I started out this week with a trip to Chicago. This picture was taken as my mom and I drove Sunday afternoon. Honestly, I didn't want to leave home. I cried leaving and I don't really know why....I think it was like one last "cry and be sad" time about the terrible no-job week. I needed to leave though. Even if it was only for a day.
Highway 30 is a boring bitch but also really pretty when you are driving towards the sunset.
I stayed with my sister, her husband and my nephew Samuel Young....raddest first name/middle name combination ever. We stayed up late playing with Sam and just doing a lot of hanging out.
The next morning I got to spend a lot of time with Sam. We put together more puzzles than either of us can count and read some books. After I read the last book to him he didn't move. He just stayed on my lap...not normal for a 1.5 year old. He was sleepy so I started singing ABCs to him and anytime I stopped he would look at me until I started the singing again. I must have sang it 30 times and every once in a while he laughed. I have no idea why but I think because after saying letters like that so many times it all starts to sound hilarious.
I love this picture of little Sam.
Meet Bradley. He is so sweet and so funny. He is the 10-month-old son of my sister's friend and he happens to have Down Syndrome. I do not think it was a coincidence I met him on this day. I have been really struggling with whether or not to stay in the developmental disabilities field. I believe it is time to move on but it is hard to leave a world in which you feel comfortable and confident. I will always have a heart for this world and find a way to be a part of it...but my livelihood is not going to be that part any longer. It is time to move on.
I left Chicago feeling at ease. Funny that it only took one day of stepping outside of it all to meet a new perspective.
I am continuing to job seek and search. So far nothing but I am okay with that. Henry is benefiting from my current situation...little guy sleeps on my lap while I seek.
Tuesday night into Wednesday morning brought oceans full of snow. I woke up to this in my kitchen window:
When a little or lot of snow falls, Henry loses his mind. He no longer knows how to go on a walk like a proper dog...he runs as fast as possible until we get where we are going.
I realize there are a lot of Henry pictures this week. That is what happens when I am with him for 20 of 24 hours per day. Anyhow. I really love this picture I took of him. He was perched in the living room windows watching Andrew shovel the sidewalks while I cooked dinner for us and our friends Matt and Beth.
Dinner with Matt and Beth. We sat and talked for a couple of hours...it was really nice.
Another day, another picture of Henry. Regal Beagle.
This past fall I fell in love with mini cactus'. I can't find them anywhere right now but I am excited for Spring...that is when I found this one. It is sort of amazing the little thing is still alive. It is sitting next to a window with about 3 inches of snow in it and I accidentally tore the top off of it once when I was re-potting it. On this day I noticed it was growing a little baby flower on top! I got really excited and hopeful all at once.
I was painting a new chalkboard for the coffee shop and without thinking I stirred the can of paint with a spoon. The paint dried and the hoarder in me wanted to keep it in hopes of doing something awesome with it. It was so so pretty like this.
I have yet to feel the discourage of winter. Typically January and February are a rough season for a lot of people...this year just doesn't feel that way to me. I have noticed the sun is out so much and the birds have stuck around...those two things make the cold feel healthy.
More snow views.
Henry and I sitting in the sun of the living room.
More shots of sun.
It has been really hard to reconcile the desire to read stacks of books and watch movies. I have been given the gift of some extra time but I don't feel like I deserve to do these things because that equals lazy. Like every waking hour should be devoted to the job of job-search. It can be maddening. I finally chilled a little this weekend and started reading a book I've been wanting to read since last spring.
What a strange and hopeful winter this has been. I'm so thankful for it.