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Ellen Page

Avery Pink Hat Valentine's DayAvery Adventure Gratitude

Valentine RowValentine Individual02_13_2014_386702_13_2014_385701_23_2014_3824

I’ve been doing what is (for me) a fairly good job of staying focused on the positive of late, so I’m not behind in terms of actually being grateful. But the blogging/photography part of the equation is often difficult for me. I’ve been busier than usual and it’s messing with my blogging. I am grateful for the work, and grateful to be able to help out my friend while easing at least a bit of our burden. But time management is a weak skill for both my husband and myself, and it’s made it difficult for us to get things accomplished simultaneously.

Also, on a personal level, it becomes easier to focus on the bird in the hand. Sending out resumes to almost no response is painful, so it’s easy for me to think, “Well, I’m working now.” I am, obviously, but it’s not a long-term fix. The trouble is, it’s hard to find the time or energy to come home after work and send out more resumes. Maybe if I’d been getting responses, it would be easier to self-motivate, but as it is it’s beyond tough. On the days I don’t work Chris is trying to do what he can’t get done when I’m not here. And so it goes.

A friend of mine recently posted that parents who claim to be working from home with a toddler are lying. I had to laugh. I suppose there must be parents who pull it off… parents whose time management skills and life juggling acts are clearly much better than my own. I might have been capable of doing a bit more when my son was younger. Braeden was pretty good at entertaining himself much of the time, which helped. Avery, on the other hand… as independent as she is in many ways, playing alone is not really something she excels at, or desires to. I’m somewhat better at encouraging her (read: forcing the issue) than my husband is. He is an amazing dad, but sometimes he gets caught up in Avery’s demands to the detriment of everything else on his list. In his defense, she is far more demanding with him than with me. The “Daddy’s girl” thing that messes with my head much of the time works to my benefit in this regard. Bottom line: I am far less fascinating to Avery than Chris is – she wants less of my attention. While this often hurts my feelings to the point that I am left irritable and/or in tears, it also allows me to get more done. So when I am away from home much of the day, it means Chris has a difficult time getting his work done. He holds down the fort, takes care of Avery and handles the ongoing household tasks, no problem. The tricky part is the long-term goals. It’s hard to do complex tasks that require mental focus with a two-and-a-half-year-old shrieking at you, or clinging to you. Go figure. I have to believe the balancing act will improve on all fronts, but right now it’s still a struggle.

I am including multiple pictures from over the last several days… some I took, others I grabbed from online. While I am getting better at noticing and celebrating the smaller moments of gratitude, my ability to remember to snap pictures in the midst of said moments is iffy at best. There have been plenty, though. Avery at play, Avery looking ridiculously adorable, more bravery from public figures, touching Olympic moments, movies we watched as a family… it runs the gamut. We caught the second movie of the Percy Jackson series the other night, which was fun since Chris, Braeden and I have all read the book. Yesterday we caught “The Lego Movie” with my father-in-law while my mother-in-law was kind enough to watch Avery (Braeden saw his first movie in a theater at about the age she is now, but she lacks his attention span). That was really fun, since we don’t see movies in the theater all that often. Popcorn! Milk Duds! Giant screens and really great sound! Oh, and the trailer for “The Muppet Movie,” which looks freaking phenomenal! I will spare you pictures of movies, as that seems unnecessary. Just wanted to include them in the general list.

I am learning to relish this kind of stuff. I wish I could claim that focusing on it keeps me perpetually centered and happy. It doesn’t, but it’s getting better. I am less stuck in constant misery, at least. That’s definitely something.