Spreading Thanks – Day 29


Each day holds so many pieces that we can be thankful for; then there are the pieces that we can decide to let either be positive, or negative. Today’s moment was one of

Little One playing with his cousin. She’s trying to explain to him that “teatime” is better than running around the room. 🙂 Good luck, girl!

those. Little One and I were asked to watch his cousin for the day. She is nearly his age, so it’s like having twin 1-year-olds (Shout out to those awesome parents who tackle twins/multiples!). Now, this could have been viewed as a stressful and exhausting day, and there were surely moments of the day that did feel like that (When do children plot to scatter into opposite directions? I don’t hear the conspiracy, but I sure do see it acted out.). However, as I watched these two children play, I chose to view this day in a more positive light. I was getting to watch two cousins play, talk in their baby language, share toys and whine (When not sharing toys.); this seemed so special to me. Perhaps it’s because I did not really grow up around any cousins, so I have not experienced this unique bond that I’ve heard others speak of, or maybe it is just because these two kids are pretty enjoyable…but whatever the cause, I ended up viewing this opportunity in a positive light. I was thankful for the chance to watch them, but more so, I was excited about watching them grow through experiencing the day together. It’s truly a blessing that is challenging to put into words because the emotions extend beyond a keyboard.


Ahmeli… that we can learn to spin challenging days into positive ones.

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Spreading Thanks – Day 28

Today’s thanks is connected to Day 2. This image displays the final product of our latest Baba Inspiration project – the Thankful Tree. “Together,” Little One and I wrote messages throughout the month about some of the many things that we are grateful for in regards to our husband/father. Somewhere in the planning process I counted incorrectly because we finished before the final day in November, but I do not see that as a big issue because we could write far more than 30 statements on the handprints. I mentioned before that I do these Baba Inspirations because they ended up being something that my husband enjoyed seeing more than I realized; however, this month I recognized another benefit to these projects. I discovered that this provides an opportunity for me to become a better Help Meet because it pushes me to look for the positive in my husband when I’m not feeling oh-so-happy. I will openly admit that when this occurs, it is typically because I am disappointed in how I behaved that day as a wife, not due to the actions of my husband (however he is not perfect either and so sometimes it is a result of him, but most of the time it’s my…. interesting?… personality. Ya, let’s go with that! LOL). That being said, this month I realized that this tree was giving me the chance to get over my funky attitude or overly critical moment, and embrace another one of the many tender qualities that God designed within my husband. Thus this intended blessing for him, became a blessing for us.


Ahmeli… that we recognize the moments in life when we are being taught indirect lessons.

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Spreading Thanks – Day 27

In recent days, I’ve been around some lovely people who are from the “older” generation. It’s made me reflect on how quickly we really do age and the challenges that one may face as health begins to decline. Some days I feel “old.” (Nope, not going to state my age. ) Getting out of bed seems to take a little longer, I consciously select to sit on a chair versus the floor and what I eat seems to stay on my body for good (thus no scale in our house! ) Yet I do know that I’m not yet “that old,” but I feel like my body is reminding my mind that the clock is ticking.
As I watch the elders, I see their struggle on their faces. Winces of pain. Confusion as to why legs don’t move when they are telling them to step forward. Displeasure with the tasteless, puréed food that they are now served more and more often.  And the pure hardship of knowing that you have to rely on someone else to help you to take care of your most personal needs. I watch as one’s feelings of self worth seem to decrease as they give over to the inevitable that has become their new reality. Seeing this shift in one’s life is heartbreaking. I wish I could restore their bodies. Give them back the functions that they desperately seek. Boost their self-confidence and pride.

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Spreading Thanks – Day 25

Little One watching the band play carols in the park.

Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to share a piece of my childhood with Little One – enjoying a Christmas parade. Now, the parade has changed a lot over the years. It’s perhaps 75% smaller than the size it was when I was a child. This is upsetting to see over the years, as it decreases more and more. When I was young, the parade consisted of emergency vehicles, several floats adorned with themed decorations, many groups walking together, several marching bands that went on and on and other creative participants (including a beautifully lit float that carried Santa). Tonight there was one very small marching band, one float, perhaps two walking groups, several fire trucks, and Santa could be seen on the back of a trolley. For some, this could be discouraging. Either people no longer want to participate, or something is making the parade less popular. However, instead of being upset about the continued poor turnout, I was able to watch the parade through Little One’s eyes. He wiggled and waved at all of the people who passed by. He gratefully accepted candy (which I lovingly took away…mean Mama, I know). No matter the size of the parade, he was going to be sure to enjoy each moment. It was such a motivational experience… to be content with what is presented to you, no matter the quality or quantity. Simple enjoy the moment.
Ahmeli… that we would genuinely appreciate that which is before us without holding it to any social standard. Just enjoy.

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Spreading Thanks – Day 23


The universal language.

A smile – the universal language. Today this statement spoke true time and time again. I took Little One with me to meet a new Congolese family who had recently arrived in the United States. They had been informed that someone would be stopping by their house to take them to the grocery store, although that is about all that we knew of one another. So, this afternoon, with Little One in his stroller, we arrived at their front porch. A teenage daughter looked out the window and I smiled and waved; she returned the gesture and went to open the front door. A few words were spoken in their native language and then out poured 2 little boys, 4 teenaged-ish daughters, a mother, a grandmother (I could write an entire post on the beauty and mystery behind this lady’s face. There was so much power in her subtle expressions.) and then a father. As soon as Little One saw all of these new people, he began to wave excitedly. No words. No shared verbal language. No history between the two families. Yet this child’s smile created smiles across everyone’s faces. The children began to giggle and excitedly discussed the baby’s greeting (I think LOL).

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Spreading Thanks – Day 21


During several moments today, I thought, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll skip the blog post today.” You see, I’m not exactly having a day where I feel thankful and I didn’t want to just make something up because that’s not my character. On the other hand, I felt like I should push myself to find something to be thankful for today (in complete honesty, there are tons of things that we may easily overlook). So this back and forth had me twisted all day. I was trying to think of a list: I’m alive, I have a house, I have a loving family…see, there are things. Yet inside, I just wasn’t feeling it, and this is why….

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Spreading Thanks – Day 20


Today we had the opportunity to take Little One to a play area for a quick visit. During that time, he made several friends, such as Mr. Duck. About fifteen minutes into our playtime, a child entered with his father. This little boy began to excitedly play on the


Mr. Duck

equipment while his father interacted with him. Little One insisted on following them around and making sure to wave “hello” to them until they responded (this is becoming a routine with him and he will keep trying until the stranger interacts). The other little boy seemed a little taken back by the fact that this younger child was following him around, but things remained positive. A few minutes later, the young child’s mother entered the area and so Little One proceeded to go over and greet her as well. She warmly responded and spoke with Little One for a while. During this time, Little One waddled around the equipment and continued to observe the older child in close proximity. And without fail, he would eventually find his way back to this child’s mother and proceed to hold onto her leg, or rest his head in her lap. At one point she kindly asked if we were okay with him holding onto her, to which we gave our consent, adding in as long as she was okay with it as well. Little One interacted with this family as if we had been friends with them for his entire life, versus the strangers that they were according to society’s definitions. These behaviors continued for the length of our stay and eventually we said “goodbye” and departed.

As I reflected on this short interaction, I was reminded of a goal that I gave to myself a few months ago; Continue reading