Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pleasantly Surprised: Spring Break 2013

Considering that the weather has been decidedly un-springlike and the majority of the town has been jaunting around in tropical locations for the last ten days, I thought I'd coast into this day on fumes, just barely making it through our "staycation" with my sanity intact. (Side note: I hate the word "staycation." No reason, just do.) But it's been mostly just me and my girls, and it's been surprisingly OK. I planned ahead, tried to make sure we had at least one above-average thing to look forward to each day, and then let the chips fall where they may. Turns out, we have a bunch of fun together. Turns out, taking a break from the normal schedule (school, homework, soccer, piano, yoga, dinner, bath, bedtime) is refreshing even if you're not in Florida or Mexico or, you know, someplace exotic where the temperatures in April feel ready to hover above the forties.

I just uploaded the entirety of the photos from my phone from the last ten days to the computer, and there are pictures in this batch that remind me of things I had already forgotten we did. Which makes me realize just how handy this little computer in my pocket can be. I know there have been a bunch of articles lately about the dangers of valuing your phone more than the people in front of your face, about the horrible things that ensue when kids, teens, and tweens get caught up in social media, but I'm noticing, this week especially, the way that snapping a quick picture of a good moment helps buoy my spirit - both when I take the picture and later, when I find it again. Just now, I smiled over images of a sweet sleepover, a sunny family afternoon on the soccer field, a chilly but beautiful beach hike, rollerskating with friends, hula-hooping, frozen yogurt treats, pedicures, piano practice, Easter at my parents', happy hour with the cousins, and morning snuggles with Jemma.

Along those lines, the girls and I embraced a fun little photo challenge this week. I've passed down my point-and-shoot to the girls now that I have my DSLR, and both girls have old phones that can only take pictures and play music, so April 1 seemed like the perfect time to kick off Positively Present's 30-Day Gratitude Photo Challenge. It's posted on the fridge, and it's encouraging to see the girls look each morning for their challenge, then spend a little time seeking out (and, hopefully, feeling grateful for) that item in their day. I'm sure it'll fall by the wayside once the regular schedule kicks in, but here are my first seven days:

:: books (gift to myself for no reason)

 :: smile

 :: favorite food (Harmony pizza)

 :: sky

 :: leaves (the hundred daffodil and tulip bulbs I planed in the fall are emerging)

 :: something funny

(That last one was taken just minutes before something much funnier happened, which was our entire family jumping our guts out at Sky Zone for an hour. If only I hadn't emptied my pockets, we could have photos of Jemma belly-flopping into the foam pit, Jason dunking on the basketball hoops, and Annie and I parkouring off the trampoline walls in unison. I'm going to be sore tomorrow.)

The girls have their own blurry unique photos in each of these categories, and I intend to combine them into some sort of collage at the end of the month. I've kept gratitude journals before, and we've had Thanksgiving trees each fall, but this is a new, easy, more visual way to stop each day and remember all the little moments that make up a very happy life.

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