My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Another Gratitude Post: 19 Things I’m Thankful For

Once I set out to accomplish something, it’s hard to get me to set down the baton and admit the race is over. Furthermore, I’ve publicly announced my goal, so there is no stopping me now–the fact that Thanksgiving has been over for 3 months means NOTHING to me. Two more posts about gratitude… after this one.

Since it is the nineteenth of the posts on gratitude, why not go for “Nineteen things that I am thankful for RIGHT NOW”?

1. Ruby is a bit sick, but she’s holding it together rather well. She keeps calling her cough a “Naughty Cough” which is mostly inexplicable but quite hilarious. I can only hope that we don’t all get Ruby’s Naughty Cough. But if we do, we will shame it into submission.

2. Cory did the dishes for me tonight. I have been trying to convince him for several years that he should get around to doing this a bit more, and lo and behold it is WORKING. Turns out nagging DOES work.

3. I am thankful for my friend Polly who took a very long walk with me in the sunshine today. Today was a glorious day, and it was made all the more lovely by the river, the sound of a meadowlark, and connecting with a good friend.

4. I am grateful to both Ruby & Scout for a good–I’d even say GREAT–morning around here that didn’t involve any yelling. Woohoo!

5. I am grateful for The Cellar, and I’m especially grateful to their employee Becca who directed me to a delicious red wine that I am sipping presently.

6. I am grateful for my health, and that of my family. My dad is healthy, my mom is healthy, and though they both have their issues, we are NOT where we were last year at this time.

7. I am grateful to people who have a sense of humor, like whoever took the time to make this:

8. I am grateful for a warm, safe house. After a gorgeous day with temperatures in the 50s, I find myself suddenly feeling chilled to the bone after the weather turned cold.

9. I am grateful to Mary Pope Osborn, and the great work that she does that has entertained my children so much in recent months. Jack & Annie are almost real people around here, I think Scout even asked if we could look for Frog Creek, Pennsylvania on a map.

10. I’m grateful for my Secret Sister. Secret Sister is this thing we do at my daughter’s preschool, sort of like Secret Santa but all year round. My SS gifted me Enstrom’s toffees. If you’ve never had such a delicious treat, check them out here.

11. I am grateful to my sweet hubby, who is currently gearing my kiddos up in the living room something like this:IMG_4718

12. I am grateful for good books. I read a lovely one recently called The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It’s a story about a young woman who aged out of the foster care system. Also important to the story: this woman communicates in the Victorian-era “Language of Flowers,” where a red rose means romantic love and a thistle means misanthropy. If you’re at all curious, there is a great interview with the author here:

13. I am grateful for coffee. EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE.

14. I am grateful for my sweet niece who turns 8 today. Years ago, on the day she was born, Cory and I drove up to Cheyenne, Wyoming so that we could catch a glimpse of her. Seems hard to believe that she’s now so mature, when it doesn’t seem that long ago I held her in my arms.

15. I am grateful for small favors, like when someone holds the door for you while you’re carrying something or when you find exactly what you’re looking for at the grocery store without having to wind your way back to an aisle that you inadvertently forgot.

16. I am grateful for The Mindy Project, which is not coming back until April 1st, but I can be patient a bit longer. PLEASE, please, please, Danny, DO NOT SCREW IT UP. You either, Mindy!

17. I am so incredibly grateful for the teachers at my daughter’s elementary school. Her kindergarten teacher returned today from a 3-month maternity leave, and the long-term-sub was such a gem in her absence. The other kindergarten teachers and the paras pitched in so incredibly well. I feel so fortunate that there are so many kind people who are out in the world working with these littles and teaching them about life and literacy and how to hang your snowpants up.

18. I am grateful for my church, a place of community and love. The pastor recently gave a sermon on “Faithfully Side Stepping Tradition”–about welcoming EVERYONE.

19. I am grateful for it all, this messy, imperfect, bittersweet life. I am not a person that exudes joy in every step, or pretends that all is well when indeed it is falling apart (as it often does in parenthoodland), but I think I can honestly say that there is nowhere I’d rather be than right here in this place.

Do you have something that you are grateful for RIGHT NOW? 


A few things I’m loving right now

Today was probably the most difficult parenting day I’ve ever had. I’ll be able to post on it sometime, but right now I feel like I’m still trying to figure out what happened and how we move forward. But the gist of it is that I cannot figure out how to lovingly deal with my 4-year-old’s anxiety level. Rather than picking apart the day from Hades, I think I will dwell on the things in my life that are making me happy lately. Yes, THINGS. As a mom I’m so programmed to just (supposedly) reap joy from being in the presence of these (mostly) delightful little people, that I tend to ignore simple materialistic pleasures. But, hey, sometimes those simple pleasures are what gets you through the day.


Trader Joe’s Marcona Almonds:You’re going to think that I’m making this up, but Colorado has no Trader Joe’s. It’s weird. Actually, it’s annoying and silly, but I guess one is coming to Boulder soon. Nevertheless, when we made a day trip to Scottsdale and Phoenix during our recent Arizona trip, I had to stop by and wander the aisles a bit. I found these. Almonds are really lovely in general, but these are ratcheting up the fancy-ness level a bit. And I like it.

Photo submitted by Marc, on

Awkward Family Photos:If you have never been to this site, go now. It’s nothing but guaranteed laughter. Possibly for hours. I discovered it right around Christmas, and their countdown to the best holiday card photo was pretty fantastic.


Talenti Gelato:I stumbled on this because it was a “manager’s special” deal, and I think I’m in love. It comes in this cute tub. Though it’s true I’ve yet to meet an ice cream that I’d turn away, I certainly have my favorites. This is not only delicious, it just looks so pretty. It sits in my freezer saying, “Hey there, after you’ve finished your wine, how about we take a minute together?”

Downton Abbey poster from

Downton Abbey: I know, I know, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. But seriously, some things are worth jumping on the bandwagon. This period piece of a family of British aristocrats and their servants is so engrossing, it makes me want to go to England, ride horses and ring a bell to call for my lady’s maid.

The Two of Us: This song came on the radio while we were riding home from Arizona. My husband and I like to joke that we have to go for a ride in the car—all four of us—for the two of us to have any alone time. It’s weird, sharing the front half of the car is definitely a place where we can talk and catch up. When this song came on, we both looked at one another. “We’re on our way home… We’re going home.” It was auspicious.


The Hunger Games: Again, bandwagon. Plus, I’m late to it. Yet, Katniss Everdeen and I really bonded over the last week and a half. I still have to read Mockingjay, so I can’t be fully accepted into the tribe just yet. For me, this book series was the palate cleanser that I needed to get me reading again. I’d been in a slump lately, and this makes me feel rejuvenated. Yes, I can read. I can even read more than one book in a week (I don’t expect that to happen again anytime  soon).

 What are some things that you are enjoying right now?