And then they…

the things we do to live a better life.

Archive for the tag “gratitude”

Friday Gratitudes 19

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Friday the 9th: Imagination.  I am constantly amazed by Alma’s imagination. This is such a fun age.

Saturday the 10th: Play. I love how Alma can play while we work. Also, we saw an amazing play at Oregon Contemporary Theatre starring my beautiful and talented friend Hillary Ferguson. Go see it!

Sunday the 11th: Mothers.

Monday the 12th: Babies.

Tuesday the 13th: Work.

Wednesday the 14th: Daniel. We got to have lunch with my incredible brother, who is now on vacation in Europe before moving to Virginia.

Thursday the 15th: Forgiveness. I had to be very forgiving as it was possibly my worst day as a parent. Lots of different bodily fluids all over. Also grateful at my daughters’ capacity to forgive my frustration.

So glad it’s Friday again!

The Pollyanna Principle

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I’ve been called a Pollyanna before.  I totally took it as a compliment (though I’m not sure it was meant that way).  I have noticed over the years, that I tend to try to find the good in all situations.  That isn’t to say that I don’t get disappointed or upset.  I do.  I sure do.

But, I always try to find something to be glad about – hence the Pollyanna Principle.

I know that the internet has really changed the way we communicate with people about our lives.  Facebook, Instagram, and blogs are full of amazing photos of incredible vacations, happy kids, balanced meals, perfect houses, and enriching activities.  The way we can instantly and widely share our accomplishments definitely gives a false sense of perfection to many people.  I am guilty of doing this.

But I don’t feel guilty about it.

Why share this blurry, sad photo:

And Then They - Sad

When I could, instead, share this adorable, (more) happy photo:And Then They - Happy

As a quote (perhaps falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln (the internet it torn on this issue)) in the movie Pollyanna says, “When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will.”  This can be said about ourselves as well.  If I look for the bad in myself, I will become mostly bad.  If I look for the good, I will focus on that and become good.

I know that I have bad traits.  I try not to focus on them, but to be aware of them.  I do, however, try to focus on my good traits.  If I put my energy into the things I can do well, I feel that that goodness will spread into the things I can’t.

My One Little Word of the year is Gratitude, and this totally connects to my positive attitude.  Every single day, I think about what I’m grateful for, and usually I have to work hard to find a single word that can express the goodness of my day.  Even on my roughest, toughest days, I’m able to find something to be grateful about.  This morning Alma peed her pants, drew on herself, and woke Harriet up.  I felt myself getting really angry, so I took a moment to just be grateful for my beautifully frustrating 2-year-old, and remind myself that she is a 2-year-old. It took a lot of energy to be glad in the moment.  But, after a couple deep breaths, I was glad.

There is a lot of genuine positivity on the internet.  I wanted to share some of my favorite blogs and vlogs where the Pollyanna Principle is living and breathing:

First is my friend Evynne Hollens’ YouTube channel.  If you want to hear some beautiful music, and watch a new mom’s journey, please check out her channel.  Evynne has always been one of the most positive people I’ve known, and she is also one of the most successful people I’ve known.  I am going to say that those two things are related.  Watch this video about her amazing attitude, and this beautiful cover of Alma’s favorite song.

These are my three favorite blogs.  Whenever I do a reader clean-up, these three stay on the top of my Favorites list.  They are all inspired.

Kal Barteski is an amazingly strong and beautiful artist.  She has her own Girl Tribe.  She understand the power of encouragement and positivity.  Check out her project that tells people all over the world how awesome they are.  Kal is truly awesome.

Elise Blaha Cripe has a lovely attitude, and a lovely blog.  Her little corner of the internet is full of great tips, and beautiful photos.

The blog that is mostly likely to make me cry (and I love a good cry) is Girls Gone Child.  Rebecca Woolf is giving her four children the most amazing childhood full of music, dancing, creativity, expression, adventure, camaraderie, and love.  She isn’t one to shy away from the difficult or the mundane, and that is why I keep going back to her.

 

 

Friday Gratitudes 16

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Friday 18th: Timing. Twenty minutes  Alma and I left our waffle date, the restaurant was robbed at gun point.

Saturday the 19th: Plants.

Sunday the 20th: Miracles.

Monday the 21st: 8 Months!

Tuesday the 22nd: Photographs.

Wednesday the 23rd: Mom.

Thursday the 24th: Dad.

Friday Gratitudes 15

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Friday the 11th: Jesse.
Saturday the 12th: Muscles. 
Sunday the 13th: Leia.  My wonderful friend. She is smart and fun. AND she generously shares her milk with Harriet. What a blessing.
Monday the 14th: Jesse. When I forgot my keys at home, Jesse brought them all the way across town to me.
Tuesday the 15th: Steve.  Not only was it Steve’s birthday, but he also brought me another forgotten key. Trying not to make it a habit…
Wednesday the 16th: Augustines. Harriet’s fun August friends brought their friends over for dinner.
Thursday the 17th: Church. Read my post about Maundy Thursday.

Friday gratitudes 14

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Friday the 4th:  Fridays.  I was really feeling gratitude for having fridays.  It could be because I had worked a full week, and was just very happy to be home for a whole weekend with my family.

Saturday the 5th: Henrys.

Sunday the 6th: Jerry’s.   We started working on our fun shelving project!

Monday the 7th: BBQ.  Yay spring!

Tuesday the 8th: Gram’s House. I know.  Two words.  But one idea.

Wednesday the 9th: Sunshine.

Thursday the 10th: Magic. I had a wonderfully magic day with my students – full of social justice, self advocacy, hijinks, and hilarity.  Then I got to go meet the magic that is baby Ashland.  My sweet and talented friend Evynne and her husband, Peter have a new baby. I was lucky enough to take them dinner, and hold Ashland while they ate.  I was blown away by the positivity that all three of the Hollens were exuding.  And I was blown away with the realization of how fast this flys by.  My baby was Ashland’s size mere months ago.  My oh my.

 

Friday Gratitudes 11

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Friday the 14th: Patience.  I totally lost my voice and my students were amazingly patient.

Saturday the 15th: Novruz!  Fire jumping, egg cracking, baklava eating!

Sunday the 16th: Dad’s. Dinner at my dad’s was great.

Monday the 17th: Voice.

Tuesday the 18th: Fenugreek.  Holy milk.  Thank God for this little miracle.

Wednesday the 19th: Students. I asked a lot from my kids for the last day before spring break and they rose to the challenge beautifully. Mock trials, Socratic seminars.  Amazing.

Thursday the 20th: SPRING!

Friday Gratitudes 10

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Friday the 7th: Mom. My lovely mom helped me get ready for the baptism party, and watched A, H, and another baby so we could meet with our priest.

Saturday the 8th: Babes, or more specifically the Babes With Axes.

Sunday the 9th: God.  Our sweet Harriet was baptized and it was wonderful.

Monday the 10th: Home.

Tuesday the 11th: Smoker.  My dad had us over for ribs cooked on his new smoker.  Best. Ribs. Ever.

Wednesday the 12th: Olivia S. Is an amazing teacher and such a helpful, positive person.

Thursday the 13th: Honey.  For my horrible sore throat. 

Harriet’s Baptism

And Then They - WaterHarriet was Baptized today at our wonderful church.  We are so blessed to have a lovely church to attend.  We couldn’t ask for a better priest than Bingham, and are so glad that he was able to baptize both Alma and Harriet. And Then They - OilHarriet did really well.  You can see in the photo above that Alma was a little concerned about what Father Bingham was putting on her forehead.  It was oil, and part of my favorite part of the baptism ceremony.  The priest puts oil on her forehead, eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet and says:

I bless your eyes that you may see God’s image in everyone.
I bless your ears that you may hear the cry of the poor.
I bless your lips that you speak nothing but the gospel of Jesus.
I bless your hands that everything you receive and everything you give may be a sacrament.
I bless your feet that you may run to those who need you.

And Then They - LightOur dear friends Stu and Jacque are Harriet’s Godparents, and we are so lucky to have them.  Their son Edison is just 9 days older than Harriet, so it is extra special to have them be such an important part of her life.

And Then They - CelebratingNot only do we love Father Bingham, but we also were blessed to have a retired priest be the Celebrant at the service.  Father Ted was my priest all growing up, and even married us.  It was really special to have him be a part of the service for Harriet.

And Then They - Harriet's Godparents

Photo by Katrina Henry!

And Then They - Alma's GodparentsI realized that we never got a photo of Father Bingham, Alma, and her Godparents, so we took this as an opportunity to correct this oversight.  Just a couple years after the baptism.  We love Kenton and Katrina and are so blessed to have them in our lives.  They are beautiful Godparents to Alma.

And Then They - PartyAfter the service, we had lots of friends and family over to celebrate.  I love when our house is filled with so many loved ones.  Alma and Harriet are so lucky to have so many great friends who love them so much.

And Then They - Best FriendsThese are Alma’s best friends, above.  Rach was her nanny last year, and is her best friend now.  Rory is her best similarly-aged friend, who also had the pleasure of having Rach as his nanny.  This threesome is pretty great.  They are so bonded in such a fun, lovely way.  Rach’s mom came up and was able to help Rach baby sit Alma, Harriet, and their cousins on Saturday night so we could go to a concert.  They came to the baptism, also.

And Then They - In a FortRach is a pretty talented fort builder.  All the kids loved playing in it, and Alma’s cousins even got to sleep in it on Saturday night.

And Then They - Video GamesOf course, video games are always a big draw.  These guys deserved it since they had just done a wonderful job at church during the baptism.

And Then They - Sweet HarrietCongratulations, Sweet Harriet.  Your enthusiasm and joy is so wonderful.  You are so, so loved.

* All photos (unless otherwise indicated) were taken by my mother-in-law, and edited by me.  Thanks for being our photographer!

Friday Gratitudes 9

AndThenThey - Harriet Hattie AndThenThey - Hattie and a Sweet Potato AndThenThey - FrozenAndThenThey - Birdhouse

AndThenThey - Crafting for NovruzAndThenThey - Running in the Rain AndThenThey - Rain Reflections AndThenThey - A the GymAndThenThey - SamaniFriday the 28th- Calm.  Both Jesse and I were able to keep our calm when Alma smashed her face into our bed and blood was pouring our of her mouth.  I think a tooth went through her lip, but the bleeding stopped pretty quickly, so we just gave her some ice and watched it.  Scary to see our baby’s blood outside her body.  So grateful that we didn’t freak out, and that we kept her from mirrors, so she didn’t freak out.

Saturday the 1st – Frozen.  Again.  We took Alma to her first movie and she loved it.  I really hope she acquires my love for musicals.

Sunday the 2nd – Oscars.

Monday the 3rd – Dr.Bradshaw.  We really have the best pediatrician in the world.  She has been a hero of mine since my 19th birthday.  We had Harriet’s 6 month check-up, and as always, Dr. Bradshaw was a breath of fresh air.  I’m not sure she knows just how much she means to me, but that’s okay.

Tuesday the 4th – Toddlers. I love watching Alma interact with her friends.  She is learning so much, making so many mistakes, doing so many strange things.  I’m glad to see her with other odd little ducks.

Wednesday the 5th – Ashes. We didn’t actually make it to an Ash Wednesday service, but I was glad to know it was happening.  And the season of Lent always feels sort of magical.

Thursday the 6th – Gymnastics. We met a couple sweet friends for the open-gym time at a local gym.  These kids are so much fun, and so able!

Friday Gratitudes – 8

And Then They - DoiliesAnd Then They - Music ClassAnd Then They - SwingingAnd They They - SunningAnd Then They - 33And Then They - CurlsAnd Then They - SavorAnd Then They - Irises And Then They - Strolling

Friday the 21st:  Subbing – My first day back at work.  Oh boy do I love middle schoolers!  I missed my babes, but it was great to spend some time with those amazing big kids.

Saturday the 22nd: Music – Incredible music class taught by my talented friend Jodie.

Sunday the 23rd: Puddles

Monday the 24th: Swings

Tuesday the 25th: Friends – Such a great way to celebrate my birthday.

Wednesday the 26th: Frozen – A wonderful movie to see with my dear friends.  It completely satisfied my love of musical theater.

Thursday the 27th: Pandora – My Audra McDonald station is on a roll of my favorite songs right now.  Gotta be grateful for that!

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