The face that people compliment.
Braden holding a picture of my Mom- I am thankful each day for our angel up above.
Even entering "off limits" corners of the house, I am still proud of his curiosity and determination.
Today was a great day. Braden and I enjoyed our daily breakfast together. I was sipping chai tea and eating oatmeal, my favorite breakfast. He was babbling, pointing outside and periodically throwing bananas on the floor when he thought I was not watching. We then headed to Lake Harriet at about 8:00. The rain last night cooled everything down and the air was crisp, but yet it was a beautiful summer day. As I jogged a lap, I admired the calm morning water and the peacefulness of the trail. Braden admired the dogs that passed by and he pointed at the weed trimmer that was cruising along the edge of the lake. In that lap around the lake, I was thankful to be able to spend a weekday morning out enjoying my son, nature and my physical health.
The second lap we met up with a friend, Rachael, and her kids Eli and Eve. I took a moment to appreciate the ease of our conversation and the good company that was by my side. I stopped to show Braden and Eli the little troll that lived in the tree on the south side of the lake. As I explained how kids stuff hand-written letters behind the door for the troll to read, I was reminded of the fun traditions/stories of my own childhood and a smile came to my face.
We then turned off the lake and headed to a coffee shop. I ordered a latte, and relished each sip, noting that I may not appreciate this treat if I got to have one every day. There was a tiny play area in the coffee shop that Braden immediately cruised over to. He grabbed a race car and began pushing it beyond the play area. Two older gentlemen smiled when they saw him cruising their way and told me how cute he was. Another lady stopped typing on her laptop to wave to him and big smile came across his face. A man in mid-conversation stopped to ask how old he was and told me that he was adorable. In that moment at the coffee shop, I felt so proud to call him my own.
We ended the day by going to the Edina Aquatic Center for the first time, just Braden and I. I have been meaning to take him there all summer. We began in the zero-depth pool where Braden crawled like a mad man, to the point where water was up and over his mouth so I had to block him from going any further. He pointed and said "oohhh" to the waterfalls. We then checked out the dry playground and Braden climbed around. Later, we headed to the big pool where Braden was in awe at the kids going down the zip line and doing flips off the diving boards. He pointed at the lifeguards, seeing them for the first time sitting high above in their chairs. His eyes grew as he saw the two giant waterslides on the west side of the pool. He was so in awe with the world and the new environment that he forgot to swim, he just took it all in as I held him in the water.
It's days like today that I am so thankful for my life. Today, I stopped to smell the roses. I am not wishing my life away or thinking about the next stage. I am not worried about if our house will sell when we put it on the market soon. I am not going to stress about if we should stay in the South Mpls area or move to Stillwater. I am not thinking about whether I will go back to work sometime in the near future or maybe find something part-time beyond fitness classes. Today, I am just thankful to have this time with Braden. I am thankful for our health, and our amazing family of three. I am blessed. I think too often we worry about the next step in life, the next house, the next car, or promotion. Sometimes it's important to just appreciate what is around you and not be in such a rush to move on to the next thing. Life is too short to not stop and smell the roses. My Mom helped me to realize this, and I thank her for that gift.