Saturday, September 14, 2013

on being really really blessed

Thank you so much everyone who left me such kind, supportive comments on my last post and who wrote me such warm, encouraging emails. They meant so much to me, far more than you could know -- it's just another proof of God's loving presence in my life. With such experience and revelation come a wonderful uplifting, and reassurance of God's faithfulness.

I was just telling my husband last night how much I love his mother's cheerful, optimistic, genuinely sanguine attitude. Once, she almost died from a terrible infection, but even through the long days of being in hospital, in pain and the doctors unable to come to any conclusions, she remained calm and unworried, listening to music on her little radio, and chatting just as usual to anyone who cared to.

Referring to how people either have a glass-half-full or half-empty approach to life, my husband says she's the sort who, even if she had just a quarter of an inch of water left in her glass, would still happily say "Look how much I have!" I really need to learn from her -- I think I am, bit by bit, by God's grace.

However, I did not intend this post to be entirely serious and reflective; while I have some free time now, I thought I'd also share with you some fun stuff the kids and I had been up to -- yay! For one thing, they finally got to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera!

There they are at the top, all-dressed up in their silk dresses -- I hadn't told them I was bringing them to see Phantom, despite the continual begging to for months; that night I told them we were going to a friend's wedding dinner, which they bought (in fact, I think they were rather looking forward to doing that).

It was great fun of course. I hadn't seen Phantom since I was in high school; it was fascinating watching it again over 25 years later, this time with children and the added pleasure of their enjoyment. Here, a little family portrait in the theatre lobby :)

Now this is what pure happiness looks like.

The place is humongous -- I'm always impressed by this gigantic "fountain" called the Rain Oculus.

Nothing quite like a sad little monkey with cymbals to bring on every poignant memory you've ever had. Read more here!

Then, there was our little staycation! O man, I can't tell you how much I needed and appreciated that time away. I mean, you know I love Jakey to bits, but sometimes one really does need to just kick back and zone out to avoid feeling completely overwhelmed. There's Becky doing the dance of joy.

And Ro doing hers.

A hotel mirror portrait with Becky almost two years after this one. Yeah, I'm pretty set in my sartorial ways.

The kids always welcome a swim. 

All wrapped up afterward.

And then of course -- those wonderful breakfasts. How indescribably uplifting to saunter downstairs and find tables full of comfort food just waiting to be picked! I wish I knew how they do their scrambled eggs -- smooth, and sort of creamy. I'm told I make great scrambled eggs, but I still want to know how hotels do theirs! What's your scrambled egg recipe?

Another mirror portrait, this time with Ro. You can see my super fashionable thumb splint here!

Fountain fun.

Feeling luxurious with complimentary drinks after an awesome time out.

Miss Too-Cool-For-School.

I was super glad to find these Japanese fish-shaped cakes called taiyaki. I haven't had these in eons, like since I was eight or something, and always associate them with outings with my Mom. This place -- called Ooki -- has the usual red bean filling which I love, but they have other cool flavours too, like chocolate, and ham and cheese. Becky and Ro were immediate converts!

Home after a hard day's shopping (I wanted to put the word home in quotes, but Becky said don't).

Our feelings whenever it's time to go. We'll be back though -- we'll be back!!!

Have a lovely, blessed week everyone! (More pictures here :)


Optimistic Existentialist said...

Glass half-full is the way to be. It's one of the keys to a happy life :)

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Such a sweet glad all is brightening up doll :)) Your daughter's are so sweet & am glad they enjoyed their surprise, what a wonderful time :)) I hope you have a gorgeous week ahead xx

Robin said...

What a beautiful time with your girls, who are absolutely precious! I loved looking at all the pictures, smiles and love throughout! How awesome to have the opportunity to just have a great time with your girls!

I have two boys, both grown now, and I remember how much fun it was to just get away. I use to surprise them too, now they surprise me! I am a new follower also.

Audrey said...

Aaaw, Ro & Becky are just so adorable ~ it looks like you guys had an awesome time. Glad you were able to get away for a tiny bit! That fountain is really quite amazing. And I love Phantom ~ I may have to pull out my soundtrack now. ha! And Ro's kitty cat skirt is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!!

Farida said...

Staycations are fun. I'm craving for one now but I'm saving up for December... (yep, I know it's a few more months to go but I don't like my budget to get ruined with unnecessary spending) Anyway, try putting some mayonnaise and fresh milk on your egg mixture and if you love cheese, you can add small bits of that too.

Hope you felt rejuvenated from that brief but enjoyable bonding with your lovely daughters :)

Birdie said...

Your girls always look so happy! I am glad that you are feeling more centered. Glad you had time away. xo

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better about everything Janice! Your MIL sounds like a really wonderful inspiration. I remember Becky was so excited about the Phantom of the Opera when she wrote about it on her blog and it's fun to see that experience as well your recent staycation through your vantage point as well. Love the pics of you with your girls and your chic minimal style. I'm pretty set in my sartorial ways as well lol. Btw you thumb splint is cooler than my ankle brace ;p Hope you won't have to wear it for much longer.

New photo post on the blog today with some peeks at life recently.

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Jan - I am so glad you had a wonderful week-end out with your girls. You all three look too cute. What a blessing it was I am sure. Take care and have a great week. I so enjoyed my visit and seeing you all.

Elizabeth Brown said...

You have a beautiful family. :D It's a joy to see the happiness that just wafts from these photos!

While on the subject, beautiful pictures as well! And a beautiful place you all had adventures in. I should like to see that place someday, wherever it is.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a wonderful time! These photos are beautiful. And so are all of you! I just came back from your daughter's post and as always I'm in awe at how mature and upbeat she is. Very cute kid!

Unknown said...

I love the happy dance shots! Great memories you girls are pretty!

Miss Val's Creations said...

What a fun collection from your staycation and Phantom. The girls look like they had a blast!

I am a total geek and own the original Broadway cast of Phantom on CD. Yup, I listen to musicals from beginning to end while working in the office!

Your mother in law sounds wonderful. Positive people are always great to be around and learn from.

Magic Love Crow said...

Your hubby's mom is a blessing! A wonderful lady, with a great way to look on life ;o)
I love the pictures of you and the kids! Phantom! How exciting!
Big Hugs ;o)

AntiquityTravelers said...

what a lovely post! and how fun to take the girls to see the show - I bet they had a ball. I haven't taken my girls into NYC in quite awhile. Perhaps it's time. I've wanted to take them to the Nutcracker ... a NY tradition.

Brandi said...

Beautiful memories were made! So glad you had a wonderful time with your beautiful girls.

Fundy Blue said...

Hey Jan! You are truly blessed with your lovely family and with your faith! Thank you for sharing both. I really felt your last post on freaking, loneliness, and love. I do hope that you are feeling better physically and emotionally. I don't talk much about religion and faith, but I do draw comfort and strength from them. I love sparrows because they always make me think about how God cares for us all. I have struggled with perfectionism, so I know how difficult it is to deal with. I only know you through your blog posts this past year, but I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of parents over the years, and I think you are an awesome mother! Jim of Ocean Breezes had a great post on being kind and loving to ourselves. I think it was a wise post. I try to be gentle with myself every day! I have a lot of imperfections, so it's a challenge! LOL! Take care! Your awesomeness shines through your blog!

CraveCute said...

Been catching up on your last few posts. Sorry things have been rough. Glad you are feeling better now. Your family is so beautiful!

Jo said...

Such a sweet post. It's so lovely to see how happy your daughters look. A staycation is a good way to recharge yourself. I'm glad things are shining once more for you now.


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