I’m glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details here. Celebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.


Last week I turned my Instagram account public. I’ve been using it to collect & document celebrations. I love it. Please follow me there: @ruth_ayres to find celebrations throughout the week.
On Friday night I went shopping all by myself. I can’t remember the last time I went shopping all alone. I spent 48 minutes talking at the MAC makeup counter. I tried on shoes, walked around the store, and then tried on the same pair of shoes again. I didn’t have to defend this shopping strategy to anyone. I bought shorts and orange pants and a new skirt (or two). I dug through sale racks of summer shirts — for myself. I even found an almost perfect coffee mug. (You’ll have to follow me on Instagram to see it…@ruth_ayres.)

There was a time in life when I shopped alone, but wished I wasn’t. I longed for a baby. Watching new parents pull a stroller out of the trunk tugged at tears. Hearing a toddler play in the dressing room next to me hurt my heart. And if you tried to convince me that shopping alone would be a celebration down the road of life, I might have wanted to kick you in the shins.

I celebrate because I like the reminder of how quickly life changes. A decade ago, shopping alone felt like one more stick in my cage of infertility. Today, shopping alone is a rare bliss. Driving home alone at 10:00 last night, I began to consider all the little pricks in life today that might become a rare bliss in a decade.

Every weekday afternoon, our kitchen table is covered with homework. They sit there, snacks on napkins, giggling and calculating and reading. I always wonder why their papers don’t get mixed up. I’m greeted with hugs and then more papers are shoved into my hands…quizzes and field trip forms and tennis registration. The floor is littered with paper and backpacks and kicked-off shoes.  I take a deep breath and smile, pushing this thought out of my mind: Why can’t I come home to a clean table? It’s only moments and then they shove their school work into their backpacks, dropping them in the back hall. I’m going to miss this table full of school work someday.

Since bedtime is getting a little later, I’ve started writing before the kids go to bed. I’ve tried moving my writing spot around the house to find a place where I’m out of the way. They follow me. I’m not sure they know they follow me, but they do. Wherever I plant myself to write, they congregate. I’ve decided to love this about them and learn to write with yo-yo strings zipping and hair being brushed and giggles uncontained.

I trip over shoes a lot. They are never Andy’s shoes, but that still leaves 5 of us with shoes around the house. Even if we only have one pair out, that’s 10 shoes to trip over. I know I’ll miss this, because I still miss Karianne’s flip flops that used to sit next to the garage door.

Right now there’s a football on the coach, a baseball cap on the book shelf, a book on the blanket basket, a hair brush on the arm of the couch, and a paper airplane poking out of the jar of flowers on the fireplace mantel. I’m celebrating these things. This is evidence of the life that girl who hated shopping alone longed to have.

She wanted active kids (and a football player would be icing on the cake). She wanted a little boy who loved baseball caps and paper airplanes. She wanted to braid long hair. She wanted a home filled with books and people who loved to read them. She couldn’t wait to buy little shoes.

I will celebrate these things, these common, ordinary, pesky things, because they are powerful and worthy celebrations. When we celebrate the pesky points in life, there is more space in a heart. Complaining fills a heart dark and hard. Celebrating — especially turning a complaint to a celebration — creates space in a heart. This space is where joy takes hold and grows.

Thanks for celebrating with me today!


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  1. Turning a complaint into a celebration does make room in a heart for joy. Thanks for this weekly reminder to discover and embrace the celebrations of life.

  2. I enjoyed every bit of your post, but the kitchen table part is wonderful. Even I fill the table fast than a speeding bullet. Every couple of days I clean & organize & then, back again. I loved reading your description. Happy Saturday!

  3. “Wherever I plant myself to write, they congregate.” Thanks for reminding me that this is to be celebrated! I try to work out of the way, yet just close enough to “the action.” We always end up at the same place, and I'll continue to celebrate that! Happy Saturday!

  4. Ruth, your celebratory post today is filled with so many emotions but the bottom line is that it all revolves around the love of family. Thank you for always sharing what is deep inside your heart.

  5. Ruth, I love your post. It stirred up a lot of emotions in me and brought me to tears. Your post inspired mine today. Thank you for your gratitude, for your celebrations & for your faith!!! I love following you on Instagram too!

  6. Yes Ruth you will miss the mess and the quiet….I long for someone to shop with these days even as I have flash backs to hours in the junior department dressing room at Macys deciding on one Esprit tee shirt! Your faith and love inspire me every week – even when I do not post.

  7. Your post touched my heart in so many ways. Thank you for sharing this celebration and for providing us with a space to share our celebrations.

  8. You reminded me of times across my life with my kids. I have looked at the parts of my life in this way too – love how you call them the “crazy little pricks in life today that might become a rare bliss in a decade.” HOW true! Thank you for bringing us in on some of yours.

  9. Thank you. As I look at the piles of laundry and dishes around me…I will “consider all the little pricks in life today that might become a rare bliss in a decade.”