I think it can be easy in this commercialized era to become obsessed with new things. Although I too sometimes wish I had the best of everything, like when my car was broken I wish I could have just ran out & bought a new one (Dream BIG Leah). But at the end of the day I realize that there will always be a bigger this or a nicer that, the real challenge in life is being able to be happy with what we have in front of us, within an arm’s reach.
So this Valentine’s Day instead of getting my undies in a wad because my husband didn’t get sucked into the jewelry commercials and buy me something that sparkles, accompanied by something edible with a side of gonna be dead in a week. Instead I’m going to be grateful for what I got. One of my New Year’s resolutions, which I think might be one of the biggest challenges in life.
1- Sunshine: Earlier this month we had a few days of beautiful sunshine. It is amazing how good the sun feels on your face after being stuck inside for a few months. We spent Saturday afternoon with friends, then dinner with Tyler’s Mom. Sunday we cleaned up the back yard & played with the kids. Monday we had a play date at the park. Tuesday it rained. So it goes in the Evergreen State.
2- Our Cars: Although my car is considered old to some (2005), Baby Blue just broke 100,000. In December & January we had to invest in some repairs but for the most part she has been a fabulous car. It wasn’t that long ago when Tyler & I were on the bus to & from work, walking to Albertson’s for groceries. Now we are a 2 car household & I’m grateful.
3- Showers: I used to be in the shower and think of how some people in developing nations don’t have running water or hot showers. I’d be grateful in the moment & say a prayer for them to one day experience the pleasure. Now, the more I do outreach, the more I come to appreciate a shower in a different way. I have come in contact with people who live on the streets, here in our wealthy nation. Some of the people have gone weeks without a shower. And even during the winter storm, we have a gas water heater, so we were able to shower.
4- Backyard: I’ll be honest; I get annoyed with our current rental house sometimes. We live in an older house so there are plenty of things that need repair. However, I have loved having a back yard. Issac has loved being able to stomp around outside from day one. Now Josie is starting to enjoy being outside as well. I love sitting on the grass & watching as the kid’s imaginations run wild during their playtime. Issac currently plays a ton of Buzz & Woody. “Buzz to the resuce”.
5- Dinner: Before we had children Tyler & I ate out a lot. Last year we had to trim our food budget. I guess we always considered cooking at home healthier but never thought about the cost when we were a two income household. Now, every 2 weeks, I make a menu & do our shopping. We spend a great deal less money because we don’t “just run to the store”. We also both cook more & I stretch our money further by having leftovers on the nights Tyler has class til 10pm. THE BEST PART: we turn off the TV and sit at the table and enjoy meals as a family. Starting this tradition now.
6- Pictures: Not too long ago someone made a comment about how we spend too much money on professional pictures of our children. In short I wanted to say, “Is it your money”? However truth be told, my brother passed away at a young age & one of my Mom’s regrets is the lack of pictures we have. So I over compensate, life is short & we have no idea what the future holds. It is that simple.
7- My friends: My Grandma passed away on New Year’s Eve and I drove the 2.5 hour drive home from Bellingham that afternoon. Only a real friend would sit on the phone with you, on a holiday & listen to you blubber as you drive home. (Yes, I have a blue tooth). I’m so grateful to Di, Shobi & Erin.
8- My family: Nobody is perfect but my family is ALWAYS behind me. The bond, my Grandma, my Mom, my Aunt and myself have will remain strong forever. They have always been supportive of my decisions, my goals and my dreams. As I age, I realize that a large amount of people don’t have this kind of support & have come to appreciate what I got.
9- My kids: Nothing feels better after a crappy day then a hug from my kids. Issac gives the best hugs, he even pats your back as he squeezes! Plus I’m grateful to have healthy children. AND although some days my kids make me completely crazy, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being a stay at home Mom.
10-Tyler: I don’t think that any relationship looks perfect from the outside but for us; our marriage is perfect for us. Before we were a couple, we were friends. 2011 was a year that tested us, emotionally, financially, outside pressures, and medical stresses. Instead of giving up like so many people do, we both began & continue to make a combined effort to improve the areas of our life that cause us stress. For Tyler, he began to see a therapist. This step alone was a true effort on his part to become a better person, a better father and a better husband. The affect this has on us, our relationship & our family has been huge. I’m grateful beyond words that I found someone who is willing to stand up and fight for his family instead of taking the easy road out. It is true, “If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, maybe you need to spend some time caring for your own lawn”.
So when I get down about something that is not in my control I think of these things, the simple things in life. These are the things that truly matter. This Valentine’s Day I had a candle light dinner prepared when Tyler got home from class with Flowers & a card for me. The kids were both asleep & we had a truly delightful time. I think this is our new valentine’s tradition, a candle lit dinner for two at 10pm. It’s not about what others tell you will make you happy, it is about what truly makes you happy.
~ XOXO ~ Leah