Big Reasons to Smile!

AUTHOR: | POSTED: October 22, 2012 | COMMENTS: 16 Comments

Carolyn Savage

Ah…warmer weather. 

I always find it to be such a blessing when warm sunny temperatures reappear towards the end of October.  It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed unearthing my sweatersand coats for the cooler days we’ve already had, but there’s something about the reemergence of sun kissed afternoons that is reassuring. It’s as if summer is saying goodbye with a promise to return…so “don’t forget me“. 

I’ll hang my hat on that. 

I have to because I definitely have seasonal affective issues come the dark and bone-chilling days of January. 

The whole darkness before spring is a seasonal metaphor for life.  Just like we hunker down and tolerate the coldness of winter in hopes of spring and more comfortable times, we have to do the same when life throws us an unwelcome curveball.  Perhaps the design of the seasons is an opportunity to practice perseverance and patience.  Virtues that are necessary as we navigate our unique journeys.  Life isn’t always easyor comfortable, but just like we build fires and hunker down in the winter, we have to strive to make the best of even the most challenging moments of our lives.  We do that by remembering  that things can get better if, and only if, we are devoted to making them better. 

It’s all about attitude. 

Lemons to lemonade…but only with hard work.

That’s why I’m committed to staying focused on gratitude.  Being grateful for my blessings allows less room for lamenting about my troubles.  (Lamenting is allowed.  I just try not to dwell!)

So…in the spirit of focusing on the gratitude, this is what made me smile this past week!


First Smile…

Drew is 312. Ryan is 313.

The boys ran in Districts on Saturday.  It wasn’t their best race, but it was good enough to make it to regionals so we’ll take it.  Both are battling upper respiratory infections, which adds to my awe of how they manage to run so damn fast.  I need a nap after running around to take pictures of them.  I can’t imagine running a 5k at their kind of pace. 

Me and my guys and some post race pride!

Second Smile…

My senior? Time flies.

We took part in a long held tradition with Drew the other night.  At the boy’s end of season cross country banquet they honor the seniors and their parents.  I remember when Drew was a freshman and thinking that his senior year was ages away.  Somehow I blinked, and I was the mom getting the flower and awkward hug from her boy.  To say that time flies is an understatement.  But this whole “Drew flyin’ the coop” thing is in full swing.  Last week he had me proofread his college ap essays.  They were beautifully written about our family’s unique journey and how it’s impacted his life.  Not only am I amazed with his mature “take” on our story, but also am flabbergasted that my first is headed off to college next year.  I’m so excited to see how his future unfolds.  



Third Smile…

In the spirit of getting outdoors as much as possible while we still can, we took a walk in the woods  that was absolutely beautiful.  Mary Kate is working on a leaf collection and her goal was to find as many different colors and shapes as possible.  Given the tree laden path we were on her task  was easily achieved…all while wearing her new favorite boots. 

Expect to see these flashy boots in many pictures to come. She even tried to wear them to bed!

 When I asked MK why she likes these boots so much she replied, “They make me feel brave.”  Whoa.  How’s a mom supposed to strip her daughter of her bravery?  I won’t.  Even when she insists on wearing them with her Sunday school dress.  Bravery in young girls is priceless!


 Fourth Smile…

Reagan and Isabella are playing together better than ever.  The other day while I was cleaning the kitchen I heard a barrage of giggles coming from their playroom.  I snuck to the door and recorded this…



 Makes me smile just to watch!


Fifth Smile…


Me and my favorite three year old!

 We had a wonderful afternoon on Sunday with our favorite family from Michigan!  We met them half way at an apple orchard.  The kids had a ball.  Mary Kate and “L” are definitely two peas in a pod.  (or dare I say…partners in crime).  It was the perfect get-together.  Warm weather, fun country fair, and smiles all around. 

MK and L checking out the bunnies!

When we left, Mary Kate cried.  “When will I see L again?  I’ll miss him!”  When I tucked her in last night she asked me why L and his sisters had to live so far away.  As I consoled my little drama queen, I thought about the irony.  Three years ago, at this time of year,  I was crying  similar tears but for very different reasons.  Looking back now, I can see it was the beginning of my longest winter.  It’s been an incredible journey to where I stand now–in this warm and comfortable place.  I am so grateful to be able to reassure her that we will see “L” and his family again. 

What a blessing.

So I smile. 


16 Comments on “ Big Reasons to Smile! ”

  • lynda crossman | October 22nd, 2012 11:09 am

    so glad it is all fun… enjoy the post alot!!

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  • Iszy | October 22nd, 2012 1:47 pm

    Now that last one was a big reason to smile. Wow! Thank you for sharing. He looks like he’s doing quite well!

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  • Lori Lavender Luz | October 22nd, 2012 5:07 pm

    So many points of light in a time if increasing darkness. You have a gorgeous family.

    I hope you’ll link this post to October’s Perfect Moment Monday event. It’s the last Monday of the month (next week) and I’ll try to remember to nudge you. This NOTICING of perfect moments, and the spirit of gratitude, is the essence of the blog hop.

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  • Rebecca | October 22nd, 2012 8:18 pm

    I just finished saying to someone that I am not looking forward to winter, and I need a pick-me-up ASAP. The next thing I knew I was reading this blog post. It gave me that smile and pick-me-up I was needing – THANK YOU. Just before reading the blog (and as I was getting ready for a good cry) I said a prayer for God to lead me. God works in wondrous ways.

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  • Jesabes | October 22nd, 2012 10:16 pm

    I’m so glad you still get to see L! And that twin video was adorable.

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    […] Queens From Silent Sorority: 1, 2 From Hard to be Human From Write Mind Open Heart: 1, 2, 3, 4 From Mama On the Fly From Road Less Traveled: 1, 2, 3 From Dragondreamer’s Lair Share […]

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  • Angie Bindon Ballas (Facebook Comment) | October 23rd, 2012 4:12 pm

    Love those giggles!

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  • Amy Pakulski Manley (Facebook Comment) | October 23rd, 2012 4:13 pm

    You are a dear family to share this touching story with all of us.

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  • Debbie Byroade Schaaf (Facebook Comment) | October 23rd, 2012 4:14 pm

    It’s only Monday sweet pea!!!! Good luck beating this post………..As I snif snif

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  • Nikki Woodfill Murry (Facebook Comment) | October 23rd, 2012 4:14 pm

    I love it!!

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  • Marion | October 26th, 2012 2:38 am

    All of the smiles are for such wonderful reasons and make me smile too (thankyou again :)). It was funny to see the the girls giggling together in the video and MK and L head to head. PS: L’s big boy haircut is so cute and he looks about half as tall as you now. Best wishes to Drew and I hope he gets into the uni of his dreams xoxo

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  • Marion | October 26th, 2012 2:44 am

    Good luck to the boys in their upcoming regionals also.

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  • Sandy | October 29th, 2012 7:29 pm

    What an adorable family! Love your blog and photographs 🙂

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  • Michelle@Gotchababy | October 29th, 2012 9:43 pm

    So many good things going on right now! Love it.

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  • Mud Hut Mama | October 30th, 2012 3:10 am

    I’m here from Lori’s site. What a beautiful post – so many wonderful reasons to smile. Those boots would make me feel brave too!

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  • Kathy | October 30th, 2012 3:36 pm

    What a beautiful post Carolyn.

    I love this: “Being grateful for my blessings allows less room for lamenting about my troubles. (Lamenting is allowed. I just try not to dwell!)”

    So true. I was talking with my therapist recently about trying not to take some things so personally. She replied that it is normal/natural for me to take it personally when people says or do things that hurt my feelings, the challenge is to try not to dwell in that place for too long, as you say. Thank you for reiterating that here.

    I love all the smiles you shared. So bittersweet and precious. Thank you.

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