Good Monday morning, friends!
Well, it was a busy weekend. A really busy weekend. You know it’s been busy when you find yourself looking forward to the peace and routine of a regular ol’ Monday. (?!?! I know. weirdo.)
And yet, our minister Rev. Nancy spoke during her Palm Sunday sermon yesterday of pausing for a moment to take a cosmic breath. Have things stand still for a minute, and just look around, soak it in, and be grateful. I found myself doing that this weekend, even in the midst of all the busy-ness. What a lovely idea… a lovely notion.
I feel grateful. For so much. Here’s a list of the little things that I took away from this weekend that make me pause, take stock, soak it up, and be ever so thankful.
- The little people in my life. With Baby Sam’s arrival, the happy news that my circle of friends will be expanding in the coming months with even more little ones, and spending time with my own nieces and nephew, I am ever so grateful for all of the children I know & love. They make my heart swell.
- Friends. I’ve always claimed that my friends are the best in the world. This weekend I was thinking of how they know me so well, they understand my quirks, they accept me for who I am (in all my nutty glory), and they just… get me.
- The anticipation of sugar… The past few weeks have been tough, as Lent dragged on and I realized that giving up sugar & sweeteners (and then peanut butter & honey) is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever given up for Lent. Harder than I ever expected it to be. But now that we’ve reached the last week, I’m no longer grumbling about it… I’m looking forward with deep & utter anticipation! It’s a fun feeling to have, that excitement!
- … and the beauty of discovering that being sugar-free doesn’t mean going without. God bless my sister-in-law Amanda. With my mom’s birthday this past weekend, my sister and I struggled with what to do about a cake. We both gave up sugar for Lent, yet we didn’t feel it was right to make our poor mother sacrifice a birthday cake because of us. However, we both had so much on the go this weekend that we didn’t know how we were going to figure it out. And then, Amanda offered. She had found a recipe for a sugar-free vegan chocolate & walnut cake, and she said she would make it for Mom’s birthday. And it was amazing. Rich, decadent, moist… like, go-back-for-a-second-slice amazing. Kara & I both felt like we were cheating, it was so good.
- Pleasant surprises. Like, showing up at church yesterday morning and having the minister’s grand-daughter bring me an Archie Double Digest! She handed it to me, and said, “My nana got this for you.” I swear, I couldn’t wipe the grin from my lips. I thought it was so sweet of Nancy to pick one up for me, after I wrote last week about how I was feeling the need to re-visit my youth & my love for Archie comics.
- … Also, showing up at our favourite spot for brunch after church, and finding two of my mom’s siblings & their spouses there awaiting us for a special birthday breakfast with her! As we walked in, they all broke out singing “Happy Birthday”. I didn’t know they were all going to be there, so it was a really nice surprise, especially since I haven’t seen Aunt Nora & Uncle Elson since they left for Florida last fall!
- Watching a group that I love grow even stronger. And by that, I mean our Quyon Canada Day Committee. We’ve had a few new members join this year, and we all teamed up on Saturday to host our first event of 2014 - another successful poker tournament. Personally, I played the worst game of poker I think I ever have in my life, and I felt down-right rusty and dopey while actually playing. But when I looked around and saw everyone working – helping – volunteering their time – bringing in food – cleaning up afterwards (in record time, I might add!) – I felt very proud to be a part of it all. We work well together, and it makes things so enjoyable when you’re part of a good team.
- Spring thundershowers. Everyone knows I don’t like storms, but last night, it just seemed to be gentle thundershowers rolling through, and I have to say… I loved it. When we got home from Mom’s birthday celebration, I cleaned up my kitchen, then crawled into bed early with my new Archie. Cozying up with the rain pattering against my bedroom window and the sound of thunder rolling in the distance … it was pure bliss.
- The smell of spring. It feels like we’ve waited extra-long this year, but spring has finally sprung. The snow is almost all gone, and the signs of new growth and new life are beginning to pop up. Little shoots of spring flowers in the beds, a vivid green beginning to take over the lawns… and of course, that fresh, earthy scent that I love so much. Taking that deep cosmic breath is so much better when that’s what I’m breathing in.
- Looking ahead to a really fun weekend! It ties back in to that feeling of excitement and anticipation I mentioned earlier… but this coming weekend is really more than just the Easter eggs and pancakes and dessert on Sunday. It’s looking ahead to a 4-day weekend (usually bittersweet for me, since it’s always been my “last long weekend”, but since I started back full-time earlier this spring, I get the long-weekend-excitement just like everyone else for a change!) It’s the culmination of Holy Week – a week of somber reflection and prayer, mixed in with the exciting prepartion. It’s looking forward to going to the movies with the kids, and a Good Friday meal of Fish & Chips at Mom’s. It’s looking forward to a sleepover with the kids, and all the fun things I have planned for us (probably more than we can even squeeze in!) It’s the anticipation of preparing food on Saturday for our Easter meal. And then, of course, one of my favourite days of the year. The absolute thrill of Easter Sunday. A delicious meal. Easter eggs all day long. Time spent with family. I so can’t wait!!!
I’m so very grateful for it all. What are you breathing in and feeling grateful for this Monday?