Day 19: A Special Kind of Hot Wheel

What a weekend! It went by too fast. We now have a big boy three-year-old.

It’s been a hectic few days. Late last week a longtime family friend, Art, passed away. He fell in his home. It was sudden and unexpected. He was my parents’ next door neighbor. He leaves his wonderful wife, Eloise, behind. It is sad, but my mom says Eloise says he “didn’t suffer,” and is staying positive.

That has nothing to do with today’s wonder, but it’s been heavy on my mind and heart.

Today, I wanted to share a photo of a new Hot Wheels car I adore. It’s the first ever wheelchair Hot Wheels (as far as I know). I purchased one for Bennett. I look forward to him playing with Gavin, the next time we go back to California.

In the land of disability, small steps like this one feel big. Go out and sell out your local Wal-Mart, stat.

Day 17: “When You Wonder, You Can Try and Find Out More” – Daniel Tiger

If you know me between the hours of 7-9 am, you know my favorite show on DVR is Daniel Tiger on PBS. And don’t worry if you feel bad about not knowing this. The only person who does know is fast asleep as I write this (awaiting his third birthday party tomorrow!).

The songs, Daniel, Tigey (Daniel’s stuffed animal), his friends, teachers, community, parents, the diversity of people and families, the trolley. It’s all the secret ingredients to make me watch episodes over and over with my little.

Today’s episode was about wonder. Of course I jumped out of my skin with excitement. What I’m learning about wonder is that it means different things to different people. For Daniel Tiger, wonder is about finding out more. Putting your curiosity hat on. In a playful way.

As I reflect on this at the end of the day, I think the most I wondered today (through Daniel’s theory) was about going to a car dealership and asking to test drive three cars in the rain. I probably won’t buy a new car but I wanted to see how a couple different ones drove. So I followed Daniel Tiger, gave the guy at the dealer my ID, and test drove some SUVs.

I learned a lot about the cars and the salesman. He’s proposing to his girlfriend next weekend in Oregon. She’s a DPT student at OU, near where Nick works. There was nothing wildly profound about the experience except that it was pleasant to get out of my own routine and as Daniel says, “try and find out more.”

Watch the video! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bBZZ1yjqT-4

Day 16: Bennett Turns 3!

What three years can do. I mean, just look at these two photos. I am in awe, still, of the wonder of childbirth. (But also still recovering in some ways, too. Childbirth will be in my book so I don’t want to give it away here!) And I am in . awe at the growth of my son — and the pleasant, cheerful, kind, playful, smart, athletic boy he is. I am SO proud. And full of LOVE.

On this night three years ago I remember being so grateful he was finally here, outside my body, wrapped in blankets, breathing, and already full of so much love. One of the most profound and challenging and important nights of my life. Happy third birthday my love!

Day 15: Creating Magic the Night Before a Third Birthday

This is my view from the couch. Not pictured is too many streamers of varying colors, tons of balloons, a couple more “happy birthday” signs. The cat is on my lap. I can’t wait for my son to wake in the morning and be so excited by the decorations and balloons. We asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he replied, “cupcakes” and “maybe balloons.” To be three! So much joy and wonder in the simple delights of a birthday celebration. Tonight I’m feeling gratitude: for my son, husband, our families, friends, animals, and this life.

View from the couch

Day 14: Wonder in a photoshoot and pile of leaves

This is late! But there was wonder in the morning of this day. Bennett is a budding photographer! And he is also fun when taking selfies. He also jumped in a wet pile of leaves after this — and that, friends — that is wonder.

Day 13: First Day of School

Today was the first day back of school. There is a an excitement that vibrates through the campus. Students print out syllabi. Campus coffee grinds fresh espresso beans. Chick-fil-A back in action, line swerving around the union. People crisscross through campus, greeting new faces. Geese waddle, wondering who all these new people are, on their turf.

There are fresh beginnings at the start of a fresh semester, in a new decade. Questions flash across our minds.

How will classes be?

What opportunities will a semester bring?

What new friends will we make?

How will we grow and challenge ourselves in new ways?

How much longer until…summer?

Day 12: Let the Failure Go

In church today there was an important message for anyone who’s tried to accomplish anything. That is to say — everyone who has ever breathed.

The message was about failure. Or — who to blame for failure.

None of us like to fail. And when we do fail, we often blame ourselves.

But the pastor said, “It’s not your fault. If you are taking the blame when you fail, that means you are taking the blame when you succeed.”

He told us to give it away. Give it to God.

This was so powerful for me. I’m the first to feel down when I fail, but if I take away that control, then it isn’t so bad. And when I do succeed, I will always say I was never alone. I was with God. A wave of wonder settled inside of me. I went in peace.

Day 11: The First Snow!

This morning, Bennett came running into my room saying, “Mommy, it snowed!” We pulled open the blinds and there it was — a fresh coat of fluffy snow.

We slid on our snow clothes and went out to the front driveway to make a snowman.

Wonder like today’s is easy — it’s a gift from mother nature.

It also helps that today is Saturday. I don’t have to worry about Nick driving an hour into the city for work or driving Bennett to daycare or parking then walking a half mile through the snow to campus. We can sip our coffee at home and just enjoy the wonder of snow.

Day 10: A Morning Wave

Bennett and I had to leave the house two hours early today for a training I had at the university. We usually take our mornings slow and enjoy the time together watching Daniel Tiger and eating a big breakfast, but today’s hustle out of the house was something different.

When we were leaving the neighborhood, a young boy, middle school aged, waved at us as we were headed out. He had a big smile and I could tell he was genuinely spreading morning cheer.

The gesture of a young boy being friendly and waving was a bright happy start to the day. Instead of looking down on his phone, he was looking up, and interacting with the world…even at such an early hour.

Also, today was the first rain of 2020 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Tomorrow, it is supposed to snow!