If any of you were wondering why my blog has been a little short on adorable pictures of my children the last couple of weeks, my camera broke. For the first time since January 2010, I have been without my camera for an extended period of time. While a maintenance check and a good cleaning has been well overdue, something broke on the motherboard and the name itself shows that if the mother isn't doing her job, everything else falls apart! I sent her in and received a call back from Canon that repairs would total nearly $600. That same night, Mila woke up in the middle of the night, came into our bed, and a half hour later, threw up in our bed. My throat hurt, my back hurt, my daughter had the flu (for the second time in a month), and my camera was broken. In addition to all that, the busy time of my semester had set in and I was feeling as though I wasn't leaving a lot for my own kids at home. And I'm pretty sure I opened my Bible once. It was just one of those weeks.
Thankfully, there's always something good just waiting to be seen, a light through the cracks of the heaviness of some days, weeks, and even seasons. And I'm learning that those small cracks just might be the open places to see through the mess to the beauty beyond. One of my goals for this year is to be better about gratitude. In January, I ordered one of Val Marie Paper's gratitude journals, a simple and pretty little book I keep on my nightstand to document the big and small things I am grateful for each day. The pages are blank, but I am hoping to fill in 2-3 things I'm grateful for each day and fill it in by the end of the year.
For weeks like the last one, I found myself thumbing through my journal, rereading and smiling over some of the simple and happy things I recorded from January. And almost instantaneously, I feel differently. For I'm learning that it's not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are happy.
A few things from my gratitude journal in January...
428. When Mila hugs me and says, "You the best mommy!"
429. Family dinners, taking turns sharing our favorite and least favorite moments from our days
430. Jamie Ivey and her "Happy Hour" podcast
431. Beau explaining Cruz's cold virus to him - something about the blood cell avengers multiplying to fight off the viral enemies...:)
432. A church we all look forward to going to
433. A winter soup and crusty bread
434. Watching Cruz line up for the bus and feeling emotional at how big he's gotten and how sweet he is
435. The night before a "no school" Monday in January
436. Candlelight tub soaks and a good book
437. Pulling together a yummy and easy supper (goulash and salad!) with ingredients completely from the pantry
438. When Mila put her hands on my face, pulled me close to hers, kissed me on the lips and said, "That's how Hans from the Southern Isles does it." :)
439. The sound of geese flying over our house
440. Waking up at 6 am to the sound of Mila unwrapping a piece of candy in the garbage.
441. Duck Duck Goose at home before bed - and all the giggles as we chased each other around the house
442. The kids helping me with dinner - Cruz washing grapes at the sink and Mila picking cilantro
443. Texts from Kate during If:Gathering
444. Teacher friends who pour you a cup of coffee when you come in for an 8:00 lesson.
445. Saturday morning visits and steamy cups of cappuccino with Grandma and Grandpa
And a few more good things, before the camera hit the skids. :)
446. A rainbow of donuts and eager little fingers
447. Snow day afternoons that include a pot of tea, watercolor artwork, and classical music to relax us (it was a wild morning!)
448. Iron Man turned artist
449. The two of them, and about fourteen stuffies, snuggled up in Mila's new princess tent.
450. When she tries to kiss him and he finally gives in.
451. Her always-messy room, and the pretend worlds she creates because of it.
452. Learning to read all over again with this guy.
And just as I finish this post, Fedex just dropped off a box on my porch. A tightly wrapped camera, cleaned and equipped with a new motherboard. I am more than grateful for that.