Joy #18 The girls holding hands to pray with their teacher before class begins.
Joy #19 The array of colors on the falling leaves.
Joy #20 The little buttons.
Joy #21 And the large blossom on my Chicago Peace rose bush. The special reason I bought it almost six months ago to represent healing and peace in our lives. When it opens a new set of buds I love seeing the layers of colors. I'm reminded of the beauty that comes from pruning by God's hands in our lives.
Joy #22 That lovely rose bringing warmth to my windowsill in this cold month of December.
Joy #23 The clouds scattered across the sky like little pillows leading the way to heaven.
Joy #24 The hawk circling above. I absolutely love watching them in full flight.
Joy #25 These amazing pictures taken by a professional of my son playing soccer. Today marked the end of the season. I'm so proud of him and how hard he worked to guard the goal.
Joy #26 These wacky girls being goofy in their make-shift fort while the soccer game carries on.
Joy #27 Ending the night on a date with my husband at a delicious vegan restaurant. We forgot to bring a camera. So no photos, but the food will be remembered and so will the company. Tonight we celebrated our 14 years of marriage, ending it with a trip to Barnes and Noble.
As I sum up what brought me joy today, I truly did have my eyes open for those things.
But I would be remiss if I didn't give you the rest of the story. You see there were many bumps along the way today. Bumps that tried to steal the joy.
Ten minutes into ballet, my three-year-old, for no rational reason decided she would not dance. She'd scream and cry and run away any time the teacher tried to ease her back in with the group. She was glued to me which then made the five-year-old want to be glued to me. So I had two crying girls, not dancing, with only one more practice before they're supposed to be in a nutcracker show.
Then ten minutes before we had to leave for soccer we realize my son's cleats are no where to be found. We were almost late, but at the last second they were found in the bottom of a giant box of toys. That made sense right? We were all a little testy.
Then when we got home my husband and kids gathered wood to start a fire. I was working on getting some prints made and started really smelling smoke. Then started really seeing the smoke. Turns out the flew was shut and it was all filling in the house. My husband quickly reached up to open it, forgetting how hot it would be and landed himself a nice blister on his thumb.
All the windows were opened and then later closing one he knocked over and broke one of those cute little teapots you see on my windowsill in Joy #22. Grrr. I was frustrated.
Then in my attempt to fix it I super-glued part of it to my finger. Seriously couldn't get it off. As I went to tell him I have a teapot permanently adhered to me, I just started cracking up at the insanity of it all. God just must have a sense of humor right.
So our anniversary dinner didn't start out all that well. But these are the things that make up life and it's not all roses and sunsets. It's the nitty gritty and the annoying things too.
Joy #28 is taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, to laugh at yourself and to love each other through it all.