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Like a Kid in a Candy Store

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This weekend was just what I needed. Friday night, I made homemade patty melts and sweet potato fries. While I was flipping the patty melts in the cast iron skillet, I was thinking back to when I was little. My family would go to Shoney’s for breakfast on Saturdays, and Mom would always order a patty melt and Diet Coke. Matt and I had the best patty melt of my life at Little Goat Diner in Chicago right before we watched the Bulls play back in December. We didn’t watch the Bulls Friday night, but we did watch West Wing (we are officially hooked on that show) and check our March Madness bracket a lot. For a brief–very brief–moment I was not only beating Matt but leading our group, but soon that was over. We make a bet every year that whoever’s bracket does worse has to buy the other one ice cream. You’ll be shocked to learn I’ve bought ice cream the last few years. The only year I won I chose teams solely based on color of uniforms and proximity to places I wanted to visit. Apparently, I need to try that tactic again.

Have I mentioned that Matt is training for a half-marathon we are both running April 5th? He’s already faster than me, so he may have to drag me along during the race. My Saturday morning run was a little wet, but the rain clouds soon parted and a blue sky prevailed. After showers and breakfast, the original plan was to go straight to the zoo. But after our Starbucks stop took twenty minutes (apparently, every one else needed a caffeine jolt too) and we got stuck in construction traffic on I-40, we decided to get some lunch before the zoo. We watched a little basketball while we ate at Memphis Pizza Cafe–their Greek pizza is one of my top five favorite pizzas which is saying a lot because pizza is my love language, and I’ve done extensive research–and then I remembered that we were just a few doors down from the candy shop Sweet Noshings. (Shout out to Jonsie for introducing it to me! My taste buds thank you, but my thighs have a bone to pick with you.) We decided to surprise the girls. When Lydia crossed the threshold she hit notes only little girls–or feral dogs–can hit and squealed, “THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER!” Charlotte just started clapping and walking from jar to jar. I guess that saying “like a kid in a candy store” is pretty accurate. We filled little bags with gummy bears and gummy butterflies and jelly beans in every shade of the rainbow. And those two were grinning from ear to ear.

Lydia makes the same declaration, “This is the best day ever!” almost every day. I told Matt last night after tucking her in bed that I wish I could live just one day in her little world. That girl is making me a better person because she invites me to celebrate the extraordinary that’s found in all the ordinary places. Every swing in the park, every twirl of a tutu, every rock and every twig, every last bite of the M&M blast, every invitation to celebrate God all around me. The best day ever is the one I choose to see the gifts laid right before me, to celebrate them and enjoy them. Best day ever, Lydi Lu, best day ever.

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