Wednesday, January 8, 2014

13 Simple Pleasures from 2013

I may just take the whole month of January to reflect on last year and look toward the future. Apparently "Be Present" no longer applies...ha!
Here's one more thing I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks.

I enjoyed many things in 2013.
Here are some of my favorites. In no particular order...

1. The kitchen in my new house.
It is like heaven. I want to cook more because of that kitchen. I want to spend most of the time in my house in that room. It is fantastic.

2. Starting over.
Moving into a different house gave me opportunities to rearrange things and redecorate with my old stuff. I could put furniture where I wanted, pictures somewhere new, dishes in a new cupboard. I got to start over. And with that, I was reminded that we all get to start over. Each day is new. We can choose to start over at any moment. I find myself starting my day over many times throughout the day. And man, am I glad that's an option.

3. Breathing.
When my son is upset or frustrated I tell him to breathe deeply. Now when he gets upset he'll tell me that he needs to breathe and, through sobs, he'll ask me to help him. We breathe together - deep breaths through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
And through this interaction with my son, I've learned how marvelous this technique really is in my own life. If I take a moment to breathe deeply before answering a hard question or dealing with something difficult, the situation seems more bearable.
Aside: Amelia Jayne now asks to breathe with me, too. :)

4. Watching my daughter blossom before my very eyes.
In 2013 Amelia Jayne was that age that seems to change so dramatically. I basically watched her turn into a little child this year. She learned to talk, to have an opinion, to run and jump. She goes potty, pretends to read to herself, plays with dolls, and attempts to brush her own teeth. I've watched her make decisions, get aggravated, make good and bad choices, learn to share willingly and sometimes get angry about sharing. She's done so many things this year that I can't even begin to express. And I feel so blessed that I get to be a part of it.

5. Confidence.
This is something that really comes and goes in my life. Though I know I'm not an expert at anything really, I've gained confidence in areas that I've struggled with in the past. Being a mother and wife are top on the list. It's interesting to me that when I lack confidence in one area it tends to bleed over into other areas of my life. I'm thankful that I'm a bit more confident these days in at least some areas of my life.

6. Time spent with my mom, even if it consists mostly of phone conversations.
I can't tell you how many times I've called my mom with questions about parenting, seeking advice and wisdom about life decisions, or just to chat. She's a wonderful lady and someone I greatly treasure having in my life.

7. Reading books.
I've tried to be more intentional about reading this year. I think I've done a much better job at taking the time to read. That makes me happy. :)

8. Conversations with my son.
He is such an intriguing little guy! He takes himself way too seriously and has a real obsession with needing to win and be first, and even though our conversations exasperate me sometimes, there have been many times I've left them with a feeling of awe and wonder. He asks great questions. Sometimes he "gets it" better than I do. His childlike faith and confidence amaze me. I have a lot to learn from that sweet and special boy.

9. Coffee.
I have loved coffee for a long time, but this year it has become a necessity...a borderline addiction. I love coffee. I'm drinking a cup right now, as a matter of fact.

10. Quality time with my husband.
Spending time with him is one of my favorite things. He's not much of a talker (as anyone who knows him can attest to) but he's a great listener and a great snuggler. It amazes me how much more I thrive when I've spent time with him, even if it's just sitting together for a few minutes at the end of the day.

11. Giggling with my babies.
Both of my kids are extremely ticklish. I know if I touch them in a certain way (basically anywhere on their bodies from their neck to their toes) they'll break into fits of laughter. Xander can be so serious, so when I do something silly or act a fool (which is often) he thinks it's so funny. I have accents and silly voices, I sing at the top of my lungs, I make funny faces or do things totally out of the blue. Amelia Jayne is constantly giving me her scrunched-up-nose-toothy-grin and tells me "You siddy, Mommy."
I am similar to Xander and tend to take myself too seriously, so I love to act silly with them. I hope both of my kids learn to laugh at themselves from an early age.

12. Serving at my church.
This year I switched from serving every other week to serving every week. I am so glad I made that change. Though it's hard at times to get up early every Sunday and get to church on time (especially since we moved further away) I thoroughly enjoy serving the children and the parents in Waumba Land. I'm grateful to be part of such an amazing church and fulfill the mission of Christ.

13. Coconut Oil.
I have a post coming about this soon, but let me tell you - there are so many uses for this stuff!

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