The Light

I see it, both literally and figuratively. The light at the end of the seemingly never-ending tunnel of winter is visible and getting closer each day. The changing of the clocks (annoying as it might be) ushered in with it a changing of the weather. The sun has been shining on and off for the past three days. THIS is the part of winter when hope returns. The day has arrived when the end is in sight and you realize that we’ll get there eventually.

Yesterday I left the house with no hat, no gloves, and no boots! I wore sunglasses. I took the kids on their scooters around the neighborhood after school. The hideous black mountains have ben reduced to hills surrounded by puddles filled with cigarette butts that are rapidly being rinsed away by the store owner’s hoses each morning.

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I’m sure there will still be some bumps and potholes on the way out. This is probably not the end of hats and gloves quite yet. I’ve yet to see the first green tendrils pushing up through snow. But I’m hopeful that it’s coming soon.

Feelin It!

INSPIRATION (3)

So yes, the cold is back in a big way and this latest freelance project is more than I bargained for. Yes, it’s Monday and the week is stretching out before me like a cold, unending arctic tundra. Yes, I am sitting in Starbucks right now adding tags to a 300 page document which basically amounts to hitting alt + c and alt + v like eight thousand times. But you know what? I’m feelin it anyway!

Maybe it’s because my kids were rolling down a muddy hill and finding worms and climbing tree stumps on Saturday afternoon. Maybe it’s because I watched a bunch of 2-to-4 year-olds dance to Let It Go in my neighbors’ living room yesterday, complete with hand-holding and twirling like little revelers at a ball. Maybe it’s because I took my very favorite yoga class yesterday and rocked a kick-ass headstand (with some spotting, of course). Maybe it’s because, after years and years, I wrote a new poem and showed it to other people.

Maybe it’s because, despite the frigid temperatures, the sun is shining and the flowers insist on sprouting anyway. Maybe it’s because Florence and the Machine keeps coming up on my playlist as I sit here or because I’m getting paid by the hour to cut and paste over and over again. It’s definitely partly due to the fact that, after having a stomach bug Thursday, I finally was able to drink my full allotment of coffee this morning. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I was able to recognize and hold onto all of those good things today.

I couldn’t help but share my sunny outlook today. So go find your yoga and poetry and coffee combo. Watch some cute kids dance. Look at the sun. Find a little bit of happy today. I’m feelin it and I hope you are too. If you don’t have any of your own, here’s a little of mine to share.

And if that didn’t work. Go listen to and watch this. Makes me happy every time.

Project Optimism: Finding the Good

So I was able to pull myself up out of the funk today (despite a teensy bit of a hangover from date night last night) and enjoy it. We went to a very lovely birthday party for one of Brady’s friends in Central Park and the weather was perfect. This kids played soccer and dug in the dirt and found worms and climbed trees. After that we came home and rested up.

Then B and I headed out with his bike. We made it to the park without crashing into anyone (yay) and then he rode around a bit in a nice big flat area. As I watched him riding and singing to himself I felt so at peace. It felt almost like a vacation. It was late afternoon and we were sort of tired from a long day. The temperature was still warm, but cooling. There as a gentle breeze and the air smelled like sunshine and grass. Eric and Declan walked down and met us and we all walked home together and then grilled hotdogs for dinner. A pretty nice Monday evening.

Then once the exhausted kiddos were in bed, the husband and I watched the first new episode of Arrested Development on Netflix. It’s still awesome. Hooray.

Project Optimism: The Bike

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous – warm and sunny the whole way through. When we read the weather forecast we decided to go up to the in-laws’ on Sunday to grill and hang out outside. Brady’s been very into his bike lately, riding with his friends in the park, and we felt like it was time to take the training wheels off and their neighborhood would be the perfect place.

After eating our delicious burgers and hotdogs and corn on the cob, the husband and his dad got out the wrench and the wheels were off. The first attempts did not go so well. The husband and then his dad both tried taking Brady up the street, but it ended up with a lot of frustration, falling over, and yelling of “JUST PEDAL!”

We decided to take a break and eat dessert. Afterward, I joked to Brady that I was going to ride his bike. We took it up into the road and I made a very silly attempt to ride around the car which resulted in me, flat on my butt on the street, and Brady laughing hysterically. After that, he asked me if he could try again, just with me.

He got onto the bike and I held the back of the seat and ran along with him as he got going. He pedaled faster and faster and I told him to “go, go, go” and then I took my hand off the back of the seat and, like magic, he kept going. He realized I wasn’t holding on, pedaled just a bit more and then braked and fell into the street.

I ran over to him, filled, no bursting, with pride, joy, elation, amazement. He jumped up and screamed, “I did it! I did it! I knew I could do it! I knew from the beginning I could do it!” I grabbed him up into a giant hug and spun him around. As I set him down he was already picking up his bike again and getting back on, “let’s do it again,” he told me, beaming.

We went again and again and again. He took longer and longer rides and got better at stopping without falling down. We turned back down the street to see that everyone else had come up to watch. He struggled a bit, but never wanted to give up. He was determined to get better, even when his knees and palms had been scraped. He rode the last bit to where my husband was waiting for him smiling, and crashed into the neighbors car because he was so distracted by the audience. Even then he just laughed.

We stayed a little longer than we had planned so he could work on his new skill. By the end we were both out of breath and exhausted. In the car on the way home, I still couldn’t stop smiling. I thought to myself “holy shit, THIS is what it’s all for.” Moments like that, of pure, unadulterated bliss really and truly make it all worth it. I helped my son learn to ride a bike yesterday, and it felt amazing.

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Project Optimism: A Perfect Day

There are times when I think that having kids is no fun. That life is all hard work and exhaustion and I can’t do anything cool anymore. Then I have a day like this past Saturday that reminds me that my life is nothing short of absolutely perfect…at least some of the time.

This Saturday started out with my sleeping in (Saturday is my day to sleep in. Parents, there is NO NEED for both of you to get up with the kids if no one is going to work. The husband and I used to do that. We were dumb. Now we take turns.) It was Brady’s first session of soccer so he and the husband headed down to the south end of Central Park for that adventure. He was so firggin adorable in his shinguards that almost made my day right there.

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Declan and I headed out to get a gift for our friend who was having a 2nd bday party later in the day. We spent a little time at the bookstore, picked up a present, and then had a lunch date at Chipotle. Pretty sweet. Then we met the other boys back at home to regroup.

After a post-soccer cleanup and rest we all headed down to the Central Park Carousel for the party. On the way we bought some cool magnets, heard a few different types of live music, saw the biggest bubbles I’ve ever seen in my life, and met up with some other party-goers.

The carousel is right near some big rocks that the kids treated like a jungle gym for hours. They showed off their mountain-climbing skills and tired themselves out before enjoying some fantastic homemade red velvet cupcakes and then taking a ride on the carousel (which, btw, terrified Declan, which I found sort of hilarious, poor guy). 

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ImageThen we ambled home through the park and stopped at a neighborhood place that doesn’t mind loud, messy kids and serves beer for dinner. After that it was just baths and bed and the perfect day was locked in. Yes I was exhausted, but it was a good exhausted. The kind of exhausted that reminds you of what a great time you had and assures you a good night’s sleep. So my family kind of totally rocks and everything is NOT always hard work and I definitely still get to do cool things. Oh and living in NYC is pretty awesome sometimes too. How’s that for some optimism?

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You should join in on the happiness. Here’s how:

  1. Write about something that makes you feel optimistic. Whatever it is, write from your heart.
  2. Post on MONDAYS. Include “Project Optimism” in your title.
  3. Grab a badge by going to your dashboard and clicking the “IMAGE” widget. Adjust pic size 200h x 200w. The image URL: (http://mommiesarejustbiglittlegirls.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/project-optimism.jpg)
  4. Link over here and invite friends to join in.
  5. Encourage the person who linked up before you. Kindness is contagious!

 

Project Optimism: SPRING!!

Yes, the temperature is already dropping and it’s gone all too soon, but today it was Spring! We took good advantage and trekked down to meet some friends at a cool playground in Central Park near the zoo. The kids exhausted themselves and I took in all of the newly budding plants. Bonus – I spotted Tom and Colin Hanks walking past us on the way home. My best celeb sighting to date.

So here is my cop-out, photo-filled optimism post for this week. I’m not writing much, but I guarantee it’ll make you feel happy!

Mobilized

In my new attempt at blogging I’ve also gone mobile. I have the WordPress app on my beloved iPhone and I’m hoping it will help me post more often. They might be shorter posts, but there will be more of them. Right now Declan and I are enjoying a stroll in the delicious Spring weather before we pick Brady up from school. Spring in NYC is just unbeatable!

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Frickin Gorgeous!

Well, not anymore. Actually today is disgusting and rainy. But this weekend was a slice of heaven. It was in the 70’s and sunny on Friday and Saturday and a little cooler, but still nice, on Sunday. We went to Central Park for our first park outing of the year! Woohoo!

I know this doesn’t mean that the worst is over, we’ll probably get an April blizzard or something, but at least it’s a sneak peek at the coming fun.

Brady busted out his new Yankees bat and ball and played with Daddy.

Ok, now this is how you hold the bat...

We tried really hard to show him how to use them, but he insisted it went a little more like golf than baseball.

But I like to do it like this!

Anyway, we had lots of fun in the sunshine!

I know you throw the ball like this!