Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Made My Day

Noah and I were out running errands today when we stopped at Boston Market for lunch, which was overpriced and NOT very yummy, yet it turned out to be an excellent choice. Here's why...

First, the man ringing us up at the register commented on what a happy boy Noah was.

While we were eating, Noah was smiling and making silly faces at two workers who were restocking the nearby condiment station. They waved to him, but were talking to each other in Spanish so I couldn't understand what they were saying. Later, one of the workers came up to our table with several packets of crayons and white paper. With a big smile, he laid them in front of Noah and walked away.

As we were leaving, we passed by two elderly ladies, probably in their late seventies, whom Noah had been flirting with throughout our entire lunch. One of them said to me, "I have to tell you that your son just made my day!" 


In that moment I felt so proud and happy and blessed. This amazing little boy was making people smile and bringing joy to their day just by being himself. And I am the lucky one who gets to be his mom!

As our day went on, I couldn't get that woman's warm, aged smile or her heartfelt words out of my mind. As I thought about how much that small encounter meant to me, I was struck by how God must feel the same way when His kids, you and me, bless one another. What joy and pride He must feel when we bring light and life to someone else just by being ourselves and letting the joy He has put in our hearts shine forth.

Today, Noah blessed another person by being the child God made him.

Sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down in life by all the day's to-do's or your own laundry list of complaints or the little injustices and annoyances that creep into the day. But what would happen if we focused less on that and more on being the person  God created us to be?

I hope to follow Noah's example and allow my inner joy to shine a little brighter. Maybe I can make a stranger's day, too.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fountain Fun

We continued our Mother's Day celebration Sunday afternoon with Chris' family at one of our favorite eateries, Pacific Fish Grill in Chino Hills. After enjoying delicious fried zucchini, perfectly golden crispy shrimp, and tender grilled salmon over flavorful rice, we walked over to the main courtyard of the shopping area.

This provided the highlight of Noah's day...the glorious ground fountain! As Noah's older cousins sprinted in and out of the sporadically spurting spouts, you could just see the look of desire and anticipation on my little guy's face.

So, at first Chris tried to let him enjoy the water wonderment without getting wet, like this...

But of course this taste of fountain fun only left Noah yearning for more. As the instinctively protective mother who was kicking herself for not having an extra set of clothes in the diaper bag like she usually does, I was lobbying for Noah and Daddy to come sit with the adults and just watch the other kids. Thankfully, though, my wonderful husband is more in tune with the adventurous spirit of an active male toddler. So he trumped my desire for caution and dryness and let Noah experience the fountain fun to the fullest.

Soon he was a crazy-happy little man running without his shirt on, like this...

A little while later Noah took a brief fountain break to make eyes at a mom and her two little girls sitting on a nearby bench. His flirtatious grin looked like this...

This unexpected fountain fun gave Grandma an excuse to buy Noah a new outfit at a local children's store. Before we changed him, he posed for a picture with his cousins and looked like this...


Then I wrapped my adorable, shivering munchkin in Daddy's sweater and got him all nice and toasty, like this...


I'm thankful that I'm (slowly) learning to embrace these kind of unexpected moments.

What special memories we made this Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Great Day to Be a Mom!

I had a fantastic Mother's Day!

It started off by Chris getting up with Noah so I could sleep in! Woohoo! I was slightly put off when that only lasted an hour...but I couldn't be disgruntled for long once I saw my grinning toddler running toward me with a big white envelope in his hands. He shimmied his way up on the bed, lunged into my sleepy arms, and gave me the perfect juicy kiss.

Then my husband entered the room with a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers and other perfectly lovely blooms. I love fresh flowers!

By this point the aroma of fresh coffee and a hot breakfast had made its way into our room. Again, a good enough reason to be woken up early.

While enjoying a yummy breakfast with my boys, Noah unexpectedly pulled something out from beneath his highchair tray. Thinking the card, flowers, and breakfast were certainly my whole gift, I was totally surprised when I realized he was holding a gift card to Motherhood Maternity! Then, a few moments later, Chris pulled out a second gift card and explained that the first one was from Noah and this one was from him.

(With only 11 weeks to go before the baby's due, I was planning on just making the clothes I have work for the rest of the pregnancy. But any pregnant woman will tell you that a couple of new tops that actually fit can produce untold levels of comfort and happiness.)

Later during breakfast, Noah did the sign for "please" for the very first time! (We've been doing basic sign language with him since he was a little baby and it always blows me away when he suddenly starts using a new sign.) For my son to be so very polite in asking for more cheese, was a little Mother's Day miracle. :)

 I'm so blessed to have a husband and son who make my feel so loved!
What a great day to be a mom!

{More on our Sunday afternoon fun to come...}

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicken-Trimming, Cookie-Baking Love

As I stood in my kitchen tonight, trimming the fat off a huge eight pound pack of chicken breasts from Costco, I was keenly aware of what a great act of love I was performing. Now, great may seem like too strong a word. But the thing is, my husbands hates touching and smelling raw chicken, but he also hates any trace of fat, vein, or sinew. So I have taken on the role of Official Chicken Trimmer for the past 4 and 1/2 years of our marriage--a title I will likely hold for the duration.

Over the years I have often thought about renegotiating the division of labor when it comes to this less-than-pleasant task (and admittedly have not always wielded my fat-cutting cutlery with the happiest of hearts.) But several poultry packages ago I made the decision to stop guilt-tripping my husband over this issue, and instead seize the opportunity once or twice a month to love him through this fairly simple act of service.

So this got me else can I purpose to love Chris in tangible, yet perhaps not quite so obvious ways? And better yet, how is my husband loving me? Chicken trimming doesn't scream romance, but for me it has love written all over it. So are there acts of love Chris is doing that I'm missing because they're masquerading as something else?

I'm happy to report that, yes, there are many ways my "wonderbul" husband loved me well this week! I didn't get flowers or a candle-lit bubble bath, but here are a few ways love came to me incognito:
  1. He swept, swiffered, then hand-mopped all the floors so I wouldn't have to bend over with my prego belly.
  2. He rented a movie in the romantic comedy genre (without me asking) because he knew I would like it.
  3. He hosed down all the patio furniture to eliminate the threat of lurking spiders so we could relax outside and enjoy the beautiful day.
And I'm sure there are many more!

After my chicken-trimming, I decided to continue to the "love fest" and bake chocolate chip cookies at 11 pm so Chris could enjoy a final sweet treat before renewing his healthy-eating-and-exercising commitment tomorrow. Loving feels good.

How have you loved or been loved in a unique way this week?