A good friend of mine (www.stillhavesandinmyshoes.blogspot.com) recently posted an entry about things she loved. I thought it was so fun that I'd take inspiration from her and do the same.
1. Watching my infant son awaken. Most mornings I can count on him stretching his little arms above his head and waking up in a good mood. The sun doesn't come up for me until I get his first smile of the day.
2. Kissing my son's velvety little head. What IS it about babies that makes their hair smell so good? I've used Johnson's Baby Shampoo myself and I never smelled as good as my baby boy does. It's a mystery, but also one of life's blessings -- smelling a baby.
3. Hanging out with my brothers. I have two younger brothers and they can make me laugh like no one else except my husband can. When the three of us get together, we're all kids again. We usually just crack each other up quoting random movie punchlines at each other, until my youngest brother makes a ridiculous observation that kills us all.
4. Talking to my mom. It's the easiest and most natural thing in the world to do -- connect with her every day. I think it's because she's been my best friend since I was born. I'm a lucky woman to have such an amazing example of giving and openness in my life.
5. Making my husband laugh. For those of you who know us, you know that he's definitely "the funny one." He makes me laugh constantly. So when I can turn the tables on him and make him really lose it, I feel like I'm flying. It's extremely satisfying.
6. Reading a great book. This is a love that I've abandoned for a while to focus on being a new mom -- my reading has consisted of lots of books about childbirth and parenting. But I'm hopeful about getting back to this love soon. I miss getting lost in words and paragraphs. I can get to the point with a great book that I'm scanning words but what appears in my brain are people, places and smells, voices and other sounds, scenes and feelings. I LOVE that.
7. My iPhone. My husband wanted to buy me one when they first came out, and I resisted. "I don't NEED an iPhone," I protested for months. And I held my ground. This past Valentine's Day, though, he brought one home for me. And I fell in love with it. Apple is amazing. When I got an iPod, it changed how I listened to, bought, thought about, accessed music. Now my iPhone has changed how I live online. Incredible. Plus, it's just really freakin' cool.
8. This otherworldly confection called "Avalanche Bark" from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Think Rice Krispies meets peanut butter meets marshmallows meets chocolate chips and some other random and unknown goodness, all in one hunk of heartbreakingly-good delicious-ness.
9. Folding laundry. Weird, right? But I get a kick out of a warm mountain of clean, fresh-smelling clothes that I can fold before they get wrinkled. I think it means to me that I'm taking care of the people I love -- my husband and my son. I do laundry RIGHT -- I sort, I treat stains, I adjust dryer settings, I do reds by themselves. I'm GOOD at laundry. And I LOVE a warm towel on a cold morning when you step out of the shower.
10. Connecting with my sister- and brother-in-law. My sister-in-law and I were pregnant at the same time, and she's expecting their daughter to arrive in a few more weeks. Going through the process of being pregnant together has brought us so much closer and I love who she is and how she lives her life. She's amazingly connected to people and reading how they're feeling. She's a healer by nature and she's going to be a stellar mom. And my brother-in-law is adorable. He's strong and masculine, and his newborn daughter is going to rule him, I can just tell. They'll make the perfect parenting team because they complement each other so well.
11. "Lost." I don't watch much TV anymore, but this one's got me hooked again. So does "America's Best Dance Crew" (can't wait for the new season this summer!) and "Dancing with the Stars".
12. Caffeine-Free Coke. Now that I'm a nursing mom, caffeine is taboo. So are artificial sweeteners. Thank God for Caffeine-Free Coke. I love having a soda I can enjoy again. All during my pregnancy, it was water, water, water. I got so sick of just water. Yay for teeth-rotting soda!! :)
13. The dipping sauce you get with Papa John's pizza. WOW. Butter, garlic ... you might as well put a cork in your arteries, but it's SO good.
14. Helping my husband give our son his nightly bath. The boy LOVES his bath, though he didn't in the past. Now it's a joy to watch him light up when we lower him into his little tub. He grins up at us, even if he was just wailing for some reason. And there's something pure about a squeaky clean baby. Plus, his bathtub is the coolest thing. It has a built-in thermometer that tells you what temperature the water is, and shows you a safe and comfortable range for bathing a little one. So the guesswork's out of water temp. It even beeps loudly if the water's getting too warm. Amazing. Plus it works with running water, which runs into its own reservoir separate from the part where baby's sitting, so you always have a fresh water supply for rinsing. So cool.
15. Reading what smart, funny and kind people are doing and creating. I love my girlfriend's blog (see above) and trolling through Facebook to see what's up with the amazing people in my life. One friend's in the advertising business and is one of the most brilliant people I know. He doesn't post often, but when he does, I know it'll be good. Even his status updates are good. I have another friend who lives in Arkansas, and the shortest e-mails he sends me can make me smile, because his spirit shines through them. And text messages from my youngest brother at college always crack me up. A while ago, his favorite exclamation was "goo." If someone on TV suddenly got sick on camera, he'd yell "Goo!" Or if you told him you got a flat tire, he'd say, "Goo!" Once he dropped something sticky on the floor, and rather than cuss, he simply looked down and said very quietly, "Goo." And it cracks me up. Even just remembering how he sounded when he said it still makes me laugh. So he created a new way for me to swear without actually swearing. Now that I have a baby, that's really useful. So -- thank you, J.
Life's good. Reading back over this list has helped me realize that I have access to these "things I love" on a regular basis. I'm blessed, and I know it.