Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Simple Things in Life

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

Friday, February 10, 2012

Snow Storm 2012

Last year Issac loved the snow.  He enjoyed watching it fall outside & smiled the entire time Tyler pulled him around the yard & street in his sled.  This year we prepared for the same excitement by purchasing a second sled for Josie in October when they appeared in the stores.  November came & left without even a sprinkle of snow. The December dream for a white Christmas was a failure.

Leave it to my Grandma to have the first snow Josie ever saw the morning of her memorial service.  January 14th we woke up at my Mom’s house in Ferndale to beautiful layer of white powder.  With the forecast calling for more snow we headed home Saturday evening after the Memorial service to avoid becoming snowed in at Grandma’s house. 

Sunday morning from the moment we woke up Issac was at the window watching the snow.  We got the kids all bundled up & went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Monday while Tyler was at work I took the kids for a sled ride around the neighborhood & made homemade chicken chilli. Tuesday it was so cold outside everything looked like a sheet of ice so we stayed inside. 

Wednesday we awoke to a fresh layer of snow fall and big flakes which fell all day long.  Issac couldn’t wait to get outside & play. He kept running around & asking me, with his arms out; “Where is my blue sled Mom. Where is it”? I took the kids outside for a walk up & down the street before we played in the backyard with the dogs for a while.  When tyler got home, his classes at Green River were canceled so when he got home from work we went out for another walk and made a pitiful snowman. 

Thursday and Friday the snow continued to fall 7 the roads around our house were bad (ugh to living on a hill).  Tyler missed work so the kids & I got to enjoy a ton of time outside playing with Dad.  Thursday we bundled up & walked the .8 of a mile up to the store for eggs, chocolate and a movie to discover the store was without power.  Friday things were starting to warm up so tyler was able to shovel the car out in the afternoon.  We drove up to a different store to discover that they were also without power, no where nearby seemed to have power….

Saturday morning we awoke to a freezing cold house at 5am and instantly I knew.  Tyler was confused how I figured out our power was out so quickly & half asleep, he teased me about it all day.  We went to breakfast and hung out at home.  We were thankful that both our hot water heater & our stove were gas so we cold shower, cook & even heat the living room up.  Besides the TV not working, the kids enjoyed the power outage while Tyler & I played cars, colored and made play dough shapes with them.  Issac kept saying, “lets watch a movie Mom”. 

We camped out in the living room because it was the warmest room in the house. Sunday we left the kids watch a movie on the lap top and then went to breakfast at the Mc D’s with a play area to let the kids run around. After a visit with friends, our power was back on when we returned home.  I was quick to start the laundry 7 get the house back in order. However, it was days before the streets and stores around us returned to normal. 

We hope all our friends and family stayed warm in the snow & enjoyed it a little too.  Until next time……XOXO- Leah, Tyler, Issac & Josie.