Ramblings on Joy and Family

"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family." -President Thomas S. Monson

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we will all be counting and listing our blessings.  This year though, I want to focus on those blessings a little differently.  I believe it's by recognizing those blessings as they occur every single day that makes life rich and fulfilling.

I'm no expert, but recognizing my blessings comes relatively easy for me.  By nature I am a very optimistic and happy person.  My glass isn't just half full, it's overflowing!  I absolutely know that I have so many people and things for which to be grateful.  That is a quality Bron says attracts him to me.  I take that as one of the greatest compliments he can give.  And as embarrassed as I am to admit this, blogging actually helps me recognize the joyful little things in my life.  Being a stay-at-home mom is no cake walk and the day to day tasks can become mundane--there's changing diapers, feeding the Littles, listening to them whine, laundry, dishes, etc.--but still, I find joy!

For me, joy comes in small snipets of time.  They come when I peek over the side of the crib in the morning to see my baby smiling up at me.  They come when I see the look on Jed's face as I read him the same book for the twentieth time.  They come when my husband whispers in my ear, "I love you" before heading off to work in the morning as I lay in bed.  They come in that moment when I conquer that three mile run (whilst pushing two little people)!

I'm surprised of how emotional I become when I talk about these things out loud.

From the outside looking in I seemingly "have it all".  And it's true, I really do.  I have so much!  I am downright spoiled.  I told Bron that sometimes I'm afraid it will all come crashing down.  He agreed.  We never know what life will throw at us next.  But then I said I think the biggest threat to this life of ours would be "us".  We could easily become the culprits in bringing down everything we've worked so hard to build together: us failing to communicate, us forgetting to love and take time for one another.

You see, as much as this blog portrays a perfect family life, it's not without normal everyday struggles.  Concentrating on us has been hard this last year through my pregnancy and adjusting to a brand new baby.  I'm just not myself when I'm pregnant.  And a new baby is just plain demanding.  It's been hard to spend that much needed quality time together--just the two of us.  Who knew family life could be so tough?  "Us" has suffered.  But now, we're ready to recommit and bring ourselves out of that slump.  Best of all, we have a game plan.  We're setting goals and we're determined to stick to them.

First order of business: date nights.  We're both ready to go out alone, that means without our children.  As hard as it is for me to part with my baby, I need to do it.  I'm nervous about leaving Levi with a babysitter and a bottle because he doesn't take a bottle very well.  But my relationship with my husband comes first.  I don't think three hours with a sitter will do Levi any harm.  And likewise, Bron is adjusting to a new career.  He's learning that he will sometimes simply have to put our date night in his calendar and treat it just like any other appointment.  That's right.  There's a time for work and a time for family.

I'm so very grateful for a husband who makes me a priority, who also wants to spend some quality time with his boys every night.  Jed has become Bron's little buddy.  Jed loves his dad and wants to be in the same room with him every moment he is home.  It makes my heart smile.

So here we are coming full circle: finding joy in the journey.

I'm learning that it takes conscious effort to prioritize our time and our family and to recognize those special moments in our lives as they occur everyday, but that effort brings me so much personal joy and satisfaction.

What brings you joy?

P.S.  Levi rolled over on his own for the very first time yesterday, from back to front and then front to back.  I am honestly impressed!  I am so proud of my baby boy.

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