Posts Tagged With: gratitude

April gratitude

As we move into May (my most favorite of all the months) I want to take a moment to look back on April and celebrate.

April was busy. Especially the week it shouldn’t have been.
But the good kind of busy.

I’m grateful for:

two of my three alternative healthcare providers
brunch and bellinis with Mike and Josie
Oscar Isaac (we’re watching Moon Knight or as I call it ‘the moon guy’)
Essie Geranium polish
Smithsonian museums
dinosaur bones
the Smartless podcast
my dad’s windchimes

my friendship with Thing 1
a clean home
Bards Alley Bookshop
YBW’s sense of humor
kick ass charcuterie boards
free oil changes
working just the right amount
talking to my brother on his birthday
skeeball and air hockey (I’m excellent at one mediocre at the other)
time with YBW’s brother and sister-in-law
sunny afternoons
roof terrace time (#porchlife much?)
books
Harp Lager
monogrammed rainboots
afternoons with friends
weekday bubbly with Holly
reading
a really great dermatologist
Natasha Lyonne (we watched the second season of Russian Doll)
snow in April (three times)
celebrating Baby K’s third birthday
being the hostess with the mostest (for YBW’s work fam)
calling it like I see it
Old Navy Super Cash (Baby K outgrew all her warm weather clothes)

Dear April,
Thanks!
(heart) Roby

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Baby K is three!

Tuesday last Baby K completed her third go around the sun!
The Saturday before was a gloriously warm and sunny day and we celebrated by playing in the yard.
Baby K’s friend Liam came to play.
(in reality Thing 1 and Liam’s mom are friends and the kids are still figuring it out but they’re adorable together)

Chalk and a small bubble blowing machine in the driveway.

A dinosaur dig site set up in the sensory table.

Climbing structures and a bounce house in the side yard.
(a hand-me-down from our friends Nora and Dale who’s kids have outgrown it)

Birthday hats and mini dino piñatas.
Two (almost) three year olds.
Three grandparents (Nana was here from Georgia) and four parents.
Pizza and pressies and cupcakes.
A whole lotta love.
It was a mighty fine shindig!

On her actual birthday we got together for pressies, cheeseburgers and ice cream.
It was chilly and rainy but that didn’t stop us from being outside.
Especially because Baby K discovered something extraordinary in the ornamental grass planted around the front porch.

YBW remarked no matter how excited she was about gifts, the time we spent on the porch was her favorite part of her birthday.

There were dozens and dozens of snails.
She was so excited she could hardly stand herself!
She was quite clear about how they we going to be her pets.

I love that this little girl loves dinosaurs and dollies and books.
I love that this little girl loves nature.
I love that this little girl provides us the opportunity to see the world through her eyes.

Our grandgirl is precious and beloved.
I’m grateful she was born into our family.
I’m grateful to celebrate her birthday with her.
I’m grateful to be her Birdie.

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bubbly and blocks and old photos – a visit from Thing 2

Thing 2 arrived on a morning flight Thursday last.
She let me know she landed safely and was waiting for her gate checked bag.
Then I got this message:

This is a perfect example of how I communicate with my daughters. I knew what and why she was actually asking. I answered the underlying question. It’s a silly thing, but I love that about my relationship with my grown girls.

After we brunched at First Watch we hung out at here at home drinking bubbly.

Friday Thing 1 and Baby K came over to play.
YBW came home from work just after they arrived.
Of course he and Baby K brought out the blocks.
Aunt Gaga built too!

Saturday we went out to Naked Mountain to pick up YBW’s wine and hang out in the barrel room.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K met us there.
Baby K shared her snack with Aunt Gaga before falling asleep in my lap.

Thing 2 and I went through two boxes of photos from the great and arduous process. She asked questions, I told stories. We saw her grandparents and mine when they were children. We saw our own faces reflected in these photos. We sent quick snaps to Thing 1 asking if she saw Baby K’s face in certain photos of their Grandmommy.
Thing 2 told her own stories, shared her memories, and expressed her genuine joy and gratitude hold these photos in her hands. She created a pile of photos we wrapped up carefully, tucked into her journal, and packed in her suitcase.

We binge watched Our Flag Means Death holding hands and snuggling up on the sofa. Thing 2 was all about that “boy love”. I was all about the beautiful humanity of it.

We also went to see The Haunting of Night Vale. This was the reason for her visit. Tickets she received as a gift Christmas of 2019 for a show April 2020. (we all know how that turned out)
But, two years later there we were in the theater holding hands and being as SQUEE as only we can.

She flew home Monday afternoon.
I miss her.
But I’m not sad. There’s no room in my heart for sadness right now.
My heart is overflowing with love.
Overflowing with gratitude.
I’m grateful to have this time with my girls together. Grateful for this time with YBW and Thing 2. Grateful for time with my second daughter.
I’m grateful we went to see Night Vale together, something she’s absolutely adored for ten solid years. Something she introduced to me and I also now love. Aren’t we lucky we got to experience this together?
I’m grateful we went through two boxes of photos. I got to see my parents through my daughter’s eyes. She never her her great grandfather, but she knows she’s named for him. She knows he was my first true love. She sees his image and feels the strength of that connection.
I’m grateful for our silliness. Our seriousness.
I’m grateful to have a strong and healthy relationship with my adult daughters.
I love that girl more than the moon and the stars and I know how fortunate I am.

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

grateful for the sprinkled in good

This month got me like:

However…
I took some time to explore the good sprinkled within the madness and found myself feeling grateful.
So, I made a list.
I mean, of course I made a list…
Imma call it ‘Gratitude: get you some’ (or something like that)

With all sincerity I’m grateful for:

celebrating Thing 1’s birthday
freak snow storm
Baby K weekends (even when she doesn’t sleep and we switch to EDT)
being a helper (and earning money doing it)
the honor of knowing some seriously wonderful humans
peanut butter toast
black elderberry – echinacea – C vitamins – acetaminophen – ibuprofen – sudafed
vodka lemonade
warmer days
working well with YBW
Essie Bustling Bazaar polish
discovering The Bitter Southerner
being handy enough to patch and paint closet in preparation of new system installation (also grateful for upcoming closet porn but that’ll be it’s own post)
the group chat with Thing 1 and Thing 2
kick ass laundry machines
cleaning roof terrace and setting up rugs and furniture in anticipation of all the #porchlife
work schedule flexibility
air travel (Thing 2 arrives Thursday)
YBW’s nurturing and caregiving
driveway chalk playtime with Baby K
the ability to read
H2BAR box
orange juice (with calcium & vitamin D – no pulp)
AT&T offering FREE Samsung S22 devices (new phone who dis?)
Ryan Reynolds (we watched both Free Guy and The Adam Project this month)
Shuttle Art G-Line pens
my monogram hoodie

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sometimes a full house is even better than an empty nest

Thing 2 was here!
My Momma joy was SO BIG!
We haven’t seen each other in over a year. It feels so much longer than it sounds.
And what changes that intervening year brought us.

I don’t actually have words to describe the feeling of wrapping my arms around my second daughter.
She was so snuggly! She sat in my lap several times, and we snuggled on the sofa a great deal. I loved that precious and sacred time together.

We had serious talks, deep and wide with emotions, and silly moments of playfulness. We drank bubbly, and beer, and tons of water.
We shopped and laid low. We shared music and shows. We discussed books and gave reading recommendations.
We had a dance party to the Encanto soundtrack with Thing 1 and Baby K.
She, YBW, and I spent good quality time together too.

Being with my girls together.
Being with Baby K and her Auntie.
Having the brothers and sisters all together in one place.
My heart grew three sizes!

Baby K was all about her Aunt Gaga.
She quickly found where she fit ‘just so’ in her lap. She was even patient and still getting her hair did.

When she was here, I realized I’d been waiting for her to come so it would feel like my home. Now that all four of our kids have been here together, I know it is really and truly our home.
I know I’m not explaining that bit properly, but I do know that once she was here, I felt even more so at home here. As though she was the last piece of the puzzle and now the picture is complete.

I absolutely adore having an empty nest when it comes to day to day life, but having my baby here in this house with her siblings and her niece, well, my cup runneth over.

She left Tuesday morning, and I changed beds and did laundry. I was alone in the house, and it was quiet.
I missed her but was not sad.
There was no room in my heart for sadness, it’s still chock full of love and joy and gratitude!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

inspiration or toxic positivity

This picture is hanging in every single one of the faculty restrooms at my school.

I don’t know who put them up.
Was it the PTO?
Was it the admins?
Was it the school counselors?
I understand what whoever put them up was trying to do.
Trying to encourage all the adults in the building to embrace what’s good. Look on the bright side.
(my brain has literally become the end of Life of Brian with Eric Idle singing and whistling. “Cheer up you old bugger.” forgive me, I digress…)

As I was saying…
In concept I understand the good intention.
In reality this photo pisses me off.
I mean truly makes me seethe every single time I see it.
This is the most disrespectful bunch of toxic positivity crammed in the faces of women and men who are doing the absolute best under some pretty complex circumstances.

First and foremost how dare you?
Secondly, nobody wants to be a teacher unless they’re a teacher. And to be perfectly fucking honest, sometimes not even then! Such a thankless day to day existence. We are doing the best we can in an absolute crap situation. Every single one of us is here for the kids. And the fact that someone has the audacity to suggest our underappreciated-crap-pay-micromanaged-by-non-educators-government-mandated-in-such-a-way-as-to-take-the-joy-out-of-it-at-every-turn employment is somehow being dreamed about?
And don’t even get me started on the one about a smile and depression.
Fuck you, dude.

“Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity. Find something to be grateful for”
Imma say it again for good measure.
Fuck you, dude.
This toxic positivity disgusts me!

Here’s a simple definition if you’re unfamiliar with the term.

This assumption that no matter what’s going on in one’s life, ‘other people have it worse’.
If that’s not toxic I don’t know what is.
One assumes that ‘others have it worse’ because they only see one aspect of someone’s life.
One says ‘distance from negativity’ makes everything better because one assumes expression of self is comparison or complaint…?

I’m over here like, beautiful things happen every day. No matter your proximity to negativity. Or positivity for that matter.
How about: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
(even though it’s attributed to Roosevelt, I couldn’t find supporting evidence he actually coined the term)
And being told to ‘find something to be grateful for’?
Y’all know I’m all about gratitude. Celebrating when I find it in unlikely places. Noticing it in the every day.
But to be ordered to find it?
After being told beautiful things are away from all things negative?
Once more for the cheap seats in the back.
Fuck you, dude.

I’m all for inspiration, but this doesn’t land for me. It lacks true compassion.
Am I looking at it askew?
What do y’all think?
Is this inspiring or does it encourage self gaslighting?
Is this positivity helpful or toxic?
Please oh please discuss!

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love and joy and cookies

Thing 1 and I baked cookies all day yesterday.

Baby K said, “I help you!” many times.
Of course toddler help looks often looks like her taking cookies off the pan and cramming them in her gob as quickly as we can cut them. (I’m over here like, dude, that’s what scraps are for!)
Or taking a handful of flour and throwing it on the floor while saying, “It’s SNOW!”
Then when her mother unceremoniously removes her from the stool upon which she stands, laying in the flour on the floor and…”I making snow angel!”
(Yeah, we laughed. It was freaking adorable!)
We had a reprieve when her Papa came home from lunch and they sat at the island being all cute while they ate their lunches together.
And again while she napped.

Baking is not my strong suit.
But yesterday, baking with my girl. I was absolutely content.
I enjoyed her company.
I enjoyed working in the kitchen with her.
I enjoyed watching her be her daughter’s mom.

That time was sacred to me and I’m grateful for it.
It wasn’t about the cookies, though most of them turned out beautifully.
It was about the process.
It was about the fellowship.
I know how fortunate I am to live close to my daughter, especially after not for so long.
But more than that, I know how fortunate I am to be close to my daughter.
Love, joy, and gratitude are spilling over in me and out into the world.
I hope y’all can feel it too!

Categories: love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

first night blessings

Hanukkah began at sundown yesterday.
YBW joined me in saying the prayers and lighting the candles.

I love the first night of Hanukkah most of all because of the special prayer said only that night.

Thanks be to you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for keeping us alive and in good health and for bringing us together.

I’m not actively religious, but I do have beliefs.
Lighting these candles and saying these prayers on the first night of Hanukkah, I feel down deep in me the connection to my ancestors. The ones who lit these candles, and the ones who lit their Advent wreaths.
I’m so grateful that we are alive and in good health and together, especially in this season which I love so dearly.
My wish is all y’all feel it too!

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IWotB 2021 edition ~ day three

Today is the day!
I’ve been alive and in this world for fifty years. (well, not till 9:13 tonight, but, you know…)
I continue to waffle between something that feels like, “Wow! Fifty!” and “How is this even possible?”

I don’t know what fifty is ‘supposed’ to feel like.
Like, should I feel more ‘grown up’ than I do most days? Because there are some days I find it hard to believe I’m any sort of grown up at all. Then some days I feel one hundred and fifty, so there is that.

Our neighbors hosted an intimate gathering Saturday evening to celebrate YBW’s and my birthdays.
We shared a delicious dinner. Bubbly flowed. As did red wine. Beer made by our friend too. Later in the evening some of us sipped on some pretty rare bourbon.
It was chilly out but we sat by the fire pit and talked into the wee hours.
I can assure you I felt celebrated, y’all. I love these people and they are the sole reason I’m sad to leave this neighborhood.

One couple is already in their fifties, the other in their late thirties.
Our fifty-something friend asked me what I thought about being fifty. What had I learned? What was I anticipating? That sort of thing…

What do I think about being fifty?
First and foremost, it’s simply a number. When I say it’s a number, I mean two things: Woot! I’ve made it to fifty! and Fifty is neither old nor young, it simply is.
I’ve made fifty revolutions around the sun. I gratefully choose to celebrate this. I’ve been here ‘getting along just singing my song’ long enough to learn a thing or two about myself and my place in the world.

What do I think about being fifty?
I think I’m finally at home in my own skin.
I know I’m smarter and more capable than I was told or taught to believe.
I feel strong and confident in my skills as a human.
I am clearly aware of my worth.
I can see value in my strengths, and possibly even more importantly, in my vulnerabilities.
I am as much as, yet also more than, the sum of my parts.

What do I think about being fifty?
I’ve done the hard work of being a mother and now I get to rest on my laurels and joyfully watch my daughters navigate their own lives.
I’ve done the hard work to learn and heal from childhood wounds and now I get to apply that to my daily life.
I accept the choices I made that helped and hindered me becoming the human I am today and I am grateful for all I’ve learned.

What do I think about being fifty?
I’m at an age where I am comfortable with the number of people I choose to have in my life. Some of these people have been with me for more than thirty years, some just in the last ten. But each one is in my world because they bring something beautiful. Each one of them is a part of my heart in real and invaluable ways.
I’m content to let relationships rest. I don’t have to be in constant contact with someone to know the value and power of the relationship. Friendships that pick right up where they left off as though no time passed are sacred and precious. Love is love is love. And the strength and power of that love can survive time apart.

What do I think about being fifty?
I am looking forward to being in a new home with my precious husband! A home we built together, and for each other. The physical manifestation of how our daily life together has become just we two.
I’m eager to explore more opportunities to learn and grow as a human. As a writer. As a photographer. As a mother. As a grandmother. As a wife. As a teacher.

I look at my life on either side of this number and more than anything I feel gratitude. I feel love. I feel empowered.

I’m grateful that every decision I’ve made, good, bad, indifferent, has brought me to this point in my life. I’m grateful to have the ability to make new decisions as I move forward. I’m grateful to have just the right number, but even more importantly, just the right sort of people in my world as I continue my life journey. I’m grateful to honor from where I come as I move forward and continue becoming.

Love is the watchword. Everything I do comes from a place of love. I strive to receive everything in love. Without love I would be nothing. Love is truly the greatest gift.

Empowered. This is a word I’ve used a decent amount in my lifetime, but I’ve not always felt it. I feel it keenly now. I am empowered by the culmination of all my experience, by the enthusiasm with which I look at my future.
I know I can do what I need to do. I know I can do what I want to do.
I know I can.
I can and I will.

Fifty sounds cool.
Like, some sort of leveling up.
My sass and smarts. My joy and pain. My love and gratitude. All sort of becoming more solid somehow.
For what more could I ask on my birthday?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

IWotB 2021 edition ~ day two

My darling friend and mentor Jessica sent me the loveliest gift to celebrate my birthday.

The concept of these wishbeads is right up my alley. Something Jessica knows intuitively.
When I called to thank her for this precious and thoughtful gift, I asked her if she knew how much I loved tigers eye.

She assured me she did know, her choice reinforced based on their meaning and her wish for me.
Her wish is contained in the little brass cylinder. A wish that spoke to finding my fierceness.
A wish filled with love from a woman with whom I share a fierce love.

My life would be not only different without Jessica in it, it would be absolutely lacking.
The word gratitude is simply not enough to express the depth and breadth of my feelings surrounding this woman. But currently it’s the only one I have, therefore I will say I’m grateful for Jessica.
And thankful for the lovely gift she sent as I celebrate my International Week of the Birthday.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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