gratitude: looking for the glass half full

Ah, the summer wind down.

The days when my kids are alternately bored out of their skulls, dreading the start of school, and feverishly pitching ideas for activities just in case they haven’t managed to cram enough fun into the 9½ weeks of summer gone by.

These are the days when I juggle last minute appointments and school prep, except this year my house decided to mutiny.  So while other parents are shopping for binders and book covers, I’m listening to a demolition.

No dramatic flair – there is literally a man with a sledgehammer knocking out tiles, walls, and flooring in my bathroom.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined I’d hear these sorts of crashing noises inside our home.

On the up side:  We didn’t go crashing through the shower floor ourselves before the water damage was discovered, it didn’t happen during the madness of our summer rush, and the kids (HALLELUJAH) will be back at school in a couple of weeks.

Now, we’ll be talking major gratitude once I have a bathroom of my own again.

gratitude: water in stillness and motion

I’m always at peace on the water.  Well, technically I’m always at peace near the water, but you get the gist.  There are few things I find as soothing.

Lakes, creeks, rivers, oceans – I willingly spend hours near any of these.  Water in both stillness and motion speaks to me.  It murmurs to my heart: be still and listen.  It quiets my mind and settles me into a rhythm older than time itself.

gratitude: under Wyoming’s spell

Brace yourself – I’m about to hit full on hippie chick mode.  We’re talking earth loving, birkenstock wearing, find-your-bliss granola girl.  (Side note: I readily recognize that my twenty-year-old self would not have understood a word I’m blabbering on about.)

I am so grateful for the glory of this planet of ours.  (Yes, I’m horrified by the damage we’re doing, but that’s a post for another day.)  We’ve been blessed to visit many different areas of the world, and this week I’m discovering Wyoming.

Apparently many people (or not so many, if you’re into the U.S. census) have already learned what a peaceful and steadying force this amount of nature can be.  And by “this amount of nature” I mean a lot of nature.  It’s the sort of sweeping geographical scenery that hits you smack dab in the face every time you look out a window or step outside.  Wyoming’s all BAM!  Here’s the nature.  Take that, stressed out people.

You get in your car to drive somewhere, and what’s out there?  Land.  As far as the eye can see.  Surrounded by mountains.  Freaking tall and majestic mountains, the kind they write songs about.  And the animals are all chill because people aren’t hunting them into extinction, so you get to watch herds of bison meandering, antelopes nibbling grass, and moose being all…moose-y.

Talk about a place where you can really breathe.

gratitude: 5 things

Falling under the not really necessary but definitely things that are wonderfully convenient to have and I wouldn’t really want to live without,  Well, except for that last one.  That last one’s just plain old decadent.

Flushable wipes.

I see your cushy, comfy, kind-to-the-tushy Charmin and raise you a soft, cleansing, Cottonelle wipe to finish things up.  TMI?  Oops.


I won’t even harken back to the we-shall-not-speak-of-them dial up days.  How about those USB cords and cables?  I don’t miss the days of having to be physically connected to a router…the magic of wi-fi lets me get to the web from anywhere in my home.  And the coffee shop.  And most hotels and restaurants.  ‘merica.

Sole conforming shoes.

Oh, sweet heaven up above, sole conforming shoes.  It doesn’t matter how comfortable a shoe claims to be, it will never be as awesome as a shoe that shapes to my freaking foot.

Sweat wicking materials.

I live in an area I like to affectionately call Satan’s Sweaty Armpit.  We suffer in gross, sticky, humid conditions May through early October so basically everything I wear is soaked by 2:00pm.  (Of course, given my particular age, everything I wear is soaked by 2:00pm year round but bygones.)  The miracle that is sweat wicking material has been life changing.  Life Changing, I tell you.

Heated tile bathroom floors.

Some of you are all yeah, sure, this is a thing but for the rest of us normal people – THIS IS AN ACTUAL THING.  Shocked the bejeebers out of me on vacation once because I was all come on, this is just silly, who even uses a heated floor?  But then I stepped onto it after a shower and was all HOLY WARM TOOTSIES, BATMAN and promptly curled up on it for a nap.  Purrrrr…

gratitude: safe travels

I’ve been having great fun with the whole summer travel series this month.  I love travel.  Or, more accurately, I love visiting other places.  The travel itself is simply necessary to the process.


I used to be a better traveler – calmer, less nauseous – more chill all around.  Then?  Well, then things changed.

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gratitude: 60 seconds

Something new, something different.  Here’s 60 seconds of what pops into my head when I think “gratitude.”  Hold on, I have to set my timer.

Ready?  Go.



fresh air

strange fog

streetlamps at night



babbling brooks

bright green leaves

smooth stones

easy breathing

my inhaler when I don’t have easy breathing

the perfect jewelry to fit my mood

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: the choice to come and go

I doubt you’re shocked to hear I’ve got some strong opinions about our country.  I mean, I’m grateful to live here for so many reasons, but I disagree vehemently with the laws enforced in certain states.  Being such a diverse citizenry means there are people who feel just as strongly as I do except, you know, the opposite.  Welcome to a country that champions free speech.

We’ve got ups, downs…positives, negatives…all the ins and outs of a country our size.  But for what it’s worth, in a nation with an eclectic collection of states under one flag, there’s one freedom that’s especially precious.  We enjoy a wonderful freedom of movement in America.

On one of our visits to Charlottesville we found a section of the Berlin wall on display.  The kids were equal parts fascinated and perplexed as we tried to explain how a wall could appear overnight, dividing a country in two.  How people could become prisoners in their homes.  How families were separated, communication severed for almost three decades, lives torn apart.

Recently we were watching a show about the DMZ between North and South Korea.  T-man’s been interested in this area ever since meeting his Tae Kwon Do master, a gentleman from South Korea, and the stark difference in reality between those two spaces is eye opening to say the least.

It’s made me appreciate how blessed we are to be free to come and go as we please within our own country.

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

gratitude: there goes the book

BrightSide and I are not typically a fly by the seat of our pants sort of couple.  I keep a crazy absurd ridiculously detailed calendar.  We coordinate schedules.  We make plans.  When we leave town we have an itinerary, even if large blocks of it are dedicated to Down Time.

I’m not gonna say we always go by the book, but we definitely aren’t used to tossing the book out the window entirely.

Until last weekend.

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