January is hard. It's bitterly cold. Darkness falls upon us before supper is even ready. Christmas is behind us, and seems so very far away. Everything seems far away.
In the middle of this dark, cold stretch of the year, I dig a little deeper to find some everyday joy. And I cling to it.
Right now, I am loving:
* Caleb clapping his pudgy, adorable little hands. All the time. All day long.
* Tim's ridiculously amazing popcorn. It involves butter, hot sauce, and garlic salt, I think. I cannot get enough.
* Evening marathons of TV-shows-on-DVD. Dexter. Homeland. Weeds. One episode after another until I am too tired to keep going. So good.
* A makeshift tent set up in the family room for an entire week, complete with twinkle lights and as many blankets and pillows as I can fit inside. Seriously, so cozy. I *may* have drifted off for a few minutes while lying in there with the boys.
* Everett standing on a chair at the front door, peeking out the window at Tim walking down the street from the bus stop after work. Our new afternoon ritual. Knocking on the glass when he gets close, waving and giggling. And then his sweet two-year-old voice announcing "Hi daddy! Weeeee MISSED you, daddy!" as he walks through the door. What a welcome!
* A tin full of the last of mom's Christmas baking. A taste of childhood; a taste of home.
* Hockey is BACK!
* Homemade iced capps in the morning. Oh Magic Bullet, how I love you.
* Visits with my oldest, dearest friend, home for just a little while.
* A king-sized bed packed with as many cushy pillows as it can hold. A two-year-old body flying high through the air and landing smack dab in the middle. Endless giggles.
* Two naked boys running and/or crawling all over the house after supper, before bath time. Energy I only wish I had at the end of the day!
* Double caramel Magnum ice cream bars. Bliss.
* Rosy cheeks and bright eyes after a morning walk through the snow.
* A small, warm, cozy body nestled against mine, heavy with sleep. One of life's greatest joys.
* Two darling little beings who call me "mama," and every single quiet, cuddly, silly moment we spend together.
* Sitting down to supper every night and looking around the table at the three faces that make me smile and show me love every single day.
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
— Henri Nouwen