Little Moments

My son said something to me this morning that made me stop and focus. Mama, he said, when my cup is empty, I am sad. When it is full, I’m happy! Here he was, drinking milk from his cereal bowl, just as happy as he could be. He was fully in the moment. I just looked at him. His cheerful smile, the tousled hair, milk all over him…and it just made my heart grow. When did he get so insightful?  He may have been talking about his milk at first, but then he went on to list the things that make him happy: his friends, his bike, the kitty, even mama.

It’s been a bit stressful this week, with an unforeseen medical problem for a family member. I haven’t been the best mama or wife this week. I’ve been trying to get from point A to point B and get things done – just checking things off my list. I’ve been short with folks, and grumpy with myself. Seeing his complete joy in that moment, well, it just makes me want to stop. Why don’t I approach my day like this? I’ve been choosing to be grumpy and stressed. I can choose to find something to be happy about – it’s really not that hard. Life isn’t always happy, but there is always something good. If you just look for it.

I just want to remember to take the time to enjoy the little moments like this:

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Simon the Cat

After our last cat past on earlier this year, we knew we could not be without a cat for long. It didn’t seem right to get one too quickly, and then we had such a long trip planned. One of the things the kids and I discussed non-stop on our trip was getting a kitten (or three!) when we returned. Well, that Sunday after we got back, I went to visit the Mesquite Valley Growers Cat Sanctuary, which is part of our favorite plant nursery, Mesquite Valley Growers.  I want to scout out the kittens and the sanctuary before we took the kids there.

It’s an beautiful, old, historic home that is completely a cat sanctuary. No people live there at all. The kittens have three rooms to themselves, and older cats have the run of the rest of the house. There’s even a huge enclosed patio for the outdoor and feral cats to enjoy. It is pretty amazing. Adoption fees cover neutering the pets, and their first set of yearly shots – and that’s it. It’s very reasonable. Clearly, the older and feral cats are cared for continuously.

In the kitten room, we all scattered to explore. We had decided as a family that we would be getting only one kitten, so we all had to agree on the kitten. Gabe and I were playing with the active kittens, which I thought might be a good fit for the boy. Sophia sat down, and this adorable black kitten sat in her lap. She was entranced. So was Jon. They called me in and he crawled in my lap after playing with Gabe. We knew this was the one, only the gal told us he was going to be adopted by another family.   Heartbroken, we continued looking, but no one seemed right.

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An hour later, the gal came back and told us we could have him! The other family had been in three times, and were still thinking. She knew we had made up our minds. After completing the paperwork, we brought him home. We were testing out names (and Sophia kept calling him “her”), so we tried Sascha. Jon suggested Simon, my absolute favorite name. The kids agreed, and now we have a playful, lap-loving kitten named Simon. He’s a doll.

simon (5)
He approves of fabric…
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watching paint dry
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taking a more active role in painting…
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his favorite place
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don’t mind if I do!
simon (11)
what squirt bottle? i don’t see it!
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it’s hard watching mama work…

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Simon loves to play, loves to cuddle, puts up with Gabe’s rough play, and has to be right in the middle of everything. Lucy, slightly annoyed the return of noise in the house, seems to really like Simon. Simon is still not sure about this giant furry creature, but he’s getting used to her. After the kids go to bed, he can be found either in my lap, or on Jon’s desk while he works. He’s a content cat! And we are so glad to have found him!

 

Summer Road Trip

My sister-in-law finally moved to the States from Germany in January to join my brother in Washington. I really want to spend  a decent amount of time with both of them, so I thought about going to visit this summer for several weeks (provided they wouldn’t get sick of having two kids in the house!) I figured we’d take a couple of trips while we were there to give them a break from us too. So, the question became: do we drive or fly?

Flying means renting a car, adding to the expense of the trip. Driving means driving with two kids over 1,500 miles. Jon can’t take as much time away from his work… so I’d be alone. With two kids. Driving 1,500+ miles. Do I dare?

I thought about it. It does sound crazy, but in a fun, summer-time adventure sort of way. I made a few rules, like driving no more than 5 hours a day (and sometimes less than that), so we could explore the areas we were visiting. We would camp out, to save on money, and besides – kids plus camping should equal fun, right?

Well, we decided to do it! First stop, Julian, CA! We’ll be here for ten days. My mom and niece will join us for a week.

You can follow along on our adventures here and on instagram.

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