It only took us 7 years

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Well, seven years after having my first child, we decided to have some family photos taken. (Can you believe that? I have no idea why we waited so long.)

We enlisted Cary Holton, who is a mega talented lifestyle photographer. She had quite a challenge on her hands, though. Known for capturing authentic moments in clients’ homes, our family was half a country away from ours while visiting Oklahoma this summer so we had to do some brainstorming as to where to shoot. We chose Kaisers for some ice cream and then downtown at sunset. I am so so happy with the photos. Here are some of my favorites.

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COMMENTS (22)

Count Your Blessings

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count your blessings

“Talk about your blessings more than your talk about your burdens.”

This is a mantra I have aspired to my entire life, and dare say have been fairly successful. Complaining has never been my thing…I usually keep those thoughts to myself, and I definitely don’t gravitate towards those who make it a way of life.

It’s just that…well, to be completely honest with you, counting your blessings while depressed can seem almost impossible. And for 38 years on this planet, I just didn’t GET that. I didn’t understand how a person couldn’t just see past the gray clouds and celebrate the blue skies. Honestly, it seemed incredulous to me. “Why can’t they just choose to be happy?” is something I’ve said to myself 1,000 times. But then it happened to me. I sunk into an insidious and dank mental space that didn’t allow me to see past the gray clouds. The worst thing I could possibly hear from friends and loved ones was, “But you have so much to be thankful for, Sarah.”

And they were right. I have a bounty of blessings. But how could I count my blessings when I couldn’t even get out of bed? Or take my kids to school? Or do anything but fear the future?

These past few months have been scary and uncertain. But, you all, I’m working to better myself every day because I know this is an awakening. I’m morphing into someone who is more empathic, more open to change, less controlling and perfectionistic, and more at peace with who I am at the core.

One of the things I’m working on is practicing gratitude. I’ve made a pact with myself that upon opening my eyes in the morning, I will count my blessings instead of fearing the day or lamenting the previous. Because I do have so much to be thankful for…we all do, really.

Practicing gratitude. It’s harder than you think.

So when the universe sent me a huge “YOOHOOOO” yesterday, I just had to sit down and tell you all about it.

It started with a morning restorative yoga class. My very favorite teacher always ends the class with a little gem, and she spoke of starting the day from a place of gratitude. About opening your eyes in the morning and being thankful for all the wonderful things in your life.

I thought about it all morning, came home, wrote a short post here, and after publishing it, my father commented on the post with a link to this song.

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds

If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds

If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings

I had never heard this song written by Cole Porter before, and the lyrics socked me in the gut. It’s like I had a moment of absolute clarity that everything would work out and that celebrating my blessings would be an integral part of my healing. I ruminated on the lyrics for a bit and then sat down with the kids to have dinner.

While discussing the high and low points of Wito’s day, he mentioned learning a song in music class that he really liked. One thing I haven’t mentioned about Wito is that he has the most lovely singing voice. I know I’m a bit biased, but it truly is a pleasure to listen to him sing. When I asked him to sing the song, he looked me in the eye and with the most innocent and beautiful tone, he sang:

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
I fall asleep counting my blessings

My chin hit the floor. I couldn’t believe it. What are the odds? Within the span of a couple of hours, two of the most important men in my life had gifted me with these words. It’s a gift I’m not taking for granted.

I’m challenging you to do the same. Every morning when your eyes first open, before going over to-do lists or the 100 other things on your mind, try counting your blessings. Maybe just a few. Maybe more. One of the blessings I thought about this morning is the encouragement you’ve provided to me over the years in this space. I am so thankful to have such kind, smart, and thoughtful people to rally with me. I am so appreciative.



COMMENTS (39)

Mwahhh (That was a kiss.)

8

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Two of my favorite pins right now.

So how do you follow up a post like the previous one? Well, you just kind of do, I guess.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately. Wanting to post, but feeling a bit overwhelmed as to where to start. So, I’m just going with the flow in hopes that it all falls into place.

Thank you so much for all of your kind emails and supportive tweets and virtual hugs. I’m getting better, but it’s one of those ‘two steps forward, one step back’ kind of situations. However, I’m learning a lot about myself in the process. (Let’s just say I am identifying with Brene Brown’s personal breakdown spiritual awakening all too well.)

(Also, one day I will put together some detailed posts on everything I’ve learned about anxiety, mood issues, medication, supplements, insomnia, restorative yoga, practicing gratitude, therapy, hormones, chronic pain, perimenopause, etc.)

((You see, when you don’t sleep for several months, you do A LOT of reading and research in the wee hours of the night. And make lots of appointments with doctors/professionals/therapists/gurus in the morning.))

(((Seriously, you don’t even want to see my Amazon Kindle receipts. Or this past summer’s calendar.)))

((((Things are looking up, though. NO JINX, PLEASE.))))

I realized I never posted the rest of our house, so I am working on getting those photos together for you soon. Just easing myself back in, you know.

It’s nice to put a little focus back on the blog, though. I’ve missed you guys.



COMMENTS (7)