The Best Parts of January

At the end of 2017, I decided I was going to keep a detailed log of all the good things that happened in 2018 no matter how small they might be. A log, so to speak, of every gratitude point and blessing. I want to look back and possibly be able to connect some dots in hindsight of where and how He helped us make a comeback. So, this is kind of a numbered, light-hearted update on us.

1.Taegan realized that she liked broccoli. MAJOR breakthrough for my picky, picky eater. I was eating some with my breakfast and she came to my plate and looked at it curiously. I saw an opportunity and went for it. “When I was a kid,” I said, “I used to pretend I was a giant eating tiny trees.” She gave me a skeptical grin, but I could tell it piqued her interest. “You want to try it? It’s kinda fun!” She hesitantly said yes, but only if she could dip it in Ranch. (Ranch makes just about anything edible for Taegan). Next thing I know, I’ve got a little giant eating tiny trees.

2. Luxe had told me through all of 2017 that she was “neva, eva, going on da potty…neva.” I thought Taegan was strong-willed and bull-headed. Folks, let me introduce you to my daughter, Luxe. It’s a good thing she’s charming and adorable cuz good night, Irene…heavens to Betsy…and help me, Rhonda. This. Child. Well, one day Aunt Tanna mentioned to Luxe that if she went on the potty, she’d have a pizza party at Pizza Hut for her. If only all of us had known that’s all it would take! Pizza is Luxe’s love language. However, not only that, but now Luxe’s big sister and her older cousin, Kalyssa, have a very vested interest in making sure this potty training happens because they stand to gain, as well. It was pure genius really! Luxe potty trained in a week and everyone went out for pizza…the added bonus that Marty and Linda got to join us. (Good things on top of good things)

3. I’m kicking my tail in my workouts and it feels good even though I hurt. In my 20s, I worked out because I wanted to look just so. In my 30s, it’s less about that and more about breaking my own barriers. Having a challenge and overcoming it. Proving to myself that I can do hard things in spite of having neck/shoulder issues. Seeing what once was tough—maybe even impossible in my eyes—become easy. This principle has so many applications on so many levels. Mindset matters maybe more than anything. But, January was a rewarding month as far as health and fitness goals are concerned. So, I’m thankful for that and look forward to pushing myself even more.

4. Taegan branched out even more and decided olives could go on her ever expanding list of foods, as well.

5. Luxe started dance class in November. One of my favorite things about being a parent is figuring out the places a burgeoning talent lies in my children and helping them maximize those strengths. Luxe may only be 3, but she’s got some talent. She loses herself in her own little world when she’s dancing and she just creates…and what she creates is good! Dancing brings Luxe joy and it brings us joy to watch her. We’re uncertain if the child can sing. Jury’s still out on that one. But, we see potential in her creativity and desire with dance. So, I started taking her to dance classes. It didn’t go so well for a couple months. Basically, she was a thumb-sucking, frowny observer who never spoke and only shook or nodded her head with a grunt from time to time. If she did happen to be seen participating, she would stop as soon as her instructor told her what a great job she was doing. Just a real pleasure to be around, ya know? A delightful social butterfly, to be sure! I knew she liked it because she would come home and repeat every move and flourish to a T, but she wasn’t going to let her instructor see that…until the end of January when she had “her best day yet!” YAY! Dance, baby, dance…even if it is baby steps.

6. Taegan’s basketball skills and grit drastically improved over the summer! Basketball is Taegan’s jam. She absolutely loves it, but after last year, I worried that she might not have what it takes to be coachable. She had no desire to guard and flat out refused. (It’s that whole stubborn thing again…my girls have it in spades). She was timid with the ball. She melted into a hysterical puddle of tears when a male coach called her out on a mistake in the middle of a game last season and couldn’t pull herself together enough to be put back in. Yes, she was 6, but wowza, that was embarrassing and a little tough to handle for two competitive parents. She showed some real promise even then for athleticism, but I feared she didn’t have the emotional fortitude. (Taegan is an interesting, hard to explain mix of tough and sensitive.) She also didn’t seem to care too much about winning and when you’re playing sports, ya kiiiinda gotta have that desire to be any good. Well, I believe it was just a little too much for her at that particular time because this time around, we’re seeing a different Taegan on the court. She’s trying to get her teammates attention for passes. She’s shooting and scoring points. She’s dribbling up and down the court. She’s guarding and starting to understand that we can be friends off the court and still play to win. And, low and behold, they lost the other night and she went home miffed…stayed that way for the rest of the evening. I’ll admit being secretly pleased that it bothered her so much. That’s what I’m talking about, sister! Sometimes it takes getting angry and frustrated to grow and improve unless you let it discourage you to the point of quitting. And quitters never win. I asked her if she did her best that night. Her answer? “NO!” How refreshing! Thank you for your honesty! I think we may have found what we needed a year ago. It’s been a pleasure watching her find her stride and I look forward to seeing what else she’s got up her sleeve as she grows.

I have a lot to share about our new adventure because that was probably the biggest good thing (hopefully) in January, but we’re not quite ready for me to share that publicly yet. Stay tuned!


Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Lay it on me.

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