Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday night grateful moment

Oh, what a day! 42. I got a little caught up in reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quotes last night, thinking that I would find something really pithy and clever to share about 42 being the answer to life, the universe and everything... and that's pretty much what I found: 42 IS the answer to life, the universe and everything... I'm looking forward to living that out in the coming year!

And there's certainly more to be thankful for than just today, but I figure it's a good place to start:

I'm grateful that Seth's home, and the hugs abound.

I'm grateful that my parents are here for a weekend visit, safe and sound.

I'm grateful for such a thoughtful and generous husband, who schlepped all over town to help Seth with birthday gifts. What an amazing guy. I could fill this list up with just him... and maybe I will one of these days, but he might blush a little (I like it when I get that reaction!).

I'm grateful for such good friends who filled up my email inbox and Facebook wall with birthday love. The phone calls were wonderful too, special girls (and the singing from Bainbridge Island? Wow, I am never deleting that message! It rocked!). Thanks for that. Oh, and the cupcakes this morning, and a pie on my doorstep when I got home and a great steak frites lunch yesterday (the perfect kickoff to my day, truly). I'm blessed.

I'm grateful for skype to say hello to faraway aunties. And for my grandma's phone call too. There's no other voice quite like Grandma's, and hearing it at the other end of the line never fails to make my day.

I'm grateful for the cupcakes, which kind of let me off the cake hook for the day... I'm pretty sure I'll make one or two or three cakes tomorrow (there was a pretty cool cake form in my birthday treasures), but for today, we dished up pie and cupcakes and that totally sufficed.

I'm grateful that my wish for sun on my birthday was fulfilled. What a beautiful afternoon and evening we had!

I'm grateful for the restful weekend ahead... I hope yours is restful too!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday 13: 13 quotes to reflect on

My birthday is tomorrow and I'm in a quandary about what cake to make. Seriously. I'm torn between something elegant and grown up (chocolate or lemon, maybe coconut?), or something fun and frivolous (can we say rainbow cake?)...

But whatever the cake, I must say that so far each year gets better than the one before (famous last words), regardless of the number I'm hitting (this year is 42, which is, of course, the answer to life, the universe and everything). There are a few more creaks and groans as physically I am not quite the specimen I was at 22, but in spite of that, I love many of the more subtle aspects of aging, the comfort level with who I am and the bittersweet knowledge that every day is precious, each person is a gift, and I'm so very blessed.

I dug up 13 quotes that really speak to me, all special-for-my-birthday like. A couple of them are a bit longer than typical quotes, per se, but I'm sure you can roll with it...

1. Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
-Shel Silverstein

2. When things go wrong, you’ll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better.
-C.S. Lewis

3. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam.
-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

4. People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.
-Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

5. Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.
-Benjamin Franklin

6. There are random moments--tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children’s rooms--when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead. Think of the way you sometimes see a tiny shaft of sunlight burst through a gap between rocks, the way it then expands to illuminate a much larger space --it’s like that. And it’s like quilting, a thread surfacing and then disappearing into the fabric of ordinary days. It’s not always visible, but it’s what holds everything together.
-Elizabeth Berg, The Art of Mending

7. When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
-Shenryu Suzuki

8. I regret allowing my life to lie fallow. There are many times when I could be bolder, more adventurous. I’m still learning.
-Tess Marshall

9. There are certain people who bring out the best in you. Just being around them raises your game, makes you a better version of yourself. Let go of those who whittle you down, little by little, to fit you into their smaller experience of the world.
-Karina Allrich

10. If you're not failing now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe.
-Woody Allen

11. Your life is something opaque, not transparent, as long as you look at it in an ordinary human way. But if you hold it up against the light of God's goodness, it shines and turns transparent, radiant and bright. And then you ask yourself in amazement: Is this really my own life I see before me?
-Albert Schweitzer

12. Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.
-Eliza Tabor

13. If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.
-Anthony de Mello

 I hope there are a couple that speak to you too! Happy Thursday 13.

For more Thursday 13 folk, go here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend info-gathering roundup

Weekends often afford a bit of extra time for reading and web surfing, especially now that the weather has turned a bit toward nasty... I thought I would occasionally (how nice and noncommittal of me!) share a bit of my ramblings around the web... some are a little light and fluffy, others more significant in thought...

How handwriting trains the brain. Apparently we should still be teaching our children to write cursive, even though they'll spend most of their writing lives clickety-clacking away on a keyboard...

Top 10 breast cancer myths.

Moby bought a book of Marilyn Monroe's poems, and he likes them. I follow him on Twitter; I think he's cool...

What makes good information design. This takes venn diagrams to a whole new level for me.

Women who rock and blog. It's going to take me while to look through this list, but there are some fun ones!

Douglas Coupland's somewhat (alright, he calls it radical) pessimistic view on the next 10 years... good stuff for a "realistic optimist" such as myself...

When choice means different things to different people, an interview. I really enjoyed listening to this, as well as a bit further down the page on arranged marriages. Food for thought.

A TED talk by Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy?

Why can't "older" women have long hair?

Home envy... take a look at this spectacular piece of real estate in Seattle.

Hope you had a great weekend! We were busy bees and would love another day to our weekend... how about you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

A week that felt long and short all at once... There were a few moments I wish I could hold on to for all time, and a few I was not sorry to see go away quickly... so what else is new?!

This week...

I am grateful and reassured by these words:
If you look after goodness and truth, beauty will take care of itself.

I am grateful for husband and our early morning chats.

Always grateful for our autumn weather. If we could have lots and lots of days just like we've had this week, I'd be thrilled.

Grateful for family. For our little family and then the bigger family around our family, and the bigger family around THAT family, and so on and so on. You get my drift. I do so appreciate family. There's got to be an infographic for this one, or a venn diagram at least...

Thankful for cobb salads. I know, that seems kind of summery for right now... but I have been on  a bit of a cobb salad jag lately and loving making them at home, with my little twists (for course). Yum.

I love these Beatles stairs. Makes me want to get out some cans of paint!

I am grateful and motivated by these words: Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and forget the ones that don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. -Anonymous

Grateful for the autumn ingredients... just getting started on the butternut squash fall marathon, and loving the pears, apples and pomegranates. Love the flavors, colors, textures and warmth... I feel some soups coming on for the weekend! 

Thankful for friends. For support and ideas and cheer and laughs. Thanks, y'all.

So grateful for the young man Seth. I saw this doughnut picture and immediately thought of him... for a number of reasons!

Mostly I thought of him because of this Brian Regan clip. The line "spring smidge for lunatics like YOU!" is a real favorite around here.

Grateful for music. This one came from the boy too... he always brings fun music my way. This video kinda falls into the "obvious" realm for me, but maybe it's supposed to be ironic? Who knows with the kids these days, eh?! (I love sounding like a crotchety old lady!)

Wishing you a lovely weekend filled with all the goodness of fall.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thursday 13: 13 videos to share

I was hoping to have my music act together this week to share new finds with you, but as you can see, life has gotten the best of those plans... So I went to that little vault where I stash away fun videos I as I find them, and here are 13 to share with you. They range from silly and short to thoughtful and longer... enjoy!

1. Roger Federer on set for a TV commercial.

2. Clever Pacman portrayal.

3. A woman sharing her secrets...

4. Tiny dot stop action.

5. How to be alone. I really like this video... her voice, movement, the writing.

6. Mad Men theme song.
Guess who the singer is? Brian Williams' (NBC news anchor) daughter. Who knew?

7. Toy Grit trailer.

8. An amazing transformation.
This is a bit longer but totally worth watching.

9. Under pressure.
This little video got a bit of press with the question of whether or not the man is truly homeless. It came out later that he's an actor. A clever actor, but not a homeless one.

10. Dancing by myself.
I like this guy, especially the various versions of him...

Dancing with Myself from Andy Ross on Vimeo.

11. Flight attendant dancing the preflight instructions.
I guess that's one way to keep passengers' attention...

12. Kittycat nap.
Too cute.

13. Staying Alive mashup with The Wall.
A pretty jarring juxtaposition of images...

Happy Thursday 13! Which was your favorite video?

For more Thursday 13s, go here.

Pumpkin spice latte

Update: What was a yummy drink on the first day became a heavenly and wonderfully frothy drink on the second day. I had leftover of the pumpkin/milk mixture in the fridge and I thought I would whiz it in the blender to remix before adding coffee... That simple act (which I admit I ignored on the first day, what with the fear of being burned...) really did elevate the whole thing. In the future what I will do is mix up the pumpkin, milk and spices in the blender before warming, thus avoiding the inevitable trip to the ER.

Tis the season for all things pumpkin. I've got recipes for pumpkin soup, pumpkin bread, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin snickerdoodles, pumpkin cheese dip, pumpkin cinnamon rolls... you get my drift.

But for a lot of people, the season is heralded by the beginning of pumpkin lattes at their favorite coffee joint. Which, generally speaking, seems to be late September, early October... (and, like holiday displays at WalMart, that seems to creep back each year... one day soon we'll turn around and have pumpkin pie right after the 4th of July.) (I hope not, but some months it kind of feels like that.)

For me, the pumpkin latte is a rare and special treat--I really only need one or two of them a season to get my fill. Rather like pumpkin pie. I could eat pumpkin bread all day, but pumpkin pie, for some reason, isn't high on my list.

So when I saw this recipe, I thought it might be worth a whirl, using my "homemade is better" logic, of course. One of my beefs with flavored coffees is the too-sweet factor, and it seemed that being able to control that sweetness might be a good thing. Sure enough. This was good. I adjusted a few things as you'll see below, but it was definitely a warm and soothing send-off to the day...

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

2 cups milk
4 tablespoons canned pumpkin (original recipe called for 2 Tbsp, but it just wasn't pumpkin-y enough for me, surprisingly)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute (I used Splenda) (adjust according to your tastes... I say I don't like it sweet, but compared to a lot of coffee drinkers, I do... and if you add more pumpkin, you'll probably want more sweet)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine)

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk. (I didn't use the blender--I could just imagine the hot milk mixture leaping from up and scalding me! Trust me, it would happen... to me.)

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg or cinnamon on top. (I didn't do any of those things, and my mug was still lovely. Maybe I'll indulge in the full deal on the weekend...)

Happy autumn flavors!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Got a little urge to shake it up, wild girl that I am.

It's one-word day... I'm grateful for:


Love the way each word/thought flows into the next...

What do you have to be grateful for tonight? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday 13: Daybook musings...

D aybook (read: random) time again. This week has been really full, so short and sweet suits me fine...

1. I am thinking… that one of these nights I really need to get more than six hours of sleep.

2. I am thankful for… beautiful fall weather. Crisp, cool, colorful...

3. From the kitchen… French onion soup! I have really enjoyed my first batch of the season. Warm with cheesey goodness...

4. I am wearing… my fuzzy robe. One of these days I need to blog this list while wearing something other than my robe... I swear I do have real/regular/grown-up/leave-the-house clothes. Honest.

5. I am creating… a fall playlist from some new iTunes finds... maybe next week I'll actually have my act together enough to share it.

6. I am going… to fall asleep quickly tonight and sleep straight til 6 a.m. See, if I say it, maybe it will be so.

7. I am reading… Tracy Anderson's 30-Day Method. We'll see. I'm highly doubtful of her use of the word perfection, but she's been known to work wonders, so they say. I'll keep you posted.

8. I am hoping… that Darby and Ruby can get their issues sorted out. Maybe it's time for Cesar? We could use a housecall from the Dog Whisperer, definitely.

9. I am hearing… Modern Family on the TV. That whole family makes me laugh!

10. Around the house… it's pretty quiet. Ready for boy to come home, oh yes.

11. One of my favorite things… being understood. Who doesn't love a little of that?

12. A few plans for the rest of the week… some work, some girl time, a little non-profit board stuff, and a retirement party for a real local hero. Pretty full the next couple of days!

13. A picture to share…

Happy Thursday 13! For more Thursday 13 participants, go here. For the whole daybook thing, go here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

How on earth did it get to be Friday night again? I'm absolutely beat tonight--been waking up at 3 or 4 or 5 a.m. Which is not good, in case you were wondering. Things are very decidedly un-Sweet Tea and Sunshine at 3 or 4 or 5 a.m. And the days feel quite long with lack of sleep (which makes no sense with the whole quickly-passing-time comment I started with, but there you have it). Whatever. Moving on. To gratefulness...

I am thankful for a clean house. Everything feels better with things tidy and put away. (Why it can't stay that way just baffles me...)

I am thankful for our hot tub. It's ready to roll for these cool evenings and mornings...

I am thankful for a sweet husband who helps me with my thankful list when I'm on the verge of a sleep coma. And who tells me how much he loves me, how beautiful I am to him... all that lovely stuff I certainly don't take for granted.

I'm thankful that my family is safe and sound and healthy.

I'm thankful that we haven't had a frost yet and that we are still getting produce from the garden.

I am thankful that I got offered a job this week. Well. More to the point, I'm thankful that I have time and energy to help husband out with a work-related project the next few weeks. (Husband suggested I put this one in here! Funny, isn't he?)

I am thankful that Seth set a personal best in cross country this week, and that he called to share the good news as we weren't able to be present to see this athletic feat.

I'm thankful for friends who call back when they hear me sounding a little "off" and take the time to ask how things are. I am thankful for all my friends, near and far. What a great bunch of humans I get to call my friends; I'm truly blessed.

I'm thankful that we had some good interviews this week (in our search for a new program manager for a local nonprofit I volunteer with).

I am thankful for all the fall flavors.

I'm thankful for the mellow weather. I was ready for the rain this week.

I'm thankful for early sunsets in the fall--I love an early Friday night to snuggle in with my man.

I'm thankful for this tradition. Even when I'm practically nodding off while doing it, it has been such a great habit these past couple of years--coming up on blog anniversary No. 2 here in a few weeks--and I'm proud that I haven't missed a Friday. As I've said before, some weeks it can feel a little thin in the gratefulness department on Tuesday, Wednesday... but by Friday when I sit down to think about it, there's no doubt that there's plenty to be thankful about, no matter what the week has held.

I am thankful for a sense of humor. I posted this video on Facebook today, but since all of you aren't necessarily Facebook friends (though I'm sure I'd say yes if you asked... AND I miss some of you who WERE friends but are taking a "Facebook break," which I TOTALLY respect), I thought I'd post it here as well. Pretty much encapsulates the hell that is competitive parenting, which luckily you learn to ignore pretty quickly. But for the minute or two before you learn to ignore, when you realize there are THOSE moms out there.... grrrrrr.

And the video below I'm posting just for the cute factor. Period. I am so proud of me for not having a bunny. Just sayin'. Because it seems like something I would have done by now, right? And then the dogs would have eaten it for mid-afternoon snack and I'd be sad and kicking myself for having gotten it in the first place... so, yes, be proud of me too.

Happy weekend. I sleep now. Please don't call before 10 a.m. tomorrow. Really. And probably don't call between noon and 3 p.m. too. (Just in case.) This definitely feels like a napping weekend. Maybe don't call at all. Send happy thoughts, though. Happy thoughts don't wake.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thursday 13: Food Network Canada: 13 recipes from the community

F oodNetwork Canada has a Twitter account, which I follow sporadically... I haven't been the most faithful Twitterer lately, but whenever I do scroll through my feed, there's usually a yummy-sounding/looking recipe or two from our neighbors to the north...

I think most of these are member-submitted to the site; they have a great community of food bloggers who take pictures of recipes they've tried and send them in.

Here are 13 recipes that sound pretty yummy to me!

 12. Dill loaf

Thursday 13 is back! Literally--Janet was out with unexpected back surgery, but is home, recovering and able to sit at her computer again. Whew.

To see more Thursday 13s, go here.

Wordless Wednesday: Sing a happy song for the last figs of the season!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Daybook procrastination

I really need to get going on my day, but it's a wee bit chilly outside for the yardwork I have planned, so I'm going to take a few minutes and fiddle with the daybook concept once again...

Outside my window... there is a great deal of sunshine. That is fabulous (sung in falsetto), from my perspective. The best part of fall in Walla Walla has arrived: sunshine, clear, cool, gorgeous. None of that silly heat from last week. (There is also, sadly, a dead bird that ran smack into our bedroom sliding doors, just outside my window... I must make time for a small bird funeral this morning.)

I am thinking... that I am in the mood for some new music. I've been trolling iTunes, discovering some new gems I will share soon. (See below for one fun addition to my playlist.)

I am thankful for... the turnout to a parent meeting we had last night. It was the biggest in years, and probably most positive as well. We have a new district superintendent who took the time to come meet with the parents, which to my memory has never happened before. I think he made a very good first impression and parents felt listened to. How great is that?

From the kitchen... I am going to pick a bunch of tomatoes this morning and make things... sauces and salsas and such. I've been roasting most the tomatoes I pick, and the flavor's been wonderful.

I am wearing... fuzzy yellow robe. I know, get up and get to it, Sher!

I am creating... peaceful happy places in my brain. It's giving me a headache.

I am going... to stay home ALL day today. I know that makes me sound like a hermit, but I'm really not. I just have a lot to do and it helps me to carve out a whole block of hours to get things done.

I am reading... don't ask. Same book as before. I need to crack it more than once a week. I have been reading too much online, and it wears out my eyes before I pick up a book...

I am hoping... Honestly, I'm kind of worn out from hoping at the moment. Shock, horror, I know. I'm just tired of hoping that sanity will prevail, that people will rise above their petty selves and find their inner grown up. It won't happen, I'm pretty sure of it. (Give me a minute or two and I'll put back on my optimistic underwear and be good to go. Just tired.)

I am hearing... Nick Hornby, Ben Folds and Pomplamoose. I dare you to listen to this, and NOT have "smoke your little smoke, drink your little drink, try to make sense of the things that you think" go through your head ALL day. I love this video, and this combination of people performing.

Around the house... there is plenty to do instead of going outside to do fall clean up, but it can wait... it must wait...

One of my favorite things... is that I can still get figs here locally; I know those days are numbered... Might cost me an arm and a leg, but I bought another batch yesterday, came home and made a fig and blue cheese sandwich on baguette. I know I shouldn't say that I ate it and forgot about life's worries for a minute, cuz then you'll just think I solve my problems with food. (Yeah, that hadn't crossed your mind for a minute, had it?!)

A few plans for the rest of the week... Lots and lots of work to do for one of the non-profits I volunteer with. We have interviewing to do for a new program manager, subcommittee meetings... good stuff, needs to be done...

Here is picture (or two...) for thought I am sharing... forgive the iPhone fuzziness... this bouquet is amazing! I want to grow dahlias like this... (thanks for letting me go all paparazzi on your flowers, G.)

If you would like to participate in the daybook joy as well, go here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday morning inspiration: Getting those creative ideas flowing...

Zove this talk by John Cleese; it really struck a chord with me. Maybe because I've been feeling quite fragmented lately, pulled in many directions and lacking, as he puts it, "boundaries of space and boundaries of time?" Or maybe just because it's a great reminder of where our ideas DO come from... (not our laptops!).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vanilla bean cupcakes + ice cream = birthday goodness!

What to make for a young man's 14th birthday? Last year it was rainbow delights, the year before that I broke out the giant cupcake mold for a big blue Smurf cake (picture of style, not actual)... this year...

Seth's request for an ice cream cake was met with some bad memories on my part of a botched attempt about 20 years ago. I rushed the process, back then, and ended up with a rather soft mess that, while tasty, didn't really live up to expectations.

So I did a little research. One thing I didn't have 20 years ago was the vast wisdom of the interwebs to assist in the effort. A little this and a little that, and I felt ready to roll.

But I couldn't really make just an all-ice cream cake, could I? It seemed unthinkable--all ice cream, no cake? Seth was all for that, but I wasn't convinced... So I busted out a cupcake recipe I'd been meaning to try, doubled it and made a few little cakes, and a couple of thin regular rounds to put with the ice cream layers.

So here's what I learned:
Recipe = yummy cupcakes
Recipe = not so yummy frozen cake
Whipped cream = excellent frosting for an ice cream cake
A couple of tablespoons of pudding mix added to the whipped cream = even better (smoother, spreadable) frosting for said ice cream cake

So next year, I will be ready to roll with just ice cream as a cake for the young man, if that's what he wants. And still make some cupcakes on the side... for me!

Vanilla bean cupcakes
from Chow

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper liners. Alternatively, coat the wells with butter; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until very light in color, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla seeds (if you’re using vanilla extract instead, you’ll add it later), and continue beating until the mixture is airy, about 3 minutes.

Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer to medium speed, and add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the milk (and vanilla extract, if you’re using it in place of seeds) and mix until combined (the mixture will look curdled, but it’s not). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low, add the reserved flour mixture, and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.

Fill the muffin wells about halfway and bake until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.

Layers ready for frosting: cake on the bottom, mint chip, cookies 'n cream and more cake!

Completely frosted and ready to stick back in the freezer.

Boy and his cake!

Boy and his buds: Reilly, Andrew and Lucas, taking a cake break from Wii.

The inner workings of the cake...

Another birthday down... they seem to be coming up faster and faster as the years roll by!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday night grateful list

S eth turned 14 today, if you hadn't already heard. So far I've Facebooked, Twittered and texted the news far and wide... I think Oprah may call later. Ha. OK, not *that* far and wide...

Most weeks Seth gets a line or two in the grateful list... today it's all his.

I'm so grateful for his:
*Sense of humor. Even if it's a little potty-oriented some days...
*Ability to be a good friend.
*Desire to do the right thing.
*Open and forgiving heart. He is good at giving people a second chance.
*Hugs. And sweet words of affection.
*Curious mind for new information (especially trivia tidbits).
*Willingness to debate politics with his step-dad (so I don't have to!).
*Stamina for board game marathons.
*Ability to understand complex concepts quickly.
*Natural aptitude for all things computer-oriented.
*Love of food in general, but some items specifically... lemon meringue pie, grilled cheese sandwiches, gelato, green beans (had to include one healthy thing!), pizza, burritos... he's easy to cook for, which I'm ever-so-grateful for!
*Winsome smile and overall handsomeness (I'm not biased or anything...).
*Good manners (more or less, it's a work in progress) in public places.
*Love of a good, long afternoon hammock chat.

I'm sure I've forgotten some wonderful quality or other--he's full of them--but for now, color me one grateful mom for my marvelous boy.

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
-Douglas MacArthur

Happy weekend all!
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