And then the study was done.
And life got busy with the end of the school year approaching, and I just kinda stopped paying attention. April's gift list was pretty short in fact.
So...when we moved into May I decided to do something to give myself a jump start, to get back into it. Because, really, I'm a lot happier when I'm focused on counting gifts each day. Turns out it really is the little things in life that bring joy. And though big things are very nice, in the end, it's the little things that sustain us. To do this, I decided to use her Joy Dare challenge. She outlines things to look for each day of each month. I used the month of May's list, but I didn't do it day by day. I just counted my gifts and put them where they fit. This left me unable to fill a few categories though, and also left me with a list of gifts that didn't seem to really fit anywhere (or just overfilled the three "requirement"). In the end, I didn't so much care about "getting it all done right," but just about getting back into the habit.
I think it worked.
And I think next month I'll try her June list, and see what happens!
But for now, here's May:
3 gifts tasted
- coffee black first thing in the morning
- cool water sipped through a straw
- strawberry, sweet and blended up...money for a good cause
- late night movie on the flat screen TV
- Boys sprawled flat across the rug taking in a new show
- a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip for a picture perfect find
- Logan's kindergarten teacher who stuck with us and despite all we got him through kindergarten happy and excited to move on to first grade!
- A good conversation with a friend who hasn't been easy to connect with lately
- Great big good morning hugs from my house of boys
- My first run after recovering from an injury!
- Seeing the sun rise
a gift in a sign, a smile, a snack
- "Jealousy is counting someone elses blessing" - literally a sign created outside of a church in town. Love that!
- Big smiles from my boys after the first run through the sprinkler!
- caramel ribbon frappuccino and blueberry scone...yum!
- The Holy Spirit given to us on Pentacost
- His words read in church while sharing a Bible with Justin
- New furniture delivered right on time
- spare room, clean and everything in it's place
- A back patio big enough for a table full of food and extended family gathered around to eat
- New, SMALLER workout clothes (okay, actually they are in my dresser. Same difference)
- A hug to comfort my oldest after a nightmare
- Iron Man 3 at the movie theater with my boys
- Lightning bright across a night sky
- a bird's nest tiny, eggs hatched, babies flown away
- A new garbage disposal installed and running beautifully - all by Justin!
- Trees reflected upside down in the still water of a pond
- Always a phone call away...no matter what
- Their absalute love and devotion to their grandchildren
- All the help they have given us in all ways through the last difficult year and a half
- A tiny fish painted by Gavin for Mother's Day
- A handcrafted card made by Logan
- Logan's hand in mine as we took a nature walk on our Logan/Mommy day
- Mom's successful hand surgery!
- A source of good advice ("Why don't you use that gauze that sticks to itself to wrap up Gavin's foot blister since band-aids don't stick?" - GENIUS!)
- A great place to get a good hug
3 gifts about you
- My body - the one that has conceived, grown, and nourished to beautiful children
- A double ear piercing...proof of my success in getting healthier and growing stronger
- My newfound independence and confidence in who I am as a person, a wife, and a mother
a gift in a box, a bag, a book
- A puzzle, bright and colorful
- Presents from Mimi and Papa's trip to the beach (cups for the boys, shirts for the grown-ups)
- Love Wins by Rob Bell...a picture of heaven so beautiful
3 gifts unexpected
- A friendly neighbor's help mowing the lawn
- Mud squished up between my toes at the park
- Flowers sitting on the front porch from my in-laws - Happy Mother's Day!
3 gifts from your childhood
- Friday nights, family sprawled all together for TV
- Nights gazing out an open window counting fireflies in the park
- Rides on the riding lawn mower around my grandparent's farm
- A Hershey bar wrapped up to show teacher appreciation
- The first Starbucks strawberry lemonade of the season!
- French fries...fresh and hot with a salty bite on the tongue
- "Motorcycle" sounds created by Gavin
- "Underdogs" on the swings for Logan
- "Knock-Knock" jokes told by both boys at dinner time
- Corny jokes shared by a student
- Logan and Gavin's knock-knock jokes during a long car ride
- An ecard shared on facebook by a friend
3 gifts found in community
- Stories and laughter shared over cinnamon rolls at small group
- Coupons passed among friends
- Friends gathering together to take a walk
3 gifts hard giving thanks for
- Roller coasters ridden in the rain
- A chiropractor (many visits and lots of $) to fix my aching back and hip
- A dishwasher back from the dead (maybe, HOPEFULLY) - why did it have to break in the first place and NOW of all times??? (Thanks again, handy husband!)
- Summer dresses, light and cool
- White flowers discovered on a nature walk with Logan
3 gifts found in church
- fellowship - a taco party - for Cinco de Mayo
- Hanging out and discussing our individual "quirks" before taking Communion
- A senior party with subs and cake to celebrate success!
- A competitive game of Clue with my 5th block students (I won!)
- Flexible schedule allowing me to go to Logan's last day of school picnic
3 gifts blue
- Playground equipment, blue paint chipped
- Tic-Tac-Toe for Gavin
- Blue jay outside my bathroom window
- Baby things packed up and mailed out to a friend
- An end of the year gift to Logan's kindergarten teacher
- A picnic lunch for Logan on his last day of kindergarten!
All the gifts that didn't land in a category:
- Logan singing praise songs ("Our God is greater, Our God is better...") on the patio. (Yes, it was a conglomeration of lyrics and made up stuff, but so awesome!)
- My little boys singing along joyfully during praise and worship (Logan even knows a lot of the words now (see above gift) and Gavin just sings nonsense, but he does it with gusto!)
- A family first: a Springfield Cardinals ball game!
- Introducing Cold Stone Creamery to my kiddos for the first time - Yum!
- Hiking out to "Logan Lake" on April & Phil's new land to watch Logan fishing
- Logan casting his very own fishing pole with expertise...
- ...and cheering Logan on for catching the biggest fish in the cooler...and then catching SIX more!
- Logan teaching ME how to cast a fishing pole ("No, Mom! Like this! There you go! You got it, Mom! It's okay that you didn't catch a fish though.")
- Painting on the patio with my boys - Happy Memorial Day!
- Crayola Paint that washes right off - and out of clothing (mine) - with water!
- Journaling outside with the breeze rustling through the trees
- Steaks, medium-rare, fresh off the grill (yes, I like my meat that way. So do my boys!)
- Rain falling in the sunshine while the boys run around in it with glee
- A date to the movies with my Logan on another Logan/Mommy day (we saw "Epic" - good flick)
- First swim of the summer in our backyard swimming pool
- The weightlessness of swinging back and forth, higher and higer. I still love the swings at the park!