grateful on a monday in may...

First, thank you for your sweet words and kind encouragement after my brain dump this weekend. I know that its only been 4.5 months since my girl went to heaven and this healing thing takes time...lots and lots of time. I am just at the beginning. Thank you for your patience, especially in this space. I feel a bit bi-polar at times with the high and low pitches of my life these days, but you guys stay with me and for that I am so very thankful. 

Second, it's time to get back on the gratitude train. It has been eight months since I have done a post listing my blessings. Way too long for this practice to be pushed onto the sidelines.It helps me get out of my head and believe me, this is a good thing. It's scary inside my head. Very, very scary.

In my cup::
a raspberry yogurt smoothie. I have two little four year-old helpers today so we started the day with a little raspberry love. Next up caffeine for me. LOTS of caffeine. It is Monday after all. 

Sitting in::
A chair in the living room. The girls I watch two days a week are in the midst of a Barbie fashion show, playing with magnets AND giving Anna and Elsa some center stage time. "Let it Go" is sung at least three times a day when they come. I don't mind at all (she says as her eye twitches).

Listening to the sounds of::
Two four year old girls with active imaginations. They come up with some of the BEST lines when playing. 

The sun is::
Shining and it is going to be quite warm today. I see some outside time and maybe even a little water play if the humidity gives us a break.

Courtney is currently::
In heaven!! I guess I will have to come up with another category to replace this one. What do you guys think? What should go here now?? Tell me in the comments. 

Something beautiful::
Y'all know how much I lurve fresh flowers. I am happy just looking at them in the grocery store, let alone in a vase in my home. These tulips were at Whole Foods the other day and they made me swoon. Seriously y'all, look at those deep colors. I do love me a blast of hot pink.

Something Stylish:
I will play catch up with What I Wore this Wednesday. I am trying to remember to take a photo of my outfits as we o along. Some days are better than others. Today I am wearing yoga pants and a loose knit top. It's my Monday uniform.

What's on my mind::
Oh so many things. I have been praying about and pondering this space, it's purpose, my life and it's purpose.I have been thinking about deep things, preparing to make some hard choices for the betterment of my family. All while navigating this grief journey. Not easy but necessary.

What I am praying for:
+ for my sweet friend who is undergoing some serious persecution and alienation due to her beiliefs. I pray God stands with her and she feels His strength. 

+ for my sister who is a teacher. That she knows her kids (students) would not be who they are without her tutalege. She is a treasure of an instructor. 

for my son and my husband who are both in the midst of transitions and change. They are not big fans of either. Really NOT big fans. 

+ for all the Mama's of special ones I know and love so much. For strength, wisdom, perseverance and understanding in the vocations of motherhood. You are never alone. 

+ for the church. It is filled with brokenness and broken people. For God's mercy and guidance.

Adventuring in the kitchen::
I made some seriously delish side dishes for a BBQ this weekend. The first one was my Grandmother Stuecken's Potato Salad. Here is a photo to make you jealous:

The recipe is quite simple. Scrub five pounds of potatoes (skin on) and place in a pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. In a separate pot, boil four eggs. While the pots are going, finely chop one large onion. Once the eggs are hardboiled, chop them and place into the bowl with the onions. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, drain them and allow them to cool. Then you take the potatoes and simply scrape the skin off, chop them into one inch pieces and place them into the bowl with the eggs and onions. You add 1.5 cups of mayo, 3 tablespoons of yellow mustard and salt and pepper to taste. You can add more mayo or mustard given your families individual tastes. That's it. It is simple and very tasty. When I make it, it doesn't take long for my guys to run through it. 

The second one is a BLT Pasta Salad. I will post that one tomorrow. 

Sewing with my Bernina:: 
I am busy making some baby and toddler dresses, followed by a table cloth for a sweet friend. Then it will be time to make some quilts I think. I promise more photos as I make my way through the "to sew" pile.  

This week will bring::

I am part of a panel discussion on end of life issues, this Wednesday at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Damascus, MD. If you are able to make it, I would love to see you there. It's not too late to register. There is no charge. 

I am also continuing the thank you note writing marathon and we have dinner plans tomorrow night with sweet friends. 

:: giving thanks for
#2219 ~ #2249
* for two sweet four year old girls who make my week one filled with wonder and laughter once more. 
* for blogging friends that I get to meet in real life. I am forever changed by knowing you IRL.
* for frozen popsicles on a hot and humid day
* for Barbie Dolls and quick dress changes.
* for glittery butterfly wings and tutu's. They make my world magical again. 
* for cold sweet tea and a slice of lemon
* fresh strawberry pie
* sweet friends whose door is always open, no matter what.
* cartoons on an early Monday morning, allowing me to ease into the week with littles.
* peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches
* play-doh and sprinklers
* extra changes of clothes for pre-schoolers who don't quite make it to the potty.
* for you beautiful people, who made sure Miss Courtney would have a headstone. It will be beautiful.
*  my mother who has stood by my side from the beginning. He love and devotion are such a gift to me and my family.
* for my book to finally be published. I know I only wrote a chapter, but to see those words in print is pretty special.
* for my Youth Ministry kids. You challenge me and change me every single week. I am blessed to know you and walk this journey of faith with you. 
* grilled cheese and tomato soup
* hot dogs hot off the grill, lovingly surrounded by ketchup, mustard and pickle relish.
* story time at the library with 40 four year olds - memories made!
* girls in dress up clothes dancing to Disney soundtracks
* a medium-rare steak and loaded baked potato washed down with a mojito - spoiled for sure.
* a tablespoon of peanut butter dipped in mini chocolate chips.
* meeting with my fellow CWBN bloggers, getting to know these beautiful, brilliant women who share their faith and their souls online and in real life
* a full tank of gas and nothing on the schedule
* a season finale to your favorite TV show that makes you really wish fall was already here. 
* a new clothes line
* the first set of freshly washed sheets hung on said line
* a library bag full of books ready to keep me company all weekend
* a loaded Ipod ready for your own personal dance party
* coffee, hot and fresh each morning
* friends who love me thorough the good and the bad

What’s in your cup? 
What’s sweetening your life? How can I pray for you?
Tell me all about it, I’d love to hear and join in the conversation.

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