Nov 30, 2008

month of gratitude #30

Today is the last day of this challenge. I have really appreciated the opportunity to stop and reflect on all of the little things in my life for which I am grateful. I haven't delved too deeply into some of the more personal issues as that just isn't my nature most of the time. I did want to acknowledge though that I am of course grateful each and every day for all of those things big and small. I have had to work hard for what I have and I try never to take that for granted, even when all I have is love and prayer. I also believe that it is important to take the time to enjoy it. If we don't, then what is the point?

Thank you, Sherry! This has been fun! What do you have for us next?

Nov 29, 2008

month of gratitude #29

This may sound strange, but I am grateful for online shopping. As much as I have always loved going out in the holiday madness, I have become much more reliant on the conveniences afforded me by doing my shopping from the comfort of living room. Last year I found that all of the Black Friday deals and then some can be found online. I was able to breeze through stores at speeds never achievable by going out in the shopping craze of after-Thanksgiving sales. Plus, I don't have to fight for a parking space and everything is delivered right to my front door! How can you beat it?

Nov 28, 2008

month of gratitude #28

I am grateful for pumpkin pie. And apple pie. And whipped cream.
And mashed potatoes, and gravy, and stuffing and turkey.

I am grateful that my mom is a wonderful cook.

I am not very grateful for all the overeating I have done, but I am grateful that we were all here to sit around the table together and break bread.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2008

month of gratitude #27

I am grateful to be spending today with my family. We are all here together for the first time in a long time. I could go on and on, but I could never do it justice with my meager words. I am having a wonderful time and I am very very grateful.

Nov 26, 2008

month of gratitude #26

Today I am grateful for all the modern conveniences that are making our long car ride more comfortable. Back when I was growing up my parents would never hesitate to jump in the car and drive for hours to get to wherever we were going. We were left with not much more entertainment than sleep and the license plate game. That was all fine and good at the time, but I was glad to be able to pack more than imaginations to get us through the 30 hours of driving we are going to be doing over the next week!

Nov 25, 2008

month of gratitude #25

Today I am grateful for my feline friends. They have not always been so appreciative of each other, but they are best buds now. Well mostly. They still have the occasional battle around the living room here and there, but I'm pretty sure they're just playing.

They have been really great pets and companions. I am grateful for them!

Nov 24, 2008

month of gratitude #24

My coworker is out today and I miss having her here. I am grateful for her!

manic monday 143

Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? What do you talk about? \I do this all the time at work. Mostly I am just working out a problem, but out loud. I also talk back to the tv. I was yelling at Grey's so loud on tivo, DH thought something was wrong and came running! (But seriously!! That whole Denny thing..... ?!?!) What the???

What stresses you out?

Abstract issues. Food. Deadlines. Whining. Traffic. Indecisiveness. People who complain but aren't willing to do anything to change the situation. Being on time. Nightmares. Too many details.

What are your secret talents?
I have good intuition. I am able to size people up quickly and accurately. I am a creative problem solver. I can think outside the box and find solutions. I can also be pretty convincing when I want to be.

Nov 23, 2008

month of gratitude #23

Today I am grateful for teamwork.

We have a lot to do as we move into the holiday season. It is easier if we take it a piece at a time, instead of being overwhelmed all at once. We have all been working together to get things done, and it feels good. We are all itching to cover the house in Christmas cheer, but since we go the live tree route, it is just too soon. As soon as the turkey is gobbled, we will at least be setting up everything else while we wait for the right day to get the tree.

The timing feels off this year with Thanksgiving so late, but with all the amazing teamwork happening at our house, the pressure isn't there and we are just enjoying the process. The way it should be!

Nov 22, 2008

month of gratitude #22

It is so ridiculously cold today!! I can't stand it!!

Now that I have that off my chest, let's focus on being grateful. :)

Today was just a really nice day. The girls went to a party with some good friends, and I got to see some friends I haven't run into in a bit there. That was great! We made plans for December, which gives me something to look forward to.

While the kids were at the party, I got to have a date with my husband. It was such a wonderful time! We didn't do anything particularly noteworthy, but we spent time together and enjoyed each other's company. That's really what matters.

Back when we were young and silly and had no money whatsoever, this time of year we would bundle up our little one, and head to the mall. We couldn't really afford to buy anything, but we would walk around and poke around in stores. I love to people watch. We spent a good chunk of time absorbed into the bookstore flipping through the pages. Our first child would sleep through anything when she was being pushed in her stroller. We could stay out with her for hours and hours. We would have lunch or ice cream or a mall cookie or something, and call it a day. Those were good times!

I am grateful that after all these years we still enjoy spending an afternoon together doing nothing as much as we did back then! Those little moments make a life.

Nov 21, 2008

friday fill-in 99


1. The last band I saw live was (nkotb. But I don't feel good about classifying them as a band.) So, let's go with a band that plays instruments and writes music. In that case, it would be Barenaked Ladies.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is the whole weekend. Eating the yummy foods. The crazy shopping. Seeing my family, It's going to be great!!
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is in full swing, and will hopefully be close to done after next week.
4. Thoughts of sleep fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear cool shoes. My feet aren't shaped right.
6. Bagpipes are probably the most annoying instrument that exists.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to hanging out, tomorrow my plans include a date with my man! and Sunday, I want to relax!

month of gratitude #21

I am grateful for taco salad day. Taco salad day is a goooooood day.

A co-worker has a wife who loves to cook. She sends in lunch for us everyday. It's ridiculous actually. I have never been so spoiled!

Today was taco salad. It was sooooo yummy! What a treat - not just today, but every day! She is a special person, and I certainly appreciate her!

Nov 20, 2008

month of gratitude #20

Today was interview day. I was extremely grateful to be on the other side of the table. It was fun and educational to be a part of the process. It is challenging and important to choose the right candidate and to examine all attributes and shortcomings. By the time I got home that night I didn't want to talk or listen. I was so drained from the experience, I had nothing left! It was rewarding though, and I am grateful to have been a part of it.

Nov 19, 2008

month of gratitude #19

I am thankful for quiet time. I had some quiet time to think and read and organize today. It was well needed!

Nov 18, 2008

month of gratitude #18

Today I am grateful for the courage to stand up for myself and to articulate what I want. Those who know me may not believe that this is a challenge for me ever, but it often is. Many times I just let things go by until it builds up and then I just blurt out my thoughts in an unkind manner. This rarely brings me the results I am looking for, and is why I would probably not be accused of holding back what I am thinking. Truth is - I often do, and most people don't take the time or effort to dig deep enough to see the inner truth. I can certainly be very closed.

Today however, I was able to clearly ask for what I want, and I am going to get it. That is a big thing, and I am thankful for it!

Nov 17, 2008

month of gratitude #17

Today I am grateful for employment. Just straight up steady employment. I have been involved in the hiring process for a new position at work, and it has had me in touch with those who are job seeking in such difficult times. I can't imagine not having the security of knowing when the next paycheck will come or if Christmas will be possible this year. I am certainly fortunate in a time when many others are not.

manic monday 142

Do you believe people are basically good?
I do, but I think everyone has a bad side too. I think people are capable of making the right decision if they choose to.

If you could change the custom of shaking hands, what would you replace it with?
How about high fives? (J/K - I hate high fives.) I don't know, - How about bowing, like they do in Asia?

What is something that you enjoy that is a chore for most other people?
I like balancing my checkbook and paying bills. It always feels good to have it done, and I like the process of writing out the checks, reconciling the accounts, figuring out how to make it all work. It's strange, but I enjoy it!

Nov 16, 2008

month of gratitude #16

Today I am thankful for our mystery ingredient - pumpkin. I am impressed by the creativity of the group, and could not believe there was no overlap.

We had a fun time with our friends laughing and sharing and competing and trying to follow the logic that gets a group from Murphy Brown to the Sopranos (you know who you are!). It was just what I needed when I needed it. If you are too busy to get together with friends once in a while, then not only are your priorities out of whack, but what's the point?

We had a wonderful time, and I am thankful that everyone did what they had to do to be there. I am so grateful for each of you!

Nov 15, 2008

month of gratitude #15

Today I am thankful for.... all-night girl chats!

Nov 14, 2008

month of gratitude #14

Today I am grateful for movie classics.

Right now we are watching this:

We were all excited to watch. I was explaining to the kidlets that when I was little (back in the olden days? *smack!*) I used to get to stay up late to watch this movie every year. That one and this one:

Then I had to explain to them that we couldn't watch these movies anytime we wanted to because we didn't have a DVD player. I didn't even have a VCR. (A what? Is that the thing that plays those things that aren't discs?) And it was a big event at our house to get to stay up and watch the movie and we would make popcorn on the stove. (On the stove? Why didn't you just make it in the microwave? What do you mean you didn't have a microwave? How did you make things HOT??? Oh - and can WE make some popcorn right now? In the microwave?)

Two seconds in my little one wants to know why it looks like that. (It's in black & white.) But that just said it's in "technicolor." (What does "technicolor" mean? Does that mean when it changes from looking like that to the other way? Why did they call it "technicolor" anyways instead of just calling it color?)

After we get all the technicalities out of the way we are all into it and singing along. Then my oldest realizes that they are all having quite a good time celebrating killing someone. We haven't even touched on the "special" effects at this point.

The thing was, we were all cuddled up together, enjoying our quiet night in. We were sharing in the joy of watching one of my favorite movies. We were laughing and having a good time. We were regaling in tales of the "olden days." (Seriously, I am not that old! I resent all this olden days nonsense!) My oldest does a really good "I'm mellllltinggggggg!" while dissolving into a puddle on the floor. And those flying monkeys still creep me out a bit!

What a great evening!! And I am grateful for that. There really is no place like home.

friday fill-in 98


1. Please feel free to leave me a comment. Seriously, I let this thing lapse too long and I don't even know if anyone is reading it anymore. So consider this my official plea for comments. (Shameless begging, I know).
2. When I brush DDs' hair I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is turkey dinner. It's my favorite thing to eat, too!
4. A really good latte is something I can't get enough of.
5. That's the thing I love most about The Office - the "That's what she said" jokes.
6. Bad toupees always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to shopping, tomorrow my plans include a pumpkin contest and good times with great friends and Sunday, I want to relax and rest!

Nov 13, 2008

month of gratitude #13

Today I am grateful for soft tissues to wipe my tears. Today was a rough day. But tomorrow is another day, and I am grateful for that too.

Nov 12, 2008

month of gratitude #12

Today I am grateful for a comfortable bed and a good night's sleep. I have serious sleep problems sometimes, and I haven't been able to rest well lately at all. One thing that helps is having a nice comfortable bed to curl up in. As it has gotten colder, we have made the bed up with the warmer bedding and down comforter. I even got out the body pillow from my pregnancy, hoping that it would help me to settle. I am having a hard time keeping the kids out of the bed - they keep making excuses to need to be in there. It truly is a respite. Now if I could just get my body and mind to settle down and rest, I might start to feel better!

wordless wednesday: webcam cuteness

Video clips at Ustream

Nov 11, 2008

month of gratitude #11

I am grateful today for all those who have defended our freedom past, present, and future. I am also grateful for those who support them and keep the home fires burning. Thank you.

Nov 10, 2008

month of gratitude #10

Today I am grateful for my friend Bridget. She is awesome. For one thing, she puts up with me as a friend. That is not easy, I can assure you. She is one of those people that you can call and say, "Hey Bridget, do you want to ______?" and then no matter what you fill in the blank with - go to a concert, have lunch, scrapbook, go shopping, rock climb, go to the movies, get a pedicure, babysit my kids, go camping, WHATEVER - she answers with "Sure!" I love that. I really love that. She is my "up for anything" friend. She is not afraid to try something new. She doesn't mind doing something old either!

She is my good luck charm. I always win stuff when we are together. (This is only fun for one of us, by the way.) She loves pictures the way I love pictures. She gets my ipod and crackberry addictions because she has them too.

She is funny. I mean really funny. Most of the time I am with her I can't catch my breath and then my sides hurt for a week afterwards from all the laughing. She listens too. I tell her all my vile crap that makes me a bad person. And then she doesn't even tell me I am a bad person! And she totally could, because my filter is completely off when I talk to her.

She knows that when I say stupid things like "OMG - you're not going to CRY, are you???" What I really mean is "I am sorry that you're hurting and he is a stupid jerk not worthy of the ground you walk on. And I pray for you every day."

She makes these cookies.... they are like little pieces of heaven in your mouth. I am picky when it comes to baked goods, but I considered for a brief second leaving my husband to marry these cookies.

We go through periods where we don't see each other enough, and I start to get the shakes a bit from the withdrawal. (Like now!) Then we go through periods when we see each too much - only because it gets expensive, not because I ever get sick of her! She is a total enabler. "Ooh, yeah! Buy that! You neeeeed that." When the receipt is longer than your arm and you are on your third trip to the car, you have been in the mall too long with Bridget.

I tried to coerce her into moving closer to me, but it didn't work out which makes me sad. Probably good for her though, since I would be making her meet me for coffee every ten minutes.

An afternoon with her is like a lifetime of therapy - good for the soul - I am so lucky and blessed to know her and to call her my friend.

Here we are dorking it out at a boy band concert....

manic monday 141

What was the first thing you thought when you looked at yourself in the mirror today?
I look pale. Why is my hair so fluffy today?

Do you have a recurring nightmare? If so, explain.
I go through spurts where I have insomnia and terrible and terrifying nightmares (especially when I am pregnant!). I am going through it now, and it is some of the worst nightmares I have ever had (no - I am not pregnant). The nightmares I have most often generally involve me being chased and someone trying to hurt me and my family. The worst ones are when these things are carried out. I wake up shaking and tired from being on the run all night and trying to protect my loved ones.
(Any dream analysts want to tackle that one?)

List three foods you can’t stand:
American Cheese

Any kind of melon
(I know I listed five instead of three - I kind of got on a roll! Plus, there isn't much more I can think of that I can't stand, so that's pretty much the whole list.)

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Nov 9, 2008

month of gratitude #9

I am really grateful for this gratitude challenge. It has been amazing on many levels. First of all, I have finally gotten my blog mojo back. It had been missing for a long, long time. Secondly, I have really enjoyed reading and discovering all the challenge participants' blogs. I have certainly added to my list this month. It has been interesting to see how different people have approached the challenge. Lastly, I am grateful for the opportunity to stop and marvel each day at how truly blessed I am. I am the type of person who always strives for more, but the truth of the matter is that I have everything I need and I am happy. I live the life that I want to live and I am surrounded by love and generosity and kindness and blessings over blessings over blessings. I am grateful for the reminder to stop and take it all in.

Thank you, Sherry!

Nov 8, 2008

month of gratitude #8

Today I am grateful for little girls. Right now there are a gaggle of them upstairs giggling and singing along to the High School Musical soundtrack. I am not sure how a lunch out turned into me getting roped into the mother of all sleepovers at our house, but you know how little girls can be when they start wheeling and dealing and plotting.

When one of the mothers dropped off clothes at our house for her girls, yes girlS, she asked me if I needed her to make a run to the liquor store. Then she looked at me like the fool that I am and took off running before I could change my mind about this whole thing. So had I taken her up on the offer, I would be writing my thankful post about wine right now. :)

But I really am thankful for little girls. It's how I grew up and what I've always known. They giggle and play and gossip and twirl and light up the whole house. What a blessing it is to have a houseful of happy little girls right now.

Nov 7, 2008

month of gratitude #7

Today I am grateful for my neighborhood. As long as my husband and I have lived together we have lived on busy roads with no neighbors. We have never lived where there weren't cars whizzing by at light speed. We have not lived where you could take a walk down the street without risking our very lives. Let our kids ride their bikes down the street? I don't think so.

Now we own our home in a quiet neighborhood in a town we love. We have friendly neighbors and safe streets where we can walk and ride bikes. We actually have trick-or-treaters! I can promise you that there wasn't much foot traffic on the Indy Speedway looking for fun size Snickers bars.

It is calm and peaceful, and I am glad we were able to make a home here!

friday fill-in 97 we go!


1. My blueprint for success includes always pushing myself to learn new things.
2. A Tootsie Roll was the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is Botanisource. It is the first one I've found that works and doesn't irritate my hyper-sensitive skin. I love it!
4. A day with the girls, lunch with my Steven, or a scrap weekend in CNY can be good therapy. (All of which are long overdue!)
5. I'd like to tell you about how much growing and changing I have experienced this year, and how much more I still have to do.
6. Inner strength is my strongest characteristic.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to surprising someone with a gift, tomorrow my plans include cheering loudly and Sunday, I want to rest and create!

Nov 6, 2008

month of gratitude #6

I started a new job this year. It is a really great job! What makes it great for me is that it is an environment that nurtures my professional development goals. It is a place where I am given trust and value. It is a place that motivates me to do my best. I am challenged in a positive way. I enjoy what I do and I look forward to each new learning opportunity.

Today I am grateful for my job.

Nov 5, 2008

month of gratitude #5

Today I am grateful for this little gem.....

What in the world did we do before Google? I admit it - I looooove me some Google. I use it as a verb. Google it. Admit it - you do too. My homepage is set to iGoogle. I love all the little apps and gadgets they come up with. I love the email which has the best spam filter I've ever experienced, the photo organizer, the satellite imagery, and of course the platform for me to spout off at the mouth! It is my primary information source. I mean, come on! What's the first thing you do when you want to know the capital of Bangladesh, or the lifespan of a ladybug, or the recipe for chicken marsala?

I don't know how I lived without you all those years, but I'm glad you're here now, Dear Google. My reliable little friend.

wordless wednesday: yes we can

Nov 4, 2008

month of gratitude #4

Something tells me there will be a lot of similarities to today's gratitudes.....

So, today I am grateful that MY VOTE COUNTS. I had a great conversation with the kiddos on what to expect at our polling place this morning from the last minute campaigners outside, to the solemnity inside. I made sure they noted the process of my identity being verified so that MY vote was MY vote and that no one else could have it. That I was given the privacy to make MY own decision. That I placed MY vote in the reader to be counted. That I had made MY choice known. So that no matter what the outcome is, that I had MY say and played MY part in the process. We talked about the things that made this particular election unique, and about some of the unique ones there have been in the past. Some of the things that I pray will be non-issues when the time comes for their votes to be counted.

It was a great day. Because no matter the outcome, MY VOTE COUNTED.

(Now if you haven't already, turn off the interwebs and get out there and have YOUR vote counted too!) :)

Nov 3, 2008

month of gratitude #3

Today I am grateful for my sister.

We have certainly had our share of ups and downs over the years, but no matter what I am still grateful for her. She is understated and quiet, yet strong and loud. She is someone that I genuinely enjoy being around. She probably understands me in a way that no one else does, and I bet she could say the same of me.

Yesterday she stood in line almost nine hours for what she believes in. She stood in line to have her voice heard. To have her opinion counted. To have her constitutionally given right TO VOTE.

Tomorrow morning I will go and do the same - and fully expect it to take about a tenth of the time that it took her. Because I have been granted the same right to have MY voice heard too. And that's the beauty of the thing.

So today I am grateful for my sister. And for the reminder of how great she is. And how lucky I am to have her!

manic monday 140

How many hours of TV do you watch per week? Do you feel that's too much, not enough or just right?
Too dang many, that's how many. Less probably than I have in the past, but I still have shows I like to catch. Tivo doesn't help. I tend to have shows on while I am getting other stuff done. And I like junky reality shows, cheesy dramas, and HGTV.

Which of the 5 senses do you feel is your strongest sense?
My eyes are going, and my hearing isn't the best either. So I'm going to go with my sense of touch. I am pretty sensitive to irritations and I can't stand to be uncomfortable. I can't bear to wear certain kinds of socks because of how they feel. On the flip side I love hugs, holding hands, massages. Yeah, I guess my sense of touch is the strongest.

What's the wackiest belief you held as a child?
If you breathe while driving past a cemetery you will breathe in the souls of the dead. WTH?? Yet, I still sometimes subconsciously hold my breath while driving past a cemetery. One of those silly car games gone horribly, horribly awry! :)

Nov 2, 2008

month of gratitude #2

Today I am grateful for a hometown for my children.

I grew up being bounced around from place to place. While there is something to be said for the sense of adventure involved in always meeting new people and experiencing new places, it is exceedingly painful to constantly be the new kid. It is not easy to not have a place where you are from. It is not easy to not have lifelong best friends.

My children have these things. I am so glad that we found a wonderful community for my children to grow up in. A place where they are from. A hometown.

Nov 1, 2008

month of gratitude #1

Today I am grateful for a husband who is so willing to go with the flow no matter where life leads us. Especially when it leads us to a crazy costume party with all of my wacky friends. :)

november: a month of gratitude

The challenge for November, as this is the month in which we shall all celebrate and give thanks, is to stop and give thought each day to that for which we are thankful. For me, I think this will be a return to the little moments that make life great - but we shall see as the month goes on.

Colossians 3:15-17

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.