Day Forty-Five – Feeling happiness

My marriage and my relationship with my husband was one of the main reasons I started this journey. We just aren’t in the place I’d like us to be. There are so many stressful parts of life and I don’t want my chosen family to ever be described that way. Our troubles stem from the little things that build up over years, so it will take time to undo, but we both know that this is our chance to make it better before it gets so bad it’s unfixable.

Our story is one of true love… we’ve been together since we were 16 (ok, I was 17 and he was 16) and our bond with one another and loyalty to each other has never wavered. However, after 13+ years, we truly did begin to take our relationship and each other for granted. No need to get into the nitty gritty details, but we sat down for a heart-to-heart the other night and I told him what I really needed from our relationship to be happy. This is something I’ve tried the subtle approach with or the do as wish and they will follow method. My plea was simple, he was the one who brought out the loving affectionate side of me to begin with, so I need him to help me find that girl again.

After a week of some amazing efforts on his part, I truly feel a happiness beginning to paint my daily life. My heart feels more full, I feel like singing, my head is filled with loving thoughts about him, and this happy spontaneous love is spilling over into my relationship with our son. It is absolutely wonderful so far. The most useful advice I’ve read so far, and which we are trying to put to action is: Make sure your spouse/partner always comes first, your children will get more from that then if they are put first.

I sincerely hope that this is our road to happiness as we lay one brick of love at a time. Our 5 year wedding anniversary is in a few months and I’m starting to get excited about possible plans.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Day Thirty-Eight – The beauty of nature

There is nothing that grounds me more than the awe-inspiring wonder of nature: sunsets, waterfalls, snow-covered trees, bubbling creeks, and chirping birds. It all is so humbling and helps one to appreciate the present.

Late last summer we moved from the sunny beaches of California to the rain-soaked river city of Portland, Oregon. Our son is a completely different child when he’s outdoors exploring and playing, so this was a great decision for us. Better yet, yesterday Portland got its first (and probably only) snow of the season. It’s absolutely magical watching the snow float down and coat the ground with its sparkly white quiet.

This morning our whole world was cloaked in a blanket of snowy folds, and I spent a few moments appreciating the sight before my son and I charged outside to play in it. I’ll spend a few more moments soaking up the serenity tonight before I head up to bed.

Day Thirty-Five – One of the lucky ones

We’ve had a rough weekend of sickness, separation anxiety, and no sleep in our house. Today, after taking my son to his weekly occupational therapy appointment, I took a deep breath and thought about how lucky I am.

Lucky enough to stay at home with my son. Lucky enough to have the time to take him to his therapy appointments. Lucky enough to stay up with him all night when he needs it. Lucky enough to have the time and the resources to accomplish these tasks with minimal stress (well, minimal is used subjectively here). Deciding to be a stay-at-home mom was originally a choice, though it became quite clear after our son was born that it was also a necessity. Juggling his needs while trying to keep a regular job would be extremely difficult, so I am happy to be one of the lucky ones!

Day Twenty-Eight – Quilting for charity

I’ve been wanting to attempt this task forever, but I had to put quilting aside for the past three years. Well, I’m back in the game baby!

My recent attempt at organizing my sewing room led to a massive fabric explosion as I tried to fold and sort my ginormous stash. I love my stash, but there are quite a few fabrics that I don’t really like that are currently taking up space in my creativity-zone. This year I would like to “get rid” of the fabrics I don’t love by sewing them into quilts for charity. There are so many great aspects to this plan, including the fact that I can experiment with new patterns and techniques without feeling the pressure to create perfection.

I’ve already started my first two quilts! One is purple and orange and will be made of small Lone Star blocks, which I’ve always been very nervous about trying. The second started with a cutesy animal panel in the center and I’m sashing it in a variety of styles. I’m so excited to use up these fabrics and develop my quilting skills at the same time.

But the absolute best part about this entire project is that my quilts will go to kids who more than deserve some extra affection and attention. My fabric shop is connected to an awesome organization that delivers quilts to each child who is in the process of being removed from their home and placed into foster care. Even though I have no firsthand experience with this issue, their need hits my heart hard. I just can’t imagine not having a safe, stable, and loving family for the duration of one’s childhood.

I hope these kids will find love, warmth, and comfort wrapped up in each of my quilts!

Day Twenty-Five – Potty trained 2 year old

On Friday morning while dropping my son off at preschool, a little girl walked in (still in her pjs) and announced, “I’m wearing a diaper.” The teacher then asked her if she’d like to change into her underwear, and she said yes.

Now there is absolutely nothing shocking about this situation, but it made me freeze in my tracks and thank my lucky stars. This girl just celebrated her 4th birthday and I deduced from this situation that she still isn’t fully night trained. My boy has been day and night trained since he was 28 months old, and it was relatively easy compared to common accounts of the process.

My son has given us many challenges in his short life, so I was prepared to wait until he was at least 3 before attempting any sort of potty training. I wanted to make sure he could communicate well and that he understood what I was asking him to do. But it just kind of happened. At 27 months old he basically trained himself in a few weeks. I hadn’t even bought underwear for him or researched potty training methods yet.

I’m pretty sure our luck with this matter has something to do with his strong-will and independent personality.

Day Twenty-Two – Sickness

Last night was rough. My son caught some sort of virus and came down with a fever and a cough. He is not one to sleep extra hours when sick, in fact, it is quite the opposite. I think I may have gotten about four hours of sleep last night. As he sat on my lap during one of his fits of misery, I thought to myself, “I am so lucky, this really is the worst health issue he’s had in his life – a bad cold once a year.” I smiled to myself holding him as tightly as he’d let me, thankful that regardless of the lows, our child’s health has been a subconscious source of happiness.

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