5 Things to be grateful for + a little bit of messy honesty.

Happy Monday!

I have a little thing I do when I'm a down. I take time to stop and reflect on my current situation and find reasons to be grateful. I wanted to share this with you today because I've been using this little exercise a lot more lately and I am hoping it will help encourage you in your current state, too :)

Lately, I'm feeling grateful for:

1. Everett eating apples these days. If you know our toddler struggles with healthy food, you know what a wonderfully big deal this is. He's asking to eat green apples! God loves me you guys.

2. Our new landscape. We had a few trees removed, a few trees planted, a ton of shrubs installed, a slew of beautiful stones and a dump truck of mulch fluffed all around our yard. I am like an 80-year-old garden lover in a 20-something body. I LOVE MY YARD. And it is giving me peace. And giving the birds a reason to come visit.

3. The birds are visiting my yard. This really deserves it's own line in my book of gratitude. I LOVE BIRDS. Add it to my list of elderly female hobbies. If you have a grandma, she and I would surely have a lot to discuss.

4. My baby boy Daxton is rolling over. Not all the time, but he's done it from front-to-back and from back-to-front and it honestly shocks me. And reminds me about how fast this baby thing goes the second time around.

5. Health. Safety. Recovery. America. Chocolate, which I'm allowing myself to have again, after about a month of no sweets and no alcohol. What even ever. Mama needs chocolate. And wine, if we're being really honest.

6. Okay, a bonus gratitude because I'm currently watching my two boys "playing" together on the floor and it's really making me smile. Watching the two of them together is as heart warming as everyone told me it would be. Actually, it's even better :)

I've been overwhelmed, friends.

It's been utterly hard. I am grateful for my friend Laura, who told me, "Hard is hard." I've been feeling a little embarrassed about how hard it's felt for me these last few months. So many people have it harder than me, so I have a difficult time putting my feelings into words when I feel like someone out there has it worse off than me. But her words have helped me. "Hard is hard" means that my hard still matters. Just because someone else's hard seems more challenging or more deserving of the title - my experience is still allowed to be hard.

Hard is hard, friends.

I don't have this wrapped up in a pretty bow. I don't have a lot of answers today, or a 3-point blog post featuring my revelatory and wondrous advice, or the 10 secrets to successfully winning at life after having a hard time. I'm in the middle of a process, on the road in this journey, in the midst of figuring out what's going to work. I'm praying, I'm researching, I'm meeting with people. I'm supported.

I'm messy these days, unraveling and undone. But I'm not alone. And while I'm tempted to linger in a minefield of my own feelings, I am at my best when I channel that energy into my health and most importantly - others. Meditating on these things I'm grateful for has helped bridge my feelings into positive action. I'm not saying it's the answer in life, but it has been a lifeline for me personally.

I hope you'll allow me to be this vulnerable with you. I took a week off the blog last week, which is the first time that has happened in years. I needed it, and there might be more hiatuses in the coming months as I figure out this balance of motherhood, family and writing. I appreciate all of you out there reading, because you have given me the opportunity to make this blog a place where I am always uplifted and inspired. You are loved, appreciated and celebrated by me! Thanks for reading this little corner of the internet. xox.