Reflections on a first birthday

Have you ever found yourself sitting in the dark, and you didn't even notice the darkness - until someone turns on the light? This describes the way I felt one year ago, when my granddaughter was born. She is like a light shining brightly in my life - a light that I didn't even realize I needed. And now - a year has passed by so very, very quickly. On her first birthday, Friday, I enjoyed my morning coffee on the deck - reflecting on the past year, on the day of Ella's birth. I began my morning pages, "Happy birthday to my precious Ella Bella! One year ago today..." A day that none of us will ever forget. Frantic texts flying back and forth between Greg, Maggie, and myself: "What's happening?" "I'm heading to the hospital." "Me too - pick me up at the train" "I'm going to wait" "Jeff just texted - Ella was born!" "On my way." "Okay, I'm not waiting - I'll take an uber." "See you there." (And - I am pretty sure that I just broke another morning pages "rule". Yeah, well...) When I was a baby, I was given a tiny locket with my name engraved on it. I have it and treasure it, still. And while, a locket may not be something Ella will enjoy today, I hope it will be a keepsake for her - a little something from her very first birthday that will last into the future. And for this sweet little girl - we gathered to celebrate colorful jungle theme balloons Jungle theme snacks - twigs, cheetah paws, jungle animals, and m&ms - ummm, well, everything is better with m&ms. And while you might think that I would have taken a photo of the birthday cake - taking photos at family gathering is really not my thing. Yeah, I forgot. It was cute, though - and no complaints from the birthday girl. I enjoy every moment I have with this precious little girl, and am thankful - everyday - that she has been brought into my life. As I reflect on this past year, I also look forward to watching her grow into the little person she is meant to be. Happy first birthday, Ella! I wish for you, many happy birthdays ahead. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!


Morning pages

I've kept journals off and on through the years, starting when I was in grade school - remember those diaries with the cute little lock and key? And then, of course, my gingham notebook... Currently, I have two journals - and honestly, I would have a lot more if I thought that I could keep up with them. There is something about books filled with blank pages - all the potential that they hold. Journal #2 - morning pages A couple of weeks ago, while roaming through the bookstore, I decided that it was time to start a new journal for "morning pages." Have you heard of this? I had been considering it for a while - the only thing I really knew about it is that you write three pages in the morning - stream of consciousness. For a style of journaling with "no wrong way" of doing it, there are actually a lot of rules - many of which I apparently break. Rule break #1: I don't write my pages first thing in the morning - on weedays, I wait until I am on the train. My morning routine, which starts with an overwhelming desire to throw my alarm across the room, is always terribly rushed. I don't even have my coffee until I am on the train - so I'm not really awake, anyway... right? Rule break #2: I am pretty sure that I use the wrong size paper. I know, I know, if there is a rule about the number of pages, of course there is a rule about the size of the page. Sigh. I pretty much stopped reading about the rules. Anyway - before learning that I am doing it all wrong,  I googled "morning pages" and happened upon a blog post by Chris Winfield, who wrote that he starts everyday by writing "Today is going to be the best day ever." which for some reason, seemed like a fantastic idea to me. Chatting with one of my morning train friends, I described this idea: Me: So, do you think that writing "Today is going to be the best day ever" actually works? Train friend: Best day ever? haha - NO Me: ummmm - really? Well, do you think that if you start the day with the attitude that it could be the best day ever, it might turn out to be better than it would have? Train friend: NO Me: Hmmm, you sound like you might be more cynical than I am Train friend: I'm realistic Me: Okay... Well... I hope you have a really great day! (maybe the best day ever) So, while I am not ready to concede that my train friend is right about this, I have stopped writing about the best day ever at the beginning of every post. But that is only because I am pretty sure that as I…