Posts Tagged With: gratitude

little joys

After the last couple weeks I am unbelievably content to be in my own home to sleep through the night in my own bed, and to get things the way I like them.

Oftentimes it’s the little things that bring the most joy and I’ve found big joy in the littlest things in the last week or so.

a gorgeous Georgia sunset.


unpacking the Autumn bins

Spending a day with Thing 1 and Baby K shopping at Home Goods and Target, and yummy (Baby K requested) lunch of cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and french fries at Five Guys. Thing 1 was thrilled with all the Halloween stuff at Home Goods, and in her own words, “I had no self control.” She sent Husband N a photo of her buggy and he remarked that the retail therapy was good for her.
I found more Autumn things and mused if YBW would be like, WFT? if I brought home more pumpkins. Thing 1 reminded me he was pretty clear about how many Baby Jesuses were too many Baby Jesuses, but had never applied that to pumpkins.
I actually only bought one pumpkin, I did however get new fall napkins and dish towels (which he did have something to say about) but I’m content and I suspect he accepts that.

I realized Sunday morning as I was putting away the new towels it might behoove me to roll them instead of fold them, and sure enough, I can get two and one half rolled towels in the space I got two folded towels.

I will admit to being excited about this…after all, I did say it was the little things.
Of course some of the regular towels are in the laundry, but the Autumnal plaid and mustard yellow towels will only be active September through November, and the Halloween ones only in October so I feel confident about the allotted space.
(especially since as soon as those fall towels get packed up, Christmasy ones will come out)

It’s still hot as balls here, but I’m embracing meteorological fall in every possible way!

I finally hung the lights on the roof terrace. Of course the outdoor extension cord I have isn’t long enough, but a perfect length one was delivered the following day.

Looking forward to using the fire pit as the evenings get cooler. (a gift from all our kids last Christmas)

When I sent that photo of the towel drawer in the group chat with the girls, I wrote: I discovered I can get more towels in the drawer if I roll instead of fold!!! It’s the little things
To which Thing 1 replied: Awesome! I love it
Then I wrote: Thanks! It’s lame but I got excited about it, so thanks for going with me!

I share that sentiment with y’all, it’s a bit lame, but I thank you for going with me.
It really is the little things.
Where are y’all finding joy today?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

another member joins the adult orphan club

The last couple of weeks have been chaos for our family.
Husband N’s mother died unexpectedly two weeks ago Saturday.
My daughter, her husband, and their daughter were heartbroken.
YBW and I were heartbroken.
I can’t tell you how precious a woman she was or how much she will be missed.
Husband N lost his dad in the mid aughts so he’s recently joined the terrible club of adult orphans.

He’s and only child with an enormous extended family.
Fortunately, the majority of this extended family was able to help and support him as he figured out what he needed to do.
He came to YBW and me for emotional support and guidance.
He and Thing 1 came to YBW and me for practical support and childcare.

My hear hurts for my son in law who lost his own momma. For my daughter who lost a truly wonderful mother in law. For Baby K who lost her Nana.

I could not have asked for a better (other) grandmother with whom to share my granddaughter. Nana was as kind and loving a woman as you’d ever want to meet. She had a childlike sense of joy and saw the good in everyone. She was always eager to share time, stories, photos, and love between herself, Baby K, and me. She never behaved as though she felt a way about Baby K spending more time with us. Even when we were all together and Baby K would sort of default to me and I would encourage her to ask or show or tell or whatever Nana, she never had her feelings hurt.
She was simply joyful to be all together.

I’m grateful my daughter had a mother in law who loved her so completely, who became another momma to her. I’m grateful Baby K had a Nana who loved her so completely. Who was eager and willing to share the grandmother spotlight with such an open heart.

I hope I can provide that same sort of love for Husband N. I’ll never be his Momma, but I can be another momma for him. One that loves him so completely he feels comforted in his loss.

Y’all, my family is hurting.
But we’re figuring it out together.
We have memories and share stories.
We have laughter and tears.
Mostly we have love.

I’d be so grateful if you’d be willing to hold my daughter’s family in your hearts as they find their way grieving, handling the business of death, and adapting to this new way of being.

Categories: death, loss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

grateful for a brain reset

This summer felt weird.
Almost like it didn’t really start until we came home from Thing 2’s at the end of June.
Then I blinked and July ended.
Now it’s all gearing up to get ready to go back to school.

I find myself searching for something just out of reach…
Perhaps I’ll focus on what was worth celebrating.
Perhaps a little brain reset?

I’m looking at all things for which I am grateful.
What better brain reset could there possibly be?

This is what I’m grateful for in May:
four negative COVID tests
YBW being only a little bit sick
Amber (she does my hair)
Jessica being here
Nicole and Jon being here
Baby K finally meeting (and loving) Nicole
two of my three alternative health care providers
Essie Willow in the Wind

What I’m grateful for in June:
LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (Dobby is a free elf)
celebrating at two graduation parties
Essie Aruba Blue
Baby K weekend
a day at Nats park with my darling nephew
an unexpected Holly day
finally being at home with Thing 2 and Boyfriend M
new ink
celebrating Josie at her surprise birthday party
one of my three alternative health care providers

What I’m grateful for in July:
celebrating twenty-five years of Thing 2
an extra long Baby K weekend
Democracy jeans
Six at the National and cocktails at Round Robin with Thing 1

dinner with Nora and Dale
Essie Spice it Up
a Bards Alley trip with Baby K in which she discovered kaleidoscopes
Thing 1 creating the perfect labels for my pantry containers with her Cricut
two of my three alternative health care providers

I’m chock full of gratitude this summer for:
being able to read so many books
fresh peaches
time on the roof terrace

a new grill
tequila
brewing some damn fine iced tea

Even though things are weighing heavily on my brain and heart, I’ve got so much to be grateful for!
I hope y’all’s summer has you chock full of gratitude too.

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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

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

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