And then they…

the things we do to live a better life.

Archive for the tag “one little word”

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 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. 

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 6

Friday the 7th –  Health.  After dealing with two days of throwing up, I was so happy to have a healthy Alma again.

Saturday the 8th – Power.  Much of our town was without electricity for quite a while.  I was so grateful that our power stayed on.  I didn’t know what I would do with my two little ones if it got super cold in our house.

Sunday the 9th – Club.  I got to get out of the house to go to a baby shower for a sweet friend who’s in a sort of club of moms with me.  I also got out again to go to book club.  I love all my lady-friends!

Monday the 10th – Grandparents.

Tuesday the 11th – Phone-calls.  I got some good ones today.

Wednesday the 12th –  Alone.  I got some amazing alone time getting coffee and an allergy shot.  Hey!  I take what I can get!

Thursday the 13th – Date.  Drinks and appetizers with my Valentine.

And Then They - Candles Make Light

Friday Gratitudes 2

This has been a long week that flew by.  In the moment, I couldn’t believe it was taking so long, but last night I realized, ‘hey!  It’s Thursday!’  I love that.

10.  Books – Alma has gotten so good at sitting through a book, even books with lots of words.  I love it.
11. Muscles – First training day for Couch to 5K.  My muscles were soooore, but it was a good kind of sore.  Grateful to have strong legs and a body that can put up with what I give it.
12. Pancakes
13. Wine
14. Nanapapa – Dinner with my dad and step-mom. I love how Alma says their name as one. “Nanapapa, nanapapa!”
15. Rach – we had an amazing nanny last year while I was teaching. She and Alma have formed the most incredible bond. Alma freaks out and lights up when she sees Rach, and I think Rach feels the same way. We still see her a couple times a month and it is lovely.
16. 2110 – while on my training run (ha), I finally met the woman who lives in my old house. We live about a half mile from the house I grew up in, and we walk by it all the time. I have wanted to meet the owners for a long time, but never saw them outside. On the 16th, the woman was getting the mail, so I introduced myself. So fun to hear that they have a daughter who sleeps in my old room.

There you have it, folks! So much for which to be grateful! Here’s to my next week of gratitudes! What have you been grateful for the past week?

One Little Word – Gratitude

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I have done Ali Edward’s One Little Word project in the past, but I’ve never really done much with it.  In 2009 my word was FOCUS because I was in grad school and knew that I needed to focus on my schoolwork, my marriage, my friends, whatever I was doing.  It worked for me that year.  Since 2009, I can’t remember if I ever picked a word.  Obviously it didn’t leave in impact if I did.

Every November, I like to do the 30 days of Thanksgiving, or 30 Days of Gratitude on Instagram.  It is fun to intentionally think of something everyday that I was thankful for.  It was often little things, but those things are important, too.  It feels so good to pay attention to, and acknowledge the things for which I am grateful. I want to feel that way the whole year.

For 2014, I want to really focus (there’s that word again) on being grateful.

Here’s a confession: Being home all the time with Alma and Harriet is really hard.  I spend a lot of time calculating how much time until Jesse comes home, we have a play date, my parents are coming over, nap-time… I don’t know that I am the kind of person who thrives being a stay-at-home full time parent.

That isn’t saying I don’t enjoy my kids, or my time at home with them.  I really love them, and get a lot out of being with them.  While it is hard being home, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to leave them (especially Harriet right now) somewhere else, or with someone else.  Whenever I do get a break from them, I find myself rushing back home to be with them again.  And boy do I miss them when they’re sleeping.  It’s a confusing feeling… when they’re awake I can’t wait to get them down, but when they’re down, I just want to hang out with them.

Anyway… I want to be grateful for this time.  I want to be more grateful during the time I have with my daughters.  I will never have kids this age again.  Alma is so funny, and I love watching her learn new things.  Harriet is just waking up to our amazing world.  I also want to be actively grateful for other things in my life.  I really am very lucky to have such a full life, I want to give thanks for it.

Gratitude. 2014, bring on the things for which to be thankful!

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