Staying grateful.

I came home the other day to find this beautiful pot of Gerbera daisies sitting on my counter, no card or anything. I later found it was from my dear sister-in-law and family, who remembered that I have a special place in my heart for those big colorful daisies- they were the flowers I picked for my wedding. I love their bright, varied colors and simplicity. I love their big open faces. Such happy and unique flowers. They are basically perfect on my table. I didn’t used to think I was a girl who liked to get flowers, but I was wrong… I love flowers. I’m just not a red roses kind of girl. I love flowers in a pot that I can keep enjoying for a while- as a living thing. I like cut flowers that grow wild and imperfect around us, infusing a little color and fragrance in my indoor life. 

Yesterday we had work to do. These weekends are a little packed, so we kept it pretty simple yesterday. I passed on going out of town to see my grandparents- as it would have taken the whole day. I’m going to make a point to visit them in the next month, after things are a little more settled around here. Instead we woke up ridiculously early. Vera’s been waking up at around 6:15 these days due to the early sunrise, as opposed to her usual 7:30. We have to bargain with her to keep her from flipping out that we aren’t hopping right out of bed… no fun. We’re one step away from boarding up the windows to make it super dark in there. I may have to take a trip to the thrift store today to get another couple sets of curtains to double up with. Anyway, we went for brunch with Jeff’s side of the family and ate delicious food- waffles and fresh fruit and sausage… Jeff made omelettes to order (he was inspired after watching this video. I love him!). Then we came home and I finished the rest of my early planting and Jeff worked on the chicken coop and our potato boxes. He also fixed up and sharpened our old hand reel mower so we can cut the grass without using all that fuel! It was a good simple day, and I felt very loved. Below are marigolds that Jeff picked up for us.

I made some realizations about certain holidays/celebrations- especially the hallmark kind that have to do with family obligation and the buying of stuff… I woke up to a messy house, a whiny toddler, and a slightly sick partner. After much whining and nursing and tossing and turning in bed, I stumbled to the bathroom and Jeff said "Happy Mother’s Day!" Rather than evoke a smile, I found that the comment seemed to fill me with self-pity. I said thank you and went about the morning, but all the while I was entertaining all these fantasies of how the morning could have gone. Jeff could have swooped Vera up and let me sleep in. He could have made me a special breakfast. I don’t know. Because of the label put on that day, I experienced this misplaced sense of entitlement that made me more sour than I would have been normally. It’s funny, too, because I’d just talked to my friend the day before about how it’s just a hallmark holiday anyway. Anyway, later Jeff needed to take a shower, and I took the dog and Vera for a walk before we had to go. It was a really nice walk! Sunny, bright, cool. And still, little troublesome thoughts popped into my head like "why aren’t I the one in the hot shower…" and "I wanted to just take the dog for a faster walk. Vera slows us down so much. Jeff should be watching her." As we drove to Jeff’s parent’s house, he asked me why I seemed distant, and I was miraculously able to verbalize the honest reason. It was then that I worked out why these holidays can sometimes cause trouble for people. How many people spend an otherwise lovely day feeling sorry for themselves? Valentine’s day, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. It brings to mind two of my favorite quotes:

"An expectation is a premeditated resentment."  (I think that’s a quote from one of the 12-step books)

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have." (Unknown)

I feel bad about my attitude yesterday morning, and I’m going to work not to let this happen in the future. In actuality, I was awoken by a kid who was so eager to start the day with us that she can’t help but yell in each of our ears "Tine-a WAKE UUUUP!" until we roll out of bed. And Jeff, who was battling a sore throat and achy body from the day before, did the dishes and made a pot of oatmeal for us, first thing. Vera spent the whole day (minus her nap and bedtime) in "big girl undies" and only had ONE accident. This was her first day without diapers! We spent a couple of hours with family and ate delicious food. I got to spend hours outside, planting seeds and planning my garden. We ate a delicious dinner together, and Jeff went to the store later to grab me some treats. It was a great day, one where I was made to feel special, and I’m really blessed.

Flowers that my MIL and SIL gave me. So beautiful!

My parents stopped by in the evening to say hi and drop off this gift from my uncle. It’s a jar full of dried morels that I’m guessing he foraged himself (he does it every year). This is a BIG treat, and super thoughtful. I’m going to have to do something really special with these. Any ideas?

Jeff’s treats for us included dark chocolate covered ginger, fancy cheese and crackers, and vanilla ice cream to top the hot rhubarb-apple-plum sauce I made. When he opened the ice cream he said "How did they know!?!" I cracked up. He’s such a sweetie to me.

In other news, my garden… The garlic is doing great, and we’ve got cabbage and greens and lettuces and root veggies all planted. Those two funny little raised beds with stakes coming up are the potato boxes. We’ll just keep building those up vertically as the plants grow. You can see the start of the chicken coop coming off the back of the garage. There are also storm windows leaning on the side of the garage that we’re collecting for the greenhouse. It’s all coming along really well, I think.

With Vera’s newfound liking for underwear, it stands to reason that she should merge that with her vigorous appreciation for hats…

I’m also 30 weeks pregnant today, and feeling great. Baby is (according to those weekly online updates) about 17 inches long and 3 lbs. I’m amazed by how fast the time has gone by- 3/4 of the way done! I’m finding that I’m more and more excited to meet this little person as each week goes by. I think Vera feels the same way. She asked what I was doing. When I told her I was taking a picture of the baby, she came right up to kiss my belly.  

And lastly, who could forget my first baby? Sweet Maya. I love that pooch.

I’m such a lucky mama. I may sometimes forget, but hopefully never for long.ļ»æ


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