5 Things I’m Grateful For (April 2020)

Such a crazy time – but so much for me to be grateful for.

  1. Time at home with my family. I am so grateful that my boys are healthy and happy and that I get to be with them every day right now. There are health care workers who are currently quarantined from their kids; I can’t even imagine it. I’m praying for those families and I’m grateful to be with my children at this stressful time.
  2. Great books. Currently reading White Fragility and Moriarty and finished Magpie Murders and The Glass Hotel earlier this month, which were both excellent!
  3. My job. Never been more grateful to have a steady job and income.
  4. Fun activities to do with the boys. This month we made oobleck, bubble foamcloud dough, salt dough, and more. I love it. I’m not so much into “let’s sit down and make a butterfly out of a tissue paper and a clothespin”, but I do love following a recipe with the boys and making items to be used for sensory play.
  5. My healthy extended family.

I’m watching the news and I’m hearing stories about horrible things. I have friends who have lost loved ones. People are stressed and suffering and grieving and dying. Never a more important time to take stock and to be grateful.

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (March 2020)

Never could I have predicted what’s happened this month. Not in a million years.

There’s so much to be worried about, and there is so much to be grateful for.

  1. OMG – the new book by Glennon Doyle. It’s called Untamed and I freaking love it.
  2. My month of creativity. I’ve been listening to a Creative Live writing course, I’ve been writing. Never as much as I want, of course – but it’s happening. I’m so grateful.
  3. Now more than I ever, I am grateful for the health and well-being of my family.
  4. Great books. I’m currently reading Untamed and a novel by Clare Lombardo called The Most Fun We Ever Had, and I have several exciting reads on my bookshelf. Right now, I need books more than ever.
  5. Our home. I loved our farm and our little old farmhouse, but right now I’m so grateful to be living in a home with internet, good heat, and comfortable space for us to live and work and play.

It feels odd, continuing my gratitude practice at a time when so many are suffering. But I need it, and it helps me to maintain my perspective.

It’s trite, but it’s true: my heart and my thoughts and my prayers are with those who are suffering, ill, hurting, stressed, grieving. For myself, I pray for the strength, courage, and wisdom to do the next right thing, one day at a time.

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (February 2020)

Life is a little nutty right now! I’ve been doing some thinking and planning related to fiction writing, and I started writing morning pages when I wake up, and both of those interfere with my blogging. I’m sure I’ll get back on track. For now, here’s my February gratitude list:

  1. Sick days. Very relevant because I needed one this week.
  2. Family traditions. On Valentine’s Day, we hang little hearts on our bedroom doors. Each heart says something we love about someone in our family. LOVE.
  3. Reading books to the boys. My current favorite thing to do with them is curl up on the couch with a pile of books.
  4. Edgar’s giggles. Whenever anyone asks him a question he knows the answer to, he automatically says, “I don’t know.” For example: if I ask him, what letter does your name start with, he’ll say, “I don’t know… E!” I’ve been trying to encourage him to say “Let me think” instead of “I don’t know,” and he thinks it’s hysterical. Last night, we practiced it over and over, and he collapsed into giggles EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Love this kid so much.
  5. Morning pages. I haven’t written them in years, but I restarted the habit a few days ago and I’m finding it refreshing.

Happy February!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (January 2020)

Let’s do this: the first month of my year-long 2020 Gratitude List.

  1. So much reading! So far in 2020, I’ve read 7 books – 4 novels, 1 YA novel, and 2 nonfiction/memoir-type books. All seven were wonderful, and I’ve been reading like crazy. Currently I’m reading a book about habits, reading a novel, and reading another YA book, The Name Of This Book Is Secret, for book club with my eleven-year-old nephew, which is the most adorable aspect of 2020 so far.
  2. Jonas sleeping through the night! We had a little backslide in late fall, when Jonas started waking up frequently and drinking part of a bottle. A few weeks ago, we stopped using the bottles altogether and now he’s sleeping through the night consistently, with occasional wake-ups when he throws all the pacifiers out of his crib accidentally.
  3. Our house is getting closer and closer to being unpacked. Our guest room is starting to resemble a place where young children could hang out safely, and we’ve been contemplating hanging things up on the wall, which is a big step for us.
  4. My sister bought Edgar a box of the Mr. Men books for Christmas and he loooooves them. He’s always been into reading, but especially lately. He loves curling up on the couch with one of us, his head resting on our arm, enthralled with a book. (He also now knows when I try to skip pages in long books, and stops me, saying, “Mommy, you’re reading it backwards.” Hilarious.)
  5. When Edgar wakes up in the morning, he opens his bedroom door and walks into the living room, squinting. He asks, “Is today a school day?” If I say, “No, today is a Mama/Mommy Day!”, he breaks into a big smile and comes over for a hug. Then he sometimes says, “I’m so happy to see you!” AND THAT IS PRETTY STINKING CUTE.
  6. This is a bonus item, and it’s really a continuation of #1 – I am really enjoying the book about habits I’m reading. It’s called Atomic Habits and it’s by James Clear. I’m finding it so helpful already, so please forgive me for the multiple blog posts I expect to write related to Clear’s habit strategies.

Happy 2020! So much to be grateful for.

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (December 2019)

For my December gratitude list, I thought about writing a list of Things I’m Grateful For for all of 2019. I decided against it – TOO OVERWHELMING. There’s so much to be grateful for.

  1. My job. This school year, I feel so much more comfortable and connected at my workplace, and that’s invaluable.
  2. Great books to read – just read The Sentence Is Death recently, and am currently in the middle of Conviction. And I am pretty sure Santa is going to bring me a new book I am dying to read!
  3. One night last week, after Edgar was in bed doing his nightly stalling routine, we heard sirens outside. I grabbed Edgar and we ran to his window to see several fire trucks and ambulances riding by, one with Santa Claus riding on top of it! We watched and waved and then ran to tell Tamara. Edgar’s sweet, surprised smile was amazing, AND the sirens didn’t wake up Jonas, so it was a win for everyone. Such a sweet treat from the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company.
  4. WINTER BREAK. Having twelve days off for rest, relaxation, and festivities is just amazing. I’m loving it so much.
  5. This past week or so, I have been daydreaming and wondering, and I feel like I am finally, after three months off, starting to have the bandwidth to attempt writing fiction again. I haven’t written a word of it yet, but I can feel it bubbling and it feels delightful. Stay tuned.

Every year, every week, every day, there is so much to be grateful for. I feel incredibly blessed, and glad to be aware and appreciative of it all.

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (November 2019)

This isn’t a Thanksgiving post; just my regular monthly gratitude post. But I am especially grateful this week.

  1. Edgar’s pre-school. I just love it, and he loves it, too. Every day, they assign classroom jobs, and he gets so excited when he gets to be the Door Holder, the Spoon Helper, the Flag Holder, or – wait for it – the Weather Watcher.                                                                                                                                                                                    The best thing about the Weather Watcher job, per Edgar, is that the class sings a special song (to the tune of Frere Jacques) to the Weather Watcher.                                                                                                                                                                                        Weather Watcher, Weather Watcher,                                                                                What do you see? What do you see?                                                                                  Tell us what the weather’s like, tell us what the weather’s like,                                Won’t you please? Won’t you please?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes Edgar says that the WW is the best job. But also, sometimes he says the best job is the Cup Helper. I can’t tell if this is based on his job that day, his mood, or some kind of pre-school political climate.
  2. Our new home. Things are slowly getting unpacked and finding a home. My mantra for the new house is Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. Slowly trying to make that mantra our reality.
  3. The long weekend for Thanksgiving. Travelling is exhausting, but a four day reprieve from work is greatly needed!
  5. Edgar’s joy at a holiday train garden. UNPARALLELED. Cheers to many holiday festivities to come!
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5 Things I’m Grateful For (October 2019)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. A wonderful new house to make into a home.
  2. The chance to start fresh in a new routine with new habits.
  3. Waking up early and drinking a hot cup of coffee before the boys wake up.
  4. Ali Wong’s new book. LOVE HER.
  5. Glennon Doyle’s new book, coming out in March 2020. Can’t wait!
  6. Lovely fall walks down the NCR trail.
  7. This beautiful house we’re saying good-bye to – Edgar and Jonas’s first home, Tamara’s beautiful farm, right on the trail. We’ve lived here for four years and, as happy as I am to move forward, I’ve loved our time in THIS home and the memories we have of this beautiful spot.

This gratitude post is a little early this month, in the interest of low-maintenance blogging during Moving Week. Hope you’re enjoying the fall as much as we are!