Morning by Morning (12/30)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Warm showers on a cold day (not many across the globe have this luxury)
  2. The opportunity to write a blog post for my hospital posted on its intranet.  I wrote about hope during the holiday season, and I could not believe more in that message.  There are plenty of things to feel down about here, or to genuinely feel hopeless.  But with every parents touch of their child, the smile of a nurse, the celebration of a holiday at this place- with all these and more- we proclaim that hope abounds in the midst of even dark places.  Amen!
  3. Teresa Childers, a mom whose endurance and perseverance for her child are exemplary and love filled.  The way she handled herself, being both realistic and hopeful are real lights in the darkness.  She maintained her love for C and for her family with wry humor, with appreciating the moments with her child, and by being honest with God in her thoughts and prayers. May God be with her and her family through this time, and may I learn from her as I grow into my parenthood.
  4. Gods wonderful gift of grace in my life!

Morning by Morning (12/29)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Feeling warm while surrounded in cold weather (it’s a great feeling that I often don’t feel because as a native to Los Angeles I don’t really ever have great cold weather clothes!)
  2. Playing chase with Ryan.  He just loves it when you start chasing him and his giggles just bring smiles to my face.  I also love watching him run when we chase him!
  3. A good supervisor at the hospital! I really appreciate Norma! 

Morning by Morning (12/28)

My morning gratitude for: 

  1. Being dressed up so snazzily by Elana and her best friend. New work dress shoes? Check! New classy formal sweater? Check! Cold weather, I don’t fear you so much anymore.  And now, I might actually look like a professional and not a college student who happens to be working!
  2. My friend C, who died this weekend at the hospital.  This sweet boy will not be forgotten by staff, by family, or by me.  For as much pain as he was in, he still tried to enjoy life as much as possible.  He loved superheroes, loved praying, and loved his nurses who took such great care of him time and time again.  I am and always will be honored that I got to pray with him and walk alongside his family.
  3. A wife who pays so much attention to the budget and who becomes giddy at budget planning.  I care a lot about a well run budget and run a tight ship for myself, so her passion had to exceed mine quite a bit to make me comfortable handing the reins of our budget over.  But yep, her passion and insanity is over the top. Ha!

Morning by Morning (12/26)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Being home.  Home bed, home couch, home house, home kitchen (where I know where everything is), and home in Houston.  Love myself some family in SoCal but appreciate the subtleties that make home home!
  2. Meds.  I am feeling sick this morning, for no reason apparently (other than getting 4 hours of sleep a night for a week, eating constant sugar and carbs, and being with people non stop for 6 days).  I need those meds to keep me sane today!
  3. Fred and Shelley, my uncle and aunt who offered an SUV to my parents so that they didn’t have to choose who got to take us to the airport and who had to stay home.  For the first time in a long time, my entire family got to see me and my own off at the airport (which was so helpful as I watched bags and Elana checked in so Ryan and Aiden could be occupied).  And they just called and offered out of the blue, an amazingly kind gesture that I appreciate so much! 

Morning by Morning (12/25)

My morning (afternoon) gratitude for:

  1. The great family Christmas Eve get together that was Ryan’s first major Christmas and included singing the 12 days of Christmas in boisterous Denham fashion and plenty of Christmas trivia games.  Lots of fun and fellowship with my very missed and very appreciated family.
  2. A good week with family.  It’s been a great time to see my aunts and uncles and cousins and talk parenthood with them all.  They are all experienced and seasoned parents who know what exhaustion, joy, blessing and irony are with children.  Blessed by them!
  3. My son Ryan who despite his struggles with a car seat and first flights of multiple stop flights, is a child I treasure and cherish on this special day of the year. He truly is a good gift.
  4. Elana, who continues to endure life with me and is a truly remarkable gift to me. It is not easy to find someone who is patient with family, engages with my brothers and parents so well, and who can walk alongside me for another holiday. I hope I appreciate her enough this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all! 

Morning by Morning (12/24)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Papa John and Reesa Reesa, who are wonderful grandparents to my kids and I love seeing them connect to each other.
  2. Going snow tubing today in Big Bear with Aiden, Josh (my bro) and his son Will.  The kids are over the moon about it, and I’m excited to just have lots of fun with the boys.
  3. Hangin with Mike and Linda and Chris in a hot tub last night and talking about everything under the sun.  I appreciate them a lot for being so focused on treasuring moments with family.
  4. My sister in law Jacqui’s health as she is pregnant (28wks) with a little girl.  They have already gone through a rough journey but I am grateful for the safety of mother and child today.
  5. Watching Ryan (my son) and Elijah (Josh’s second son) play together.  Elijah is a year older almost exactly, and it is so cute to see them play, learn, laugh, and even wrestle over toys that they think are theirs.  I personally love watching Ryan learn to share and interact (build a relationship) with another child who is not just another little one at daycare, but a cousin.

Morning by Morning (12/23)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. The Mission Inn Festival of Lights.  Great place to walk and enjoy lights and good winters snacks like dessert tamales and hot chocolate!          
  2. Being like my dad! Having been home for four days I see my dad in me so much and I feel like it is such a blessing (and a curse but this blog is only about gratitude right?!?!)
  3. Cool winter-time weather that requires a sweater, pants, and the occasional Santa hat and beanie.
  4. Thankful for health and family this season, things many people don’t get to full enjoy this holiday season. Sometimes it is luck, sometimes the draw, sometimes God, and sometimes because I intend it so, but I am humbled to have both good health in and around me and great family surrounding me these days.

Morning by Morning (12/21)

My morning gratitude for:

  1.  Just some of my favorite Christmas pictures so far!             
  2. Aiden and Will (cousin of Aiden) becoming best of friends at a moments notice after being away for a year!
  3. Seeing Joe interact with Ryan and Aiden! He’s a great uncle.
  4. Watching Joe and Josh as they have grown up and being so proud of who they have become and who they are. Amazing!

Morning by Morning (12/19)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Christmas time
  2. Christmas time 
  3. Christmas time
  4. Yes, Christmas time.
  5. I am up early this Saturday morning because the excitement and anxiety are already flowing for our California trip for Christmas week.
  6. Family, like Uncle Mike and Aunt Linda, Uncle Fred and Aunt Shelley, Uncle Jim (my dads twin by the way!), Lewis and Marion (in laws)
  7. Cousins Amanda, Brittany, DJ, Chris and Marianne 
  8. Brothers (and sister in law) Josh and Jacqui, Joe, and of course my parents!
  9. Christmas Eve family gathering.  No matter how chaotic I really appreciate the time to be around everyone, and the last couple years it has been more special as the last night with family!
  10. Hanging out with my brothers.  I love them so much and miss being so far from both of them.
  11. Joe getting to be uncle to Aiden and Ryan but also even meeting Ryan and Ryan growing to love him like I know he will.
  12. Opportunities to see Cambry and Heather, Adam and Carrie, and Jon and Allison.  Maybe it will happen, maybe not, but those are friends worth getting excited about the possibility of hanging out!
  13. Ah, Christmas time!

Morning by Morning (12/18)

My morning gratitude for:

  1. Just two days from SoCal and my family!!! One more day at work. I can’t be more excited right now.
  2. Grief- yes, it’s a gift- and one we are grateful for.  I have a friend I have known since college, and his mother is battling cancer. I hear the desperation and grief in his thoughts of just wanting to love her in this difficult time.  I know of a boy in our hospital whose mother yearns for him to be at peace.  I grieve for both of these people and the ones they love.  My second hand grief is a gift, reflecting how much I care for both of them. But their grief, anticipatory or momentary, is also a gift, however unwanted, that reflects the depth of a mother and sons love for each other.  That’s what the grief is about.  We don’t want it but it shows the magnitude of our connection with that person and it is priceless.  Both my friend and the boy and their mothers are in my prayers.
  3. Good friends like Stephen and Dawn Marie Lucas who came over and played cards and hung out for the night.  I love both of them and think the world of the way they care for their nephews and nieces, their love of dogs, and their good hearted natures.