It’s the first Friday of the month, which means it’s once more time to be grateful. Well, technically, it’s always time to be grateful. I’m just public about it on first Fridays.

And, as always, I have much to be grateful for … even in a month full of wild surprises and some seriously bad days. Here’s a smattering of things from the list in my journal:

647. Jane came in and cuddled with me in bed this morning. “Mama,” she said, “I want to hold your hand.” And she slipped her soft little hand into mine.

648. I have hands she can hold.

652. I got my braces off yesterday! And my teeth look beautiful, if I do say so myself.

656. An encouraging email from a writer friend.

672. Reading Charlotte’s Web to my kids.

678. Tulips are blooming everywhere. Jane cries, “Tulip!” every time she sees one when we go walking in the neighborhood. I love her exuberance.

683. Rhubarb-apple crisp.

686. Laughing with the kids over the story of Pa and the “bear” that was really a stump in Little House in the Big Woods.

691. The delicious scent of lilac blossoms.

694. Listening to Jack and Jane play: right now the Little Mermaid is fighting Darth Vader. Awesome.

706. The words on the reader board outside St. Luke’s as I drove home from the gym: “God is good.”

710. Jack and I had a great morning of school: I was patient; he was focused.

712. A sweet moment with Jane at bedtime: she sat on my legs with her hands on my belly and felt the babies kick, her face lighting up with each movement.

713. A gossamer thin crescent moon hangs in the western sky, Venus just above it, shining pure and bright.

721. Jane’s drawing of Doug: he looks like a paramecium. Rock on.

739. Doug and Jack made delicious oatmeal raisin cookies for me, simply because I wanted them. Am I lucky or what?

742. Sleep.

743. Sleep.

744. Sleep.

751. My children’s laughter is the most wonderful sound in the whole world.

766. The sun is shining.

769. Jack, on his way out of his room this morning: “I love you, Jane.” My heart is melting.

770. No consequences.

holy experience