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Sunday, November 30, 2014

In November

Tonight I'm particularly thankful for Christmas pajamas.  
I'm thankful that I get to be the momma of these 3 girls.
I'm thankful that our house is warm and our bellies are full and we'll all sleep tight tonight.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

With a broken heart

We've all been waiting for this.  
A palpable sense of anxiety has been present for weeks
throughout our city.
Even though I knew what the announcement would be it didn't stop my tears.  
I've prayed along with so many others that peace would prevail, it did not. 
Mental preparation for this chaos has not stopped my tears either.
I have a lot to say but no words to use.
Instead I'll continue to pray without ceasing for peace and justice.  Once cannot come without the other.

Heavenly Father, I ask your presence to surround
each and every
Police Officer and Fire Fighter as well as his or her family
Fire Starter
Clergy Member
Business Owner
and most especially Lord in your mercy I ask you protect every child.

O come, O come, Emmanuel!
Redeem thy captive Israel
That into exile drear is gone,
Far from the face of God's dear Son.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another week and still thankful

This is a photo of Emma and Eleanor and our friends Amanda and Darryl.  
We met them in August and have been blessed by their friendship ever since.  
Amanda and Darryl are both bakers at Bridge Bread and because of their work at the bakery they are no longer homeless.   
 Knowing Amanda and Darryl and their stories changed our hearts.  It hurt but it also moved us to action.  

Bridge Bread provides jobs to homeless residents of  The Bridge, a shelter in St. Louis.  Through working at the bakery, bakers learn a skill, develop a work history and earn money with which they can use to eventually move out on their own!  
Churches purchase bread from Bridge Bread and then sell the bread to their members. 

 The girls wondered why we couldn't sell Bridge Bread at our church.  
Within a week of finding out about Bridge Bread we met with one of our pastors and were told that while the church was very excited about the possibility of a bread ministry there were all kinds of road blocks.  
These girls were not deterred and we kept pursuing the project.  
It took some patience but we figured out a way to do a Thanksgiving pre-sale of Bridge Bread with help from our kids ministry.
  Do you know what?  
Over the last two weekends the folks at The Gathering bought nearly $3000 worth of Bridge Bread. 
What an incredible experience this has been for our family. 

I am thankful:
for friends who stretch us
for children who believe they are called to service
for a community that will pass out bread samples, collect order forms, count lots of money, double check my spreadsheets, pick up bread and organize all those orders 
for an opportunity that showed my kids that all is takes is a couple of girls believing that they can make a difference to actually make a difference.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Really, I'm still thankful

I'm just behind, which is nothing new!  
So much to be thankful for...

For Aldi reopening after a month long remodel!  
For snow in November.  I LOVE WINTER!
For Gordon.  
We celebrated his 70th birthday last weekend and we all feel lucky to have him in our lives.  He is an amazing example of love.   
For a couple of new easy recipes that had all around rave reviews!
For our fireplace, it makes everything cozier.
For this girl who just hung in there and after so much work became a reader.  In her own time and on her own terms.  
She's been able to read since early in kindergarten but she never liked it.  She struggled with this and this year was determined to read what she wanted and oh. my.  She reads to me in the morning as I'm packing lunches and making breakfast and sometimes I have to stop from making a great big fuss because she doesn't love that.  But if she did, oh! the fuss I'd make.
For a neighbor that brings us fried rice on a Saturday night on her way home from work at her Chinese restaurant.  Just because she knows I love fried rice.
For a great Girls on the Run race! 
It was a beautiful day for a run and I felt inspired by all those strong, hard working, committed girls!  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

For running

I love to run!  And run!  And run!  
I'm grateful for a strong body.  
I'm thankful for a good friend to keep me company and help the miles just click by.
I'm thankful for an amazing community to run around which includes city streets and the best park.
 Plus, I'm so grateful a family who understands my need to get out there!

This is my good friend Laura, who is a self proclaimed non-morning person.  She still gets up at 5:30am and runs with me.  She's a champ.  This picture was taken at about 6:00 one incredibly hot summer morning after we found a spray park on the Wash U Campus.  Early morning temps this week look like they're going to be in the 20s.  Oh boy, no spray park this week!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Grateful still!

Today I'm thankful for Lucy's school and the opportunity to volunteer in her classroom earlier in the week.

One of my biggest concerns about our country is our lack of regard for early childhood education.   We spend so much time and energy lamenting our educational system, tearing down teachers, blaming kids and parents and in general just sort of moving chairs on the deck of the Titanic.  I certainly don't have the answers to all of the problems that plague our schools but I do know that if every child had the opportunity to attend a school of the caliber that Lucy attends, what a wonderful world we'd live in.  Her teachers are knowledgable about people Lucy's age!  They know what to say to make her little mind scoot and turn.  They give her lots of space for safe exploration and time for PLAY!  Lucy loves school and for that I'm so thankful!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Grateful Day 5

Every Wednesday for the next few weeks Emma and I are taking a class together.  Tonight we made a real night if it and had dinner out, just the 2 of us, before the class.    Am I ever thankful for this amazing girl!  Spending time with her makes me laugh and think and feel so deep down to my toes proud of the person she is.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grateful Day 4

It's impossible not to say that today I'm thankful for the right to vote.  What an amazing country I live in that affords me the ability to have a say in our leadership.  I disagree and am disappointed with plenty but that doesn't change the fact that I'm thankful to live in the USA.   

And someday this munchkin will vote!  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Grateful Day 3

Today I'm grateful for funny texts.  
Eleanor identified herself because she was using Kevin's phone.  It was really no mystery since Kevin doesn't use multi colored emojis.  It was a long haircut and color and I enjoyed every minute!  It was nice to be missed though and really nice to come home to hugs and compliments.   So thankful!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grateful Day 2

Today I'm grateful for a pot roast to end a super weekend.
Take this as a sign of a winner weekend.... I've only worn pajamas.  
Though I really love cheering the girls on at their games, no one had a game this weekend.  
It was awesome.
 After a fun Halloween night, I haven't left the house.  
It felt like a reboot and I really needed to be rebooted.
Plus we got an extra hour!  
Bring on the week....right after that pot roast!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Grateful Day 1

It's the first day of my favorite month of the year.  
I love using this month to focus on gratitude and writing my thoughts here is awfully fun. 
 And helpful!  
It's easy to say I'm going to focus on gratefulness and then lose track of the days and end up knee deep in November without much thought to my blessings.  When I make a commitment though to post a few thoughts here I become more focused and I do notice a difference in my spirit.  
So, I'm back for the month!

Today I'm thankful for traditions.  

This is Emma's last year of Elementary school.  Her last year of dressing up for a school party and parade.  She may still dress up with her friends next year and maybe even trick-or-treat but it won't be quite the same. 

 Last night Emma went trick or treating with some friends and their parents in a group that did not include Kevin or me. She slept over at a friends house and sorted her candy there.  Without me picking out the Heath bars and a few peanut butter cups and wondering who on Earth gives out Good and Plenty?  It all happened naturally, the yearly Halloween planning and it made good enough sense.  She was happy and 
 I didn't have any trouble with it until last night when I was going to bed.   I realized that last year, 2013, might have been my last time to do those little Halloween traditions with Emma.  I felt a tiny bit sad and was hit with a wave of...where is the time going?  
I remembered back over so many Halloweens before and felt thankful for the years of Halloween traditions.  

This morning when Emma came home I recounted my little heart ache to her.  She said--I felt the same way.  So I ate a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup in your honor!  
What a girl!