We have been having a great week. Last week was pretty amazing, too. But I better back up, before you all start to hate me and my fairy-tale life :).
About two weeks ago we had a really rough week, the kids and I. Mostly Isaac and me, to be exact. I never realized how angry I could get until I became a parent, and it turns out I can be pretty nasty to the people I love. There were far, far too many times that I was responding impatiently and harshly to Isaac's attitudes, reluctunces, and disobediences. I felt like there was a huff in my breath and a hand on my hip and a pointing finger in the air much of the week. I just wanted everyone in my life to behave perfectly and not get in my way...is that too much to ask?
After feeling convicted and then condemned and then finally hopeful again, God reminded me of the importance of gratefulness. Instead of acting like a spoiled princess who has been gypped, I need to remember that I am an undeserving girl who has a million and one blessings to rejoice in. The ungrateful me focuses on...ME. The grateful me can get out of myself enough to delight in God and the unexpected loveliness of the life he has for me.
Gratefulness lends itself to wonder, and there's plenty to be amazed at when you live life with little people! I've been trying to hold onto every bit I can this week, and I thought I'd document a few of the things I'm loving right now.
Because life is a shadow as it passes, and I'm going to forget faster than that.....
Life with Claire:
- the funny new faces she's been making...the above is similar (but not exactly) the new scrunchy-nose smile she's been sporting for the last few days. It makes me laugh every time.
- little Miss Claire has been trying on vocalizations like a teenager tries on moods. There's a new one every day. She's grunting, screeching, hiccuping, barking, and babbling up a storm.
- she may--just may--have said "Dada" to Vance yesterday.
- Watching her eat. She kicks her legs and makes amazing grunting noises to voice her pleasure at the delights of food.
- She's already obsessed with shoes and accessories. True, she's eating them instead of trying them on, but I'm sure that will come.
- I love how she's almost always my cheerful girl and my ray of sunshine, who makes us all smile. I noticed while shopping today that Isaac is so much happier running errands when he can talk and laugh with her.
Life with Isaac:
- hearing him scream, "OHHH! IT'S TOO TURKEY, MOM!" when something's too difficult for him. I don't ever correct him and say "it's too tricky?" now, because I know he will grow out of it all to soon.
- getting inside his head and learning to wonder at the sublime nature of construction vehicles and men at work. He spent 45 minutes yesterday watching some guys install new garden beds in the apartments across the street.
- hearing him address an unnamed person simply as "people." As, when talking to the aforementioned construction crew yesterday, "Look, it's a front loader, people!"
- hearing him talk about "struckin workers" (construction workers) and "helltalkers" helicopters and other mispronunciations.
- having long, detailed discussions with him about what EXACTLY happens when an airplane lands at an airport and then takes off again.
- hearing him use everyday manners with real sincerity and without prompting, such as "please" and "thank you"
- watching him learn empathy ("Mama's sad!"), and apologize for something done wrong.
- watching him do the Dinner Dance in his seat when he really likes what he's eating for dinner.
Life with Vance:
- Sitting on the couch having devotions in the morning. I've only recently started to get up early enough to have my quiet time at the same time as Vance. True, I'm very groggy and tired, but it's still nice to start the day together.
- Seeing how hard he works. He is one of the most focused people I know, when he sets his mind to it, and he's doing really quality research. Now that he's getting close to the end, I'm realizing afresh how much he has accomplished and how hard he has applied himself toward his goals.
- Watching him enjoy our kids. I love watching him wrestle Isaac, or cuddle Claire, and knowing that he really loves his family, and that he's making sacrifices at work to get home and be with us.
- Scripture memory. I am horribly undisciplined with this kind of thing, and left to my own devices, would get excited about it for a week and then let it fizzle. But not with Vance around! Never say die!
- I love that after 4.5 years of marriage, he's still the most amazing man I know. That's a lot of up close scrutiny coming from a pretty cynical and critical person, so he must be the real deal.
- This is a family-friendly blog, so I'll stop there and just say that I love him. A lot.
I've got a thousand things to be thankful for!