Diana's baptism at Riverchase United Methodist Church. S and I have a special relationship with our pastor, Jim, because he is the father of one of S's best friends - so, he has literally had a front row seat to our relationship.  He watched us on our entire journey from when we first started dating and S brought me to church with him for the first time, to when we got engaged, to when he officiated our wedding last year...and now, to the baptism of our sweet baby girl.   I misted up a little as he commented on that before performing the actual baptism, and paused to think of the incredible journey that both S and I have both have to travel to be able to come together - and to become the parents of this beautiful baby girl. 

If my faith ever falters, all I ever need to do to is look at my incredible husband and perfect daughter.  For years and years, I questioned why I hadn't found "the one" or why I hadn't had children yet. Now, I know.  God had something better in store for me than I could have ever imagined.  I am beyond grateful for the blessing of my family, and for our extended family that all congregated for this blessed moment, as well! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Grateful on a Friday...

Fridays are my "long day" at work - wrapping up the past week, and prepping for the next, taking care of all the extra items that will need to be attended to for the weekend to go off without a hitch, without my physical presence being necessary.  So, while I am exhausted beyond measure when my day starts, and usually more tired when the day ends, I am always grateful for the moment I can walk out the door, knowing I put in a full week's work and my slate is clear to start the next.

Today, I am grateful for:
- A healthy, happy baby girl that smiles when she sees me and gives the best snuggles known to mankind.  There's very little that can be wrong with the world when I have a sweet smelling bundle of love up on my shoulder.  She's also having a blast learning all about the world - every minute of every day presents a new experience for her.  In just the span of a week, she's learning how to sit up more straight in her exersaucer, grab onto her toys hanging over her playmat, and to hold her head up to gaze out at the world when she's sitting in my lap.  It's pretty incredible.
- A walk with a dear friend - a chance to get exercise AND get caught up?  Heck yeah!  I'll take it.
- Dinner tonight with my dad and his wife, my in-laws, my husband and my daughter.  Having us all at one table doesn't happen often, and tonight, it just all kind of came together.  Plus, we had Mexican food - which is my favorite!
- Friends that remember to check on me/pray for me/encourage me - it always makes my day when someone remembers what I am going through.
- An opportunity to raise almost $10,000 for needy families this morning through our on air auction at work.  It's one of my favorite parts of my job, and today, we made enough money to help 20 families have a better Christmas.  Awesome.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another day of being grateful...

I totally just got out of bed to come write this gratitude list - if there is someone, somewhere handing out gold stars, I kind of want one.  Honestly, it was easier to get out of bed and just do this than to sit there and lay awake feeling guilty, thinking "I just committed to doing this can I already be slacking off?" 

So, here we are....

Today, I am grateful for:
- A gorgeous afternoon to take Diana for a walk (it might be from global warming that we have 70 degree days in December here in Alabama, but for today, I am just grateful for the sunshine!)
- A free flu shot (my health insurance isn't as good as it used to be - but today, I got a free flu shot!)
- A husband that likes to cook - how awesome is that??
- Support from friends and family when I need it - I felt lots of love today.
- A mean comment yesterday that got me remotivated (no, that's not a word...but you know what I mean....) to get back on track with losing my pregnancy weight.  A guy I hadn't seen in a while asked if I had had the baby yet - all I could do at the time was say "yes" and show him a picture, and then, text my friends to complain.  However, one of those friends said "Let's be accountable to each other" and we worked out some guidelines to live by for our new commitment to eating better and getting some exercise. 

Dear God, thanks for all of these blessings and the countless others that I didn't list.  Thank you for being able to turn what seems like the yuckiest event into something that shows me just how well I am taken care of.  You are pretty awesome at that.  Amen. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Today, I am grateful for....

In the month of November, it was fun to see the wide variety of things my friends were grateful for - they were posting them as their Facebook statuses each day, with the heading "A month of being thankful", in honor of Thanksgiving.  Each time I saw one of those, it was a good incentive to pause and take stock of what I am grateful for in my own life. 

I used to do daily gratitude lists - but as life got busier, I've let them fall by the wayside, and I can feel the difference in my attitude.  If I don't take the time to pause, take stock and search out the things in my life that I can be grateful for, I can very quickly turn from having an attitude of "I get to _____" to "I have to ____", and then, resentments can start to pile up as I rush about to check things off of my list of things I "have" to do. 

Especially this time of year when there's extra pressure to do all of the fun Christmas festivities (they are supposed to be fun and festive, right?!), I can get extra cranky if I am not careful.  So, after some reflection, here's what I have for today, in no particular order:

Today, I am grateful for....
- A comfortable rocker/recliner in the nursery to take naps in with Diana
- The miraculous recovery of my friend J from her aneurysm
- Being able to send out a quick email to friends and family to connect/get support and be flooded with it
- Discovering three new recipes on Pinterest that my husband and I like enough to add to our repertoire
- Coffee, without which I would be falling asleep at work

Honestly, I don't feel much better right this second - but I know, from experience, that I will if I stick with this practice.  I hope I am motivated enough by that to try again tomorrow!