When 2016 began, I chose the word SAVOR to be my “word of the year” (you can read about that decision here) I chose it because I knew that I was bad at taking time to slow down and truly appreciate all of the goodness in my life. It’s not that I didn’t know that I was blessed, it’s just that my personality type tends to be one that is constantly striving for the next great thing and rarely takes the time to soak in all of the FabYOUlousness of the present moment.
As a part of my SAVOR ’16 challenge, I decided that I was going to write one blog post a month about the particularly savorable things that I had enjoyed during that month. Last month was easy to write about because I had just returned from a week long vacation with my family on the gorgeous island of Oahau, Hawaii (you can read about that experience here–but be prepared to be jealous!)
Even though April didn’t include any beautiful beaches or swimming with dolphins, it did have a number of savorable moments of its own and I am so thankful that my Savor ’16 challenge has helped me to become more intentional in recognizing and embracing these moments. Here is just a quick snapshot of some of the incredible moments that I have been blessed to SAVOR during the month of April 2016…
Things I’m SAVORING in April
1.) Special moments with my sons. April is a special month for my family because it is the month in which the “baby” of the family celebrates his birthday. The crazy thing is that my “baby” turned 18 this month. How on earth did that happen? I swear, he was a sweet, pudgy, ornery, little stinker of a toddler but then I blinked my eyes once (maybe twice) and suddenly he became a strong, handsome and kind-hearted man. I just can not believe how quickly the time has flown by. How can it be possible that I am currently up to my eyeballs in high school graduation party planning for my baby? How can it be possible that we are making college plans when it seems like just last week I was a nervous wreck about him starting preschool? There are no words that can adequately express how bittersweet these moments are for me. I love him so much and am so proud of the man that he has become and yet with each step he takes towards his independence my heart longs for those days when I could just scoop him up in my arms and smother his chubby little cheeks with mama kisses. He may no longer fit on my lap (not by a long shot) but he will NEVER outgrow my heart and I am thankful for the moments that I’ve had this month to celebrate and savor his birthday with him.
I am also thankful for the moments that I’ve had to savor this month with my oldest son who is now 20. One of those particularly savorable moments came when he and I spent one Saturday morning together volunteering with our local Red Cross chapter’s Home Fire Campaign. This is a program in which Red Cross staff & volunteers go out into vulnerable communities and install free smoke detectors for anyone who needs them. My son has volunteered for several of these installation events and it was so incredible for me to stand back and watch him take on a leadership role for such a worthwhile project. He was confident, engaging and a true representation of the Red Cross motto, “sleeves up, hearts open, all in”. What a joy it was for me to savor watching my son give back to his community when many other 20 year olds would’ve chosen to remain in bed on a Saturday morning.
2.) Lending a hand to those in need. The American Red Cross comes in to play with two of my savor worthy moments this month. First, I was able to work with my son on the Home Fire Campaign mentioned above and then, less than a week later, I was sent to Houston, Texas to help with the Red Cross flood disaster response operation. This experience was like none other that I’ve ever been through. To see the devastation left behind after a major flood was a real eye opener to me and to be involved in the recovery effort has impacted me in ways that I can’t even put into words. I have never seen so many committed volunteers work so hard for so long to help bring relief to those who so desperately needed it. Handing out food, setting up shelters, distributing comfort kits and clean up supplies, helping to assess damage…The American Red Cross team did so much for so many and I was humbled and blessed to be a part of it all. I was also incredibly moved and inspired by the bravery and resiliency shown by the residents of Houston. They say that everything is big in Texas, well, when it comes to the hearts and spirits of the people who live there, I’d say that is definitely true. I will always savor my memories of the small role that I got to play in helping to bring relief and hope to a hurting city.
3.) Having a ball. Anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows that I absolutely LOVE baseball and softball. It is a passion that I inherited from my dad when I was around eight years old and something that still brings me great pleasure to this day. I am savoring the fact that with April comes that blessed event known as “Opening Day”. It’s the day when I always get spring fever (even if it is still snowing here in Colorado) and cross my fingers in the hopes that my favorite team (the New York Yankees of course!) will still be playing ball come late October/early November. This is also the time of year when my rec. league softball team, The Sons of Pitches gets together and starts playing again. We’re not very good (understatement of the year) but we sure know how to have fun. I also love the fact that baseball and softball provide so many fun opportunities for me to enjoy time with my hubby. He also plays on The Sons of Pitches so we get to have fun on the field together and he also is a huge baseball fan so we spend plenty of time curled up in bed together watching our favorite teams battle it out. He isn’t a big Yankees fan but he loves me so he has already purchased tickets for us to go to Coors Field this summer when the Yanks come to town. I savor these fun moments with my man and the happy memories that they help us to create.
4.) Crying with the doves. This month the world lost a musical icon and someone who (despite only being 5′ 2″) was larger than life. When I heard the news that Prince had passed away, I immediately felt like a part of my youth had been lost. I remember sneaking out to see the movie Purple Rain because my parents didn’t think that I was old enough for it and having Prince posters plastered all over my walls. Ever since hearing of his death, I’ve been playing more of his music (my favorites are When Doves Cry, Purple Rain and Baby I’m a Star) and savoring the memories of my early teen years when this unique, controversial and oh-so-talented man had such a powerful impact upon me and my friends.
April has had too many savor worthy moments to count but these four are the ones that have had the biggest impact on me. I hope that as you look back over your month, you are able to find those moments that were special to you as well and that you were able to embrace them and truly savor the FabYOUlousness that they brought to your life.