Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cherishing Some Words of Wisdom

"Just take it easy, let them play and let them have fun. They remember this time of their life. You don't think so, but as years go by, me....I think about what I did when I was a kid all the time; the things I did with my Mother and games and toys I played with. This is when you are making really good memories with your kids and they will look back on them some day. Just take care of yourself and your children. Don't over do it. When they get you mad, just sit down with them and take a minute to be with them. Quiet. Just remember, they are kids and they will act like it." - My Grandma (My Mommy's Mommy)

I have been overwhelmed with events lately. Not your every day, normal events like work dinners, PTO meetings and playdates, but more like crazy life events. Memorable milestone events that will go down in Mommy history.

I finished up my part time job as an HR Specialist on Friday. It was a pretty big deal for me since I have been in Human Resources for about 15 years and when I started this part time position, Kyle was only an infant - 18 weeks old, to be exact. I had made good friends while in this role and really did not think I was ready to move on. But as the decision was made for me and I realized that my interest level and patience with it all had diminished, I was accepting of new opportunities. But the fear of the unknown was hanging over my head. I started my new position at the same company on Monday. From the moment I stepped out of my car in a new town, I heard jazz music being played along the side of the building as I walked in. The welcoming voices of the excited team that I would now be working for greeted me and I immediately felt really happy. For the first time, I was actually enthusiastic about this new direction my life was taking.

In the midst of these changes, I was blessed with conversations with other women and men in the workforce with whom I felt connected to. Other Moms that had been through what I am going through now. I listened to their passion and drive about wanting to spend quality time with their children, wanting to still work and be fulfilled in a professional capacity, wanting to juggle it all in order to be there for their kids and being the best Mom they could be. The women were either in the middle of this Mommy dilemma or spoke of their days of young parenthood and the sacrifices they made in order to stay home with their children all while still maintaining their professional standing and reputation. It was so encouraging to hear other women speak of their paths, hard decisions and new doors that opened for them. I was enlightened and refreshed with these perspectives and I truly cherish those conversations more than they probably know. It really helped me to see that I am not alone and that what I truly desire more than anything really can be obtained. It was the power of these conversations that gave me even more strength to just be ME. And as I sit here quickly writing this now, I am thankful for the moments of quiet and the moments of crazy with my children because I AM with them because I stuck to my guns and kept after what is truly important...these precious times of their young lives.

Each little spec of wisdom is so important to gather. No matter where we get it from, we need to keep a virtual basket with us and put that wisdom in. The cool thing is that the specs grow and multiply and feed off of each other and they make us who we are. We can pull from that basket any time. I guess we should not be afraid to ever share our own wisdom with others. We may not think what we have to say is very powerful, but just by chance; someone else may have their heart open and ready to hear what you have to say. They may be standing there waiting with their basket, collecting, cherishing and remembering the words that you said.

Other recent events of mine include time outs, behavior charts, Lego-banning, potty talk, disrespectful words and just blatant misbehavior. Over any job I have ever had, I am most challenged in the role of Mom at this particular time of my life.... more than ever. My husband and I face our four-year-old head on every day and try our best to manage and stay in control of the situation. But I confess right here, right now.... it is so hard. I have been crawling into bed at 9:00pm each night absolutely exhausted, feeling like I have been run over by Thomas the Train. I feel like I have tried every tactic to get him to listen and to behave. Sometimes the tactics work, sometimes.... not so much. And sometimes, for absolute sure, this child is definitely THE cutest thing in sneakers. He can melt my heart with the drop of a hat. He can be so good and well-behaved and then suddenly like a flick of a switch.....goodbye cute and cuddly. So for those of you reading right now.... if anyone is out there with any advice for me at this trying time of '4 year old vs Mommy', I am here. I am desperate. I am hoping for answers. I am begging for wisdom. My basket is open. Thank you.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The other day, I was driving along the highway through the brown slushy mess that Mother Nature left behind. There was a truck in front of me that was kicking up all that muck into the air and right at my windshield. It was a dark, dreary day and I was driving to my Doctor's appointment to figure out why I have been having episodes of breathing problems. In that moment, I was feeling rushed, stressed and overwhelmed. As I drove, it started getting brighter and though it was still bitter cold and wet, the sun started to peek through the clouds. Don't get me wrong, it was not as if the clouds parted and the big beautiful, yellow sun shown down on me like a ray from God or anything. But a rainbow appeared right in front of my car; probably from the mist of the dirty slush that was spraying at me from the truck in front. The sun hit that muddy water just right and created a beautiful speck of rainbow for me to enjoy the whole rest of the way to my appointment. Some of the stress lifted for me. Through the filth, dirt and muddy snow, there was this wash of clean that shown through, making me see some beauty in all that mess; the mess on the road that day as well as in my own head.

I think I need to notice more rainbows in my days. I feel like there ARE rainbows to notice every day. But I just need to actually SEE them....notice them.....appreciate them.

The snow storms have been frequent this winter causing one school delay or cancellation after another. My children have been climbing the walls needing, wanting, demanding fresh air and a change of pace. We have worked together on more lessons of sharing, learning new games, perfecting old ones and creating beautiful works of art. There has been time to clean and organize rooms and old clothes. The boys and I also went through their older toys they do not play with anymore and picked which ones we should donate to other kids who might need them more. I felt ok cleaning out these toys and organizing. It helped me to have a clearer focus once it was done. The house was clean and organized and though it was hard on the boys to let go of some of their special toys, we all liked the new arrangement of a clean playroom and space for them to have new adventures. I think part of the process of cleaning anything in our life is a feeling of letting go of the old and being ok with moving forward.

And so, I found that I am more in tune with the process of cleansing and what it means to me, my house, my mind and my life and being able to move forward. My boys are just trying to be more focused on cleaning the table, cleaning up their Legos and the intricacies of brushing their teeth. How proud they are when they have completed the task. Smelling the Huuuuh, Huuuuh of freshly brushed minty fresh teeth, big grins to show off those clean pearly whites and the aromatic scents of cleanliness from the Sponge Bob pump soap to prove that hand washing actually did take place. This is what it means for them to cleanse, to let go of the dirt and plaque. Ahhh, to be a kid.

Last week, our house started to leak because of the heavy snow on our roof. It has been a scary, out of control feeling for both my husband and I. Water spots appearing in different areas of the ceilings and walls. Streams of water seeping through our windows and doors. Buckets propped up and old panty hose filled with rock salt hanging from our roof. (our neighbors thought we were losing our minds -- until they realized what exactly we were doing with those "socks.") My clean and newly organized office/playroom would now be a storage area for all of the items I had to remove from our attic. I was forced to go through all of the baby toys and clothes I was holding onto for sentimental reasons. I suppose I did not think I would be going through all of these items so soon after my children had just finished using them. I was going through the motions of removing each card board box and transferring toys into big plastic bins to protect them from water damage. I was on autopilot and finally stopped to catch my breath. I looked around the disorganized mess in my office and as my eyes crossed over each section, I realized how fast time had gone by already. The baby swing, the booster seat, the little giraffe that Kyle played with non stop when he was a toddler. It was all now just in a big messy pile in the middle of my office. At that instant, my heart had just caught up with my brain and I fell apart. Nearly falling to the floor in exhaustion and emotion, my husband caught me in his arms and held me so tight. Through the tears, as my laughing children ran up and down the hallway, I explained to my husband my Mommy-misery in that moment. As I think back now, I realize it was a cleansing moment for me. A moment of timing and realization. It was my muddy rainbow for the day and I was able to have special cuddle time with my boys a few minutes later.

Now, even though our house looks like a storage facility, couches, chairs and the TV are moved in odd places so as to not catch any water, pictures have been taken down off the walls and more buckets are on the ready, I am being cleansed by throwing things away. The non essentials are really becoming more and more clear to me. We all have our ways of cleansing or helping ourselves feel OK with the world and surging forward. Charlie holds tight to his stuffed hippo; "Baby Luke" and stuffed puppy; "Baby Leah" in his times of need. Kyle loves his soft feety pajamas and two pillows propped up just right at bedtime. I now find myself trying to let go of hard expectations of myself, find time for my outlets like writing, creating new friendships and cherishing old ones and of course, throwing away clutter; the real stuff and emotional junk. The sound of my boys laughing is THE most immediate way to cleanse my soul for sure.

So, we live in this healthy moment, clean of bad thoughts and negative energy. We are staying as dry and warm as we can. We laugh. We play. We try to breathe (though difficult at times). And we are here now with each other clearing away the daily dirt and plaque in our lives, letting go of the old and being ok with moving forward in search of our daily muddy rainbow.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Deep in the Heart of Motherhood

As the winter storms are raging, temperatures are dipping below zero and we are stocking up on moisturizing lotions by the barrel, amazing things are happening right before my very eyes that warm every particle of my being.

All of this nasty weather has caused our local schools to close or delay one day after another and require me to work from home to be with the boys. It has been a bit frustrating having to call into work to tell them I will not be present yet another day while everyone else still has to drive in the fairly dangerous conditions. Putting that weird conundrum of feeling guilty and bad about work aside, I have been able to bond with my children during this time of my life when I have needed it the most. Feelings of importance and strict prioritizing have become so clear to me.

I do not think the boys really know what to make of all this time home with Mommy. "I'm home with her, I'm at school, I am back home with her, it's Saturday, no...wait, it's Tuesday....right? Is it? Are we going to school tomorrow?" It's all pretty confusing. Even for me. My little guys who are now 4 and 6 have been instilling a feeling of excitement and rejuvenation in me lately. I am not sure whether it's all the extra time indoors with them, the "no school thrill" or just me not being suppressed by the confines and stresses of being physically present in my current "work situation." I think the distance and absence from the toxins is another positive contributor to my recent state of joy.

For me, it is and should be all about little (clean) fingers in the cookie batter and small bodies climbing up on a big chair to stand on in order to reach the counter to help me make dinner. This week provided me with many gifts of moments like those and others like Charlie's tiny hands holding my face and with his big brown eyes looking into mine, he said "Mommy, you're sooooo cute and your pajamas are so soft." The excited childhood squeal of my six year old when the new Lego set we had ordered came in. Left over from birthday/Christmas returns, this was what he wanted, but had to wait for it to come back into stock. He waited....and waited. When the email finally said it shipped, he counted down every single day. When he woke up in the morning, he would promptly tell me how many days were left until it was delivered. Telling you I was welling up with tears of my own excitement to see how elated he was the night it showed up on our doorstep early, probably does not even give you the depth of what I was feeling at that moment. He shouted "Thank You's" and "Oh My Goodness's" and could not wait another moment to open the box.

The past few weeks will hold memories for me of piggy back rides in 23 inches of snow, teamwork of shoveling the driveway together, sledding, snow angels, time with good friends, random "I love you's" and "I missed you's", puzzles, baking, drawing and coloring pictures. My description would also not be complete without including the incredible amount of time that two boys could possibly play with Legos! Please do not misunderstand me, it has been hairy at times with the typical meltdowns, tears and tug-o-wars over parts and pieces of toys, books or an invasion of their own quiet moments alone with a toy. I truly must admit, I had trials and tribulations (meltdowns) of my own at times. Conference calls while poopie bottoms run out of the bathroom and shouts of frustration are heard in the background because Kyle knocked down a piece of the family room tent we had built earlier. Phone interviews that had to include an explanation of why I needed to continue to put the call on hold to tend to a light saber versus full glass of milk or referee a battle of whether Luke Skywalker could wear Han Solo's Lego pants or not. I have to confess, sometimes all I heard in some of those meetings was Charlie Brown's teacher.

Words and actions mean so much. My children set the precedence for what words really mean for me. I know which ones I can take at face value and which ones they are spewing out at me to get a rise. This is more than I can expect of some adults in my life. I also adore how they use their whole body to tell a story or express their emotion; the shrugged shoulder walk of disappointment, the excited arms and hands flailing around and the jumping up and down in a thrilling moment. They are shy, they are cute, they are impossible, they are restless, they are happy, they are fearless, they are funny, they are cranky, they are sad, they are active and they are relaxed. In their most innocent ways, they are real in every moment. They do not truly know awkward or inappropriate just yet. They just feel and react and love with everything they are. I needed to be closer to them, to knowing, to understanding, to feeling and just being with them. Mother Nature awarded me this invaluable gift of unavoidable closeness and bonding this past week and a half (I hear there may be more nasty weather in store for this week and next) and I am eternally grateful.

With every breath I take, (asthma riddled and all) I love my little boys more and more. So for now, I am soaking in the subtle changes and growth of their little bodies, their expressions and their construction of thoughts. I realize the challenge will continue as I try to balance the work, the weather issues and being completely present with my children, but as long as feety pajamas, thumb wrestling and cuddling are some of the main priorities in this house, we will be happy...and warm this winter.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


There is nothing like a fresh pressed kissed on your cheek from someone that is one of the be-all, end-all people in your world; your sun, moon and stars. This tiny little gesture means so much and gives a warm feeling inside. The little lip puckered push against the side of your face makes you feel loved and makes you feel safe. As adults, we tend to let the moment slip away and we move on with what we were about to do before the peck. But what do my children do? Without much thought, a quick automatic flow of motion of the palm of their hand presses in the smooch so tight. They don't want it to blow away! "Push it in Mommy! Before it goes away! Quick!" The moment means the world to them. The kiss is their way to show this overflow of feelings. You must take that seriously. If only I could think like this.

I say it all the time, how much my children teach me. But the innocence that exudes from their daily habits and thoughts is amazing to me and I want to learn. I hope I am teaching them about common sense and factual information about this world. But in so many ways, I want to reverse my "adultarian" attitude and look at life from their hearts; their gigantic, innocent, full of true love hearts.

My children are truest of true in situations like when they collapse on the dining room floor because they are honestly losing the battle of tired versus awake. "I want tacos!" "I don't want tacos. I wanted milk." "I don't want milk!" "Can I have dessert?" At the end of these types of meltdowns, I find that sometimes I wish I was crying and stamping my feet right with them. But I am the adult keeping composure and patience. Come on, don't you wish you would just give in to the dragon inside you sometimes and just let it all out even if it did not make any sense to anyone else but you?

I love it when the little amazements creep out of my children's thoughts like someone left the door open a crack and I can see the small line of light from the next room. It's a small peek into their sweet & innocent brain playroom. They didn't mean to let me in, but there I am soaking it all in until they realize and slam the door shut. Like tonight, Kyle was so excited to tell me that he knows where the North Pole is. He was so proud and happy about his knowledge about something so important. "Santa lives near Madeline and Dakota. We walk there from their house at Christmas time when we go to tell him what we want for Christmas." He went on with his grand thoughts and details about how cool it is that he lives near us and that it's really not as far away as everyone says. Charlie sat in awe with those big eyes of his fixed on Kyle and hanging on every word that fell out of his mouth about the subject. I was right there with them, in their world of believing this magical place being right here in our very town. There I was in Kyle's brain-playroom. I was in and instead of copping a squat and staying a while, I opened my mouth. In my Mommyness adult-like nature, the door was slammed shut on me when I began to tell them that the North Pole really is far away, that Santa only visits our town at Christmas and meets us at the firehouse near Madeline and Dakota's house each year. I related to him and expressed my true understanding of his ideas. But it was too late and inside, I felt like I was destroying a little bit of innocent childhood thinking.

I believe that singing and laughing are qualities of our childhood that stick around if we let them. They must be the strongest of the traits because as we keep those, we tend to lose and completely forget the others. Today, Kyle and Charlie were playing together and in their own way, added their own soundtrack to those moments of my observation. It wasn't fighting or arguing over a toy, but a sort of music to my ears as they both hummed and sang out little bits and pieces of a song I had never heard before. It was the most beautiful melody I had ever heard and it made me laugh out loud. I think it was actually a few songs all mixed up together and only they knew the words. Who says we need to sing just one song that everyone would know? Kyle was even singing little tunes under his breath as we walked through the grocery store today. Not loud, not obnoxious....just a little sing-song that only he knew. It was precious to me and helped me groove through the aisles a little easier with my little helper.

I don't know, I suppose I just wish I was not as tainted with less than magical thoughts for the majority of my days. So yet again, I am setting out to learn more lessons from my children. To just jump into the snow drifts & make snow angels, to give validation to those thoughts that first come to my mind and to sing my own little tunes throughout my day. Although, I do have to admit that experiencing heart ache, loss, disappointment, pain and fear in my life has definitely given me even more opportunities to appreciate the greatest joys of living; simple moments of singing, tender night time cuddling, laughing, bear hugs, watching Modern Family (the best show on TV) and being invited back to the brain-playroom every once in a while.

(In Loving Memory of Irene Szczesiul; a woman who gave her whole heart and soul to her Husband, Children, Family & Friends. We will miss you on this earth.)

Friday, January 7, 2011


His small gentle pointer finger traced the outline my face then came around down to the tip of my nose and then back up around again. In the night-lighted quiet room at bedtime, I could tell he was building up to say something. He whispered words that I could just about hear. "Mommy, do you wish your Grover doll was never broken? Do you wish that little boy did not break the pull string? Did you tell him that he should not pull it so hard? Did you tell him to be gentle?" Out of the blue, these thoughts and feelings rushed out of my little-almost-six-year-old boy in this special moment before he drifted off to sleep. He looked deep into my eyes awaiting my response. I was taken aback by the thought process and the emotion that he was feeling at that moment. I whispered back to him that I really loved that Grover doll so much and even though my friend's little brother pulled that string hard enough to break his talking Grover voice, I still kept him all these years because he was so special to me. He smiled, but not completely satisfied with my answer, he continued. "But maybe next year, you could ask Santa for another Grover with a pull string. Maybe the elves could make you a new one that talks just like yours used to." "Maybe." I said. "But I still love my Grover, even though he doesn't talk anymore." He smiled again and gave me a big hug and kiss. We said goodnight and I left the room. Only moments later, I heard him snoring on the monitor.

I cannot stop thinking about new beginnings, clean slates, change and second chances lately. It's hard not to when it's a huge part of my life as it stands right now. Maybe that is what Santa represents for our children. It's a chance for new toys, new ideas, new games and new challenges. In the case of Grover, it's a possibility of a second chance for a talking Grover doll!! A new year also brings another chance for change and new ideas! How exciting. I am not sure if you can sense my tone of sarcasm or not. Trust me, it's there. Clean slate. New Beginnings. Hmmmm.... It's not so scary anymore as it is annoying to me now. It's feelings of uncertainty and feeling like I am going in the wrong direction that makes it the most annoying. As everyone around me was making their new years resolutions, I was going down my list of possibilities and realizing I had no resolutions for the new year. I was unable to commit to anything in my own mind.

Then this week, full of possibilities, crazy schedules, birthday parties, planning, dentist appointments and swim class swacked me upside the head with the obvious. I know I write and talk about my children a lot, but truly, my heart's focus is on them. No matter what the world throws at me, I am centered by the smiles of my boys. And so in the face of uncertainty in my life and through my recent feelings of unimportance and sarcasm, I bust through with my truest of true resolution; to be there for my children as they are there for me. Through the crazy this week, it was a realization of the routine moments that hit me hard. A little tiny hand always automatically reaches up for mine as we walk side by side in our hallway, at school, in the store. Random, out-of-the-blue thoughts said out loud of "I love you Mommy." The other night in the car on the way to a birthday party, Charlie told me he really liked being with me. I watched in awe of my little 4 year old as he and my husband played and rolled around the other day. What a special moment that was for them and I was lucky enough to look on. I was amazed when I actually paid attention at how much I really laughed out loud this week. With comments like "Actually Daddy, I'm not back in business." and "I can't take it anymore. I'm dying over here I am just so thirsty." and after I told Kyle I thought he was cute, he non excitedly said "Yay. My Mom thinks I'm cute." I never knew that it was actually a cartridge in a pear tree and that Indiana Jones is actually an Indian. Hug after hug and laugh after laugh, my children make me the happiest I have ever been.

So I have made up my mind and decided my new years resolution is to SUCK IT UP! Even among all of the smoke and mirrors around me, the crap, the paths unknown and that feeling of self-unimportance, I will just simply enjoy the happy routine, the laughing and little hands reaching for mine. For one day, my children will break up with me and the routine will be so different. My dream career will wait for me.

As I sit here thinking of all the tasks I need to be doing right now to prepare for Kyle's sixth birthday party tomorrow, I had to take a moment in between headaches to kick out a word or two as it is my therapy. After this week and this day and a good talk with a dear friend, I needed a session. So thank you, as always for reading, supporting and humoring me. Some day, I will be able to write for a living. For now, I will take pleasure in the joy right in front of me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holding On...

" the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods." - C.S. Lewis

Holding on is so hard to do in life. I mean, we wouldn't say "hold on" if there was not a real reason why we needed to grab something with both hands and not let go. Hold on to happiness. Hold on that that rope. Hold on to the past. Hold on to the memories. Hold on to your sanity. Hold on to that hand that will keep you from falling into a pit of darkness. Hold on to who you are.

In this magical of seasons, I am holding on so tight to rituals and traditions. I am having the most fun I have ever had during this festive time of year. In the last few weeks, my children have made me realize that I am holding on to pieces of me and memories that were buried so deep inside my self. And with each new realization, I find myself holding on tighter and tighter.

In our house, this season has brought such special things; picking out a Christmas tree together, decorating it, hanging tinsel for the first time since I was little, picking out a new tree topper together and then realizing we loved our Family Angel so much we now have two tree toppers, gazing at decorated Christmas lights every night on the way home from school, shouting "Good Morning, Santa!" on the way to drop off Kyle at school each morning as we drive by a blow up lawn decoration of Santa in a hot air balloon, reading old Christmas stories, watching classic Christmas movies and singing every Christmas song ever written, baking, cooking, decorating, singing together, the excitement each morning of opening up each new door of the advent calendar, hearing my Mother's voice in the new Frosty book she gave the boys and feeling just how special it is to ME just to hear her sweet voice reading a story out loud, new cuddly Christmas pajamas, wrapping presents together, decorating gingerbread cookies, putting together a working train under our tree, doing a happy dance for no reason, answering new questions and telling the story of Jesus being born on Christmas Day and most of all, being together and not letting moments slip away....holding on as tightly as I can.

With all of these happy, exciting, magical moments of Christmas, I suddenly started to feel stressed and emotional today. It crept up on my like a quiet little ghost and then BOO! I found myself missing my Grandparents and times of my childhood more today than any other day this year or years before. I sat on the floor of Charlie's room tonight while he settled cozily into his bed. We listened to Christmas carols together as he lay with eyes closed and a sweet smile upon his little face quite content in that moment. I was as well, until 'I'll be home for Christmas' came up in the shuffle of music I put on. I was cranky today and felt the stress of not having everything in order for Christmas by now. But at this dark, quiet moment in my child's room, I felt this wave of MISS come over me. Past childhood Christmas's, Grandparents who have never met my children and traditions that had long been forgotten.

I just hope that my children feel the love and traditions of the holidays that I felt when I was a kid. I hope that someday, they will look back and fondly remember these days of magical moments in our family. I get so overwhelmed and anxious when the magic moment is anything but magic. I get frustrated with ordinary life and people that don't fit in to my grand expectation. The expectations I put on myself get pretty heavy as well.

And so I should really be working on one of my gifts right now or work or wrapping presents....But instead I sit here finally watching 'It's a Wonderful Life' and writing. So thanks to anyone who might be reading. Hold on to your special memories and even if it makes you a little sad sometimes to think that the time has gone by way to fast, you will then still at least have those special times in your heart.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful for Moments of Gitty

''Tis the season I suppose, for giving thanks, for being "thankful." Gratitude, as my family likes to call it. "It's time for Gratitude" I hear announced once the dishes are cleared. We then gather around the dining room table after a full meal of turkey and all the fixings. We each take a turn verbalizing our thoughts of great thanks and appreciation for everything we have in that moment. And always a special thanks for those at that very table we sit and for those that have gone on to a higher place. It's this special ritual that my family does every year that we all either look so forward to or completely dread. I realize that not all families do such things, as it might be uncomfortable or awkward to spill that much emotion all over people who may just have big brick walls around them every day, never-mind Thanksgiving Day.

So it is in this tradition that I usually take the role as one of the "cryers" at the table. I guess it wouldn't be Thanksgivinging without me crying at least once. Crying for happiness or for sadness or out of pure frustration with life. This year I spoke of my gratitude for doors opening unexpectedly when others were slammed in my face. I thanked everyone for being my guardians, my sounding boards and my support line. It has definitely been a weird rough road for me lately and I just felt so much and suddenly needed to let it all just flow out of me whichever way it chose to. With the powerful explosion of thoughts....and tears, I did not want to take up more time and ended up not acknowledging my gratitude for the most significant part of my life.

With the dramatic comings and goings of many minutes throughout the day, it's sometimes hard to keep track of what needs to be done or said. My brain rapidly processes thoughts while I am in the shower or driving to work and I think how important and precious those thoughts are. This is, until I get out of the shower or step into my office at work and those "precious thoughts" seem to evaporate into thin air. So, document, document, document - I keep saying to myself. Keep track of it all, so I can remember to be thankful! Remembering the good, happy times that make me gitty!....that is what gets me through all of the other "stuff."

I am so thankful for the moments in the wee hours of the morning when the birds start to chirp or the highway humms from far down the hills below us and each of my boys are asleep in their cozy little beds. I am thankful for these moments because these children are quiet, they are innocent and cute. It's a brand new day, a fresh, clean slate and new aspirations are set. At this hour, these little bodies are warm and comfy in their PJ's. They are still cuddling with their favorite toy with their blankets pulled high up to their chins. As I gently wake them up, little smirks appear on their faces and sometimes a hand reaches out for me or full blown arms for a big bear hug; all still with eyes shut tight and squeaky little noises being made with their throats.

I am thankful for the precious words that melt my heart on a daily basis. "I just love you so much, Mommy." "Mommy, can you please play with me?" "When I grow up, I want to be as soft and cozy as you and Daddy." "Will you stay with me forever, Mommy and never leave?... except on boys night?"

I am thankful for good moods and excitement. When getting the mail seems to be as exciting as an amusement park, when a plan to have movie night makes them shout right out loud "YAY! Movie Night!!!" or when they are so excited to show me a toy they built out of Legos that they will literally jump up and down as I look at the intricate detail. These moments of pure elation, I am so grateful for.

I am thankful for smiles. Simple smiles from my boys direct to me; from across the room, at the dinner table, when I pick them up after school and they run to me with so many teeth showing I can count the lot of them....

I am thankful that they want to share with me; their meal, their crayons, their toys or stories of the day's happiest moments.

In the dark quiet of this bedtime moment, I sit finishing up this necessary account of thankfulness and I hear the sweet serenade of soft yawns and little snores. (with an occasional cough) But as I sit here, I am not thinking about the traumatic morning routine and drop off we had this morning or the horrendous bedtime routine tonight. It was a rough day with not a lot of smiles from one of my boys, not too much sharing or excitement. But I think more in this moment about how blessed I am to have two such genuinely well behaved children who get excited and gitty about the little events in life; bath-time, underwear on their head and our Elf on a Shelf. Being gitty is definitely contagious and though I may not get the same rush of fever over getting the mail each day, I am gitty about being loved by such a wonderful family....even when it is "just boys night."