Cultivating a Life of Gratitude

I am committing myself, during 2010, to attempt to cultivate a greater awareness of how much I have to be thankful and grateful for by sharing my daily findings and musings with you. It is my hope that by blogging about gratitude, I will be more aware of what is going on around me in my life, my family, my friends' lives and our world.

June 30, 2010

A List of a Few Thankfuls

1.  Scones
2.  Conversation with a good friend
3.  Errands completed with wiggly boy
4.  PAY DAY!
5.  Clean Kitchen floor
6.  Walk to the Lake Commons Park
7.  Play time with the boy
8.  Wedding invitations assembled
9.  Anticipating finishing a good but suspenseful book ("Predator" by Blackstock)
10.   No air conditioning the past few days and awesome sleeping weather

June 29, 2010

From the Mouth of Adrienne

[Scene:  A gorgeous MN 75 degree sunny evening.  Chad and Ross are at baseball practice.  E-man and I decide to go to play with Ade and Will since they have been out of town for a bit.  E-man and I are approaching the playground by the ball field and we shout out hello to Ade.]

As we come closer, Ade looks up with a really happy and content smile on her face and she says to me, "I knew E-man was coming tonight."  I ask"How did you know that?"  Ade says, "I just knew it."  I question,"Did you feel it in your heart he would be coming?"  She replies, "Well, Jesus and E-man live in my heart so I just knew he would be here tonight."  (I believe her - she really loves him in a special way.) I say to her, "So what does your heart look like, where they are?" She answers "They each have their own hotel right next to each other because my heart is very nice inside." :) I ask, "May I come and visit them since I love Jesus and E-man?" She replies "Well it might be a good idea if you live with E-man because someone has to change his diapers and stuff."

What a great privilege to be the aunt to such a neat girl.  I asked her if she would draw me a picture of her heart some day because I'm pretty sure she has it in her minds eye.

Tonight I'm so very thankful for Ade and that she has Jesus living in her heart!!  What a blessing that girl continues to be to me.

Monday: Octagons and Shadows

Ross was meeting with our roommate and her fiance tonight doing some pre-marital talking since he's marrying them at the end of the summer.  E-man loves both Christin and Jeff, so to be less of a distraction, I decided to walk while they were over (plus the sun was FINALLY out!).  We're walking along and I'm thinking about how gorgeous of a night it is when I hear E-man beginning to repeat a word over and over again.  "Ahtobon" ... hmmm ... "Oc-ca-gon" ... he's also pointing at something when it hits me he is saying "Octagon" whenever he finds a stop sign!  Oh this discovery made me smile for many minutes.  We found some triangles too (Yield signs) and we had a blast talking about shapes on our walk.  We stopped at the park for awhile and E-man quickly asked to play 'bastaball' which means running around on the basketball court chasing his shadow.  I will try to get video of this because it is really too funny.  So he chased his shadow (narrowly missing the basketball hoop poles) for probably 15 minutes running the entire time.

I'm thankful for E-man and his antics.  He's a joy and a blessing and the cause of much laughter and many smiles these days.

June 27, 2010

Home

I am thankful to be 'home'.  After a wonderful vacation with Ross, I was really excited to come home to E-man and our house.  In the past, I have often felt a sense of grieving at the end of a great vacation, but I think not having E-man along made ending this vacation and coming home very sweet.

June 25, 2010

Vacation Reflections

Each morning Ross and I started our day off with a walk on the "Interpretive Trail".  It was a 2.5 mile trail created by our resort that wound it's way through the desert, near the golf course, road and man-made river of the resort.  At the beginning of the trail there is a sign warning of rattle snakes, coyotes and scorpions.  The whole time we are walking, there is a lot of skittering in the desert bushes and to be honest I hated it! Ross jumped a time or two and we both found ourselves trying to walk as much in the middle of the trail as two people can ... I like walking, I don't like walking wondering what is about to come out of the bushes and get me :) ...  All of the mornings we saw lots of little lizards running in and out of the bushes so I just convinced my self all the rustling noises were coming from the little lizards. The first morning we saw a road-runner bird and Ross was very excited.  The second morning we saw nothing but a bunch of jack-rabbits.  The third morning we were on our way back down the trail towards the hotel, talking about life and the entire time I am scanning the path several feet ahead of us.  Suddenly I see a snake in our path and I quietly stopped, turned around, tugged on Ross's sleeve and began quickly walking the opposite direction.  Ross, walking with his vision only a few steps ahead of us, didn't see the snake at all until I pointed it out and once he saw it, he wanted to get a little closer.  It was definitely a rattle snake with distinct tail markings, funny shaped head and a rattle.  I decided I did NOT want to continue on the path walking past it's hiding place in the bushes, so we struck out for the road and rejoined the path after we were safely away from the rattle snake.  Thank goodness I like snakes or I might have really screamed or fainted or something crazy. :) We actually saw another, larger snake a few minutes later but after looking it up at Barnes N Noble, I think that was a King Snake. So on our THIRD morning we saw TWO snakes and didn't have a camera to document it.  :) Needless to say, we took a break from walking the path this morning and stuck with staying safe by the pool.

The snake sighting quickly became filed into the 'potential sermon illustration' file of Ross's brain as I made an analogy to our relationship.  I thought it was very interesting how as we walk I always was scanning the bushes and path several feet away while Ross was more focused on the immediate path.  I think that is very illustrative of our personalities and life together ... I am often asking the 'future goal planning' questions and Ross is very good about being in the present and taking things one day at a time.  I am much more proactive in preparing and thinking about the future and Ross helps balance me out in the present ... these both have their benefits to our marriage.

(END OF SNAKE STORY)

We stayed at an amazing place and we are thankful for our travel agent, Gladys Nordstorm.  She is great and if you live in MN, I highly recommend her.  We ended up being able to eat both breakfast and/or lunch/snacks and smoothies by the pool with the room credit we got through the deal she booked for us. Our servers were very attentive at both the pool and Ko'sin (the restaurant we ate at for breakfast).  The front desk people were also great with any questions we had and all in all we'd recommend the Sheraton at Wild Horse Pass.  It was a quick drive (15 minutes or so) from the airport which saved us a bunch on gas for our rental car and allowed us to enjoy our hotel for more time on our travel days.  Our daily routine was walking, breakfast, pool time, getting ready to go out time, hitting up the $5.25 AMC movies in the afternoon/heat of the day two days (Toy Story 3 and Robinhood),  finding some dinner, heading back to the hotel for late night pool time or HGTV :) ... and then bed time.  One night we went on an adventure and found mini-golf and Cold Stone.   At the pool, we read books, played scrabble, and spent lots of time floating in the water because it was so hot.  We were reflecting on how well we travel and vacation together.  I'm also thankful Ross had just returned from getting lots of 'wiggles' out in the Boundary Waters because he was really ready to relax so it was easy to just chill together.

We had a fabulous time and we are especially grateful for our parents who watched E-man for us so we could relax and not worry about him one bit while we were in AZ!

Sky Harbor and Delta

I am currently sitting in Sky Harbor International Airport using their free wi-fi.  They claim to be the friendliest airport and they just might be living up to their claim (except for the TSA agent who took my way less than 3 oz. of Aveda product after it has never been taken on previous flights - but I'm not bitter :)).  When having to sit and wait at the airport for 9 hours, things like free wi-fi make the time a lot less boring.

We were supposed to be on the 3:10 flight back to MSP but as we're boarding the gate agents were asking for volunteers to give up their seats because of a weight restriction.  (Don't worry - I've never heard of a weight restriction either.)  Ross and I debated back and forth about whether or not to give up our seats.  Our biggest debate was not coming home to E-man tonight - we miss him and he has been asking about us every day since we left.  They needed 11 volunteers and they were giving 400 dollar credit per passenger PLUS vouchers for food and/or hotels and a booking on a red-eye flight that would get us home by early morning tomorrow.  We literally scanned in our boarding passes and then changed our minds and decided to give up our seats.  After talking with the very friendly gate agents, they informed us that Delta really shouldn't even be sending this small of a plane with this type of engine to PHX because of the heat.  They rarely have a 'weight restriction' but this plane requires it with the combo of small engines and heat ... so our original flight left with 19 seats open to make the weight requirement.  Isn't that interesting (for those of you who like to 'know things' you probably appreciate my story)?!  Oh and by the way it was definitely about 108 to 111 degrees every day which was amazing.  The 6% humidity makes it hot but comfortable to us and we enjoyed it very much but apparently certain planes don't enjoy the extreme heat.

So here we sit - 800 dollars richer in Delta dollars and we are SO grateful!  We have two trips coming up - a friend's wedding in Atlanta at the end of August and a trip to the Philly area in late September.  Both of those trips were going to put some stress on our tight summer budget but those trips are most likely completely covered now thanks to Delta.  Yes, we will probably be exhausted this weekend and we are VERY grateful to Diane and Jerry for watching E-man over night but we are also really thankful for the provision of flights for these upcoming trips.

June 22, 2010

Happiness is ...

Happiness is ... 
having Ross home safe and sound from the BWCA and taking off about 12 hours later for AZ to celebrate our 6 year wedding anniversary! 
Ross is an incredible husband, an amazing dad to E-man and my best friend. 
If I'm MIA the next few days, I'm sure you'll all survive.  I'll update as we have time ... but I'm also going to add I'm thankful we have no wifi in our room ... it's really nice to truly 'disconnect'.  We observed almost EVERYONE laying around the pool today was texting or talking on their phones and part of vacation to me is being free of all of those things ... so know that I'm very thankful and very blessed this week to be soaking in the sun and rest with my man! :) 

June 20, 2010

My Dad

[Preface to my readers] I know Father's Day can be painful.  If you have lost your father, it is a time of missing your dad, recalling memories - I'm sure today is a bittersweet kind of day.  If you are estranged from your dad for any reason I realize today is a tough day.  If you are walking alongside of your dad through illness or any tough situation today, I realize the day we celebrate Dad's can be painful.  My thoughts and prayers are with you as you reflect on your relationship with your earthly father. [END PREFACE]


Gifts My Dad Has Given Me ... (THANK YOU DAD!) 


Time
My Dad has always made time for me.  Whether it was practicing piano with his melt-down prone perfectionist daughter before school or brainstorming with me about my thesis and 3 main ideas for an English paper, Dad was there to help.  Dad was there to catch and give tips while I practiced my pitching in the backyard and Dad spent time with me helping me learn how to drive in the high school parking lot.  Dad spent time singing over my shoulder while I was learning how to play 'chords' for church worship team or while we were rehearsing for him to sing a solo for choir.    Dad spent time writing lyrics to songs we composed together.  Dad was at all of my marching band events and wind ensemble concerts.  Even while shouldering the burdens of his congregation, Dad was present with our family and I always new I could count on him to be there for me.

Dad took me on 'dates with dad' and what I remember the most about those times was the joy I received from having some great one on one conversations with him.  I treasure those precious memories and times with my Dad.  He also was good about talking with me on the phone when I went away to college and he helped me process a lot the summer I was trying to figure out how I felt about Ross.  As I became a working woman, Dad has talked me through various 'times of transition' in ministry and he has given me great advice and words of wisdom that helped keep me sane.   Thanks for always making time to help me process life, Dad!


Faith 
There are not enough words to express how my Dad has influenced and guided my faith journey.  Thank you, Dad, for teaching me through practical, everyday living what it means to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength'.  Thank you for talking about God's commands in His Word with me along the way and teaching me what it looks like to live in obedience to God.  Thank you for helping me understand that the word of God is living and active and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness!  Thank you for spending time discussing theological truth and for helping me keep the 'main thing the main thing' and somehow helping me understand I don't have to have 'all the answers' this side of heaven but I do need to love and extend grace to people as Christ loves us and extends grace to us.




Roots
When my parents moved to Newtown, PA I know it was the prayer for their heart to be able to raise their family in one place - not moving all the time as some pastor's do.  The Lord answered their prayer and all three of us kids went through the Council Rock School District and were spiritually raised by the same church family.  What a gift!  I have deep roots in PA and a lot of that is because Dad was obedient to God's call and the work God placed before him and Mom in Newtown.  I am thankful I know the value of staying in one place long enough to be really KNOWN by a town/community/church.  There is something really beautiful about being known in that way and I'm thankful for the 22+ years my parents grew their roots in Newtown.  :)

I am also thankful for their obedience to God's call to pull up their roots and move to Minnesota.  The gift of having my parents living close to us as Ross and I became parents has been priceless.  I know they came to Minnesota out of obedience to God's call and I know it was not and is not easy to leave behind the 'roots' but I am so thankful for their example that pulling up the roots and starting over can be done when God's leading and it's been a neat journey to watch them growing new roots a bit in Minnesota.

Appreciation
My Dad has helped shape my appreciation for things like baseball (if I hadn't learned how to understand the game I wouldn't have much appreciation for the Sox, Phillies or Twins) and reading books to E-man with silly voices and the shore and the symphony/orchesta and healthy leadership and skilled preaching and intentional worship services.

Thank you for these gifts, Dad!  Thank you for modeling a marriage that is a partnership, a deep friendship and a loving example of serving one another.  Without that kind of marriage, a lot of the above gifts would have been near impossible to give to me - so thank you (Mom and Dad :))!

Happy Father's Day!

June 19, 2010

Single Mom Thankfuls

I have been a single mom since Tuesday night.

I know this does not compare to permanently being a single mom because I do know Ross will be back in the picture very soon.  However, it gives me a greater appreciation for single mom's and all of the tasks they HAVE to do because they don't have someone else on their team to make the assist.

Some of the things I don't usually do that I have done in the past couple of days ...

-taking out the trash and recycling and bringing them back into the garage
-bath time and bed time routine every night
-played at least 100 games of catch with E-man
-put away bowls on the tippy top shelf by getting out the stool
-rocked out to "Mess of Me" by Switchfoot with E-man at least 5 times
-killed at least 50 ants in the kitchen tonight (SIGH - UGH - ICK)
-moved the refrigerator during the ant process and found 2 OLD ICKY bags of Friendship bread starter that had fallen back there (I have NO idea when that happened and why no one told me) and had to figure out how to remove them without spilling the contents and/or puking - ew ew ew ew ew (this would be a very "ROOOOSSSSS" task - that's me yelling for him :))
-stayed up way late because I just don't like falling asleep by myself - once asleep I can stay asleep but I'm used to having someone else around ... 6 years later I have finally come to appreciate having someone else next to me bed (this has definitely taken some adjustment!)


I am super tired and it's not like E-man is even that difficult of a kid to hang out with 24-7.  I have even had some nice sanity breaks thanks to my parents.  

24-7 single-parenting is exhausting - so I salute all of you - you are incredible people!  Thanks for everything you do for your children.

MN Summer Sky


"You alone are the LORD.  
You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars.
You made the earth and the seas and everything in them.  
You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you." 
Nehemiah 9:6




 "The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

      The skies display his craftsmanship.

 Day after day they continue to speak;

      night after night they make him known.

 They speak without a sound or word;

      their voice is never heard.

 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,

      and their words to all the world."
Psalm 19:1-4


June 17, 2010

Thursday Thankfuls

On my first free Thursday night since mid-September I enjoyed ...

Dinner made by Mom.
Visiting with our church secretary from Newtown over dinner.
Fascinating clouds and weather.
Girlfriends.
A Romantic comedy.
Chocolate Chip Cookies fresh from the oven.
Popcorn.
A Fashion Show (aka girls helping me decide on which dresses to keep).
Girl Talk.

June 16, 2010

A Day to Myself

Does anyone reading my blog watch "The Middle"?  It's one of my new favorite sitcoms on ABC (along with Modern Family).  Right before Mother's Day they did a Mother's Day episode that was very funny and mostly about mom's actually just wanting to be alone so they can REALLY have the day 'off'.  I was telling my Mom about it and she took the idea and gave me 'a day to myself' for Mother's Day this year.  I cashed in on that day today and it was ... very wonderful! :)

Thanks Mom!  I'm very grateful during this season of my life to live so near to my Mom and to have her so willing to watch E-man.  We didn't leave the Ridder house until 8:45 tonight and he didn't WANT to go home to his house.  Can't say I blame him!

On my day 'to myself' I chose to ...

-read a crime/creepy book during daylight hours because it's much creepier at night (Ted Dekker's The Bride Collector")
-take a walk without pushing the stroller and needing to stop for a break at the park
-take my time getting ready which included painting my toe nails and spilling hot pink nail polish on my sink - I was quite the mess for a few minutes there but it was okay because E-man wasn't around to ALSO be getting into the mess :)
-complete 3 orders of service for Park Free, working ahead to July 11th!  It's amazing what uninterrupted brain time can accomplish - I had been writing down ideas for awhile but in just about 30-45 minutes I hammered out three services - sweet!
-shop at the mall for summer/wedding season dresses and I was so successful I will have to return a few but it was fun to have Christin (current roommate) join me for a second opinion and help with zippers
-have a girl's night out with Angela (former roommate) to celebrate her birthday AND we stopped at Patina and did a little shopping and then went to Psycho Suzi's and shared these bacon wrapped smokies and a deep dish yummy delicious pizza out on the tikki patio - it was a gorgeous night and we were able to talk and catch up - much needed and good for the soul!

Thanks Mom!  I had a great day off - it's amazing how easy it is to exit the house when you only have to take yourself and your purse.  :) I do love the little guy but it was a nice break.

June 15, 2010

Strawberry Jam

This is the 3rd year in a row my mom and I have canned strawberry jam.  It's delicious and it's hard work for a few hours.  Stirring strawberries, pectin and butter to a rolling boil, adding sugar and stirring continuously for a second rolling boil, over a hot stove, takes a toll on any age of back/neck.  It is so worth it though!  I don't think I've purchased jam once in the past three years.

It's fun learning how to can with my Mom, too.  Good memories are made each time.  E-man was with us today and he's changed so much since we started canning jam together in Minnesota - holy cow!  The first time he was just weeks old - last year he wasn't walking yet and fairly content to sit in one place as long as he had a pile of toys around him - this year he's running, walking, talking and very much knows his mind.  It's fun to think about how much our lives have changed and the different kinds of things we talk about while canning together.

Thanks Mom! It's so delicious!

June 14, 2010

New Piano Students

As I was doing a lot of money stuff this morning and talking through our summer finances with Ross the past few weeks, I am again reminded of how God provides.  I do not require my students to take lessons during the summer and I basically get 'laid off' from Keyboard Kids for the summer months, so our finances really do change for June, July and August.   Each lesson I teach in the summer, I am grateful for because it means I'm earning some income - even if it's much smaller than the normal school year.  I received news over the weekend and today about at least 2 confirmed new students I will be starting in the next 2 weeks.  There are a few others who are still 'pending', too.  I'm very thankful for each one of these new students and their families.  I'm looking forward to getting to know them as students and as people and I'm grateful for God's provision through these new students, too.

June 13, 2010

June 12, 2010

Saturday Gratefuls

I am thankful for ...

-my mother-in-law, who watched E-man so we could go on a date last night.  Don Pablos and Karate Kid (thank you for the AMC gift cards at Christmas too - we finally used them to see a 7 p.m. show!!) made for a fun night out for the two of us.
-sleeping in!  Ross got up and made E-man pancakes and let me sleep in which was wonderful considering this won't happen again until we're in Arizona!
-a 4 mile walk with my boys this morning.  We literally were pushing the stroller into the garage when the rain started for the rest of the afternoon. Perfect timing!
-a nap - who knew I would be able to nap after sleeping in but I did and it was wonderful! (I like my sleep!)
-friends coming over!  Our 'small group' and all of the 7 kids came over tonight.  Thank you Johnson's for providing the yummy food!  (We were supposed to be in their back yard but with the rain we moved it to our house.)  It's always a blast being together and watching our kids grow - so fun!

June 11, 2010

Last Day of School

Often working with kids reminds me of my own childhood.

Yesterday at Keyboard Kids, the main school districts we pull students from had their last day of school.  I had several (11) students absent for various 'last day of school' activities and parties.  The students who did come to lessons were excited for summer to begin.  I asked each one the same questions, "Is there anything you will miss about ____ grade?" and "Were you happy or sad when you said goodbye your ____ grade teacher?" and "What are you looking forward to this summer?"  Most of my students said they were a little sad to say goodbye to their teacher.  One girl told me she cried 'like the whole morning' because she really likes her teacher this year.  Many boys were not even a little sad to be done with school.  Most of my students didn't mention big family vacations they were looking forward to over the summer months but more of the 'sleeping in', hanging out freedoms summer provides.

I was total a 'cry on the last day of school' kind of girl.  I seriously think I began grieving the loss of my teacher as soon as June 1st (if not May 1st) arrived until the last day of school.  I don't think the lump in my throat or the nervous pit in my stomach really went away until I settled into my classroom the next September and realized I would be okay with the new teacher, too.  I had the best teachers all through my public education days.  They were so fabulous and I don't ever remember being 'glad' to be done with any of them.  Even with my only man 6th grade teacher who was kind of interesting, Mr. Morrell, I was sad to say goodbye because I was saying goodbye to my grade school and moving onto junior high and that was very emotional!  Plus, I had an acute awareness that my friendships which were so delicately formed in those awkward pre-puberty years were totally about to either go deeper or disappear with going to a junior high and combining 3 elementary schools with lots of friend and/or enemy making potential.  I was blessed to actually keep and deepen SEVERAL of my elementary school friendships all the way through high school but as I stood on the brink of that big transition, I know I was grieving the loss of the ordinary-what-had-been-mostly-beautiful-learning-elementary-school-days.

I'm thankful for the memories I have of the last days of school.  Our last day was usually a half day.  I remember cleaning out my desk or my locker, saying goodbye to friends, walking home in the humidity of a Pennsylvania June through Country Bend with my backpack filled to the brim with the previous year's remains and treasures, showing my parents my report card that passed me onto the next grade, breathing in the warm sticky air, anticipating splashing in the pool, reading books, playing in the woods, riding my bike, camping with my family, going to the beach in NJ, and all of the many other fun summer adventures our family would have ... Summer's on Merion Drive were filled with man-hunt, salamander lightning bug, caterpillar and cicada shell finding, crab apple tree wars, building forts in the woods, me 'partying with the piano', roller blading, bike riding, 2 hand touch football, watered-down lemonade and playing with the neighbors.  

For these memories of the last day of school which was the gateway to wonderful summers ... I am thankful! Happy last day of school everyone!

June 10, 2010

Catching Up - A Peak into my Week

Monday - I was grateful for a walk with a friend at Long Lake park.  It was beautiful and I always enjoy company when walking.   I also had a good night of 'make up' lessons in Shoreview and I was able to get some work done for Park Free (I'm leading worship there this summer).  


Tuesday - I was grateful for a visit with another friend who is going off to Oregon for the summer.  It was fun to process life and share some stories from my 'past' with her.  She helped entertain E-man on a very rainy day.  Is there anything much better than sharing grilled cheese and tomato soup with a friend on a cold, rainy day?  (Grateful!)  I also saved my computer from projectile vomit and E-man only ended up getting sick twice, ran a low grade fever but he slept well over night and woke up a new little man. 


Wednesday - I was grateful for E-man waking up healthy and ready to go.  His appetite was back and I didn't get puked on once today!  Woohoo!  We took a nice morning walk, played play dough, worked on his thank you cards for his birthday gifts (he helped color them), Christin did bubbles with him out on the deck, after lunch and nap time we ran around outside for awhile before Ross came home and then we had a yummy spaghetti dinner and went to Kohls to find great deals and I'm very grateful E-man was well behaved while both Ross and I did some shopping.  I am thankful I may have found 2 dresses for all of the various weddings/events of this summer (on sale and then another 30% off - can't beat it!).  It was a fun family night! 


Thursday - I was grateful to share an almost 4 mile walk with the Johnson girls this morning.  After some play time, we pretty much had lunch, nap time (I cleaned up a bit with great plans to do more deep cleaning tomorrow - please rain!! so I will feel motivated to clean- how does a house get so icky so fast?!) and then we headed out for my last Thursday at Keyboard Kids for this school year.  I had 11 students absent (at last day of school parties, etc.) so it was a quiet night but I got to help my boss with a big mailing project and we chatted while we worked - she's great.  I'm thankful her! :) I'm looking forward to having another night with my family during the summer ... I really treasure those times since the school year finds me out and about many evenings teaching until after E's bedtime  ... so bring on lazy summer nights when the sun doesn't go down until like 9:30! :) 


Friday - I'm anticipating being grateful for date night with Ross before he leaves for the Boundary Waters next week.  I'm also prayerful for my cousins who lost their dad this past week and his funeral is tomorrow (Friday).  I'm thankful my mom was able to go down to be with my cousins and extended family during this time of sadness.  

June 8, 2010

Hmmm

Blogger has been down since Sunday so I owe a bunch of 'grateful' posts from the past few days.  However, at this time I am grateful for a few simple things right now ...
... for now, E-man is sleeping (fingers crossed that he stays asleep!)
... I have only been halfway covered with puke and only had to change completely 2 times
...I was able to get in a walk this evening despite the rain out during the rest of the day

June 5, 2010

Friends

Do you ever stop to think about your friends and how much you appreciate them?  The past few days, it has been very evident to me just how very blessed I am in the area of friendship.

I am so blessed to have so many special friends in my life.  I have friends that go way back to the early growing up through high school years. We mostly keep in touch through an occasional email or Facebook chat/message.  I have friends from the college years and working at Bethel years - most of whom still live relatively close by and are seen frequently while others are scattered across the country from Atlanta to the Los Angeles area.  I have been deeply blessed by all of my friends from all different seasons and stages and walks of life.  The past few days have been very special when it comes to my friends and hanging out with these friends has kept me from blogging about my gratitude for them. :)

Thursday morning started off celebrating Angela's (our former roommate) birthday with an interrupted walk/garage sale shopping attempt.  We'll continue to celebrate her birthday together as 'just girls' next week and we'll make sure to hang out when work cannot call her into the office. :)  After garage sale walking, I spent time getting the house ready to receive company for the rest of the weekend and then I was off to Keyboard Kids for the night.  Ross helped pick up the house, too, which was a huge help.

Friday morning, Linnea and her little man arrived.  Linnea was a roommate of mine during my sophomore year at Bethel.  I enjoy reading her blog and hearing about her adventures as a domestic engineer.  It was very fun to meet her 1 year old in person.  Shortly after Linnea arrived, Kristin showed up with almost 8.5 month old Beckett!  Kristin is a very special friend in my life.  She moved to PA with her family and spent her high school years there.  We went to school, church, youth group, piano lessons, proms and more together.  We also went to Bethel together (thank you Lord!) and she was my direct roommate ALL FOUR YEARS!  She's like a sister to me and I was so looking forward to her visit.  Linnea and Kristin and me all lived together during our sophomore year so it was fun to have our boys visit and see them in their different stages.

Kristin and I can talk about anything and everything and not have to explain who 'so and so' is ... it's a true gift and it's fun to walk down memory lane together and talk about what things we will or will not :) share with our kids one day.  It's also fun to process life being a mom, wife, having a career, etc.  Her little guy is so amazing and full of smiles and it was a treasure to get to spend precious time with them Friday and today.  E-man LOVED Beckett and it was fun to see our boys together, too.


Soon we're heading off to another roommate from college, Melissa's wedding reception and then later tonight we're heading out to Wyoming, MN for a BBQ with the group of girls who has adopted me as 'one of the girls'.  We're celebrating Bethany's birthday and getting to hang out at Gina's new house with all of our husbands and kids.  Tomorrow is church and then a baby shower for a friend from Renovation Church.  See what I mean?  I am so very blessed to have all of these amazing people in my life and so many good things to be celebrating.

June 2, 2010

Words of Affirmation

I am definitely a girl who appreciates words of affirmation.  (Right Mom and Dad?!) Today, Ross randomly emailed me a great, encouraging 'words of affirmation' kind of email.  My husband is a man of VERY few words, so that makes these words even more special. It made me cry and I appreciated it greatly - especially on a day spent with a crabby, teething 2 year old.  Thanks babe!

June 1, 2010

An "Achiever" Kind of Day

So - one of my top 5 strengths according to the Strengths Finder Assessment is "achiever".  One brief summary of this strength is: "People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive."  In a more detailed summary it describes how "achievers" take great satisfaction in making task lists and crossing items off the list.  Oh this is so VERY me!  Today I am thankful for a day that fed the 'achiever' in me.  :) Here is today's list!  


walk 2.63 miles (to bank to deposit checks and take out cash)
quick shower
call Northtown Library to get E-man registered for Toddler Story Time
drop off books at Library 
go to Costco with Mom to stock up for the next few months
Renovation money (enter, email, fill out deposit slip)
email Park Free order of service to Pat
email Jo Ellen re: Sunday service
practice for Sunday 
go to Walmart to deposit Renovation money
go to DMV to renew tabs on van 
make lasagna for dinner (first meal from my June monthly meal plan!)
Bike ride with family


There are definitely things NOT on the list like a spontaneous gmail video chat with Krista, a tea party with E-man, lunch out at a DQ Grill with Mom and E-man ... so there is always room for fun but boy did it feel good to have a day like that after a long, relaxing (not very achiever oriented) weekend.