So this week hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing, and more than once the African proverb I used in my 8th grade graduation speech has come to mind: “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” At times like this, I am often grateful for the farm values I inherited from both sides of my family. Don’t complain; just do. However much I long for eternal patience and limitless energy, I know I will never have either. But I can keep putting one foot in front of the other and look for the moments of what is good. What I try to do in this blog is to celebrate the good parts, to let my words guide my own mind back constantly to a place of gratitude. When I write about what is beautiful, it is a way to keep my own heart positive and receptive, supple and yielding, non-defensive, curious about what next good part might await.

We began this week with a totally mysterious illness for Mr. Eric. An iffy diaper on Monday night gave way to a fever that held fairly steady at 101.6 for most of 24 hours. By Tuesday night, the fever broke and there were absolutely no more symptoms. Monday night was sleepless—my maximum sleep was perhaps two hours. Eric usually adores his crib, but he was so restless and couldn’t sleep, in fact, he kept on making little man-who-is-feeling-bad moans every time I put him down. I ended up holding and rocking him almost all night and cooling him off with a damp cloth so he could get some sleep. Fortunately, I haven’t had to pull many all-nighters with my children, but this one was hard. At about 2AM my eyes burned and my whole body wanted to stretch out.

Then I looked at his little face and heard his (finally) peaceful breaths passing through his little delicate mouth. I looked at his jawline, oval and soft exactly like Bill’s. My heart laughed and leaped because it remembered that burning eyes and tired body were nothing—nothing!–compared to what I would actually endure for him, so small compared to knowing I would absolutely die for him, run into a building on fire, take any bullet. I just sat and watched that wee face, untroubled for a moment by fever, and felt the fullness and grace of unconditional love. This was a moment to explore the depth of that feeling, holding him there. In that respect, Monday night was a gift.

I celebrate, too, a productive, happy, forward-moving meeting with one of my clients and friends on Thursday. We had the chance to talk about the philosophy of focusing on what is positive and beautiful about life, and our viewpoints resonate well with one another. I think we always both find ourselves learning from one another as we work on his project.

We also had the chance to make some more handmade fettuccine this week and sundried tomato pesto. My brother’s MIL Lorraine sent us a really awesome “raw brownie” recipe that we tried, as well. Just almonds, prunes, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and 1 T. butter whizzed up and pressed in a pan. It could be made to be vegan as well. I promise that it is tasty and satisfies cravings. This recipe is perfect timing, as I made the decision to clean up some of our diet in this house. Bill has been the forerunner with respect to this project: he has been counting calories and exercising for months and has lost a bunch of weight. We’ve changed our snacks to veggies and fruits and have started limiting the sweets. Our biggest diet issues are butter/cream and sugar (usually in the form of baked goods and sauces), so we are being much more judicious about those items and putting family exercise back on our priority list.

And we loved music class today…and of course, the royal wedding. My husband wonders with some concern about  how much I was looking forward to seeing Kate and William marry, but he is a boy. 😉

I hope you are all finding joy this week, wherever it may be found.