Sunday, November 22, 2009

Its the most wonderful time of the year

Today I helped a friend decorate the church for Christmas. This friend is very good at decorating and I have been wanting to "help" him decorate for a while, except he never lets anyone. Today, though, was my lucky day. I love Christmas...the cheesy Christmas movies, the cold weather, peppermint flavored everything, the smell of rosemary...but what I love the most is community. During the Christmas season, people live in community with one another. They help each other, they talk to each other, they shop together, they eat together. We all get to know each other better. Today was community at its best. Christmas decorating, arguing over which ornaments go where, too many ornaments, too few ornaments, the revealing of secrets, making fun of each other and getting scratched arms from the fake Christmas tree. All good stuff...its the most wonderful time of the year! And I'm thankful its here. Does anyone want to decorate my house now? I'm all decorated out :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Its a stretch

Today I am having to dig deep for something to be thankful for...because I am sick. What could it be? I know definitely what it is not. I am not thankful for feeling awful, not being able to do anything fun while everyone else does fun stuff, getting behind on housework or having to function even when you don't feel like it. The only upside to being sick is that while I can't move off of the couch, Jack snuggles with me (and he's not much of a snuggler) and I can catch up on all of my tv watching. Its not much...what I have to be thankful for...but its something. Here's hoping that I am a little sunnier tomorrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Nana

I have two grandmothers still living...I'm lucky. Nana is my grandmother who will bake you a cake in the shape of Strawberry Shortcake if that's your favorite cartoon character. Every summer I would stay with her for a week and we would sew barbie cloths, crochet long chains because that's all I could do, eat tacos from Taco Bell, pick pecans, shell purple hull peas, and at the end of the week my Papa would set up the Slip and Slide out in the yard. We were also BIG game players. Everytime I saw her we would play dominoes and I would tell her that I was gonna "beat the socks off of her"...and she would let me maybe once or twice...but not everytime (which I appreciate). One time, I convinced her to let me do her hair...I must have used a whole bottle of hair spray. It took an hour. She wouldn't leave the house after that. I wonder why :)She is the best crafter. She has been crafting for as long as I can remember. And she still crafts. I love that I got a love of crafts from her. While I'm still not as good of a sewer or crocheter as she is...and I don't know how to do ceramics at all like she can...I still love to be inspired to make ordinary things into something else completely. She taught me that. She could turn a pair of pantyhose into a potato. She turns rocks into painted animals. Nothing is safe from being turned into a craft when she's around. Broken its a flower arrangement. I am thankful that I got to spend a lot of time with her and I'm thankful that she took time to teach me things that she knew. All of those things that she taught me make up who I am today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Letting It Go

The alarm clock goes off. I negotiate thirty extra minutes with the snooze button (side note...I can never make sense of the way snooze is spelled between 6 and 6:30. I always think it looks funny.) Get up, let dog out, wash hair, put on make up, let dog in, dry hair, chi hair, find an outfit, iron outfit, run out door, drive through Sonic for a diet coke, clock in work, work, clock out of work, and then depending on what day it is, go to some evening activity. Get home at 9 or 9:30 and do it all again tomorrow. I love all of my evening activities...hate the schedule. When I get home at night, choices have to be made. Clothes have to be washed, lunch needs to be made for the week, jack needs to be fed and walked, floors need to be cleaned, and blogging needs to be done. Not to mention, that I need some time at the end of the night to wind down and read or watch tv. IF I did all of that...not only would I not need get to go to bed at any decent hour, but I would be a very grouchy person. So I don't do all of that. Sometimes I don't have lunch for the week made. Sometimes I'm wearing an outfit that I don't particularly care for because its the last clean thing in my closet. Some nights, instead of walking Jack, we run a few circles around the yard. And, sadly, I have learned that I can't blog everyday. I just can't. Some weeks I can. I look forward to those weeks. Those weeks I'm a little but lighter because I did something creative and I like the way my mind feels when I'm creative. (When my mind is in creative mood, instead of a sock, I see sock vase.) Even though it makes me sad not to blog everyday, sad is better than the crazy I would feel if I forced myself to do something I just can't do. I am thankful that I know how far I can push myself, and I'm thankful that I can let the rest go.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A crafty fall project

I am the type of person that can get really excited about a good craft. I saw some great instuctions for an easy craft on and decided to try it. Its an argyle sock stretched over a vase that I already had. Just pick a sock (it doesn't even have to be argyle), do some simple sewing and you have an argyle sock vase! It looks great on my mantle with some fall leaves!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Its officially an unofficial junk food week.

I guess starting Sunday off with junk tv has transferred on over to my diet. As I was ordering my taco bell tonight (with diet coke of course!), I started thinking about all the junk I've eaten today and yesterday and.....oh darn on Monday too. I don't mean to be one of those girls who list everything they have eaten like they are manically tracking every morsel that goes into their mouth and adding the calories up on their mental calculator. But, when I started manically tracking every morsel that has gone in my mouth this week....homemade sticky buns, taco bell, possum pie, pizza, taco villa, pickle flavored pringles.....I realized I may be a tad bit out of control. Its Wednesday so I have two options, feel guilty and try to recover the rest of the week, OR enjoy it declare it junk food week! I choose junk food week. And THAT is what I'm thankful for today. Bring on the fried chinese food!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Day of Nothing

I love a day with no obligations. In addition to a couple of other things, I watched tv all day Mandy style. My friend Mandy is addicted to fantasy football. So much so that she enjoys it all day long on Sunday on the couch. I decided to take some inspiration from her today and relax. Instead of football though, I substituted Lifetime movies. I watched a movie about college girls binge drinking, something about a woman that plotted to kill her husband for his money, a movie about a pageant queen who died but was brought back to life by a kiss from her mortician and something about a haunted sorority house. ALL of this in one day. A whole day of nothing and trash tv. Then I made a yummy pot of stew in celebration of fall. I'm a happy girl.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Doing it Afraid

There are several things I'm scared of...1. Heights (I simply can't imagine me ever jumping from an airplane because its extremely hard for me to get up on a 10 foot ladder) 2. Snakes (I don't think I need to explain this one) 3. Public speaking (Mostly just in front of people I know) 4. Being in a large room of people and I don't know anyone (I'm kind of shy) 5. Getting my feelings hurt (I just hate how it feels and I like to be happy).

Fears are limiting. The degree to which you let them control you determines how far you go in life. Some things, like being afraid of snakes, I don't ever intend to get over. I'm okay with never being a snake handler. The heights thing is frustrating because you do need to get up on a tall ladder and do things sometimes. The other three...are limiting. Public speaking is required for part of my job. I like to have lots of friends, so to meet new people, sometimes it requires that you are in a room with lots of people you don't know. And when you let people get close to you, they do hurt your feelings. We all do.

I heard a great piece of advice on television about a year ago that has revolutionized how I view fear. She simply said..."Do it Afraid". When you let your fears control your behavior, eventually you get tired of the place you are in because that place is as far as you can go. What can you do to move past that rut? Do it afraid! That simple sentence changed that aspect of my life. This week I have done some public speaking and I actually kind of like it. Today I introduced myself to someone new and made a new friend. And lately I have been opening up a little more, trusting others a little more, not letting hurt feelings determine if I'm happy or not...that is still a work in progress. I refuse to let those things that I fear eliminate possibilities that God has in store for my life. Today I am thankful for doing it afraid.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Home Improvement

I love my red tv cabinet. And it is broken. It isn't really a solid indestructible piece of furniture. Periodically the door falls off. I should also mention that I don't normally do home improvement projects that involve saws and wood glue. Once I did cut some tile on my own with a tile saw. But never anything with wood and wood glue and a saw.

After the door to my tv cabinet fell off for the jillionth time and the little wood dowel that makes the door stay on splintered into a million pieces, I realized it was time for action. So I went to the hardware section of Alco (of all places right?) and bought a dowel and wood glue. I was pretty sure I had a saw at home. Wrong. Apparantly I do not own a saw. So, I used the next best thing...a steak knife. I cleared the hole in the door of all splintered debris, cut the piece of dowel to fit in the whole, applied some wood glue and voila!...a fixed door that actually stays on the cabinet. Who says girls can't do lots of things? Today I am thankful that I can do home improvement projects all by myself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not taking life too seriously

Someone (I won't mention who) I ate with tonight likes to go to weight watchers and then eat mexican or hamburgers on the way home thinking she will just make it up later. That's my kind of girl! I love those who just appreciate and enjoy life without worrying too much about the "stuff". Today I am thankful for those who remind me to not take life too seriously.

Friday, October 9, 2009


This blog is something that I have felt for a long time that I need to do...for me for some reason unknown to me. I could say that I wanted to write more...which I did. It could be because I was at a point in my life where I desperately needed to focus on the good stuff. I also think that because journaling lets you go back and see in black and white how far you've come...I would have something to look back and see that I really do have a lot to be thankful for. It also helps to do something creative everyday so I can be creative on demand when needed. The overwhelming thing that I felt though, is that God wanted me to. He didn't speak to me in a dream, I didn't hear an audible voice, I wasn't struck by lightning, and an angel did not appear to me in a dream (although I'm not discounting those that have had those experiences). It was more a feeling that would not go away...something I just couldn't get out of my head. So I did it. And I've loved it. Except, that lately it has felt like such a burden. I mean, I'm pretty tired at night and THEN I have to come up with something that happened during the day for which I am thankful. That is kind of hard to do some days. Other days I can't wait to write and it is hard to narrow down between all of the awesome things that happened to me. But, feel like it or not, I made a commitment to myself and I feel like I actually need to try and write every day (even though I have skipped two days).

Today was one of those days. This morning I seriously considered maybe hanging it one would know and I could be thankful just in my head right? But no...I need to continue what I started even if I don't want to. What kind of person would I be if I quit a month into something I committed a year of my life to? I am a champion at responsibility. I'm just not ready to deal with the disappointment of irresponsibility just yet.

Then something strange happened. Three different people emailed, facebooked or messaged me today and mentioned that they liked my blog. Really? There are people actually reading this? Their encouragement miraculously came at a time when I really really needed it. I used to really need verbal affirmation for everything that I did. I have come to the point in my life that I'm happy doing what I'm doing and its ok if nobody else likes it or thinks I'm doing a good job. But I needed it. Today, I am thankful for encouragers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My morning Sonic carhop

I drink at least two Sonic diet cokes everyday. One in the morning before work and one at happy hour. Even though my happy hour diet coke is half price, my morning diet coke is my favorite. It is my favorite because of the carhop that brings my coke to my car. Not only is she pleasant and always says "have a good day", but sometimes I don't even have to press the red button and order. This morning was one of those mornings. I pulled in a little distracted, thinking about the thousand things I had to do today and getting stressed just thinking about it all, when before I even pressed the button to order the carhop was at my car with my large diet coke. Amazing right? It put a big smile on my face. Its a small thing, but doesn't part of our joy lie in the ability to be happy just on small things alone?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Meeting Author Celebrities

I really like Donald Miller. I like the ideas that he writes in his books...I like that he writes about things in a way that make me see things differently...I like that he starts his own projects to deal with problems he feels are problems...and he just seems like a really nice guy. I am a book junkie, so don't think I'm weird when I say that I would rather meet authors (like Donald Miller) that I like than movie stars (like Brad Pitt). After reading books written by certain authors, especially memoirs, I feel like I kinda know them (in a non-creepy non-stalkerish kinda way). After watching a Brad Pitt movie, I might like the character that he played but I don't know anything about him as a person.

So, imagine how I felt when I found out that Donald Miller was coming to Little Rock to promote his latest book, a book that I LOVED. I was pretty excited. I got even more excited when I found out that he would sign books afterward and I COULD MEET HIM! I had it all planned out...everything I would say and how I would be really witty. I got to the front of the line with my book and......nothing. I couldn't think of a single thing to say. All I could come up with was thank you and I think I laughed awkwardly a little bit. But, I did get a picture! ( please excuse the way that the belt makes me look two times bigger than I really am. it was better in person i hope) I am thankful that I had an opportunity to meet someone that I admire and that I have a picture to prove it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Patio Oasis

I was sitting on my patio Saturday morning (trying to get Jack to run out some of his morning energy. Unfortunately he is an early riser!) and the sun hit the concrete just right. In just one corner of the patio, the concrete sparkled like really shiny silver glitter. Who knew? Beautiful. I love my patio. I wake up in the morning and have my diet coke on my patio. I eat dinner with my patio at night. I grow tomatoes on my patio. I read with my patio. I think on my patio. Squirrels mock Jack from my patio. Its only weakness is that mosquitos also love my patio. Undaunted I light a citronella candle to get rid of those mosquitos, and my patio becomes even more beautiful. My patio is not just a patio...its an corner of the world that I can just be.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Sitting around a table with your closest friends and family, eating, talking about nothing, talking about something...then someone says something funny and you laugh. And that laugh triggers another story which triggers another laugh. Pretty soon you are laughing so hard that everyone else at the table thinks there is something wrong with you. In that moment, as I am laughing, it literally takes my breath away how blessed I am. Blessed to have friends and family I love this much, blessed to have something to laugh about, blessed to have food to eat, and blessed that this is such a beautiful life (even with all the bad stuff). These are the moments that make it all worth it. I am so thankful for laughing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thai food (yet another post about food) and new beginnings

Tonight I REALLY tried Thai food for the first time. I've picked at it before or eaten it on a buffet...but I haven't REALLY tried it. Which is surprising to me, because I really like food and am always up for trying something new. And, I liked it, which was not surprising to me because I like everything EXCEPT celery. I don't even like celery cut up real fine so you can't taste it (that's what people say make the Thanksgiving dressing that like celery in their dressing) because you can always taste it.

I also ate with a friend that I hadn't seen since last October. As we started talking, I realized that there is so much that has changed in my life in the last year. This past year has been painful and wonderful all at the same time. I can't imagine going back and being the same person in the same circumstances that I was in a year ago. But, I am thankful that something good has come out of a bad situation. Finally...I am at that point where I can look back fondly and say that was a beautiful time of grieving and look how much I learned. When I think about things and how my life was last year at this time, it feels like I am talking about somebody else...someone I used to know. I like the me that I have transformed to be.

I am thankful for the work that God has done in me, I am thankful that He thinks we deserve grace and I am thankful for new beginnings. I'm excited to see what the next year brings.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My last summer tomato

Tomatoes and I have had a thing since I was 10. Every summer I would wait anxiously for the first red tomato. It seemed like it always took FOREVER for the first green tomatoes to ripen into big beautiful juicy tomatoes. But ripen they did! With salt in hand, I would lean over the sink and eat one of those tomatoes like an apple. Over the winter, I always kind of forgot that those tomatoes do not taste like real tomatoes. The first bite of a summer tomato reminded me what real tomatoes are. This year, I grew my own tomatoes for the first time. Today, I picked my last summer tomato off of the vine. Goodbye summer tomatoes, its been a good year!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New, small things

Today, three new things were randomly and surprisingly welcomed into my life.

1. Sporkle...more trivia games than you can imagine. There's thoughtful stuff...literature and history, and there's fun show hosts names and the celebrity movie chain beginning and ending with (of course) Kevin Bacon. Its a good way to waste an hour while not feeling totally terrible about yourself because you are exercising your brain.

2. Kung Pao Chicken Sauce...I LOVE all kinds of food. Now that I am being healthy again, I can make Kung Pao chicken from home without (some) of the fat.

3. Last but not least, I was strolling down the organic aisle in the grocery store when a bright colorful shelf of toothbrushes caught my eye. They just made me happy, so I settled on turquoise. Not only is it beautiful, in color and in its arched-back design, but it is also made from recycled materials. I feel so environmentally responsible.

Today I am thankful for new, small things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

my birthday week and other fun things

I am thankful for several things today...

1. It is my Birthday week. I am a HUGE fan of my birthday. Its the only day where I feel like its okay for everything to be about me. All week there will be Happy Birthdays when I go to small group and Impact and work and parents and friends. I get all giddy just thinking about it.

2. Jack likes bones. A lot. They keep him busy which means I can get stuff done. Plus he's a really cute chewer. He smacks.

3. My ridiculously inexpensive boots (the ones I wrote about last week) came in today. Thank you Jerry the UPS man. Now I have to think of a cute outfit so I can wear them tomorrow.

4. I get to go to bed earlier tonight than normal. I need sleep.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Refill please

I have hesitated to bring the topic of jesus into this blog so soon because...a lot of people don't like Christians. They have adverse reaction just to the word. I think we have all been hurt by one at some point in our lives (we are only human) or we have been judged by one (something we shouldn't be doing) or we have known a holier-than-thou Christian who turned out to have a major sin secret. Truthfully, I didn't want you to judge me before you figured out that I was an ok person and quit reading this right off the bat. Its time to come out of the closet...I am a Christian.

Tonight I went to hear a speaker at a church in Little Rock, Priscilla Shirer. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the building was that everyone had a big smile on their face. No one looked grouchy that there were no doughnuts out front or free coffee. There was a place where you could buy coffee...fancy frappacinos and EVERYTHING. Even more impressive was the fact that there were tables for different service opportunities and missions out front. And people brought donations. Pretty cool. The worship team was GREAT. And I just don't have enough great things to say about Priscilla's sermon. Before this starts sounding like a book report, I'm going to get to the point. The message was something that I needed...a refresher and encourager for the week ahead. Sometimes you forget to make time for do something that "refills" your spirit. I know that when that happens to me, everything irritates me, I start getting really negative, I feel panicky and I just want to quit everything good that I have started. I am so glad that I took the time to go and spent time with God so He could refill me. Only He knows what I need and can actually give it to me.

And icing on the cake...I went with a group of fun women, we got free muffins at Mimi's Cafe and they served strawberry popsicles after church was over. Today I am thankful for "refills".

Saturday, September 26, 2009

spontaneous lunches with unexpected guests

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to relax. So, I planned a little tv watching (got bored pretty fast), some weedeating (ran out of string right after I started), some reading (which was going well until...) I got really hungry. It was noon. I thought I could drive through somewhere and then go to Hastings and read, but there was just nothing that really sounded good to me. Then I remembered there is a new cafe here that I haven't tried yet..but its not a drivethru kind of place. Then I had a brilliant idea...I could go in and sit down (by myself...something I don't do ever) AND read my book at the same time. Perfect. So I park, go in, order a delicious salad, and start to read my book when some friends walk in that I don't ever see unless its at church. We talked across the restaurant for a while and then decided that we could just sit at the same table. So we did. It was fun...Roy Beth and Johnathan...thanks.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Jack...

Today I'm sharing another picture of Jack...he's just so dang cute.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gratitude journal-my five for the day

Inspired by Oprah years ago, I used to keep a gratitude journal. Everyday I would write five things I was thankful for that day. No matter how crummy I thought my day was, I could always find five things...even it they were 1. This day is over 2. The sleep I'm about to have is going to be awesome! etc. etc. This week has been long and the death of a friend's husband kind of makes me short on big things to be thankful for, however, there is always something to be grateful my top five list today is

1. People are willing to help. It amazes me when people are called upon to help someone, they rise to the occasion. Selflessly.

2. Baked lays. For a girl watching what she eats, hasn't had anything that tastes like anything to eat this week, those baked lays are tasty little morsels.

3. Grey's Anatomy is back on! I missed those people.

4. Prayer. I am grateful that I have a God that is concerned with what concerns me. Prayer is always a resting place for me...a lap to climb up in at the end of the day and be comforted.

5. This sleep I'm about to have...its gonna be amazing :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A dog smile

Doesn't that just make you happy? Today I am thankful for Jack's smile.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Friends...all different kinds

I'm kind of shy, so it takes me a bit to make a new friend. I genuinely like people, but I never really know what to say. I mean, I know what I WANT to say, but the shyness keeps me from saying it. As a result, people have to practically decide they are going to befriend me no matter what and then we become friends. The upside of this is that once I make a friend, we are going to be friends for a long long time. Or at least until some sort of confrontation happens, and I am awful with confrontation and don't know what to say, and then sometimes friends drift apart. I hate that part.

But, I would do just about anything for my friends and I have met some friends along the way that would do anything for me. You have your childhood friends that know your whole story... from your first day of kindergarten to prom and some in between. These are friends that you may not talk to often, but when you do you just pick up where you left off. If you're really lucky, you still get to talk to your childhood best friend. Mandy and I never got into any trouble together. We never drank or cussed or snuck out of the house or got a traffic ticket. We were both terrified of our parents. We knew if we did anything terrible we would probably still be locked in our rooms to this day.

Then you have your friends that you don't really do anything with...but they always check in with you to make sure you're ok. I have a couple of friends in particular that always email or text or call just to make sure I'm still going. Somedays when you're not going at all, it is so encouraging just to know that somebody "sees" you and cares about you.

I also have some friends that I made through my small group. I see them every Tuesday night and know that no matter what, they will pray for me if I ask them to. And I will pray for them. And I have friends that I met through various church activities. These are some of the most compassionate caring friends I have. And we have a bond because we have shared experiences that mesh your lives together.

Then I have my "hanging out" friends. I love these friends. You know who you are.

We were not meant to be alone. My friends have gotten me through some pretty tough times. Today, I am so thankful for friends.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The story of the forest is better than the story of the tree

In Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years he reminds us that, basically, life is not all about us. And its not all about us being comfortable all of the time. We are a tree in a story about a forest and it is arrogant of us to believe any differently. And the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree. Life is bigger than us, and for this I am thankful because otherwise it would be hard to understand sometimes. Today I attended the funeral of a childhood friend's husband. He was only 36. And they had two boys. And they are so young. Why did this happen to them? How can they live out their lives without a father and she without a husband? Why all of this suffering? I don't know the answer, but it does help me to think that its not all about that one life. That that one life was intertwined with other lives and that its the story of all of our lives together that means something. Keeping that in mind, I know that some good will come out of this tragic event to make a better story for all of us, its just hard to see sometimes. Today I am thankful that the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree. That the suffering of some is not the end...

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I spent the weekend in Branson with my mom concert-going and shopping. Then I talked to my Dad when we got back. And it is just so good to have people that love you. Sometimes,the parent-child relationship is a hard one to figure out because no one really knows how much room to give the other one. Its hard to find that balance between letting the other one live their own life and staying close enough to know each other and letting each other make their own decisions even if you disagree. But, these are the only people that have known you your whole life and they actually still like you...even though you lied about fact that you would feed the new cat and sometimes you may have even told them to shut up. Of course, there was that year that your parents even thought that maybe an alien came and took over your body and thought maybe they should give you away. In the Old Testament, disrespecting your parents was grounds for stoning. Thank goodness that law didn't stay on the books...there wouldn't be one person alive. Eventually the alien leaves your body and you manage to get through college and get a diploma. You get a job and start living your life. It is at this point that you start to realize what your parents taught you....and you are thankful that they taught you what they taught you. And you also learn new stuff too to compliment what you already knew and you turn into your own person. And then the best part comes...when your parents can become your friend. Your parent could not be your friend when you were living in their house or they wouldn't have been able to teach you anything you needed to know. But now they can be...and you realize your parents are...people. They sacrificed so much to give me life. And I have a good one. Today I am thankful for parents.

People watching their teenage hearttrob in concert 40 years after their teenage years

First of all, this is yesterday's post! Because I was in Branson, MO with my mom, at a BJ Thomas and Dionne Warwick concert. BJ Thomas was my mom's teenage heartthrob. I had to look him up...he's brought us great songs like Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and the Family Ties themesong. I know! Right now "we've got each other, sharing the laughter and love, sha la la la" keeps running through my head. So, we get to the theater and I am BY FAR the youngest person there. Not only am I the youngest person there, but I am the only person there my age. Actually, there was an eight year old there but he doesn't count because he didn't have a choice. On our left sat a couple from Houston TX that took a week of vacation to travel and see this concert. And to our right was a couple that skipped the Razorback game to go to the concert and a lady who sang every single word of every single song...and couldn't have been more enthusiastic about it. The lights dimmed, BJ Thomas stepped out on the stage, and as he started to sing his first song there was some kind of problem with the sound system. We didn't know it was the sound system though, and you could see the verdict written on everyone's face...the poor guy has lost it. What happened to him? He got so........old. The air smacked of disappointment. Then he started to sing another song...a song everyone knew. And he sounded like himself. Sound system glitch resolved. He's still got it. That's when the good stuff really got started. It was so fun to see everyone reliving a piece of their past...remembering how they felt and what they were doing each time they heard his songs. Most people remembered all the words to all of the songs and sang all of them (out of key of course). I actually get all teary thinking about it. I'm not sure if I will feel this way when I see New Kids on the Block 20 years from now, but I hope so. Today I am thankful that I got to see people watching their teenage heartthrob in concert 40 years after the fact.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Online shopping

If you live in a small town like me, you will totally agree that no complete wardrobe would be possible without online shopping. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping at our local stores, but sometimes you want something different to compliment the pieces you already have. Last night a friend told me about a website where you can buy glourious boots for $20-$30 each. I went online, selected my ridiculously inexpensive boots, typed in my credit card number, and five days from now they will magically appear on my doorstep. Thank you online shopping inventer.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I am a morning person. I wake up pretty happy. No matter how terrible my day was the day before, when I wake up in the morning...good mood, clean slate. There are downsides to being a morning person. I would love to be one of those night people that can stay up til three in the morning and not be the first one asleep at a bunking party. I would even settle for being able to stay awake for the late show at the movies. If I do happen to be able to stay awake until 12:00, you certainly don't want to be unfortunate enough to be around me. I can literally fall asleep while someone is mid conversation with me (right Samae?) But, I would never trade being happy in the morning to be a night person. I love that every day, at least at the beginning of the day, it feels like a good day.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a really cool dream. I was in the navy and I'm not entirely sure what my job was, but it was awesome. And then somehow I was captured. Then I was rescued. It was made up of stuff right out of the movies. I don't even want to know what this experience would be like in real life, and I hope this is something that NEVER happens to me. But it was the BEST dream, and none of it would have been possible without sleep.

Today I am thankful for sleep.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


To be honest, today I thought I was going to be thankful for sushi. I want to write about something trivial like sushi. Not only is sushi simple and complicated all at the same time (easy ingredients yet I don't personally know anyone who whips sushi up in their personal kitchen) but there are no feelings involved in talking about sushi. But I can't just be thankful for sushi because today, my heart is truly thankful for a small group of 9th grade girls who make up our church Impact group. When I think back on my short life, I can't remember anything quite as tramatic as junior high (and I've even been through a divorce). Junior high was exhilirating and confusing, an eclectic mix of experiencing exciting new things but not knowing exactly how to handle any of those new things. Its hard enough to figure out exactly who you are and how you feel about anything, but then you go and throw boys in the mix. However, these girls come to Impact every week and talk about what is happening to them and they encourage each other and they pray for each other. They are even thankful for this life they get to live. They are excited about what is around the corner and they believe that it is good, this thing that is getting ready to happen to them. This is encouraging. They make me so proud. And I am thankful for them because they remind me that its all going to be ok.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I have a book addiction if you will. I will give any book a chance if it grabs me, but I'm partial to a good memoir. I just like to read about people talking about themselves I guess. Donald Miller is one of my favorite memoirists. I read him for the first time in Blue Like Jazz. He just recently released another memoir called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years about our lives and how we live out "the story". It makes me laugh and it makes me think. Two things that make me thankful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The funk

A lot of really great things happened to me today. I was high on life, singing in the rain, too cool for school (what other dorky metaphors for happiness can I think of?). I was even smugly thinking that I had IT all figured out. Need any life advice? Just come and ask me....when a funk settled over my mood. It was unexplicable. Nothing happened to make me feel this way, but, all of a sudden, nothing seemed right. It was in that moment that I realized that I am thankful for those humbling moments of funk for several reasons. 1) I am really analytical and I love a good lesson. In the gaps between the highs, there are lows, and in the lows there are lessons. I can only learn the lessons when I am vulnerable enough to realize I don't already know it all. 2) Only in the low times can I REALLY appreciate all of the good things that happen. Sure we're thankful in the good times, but in the bad times you realize how good your life really is (or was). 3) Its the lows that make us human. Who likes someone whose life is perfect every moment? Be honest...

So today, even when I thought I was going to be thankful for all of the really good things, its actually the funk that I am most thankful for...which makes me really happy. Ironic.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rain. On a Sunday no less! Is there any better excuse for laziness? Sunday is hands-down my favorite day of the week. I can do everything or nothing. And today...I choose nothing. Today I am thankful for rain.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

365 days of simple thanks

I feel a longing deep in my soul to show thanks. Simple thanks for the simple pleasures in life. It is WAY too easy for my cynical, critical self to focus on the negative...and trust me, there's a lot to be negative about. Too much ranch dressing, they forgot my ranch dressing, too many news stories about Michael Jackson, too much pettiness about health care reform, not enough fun in my life, too much responsibility, my dog is too high maintenance...and the list goes on and on. But the truth is, that I have been blessed. I have a life that I love, with people that I love and who love me. I also have Cable TV that I can watch all of that political bickering on and I can change the channel whenever I want. And...I have a dog that I love dearly and I can't imagine life without even if I feel some days all of my energy goes into waiting on him hand and foot.

I truly believe that when I focus on the negative in my life, it FEELS like nothing is working and it is easy to be depressed. When I focus on the positive, I can clearly see the good in my life and I can focus my energies on things bigger than myself. So, this is my attempt to take time each day to focus on the good things in life and to show thanks for the things I have been blessed with.