Monthly Archives: November 2011

A thankful heart

What a great Thanksgiving weekend. There’s just so much to be thankful for. We Skyped lots with family, ate some delicious food, got tons done around the house and started to prepare for Christmas now that Advent’s under way. How was your Thanksgiving?

‎”A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” — Cicero



Thankful for this guy

This little guy has changed my life in the most profound and amazing ways. For that (and for him) I am truly thankful.

More gratitude: today and everyday

I’m oh so thankful for my parents. I am so lucky to have been born into such a wonderful, supportive family. I can count on my mom and dad to provide encouragement and support day after day, year after year, and they are equally kind to their son-in-law (and my brother and his wife too). This year it has really been a treat to watch them develop their relationship with their grandson. It’s truly amazing.

Gma and Gpa in the airport with Grant this July

Today’s my parents’ 37th wedding anniversary. {Brief aside: did you know the traditional gift for the 37th anniversary is alabaster?} That’s a whole lot of years. In any case, today and everyday I am grateful for my mom and dad, Steve and Linda.

Mom and Dad, thanks for all you do for your family, for all of your kindness and all of the love you’ve shown me my whole life through.

Advent to-do list

Today I’m grateful to have things to look forward to. I’ve enjoyed taking care of a few holiday details but am not ready to bust out the Christmas music just yet. Instead I’m making a list of all the things I’d like to do this Advent, and come November 27 I will be ready to put it into gear. Here’s my list:

Sing Advent Lesson and Carols at St. John’s
Have a date with my husband
Watch The Family Stone
Watch White Christmas
Watch Charlie Brown Christmas with Grant (I will break the no TV rule for it, too!)
Make handmade Christmas gifts
Actually send Christmas cards
Do not go overboard
Make Christmas cookies
Make butter brickle and peppermint bark
Make caramel corn and share it with friends
Figure out the Christmas tree debacle
Pray and meditate
Find an advent calendar
Wrap presents
Read the Christmas Baby to Grant
Read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Go Christmas caroling
Donate to donation box at weekday education
Set up the nativity scene
Check out the Winter Festival

Make and Do

Lately I’ve been grateful for a resurgence in creativity. I had high hopes for the month of October but it ended up being a total bust. But this month I’ve done a few crafty projects, started a furniture refinishing project, and started a few Christmas gift crafts. It’s nothing overwhelmingly exciting, yet I feel delighted to be doing something with my limited spare time. Make and do has always been a favorite of mine, I’m just relearning my boundaries now that I’m a mom.

The give thanks chevron printed four to a page - so I had a few to use up.

I worked on a few Thanksgiving cards for loved ones and beaded up some  necklaces for our church’s bazaar. I also got trigger happy with gold spray paint and made a wreath with some repurposed items from around the house. It’s not profound but I’m enjoying myself, spending time on projects while not spending much money.


Back on the proverbial horse

Today I’m thankful for second chances. Let me tell you, I make a lot of mistakes but it’s nice to be able to get back on the proverbial horse and try again. Whether it’s not exercising consistently, not cooking as many healthy meals as I’d like, bickering and arguing with my husband (who I’ve already told you is a sweet guy), sniveling, grumbling or otherwise maintaining a crappy attitude, I’m lucky that I can try again.

I’ve had the pleasure of observing a workshop where there is an amazing strategic planner who gives totally great and inspiring advice. Advice like “you can’t make an untalented person more talented but you can make a talented person more successful” and “if you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough.” That advice is nice because it applies to just about everything and makes me want to try again, not just give up entirely.

So here I am, back blogging at this spot after failing miserably at the everyday gratitude posting. Obviously I’ve missed the mark. But I’m blessed with another day and thankfully, I get another chance. Second (and third and forth and fifth and to infinity and beyond) chances are nice for that.


O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
yet all are one, in thee for all are thine,
Alleluia, Alleluia! 

All Saints Sunday is always a perfect day to honor the saints who’ve passed on to heaven. The hymns for All Saints Sunday are among the best in the whole church year, and the sermon is typically outstanding. On this day, I  always think of dearly departed loved ones, most especially my beloved grandparents.

I was lucky to grow up in a very small town, very near my paternal grandparents, with my maternal grandmother also within driving distance. As a result of growing up with that kind of proximity, I think of them not only on All Saints, but pretty much every day.

Every cardinal I spot in the yard makes me think of my Grandma Dee. So does walking the dog, seeing an especially pretty garden (peonies in particular), baking cookies at Christmastime, singing hymns, admiring a gorgeous baby and catching a whiff of Estee Lauder Beautiful.

I’m reminded often of my Grandma Betty, someone I saw practically every week of my life from birth to college. I think of her when I cook good old Marcus favorites like taverns and goulash. Or anytime I use catsup, eat Cheerios, watch David Letterman, spot tinsel on a Christmas tree or close a bathroom door all the way.

Grandpa Jim Lott was someone I didn’t know well because he was in poor health by the time I was in kindergarten. Nevertheless, he’s in my thoughts daily, too. He’s our son’s namesake, so there’s that. I think of him when I run, every time I pay a visit to a doctor, when I see a picture of my brother, see a picture of Notre Dame’s campus and as I hang several special Christmas tree ornaments each year.

Today and every day I am thankful for these saints, Dee, Betty and Jim.

I wrote this post on Sunday – and am just getting around to posting it now. So much for an everyday post!