I’ve been back for a week from a trip to my ‘homeland’, the beautiful and flat eastern South Dakota. I took both kids (no hubby, boo) and headed off to celebrate a wedding that has been waiting to happen for quite a while. We immersed ourselves in the love of good folks for almost 2 weeks and then sadly said farewell to that place that I once knew so dear… Trying to remember how to get around in the city where I learned to drive; reliving moments through old photographs and memories shared over mealtimes; childhood friends telling forgotten stories and reminding me of teenage exploits; and dear family who (as always) gives so freely with their love. It was hard to leave that kind of deep caring that seems to be so easily expressed between those with long histories together. Family, old friends, you know… If only they all lived in Vancouver!
We’re back on the West Coast again and between a sick little boy, early sunset (4:30pm?!), a twinge of homesickness, and a cold rainy city, I’m looking around my life and trying to keep lit the warm fires of gratitude and compassion. Thanksgiving was yesterday, (and we ate mounds of turkey and celebrated with some other expat friends in our neighborhood!), so I thought I’d pass on some of the Thanks I am feeling these days.
Thankful for the fullness and busyness of life that is shared with my best friend and our 2 darling children.
Thankful that I can take the opportunity to travel to see my big brother marry his best friend, all dressed up in handsome tux and gorgeous dress- a beautiful wedding!
Thankful for another giant batch of granola (tweaking the recipe once again) to sweeten the smells of the house and fill the bellies of my family- it always sets the stage for simple goodness. Mix Mix Bake Eat.
Thankful for beautiful friends who give so generously and share their sweet gifts with my little family. (Like the little ‘knock knock’ on the door JUST NOW from my neighbor’s 5 year old boy asking “do you want some turkey soup my mom made?”. Um, YES PLEASE!)
Thankful for spontaneous walks in the hood with my 2 year old, tossing handful of fallen leaves, investigating pine cones, and spotting a bald eagle perched on the old church steeple- another reminder of simple joys.
Thankful for the occasional LONG nap by both kiddos, so mama has a little time to herself!
It can be hard, but I am trying to remember to look for those little reminders of how blessed and rich my life is, and to slow the pace for a few moments and give thanks for what is, whether chaos or peace, laughter or crying, this is all part of the rhythm of our life.
And here’s a glimpse of the kiddos:
Finn hard at work.
Finn is a determined 2 year old, full of smiles and laughter. He takes joy in really simple things (don’t most kids?), and his love for hockey has not waned… He loves to colour, eat apples, play with trucks and trains, and really appreciates quiet moments to himself. He’s a great climber, loves the water, and is pretty willing to try lots of new foods (yeah!). And this mama is happy to report that he still loves a good snuggle.
Blame the daddy for this baby-decoration!
Beckley is slowly unfolding into a delightful little girl- now at 3 months old- and full of giggles and smiles. She can be incredibly chatty and friendly when in a social setting, doesn’t mind being passed around but loves her mama and papa the most! I call her my little chatterbox, but she also loves to be curled up with mama on the bed for a long afternoon nap. Her mellow disposition reminds us of her brother, but she’s definitely doing things in her own way, too.