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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Edition!

Thanksgiving Break was wonderful! 
 There was an abundance of food, family, friends, and fun!  Also, sleeping in.  Which means that tomorrow will be a rude awakening...literally!  But every beautiful moment was worth it. I felt gratitude around every turn.  For fellowship and laughing and listening to each other.  For food fit for a king, for the people who put love and time into these meals and for the hours spent lingering around the dining table.  For chilly weather, Christmas lights and a warm fireplace.  For long nights of sleep under extra blankets and no reason to rush in the morning.  
For knowing that even though tomorrow is Monday, Christmas Break is sure to hold some of the same sweet reminders of the goodness in our lives!

I'm also thankful for a walk to the zoo with this kid on Wednesday while our house became Thanksgiving central under the cooking direction of Grandpa Bill and the older girls.  Such a very good day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A week of gratitude!

It's no surprise that I'm behind!  Even though I haven't made time to write I've still been thinking about gratitude all of the time. 

 Here are just a few of the things I've given thanks for over the last week-

My mom-  Yesterday was my mom's birthday!  She's the best.  She's strong and kind and loving and honest and I'm so thankful God gave me to her to raise. She filled me with all of the things I needed to be a happy adult.  She told me I was important and showed me this was true by the time she spent listening and encouraging and showing up.  She told me I was loved just for being me.  She never asked me to be someone else or allowed me to believe that I wasn't acceptable the way God made me.  

This photo was taken last night.  We had lunch earlier in the day when the two of us were looking fresh and awake  but alas we didn't think to take a picture until 9:00pm when the two of us are usually in bed.
Celebrating-  I'm thankful for opportunities to celebrate.  Last night we gathered to celebrate my mom's birthday.  Gordon ordered dinner and 10 of us gathered around our dining room table to celebrate and spend time together.  And it was wonderful.  My mom and Gordon have created a family for us that is kind and inviting and a lot of fun!

Hot Water--  Safe, clean water that flows right into my house is something to be grateful for and that I certainly take for granted all of the time.  But not only do we have safe water we have HOT water at our fingertips.  A hot shower, a hot drink , clean hands-- hot water is something I'm really grateful for. 

My job-  I really love the work I do as the Outreach Program Director for The Gathering.  I find the work very meaningful which is important to me.   My co workers are caring and encouraging and pray for me and the work that I'm involved in and I do the same for them.  There is a lot of power in such a community.

Time away from my job- Even though I love my job it's really nice to know that for the next few days I'm just going to be enjoying time with family.  I'll need to get my laptop out this weekend but for the next three days it will be family time!

The Trump Bump- It seems that certain progressive groups are experiencing a bump in their donations.  This makes me grateful for people who are staying engaged.  I am working to pray daily for President elect Trump and our country and to give him a chance.  But, sheesh this give him a chance stuff hard.  So far I am disappointed (though not a bit surprised) by his actions.  But I am happy to see that we are not being silent.  We are watching carefully and choosing to support groups that we know we will rely on in the coming years.  

Running-  I just got back from a run in the park.  It's cloudy and a little dizzy and about 45 degrees.  Doesn't sound that great, does it?  But IT WAS!  It felt wonderful to move and breathe and spend time with a friend catching up.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 15- Hot Tea

I'm getting excited for the holidays!   They are getting so close and it looks like in just a few days (after a couple of 70 plus degree days) the weather is going to cooperate too.  One thing that I love this time of year and the weather is hot tea.  I still need my coffee in the morning but in the afternoon and evening a cup of hot tea makes me feel cozy and happy.  Tonight Lucy and I are having an old favorite, SleepyTime Tea.  I thought to myself as I brewed it tonight, I think I've been drinking this my whole life.  And then I found this on Google Images which just made me laugh!  Good ol' Sleepytime.

Image result for sleepy time tea
I feel like that bear when I drink this tea!  

                        Image result for sleepy time tea             Image result for sleepy time tea    

                                             Image result for sleepy time tea

Also, there seem to be a lot of varieties of Sleeptime I've never heard of.  Once I tried the Sleepytime Extra.  Bleh.  They can keep the extra!  But the peach and vanilla sound interesting.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14- AAA and Neighbors

Oh, Mondays.  
This particular Monday morning my car had a dead battery.  Someone left a light on 😏 in one of the back rows of the van.  Thankfully we have AAA so I called them right away for a jump.  But I still needed to get Eleanor and Lucy to school.  We are lucky to live close enough to walk to school, though often I'm going straight to work from taking the girls to school so we usually drive.  It's a great walk and many of my neighbors walk nearly every day.  
As I was trying to figure out how to wait for AAA and get the girls to school on time my neighbor walked by with his sons on their way to school.   Thank goodness--a solution!  He gladly walked the girls safely to school and Lucy was thrilled with such an adventure!
Today I'm thankful for all of the safety nets that I have in my life. 
It is not lost on me how privileged I am.

This photo taken this summer on vacation in Michigan. What a trip!  Also feeling especially grateful today for these three literary ladies!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 13- Forest Park

There are many things I love about where we live.  One of my favorite things is the fact that we live close enough that I can walk or run in Forest Park whenever I want.  13 million people visit the park every year making it the 6th most visited urban park in the U.S..  And I'm lucky enough to go whenever I want.  I'm thankful that this morning Steffani and I were able to run/walk 5 miles in the park.  I'm sure I'll be back several times throughout the week.  I'm so grateful to live in a city that values such a place.

I walked past this sign on Friday after taking the kids to school. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 12- 2 days to catch up on!

Today I am thankful for my friends, family and coworkers. That's certainly enough to cover 2 days of gratitude!  They are really the best group of people I could ask to have in my life.  This list, while not exhaustive are some of the qualities of these amazing people:

  • Caring
  • Funny
  • Strong
  • Loving
  • Understanding
  • Faithful
  • Brilliant
  • Justice Minded
  • Good Listeners
  • Generous
  • Happy
  • Empathetic
Over the last few days it's been comforting to know that in my deep pain I am not alone.  We are not a group of whiners, haters, complainers, or otherwise soft folk.  We are strong, we are loving and we will stand together to LOVE one another.  And by one another I mean ALL of God's kingdom.  That is the work, and that is hard work!  Hard, Hard, Hard work.  Which I am not yet up for but I am praying all the time to become the person who can take that on. God gives me love through this amazing group of friends, family and coworkers at every turn.  And I feel a little less disoriented and a little more ready to walk towards the work each and every day.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 10- Music

Today felt better than yesterday.  A good night of sleep has a way of making things feel a little lighter.  Since I'm still off of news and not at all in the mood for my Thanksgiving tunes I had to think of something else to listen to as I drove downtown this morning and back to the office this afternoon.  I needed something loud, something that didn't even begin to make me feel sad and something I knew most of the words to.  
Pearl Jam!  
It was most definitley the right choice!

My heart is still heavy and I've shed a few tears today but I am feeling the fog of disbelief lifting and I'm ready for my work.