Today was one of the most fulfilling days I've had in a long time. It was all a matter of simplicity and enjoying all that we have, that made it all so great.
While we go through some challenging times, Jeremy is right beside me, even though he's still in Afghanistan, and gives me support and encouragement beyond anything I could ask for. I am so thankful for that, and today, he was really there for me. I've also discovered one of the best things I've done during a deployment yet, that has helped me get through better and better, is having close friends. After the Army, I really struggled to make civilian friends and live a normal life again. I didn't have any time afterward before being thrown into mommy-hood part two, starting my own business, and a lengthy deployment for my fiance. So it came to a point where I didn't have a choice but to reach out and socialize. It has been the best thing ever. I am so thankful for my friends, and even though we all have our moments, we're still friends and there for each other. Having these girls by my side, to listen to my woes, to give me advice and fresh perspectives, has been a life saver.
After bringing Alyx home from school, we worked together to finish his homework, while I cleaned things up and began dinner. I read this article the other day, and felt inspired. Not necessarily to live off $15 in groceries per week, but to be more frugal in spending than I already am, and even more so in using what we have until it's gone. I'm really great at keeping the monthly grocery bill as low as possible for our family of four (around $250 or less), but I'm no exception to the spoiling food in my veggie drawer. We may not always get what we desire in each meal, but at least we have them, and we aren't wasting what we've spent our hard earned money on. So I'm challenging myself to get creative and use up those things that have been sitting in our cupboards far too long.
Usually after dinner, we prepare for the next day, and bed time. Since we had dinner at 6 and finished timely, I took myself outside to do a little gardening - pruning some flowers, planting a new flower plant, and watering it all. I hadn't planned to exactly do all that, but the kids started off playing with bubbles, then on to their bikes. They ended up helping me while I worked around the yard, and then they played after we put the hose up - so I grabbed my camera and ran around with them.
After getting all our energy out, I wrangled up my babies, got the baths done, read a story, and they were still in bed by 8:30. I couldn't believe it - how much time we enjoyed and still had them in bed on time. I felt so content as I kissed them goodnight and settled into the the rest of the evening. I hope for everyday to more or less be like today :).
In the first photo, I get these looks from Kate a lot lately - if I give her a similar look back, she'll give me an even funnier face before laughing. It's hilarious! Then we were trying to get her to let Alyx help her ride her tricycle (as she requested previously), so I could take a few photos. However, she was not having it... until we had her sitting next to her brother.
They are the greatest pair, and work beautifully together (more times than not anyway).
If you guys haven't realized my obsession for flowery trees and plants, you'll soon figure it out. I could take pictures of flowers all day. My neighbor has this tree that borders the edge of his yard and ours, we discovered last year this specific tree has ENORMOUS elephant-sized leaves. It's somewhat cumbersome to clean up after, especially as more than one of our neighbors trees give us quite a bit of added work come summer and fall. Anyway, this same big leaf tree bloomed these purple flowers recently, something I've never seen before. I love, love it!
Alyx has minimal space to ride his bike in our yard, so occasionally, he gets to ride out front of our fence. These moments, he is so happy, and I love seeing that on him.
"Mom! Watch this wheely! Are you ready? Take a picture!"
(Side note: he usually wears a helmet. But we ran out and took a few quick pictures.)
I can count on Kate running into Bob's yard at least once a day. He has this unkempt garden out front to help eliminate some of the grass, and Kate just loves running through it. She was first intrigued by the little birdbath, and now, she finds it hilarious to have me come after her :).
Kate and I stopped at Costco this morning. I haven't been in a few months, and my timing was perfect! Come spring, they bring in truckloads of plants and shrubs! I was in heaven, and had such a hard time walking away from it all! I kept taking pictures and sending them to Jeremy, telling him, "I want this one! We could use this!" Hahaa. He had asked me days before to get some sort of hanging flower basket for his mom, celebrating Mother's day, and when I came across this beauty for $26, I couldn't resist. I also learned these gorgeous hummingbird attracting fuchsia's also come in small tree form. I about died. I want!! Mark my words, our yard will be one big, beautiful garden before we move... then I get to do it all over again!!! :)
Happy Thursday! I'm so excited for the weekend! Hope yours is a good one :). We're down to 34 days today!!