Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I know that when I don’t write, my spirits are low. But I can’t tell whether I am not writing because of my mood or if my mood is impacted by not writing. Either way, i’m going to try to get back into writing. When I felt the best, I was writing at least everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.

I did a twenty minute stretch routine this morning. You know you’re stiff when it feels like an inferno in your arm simply from resting your palm against a wall. I am going to try to do some basic stretches everyday.

I always take things overboard. When I want to lose weight, I get into these crazy phases of intense workouts and I never stick to it. So i’ve decided that i’m just going to do simple things. Stretching, going on more bike rides with the kids, even scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees (which I did, yesterday) makes a big difference. I’m not all that concerned with losing weight anymore, I just want to feel healthier. When you’re walking around tensed up all the time, it definitely affects your mood. I’m more likely to snap at Kevin if I can’t turn my head to look at him. Imagine that. “I CAN’T TURN MY HEAD, WHY DON’T YOU STAND IN FRONT OF ME SO I CAN SEE YOU, SON!” We could avoid that altogether if I just stretched every morning.

This heat is killer, though. Feels like the sixth circle of hell out there. I need to get to the beach and be in the water. I’ve been hiding out in the house and am beginning to look pale and sickly. Speaking of which, Kevin just called and said he wants to go to the beach today so, yeah. That’s happening.

I’ve been looking back over my footage and photos from our trip to Europe. It’s at the point now where it feels like a dream, like did that really happen? It was seriously the dream adventure. An adventure in every sense of the word. It has become a go-to happy place for me when I need a pick-me-up. Like this problem isn’t really all that bad because I EXPLORED THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS. I walked through Napoleon’s apartment and the Louvre. Selfied it up with the Mona Lisa. I sat on a boulder and drank wine from the bottle while watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle. I saw Big Ben and the glowing street lights along the Thames from the London Eye. I watched the snow fall through a window in a quiet restaurant in the Swiss Alps while eating my weight in fondue. I walked through the alleys of Rome after dark. Saw the sunset over the Tuscan hills in Florence. I am so alive.

But, even so, it doesn’t take a two week adventure across Europe to feel alive. It’s coming up my front steps and having a butterfly graze my nose. It’s seeing new shoots coming off of the plants that I have successfully kept alive (I still can’t believe i’ve only had one casualty!). It’s my kids. God, it’s my kids. I laid in bed with Ezra last night and told him stories about when he was a baby. Ezra doesn’t like to cry in front of people. He fights back tears like his life depends on it. I looked over at him as I was talking because I realized he got really quiet. I thought he had fallen asleep because his eyes were closed. I called out his name just to be sure and his voice cracked as he answered, “yeah?” I asked what was wrong and, fighting back tears, he said, “I’m just happy, that’s all.” He was so happy to be talking about these memories that he was moved to tears. WHAT STORE DO THEY SELL THAT IN?? A couple of weeks ago, I took the kids on a bike ride to the park and we got stuck in the rain on the way home. I’ve taken the other kids out to play in the rain before but not Nova. This was a new experience to her. On the way home, she ditched her bike when she saw a puddle. My first thought was NO THAT’S MUD THOSE SHOES NO!! But when I saw her face light up as if she had just discovered a wardrobe to Narnia, I just stood there and smiled. She was so amused. Mesmerized, really.

Quiet evenings in my office with sounds of nature playing while reading a book. The stillness of the night when I wake up at 3:00 AM to raid the fridge. Thanks to God for a good meal, knowing all good things come from him. Even a blanket fresh out of the dryer makes me feel like i’m pretty glad i’m here. Or the fact that I live in a time where Fools Rush In exists. Feeling giddy about Sam’s loyalty to Frodo. Spotify playlists. I can pull a trigger and make my house smell like lavender. This is incredible.

I took my grandpa’s magnifying glass outside the other day and set newspaper on fire. My grandparents were amazing people that existed. The magnifying glass sits on my bookcase in my office and when I glance at it, I can see it sitting in the Redskin’s mug on my grandpa’s table next to his recliner. He’s sitting there doing crossword puzzles while my grandma crochets potholders. I’m at her desk writing a poem about the rain in her little white notebook. Shannon is sprawled across the floor, coloring them a picture. My brother is in the spare room watching documentaries with my Uncle Mike. This happened. We were there.

Even 2010 feels like such a distant, but pleasant memory at this point. Barbecuing out back while the kids swam with Nita in the pool, Sweet Disposition blaring, dry, sunburnt cheeks and nose, baby kicks.

And you can look back at all of these memories and romanticize them but we only remember the moments in which we were present.

I feel so alive.


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