Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday night grateful moment

Darn these short, dark weeks... this was one of those. Zoom zoom.

I'm grateful tonight to be home with my men after a long day, a long drive, and a long (well, not really) but very productive meeting. When you don't have the built-up stamina for meetings (once upon a time I was a meeting rockstar!), they can be super-draining. So I'm glad to be done, for this week... I am honored to be a part of an organization with such dedication to the betterment of children's lives.

I'm grateful that the week held, once again, more sunshine than any other kind of weather. It got colder, for sure (especially the past 24 hours!), but as long as there is sunshine, the world seems to move along more kindly. That's just my opinion, of course, but I know a lot of people who concur. I still find it positively amazing that when I pick Seth up at 3:15, it feels like the sun is setting That. Minute. If I could hold the sun up just a few more minutes, I would. But while the sun is here, I'll take it, every last ray of it.

Of course, the past 24 hours have obliterated any memory of sunshine for Walla Wallans, I'm afraid. Thursday night the freezing fog rolled in and stayed all day. I drove out of town this morning in a heavy blanket of fog that actually lasted much longer than it usually does--I went more than two hours before it lifted. On the way back, it was much lighter, but still present... I'm grateful that the roads were clear and mostly dry, and that the little precipitation I encountered was misty and brief. Now that I'm home it can snow snow snow. But while I'm driving solo across the state? No thanks.

(It was rather funny to be in the Vancouver/Portland area for the day and have it be brilliantly sunny. I am used to hearing about their gray skies and rain rain rain, while we're usually warmer and sunnier. Ha. Glad I took my sunglasses!)

The wild frenzy of baking is over for the moment, and I'm grateful that the work party went well. I still have supplies upon supplies that I will make up for my own little baking endeavors and tins of this and that to give to friends... but the multiplying recipes by six or eight or such nonsense is over for this year!

My health has been good so far this fall/winter (knock on wood), and I'm grateful for that. I'm currently giving credit to my Vitamin D levels, which I've gotten up to a decent place with some dedication the past year or so, and to sleep. Dear dear sleep. I know I take my good health for granted, and I don't want to. I want to put in the time and energy to eat well, exercise and be well mentally, physically and emotionally... there's something to put on the New Year's resolution list, eh? This year, as every year...

I am grateful for friendship, always. For words of encouragement, support and cheer, for long lunches/breakfasts/coffees and for the shared history of more than a couple of decades with some, too. I had a late lunch with dear friend Jen in Portland before heading home this afternoon, and it is always good to catch up with her, even though I feel like we're "in touch" via Facebook anyway. Nothing beats the face-to-face, Mr. Zuckerberg. Just sayin'. (And thanks for the chat while I was traveling, Kim. That helped.)

The ornaments are up, the pretty glass orbs are all tucked into their places and they never fail to make me smile. Seth arranged one big vase, as you can see, and does he know his mom or what? Love the rainbow spectrum. I'm grateful for color. (Jen, bet you couldn't see that picture coming, eh?!) (Sorry about the photo quality, I'll need to retake that one... sometimes the iPhone just doesn't cut it.)

My head's been down this week, and not much on the computer, so my Pinterest stats are waning. Sad days. Ha ha. I'm sure I'll be back at it soon, but for now, check out these sweet, cute pictures... each in their own way... I'm grateful for cute and sweet, they are a good antidote to reality some days!

Always, always, grateful for words. Especially grateful for words that ground me, that bring me back to me and remind me what I need to keep front and center. These words especially worked on me this week:
Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, "This is what I need." It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment--not discouragement--you will find the strength there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You'll see this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.-Joseph Campbell

That's the stuff. I listened to a sermon while driving today by Timothy Keller that jived with that sentiment, called Reconciliation. Good listening.

I hope the stuff of your week has been blessed and hopeful, and that a bit of the magic of the season is reaching you. I have talked with more friends this year than any other about the stress and anxiety of the holidays, and how the picture of a lovely and peaceful family time together is such a pipe dream for so many. If that's the case for you, I hope you're able to gather close the people and memories that mean a lot to you and make some new, joyful memories. At the very least, I wish you less stress and more chill.

What are you grateful for this week? I hope the list is long.



  1. So happy to hear you are home again. A mother always rests easier to know all her chicks are in their nests. But you know that. It was great to have a chat with both of your guys tonight. You have stalwart men!

    My thankful list is long. Already I am thinking of the new year and the new resolve I am feeling to make things new and better and cleaner and shinier and better for everyone.

    Thank you for your inspiring ways.

  2. I am thankful for your quick and safe day trip.

    Today the roofers cleaned up and said goodbye... so we are so thankful to have replaced all the roofing on our house and garage in such a wet time of year and got the job completed without any water damage. We love our new roof.

    And today I sent photos to the building inspector asking permission to cover in the new pantry. He said it was the nicest set of photos he had ever seen, and gave me the green light to put on the drywall.

    So, we have another stage of the project done and a new one to get started on.

  3. Gosh, the weather is driving me a little batty, too. I forgot that in December we get mid-day cloud cover. No rain (that would be too much!) but no sun, either. And it's VERY strange for me to start my swim at 1-ish, which is still early afternoon, and then get out at 4-ish and have the sun starting to set. It makes me feel like I have been in the pool for about eight hours- it's very disconcerting some days to step out of the shower after my swim and have it be so much darker than when I got in!

    It's been a not-so-fun week, but I'm trying to find the good and beautiful things in every moment- time with Tom and Gracie, the fact that Gracie is SO excited about the holidays this year (every year she gets a little more into it, and her enthusiasm carries us), the little comforts of getting things done, the fact that I still get to garden when so many people can't (a huge joy in my life), cups of tea and deep breaths, all the great holiday crafting and art inspiration, the cardinals who come to my studio window as they visit the feeder, the way my windchimes are ringing all the time, the fact I can keep all the doors and windows open. It's actually a beautiful time of the year, despite the stress and darkness. Something about the starkness makes me appreciate the light and the little bits of magic that much more...


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