Too Darn Happy.

This is my “Thank You” note to you.

Lately I’ve been transitioning from my “February Blahs” into my “March Malaise.” It isn’t just my inability to withstand the bitter cold any longer. It isn’t just my dry hands and the way I’ve been hating the face I see in the mirror. It isn’t just falling onto my knees from the simple act of walking across the driveway ice to get my car – and getting so frustrated that I actually crawled, sopping wet knees and all, to the driver’s side to get in. It isn’t just my grumpiness even in the face of such immense blessings.

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It’s real life horrors, beyond the ever-annoying colds and stomach ailments. It’s injuries ranging from knee to brain. It’s cancers ranging from melanoma to brain. It’s deaths of parents and illnesses of pets. It’s illnesses of children. It’s surgeries on friends. It’s pinpricks of tears that won’t come out in volumes – volumes that I know are large by the feelings of pressure behind my eyes.

And all we can really do is be kind to each other – in both small and large gestures. Care packages of soup and cookies meant to be left on porches, to as not to disturb the grieving, but only to be welcomed into loving, mourning homes. Snail-mailed letters and French macarons appearing in mailboxes. Chocolates, warm socks and phone calls across the miles. If nothing else, texts.

Maybe opening the front door to find a handmade apron on your doorstep:

Do you know Kim from Too Darn Happy? If not before today, you’re welcome. Kim has reached out to me on more than on occasion, because that is the intuitive and gifted woman that she is. She writes a blog about finding uncommon joy in the everyday. She also gives uncommon joy. Her daughter imagined this Alice in Wonderland apron into existence and no doubt, stretched out hours and days into her own form of Wonderland. Kim’s family has gifted us with this “something blue” and it sure beats the “Winter Blues.” Scarlet came home from school and stepped right into the apron, and right in front of my camera.

Like an unstoppable blur.

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She likes to imagine that if she eats a cake that says “Eat me”, she may grow, Alice-style, right into this apron!

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She even wore it at night to help me test out my umbrella lights before a job..

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..a job that thankfully had so much natural light that the umbrella lights weren’t touched.

It always feels good to be prepared.

And it always feels good to be kind, and to have someone be kind to you.

I was not speaking about anyone in my family earlier. Kim gave us this gift because she is awesome and thought it would suit us, but not because we’re in any of the scenarios I described above. Many others, though, need our thoughts and prayers.

In continuing with my #30ThingsChallenge, I am answering two more questions today. This is where I found my list of challenges – link HERE. People have asked me if you can pick and choose from the list, go out of order, or take a whole year to complete the list. Of course! There are no rules. We do this for ourselves. And for our children, of course. Things I want my kids to know..

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What are 5 things that make you most happy right now?

1. The idea of spring and summer. Our garden, sundresses, adventuring, iced coffee, moose.
2. Des running.
3. Our new king-sized bed.
4. Cassidy and how he is so full of surprises.
5. More sunlight in our days.

What is your dream job and why?

I think I’m finding my way there. It’s a way to combine parenting with writing and photography. Maybe writing a book about both? Writing a memoir about my life, with my photos? Something like that, and something that pays well too would be nice!

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139 Comments

  1. Well- just like a hard diet- I am ‘splurging’ to take in some of YOU!! Oh how gorgeous and beautiful and everything good that Kim is- to bless you and Scarlet with such a gift!! I adore people that do such things…and therefore, I love love love Kim!! (And her daughter!)

    I was worried at first that I may have missed something that you were going through- oh T, you BETTER let me know if something comes up and I am for whatever reason not ‘around’- please? You know I will want to know and I will want to bear any burden I can for you…

    When I started reading your post- I sank. Because I am feeling so heavy-hearted lately, depleted, empty, worn… and tired of giving and tired of pretty much everything really. Winter does that by now- especially this one, and struggling to get around in a freaking boot doesn’t help- not to mention being surrounded by cold cold cold and the stale schedule and unending chores and overwhelming ‘to do’s that I have neglected for too long- lingering in the air. I think it all culminated with what my dear sister is going through with my nephew. I am sick about it. And feel so helpless and quite frankly, hopeless.

    STOP! I will stop! I am blessed beyond measure. Oh how I know this. And I fight this crap with gratitude until I am there… on the other side… in the sun….

    I am SO glad you are feeling that sun now.

    1. I am so happy to be your splurge!!
      I knew some things were up, but I didn’t know anything about your sister/nephew. Please tell me I’m not behind and missing something drastic! You know I’m here for you. And I will definitely tell you if something comes up. A lot of somethings are up, but they’re not within my immediate or extended family. Just lots of friends and family members by love.
      The sun and the light are waiting for us on the other side!

  2. One of the things that makes me happy right now is reading your blog and seeing your beautiful pictures – I think they should be in a book and you should be getting paid lots for both πŸ™‚
    Spring is coming my friend, it is fur sure!

    1. That makes me so happy that my blog makes you happy! So much happiness around today.
      It really is coming, and it’s rarely here by March 3rd so I don’t feel too cheated, but I am getting rather impatient! Just to even have above freezing temps would be nice!

  3. How sweet of her to send you guys an handmade apron. Something simple and sweet that really lights up a kids’ imagination. The thought of sundresses makes me happy too! It’s almost summer here and we can’t wait!

    1. That sounds nice! All we really have to look forward to right now is our fifth season between winter and spring – “Mud Season.” It’s as delightful as it sounds! I should be more optimistic, though.
      Spring can be heavenly here. Singing birds, shining sun, garden abundance. I really can’t wait.

  4. Everything is a little bit harder and more intense in the winter. Although I love the season, hopping over the fence because it is too frozen to go under or open and moving 20 bales of hay over the frozen tundra to the barn with fingers cracked and bloody does wear me down. Just so you know, those magical macarons kept me so happy and full of love as I did a real old fashioned “count down to Valentine’s Day” and beyond!!!!!!
    I have found myself counting the little things I do to make others happy like treasures in a jewelry box.
    Love is IT!

    1. Living is a lot harder in the winter. I think Melissa said it best once when she said going through tough times in fall/winter can be like knitting on a bumpy train as opposed to knitting on a rocking chair. You’ll still get the result you were seeking, but it will be a heck of a lot harder!
      I will never love winter, only because people get so sick and suffer in it. And the snow is pretty for about a day and then becomes very dangerous and turns to ice. For those reasons, it will never happen for me! It’s like it’s chasing me out with pitchforks!

  5. I can’t stop smiling! That was such a lovely thing for Kim to do! I enjoy reading her posts too…she always makes me think. And the power of acts of kindness…they are far reaching.
    I need to start on my 30 things…I definitely want to do this…just didn’t have time last week!

    1. I am so happy that people will link up! I originally saw it on the “My Big Beautiful Life” blog and it was in a different order and Britton said she’d be taking her time to complete it.
      And Kim is really wonderful. I have been so blessed to have found all of you.

    1. Trying to know that…
      Your comment REALLY helped. It’s a hell week for me and waking up to -3 degrees on a Monday..doesn’t help.
      This does!

  6. Scarlet, looked absolutely adorable in that apron and what a perfect gift. I am so with you on trying my best to find the positives and things that can make me smile this time of the year and spring (warm weather) is not coming quick enough now). That seriously is the number one that would make me happy on my list, too. πŸ™‚

    1. Right? It doesn’t take much! The world is a mess and our friends are sick but just one sunny day can make you feel like life is..perfection.
      And it will happen soon!!
      We’re lucky to be healthy, although Des hasn’t even had his cold for a week, so as these things go, he still needs a few days to be 100%.

  7. I can so relate to this post. It’s really the simple things in life that can make our days/nights. Just like Kim sent that selfless gift, you’ve been such a great selfless friend who’ve been there in my time of need..I’ll always cherish you for that. Sending you lots of Love your way and give the kids a big hug from us. Still keeping our fingers crossed for May.

    1. Oh! I wish I could do more. I may send you some cookies I made, but I wasn’t sure how well they traveled. What are your favorite treats (or healthy items?)
      Sending you lots of love! You’re in my blessings and prayers this week. It will all be ok.

  8. Wow, what a sweet and wonderful thing! That apron looks absolutely amazing.
    I too was worried something was happening in your family…I’m happy to hear everything is ok, though you are right in that any moment someone (perhaps even someone we know) is struggling with something with one of the things mentioned.
    I agree March is hard…emotionally you are just ready for winter to be over, but at least in the northeast is seems to saunter on, (seemingly) endlessly. It’s so gray and cold out, and I just want to be able to talk Eve for walks without fearing I am going to slip (especially when I’m wearing her, yikes!).
    Oh, and thanks to you I started the #30ThingsChallenge!

    1. Thanks, Bev! I probably should have put it higher up in the post that everyone in my family is ok. I nearly forgot to put the note at all, and I’m glad I remembered! Whew. I wouldn’t want everyone worried about me.
      I am impressed with people who have babies during the fall/winter! The ice! The flu seasons! And yet, it happens every day.
      I think it will be so nice for you to be able to experience warm sun with her soon.

  9. Why hasn’t my very own mother made me such a fantastic apron!?

    Scarlet is so beautiful and looks so spirited. Plus, she really, really wants to hug me.

  10. I was talking with my father-in-law about dream jobs last night! It was kinda funny; I was talking about social media and the man doesn’t even own a computer. πŸ™‚

    You are definitely working your way toward your dream job(s)!

    1. I was just thinking today about how some people do social media professionally and how it must be so fast-paced, but really, really fun too. At least for some people. I’d think it was fun! I do it even barely professionally and it’s stressful yet amazing.
      And thank you! I think a photographic memoir is in order! With my father’s death and my love story all wrapped up in there.

    1. I think (hope) today was the last zero degree Monday morning. I can’t take them. 40 degrees would feel like..paradise. And forget 70? I’d think I died and went to heaven.

  11. Your photos are beautiful and that apron is so cute! What a sweet gesture. I really, really want to do this 30 things challenge – trying to figure out how.when to fit it in. Was planning to do my first post for it today, but then life happened and the post didn’t. :-/ Maybe next week!

    1. You have indefinite time to do it! I think Michelle said she wants to do it too, as well as a few others. I first read it on a blog that was posted months ago and I think even that blogger got through…two of them!

  12. What a gorgeous apron and such a thoughtful gift.
    The idea of spring and summer is making me happy lately, too. We keep getting more flurries everyday and today my youngest said, “I can’t wait til the leaves grow again.” Me either! πŸ™‚

    1. Seriously! Maybe under all that snow and ice there are some little buds! It’s only about 20 degrees today, but I am pretty sure I heard a bird singing out my window this morning. Maybe he/she knows something we don’t??

  13. I always feel like even though February is the shortest month by number of days, it drags on into the longest month of all. At least we are now in March. And today I am okay with being snowed in with everything cancelled because I know that we always have one big snow storm in March, so let’s just get this over with and MOVE ON to SPRING!!
    That apron is absolutely adorable (and so is the static in Scarlet’s hair) and it would certainly brighten my day to see it!

    1. So true! I could swear it has snowed in May around here. Or near here. And we did have a last overnight frost in May last year because we were in the middle of gardening and Cassidy had to cover all of his “babies” with some tarp-like thing.
      Spring will come, but 20 degrees and icy walkways on a Monday morning? So uncool. It’s possible it’s the last frigid Monday, or one of them…for a very long time.
      Isn’t the static wonderful? I thought for a second about Photoshopping it and then I thought, “No, don’t do it!”

  14. This post is inspiring and makes me happy. Scarlet in that apron makes me smile. I love the line, “She thinks she can eat a cake that says ‘Eat me’ and she’ll grow into the apron.” I love this challenge and think I am going to jump aboard!

  15. I love reading your blog because I always leave feeling like it’s okay to feel however I’m feeling. Doesn’t matter if it’s happy, sad, contemplative, frustrated. I love how you always accept your feelings because it encourages me to accept mine. That being said, I’m really tired of winter, too, and I support you writing a memoir. Just the love story part would make the book a best seller!

    1. Thank you! I don’t even know if I accept my feelings very well, or at least not until I talk/write them out. Writing is such an exploratory activity for me. I shudder to think about what I’d do without it!
      I really think I want to write a memoir now! I’d sell at least ten copies to my mom and many of you would buy one! Whoooo!

  16. What a lovely and thoughtful gift! And I second what Amy said about accepting your feelings. I too always leave your blog feeling like I can accept whatever it is that’s currently going on in my heart and my mind.

    1. That really means so much. I feel like I don’t do it that well, or at least not well without writing. Or maybe I can intellectualize the acceptance better than I can just feel it. If that makes any sense.
      I love that you both visit!

  17. You are just too sweet, Tamara! I am tickled pink that Scarlet likes the apron. Perhaps one day she’ll share it with you, and wear her other Alice in Wonderland dress so the two of you can each become Alice for the day. πŸ™‚
    Just seeing the joy makes my day. Thanks so much, Tamara. xo

    1. I would love to wear it, actually! Maybe we could bake together, side by side as Alice.
      Thanks so much for the gift and the inspiration!

  18. ADORE the apron and cant wait to check out Too Darn Happy! I love this post and I love the promotion of kindness. Kindness is all shapes and forms, for all reasons, as a lifestyle, as a commitment, as a simple gesture. And you better believe I would read that book of yours!

    1. I really need to get on the book! Who knew people would read it?? Thank you!
      And kindness makes me feel better. It battles anxiety and sets a good example for Scarlet. How could I not??

  19. “And it always feels good to be kind, and to have someone be kind to you.” Never, ever forget this. and know that your kindness makes an impact every day.

    1. I hope so. It helps me. It’s pretty much where any spare money I have goes. Cassidy is quick to point that out, actually, but I don’t blame him. We need to heat this home!

  20. I’m sorry your friends and “family by love” are battling some difficult things right now. It is harder to find the light in the winter, but you do it regularly, Tamara. Your photos do it, and your words. And that apron. And blog friends like Kim. We have yet another snow day today, so this post was perfectly timed to bring some light into my life!

    1. Ugh, snow. We were supposed to get a storm but it was downgraded into absolutely nothing. Which is good because since we haven’t had a thaw day in over a week, we really have no place to put any new snow. None!
      Hope your Monday afternoon is sunshiny and that tomorrow is even better! And warmer.

  21. How amazingly awesome was that beautiful apron? I have been having the “make my own apron” on the to-do list for so long, and now I really want to make one! That was way too cute. I love the way you write and incorporate so much of yourself into everything. (Now go water those poor plants on your windowsill….the one on the left isn’t looking too hot!) Ha! BTW…that’s usually what happens to most of my plants…it’s my black thumb.

    1. ha, the plants! Well they’re both aloe plants so you really can’t water them all of the time, but man, that’s not something I do in this house. I hope Cassidy does whatever he’s doing to the left one what he’s doing to the clearly healthier right one!
      I can’t wait to see the apron you come up with!

  22. I love Kim and I think you know how much I love Kim. She was one of my first blogging friends – and I am not surprised at all to hear that she sent you an apron for Scarlet. She’s the real deal. Care packages help. Food helps – aprons help, texts and phone calls help. All signs that people are here for us. And usually, that’s all we need. Sending you hugs for all of the March Malaise, big and small.

    1. Totally the real deal.
      Care packages are my favorite thing ever – to receive, and maybe even more to make and give.
      Sending hugs back to you!

    2. Oh, Ilene, you are so very sweet. You were one of my first blogging friends, too! I am so buoyed by this whole thread of joy and encouragement to one another!

  23. That apron is goregous. I’ve never seen anything like it! With all the technology available to us, it is so special to receive unexpected snail mail. I have a friend that lives in North Dakota and we send cards to each other throughout the year. I look forward to these cards way more than email or phone calls. From your 5 things list, I’m sure you are loving your king-sized bed. They rock! Oh and if you wrote a book, I would definitely read it!!

    1. Another vote for the book! I better get started.
      North Dakota sounds so exotic to me! I think we didn’t drive through it on our way cross country but we definitely spent some time in South Dakota. I remember you could smoke in restaurants which was disconcerting to me!
      The king-sized bed? Heaven. And yet, Scarlet still finds ways to sneak in and steal my covers and kick my head.

  24. I love surprise gifts!! I especially love GIVING them. Sometimes I forget that I sent them and then I’ll get a phone call or card expressing so much thanks and it just makes my day. This post made my day! Love it. All of it.

    1. I love that feeling! That happened recently in which I sent my friend chocolates for her birthday/Valentine’s Day but the snowstorms delayed them and by the time she got them, I had forgotten I had sent them. That was happy-making!

  25. This made me happy. Made me stop thinking about the fact that I’m freezing right now and that my knuckles feel like they are going to crack open (again). The joy in Scarlet’s eyes and this beautiful gift! Amazing what those small acts can do, yes?

    1. Christine, one of my knuckles did crack today! Oh, 18 degrees on a Monday morning. I feel better knowing that if this isn’t the last frigid Monday morning for awhile, the days of these are numbered. And that’s joyous.

  26. Here are my five: 1. Longer minutes of daylight 2. 40 degrees in the forecast for Saturday 3. That my daughter studying abroad completed her excursion to Barcelona without getting pick-pocketed 4. My Costco “heat dish” (since it isn’t Saturday yet) 5. The smell of dinner cooking in the crock pot.

    1. I hit enter prematurely. I was spaced out watching Sex & the City – the first season! Your daughter is going to be a model some day lol she has an act for posing and just smiling πŸ˜€ What a beautiful gesture and apron! I look forward to Spring and warmer days as well. My bed definitely always makes me happy and being with my son and partner. πŸ˜€ Glad you’re in higher spirits Tamara! Have a great one <3 -Iva

      1. And I hit enter prematurely too because I didn’t notice this second comment at first!
        I love Sex & The City.
        And Scarlet could be a model, or could grow up to have a camera phobia – whatever happens to the children of photographers!
        And beds and partners and kids are VERY happy-making. Maybe the most happy-making things.

      1. Lol I’m glad we’re both being premature today. It’s Monday and I’m sick of snow yet its so beautiful – I’M TORN! I think your Scarlet won’t develop a camera phobia, lol, I think she’ll always be comfortable in front of it and she’s so graceful πŸ™‚ Definitely the most happy-making things; especially since the bf is done with his second job meaning: no more night shift!!! Woohoo! Thank you for your good faith Tamara, haha, I’m working my way towards that goal one day at a time. πŸ™‚ Lots of love Tamara, take care! -Iva

        1. No more night shift! I am celebrating with you, but it’s hours later. Boo!
          I had to work today, on top of caring for two small children. It’s a challenge!
          Wishing you a beautiful day!

  27. I read your posts and I just smile from ear to ear. You are such a gift to this world and to your readers. And it is fitting that you received such a beautiful gift for Scarlett. I want the memoir you are going to write. I will read it from cover to cover πŸ™‚

    1. I will personally autograph it for you!
      Thank you for making me smile ear to ear! You are a gift too. So helpful and informative with your blog. Heck, I could stand to be more like that.

  28. I agree – being kind matters, a lot. I find that just getting or giving a hand at the grocery store goes so far in my life, makes life better.
    Gorgeous photos (as always) and happy to see her joy.

    1. Thank you!
      And yes, whenever I’m feeling down or anxious, I do something kind and I feel so much better. And just more connected. My natural inclination is to pull away and isolate myself and that just doesn’t help. Who knew?!

  29. Hi There!
    I’m Kim’s daughter and you and Scarlett have absolutely made my day today! She looks absolutely adorable in the apron, it suits her perfectly. I think if I were her age we would get along quite well as we are both avid Disney fans and do not hesitate to jump in front of the camera πŸ™‚
    While sewing is truly my passion nothing is better than seeing the joy this has brought to your family. Thank you so much for sharing that joy with me!

    1. Hi Leslie!
      Thank you so much – it is so beautiful and you are so talented. I would buy any of your creations! I thought it would be cute for me to wear it and for Scarlet to wear her little Alice dress, but she insisted on wearing it so we just tied it tightly and hoped for the best. I thought she looked lovely in it.
      Thanks for sharing joy with my family!

  30. What an amazing gift!! Just beautiful. I love Scarlett’s hair too, its like it is standing on end from her good energy and happiness. She looks absolutely perfect.

  31. I totally feel you on this. It has been a difficult week, or maybe season. The frigid cold, the disappointing training, and a lot of not-so-graceful reactions on my end to some daily life difficulties. it will get better, this too shall pass. πŸ™‚ as far as a dream job, i like think I’m in mine now. πŸ™‚

    1. Oooh. Dream job haver. You’re one of the few, I’m convinced. Go you!
      This cold…it’s…terrible. Tonight is supposed to be -2 and I am hopeful that our nights of that are dwindling down in a major way.

      1. mind you, however, that my “dream job” requirements have changed, as my life has changed seasons. πŸ™‚ at the end of the day, a dream job to me is something that contributes to a fulfilling life. And of course, any job will have ups and downs, nothing is perfect. πŸ™‚

        1. Always. I believe that. There is something to be said for creating your own career, or doing something you love so much that you’re often not watching the clock when doing it.
          And someone pays you for that!

  32. I was starting to get very worried that something major had happened to you or someone close to you. I’m sad that anyone is dealing with illness and/or death – I wish that life could just be sunshine and rainbows and beaches!!!
    I love the fact that for Scarlet life pretty much is sunshine and baking!!!
    In just a few weeks we will be past winter for another season – I think we are going to make it!!

    1. Yeah, I really should have said sooner that it wasn’t my family. And not me! Other than the “blahs.”
      Life is so sweet and horrible – all mixed together.
      We are definitely going to make it and I can’t wait!

  33. Scarlet is a natural in front of the camera, Tamara. What a doll. My five happys right now: the thought of an extra hour of sunlight beginning on Sunday; less snow falling today than was anticipated (hence less snow to shovel!); new Bare Minerals makeup that makes me look cute; the thought of wearing spring outfits in pretty pastels; going home for a week in April.
    Thoughts and prayers are with those whose situations you mentioned in your post. I know the feeling. The heaviness of carrying their burdens and losses in your soul. It means you are alive and living and feeling and caring, and loving. That makes you a marvelous human being, Tamara. Hugs, Ali

    1. Thank you – what a wonderful comment. And I love your five happys. Bare Minerals intrigues me! And we thought we’d get a storm today and we got ZERO. So I’m hoping that trend can at least continue until our yard can thaw a little. We haven’t had a good thaw day in ages.
      Hugs and love to you!

  34. I am right there with you Tamara on the whole “February Blahs”. Fortunately for us all, “trouble don’t last always!” And, spring forward is this weekend! Woot!

    1. I honestly want to make it into an official holiday. With rainbow sprinkles.
      It’s the best! May tonight be our last -2 degree night..

  35. It’s amazing how something as simple as an apron can bring joy out of the cold darkness of winter. I love the statement about Scarlet wishing for an “Eat Me” cake. Too darn cute! The idea of Spring and Summer would make me so much happier right now if there weren’t several inches of snow on our front porch…and talk of more to potentially still come in the next couple weeks. Here’s hoping you find that elusive dream job…I think you’re on your way!

    1. Oh yes. The ice kingdom that is our yard? It will be the last yard to have snow. That’s what happens when you live in a clearing in the woods. The house gets a lot of light, but the yard doesn’t as much this time of year. I feel like it will never melt! We haven’t had a good thaw day in a long time.
      I do get very happy when I think about it, though. Of course it will melt and the warmth will come.

  36. I am breaking the winter blahs (hopefully) by taking a trip even farther north to visit my parents and sister. They always cheer me up! Even if I have to drive with the kids by myself because my husband’s going out of town for 9 days (wah!)

    1. Oh man! My husband went away for ten days when I was pregnant with Des, and for a week when Des was a newborn. I have been there. I know some people live that way permanently, but it was not my normal and it was tough!
      Driving north sounds awesome, though. Very happy making. My family is south. (from here, anyway, and most places are)

  37. Isn’t the blogging community amazing? I am really thankful for the people in it. Everyone has a beautiful gift to share and I often wish the bigger world was more like the blogging world. I am thankful for the wonderful community and for people like you. I hope your snow ends soon! We had a big rainstorm here in California and the two day event was a big deal….guess it’s all in perspective!

    1. It is so amazing. I can’t imagine life without the blogging, to be honest. I know I’d fill my time with other things but it wouldn’t combine my passions of reading, writing, photography, connecting and more the way this does.
      I don’t even remember what rain is like, to be honest! The only moisture from the sky these days is frozen!

    1. Thank you! I’d even meet you at an ice castle (or in Maine) and autograph my book. Weird! And then you could autograph my MOAM book for me.

  38. Lovely apron. Your baby girl will grow into it soon enough… no cake needed. πŸ™‚

    On another note, you’re right. So many people are going through so many things. Counting my blessings…

    1. It just seems to be increasing. Many great things too, but the heavy things seem heavier lately, and I don’t know if that’s just the time of year or the way things are right now.

  39. Like what they say, we can never go wrong with kindness.. πŸ™‚ I’ve always loved aprons. I even made one when I was in grade school. It made me feel like a pro, hah! Hope you get your much needed sunlight soon!

    1. Thanks, Rea! Every day is sunny but oh so cold. Or it’s not that cold but it’s gloomy. I’m getting very tired of it, and looking so forward to what’s coming!

  40. I know how winter can effect people. It’s been way too long this year. My hubby is to the breaking point, so I hope spring comes soon. That was so nice of her to send that. We should all reach out to each other like this beyond our blogs!

  41. That’s just about the sweetest apron ever, homemade or store-bought! Thank you for the reminder about acts of kindness. When I’m lost in my ‘woe is me’ moments, soaking up the loneliness, it’s easy to forget that I will only get what I give out- and often, the act of giving feels so much sweeter than receiving.

    1. It’s really amazing. My problem is that I often have no money so I just withdraw instead of finding other ways to give and create and love.

  42. Just So Beautiful!! And thank heaven for such wonderful people who make chase our blue away. They are a special lot indeed. Like angels unseen sometimes – they just step in, and are gone again. But they let us know that no matter troubles come, or what shadows fall on our door — there is always light and goodness in the world too.
    If I could marry my love of words and improve my skill with a camera and then have someone pay me for it: heaven.
    So, I’ll either be a photo journalist …..or a doing the Employee of the Month portrait at some greasy burger joint.
    still — money either way! πŸ™‚

    1. A photojournalist is really definitely up there as one of my dream jobs too.
      Unseen angels. I really love that and I believe in it.

  43. I have to say that I do find joy in everything I do. Even if it is the most painful thing ever. I even had a conversation with my friend about this today, how we tend to appreciate absolutely everything because who knows how long we might have on this earth. It’s not worth it to have a bad day, or think negatively. If we wake up on the wrong side of the bed, we need to realize that we woke up at ALL!! That we were able to get out of bed even… I mean, we need to realize that there is someone in this world who has it worse than you, so you must be grateful for everything you have πŸ™‚ So… Winter… ROCKS! lol!

    1. haha..I actually believe you!
      If I said it, I might not believe myself.
      What a beautiful thought and I can totally see this from you – in the way you present yourself. Rock on.

  44. I read Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott last month and she really echoed this: “And all we can really do is be kind to each other – in both small and large gestures.” She was talking about how at one point so many in her circle/community/tribe were dealing with really big, really scary, really serious things. And how their friends couldn’t fix the problems or make them go away, but they could be there in ways big and small. How that was – at the same time – not enough but enough.

    1. That’s how I feel right now. Like so many people are going through hell and I’m not a doctor or a wizard, but maybe I can take away some of that pain.
      Thank you!

  45. With all that you have accomplished in your life, I’m pretty sure it won’t be hard for you to get your dream job that incorporates all the awesome parts of you. I’m actually pretty excited because blogging and my love for connecting with people online while being home taking care of my family is becoming a live reality. I have enjoyed blogging for pleasure with no real intent to make money from it. I will be creating another blog (no worries, the load won’t be too much for you all to follow lol) for my husband and his friend’s business where I’ll get to spread the word about what they are doing, continue doing what I love and finally…get paid for it! I think these things happen in time. We don’t really have to go off looking for it. When we are taking care of what’s most important while enjoying life, they sort of find us. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much for those encouraging words! I do wonder if I’m already living the dream, or if there’s a lot more. I tend to think a lot more because my wallet seems to say so, and also, I just have big dreams. Always have, probably always will.
      I look forward to hearing more about your next blog!

  46. What a thoughtful gift from a friend! I can imagine all of the wonderful play she will have with this fairy tale apron! My dream job would be owning a coffee shop :).

    1. I love that idea. My friends own one and they say how it’s such a lot of work, but I get that. I work all day anyway – sometimes there’s that deep, great, caring kind of work. I can do that 24/7. I can’t even do five hours a day of the other kind of work.

  47. What a sweet and wonderful gift! I can see Scarlet playing with that for years. And maybe even you sneaking in some time with it. I know that I’m in my 40s and should know what I want to be when I grow up but I’m very content with my life right now. Sometimes things just need to stand still so you can enjoy the peace.

    1. I love that – contentment. I go in and out of it. I guess I outgrow things and need stretching room and then the changing makes me anxious. And then I get used to the new normal and back to contentment. Rinse, repeat.

  48. This post made me smile. The terrible things of the world are best balanced by the joy we find everyday – in your case it’s the unexpected gift, your beautiful children, the appreciation of where you are right now. Lovely post!

  49. This cold has really done a number on me this year. I woke up to cold this morning and even a little snow and my spirits sank. I just can’t take it any more. I need warmth! I need sunlight! I need to play outside with my kid! I love your apron btw!

    1. It’s coming, I promise! Er..after this other weird storm coming this week. I think it might not be so bad, and if it is, it will melt. And..and…sunshine is coming.

  50. What a fabulous apron! How kind of Kim to send it to you–that’s the best kind of gift! I saw an incredible leatherbound edition of Alice in Wonderland the other day and thought of you guys. If you were closer it might well have ended up on your doorstep πŸ™‚

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