Friday, November 29, 2013

One more week of gratitude: Days 23 through 29

Day 23: Taste
I couldn't possibly have only one photo to represent taste, as varied and seasonal as my tastes are! I looked back through some of my favorite food shots of the year and picked the ones that speak to me right now. As the summer is sadly past, I will begin craving fresh and summery foods in 10... 9... 8... sigh. I am grateful for the love of fresh and healthful food (with a side of cheese, of course!).

Day 24: Comfort

Nov. 24 is our anniversary and I took and posted this picture before I really clued in on the word for the day: Comfort. While usually I would think warmth or carbohydrates, on this particular day, this particular picture spoke comfort to me. I am very grateful for the comfort that husband and I provide to each other, and am so blessed by our eight years together.

Day 25: Family

I am very grateful for the family I was born into, and the many things that each family member has brought into my life. This photo from the '70s brings me joy and a smile every time I see it, and given that it's on my desk at work, I get to see it and smile quite often!

Day 26: Routine

Morning rituals mean a great deal to me, and get me up and going! My cuppa is a big part of that ritual, whether coffee or tea (on rare occasions I have been known to give up coffee for a bit, go figure), and my mugs are also very important in the routine too. I'm grateful for routines and the structure and familiarity they bring to my mornings.

Day 27: Creativity

Whenever I feel a little dry in the creativity department, all I need to do is pick up a food or craft magazine, or open up Pinterest, and my creativity wheels start turning. I'm grateful for creativity ebbs and flows, and for the return of ideas after a dry spell. It makes me appreciate it all the more.

Day 28: Sky

Thanksgiving morning on Bainbridge Island. Beautiful and foggy, almost mystical. I'm grateful for skies that aren't always blue and filled with sunshine, and I'm grateful for Thanksgiving with family.

Day 29: Movement

Well, this one might be a little tongue in cheese, but it's in keeping with the kind of holiday we've had, which is very very relaxing. Ahhh. Mei Mei on my lap, and this was about all the movement I needed today. I am very grateful for the ability to unwind, for the fireplace and the company and the peace and quiet. Bliss.

I hope that wherever you are, your grateful list is long and your hearth is warm. Ours certainly is!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Days 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22

Here I am with another weekly wrap-up masquerading as a Friday night grateful moment! What I love about the season right now is that there are grateful moments everywhere, every day. It's what I love about this time of year.

I have been enjoying this photo challenge quite a bit, even though it ends up creeping into the evenings and my creativity gets a little hampered. When I'm savvy enough to look up the daily grateful word in the morning, it can follow me throughout the day, and that's a nice thing. But often I'm up and out the door before I remember, and it's a wild little scramble to get my act together that evening.

But, still, I'm grateful, even in the noise of the day. One morning this week I was caught off guard by a feeling of gratitude while at a traffic light. Probably there was some song playing on the CD player that poked into my sentiment, and I had a little tear at the awesome blessings that we have as a family. Blessed. Loved. Grateful.

Day 18: Change

My one nod to the holidays (so far) has been putting some bulbs out to sprout. And oh how they have sprouted! I love watching the green shoots climb up to the sunshine. Watching how they change is like I imagine God feels, watching a child grow from infancy into adulthood--zoom!

Day 19: Knowledge

When I think of what it is that I really know--as Oprah says, "What I know for sure," it is that love is really all. I think I've heard it said, "No matter what the question, the answer is love." I agree.

Day 20: Scent

This was one of those days when I had nothing. Scent? Grateful for smell? Really? What smell, where? Nothing. Then toward the end of the evening--one of our first really cold nights--I made hot chocolate. The scent wafted up, and I knew what I was grateful for. Hot chocolate is a bit of a ritual around here in the winter, and I love making up mugs for the boys and having mini marshmallows and whipped cream to "enhance" the experience--and the scent!

Later in the week I roasted some garlic and made some croutons with garlic, and I thought of the word again, and was re-grateful for scent. Roasted garlic is really heavenly smelling!

Day 21: Kindness

I am so grateful for kindness in this world, and in my life. There is nothing like kindness to set a day, a person, an act, apart from the ordinary humdrum day, person or act. Kindness makes everything better. Sometimes kindness looks like correction--think of putting a kid on the right path rather than allowing them to continue down the wrong one--but done correctly and with the right heart, kindness really does rule.

Day 22: Home

There are many things I like about our actual physical abode. Right now, on this cold winter night, I love that it is warm--the fire is going and we're all tucked in. In the summer I love the light coming through the windows, and the amazing view. But the best thing about this house isn't something you can touch; it's the love and laughter we have here together, we three.

Wherever you are, I hope you are warm and welcoming the weekend.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 17

The word for today is technology:

This one is easy for me, in thinking about how much technology impacts my life--every day, all day. My favorite forms of technology probably revolve around connection--Skype and phone/text for family and friends, Facebook and Instagram too.

Today I was grateful for technology in the form of a livestream discussion from Hunter College in NYC. A theologian I read and admire, Timothy Keller, was discussing whether life can have meaning without God, with a humanist chaplain from Harvard University, Greg Epstein. Being able to hear their discussion, as they were having it, from the other side of the country... that's something to be thankful for.

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 16

The word for day 16 is weather:

The weather has been really lovely this fall, for the most part. I've been very grateful for the sunshine and blue skies, even if the day starts out gray. The wind generally seems to sweep out the clouds and bring in a little sun by the end of the day.

I missed a few foggy days a couple of weeks back by being out of town, and while storms do come and go, I see them as just part and parcel of autumn. They certainly haven't been extreme, yet, though that may come. I see snow sneak down the hills toward the valley, and I can't help but wish for a few flakes in my backyard, but no luck there yet.

When I thought of how to illustrate this word, this song immediately came to mind. I really do believe you bring the weather with you. Make it sunshine.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Days 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15

This week has gone by in a blur. Yes, I've done my #gratitude30 thing, but only over on Instagram, feeding to Facebook and Twitter. But the blog? Yep, nope, none of that action, obviously.

Day 11: Indulgence

It seems rather humorous as I write this now (with chocolate bread pudding in my tummy), but earlier this week, when I took this picture, I was working hard at being "good" with my nutrition--salads and kale and such, and no sweets. So I decided to veer away from what I normally would post as an indulgence (dessert!), and took a pic of my new flannel pajamas (which are so very warm and cozy). Since that time, however, the parents have come to visit and while salads have stayed on the menu, sweet things have joined as well. The healthful way of being will return on Sunday!

Day 12: Nature

We are surrounded by beauty in our part of the country, but on this day I was feeling an autumn nostalgia for the trip that Corinne and I took last fall to NYC. Nature is such a big part of my world, and living close to nature has become very important to me in recent years. So seeing this patch of green on day 3 of our trip, when I was about up to here with crowds on the subway, felt pretty good. I can only imagine how grateful the people of the city are, to have this place to come and breathe.

Day 13: Rest

This guy knows how to rest. He can sleep all night and then wake up, have breakfast and nap for awhile. One of the many reasons we are such kindred spirits.

Day 14: Friendship

Seth has a longtime friend who came with us on vacation a couple of summers back. (I would not take just any kid away with our family for a week, that's for sure! This young man is special to us.) I am so appreciative of their friendship through the years. I think one of the hashtags I used for Instagram was #brotherfromanothermother.

Day 15: Beauty

I feel blessed to see beauty around me, every day. Some of that is because there really ARE beautiful things around me, but part of it is because I choose it. I choose to see beauty, to acknowledge the mundane (the sky! the fields! the pups! look at that tree! squirrel!). I love beauty.

Have a great weekend; enjoy the blessings around you and I hope your grateful list is long!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 10

The word for today? Words.

This one was a little tough at first; I mean, words? Words are everything. Should I pick just one word, or a poem, a quote or something longer? 

But then I decided to stop overthinking it, and at that moment I wandered past the box of haikubes in our bedroom. There you have it--serendipity.

There's no special code to the collection of words above, though they did all present themselves and pretty much asked to be included. Not really pushy, just present and ready to be used.

I love words.

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 9

The word for today is music.

There are so many styles of music that appeal to me, but when I thought about music I'm grateful for, it's the music of my childhood: hymns. There is nothing like a group of people singing a hymn together--congregational singing, that's what I love. If it's a capella, that's all the better.

This hymn has all the words I need to hear, and need to sing. It's reassuring in times of stress and trial, and full of praise too. If you've been lucky enough to hear it sung well, you know the depth that the "with my soul," can add.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 8

The word for today is memory.

Memories. When I thought of what to share as a grateful memory, it was hard to narrow down and choose; I have many happy memories with loved ones, in beautiful places. And then I remembered--looking through photos helped--an idyllic week with dear husband a few years back, with sunshine and tropic fruit and plumeria. What a happy memory. As the dark and cold descends (winter, my least favorite season), I will cling to that lovely time together and dream of the possibility of a return trip, some day...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 7

Today's word is touch.

I'm very grateful for touch, in all its kind and gentle forms.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 6

Today's word is inspiration.

It is hard for me to think of inspiration without thinking of words. In general, I believe that the words I'm meant to see, meant to pay attention to, will make themselves evident in my life, through one channel or another. I believe this because it has happened time and time again, when I open myself up to the possibility.

Sometimes I wonder what mighty words have slipped by me, on the days I'm less awake. But I try to focus on what DOES come my way, what has the ability to move me, soften my heart, make me more of the kind of person I want to be and know I'm capable of being as a child of God.

Today, these were the words that reached out to me. And, as so often happens, they were exactly the words I was meant to hear.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 5

The word for today is clothing.

When I first saw this scarf, I knew I had to have it. I think it was on Pinterest... Of course, I forgot about it for a few days, or weeks. Then, a sign from the universe: an email from Piperlime arrived, with a model wearing the scarf right in the email itself. It was meant to be! It took a little looking, but I found it, ordered it, and have loved and worn it ever since.

Like a fool, I have been known to say that I can't have a bad day wearing this scarf. I'm pretty sure that means I'm due for a super-awful day while wearing it. But, I maintain that there's a karma effect with such color, and I'm going to proceed with my foolhardy ways until proven otherwise.

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 4 (catching up)

The word for today is art.

When I was in New Orleans last spring, I discovered these blue dog art pieces--all over the place! This trip it took me just a few hours to spot the pups again, in different locations than last time, even.

Art is such an interesting and complex topic, one that brings such emotion and subjective opinions with it. I don't pretend to have any agenda where art is concerned--if you like it, you like it. If you created it, good for you.

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” -Stella Adler

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 3

Today the word is tradition.

When I first thought of this word for this day, coffee came to mind! If there's a tradition in my life, that might be it! But then I read the definition of tradition, and it talked about passing down, usually from one generation to another, and well, coffee is not that. Coffee is more of a ritual, if I'm playing by the rules.

But John Deere? That's a tradition. It was the tractor of choice for my Grandpa Goerlitz, it is what my father drives on his property, and (as luck would have it) it's the farm vehicle of choice for my husband too. I love it.

Who knew a tractor choice could elicit such nostalgia?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 2

Today the word is love.

This collage box represents our wedding day, from the quotes that we had around the room, the invitation, place cards, photo, flower petals, ribbon and even the jeweled clasp/button I wore on my dress. It was a lovely day but what is really lovely are the eight years since, and the love that has grown stronger during that time. I couldn't ask for a better partner to be celebrating eight years with, later this month.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thirty days of gratitude: Day 1

It's obvious I can't keep it up here on the blog without some kind of outside structure.

As I thought about November's arrival and the 30 Days of Gratitude/Thankfulness that swirls around social media, it seemed like something I could do: Post a picture every day? Sure, why not? And then I remembered Positively Present's photo challenge and I knew I was on to something! Instagram and gratitude and blogging all rolled into one? Doable with a capital D.

Here's what I'll be posting:

And here's Day 1:

Not a day goes by when color doesn't brighten my world in some way. Either through natural beauty around me or the splash of color I'll add to my outfit or meal, color is a huge spirit-lifter for me. The glassybabies above were gifts from some of my girlfriends at my recent birthday, and their glow is meaningful to me in many ways.

I remember how I first discovered glassybaby (planning our wedding in 2005) and how many times since I have gone into the shop (usually UVillage in Seattle) or online and been reminded and inspired by the founder's story. Color makes my world go round.

Looking forward to a new way of expressing gratitude this month, via photos. Play along if you like!

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