Gratitude Week 2018

I’ll be posting just once as we begin our week together.  I’m sending out Gratitude Notes each day and I’ll be posting daily on Instagram, but, here, I’ll post just once.  I encourage you to leave comments and/or links to your own blog posts and/or links to Flickr shots or share on Instagram with #GratitudeWeek2018 on any day of the week! If you share your thoughts and links, we can visit and share your gratitudes with you. xo

There are many, many things to put on a gratitude list.  I find myself, as I sit to write this, wondering where to begin.  And when I find myself wondering such a thing, I know that I need to begin with right now, then flow from there.  And so here I go…

 

For the wind that gusts outside.  For the rustling leaves.  For it being just warm enough to crack the windows so that I can hear the leaves.  For the birch trees, whose leaves are the ones falling and rustling.  For trees and sky and earth.

 

For the freshly-mopped hardwood floor and the way the late afternoon sun makes it glow.  For the pup who’s stretched out upon the floor.  For the comfy couch on which I’ll sit later this evening, and for the people I love who will sit close by.  For the roof over our heads.  For the flannel sheets on our beds.  For comfort and softness and warmth.

 

For my desk where I sit to write this.  For my cameras close by.  For my journals and notebooks, filled.  For my planner, nearly filled as we move toward the close of this calendar year. For pens and pencils and erasers. For memory and dreams and love.

 

For the avocado I ate earlier.  For the glasses of clean, fresh water I’ve drunk all day.  For the comforting dinner we’ll eat in a bit.  For the time to prepare meals and tuck in a little love. For nourishment and contentment and convenience.

 

For the luxury to share in a space like this, with people like you.  For the privilege of living in a country filled with freedoms.  For the relative ease in which I live my life, knowing this isn’t the case for everyone.  For hope and tenderness and understanding.

 

For the things I’ve listed here.  For all the things (and people) not mentioned, but resting in my heart.  For all of that and them and more.

 

Sending so much love today and this week, m

And you?  What are the gratitudes in your heart right now?

 

***
Here’s how you can play along with Gratitude Week:

  1. Share your gratitudes with #GratitudeWeek2018 on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment below and/or link to your own blog post. You can share in this post any or all days.
  3. Send me an email…I love them, I read them, I respond to them.
  4. Reflect privately at home.

Sharing Here and Sharing There

We begin Gratitude Week on Monday and, if you haven’t signed up to receive Gratitude Notes yet, there’s still time.  I’ll be sending out a welcome note on Sunday; we officially begin on Monday. Click here to sign up for the (free) Gratitude Notes.

 

On Monday, I’ll be sharing a gratitude post here and I invite you to use that post as a touchpoint throughout next week.  Share your own gratitudes in the comments section, as well as links to blog posts you might be sharing on your own blogs.  Visit one day, or every day.  I look forward to exploring gratitude with you.

 

In the meantime, I’m pleased to be sharing a photo essay with the wonderful folks at Holstee this month. So instead of reading more here today, I invite you to click over there.

 

I hope you enjoy that read, and I’ll see you back here on Monday…

 

In gratitude for you and
Sending a little love your way, m

 

P.S.  If you like photography and quotes, Barbara and I have a new pairing today.  Have a peek here.

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Are Supporting Me

A few things that have supported me this week…

 

:: lots of walks…the crisp, autumn air (finally!)…the leaves, the breeze

:: meditation

:: lighting candles…at my desk, during meals

:: soup…I am craving soups of all kinds

:: a good, long chat with a good friend…(and we had soup)

:: my daughter made me a ‘Creative Flow’ potion

:: getting to bed on time

:: writing in the morning

:: clipping the hydrangea and bringing it indoors

:: making lemon pancakes for the kids…because making something they love makes me happy

:: sweet potatoes…I’ve been on a bit of a kick

:: a new knitting project

 

What about you?  What felt good for you this week, or lately?
I’d love suggestions for ways we can all support ourselves…

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

***

Have you signed up for Gratitude Week?  I’m eager to share my Gratitude Notes with you.
Click the banner below to sign up.  (psst!  It’s FREE)

:: Dear Thursday ::

Dear Thursday,

 

Thank you for beginning with tea.  Thank you for the words I got down, even though they frustrated me and I finished the writing session feeling not satisfied but antsy and disheartened.  Thank you for the cinnamon rolls I shared with the kids.  Thank you for a bottle of fresh milk to replace the sour one. Thank you for leftover udon soup. Thank you for the difficult book I’m reading with my daughter which is creating opportunity for important discussions. Thank you for the man who teaches my son guitar and the woman who teaches my daughter violin.  Thank you for the cookbook I love and the fact that I’ve been able to renew it twice now at the library.  Thank you for the pork ragu which cooked slowly in the oven. Thank you for the afternoon rain which calmed my antsy state.  Thank you for the flickering candle and the twinkle lights on the deck out back.  Thank you for the rumbling thunder late in the day. Thank you for my family (nuclear and of origin and the friend one grown over the years).  Thank you for being exactly what you were, even though you felt hard and a little bit off.  I didn’t like the first half of you, but there was a reconciliation, a shift, an embrace.  So thank you, Thursday…thank you for being exactly what you were.

 

 

What was your Thursday like?  Share in the comments below, or jot down your memories in a journal or notebook.  Sometimes it’s nice to look back as we begin to move forward.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

 

P.S. Links above are not affiliate.  I’m just sharing because they’re books I like, and you might too.

***

I hope you’re planning to join us for Gratitude Week.  Click banner below…

Bits of Gratitude {and Gratitude Week}

This morning, it’s the second cup of tea and the roasting peaches in the oven and the patched jeans.  It’s the birch trees out my window that blow in the breeze and show hints of autumnal yellow.  It’s the shuffling of my kids in the other room, the clearing of her throat.  It’s the whir of the washing machine.

 

Yesterday, it was working on a literature essay with my daughter and talking Physics (well, listening on my part) with my son.  It was the long walk in the morning and the Pilates that followed.  It was the sausage sandwiches for dinner.  It was the quick rain shower which cleared in time for my son’s soccer practice.

 

Tomorrow, well, I don’t know what tomorrow will hold but I know there will be bits to tuck into my heart. Every day there are bits to tuck.  Bits to acknowledge and hold tenderly.  Bits of this and that…bits of gratitude.

 

For several years now, I’ve hosted an annual Gratitude Week.  It’s almost time again.  You can read full details on the special page I’ve created (click the image below) but, in a nutshell, we’ll be holding gratitude at the forefront of our minds (our hearts) for that week.  Together.  The community aspect – whether you’re joining online, or playing quietly at home – is my favorite part.  Knowing we’re all walking that week with a greater awareness comforts and inspires me.  I love Gratitude Week.

 

As always, it’s FREE.  Each day, I’ll be sending Gratitude Notes…a simple reflection on gratitude for you to read as you begin your day, or as you pause somewhere in the middle, or as you wind down.  Wherever and however feels right for you.  Please join me and us…

 

 

Here’s a peek at what was shared in this space for last year’s Gratitude Week.  And, if you’d like to see one of the Gratitude Notes I sent last year, click right here.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

P.S. If you’d like an image to share on your blog or social media, here you go:

 

 

***

:: Dear Thursday ::

Dear Thursday,

Thank you for beginning with coffee.  Thank you for the time to drink that coffee curled up under a warm blanket with a good book, before everyone else woke up.  Thank you for being another day that I got to be home with my kids, guiding them in their homeschool work.  Thank you for that green smoothie. Thank you for the sunshine, especially the sun that shone on my desk and painted a pretty picture. Thank you for the antibiotics that are knocking out my sinus infection.  Thank you for grey, fleecey pants.  Thank you for Pilates. Thank you for a hot shower.  Thank you for music. Thank you for multiple glasses of clean, fresh water.  Thank you for emails from wonderful people.  Thank you for Instagram, even though some days it’s a struggle.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to practice patience and active listening.  Thank you for leftovers for dinner.  Thank you for being a day like so many other days, but still being new and different and full of tiny blessings.

 

What was your Thursday like?  Share in the comments below, or jot down your memories in a journal or notebook.  Sometimes it’s nice to look back as we begin to move forward.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

 

p.s. this post contains an affiliate link, which is no big deal; it’s just something I have to mention.  You can read more here.

On Feeling Alive

Last week I finally put the garden to bed.  It was a crisp and windy day, sunny and a little bit glorious.  The raspberry bushes scraped my hands; I didn’t mind. It felt good to be outside.  It felt good to be tackling a job I’d been avoiding.  It felt good (truly) to be alive.

The kids had friends over and they were playing soccer, they were laughing, they were alive.

Later, we had pizza.  And a bonfire.  The kids moved between house and fireside.  I sat by the fire as long as possible.  Until it was time for friends to say goodbye.  Until it was time to put the last dishes into the dishwasher. Until it was time to lay my slightly smoke-scented head on the pillow.  It had all felt so good.

That’s the kind of day I love.  A day where things get done and things are enjoyed.  A day lacking demarcation. A day where moments flow one into the next.  A day replete with simple living.

That was a day where the only markers were meals shared and a moment when I stood beside the hydrangea bush.  That moment when I stared at the blooms.  Just the week before they’d been pink!  And now, with color faded, they begged stillness for a minute (maybe it was two?).  And so I stood, then I stooped.  To look closer.  I think I whispered a prayer of gratitude (I hope I whispered a prayer of gratitude).  To the hydrangea.  To the crisp, windy, and glorious day.  To life.  This life that isn’t always easy, but which is pretty glorious.

I clipped a few of the dried and faded hydrangea blooms.  Brought them inside, and set them on the windowsill in our family room.  They are a reminder of how a day can be, how a life might be.

I’m so very fortunate.  And, if you’re reading these words, you’re fortunate too. What do we do with that…that being fortunate?  I’m not sure, except this: embrace your fortune, and be alive.  Count your gratitudes.  Every now and then, allow yourself to pause and stand beside a hydrangea bush.  Spend an extra ten minutes sharing conversation with someone who needs to be heard. Spoon food onto the plate of another.  And say thank you.  To the hydrangea, to the people who pepper your life, to technology which allows you to be here with me right now, to the pillow on which you rest your head each night.  Say thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Then say thank you again.  And feel alive.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

P.S. For those of you in the United States, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving (a day late, I know)!  For those of you elsewhere in this great world of ours,  I wish you the same.  Because, really, a day dedicated to counting blessings? That’s one we can all enjoy.

*****

I’m putting the finishing touches on my special run of Just Five Things.  It’s a mini edition which I’m calling Grounding for the Holidays.  We’ll gather for just five short days.  Five meaningful days of intention.  Would you like to join us? Click right here.  xo

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Gratitude Week 2017 {Thank You}

I’ll be posting just once as we begin our week together.  I’m sending out Gratitude Notes each day and I’ll be posting daily on Instagram, but here I’ll post just once.  I encourage you to leave comments and/or links to your own blog posts and/or links to Flickr shots or Instagram shots on any day of the week! If you share your thoughts and links, we can visit and share your gratitudes with you. xo

In no particular order…

 

My morning tea.  Or coffee, depending on my mood.  For the warmth of the mug in my hand as I hold it.  For the swirls of steam.  For the ritual of making this warm drink.  For the ritual of drinking this warm drink.  Every day.  Thank you.

 

For my two children and husband.  For the lessons they teach me.  For the love they give me.  For the family that we are.  Thank you.

 

For a strong body that walks and runs and stretches.  For a mind that questions and dreams and stretches.  For a heart that loves and believes and stretches.  Thank you.

 

For the birch trees in our yard.  Especially the three outside my window.  Thank you.

 

For eating lunch with my kids pretty much every day.  For the homeschooling lifestyle which affords such delicious time together.  Thank you.

 

For my grey sweater.  For my slippers.  For my patched jeans.  For my favorite boots.  Thank you.

 

For coffee cake and pumpkin pie and no-knead bread.  For pancakes and green smoothies and homemade pizza.  For my fellow humans who are connected (at any point) to the food which eventually reaches my belly.  Thank you.

 

For books.  For comfy pajamas.  For soft sheets.  For all three of those together at the end of every day.  Thank you.

 

For the things I’ve listed here.  For the things (and people) not listed here, but resting in my heart.  For all of that and them and more.  Thank you.

 

Sending so much love today and this week, m

And you?  What are the gratitudes in your heart right now?

 

*****
Here’s how you can play along with Gratitude Week:

  1. Share your gratitudes with #GratitudeWeek2017 on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment below and/or link to your own blog post. You can share in this post any or all days.
  3. Send me an email…I love them, I read them, I respond to them.
  4. Reflect privately at home.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

:: Noticing the Moments ::

 

Taking some time to reflect upon my week…

:: the birch leaves turning, falling…days alternating between warm and cool

:: green smoothies

:: an unexpected package in the mail…a gift (a treasure) from a dear, dear friend (who’s also a treasure)

:: the lima bean plant she grew as part of a science project…it needs transplanting but I can’t seem to take it from the blue plastic cup quite yet

:: the four of us working on a puzzle after dinner

:: rain…and twinkle lights…and hot tea

:: an umbrella walk…I love that she still calls them that

:: a candle burning on our kitchen table…for every dinner…and most breakfasts and lunches too

:: laundry…which, mostly, I don’t mind doing

:: new recipes from this this book…Wednesday night it was the Pork Tenderloin with Dijon-Cider Glaze, which my husband and I liked, though the kids wished for the “old” pork tenderloin (sigh)…I’ve also tried Sweet Korean Lentils and General Tso’s Chicken (very yummy)

:: time spent on Gratitude Notes for upcoming Gratitude Week 2017…I hope you’ll join me and us…click here for details…it’s free!

And, really, there was so much more.
How has your week been?  What are some things you noticed, felt, experienced?  I’d love to hear.  Tell me and us below…

 

sending a little love your way, m

 

SaveSave

The Cantaloupe Was Delicious

Last week’s piece resonated with many of you, and I’m glad for that.  There were comments in this space, emails in my inbox, shares on the wider web.  Thank you for being here, for sharing this journey with me.

As I think about the delicacies that run through our human experience on this Earth, I have found myself keenly aware of small delights in recent days.  They feel heightened somehow.  They are small things (as you’ll see), and yet they feel so full.

This is the practice, always.  The noticing, the slowing, the sinking in….or at least trying to do this.  Some days it’s easier than others, so it’s nice when the bits noticed feel extra full.  Which is exactly how they’ve felt recently.  I’ve not buried my head in the sand, but have instead made the time to wiggle my toes in its warmth.

There was blueberry pound cake baked twice in one week (though I’ve opted to call it blueberry bread, because it sounds healthier (don’t you think?!).  There was news that family and friends are safe.  There was (and still is) the autumn sedum doing its autumnal show and the bees attending its performance.  There was spent time with some of my favorite people.  There was cantaloupe harvested from the garden that was actually delicious (this is a first for us, folks).  There were shadows and patches of light.  There were long-sleeved shirts needed on early morning walks.  There was watercolor painting with my daughter, and conversation with my son and his friends.  There was the story of a friend who experienced great kindness from a stranger; the story brought tears to my eyes.  There was a Monday and a Tuesday and a Wednesday and a Thursday and, now, a Friday.

And that last part?  The Monday, the Tuesday, the Wednesday, the Thursday, the Friday?  That, really, is no small thing.  No small thing indeed.

 

 

sending a little love your way, m

 

***
Here’s your last reminder to sign up for Just Five Things.  There are only a few spots left!  Click here.