I've been a big grump lately. I can think of a dozen reasons why-- The kids and I being sick the last few weeks, Rick's emergency appendectomy on Sunday, piles of unwashed laundry, etc... It's why I haven't been blogging much lately, because really, who wants to listen to me complain? Even I don't. But really, I know that these things don't have anything to do with my happiness. They are just excuses.

This morning I woke at 5 am and nursed Mason back to sleep. I laid back down and started drifting back to sleep. I dreamed of myself and other people, none of whom I knew, wandering along a shallow river bed full of wet rocks. We were all searching for something-- lifting up rocks and looking beneath. The sun was just coming up. It was a simple dream, but startled me right back awake.

I was struck by their searching-- the intent looks on their faces-- on my face. Most of all, I was struck by that fact that none of them knew what they were searching for. I told myself right after waking, they will never find what they are looking for there. They will only find rocks and water-- not what they need.

I've been thinking about it all morning. Mostly about what it is I am searching for, and how I can find it. I don't really have an answer-- just ideas forming within me. I feel certain that the answers to those questions lie dormant within me-- that innately within each of our hearts is a blueprint of what we can become. If we build our lives according to that blueprint, we can achieve great things, and find happiness.

So I'm looking within this morning-- the rocks and riverbed of my soul. (Okay, sorry if I'm getting a little cheesy here). I've been thinking about what things in my life help me feel the most aligned to that internal blueprint. Three things stand out the most to me:

Prayer, meditation, and dreams.

I can see right away where I can improve. I have not been praying much, or meditating much lately. Part of that is because I haven't been taking my morning walk. It is my mediation time, and the absence of that time to think, meditate, pray, and soak up the early morning sun is taking its toll. Thankfully I can always have dreams to signal to me when I'm getting off course.

There are other areas that I can improve, as always, and I'm making my little goals, and have an increased desire to achieve great things by making those small and necessary changes. One of them is to express more gratitude.

So in closing this post, here are a few things that I am feeling grateful for today:
  • Rick. If ever I did make a good decision in my life, it was to marry Rick. It makes me tear up just thinking of his goodness. I remember approaching marriage with such trepidation. I wasn't afraid of Rick-- just the idea of marriage. Every serious relationship I had ever had almost always ended with me feeling very bored of the person. I always felt so relieved to get out of the grips of a committed relationship. I had no idea what it would feel like to be married-- to be bound to that person for eternity. It makes me smile to think of my worries now. I have never for a moment felt bored with Rick. I feel quite the opposite, in fact. I am always feeling surprised by him-- excited by our future together. He's a wonderful husband, friend, and father to our kids. On Friday night Rick made Vaughn some Wolverine claws (one of Vaughn's newest obsessions). He stayed up for hours making them out of cardboard, tinfoil, and tape. I wish you could have seen Vaughn's face when he got them in the morning. It makes me smile to think of Rick planning them out and building them. What a cool Dad.
  • Vaughn. He makes me laugh every day with the things that he says. Some of my favorite Vaughnisms lately are "Mommy [or Daddy] I need to tell you a question," said every time he needs to tell us something, "I really mad for you," said with his brows furrowed and his arms folded every time he's upset at us, and all his little expressions of pleasure-- "Thank-you Mommy, thank you!, This is DELICIOUS,! I really like this Mommy...I really love it! etc... He's a little bundle of energy, ideas, imagination and cuteness. I love my little Vaughnster, or as he calls himself "I Nonster-kay-hewis."
  • Mase. Our little one-tooth wonder. He toddles all around and brings joy to our family. Every time he sees me he says "Hiiii," and smiles. He waves whatever he is carrying around to show me. Then he shares with me, and I tell him excitedly "Thank you!" which makes his face brighten. Then he takes whatever it is back. Some of his favorite things are his little teddy bear that he got from Grandma Emett, any magazine he can find, rocks, and anything that his big brother is playing with.
  • Good extended family (on both sides). They are always loving and supportive, and are good friends to us. We are so lucky to have so much wonderful family.
  • Good friends. Special thanks to Natalie for watching my kids on Sunday while Rick was in surgery, and Janet who was going to watch them on Monday, and then brought us dinner and cookies even though I told her not to. I am lucky to have many great friends. They are all so different, and have so many talents and great qualities, but the one thing they all have in common is that they make me want to be a better person. And that is really what a good friend should do, right?
  • The beautiful world around me. My yard is so green and pretty right now, and we are surrounded by beautiful places around us, and it makes me feel happy and grateful to be here to soak it all up.
So here's to a beautiful today and tomorrow, and hopes of getting all the grumps within me happy again.