Two weeks from today I’ll work my last full-time day at Sinclair. This is a change that’s been hanging on our hearts and our minds for months and months and we finally took the plunge just before Christmas. All that said, it couldn’t really be more fitting that my two-weeks day comes on another significant day, Valentine’s Day. What better way to celebrate such a turning point than with a day consumed with honoring the love our family shares together? Really, love of family is the driving force behind the choices we’re making now.
In November, Ava put together a playlist of songs for her dance party birthday party and one of the songs on the list was OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars.” Its driving beat and upbeat message have made it a family favorite and it was on heavy rotation as Matt and I were making choices about how we wanted to live our life going forward. For me, this song became an anthem of sorts…a reminder of all of the options we are lucky enough to have and of the freedom that comes from truly dreaming big.
Lately I been, I been losing sleep
Dreaming about the things that we could be
But baby, I been, I been prayin’ hard
Said no more counting dollars
We’ll be counting stars
Yeah, we’ll be counting stars
I see this life
Like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line
In my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and ye shall find
Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
And I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told
I feel something so right
By doing the wrong thing
And I feel something so wrong
By doing the right thing
I couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie, couldn’t lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive.
-OneRepublic, Counting Stars
So often, I’ve lost sleep thinking about all the little moments we were missing at home and with our kids and rather than taking time to count the stars, we’ve been counting up the wrong things. Little moments are, in fact, our big dream. It’s the whole thing. To live them, notice them, collect them, treasure them. When I search my heart for what I truly want in life, I have found that I only really want to have done good work. To get to do good work for a family I love? That is a big dream, indeed.
To capture this dream in a tangible way, I took the moments we’ve collected this year on Instagram and made a video. These little moments…these snapshots in time…these are our big dream realized. It is truly beautiful.
And, hey, Matt? This video is your Valentine’s Day gift, as are all the moments I know are ours to share in the future. Thank you for making our dream possible by doing the work you do. LYS.
We tried to put some intentionality into the run-up to Christmas this year, so I cooked up a little countdown. Every night, we did one “special thing” which was annotated on a card hung near our stockings.
I couldn’t have managed to blog it all, but Instagram was at the ready to capture the memories. When it was over, I used another app to make a video of all the photos we took. Thank goodness for the iPhone or memory-keeping would be lost altogether in this crazy.
So, here it is. Our advent 2013.
Wishing everyone a joyful 2014!
A snippet of life after dinner in our house. Two thumbs up for turn taking, right? The rest is, well, just creativity run amok.
Lots of kids share their childhoods with imaginary friends. Ava always had a few rattling around in her imaginary world, but no permanent friends. Noah, however, has a very lively imaginary cohort beginning to take shape and, wowzers, it’s awesome.
To understand his imaginary world, one must first understand that our boy is obsessed with baseball.
He sleeps in his baseball cap, wakes up in the morning wanting to go out to play, sits still for inning after inning on TV and in real life (no three-year-old does this!), demands a catch with a parent every chance he can. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that he not only has an imaginary friend, but that he has a whole team of “baseball men” to keep him company during the day. These baseball men sleep in his room, keep him company at the lunch table, and generally bring joy to his life. The pitcher is named “Bubbles” and the catcher goes by “Strike 2.” There are a few other named players, but their titles are such gibberish that I can’t transliterate them yet.
In a dream earlier this week, Bubbles and Heater (the mascot from our local AA team) were up to some mischief on the ball field that Noah described in such a detailed, descriptive way that it was impossible not to be caught up in his story. Never mind that following the logic of three-year-old storytelling is nearly impossible.
Noah & Heater having a chat at a Dragons game.
In another of Noah’s baseball men stories, the team had wings and flew around the baseball field. I think he’s going to love both Field of Dreams and Angels in the Outfield when he is older.
Love that our little guy has found something that makes him happy. Delighted that the thing that makes him happy is something we love too. Here’s hoping that Bubbles and the gang are here to stay!
A little over four years ago, Ava went to her first day of daycare in Las Vegas. I noted then that it seemed like one of those days. One of the ones you want to make sure you pay attention to.
Today feels like one of those days also. It’s her last day of Pre-K. She’s missing it because she’s got a stomach bug, but it still feels big. We’ll drop her off at school on Monday and,even though it’s just a different room down the hall, it will be real school. (More on that later.)
We’ve been so lucky to have wonderful teachers and caregivers during these critical growth years. Ava has flourished in their care and with their patient teaching, and we are so grateful.
Ava, were so proud of you, big girl. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do in the next five years.