Return of the Joy Dare: a simple, old timey joy.

Today my joy is found in something so simple, it borders on mundane.  But, to me, it’s a small, easy joy that reminds me of my childhood.

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A retractable clothesline strung festively across my deck. 

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I love that I’m satisfied with simple things, little things.  That I can find a way to enjoy laundry, on some old-fashioned, charming level. 

And this?

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Well, it just makes me think of the ocean, and summer, and that some very good days are coming.

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The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Tom Petty had it right.  Waiting is difficult.  I am not a good “waiter.”  Yet, I’m a terrific procrastinator.

On April 7th, the Joy Dare had me looking for “three gifts waited for.”

Hah!  How much time do you have?

I’ve waited for many things, including time to update my blog.  Which is why I haven’t posted in awhile.  Things be crazy!

Between baby care, grad class homework, housekeeping, tax prep, helping a friend start a new business, several family gatherings, 87 piles of laundry, filing some important (and overdue, oops) Family Leave paperwork, and activities related to generally being a human, I’ve had pretty much no time to properly update this blog with regard to the Joy Dare.  So, instead of playing catch up (because I’m finding that I’m starting to repeat myself), I’ll just let you know that I’m not ignoring the Joy Dare, or this blog, but rather prioritizing things… yeah… that’s it:  prioritizing.

Plus, I was starting to stress over whether or not I was finding gifts, or the right gifts, or enough gifts for the Joy Dare.  And I don’t think that’s what the Joy Dare is all about.

My goal is to get back to the Joy Dare in proper sometime this week… so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’m doing this today, along with a seriously large graduate class project (due tonight, naturally)…

strip all the diapers

It’s a thing you have to do once in awhile when you use cloth diapers.  It’s not hard, but it’s time consuming.  And really necessary if you actually want your diapers to continue to work (read: hold in stuff).

See you soon…

Nailed Together

Three things nailed together: today’s Joy Dare. 

What?

I had to think about this.  I didn’t think these gifts would come easily, so I purposely focused on what I could see as gifts “nailed together.”

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The painfully obvious:  something wood.  These are the floors in my house, and I love them.  They are a gift because they remind me of all the hard work we’ve put into this old house.  We may not have a lot of fancy things, but the things we have, have meaning. 

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A journal entry I found while cleaning up my bookshelves today.  It was about nailing our fears, weaknesses, and problems to the cross.  The gift here is the reminder that journaling (this blog) is a good thing, Christ is my solid place, and bookshelves should be visited more often.

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Chris and Dave rocking our local pub tonight.  We haven’t seen Dave in a long time and it was great!  He is pure talent, exponential. It is a blessing to know Dave.  We weren’t even sure this gig would happen, but it did.  As the old saying goes, “they nailed it.”

Three things nailed together… Not too bad for someone who isn’t a carpenter.

Gifts Surprisingly Found

Today is day three of my Joy Dare and today’s finds truly are surprising.  As I had expected, I was caught off guard with today’s gifts and wasn’t able to capture a picture for each one.  So, two of my three joyous gifts are “supplemental” pictures.

Without any further ado, I give you my Three Gifts Surprisingly Found:

I am surprised at how happy cloth diapering my child makes me.  It sounds ridiculous, I know - but there is something very satisfying about not buying disposable diapers and getting excited about which color diaper to choose next... Saving money, helping the environment, not exposing her little hiney to chemicals... it's good and surprisingly joyous.

I am surprised at how happy cloth diapering my child makes me. It sounds ridiculous, I know – but there is something very satisfying about not buying disposable diapers and getting excited about which color diaper to choose next… Saving money, helping the environment, not exposing her little hiney to chemicals… it’s good and surprisingly joyous.
The biggest surprise of all? I don’t mind doing laundry as much as I used to – and for anyone who knows me – that’s a HUGE surprise.

On our way out tonight, my husband and I drove past a young woman listening to her iPod and dancing - on the sidewalk outside of her house. It was such a blessing to see this because I thought, "What if we all just started dancing more?"

On our way out tonight, my husband and I drove past a young woman listening to her iPod and dancing… on the sidewalk outside of her house. It was such a blessing to see this because I thought, “What if we all just started dancing more?”

The best surprise of the day?  My daughter's first real, because-it's-funny, laugh.

The best surprise of the day?
My daughter’s first real, out loud, because-it’s-funny, laugh.

Today, unprepared as I was to capture my gifts on “film,” I let myself just open up to whatever gifts came – and how lovely they were.  Joy can surprise you, if you let it.

Daring to be Joyous: Day 2

April 2nd’s Joy Dare asks me to find Three Gifts White.  It’s the second installment in my Joy Dare that I’m going to do this month (and hopefully beyond).  If you want to get caught up and learn about what this Joy Dare thing is and why I’m doing it, go see this: The Days are Long, but the Years are Short.

A literal gift: a perfect heirloom blanket for Nora.


A literal gift: a perfect heirloom blanket.

Coconut cake - simple, decadent.


Coconut cake – simple, decadent. Wonderful.

My favorite tulip tree blooms now.


My favorite tulip tree blooms now.

Three Gifts White has me thinking about clean, white bed sheets and spring cleaning.  These gifts have me thinking about the hope in springtime – the promise of birth, growth, warmth, and breathing out the stale air of being inside for too long – inhaling the reborn air of an earth waking from it’s winter nap.