Belle and I were able to drive up north to visit some of my family at the end of January. It was so great to spend a lot of quality time with my grandma, she is such a wise and witty lady. She is so in love with Belle, and the love is given right back to "Gate Gamma Dill" (Great Grandma Jill). It is so fun to see those two interact, it just makes my heart warm and grow double its size when I see them spend time together.
|Though not the best picture of any of us, I will always treasure it. <3|
We also spent a lot of time with my uncle, Gary, who is truly one of the nicest people on this planet. His heart is so big, and he is so funny, and I could go on and on about him.
My dad and his wife let Belle and I stay at their house, which was a great treat for Belle because every morning she got to sit on Grandpa's lap and watch cartoons. He is a really wonderful grandpa. <3
We also got together with Belle's twin cousins (and their mama, my cousin) they really had a blast and I wish we lived closer to each other. It was so much fun. I also got to hang out with one of my great friends who I rarely get to see, but time with her was so wonderful and as always, too short.
When we returned home from our visit, we resumed school. Belle is keeping me on my toes and continues to leave me amazed with how much she learns in no time. She is truly a sponge and I am so glad that I broke my own rule and decided to start school so early with her. Hopefully, by the time we officially start school, I will be used to the lesson planning, researching, prepping, and how to fit it in and keep up with everything else, too. It's crazy how long it can take me to search "butterflies", with corresponding books, crafts, "games", snacks, and probably other things that I'm forgetting. Sometimes I don't finish planning the week until late Sunday night/early Monday am, but it is all worth it when Belle LEARNS something and uses it in the "real world".
Oh, and I can't forget to mention Valentine's day and then four short days later was my birthday. My hubby totally spoiled me and just let me know how much I am loved by him. I am so blessed. Speaking of blessed, my mom and her husband flew out here ON my birthday (the 18th) and they are staying until this Tuesday. Unfortunately, the three of us have all been sick (or are just getting better) so we shared our germs and now my mom is sick, too. :( Annnd, our very mild winter seems to think Tuesday would be a good day to make up for it all, by giving us a big winter blizzard....on the day they are supposed to fly home. I just hope and pray they are safe and don't have a day full of delays!
Last night I was spoiled again when some of the dearest people in my life joined me for dinner and celebrated my birthday. They all know me so well and still choose to hang out with me anyway. Now THAT'S love, haha...but really, I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. Oh, and they all love my little Belle, too, which makes me love them all even more.
So that's the very abbreviated account of our life since my last update. Of course I haven't covered everything..and I've skipped a lot of the little things. Sometimes it is the little things that make life so full. Some of my favorite "little things" right now are Belle's squeezy hugs around the neck, the way she yells "LOVE YOU TOO MOMMMMY", the way my mommy played with my hair and rubbed my back when I was sick, and watching Teen Mom while folding clothes every night.
Finally, The Lorax is coming out this week and I'm going to take Belle. I really hope she'll watch it because I am really excited about it and I don't want to waste money. Haha, thankfully I'm setting the bar pretty low and won't get upset if she's done before the previews are over. By the way, does any one have any tips for taking a two year old to a matinee?
Oh, and I feel the need to share one more thing...and I think this every single day: I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I can't say it enough, the best things in life aren't things. Upon reflecting (on my 27 years of life) on my birthday, as I do every year, I realized that this is the first year that I am finally excited, content, and pleased with where I am in life.. I'm not feeling like I need to get a promotion, a pay raise, a better education, or (fill-in-the-blank) in order to make me feel happy with my life. From the outside, people probably wouldn't be envious of my life at all, but I love my little family and life we've made.. We aren't financially comfortable at all, my (rented town)house is a mess on a regular basis, but our little trio is exactly what I want. We don't have wireless internet, or more than four channels on our TV, we only have one car (which is due for hundreds of dollars in repairs), I don't have the newest and cutest clothes, my make-up bag has been shrinking for months, we don't own a house, and did I mention we don't have money, and my husband works about 64 hours between two jobs. Not exactly the recipe for happiness, right? What I've realized is that life isn't about things, or fine wines, or gadgets, or extravagant vacations. Life for me is about treasuring time with people, slowing life down to have long conversations, cuddles on the couch, making cookies with a two year old which means it takes triple the time. At the end of my life, I don't want to have a collection of "things" that don't matter. No, when my time ends I hope that I spent my time on people...people who matter.
Sorry for getting so serious. I think what brought this out is a recent discovery of a death of one of my old classmates. He was a smiley, happy-go-lucky, personality-bursting-in-every-direction kind of guy. The popular guy that you can't help but like because he's just so nice - genuinely nice. I don't think I ever had a conversation with him, but he was just someone everyone in the school knew. Anyway, he was 26 and just got married six months ago. In a matter of days his life went from normal to done, due to a very aggressive cancer. It makes you think, makes you appreciate, makes you re-evaluate everything. It makes me want to make sure that every step I take is a step in the direction that I want to go in, that I spend life with people who I love and who want to spend life with me, that I don't waste this one life that God has given me, that I please God with how I live, how I love, and also how I raise Belle.
Anyway, I'm not trying to say that I am perfect and spend my life exactly how it should be spent. And I'm not trying to say that I don't love gadgets or new clothes. And I definitely know that I don't spend enough time with people that I love, (however, I do know that Belle is only little for a little while, so I am trying to really focus everything on her and treat these very formative years with care). This is whole lot of "blah, blah, blah" to say that I have been jolted awake again and while I am very happy with my life, I can always try to be a better friend, mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, stranger in the supermarket..and forget about material possessions.
Sorry for all of the rambles and side-tracks. Perhaps I SHOULD write more for the sake of organization, or maybe I should keep a private journal instead so no one else has record of this calamity. Ha!