Lovely little things, 15


You know your gratitude practice is working when… you have a just plain awful week and still, at the end of it, when you sit down to uncover your blessings, you are still bubbling over.

Gratitude practice evangelists will tell you this. And it seems to good to be true. That by simply acknowledging and appreciating your many blessings, you will acknowledge and appreciate even more. It feels like a jedi mind trick. It really does.

But it’s true.

This (awful) week’s lovely little things…

the zoo

at the zoo
I once had a conversation with a friend, who is also a mamma, about the zoo. About how it’s easy to hate ’em. When you’re young, as in high school or college or young adulthood and you begin to learn what the zoo means for those animals. The captivity. The not-so-natural habitats. And the not-so-human practices in some places.

And then, you have kids.

And you want your kids to experience it all. To know it all and grow from it all. And so you want them to see how big an elephant really is. And what it really smells like to stand near one. And you want them to know that a llama is a real animal, not just a cozy, mama-lovin creature in red pajamas.

And so you go to the zoo. And you kinda love it too.

*we are fortunate to live within a short drive of the National Zoo and feel good about how they treat their animals and about supporting them.

the baby spa croup package
Thursday morning, Miss N. texted me to tell me she had just given baby boy the ‘baby spa croup package’ and then described the warm soak in the tub, baby massage, and bottle that led to my poor, sick little guy’s early, humidified nap to soothing music.

And all I could think about was my sweet little croupy kid melting into a puddle of deep restorative sleep in his crib and how good he must have felt, despite the croup and what we later learned was an ear infection.

Find people who love your children enough to give them the baby spa croup package. And then do not ever let them leave.

big sister moments
When his fever was high and his ears were throbbing and we weren’t doing anything for him because we just had no idea, and his nose was running and his throat and chest sore, I’m sure, from coughing, and all he wanted to do was sleep but he couldn’t, she made him laugh.

playing piano

mom’s night
For an introvert like me, a Thursday night during a week like this one, when I am sleep deprived and a bit extra stressed and very much up in my head, and pretty emotionally raw, is a Thursday night to stay in, hide under a blanket and wait for it all to pass.

But, instead, I went out. And for a couple hours, I sat among friends. I listened, and talked, and laughed, and tried to support and was supported in return. And this morning, I woke up feeling lighter.

favorite words this week
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
Hans Christian Anderson

tulips 1

Hope your weekend includes sunshine, freedom, and a lotta flower!


  1. Jedi mind trick or not, I believe in the power of gratitude! And the zoo! We took our girls to the Honolulu Zoo last year, and it was incredible to watch their reactions. My oldest still talks about the goat that tried to eat her dress in the petting zoo section!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Blog Progress Report: F is…My Profile

  2. I feel the same way about zoos. I kinda love them. I used to more than kinda love them.
    Circuses, though. I’ll never be able to do – either we’ll skip or my husband will do it. I will never be able to do it. Unless it’s all people circus acts!
    Tamara recently posted..Always Full Of Surprises.My Profile

  3. Beautiful message at the end and hoping your little one is feeling better. Ear infections are the worst and can tell you from prior experience with both my girls. So, truly hoping he is on the mend and that you have a wonderful weekend now.
    Janine Huldie recently posted..Cinco De Mayo – May Is Finally Here & Join Julep Maven Today!My Profile

  4. just a quick visit before work! (hey, did you know that we, here at the TToT, sometimes jump into Comment threads? yeah, like people at a real world part, just walk up to a group of people and start talking!)
    …just thought I would mention that!
    clark recently posted..TToT Snowless Saturday the Wakefield Doctrine ‘quick and semi-easy’My Profile

  5. YES! There is huge power in gratitude and thankfulness, definitely. I hope your little boy feels better soon, and how lovely that he got such excellent treatment at the baby spa. That’s awesome.
    Considerer recently posted..Ten Things of Thankful #46My Profile

  6. Philippians 4:8 is my favorite verse because of what you shared about gratitude. I also love the verses leading up to it-

    I love that you were able to still find thankfulness despite the horrible week you had with the sick little guy!!! Oh how I get that! I pray he is doing better!!!

    Love how big sis stepped in… 🙂

    I’m gonna add the verses here- somehow the bible can seem daunting and unrelatable- but if really delved into within our open minds and tender hearts- it may speak so clearly to us all. See what you think, my friend!

    Philippians 4:6-8

    English Standard Version (ESV)

    6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    Chris Carter recently posted..“Fly A Little Higher”My Profile

  7. “Baby spa croup package” is a great phrase. Miss N. sounds wonderful!
    Kristi recently posted..Ten Things of Thankful: Service and Joy EditionMy Profile

  8. Your lists are always so beautifully written! How lucky that you have a baby spa croup package provider. And that you finally found out what was causing that sweet boy to be sick. And that his sister helped distract him. And that you went out and enjoyed yourself when it would have been easier to stay at home.
    Dyanne @ I Want Backsies recently posted..Ten Things of Thankful: The Post-A to Z Challenge EditionMy Profile

  9. Another DC mama! I share that same history of zoo emotions, and I get that. The National Zoo is lovely in many ways. So glad you were able to find some thankfulness in a rotten week.
    Sarah recently posted..TToT24: A VillageMy Profile

  10. I have had some pretty awful weeks and think there is no way I can participate but I try. And I succeed. It makes me dig deep and remember that not all of the moments were rotten. So, yes, this is important to me for that reason (among others). I hope your little one is feeling better soon. Sick babies are the worst of the worst. My eleven year old spent weeks of every year up all night coughing, me holding her and us sleeping sitting up on the couch in snippets because she couldn’t lie down. I haven’t forgotten how hard that was so I’ll be thinking of you. I am glad that you got a little time away and that photo of the tulips…..stunning! My favorite flowers 🙂
    Sandy Ramsey recently posted..No Stripper Pole, Just Glitter and GratitudeMy Profile

  11. I so love the zoo too. The habitats aren’t natural,but they serve to protect animals in need! Thanks for sharing!
    MIchelle Liew recently posted..The Gift of the HammerMy Profile

  12. Loved your TToT. I have such fond memories of growing up and going to the zoo. I think it’s a must-do for kids. Good for you for getting out of your comfort zone on Thursday. I did something similar, not really wanting to, but ended up feeling the better for it. (and those tulips are killer!)

  13. I agree… Gratitude is powerful. It is a slow process but you find it easier and easier as you go on. I normally don’t care for Hans Christian Anderson but I do love that quote!
    Chronicallysickmanicmother recently posted..Ten things…..I have that many right?My Profile

  14. 1. My post tomorrow will mix in a little with this one, in that even awful weeks have good things, and I’m glad you didn’t toss away the week because of the awful stuff.

    2. Zoos just remind me of home, only the animals are sometimes better behaved.

    3. Sometimes, I wouldn’t mind the baby spa treatment, either.
    Eli@coachdaddy recently posted..Go Ask Daddy About Yardstick Physics, Post-Twister Finances and iPhone HotbedsMy Profile

  15. I, too, have mixed feelings about the zoo. It’s a great way for kids to learn about animals…but I do feel bad for the animals.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Covers, Covers, and More CoversMy Profile

  16. Thank goodness the force is weak in this one because the Jedi thing works on me too!
    zoe recently posted..IT’S SUNDAY AT THE TToT AND I’M TRYING NOT TO SAY, “MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU…”My Profile

  17. It’s so nice that even during a really bad week, if we really think, there are still things to be thankful for.
    I do hope the poor little guy is feeling better. Great post!
    JackieP recently posted..Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 10My Profile

  18. Thank you for the reminder that it’s important to find the lovely even during difficult weeks! Looking forward to meeting you at the Elevate Blog Conference!
    Julie @ Girl on the Move recently posted..Meal Plan: Breakfast for Dinner!My Profile

  19. Sorry about the comment above…added the last part too fast!!!
    Julie @ Girl on the Move recently posted..Meal Plan: Breakfast for Dinner!My Profile

  20. Jedi mindtrick is SO true. Simply the practice makes me aware of the silver lining.

    I agree about the zoo. We fell in love with animals when we were children. It is those adults who make the zoos a better place. Nothing like watching a kid’s eyes when they see their first giraffe, or like GirlyK-zebra’s gettin’ funky.

    Glad your little guy is feeling better and so well loved. What a great support system you have.

    Love the Anderson quote. I need to write that down.
    Beccalynn recently posted..Ten Things of Thankful #46My Profile

  21. Ahh….when my kids were small we were fortunate enough to find someone kind and loving enough to give the baby spa treatment to them as well. One of the greatest blessings of my life!
    May recently posted..Thankful for Poppies and Other GoodnessMy Profile

  22. I’ve been trying to help get through the less than spectacular weeks lately by leaning on others more: grandparents and friends so that I can get out and clear my head and it seems to work wonders, even though it was the last thing I felt like doing until I get there. Your Miss N sounds fantastic!
    Melanie recently posted..Signs of SpringMy Profile

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