We recently took what I deem a proper vacation–no visiting family or ulterior motive outside of relaxing and recharging. It was heavenly. A whole week devoted to sunshine, good food and beautiful ocean views. We went on a cruise.

We worried about being stranded aboard a floating hotel with thousands of other people. After all, neither of us are particularly fond of crowds. Or waiting in lines. Or being forced to make small talk with strangers. I had been told by more than one friend ahead of time that her husband especially disliked the cruise they went on. However, we weighed some options and decided to go for it. We had a blast.

I am so grateful that we have the lifestyle that affords us such a luxury. Sure, it means we have to live a little frugally for a while to rebuild some savings, but I’m keenly aware that we are blessed to have expendable money. One stop in a port location gave us a glimpse of how many others don’t have the resources we do. It’s so easy to be lulled into believing that we deserve the things we want when in reality, we are lucky to have the things we need.

September 11

Fall has come and apparently gone already. It was cold today. Colder than the supposed high of 61 that was predicted yesterday. The couple times I was in my car it was never higher than 54 degrees. Yet I just moved the plastic tote of my sweaters and winter clothes to the basement last week–because I finally got my closet organized for the summer. And this morning I was searching for a long sleeved shirt. How did this happen?? How am I always one step behind lately? It seems like everything is moving quicker than I can keep up. Every time I get one thing done, I’m reminded that I’m close to a deadline on something else. My classes. Bills. Dog vet visit. Car registration. Life has this way of just continuing on whether we are ready and keeping up or not. As I pondered how to manage the variety of things that were piling up today, I remembered the date. And how 13 years ago time stood still for a moment while our country was attacked by terrorists. And all of a sudden, fleeting time and looming deadlines didn’t seem quite so overwhelming. My problems are manageable, simple really. I’m lucky. And thankful for the perspective.

May 3

My daughter turned 20 today. It’s a bit unbelievable to me. It seems like just days ago that she was born. A miracle baby, born at 28 weeks. Three months early and weighing only 2 pounds. It was a shock, her birth. There was nothing that prepared me for it or gave me a clue. But there she was, laying in an incubator 20 years ago, not quite fully grown. It was a hard two and a half months that she was in the hospital, waiting to get to five pounds so we could take her home. I went every day to read to her from Babar books, talking to her and watching the numbers on her monitor jump around. I wanted so much to hold her immediately and be her mom, but it was a week after she was born that I got to hold her for just a few minutes on Mother’s Day. Then I had to wait and be a spectator for a while. It was a beautiful, painful, maturing experience watching her grow outside of me. And we were all so incredibly lucky. Babies born that early oftentimes have lingering issues of some sort. The most my daughter had was glasses when she was younger, since the eyes are one of the last things to form in utero. And today she is a beautiful, intelligent, giving and talented person. Someone I am so blessed to have in my life and call my daughter. You would never know that she was born premature and had to fight so hard just to be alive. I’m immensely thankful today for her and for the way her birth changed me and made me a stronger mother.