Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Gratitude Edition

round button chicken
Capturing the context of contentment every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter
For starters, I must say I felt a little guilty trying to think of something to feature in a post about contentment after watching footage of the tornado-ravaged town in Oklahoma.  As Calvin said soberly, after joining me in viewing a gallery of photos of the damage, "...and I've been whining about having a runny nose all week..."

It does help to put things in perspective, to remember and pray for those whose lives have been turned upside down.

But contentment, like joy, is something that exists in spite of our circumstances not because of them.  And like joy, contentment sometimes takes practice and/or an act of the will.

So, this week my contentment is enhanced with extreme gratitude for the life I live, the loved ones I cherish, and the luxurious comforts I enjoy, undeservedly.

And so:


Yup, prom time, or as the kids called it, PRAAAAMMM!  A few things you need to know: if you're looking for modest and modestly priced dresses for PRAM, go to David's Bridal.  We looked EVERYWHERE and wound up there in desperation only to find we should have gone there first.  Don't think it's just humdrum bridesmaid dresses.  Also, Mom did the hair again.  She should go into business, that lady.

Same boyf as last year's prom.  Great kid, great family, so maybe he is a little too attached to his phone...

Mothers' Day.  Flowers from the yard picked for our tea table by The Vicar.

I know, I'm a little behind the times but we've been busy with PRAM, you know.  Mothers' Day was a delightful (if not a little exhausting) day.  Daria was visiting and while we couldn't manage to get Dharma up here with her girls, Lobelia and Sweet Pea came over for the day, and Mom, of course, and all of us girls had a lovely, smashing, feminine tea party.

Lobelia made a delicious, fancy salad (with goat cheese, y'all!) AND the dainty tea sandwiches and brought about 27 bags and tins of tea.  Daria went out and procured things like lemon curd, quince jelly, Nutella, and clotted cream.  I made scones and my now-famous white cake with lemon curd and whipped cream.  And Mom went to our favourite bakery for its famous cream-filled donuts and petit fours.  We probably should have had phials of insulin set by every plate.  It was decadent.


I think Sweet Pea agrees.  This little spitfire who rarely sits still for anything was perfectly content to sit in her chair and tuck in to an array of delightful treats.  She thoroughly enjoyed herself the entire time!  What a little imp she is!


Throughout all of the PRAMapalooza, Calvin was kind of a sulky mess.  Being a twelve-year-old boy, he couldn't care less about something as ridiculous as getting all dressed up to go to some fancy place to dance. But the closer we got to PRAM and the more we fussed over his sister, the more squirrelly he became.  At one point, after he had machine-gunned Redheaded Snippet with a series of innocuous, little-brother-esque barbs (things like, "That hair-do makes your head look pointed," "You look pretty.  For a cow," you get the idea), he himself said, "Wow.  I don't know why I keep doing this!  Why am I being so obnoxious today?"

I pulled him into a hug (oh, how he HATES that--but The Vicar says he must always allow it) and said, so only he could hear, "You're just a little envious of all the attention she's getting and you want some, too.  Don't worry, your time will come."  He looked at me, amazed that I was so dead on.  And then went right back to being a punk.  By the time we were taking photos, he had retreated to the love seat with the laptop. So I took a photo to prove to him later that we hadn't completely forgotten about him.  He was unimpressed.

Now this, THIS, I bet this has you stumped, doesn't it?  What is going on here?  I was startled the other day to walk into the kitchen to find a group of men standing in our back yard!  Oh, sure, one may encounter the odd solo gentleman strolling through one's yard from time to time, people like meter readers and exterminators to whom one's husband forgot to alert you, you know.  But an entire group?  It was, as I said, startling.

Well, you may recall, as I seemed to have completely forgotten at the moment that I was peering out the window, that we now live in a parsonage on our church's property.  So the land is not ours.  And we are not its caretakers.  The Vicar quickly came to the window when I told him of the backyard gathering, took one look and said, dismissively, "Oh, those are the deacons."  "Yes, I know that but why are they all in the backyard?"  It was odd, ODD I tell you!  Turns out they were examining a tree to see if it needs to be taken down.  Which is really not quite as odd after all.  But I'm not sure I'll get used to groups of men strolling past my windows.


Finally, in the I-can't-believe-I-am-posting this category, this is our bath mat.  I made the mistake, I see now, of getting a black one for the main bathroom that everyone in the family uses many, many times a day.  I shake it out and wash it and try to keep it hung on the towel bar unless it's actually being used as a bath mat, but it looks like this ALL THE TIME.  I swear, six seconds after I've brought it up from the dryer and hung it in the bathroom, I'll come back in and find it exactly like this.  Clearly, black was NOT the way to go.    Lesson learned.

Where have you found contentment this week?  Or maybe recent events have made you more aware of all of the joy in your life that you haven't been noticing?  If so, take a few photos to share and get some practice in!

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