I’m in a listy mood and in the depths of winter, it’s always good to count my blessings.
In no order, a random 17 things I’ve felt grateful for lately:
1. A stroller jog during a reprieve from arctic temps. (I alternated running and walking each block because I am super out of shape, but the mere act of sweating put me in a better mindset.)
2. A book that can make me cry. Most recently, Life After Life, which I finished for book club this week. There’s something about stories that involve the WWII bombings of London that tear my heart.
3. My sewing machine. Stitch just released their upcoming classes, if you’re looking to learn.
4. Our chromecast. I try to pretend I’ve got better things to do than watch T.V. but being able to stream Scandal from the iPad on the big screen is nice.
5. Babyfriends, near and far. Emmett has this “Sassy Look Book” photo album toy, and I cut out pictures of his baby friends/my friends’ babies from Christmas cards we received. There are more little faces than pages! Lots of people I know have had or are about to welcome little ones this year, and I’m incredibly grateful that I’m not alone in this figuring-out-parenthood thing.
6. A rockstar leadership team for YNPN Des Moines. Our first birthday party was a success! Throwing an event is a thousand times easier when you have a great group of people who take responsibility and run with it.
7. Infant doses of Benadryl and Tylenol, tube socks and duct tape. We aren’t getting a lot of sleep in our house these days, thanks to an epic combo of eczema and teething. The winks we do get, we owe to that arsenal.
8. That my husband loves to cook. Joe’s been on a roll in the kitchen lately. He has a talent for knowing which ingredients go together and artfully sneaks kale into everything these days, with me barely noticing. I’m totally sending him Chelsea’s buffalo chicken enchilada recipe for the Superbowl.
9. Google hangouts, so my mom can play pat-a-cake with Emmett from her kitchen in the Chicago ‘burbs.
10. A warm home. Having our furnace on the fritz right when the temperature plummeted was a good reminder of what a huge blessing our house is – even with a fridge that makes a death rattle and floors that never stay clean.
11. Coffee and tea. Brewed in our French press, or at Gong Fu or Mars Cafe, or a cup enjoyed in a friends’ basement while our boys play. Sharing a warm beverage with a friend relaxes me and facilitates a connection that’s often the bright spot in my day.
12. Kayla’s shared reflections on waiting. A lot of bloggers I read incorporate their faith into posts. Sometimes the sentiments strike me from a more secular perspective. I appreciated her sharing this passage: When you’re waiting, you’re not doing nothing. You’re doing the most important something there is. You’re allowing your soul to grow up…
13. A trip on the calendar, to celebrate a friend. The official “Save the Date” arrived in the mail the other day, and we’re headed to a vineyard wedding in Virginia this summer! Hitting the dance floor with my high school friends is one of my all-time favorite activities. Cannot wait.
14. Wardrobe updates. I did some post-holiday shopping when I was home (Oakbrook Mall has a Madewell store!) and added a few dressy neutral pieces that I think will serve me well. Still waiting for this dress to go on sale.
15. Picture texts. They’re like a postcard of a personal moment.
16. A good haircut. My stylist, Mollie at Salon Spa W, just returned from maternity leave and I needed to get into her chair something awful. I wish she could come and do my hair every day. Being well-coiffed for once is a total confidence boost.
17. Puppychow bars. I’m pretty sure Joe’s co-worker from Cuisine at Home invented these, and they are seriously as good as they sound. I can’t wait for the recipe to come out in an upcoming issue!