Family drama all over the place - and it's a struggle to remember that this is my favorite time of the year. But it is, so I'm doing my best to just focus on my favorites. So here, in no particular order are things that make me particularly happy at this point in my life...
1 - My sister. Because you could not find anyone less like me, we have next to nothing in common, but she loves me and supports me and defends me and makes me feel connected to our history like nobody else. She's strong and relentlessly on my side. I don't know that I could have gotten thru the past couple of days without her.
2 - My mother. Because she's a part of me in ways that I don't even understand. Because I see her in myself a thousand times a day, in my daughter even more. Because she's my early morning call, my touchstone for most everything and I can't always figure out where she ends and I begin. I pray that when my daughters are my age, they have the kind of relationship with me that I have with her.
3 - My kids - both Jess and Sam have been so supportive. So aware of my emotions and so sensitive to any little upset. When I start sobbing (which I do with an alarming regularity these days), they immediately drop everything, and stand beside me, wordlessly rubbing my arm or back or whatever they can touch. They never ask for details, but let me know without saying a word how much they love me. They bring me Tums on demand, help push me up off the couch and even provide foot rubs.
4 - My husband - thank God for him, I can't imagine my life without him and rely so much on his strength and stability.
5 - My friends - who drop everything to come help me, to rearrange my living room or watch my kids.
6 - My little Julianna - who's such a good girl already, head down, contractions starting - she knows how badly I want to hold her, and how much we've all been waiting to see her. She's moving all the time, hasn't made me throw up in weeks and I think is just as eager to get this party started as I am.
7 - My neighborhood, filled with beautiful, big, blossoming trees and overrun with squirrels - I went for a very slow two hour walk yesterday with Jessie and Sam and fed the fish and the ducks and got ice cream and played baseball and frisbee (okay, I watched while they played baseball and frisbee) and we had the best afternoon we've had in a long time.
8 - My Jessie Bug - who's so big and so grown up and so sweet. She's such a beautiful combination of the best of both of us, and I'm forever grateful to have her in my life.
9 - My Samilicious - who's grown up so fast in the past several months - and I can't even bring myself to miss my baby boy in diapers and nursing because the little guy running around in Batman underwear is so endlessly cheerful and funny and sweet. I can't imagine my life without him.
Because it is spring, and the sky is blue, the birds sing at three o'clock in the morning (and I never knew that before). Because even when life seems complicated and difficult and like you're being attacked all the time, it's really never as hard as it looks. The blessings are all around you, you just have to remember to see them.