I want to live, rejoicing, every day.

 

O Happy Day

 

So much to be grateful for, so little time to type it all out…

I am grateful for the best daughters in the world.

I am grateful for the most adorable grandchildren in the world.

I am grateful for my sons-in-law who put forth extra effort to do something special for their wives yesterday.

I am grateful that Katrina had an overwhelming but good first day of work at her summer job, and grateful that it seems to be a match made in Heaven for their “calling in life.” As Delores said during our conversation yesterday, we only see the unfinished side of the tapestry, but God sees the beautiful finished creation. I believe that this job opportunity is another stitch in the Caldwell tapestry.

I am grateful for the creativity of my daughter and her desire to serve her church in every possible way she can.

I am grateful for the silliness of Andrae’s remark as he ate his eggs, “It’s not my faut!”

I am grateful for two little faces in their carseats in the backseat of the van with smiles from ear to ear and eyes sparkling, saying, “Happy Mother’s Day, Ama!”, completely unprompted, as they were telling me goodbye yesterday.

I am grateful for lots of time on the phone with my Dad, Delores, Karissa, Katrina, and Sam, while I drove eight hours yesterday. Those conversations made the time pass and kept me from getting sleepy, and I loved talking as long as I wanted to everyone.

I am grateful for good battery life on my phone that lasted all the way with the exception of the last 15 miles.

I am grateful for safety as I traveled. No issues, no problems.

I am grateful for the feeling I had when I pulled into the driveway last night and saw Sam sitting on the front porch. It’s a wonderful feeling to have someone waiting for me and eager to see me after a trip.

I am grateful for an abundance of public restrooms and the freedom to stop whenever I wanted.

I am grateful to have spent 30 minutes with Coach and Terry in the McDonald’s just to catch up on life.

I am grateful for an absence of cravings. I used to walk into a convenience store while on a trip and immediately want snacks – especially chips or M&Ms. Instead, I purchased a small Ziploc bag of sliced apples and a healthy granola bar. And no more tea or soda for me – now, it’s only large water, thank you.

I am grateful to have spent some time in the car with Mandrae and Karissa, laughing.

I am grateful for a beautiful wreath made with love by my daughter, personalized with her favorite pattern and a giraffe print to remind me of Katrina, too.

I am grateful to have seen Anjalie’s smiles tucked between her two fat cheeks. She has the “Collins sparkle” in those eyes, too.

I am grateful to have watched Annistan’s orneriness and grateful to have been able to tuck her into her new little toddler bed, pray with her, and kiss her good night.

I am grateful to have heard Anissa’s giggles and so grateful to have heard everywhere we went, “Ama, I want you to sit by ME.”

I am grateful for an extended amount of time to hold Andrae as he cuddled with me on Friday evening.

I am grateful for this, my favorite children’s book:

 

I am grateful to have been raised by my Mom. She wasn’t perfect, but as I get older, I realize she was much closer to perfect than I ever knew.  And she loved me no matter what.

I am grateful for Delores – if I can’t talk to Mom, I’m so glad I can talk to her.

I am grateful to have attended a church service with my daughter and her family yesterday at their church that was intent on honoring Moms. 

I am grateful to have been lucky enough to have Anissa and Andrae help me make scrambled eggs again.

I am grateful for my Dad and his example to me to be slow to speak and listen more.

I am grateful to have heard my daughter sing again.

I am grateful to have heard my daughter and her husband sing together again in church yesterday for their children during the baby dedication, seven years after their wedding day.

I am grateful for a little notebook that has Anissa’s drawings in it. She can spell her name, my “name,” and her Mommy’s name now.

I am grateful for time spent singing with Anissa and Andrae. Little Bunny Foo-Foo, Ten little monkeys jumping on a bed, God made me, This little light of mine, Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick sick sick, Arky arky, Old Dan…

I am grateful for time this morning to visit with Sam in the quiet of the kitchen.

I am grateful for two little girls who hid in the middle of the clothing racks at the store, so that all I could see were four little feet in flower-adorned flip-flops.

I am grateful that I was able to sing “I love you, a bushel and a peck…” to Annistan and Anjalie as I held them. I just know that it is what Mom would have done if she were here.

I am grateful to have seen Anissa and Andrae riding their bikes up and down the sidewalk.

I am grateful to have had the privilege to watch Karissa hold Annistan and Anjalie with such tender, loving embraces.

And I am grateful for a video that my daughter surprised me with when I got to work this morning. Nothing like starting the day in tears, but, oh so grateful that these are happy tears this year.

To my mom and my kids’ Ama. I love u.

 

 

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