I realized yesterday that it has been two weeks since my last update. Seriously... time flies. It's not that life hasn't been full or busy - it's not that we haven't had plenty to talk about. But for some reason, I've had a case of writer's block. I love to write. I think it's one of my God-given gifts. (And I should probably give my mom some credit for the ability, too. It's kind of in my blood.) But the past couple of weeks, the words haven't been found, and the camera has been somewhat tucked away. I guess there are times where even I believe that not everything can be put into words, and a camera is not always capable of capturing every single memorable moment. Daylight saving's time has brought about a hibernation of sorts in our home, and evenings are spent in a new way. No longer able to play outside but more time to spend building Lego towers taller than Brandon and more time to spend with Jaden learning our letters on the giant chalkboard wall in his room. What is it about shorter days and the anticipation of all that's to come that brings about a sense of calmness - even though life is anything but calm? Days are still filled with their own struggles - the kind of struggles that come when raising two very young boys with two full-time working parents - and only a somewhat healthy husband. But blessings still come through each and every day, and lately I have been feeling more than thankful. 'Tis the season.
Feeling thankful for my 20-month old that now enjoys hearing Mommy sing "You Are My Sunshine" and "Jesus Loves Me" every night in his room before placing him in his crib. He shows me he appreciates this by placing his fingers on my lips as soon as the lights get turned off... it's his way of saying "Sing now, Mommy."
Feeling thankful when I hear Jaden and Brandon playing in Jaden's room together with their chalk. Jaden points to the letter 'A' on his wall -- "Brandon, did you know this is the letter A? Look at the A, Brandon. Do you see it? That's the letter A!"
Feeling thankful when my oldest reminds his Daddy that he's supposed to pray every single morning to start their day.
Feeling thankful when I see Brandon's pure delight at the sight of a waffle popping up from the toaster... his new favorite food that causes him to squeal, clap, and literally skip from room to room because he's so excited to share this breakfast with Daddy.
Feeling thankful when Jaden draws "Jesus' cross" all over his chalkboard. I never showed him how to do it, but it's the one thing he gets excited to draw over and over again.
Feeling thankful for Brandon's shouts of "Mama Mama Mama!!!!" when I arrive at daycare at the end of the day.
Feeling thankful when I overhear Jaden singing words from a Life 101.9 song.
Feeling thankful when my kids are so excited to get to church every Sunday.
Feeling thankful when Jaden tells me often, "I love Brandon!"
Feeling thankful when watching my children get into arguments... because it means I have two healthy boys that get to grow up as brothers and friends.
Feeling thankful when Brandon comes over and wraps himself around my legs in a hug - for no reason at all.
Feeling thankful that they really are both so very cute and sweet, and at the end of the day -- they really do love each other. Jaden never lets Brandon go to bed without giving him a kiss first.
Not every moment with these two is bliss. I could talk about Sunday afternoon when we tried to treat them to a visit to the indoor inflatable park and instead of playing and having fun, they both threw tantrums on the floor and refused to even jump in the inflatables at all. I could mention that Brandon is becoming more strong-willed by the minute and threw the bathtub drain plug at Cody just a few days ago because Cody wouldn't let him dump water out of the tub. I could mention that we are having to use time-outs with Jaden more often so that he learns that no really does mean no.
But that all comes with the territory of this parenthood business. They are teaching us, challenging us, making us pull our hair out one minute and making us laugh the very next. They are making me want to be a better person every single day.
There's lots of good things ahead - holidays, birthday celebrations... and a pretty neat change coming after the first of the year. Something we can't talk about yet but are feeling pretty excited about. (And no, it's not a new baby!) How's that for a teaser?