Seattle Street Art, Georgetown.
I love foggy mornings in Seattle.
Quiet, calm, less chaotic than other days.
Everything pared down to just what’s right in front of me. Foggy days just seem simpler.
The theme for her best friend/cousin’s birthday party was superheroes, and my girl was determined to go to this party as Super Girl.
Who is Super Girl? She’s the bestest. She rescues people and stops the bad guys and she’s super fast.
We looked at a lot of superhero costumes, but none of the were fast enough. She needed a super fast costume. And it had to have red in it. And arm bands. And glasses with a crown attached to the top.
Where does she come up with this stuff?
I had my work cut out for me. I came up with this logo, with the star and the words “Super Girl,” but Super Girl said “it wasn’t fast enough.”
And it had to have fire. You can’t have Super Girl without fire.
Back to the drawing board.
Then I came up with this.
When I showed it to her, she smiled and laughed in a way that let me know I was finally moving in the right direction.
Next we had to figure out to which wardrobe items this logo would be affixed. We did not try on every article of clothing she owned, but we came close.
The morning of the party I was still making changes to the logo, and her outfit… Oh, and don’t forget the glasses with the crown attached.
I almost forgot the glasses. Last minute printout of a small version of the logo pasted to a piece of paper I cut out in a shape that approximated a crown, with holes the glasses’ temples could slip through to hold it in place.
And to make everything that much better, when we got to the party, they had capes!
Happy Birthday, Bella! 🙂
Bonus: Halloween costume is done.
What have you been up to?
We slipped into summer quietly: a lovely day, followed by a lovely sunset.
Since the solstice, our weather has been all over the place. Right now we are enjoying a thunder and lightning storm, this following a hot, blue-skied afternoon.
And tonight, this lovely summer solstice sunset.
How did your summer get started?
“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just matter of paying attention to this miracle.”
~ Paulo Coelho
Living with a preschooler makes it easier to find miracles on a daily basis – she has not yet forgotten that everything is amazing.
Here, in the shade, tenacious droplets of light, some no larger than a quarter, fell on these flowers like little spotlights from heaven. I wouldn’t have noticed these flowers without my daughter’s influence.
She really wasn’t interested in the flowers at all, but she believed that this dark area under the tree would be the best place to find fallen leaves and twigs to make a nest for the birds.
It’s warmer these days, but still quite cool in the shade. Too cool for me. I would’ve found a warmer spot, but I was following my daughter around. Once she started digging for bugs, I knew we were going to be there for a while. I needed to find a way to entertain myself.
It wasn’t until I decided to find a way to enjoy the shade that I noticed the flowers.
My gratitude journal started out as a quick list every night. I just got in the habit of listing 5 things for which I was thankful each night before bed; often it was the same, or a similar list, each time. Husband, daughter, a roof over our heads, and the last two varied, but it was a less than fascinating list.
Then I started putting some effort into mixing things up. I didn’t just say I was thankful for my husband, I got specific and mentioned a quality or something he did or said. Same with my daughter – and many other frequent flyers on my gratitude list. Soon, my nightly entries morphed from a quick five-word-list to an accounting of my day that was framed around an expression of gratitude.
I’ve kept a journal for most of my life, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but once I added the gratitude element, the journal took on a different, more energetic and pro-active tone – it’s my autobiography written through the lens of gratitude.
I found myself looking for things throughout the day, taking note of things – ooh, that’s going on my list tonight!
There have been times when the world just falls apart around me, and yet still I can always find at least five things.
I resisted this idea for a while – it’s essentially dishonest, I thought, to disregard everything that’s going wrong. But that’s where I was wrong. It is not a matter of disregard.
A few months ago, my husband had a medical crisis while he was in Istanbul. It was a stressful and terrifying experience, but the relief I felt once we got him from the airport to safely admitted to the hospital was palpable. To acknowledge that relief underscores, rather than dismisses, the significance of that crisis.
This process doesn’t disregard the darkness, it looks for the light. My gratitude practice exercises the sames skills I use to find solutions to problems. I imagine there are worse mental pathways to make habitual.
And it is becoming a habitual practice.
Not to long ago, I took to my journal ready to whine and complain about everything that was going wrong, but out of habit, I had written the word “Gratitude” at the top of the page.
I couldn’t fill a page with whining when it had the word gratitude at the top. So I decided to go ahead and do my gratitude list first, and whine later on another page.
I never got around to whining. That’s when I knew my gratitude practice was really working.
As we head into the month of Thanksgiving, and tonight especially, there is so much for which to be thankful, and it does seem to be the topic of the hour. Today, among so many other things that bless my life, I am thankful for my gratitude practice.
I know that the idea of a gratitude practice is starting to gain some popularity. Anyone else out there make a practice of it? Any thoughts?