Friday, November 16, 2012

Gratitude Day 16

Today I am grateful for:

1) The events of 7 years ago today, which forever changed our lives for the better.

2) Feeling emotionally lighter and more at ease than I have in a while.  Since the results of the election, I have found myself more invested than ever in reading and educating myself on our president, his administration and the many issues and challenges our country is facing right now.  Unfortunately, of the hours I have spent researching, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that there is a fine line between educating yourself on politics and allowing it to consume you.  In the end, I found that it was doing more damage than good; making me bitter, resentful, cynical and just plain negative!  And worst of all, I felt very separated from the Spirit and from the sweet values I hold dear and rely on for strength.  Yesterday I had an unpleasant discussion with some friends, some of whose views differ from mine.  It was such a rotten feeling to have opened my mouth when I should have practiced tact and then to watch what unfolded, all due to my heat of the moment anger.  THAT is when I decided it was time to replace the garbage with something uplifting.  What started out as awful, though, actually ended up being good when one friend and I found common ground and were able to talk pleasantly.  My heart was softened and I was greatly humbled by her example to politely disagree but not tear me down in the process.  This morning I woke up feeling a weight lifted, and a greater desire to be like that friend: to not pass judgement so easily, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and more than anything, to be Christ-like.  Another thing I have learned in all of this, as I've really searched my soul, is that sometimes it is best to just say a prayer and move on!  :)  

3) My morning with Ryan, again.  I am positive I have been grateful for this before.  :)  He is just such a joy to have around that I can't help being grateful every single day!  Today I was determined to make every minute of our morning count before preschool.  We came home from dropping Chloe off and immediately played Yahtzee, followed by Ants in Pants.  Then we put together two puzzles.  Of course, Ryan lost interest about a third of the way into the second one.  He also helped me vacuum, and put the apple juice boxes into a bag to take to preschool for their Thanksgiving feast.  I so enjoy hanging with that cute boy.  He is my little buddy, and I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when he enters kindergarten.  At one point this morning I asked him, "Would you stop growing already?"  He replied, "I can't!"  When I asked, "Why not?", he replied, "Because Jesus would be mad if I stopped!"  Love him.  Here are some pictures of the fun he and I had today.
Caught red-handed!!
He wanted his hair to be "silly," so we spiked it.  Love his boots and honest expression.
Doing show and tell at preschool.  This is definitely one of Ryan's favorite things.
My view leaving Ryan's preschool to drive home.  Isn't it heavenly?  LOVE Land Park!!
This photo speaks a thousand words.  What a little stink.  But how can you resist that smile?  Oh, I love him.
4) Talking to my grandma on the phone, which is something I have not had a chance to do in almost two months!  She took a fall back in September and spent several weeks in a Rehab facility.  Since then she has had virtually every type of therapy you can imagine.  Physical, occupational, speech.  It was quite traumatic for her (rightfully so), and given the fact that she's about to turn ninety-six, I'd say she's handled it pretty darn well!  So, long story short, she moved into my parent's house on Tuesday.  She had finished her time at the rehab place but wasn't enough improved to go back to the assisted living place where she lived.  It just made the most sense that she move in with my parents, and they have been WONDERFUL with her so far.  I am so amazed and impressed by their goodness.  It makes me cry to think about what loving hands Grandma is in.  It kills me that I'm not there to help, but I think about her and my parents constantly, and am praying that all continues to run smoothly.

Among other things, Grandma has struggled with talking on the phone, and outright refused to do it.  I think part of it stems from being on oxygen 24/7.  That cannot be comfortable!  Anyway, I was chatting with my mom tonight and suddenly I heard grandma's voice!  Somehow my mom had convinced her to talk to me.  We weren't on the phone long, but it sure was wonderful to hear her voice.  I have MISSED it!  She is such a sweet soul, and has brought me many moments of comfort.  She sounded a lot weaker than she ever has before, but I could still sense that sharp and determined spirit in there, which I so deeply love.  Chatting with her was definitely one of the highlights of my day.  When my mom came back to the phone, she said, "Do you know how special you are that she'd talk to you!?"  I had to chuckle.  Pretty special, obviously! :)
This was taken at the end of August, just before Grandma's fall.  We took this just before saying goodbye.  Hope I get to see her again very soon.

5) A late night board game with Chloe.  Apparently, she decided to catch a cold just in time for her birthday tomorrow.  She was pretty miserable when I tucked her into bed, and I listened from across the house, to her sniffles and even tears over the next 45 minutes.  I came in a few times to check on her, give her medicine, etc., just hoping that at any minute she'd fall asleep.  Finally, when all else had failed, I decided to try one last thing.  So I went into her room and asked if opening a birthday present a day early might help her to feel better.  Boy did that work wonders!  She proceeded to open a board game we'd gotten her, which naturally led to us playing the game!  It was great, and so spontaneous.  She was in much better spirits when we finished the game and said goodnight, and now she's sound asleep on my bed. :)

Can I also just quickly say that I am grateful for Instagram!!  What a fast and easy way to share photos!  I am using my big camera less and less for the every day stuff because this is just so much easier!  The quality doesn't compare, of course, but with how little free time I have anymore, convenience plays a huge factor.


The Boone Family said...

It's the Boone's again. :) we have a Christmas card for you. Will you send me your new address? Congrats on the pregnancy. I love the graditude journal.

Valeri said...

Hello Boone family! I would love to share with you our new address, but I don't have YOUR email address or any other known way to contact you (your blog won't let me leave a comment). And since my blog is public I don't feel comfortable leaving my address for the world to see. Hopefully you see this comment and can email me.! I will respond to your email with our new address! Thanks for thinking of us. Oh, and I'm not pregnant. :) The picture I assume you were referring to was taken just before our first was born 7 years ago. :) Take care!

Cristi said...

I've had similar feelings about politics since Obama won. I've tried to learn more but I did find it consumed me, too! And I have to take a step back for a while. I also similar experiences during Prop 8 where I had discussions with people (on the internet) and it was hard for me to let go when they were so horribly mean and rude. It really taught me how to respond as Christ would even when I don't want to. It was hard but a good learning experience!