Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thankful Thursday

The week has flown by- that always seems to happen on holiday weeks. Even still, I am looking forward to the weekend.

I am missing my parents right now- they are still in England and although they were able to send e-mails earlier in their trip, I haven't heard from them all week. They will be back in the states on Monday so I don't have much longer to wait. Sometimes, you just want to talk to your mom...not really about anything specific- just about everything! I am thankful that I have such a loving relationship with my mom. She's so great (even if she's wearing a crazy scarf in London as I type!)

I had the best experience tonight. I went to deliver a birthday present to my god daughter. She turns 5 tomorrow and we aren't able to go to her party this weekend. I bought her a fun beaded necklace/bracelet set and some crafty "Klutz" books and thought she'd be pleased. At the check out counter, I noticed these magnetic earrings and thought that they might be fun so I added them to the pile. I can be a bit of a freak about kid stuff at times (it's true). I wanted to be sure that my friend Angela approved before I gave them to her since they were sort of an edgy item (edgy in an appropriate for a 5 year old sort of way). Ang gave me the go-ahead and so I tucked them in the top of the present and gave them to her. I never expected the type of reaction that I got- her face was priceless...she put them on and ran to the bathroom, climbed up on the stool to look in the mirror and said- "I think I'm going to cry!" How great is that? I am thankful for the innocence and joy that surrounds children and makes them so endearing.

Today I attended a "Leadership Brown Bag" session at work. You bring your lunch and an executive gives a talk on a particular topic. The topic today was career development. a) I love the executive that spoke- she's always honest and super real and just a good person. b) I've been having my own personal struggles with development and what to do next and this was so relevant c) Her message made so much sense to me- and validates some work that I've been doing recently. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to learn/grow in an environment that is safe and comfortable. I love feeling like I'm normal (well, for the most part!).

After reading an e-mail exchange between a group of friends, I picked up the phone and called one of them. I've never spoken to her on the phone before- but it was such a helpful conversation and it made me laugh. We both laughed- and it felt so good. I am thankful that God sends people into your life when you need them most.

Jon picked Cooper up today from a playdate. He said that the other dad commented to him on how impressed he was with Cooper's manners and how he was always so polite whenever he observed him. I am thankful that Cooper realizes the importance of the lessons that we're teaching him- some days it seems easier to let things slide but in the end, I'm glad we work at it.

Happy Weekend to you....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!

We had such a fantastic weekend- we were blessed with incredible weather and we took complete advantage of it. Our goal was to leave on Friday after work so that we could really enjoy 3 full days of 'vacation'. It was tough- but we were on the road at 5:24. We didn't hit a bit of traffic and got to the river in record time. As usual, as soon as we turn off of the main road- the stress completely leaves us.

We're both (all) totally relaxed and at our absolute best at the river. It's pure heaven for each of us- just family time, incredible neighbors and the outdoors. Jon and I have needed to refresh desperately and this time at the river was just what we needed. This picture captures the innocence and beauty of it all, with some whimsy thrown in for good measure. The dog belongs to our neighbor and is always good for a chuckle!

Jon decided that we needed electricity and water in the barn and water near the garden so he, Cooper and a neighbor with skills put the plan into action. I felt like a queen and read a book in the yard and got in the best nap I've had in months! We went out for dinner, had great Mexican and were all asleep by 9:30.

Wade came on Sunday and spent the day with us, he's the best nephew and Cooper adores him. We had fun just hanging out and doing random jobs. We ended the day at a cook out with our river "family" that brought laughter, good food and an encounter with a groundhog. The day was complete.

Jon and Wade set some crab pots in the early evening on Sunday and on Monday morning we went to pull them. Priceless- I love being able to witness the learning that happens during each interaction. Cooper soaks in everything that his dad and Wade say and has learned so much about life on the water and how valuable a relationship with nature is. The education and experience that being at the river have given that little kid are worth more than Jon and I could have ever dreamed about when we bought the house. Besides the life lessons- we also got some delicious crabs for dinner!

Weekends don't get much better than this and we're so thankful for each second that we have with each other.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Author's Day & Thankful Thursday

I had the BEST morning! Cooper's kindergarten class has a tradition called Author's Day. The children each write and illustrate a book- it can be about anything that they want. They work on it for weeks and each book is dedicated to someone- again, anyone they want. On Author's Day, their teacher reads each story and the child sits next to her in "the author's chair". I didn't really know what to expect except that the moms who have older kids were all a flutter about how great it was going to be. I was dying to see what his book would be about- and a little nervous as well. I shouldn't have been. Here is the cover of his book-

Ok- please let me pause to say how excited I am that I've actually modified my HTML so that the picture appears where I want it to! Hooray- This blog is responsible for my expertise!

Cooper has had a love affair with turtles for years. Jon has an uncanny ability to find random turtles along the side of the road and will stop to pick them up to bring them home for Cooper. I think that the general plan is to keep them- but thus far, I've been able to thwart any such plans. Here is the dedication and page 1 from his book.

So, I teared up at the love that went into him dedicating it to us. All of the kids had such sweet dedications- some to their older siblings, a few to good friends or grandparents, 1 to a dog in heaven and a few others to either their mom or their dad. Following the "the end" page, there was a page called- About the Author. It had their picture and some facts about each child. There was a sentence that said- Something that makes me proud is... his answer? that I have a good mother and a good father. So perhaps we're doing ok after all!! Proud of his good mom and dad- now if that doesn't inspire me to want to work even harder to be a good parent- I'm not sure what will. After all of the books were read, there was a little reception and a slide show that captured every kindergarten event this year ....set to music that left not a dry eye in the room. Every child in the class has grown and matured from the first day of school and it was so wonderful to see how far they've come. His class was fantastic and his teacher- an angel. The day was good.

That brings me to Thankful Thursday-

1st, that we have been blessed with Cooper having a fantastic year in kindergarten. I firmly believe that this is the foundation for how kids feel will feel about school long term. Cooper was loved all year and his confidence has grown so much.

2nd, that in the face of unimaginable tragedy there are so many people who come together in prayer and to offer support to each other. It is nothing less than beautiful.

3rd, I am thankful for 2nd chances, and 3rd and 4th.....

4th, I am thankful for the upcoming long weekend- a time for us to rejuvenate and spend time focused on nothing but family. I am counting the minutes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday

Great weekend- we had a fantastic visit with my sister-in-law and her family. Jon's aunt and uncle came as well and it was great to see them. Let's see.....highlight of the trip? Sitting at dinner and telling funny family stories and watching Cooper bowl, Wii style. Low light of the trip? The actual drive home- we rode with my nephew and let's simply say that 25 year olds drive.....LIKE LUNATICS!

The other down side was that Cooper is going through a phase (I think) of being a complete disaster. 2 years old- the child was angelic, 3 years old he was delightful and sweet, 4 years old I couldn't have been more in love with him....even the start of 5 was enjoyable- what we have now as we are approaching 6 has been horrendous. With us, he's the same great kid- with others- I could crawl under a rock and evaporate. He won't look people in the eye and speaks in this whiny voice and resembles another child completely. My sister-in-law says that it happened to her kids too and they're great so I have to hold out hope. Jon has no patience and I'm almost at the end of mine at times. I have to hope that it's some sort of insecurity that he doesn't yet understand and this is how it manifests itself. Please, please please- grow past this quickly my sweet child.

My parents left for England today to see the Chelsea Flower Show.....and they couldn't be more excited. They love a flower show and this is supposed to be a mac daddy- I hope they have a safe and wonderful trip. I coached them to take a lot of black clothes and for goodness sake, not to wear sneakers! I'm not sure that they'll blend but one can hope.

Have been spending way too much time reading other much inspiring and just plain fun to read stuff out there.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rainy Friday

Such a tiring week.....recovering from weekend/early week visitors. Although I love company and entertaining, it's always draining to get ready and then to get "back to normal".

It's raining today and I decided to work from home. I'm so grateful to be able to do this- it's such a gift. It also helps me to feel green- saving gas and the commute. I can also catch up on laundry which seems to multiply before my eyes!

Had dinner last night with my friend Kelly. We used to work together and it's always good to catch up. Cooper and Jon had boys night- and Jon said that after he tucked Cooper in he went downstairs to clean up a bit and when he went back up Cooper called to him. He asked him if he wanted to come into his room and "talk". How priceless- Jon said that they talked about our funny dog and a crazy dog story that Jon experienced at work today. I do love my boys!

I didn't do a Thankful Thursday list- but there are so many things for me to be thankful for that I want to capture at least a few.

I am thankful that we're living in a place where the weather has had mercy on us- so many natural disasters this week, and as of late. It's heart wrenching and scary to see the devastation and loss of life. We are blessed to be safe.

I am thankful for the people who have more faith in me than I have in myself. I've had a rough 2 weeks at work and there are so many people who have been there to prop me up and to give me strength. I am blessed to be cared about.

I am thankful for my health, and that of my family. We take so much for granted- and so many live with things that greatly impact their quality of life. We are blessed to be healthy.

We are off to Jon's sister's for the weekend. We'll celebrate his aunt's birthday- she's been the surrogate mother since Lolo has been gone. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Funny Kid!

Piece of the conversation at dinner tonight-

Me: Buddy, do you think that you'd like it if I sent you a jelly sandwich in your lunchbox?
Cooper: Could it be toast with jelly instead?

Me: Well, I don't think it would taste so good- it would be cold by lunchtime.
Cooper: Oh, well then I'll just eat it at snacktime instead.

Well, there you go- I love that kid!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that my wonderful parents will be arriving tomorrow to spend the weekend with us. My mom is amazing- I have a friend who calls her Mary Poppins. She's the ideal Grandmother- Cooper is her main focus. She plays with him- really plays with him for hours. They make up games and pretend that they are in a dog show. Crazy- but he adores her. I'm so proud to call her my mom.

I'm thankful that the sweetest child on this earth calls me mommy. He's funny and kind and caring and interested in so many things...he's thirsty for answers and for more knowledge. I admire that so much in him. It's one of the things he inherited from Jon. I simply love that little kid.

I am thankful for the friendships that I have and for the 2 new friends that I've recently made. I've had a tough week at work and confiding in the people that I trust has really made a difference.

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wish Me Luck

UPDATE: Well, the comforter smells great- thanks to 3 washings (2 in cold, 1 with a white vinegar soak and finally, the thing that did the trick- 1 hot water wash with lots of bleach). I figure even if it falls to pieces in a month- I got at least some additional use from it!

I found (in the depths of the river house) a down comforter and cover that would now actually be perfect (I think....) in our guest room. What's the problem you ask? They smell a wee musty. My parents are coming for Mother's Day and I'm itchy for a change in their room.

So, I Googled "how to clean your down comforter" and found that for every person who said that you shouldn't ever wash it about 3 people who said it works great just to throw them in the washing machine and then dry them with a tennis ball to fluff the down.

I'll get back to you and let you know how that goes- wish me luck!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Weekend in Review

We were so blessed to have incredible weather this weekend! Someone at work told me that we have had rain of some sort for the last 9 weekends! Clearly April showers.....I am so ready for May.

My sweet friend Christy works for a non-profit and offered us some tickets to the Nascar Race. We were able to go on Friday night to the Lipton Tea 250 and we were so excited. Well, not ALL of us.....Cooper had a phobia about going and cried for an hour before we left. He fell asleep in the car for the ride to the track and I was hopeful that he would be fine. Not so. We heard. "Gentleman, start your engines!" and were able to get in about 2 laps before he imploded (yes, he had earplugs and a headset). Ugh. That nutty kid.

Each Sunday as a part of our bedtime routine, we talk about the weekend and ask him- "What was your favorite thing this weekend? Yup, you guessed it- he said the race! Go figure.

On Saturday, Cooper's school had its festival and doing the Maypole Dance is a part of the opening ceremony. The kindergartners do the dance and it couldn't be any more adorable. They practice for weeks and it's taken very seriously. Cooper's partner was so sweet and they made the cutest couple. Imagine 20 children dressed in Sunday best concentrating on doing the dance correctly- and all the time knowing that as soon as they were finished they could change their clothes and compete in the tug-of-war. Priceless!

We went to the river in the late afternoon and put the finishing touches on the yard. We've worked so hard over the years to make our little cottage look "cottage-y". It's finally on it's way. We had a wonderful time as usual with our neighbors and just being outside and having a purpose. We're all at our best at the river- not a care in the world.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for so many things, and recently have started to really think specifically about what they are and how blessed I am for all that is a part of my life. How fitting that my first post should reflect the title of this blog- let us be glad.

I am thankful for-

  • my sweet, sweet 5 year old (well, actually 5 3/4 year old if you want to be specific)
  • a wonderful husband who loves me, despite my quirks and freakish rules
  • an amazing mom and dad, who today returned safely from a cruise to the Panama Canal
  • my brother's health- which was in question until a doctor ruled everything to be normal (as of 7am this morning)
  • my sister-in-law and the fact that she passed a test that she never thought she would (I knew you could do it, Kath!)
  • my funny friend Laura- who lost a beloved job but found a new one that promises lots of opportunity for her
  • the joy that our dog brings our son
  • losing 4 lbs since Monday (keep it up!)
  • May- and the amazing colors and feeling that spring brings!

Looking forward to many more thankful Thursdays and to having fun with blogging.