Sunday, November 17, 2013

10 Days of Gratitude

Okay, yeah, so I got behind. Such is life around here. What else is new?

I'm am grateful . . . 

8. To be a wife - this is my tricky way to get around saying I'm grateful for Mark, because I'm feeling the pressure to come up with "creative and different" things like some others in my family are doing. They're not pressuring me. This is all purely self-imposed. Anyway, I like being married. It suits me. I don't think it's for everyone, but it is certainly for me. I love, love, love being a wife. I'm not perfect at it (who is?), not by a long shot, but I like being in a partnership with my best friend.

9. To be a mom - this is my tricky way to get around saying I'm grateful for my kids, due to the aforementioned explanation. I love being a mom. Like, love. I don't think motherhood is for everyone either. I can respect people who say they don't want to have kids because they know they don't want them - honestly, those people probably shouldn't have them. Me? I love my kids. I love hanging out with them, talking with them, working on things with them, learning with them, reading with them, snuggling with them. I love it. There are aspects of motherhood that are hard and it is, no question, 24-7. But it's one of the best things I've ever, ever, ever done and I'm so very grateful that I got two awesome kids who help me and love me as I figure this whole motherhood thing out, because really, it's an on-going, evolving process. I love my kids. They are, without a doubt, two of the best people I know.

10. Summer - Hot temperatures, shining sun, sandals, beach, sunny days, watermelon, bicycles, reading outside, ice cream, frozen yogurt, picnics, barbecues, hanging out on the patio, going to the park, fresh fruit, the smell of food on the grill . . . I really love summer.

11. Scout - OMG, I love this dog more than words can say. I swore I wouldn't become one of "those people," but oh well, I did. I have no regrets. I unabashedly love this sweet, adorable, snuggly, happy, demanding, funny, playful, loving little pup that has made our happy house even more of a happy home. She makes me happy. When people around me drive me crazy, I look at her and am reminded that all is well. She is the BEST and we loooooooooooooooove her.

12. Health - This is something I try not to take for granted. I am grateful that we are all in good health. It is something I think about a lot in our choices - we eat well, we value sleep (we could get to bed earlier), we drink a lot of water, we're pretty active, we have good friends, we have pretty good life balance, I like how I feel when I exercise (admittedly, I could do more of that). I know a lot of people are struggling in one way or another with poor health, for whatever reasons, and I know it's really hard, not just physically, but emotionally, too. I'm grateful for good health and try to use it for good, if that makes sense.

13. Pencils - I like writing with pencils. I'll generally choose a pencil over a pen. I like the sound of it scratching on paper. I like how it feels to write with them. And for some reason, my handwriting is a wee bit better with pencils.

14. Sushi - Yeah, I've probably said this one before, but hey, I love it. Whoever thought to wrap seaweed around rice and all kinds of good veggie and fish goodness on the inside and then eat that with chopsticks by dipping it in soy sauce and wasabi is a freaking genius.

15. Words - I loooove words. I keep a list of words I like (nerd). I like the sound of certain words. I love when I think of a great word to express what I'm trying to say. I love having lots of word choices. I feel frustrated when I can't think of a good word to use (this can be a frustrating side effect of knowing more than one language - sometimes there are great words in one language that don't exist in another). I get excited when others use great words around me. I hate dumbing things down or seeing others feel like they have to dumb things down. I love words. Also? Grammar is so much fun.

16. Feeling clean - I love how I feel after taking a long, hot shower and getting dressed in clean, comfy clothes. It feels good to be shower-fresh clean, smelling like soap and feeling good. I took a shower later in the day today, so as I type this I am feeling fresh and clean and I love it.

17. Fuzzy Blankets - I love cuddling with fuzzy blankets, especially when watching TV. It could be one hundred degrees out and I'd grab a fuzzy blanket to watch TV anyway. I love that Scout loves them and that whenever we sit with one, she is quick to jump up and sit with us. She even demands it of us if we sit down and forget to grab a blanket first. We have a basket full of blankets in our living room. We use them all the time. As I type this, at least 4 or 5 blankets are out of the basket - I am using one, Kate is using one, Scout is sleeping on one, and I'm pretty sure Max just walked through the room with one wrapped around him. They're so snuggly! Mark's next to me while I use one - so I guess he's involved in this, too. Even when guests come over, they know to help themselves to them, too. Sometimes we're all sitting around with them while we talk, watch shows, eat, play games, you name it.

* * * * * * * * * *

Mark's List - I am grateful for . . .

8. Holidays. I really like the feel of autumn, not only because I like the slight chill in the air, but because I love the feeling of the holidays. I've mentioned it before in other posts, but this time of year has a lot of nostalgia associated with it. Stacy and I started dating during this time of year. We got married in the winter. And we have so many wonderful family traditions at this time of year.

9. Movies. Sometimes we get on kicks and watch a bunch of movies, and sometimes we go a while between them, and lately we've seen a lot of really good movies. I know Stacy has an ongoing blog post all about the great movies we've seen and she keeps adding to it. We watched "Flipped" with the kids the other night and had a great time. Watching a movie is a really nice diversion.

10. Saturday night date nights. Last night Thing 2 and I spent a number of hours unlocking characters on Mario Kart and beating I don't know how many levels on Super Mario Brothers Wii. A nice night indeed!

11. Health. When you have good health it can be really easy to overlook how fortunate you are. I for one am really grateful that our family has been so fortunate to avoid not only major illnesses but also a lot of minor issues along the way.

12. Adventuresome eaters. It's so awesome to have kids that are up for anything. Sri Lankan cuisine fused with Middle Eastern appetizers? Sure! Seriously, they will try anything, which means we've all had some really great food through the years. It's almost a challenge to figure out what to cook at home sometimes since literally anything is a possibility. Nice problem to have, right?

13. Books. I've got a pile a mile high (not literally) of books I really want to read. I feel like I'm going from great read to great read and cannot even keep up with all I want to read. I mean, we were at a book store yesterday and I found out one of my favorite authors has two books I knew nothing about. And I already have about a dozen books to read.

14. Love. It is an incredible feeling to be loved by someone else. And it is an even more incredible feeling to love someone. I'm very lucky to have experienced (and still be experiencing) both.

15. Gratitude. It may seem a bit odd to say I'm grateful for gratitude, but feeling like I have things in my life that I appreciate makes me appreciate my life that much more. There's got to be some profound philosophy in there somewhere . . .

16. Fatherhood. I love having the chance to be a father to two great kids. I'm far from perfect, but I appreciate the chance I have to learn from them and try to make their lives the best they can be.

17. Humor. It's great to laugh, and I always know when it's been a while between good laughs. There is nothing like the release that comes from a good belly laugh, but even the little chuckles and smiles can be so therapeutic. There's enough sorrow and heartache in the world. A little levity once in a while is so healing.


Boquinha said...

Hey, we both posted about the same thing! Go figure.

21 years and counting . . . I love you!

Jimmy said...

I like these posts. They make me think about things I take for granted. And with all the love and fuzzy blankets in your home, I bet it's a pretty comfortable place to be.

A few quirky ones from me...

A brand new toothbrush. The more expensive, the better.

Babies that smile at me. Last Sunday at church a two year old and her baby sister kept looking back and smiling at me. When the two year old reached out and held my hand, it made my entire day!

Positive attitudes. It took awhile for me to learn this, but what a difference it makes to come to work with a positive attitude. I used to be a lot more critical when I was younger, somehow thinking this showed I was smarter than the average employee. But the effect of others with positive attitudes has caused me to make the effort to criticize less and help others who are struggling rather than publicly force them and others to recognize their shortcomings. Now I'm embarrassed that I used to be such a jerk, but grateful that I changed.

Dr. Mark said...

And I didn't even look at your list once while I was writing mine. We're so meant for each other! :)

Jimmy, I hear you on the positive attitude. I've noticed for myself that it is really easy to get a bit critical of others and it really does undermine anything I'm trying to do in my own life. Thanks for the reminder!

Emily Foley said...

I commented twice yesterday and it's not here! What the?

Okay so one thing I said was that I also like words. When I was a freshman at BYU I loved playing with the dorm phones, and I got really good at using them. I would record a message--every day--that started with me yelling "INCREASE YOUR WORD POWER!" followed by a new word and its definition and the encouragement to try to use it in a sentence today. Then I would send it to EVERYBODY I knew. So embarrassing. I can't believe I had friends. That being said, I also believe in Occam's razor, the simplest solution being the best. Sometimes (especially in the Brandon Mull books I've been reading with Isaac lately), big words just aren't necessary, especially when a smaller word is just as effective and more widely known. Just my opinion, obviously.

I love summer.

I also like health. My back and kidneys have been KILLING me lately and I'm so glad that most of the time that's not the case.

I like pencils too! And my handwriting is usually better also, only with a mechanical pencil not a regular one. Weird.

I love books!

And humor. My most favorite thing of all. I might not have met Dave otherwise! His roommate Morgan was crazy funny and he was my first friend in that apartment. I loved hanging out with him, he could always make me laugh. I think it might be true that only the good die young.

Anonymous said...


You are an awesome mom. I mean AWESOME. You are inspiring. I was just thinking yesterday about how great your kids are and how sometimes I even forget they are kids. Day after day I ask myself, how did Stacy teach her kids to...(respect others so well; be kind to younger kids; always ask others to join in...)

Pencils are fabulous. I also have better handwriting when I use a pencil. I do have to confess, I prefer mechanical pencils, but I do not like how small the erasers are on mechanical pencils.

So funny, the feeling clean item. I remember many times when my mom and I were working on something (cleaning up the yard, painting, moving, etc.) and she would get out of the shower and say, "Isn't it great to be able to get clean. Imagine being a pioneer and not having a warm shower and clean clothes." She's so right. If I don't get two showers a day, I feel grungy.

Anonymous said...


I can just see you and Thing 2 playing Mario Kart together!

Adventurous eaters--not in this house! I so wish I had too many options to choose from.

Laughter is awesome. I just love it when I get together with friends and laugh all night. Even better when I laugh so hard I cry and then can't breathe!

Boquinha said...

Jimmy, those are great. I love quirky things! Also, I love how honest you are. And open. You're just awesome.

Emily, that's so weird that your comments didn't post. HILARIOUS about the dorm phones. So funny. "I can't believe I had friends." LOL! And I agree about big words not always being necessary. Sometimes it just sounds stupid to use a big word where a smaller one would suffice.

I hate that your back is hurting you so much. It sounds awful!

Dave's roommate died? That's so sad! And so young!

72fishes, um, wow. Thank you so much. I am humbled and just shaking my head over your compliment. Wow. Thank you so much. I appreciate it, and yet I feel funny taking much credit. I mean, of course as parents we all do our best to raise good kids, but they're the ones who make their choices that develop their characters, you know? I like to give them the credit. :) Maybe we should call it a team effort? Really, your comment was so nice to read - thank you!

And your mom's comment - yes! I often think about stuff like that or, not to be a total downer, people during the holocaust and how they handled things like that time of the month or being sick or cold and it makes me want to cry. So grateful for modern conveniences and things like hot showers.

I love a good belly laugh. I don't have them as often as I did as a teen, but oh they're so cleansing and therapeutic, especially when accompanied by laughing tears!