30 Days of Gratitude–Day 17

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for my parents. I don’t have a photo of the three of us handy to share. My dad’s name is Robert and my mom is Susan. They’ve been married for 34 years.

They always made sure that I had everything I needed and a lot of the things that I wanted. They came to my sporting events and my school functions. My mom was always very involved with volunteering at my school when I was younger.

It’s really hard to know exactly what to say about your parents because I inevitably talk more about myself than I do about them as individuals. I think a lot of people do that with their parents though. It’s difficult to see them as someone other than your mom or dad. At least it is for me.

I can share some facts about each of them.

My dad played rugby for twenty plus years and has taken up dart ball with a group from his church. They play against other local churches. He’s very into his stats. We talk about baseball and other sports a lot.

My mom loves antiquing and is great at baking. She’s always assigned dessert Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other family gatherings. She’s also really into crafts and making things.

They are both great people and have been great parents to me. They deserve a lot of the credit for how I turned out.

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 11

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for my stepdaughters, Sydney and Sophie.

This photo is a couple of years old, but it’s what I had available.
From left to right: Steve, me, Sydney, Sophie

The above photo is one of my favorites. On a complete and utter whim (after a bit of bourbon) I thought it would be fun to get dressed up and have a photo taken. Our neighbor kindly came over to take a few pictures.

They are truly remarkable young ladies. Completely different from each other. But both a lot of fun. Sydney is a junior in college and Sophie is a junior in high school. They are both really into choir. Sophie even does gigs around town, playing her ukulele and singing.

Movies, books, and TV shows have, I think, done a really bad job with blended families. They portray all of the drama and bad stuff, and sometimes it winds up being all right in the end. That could not be further from my experience. I was completely braced for impact, but from the beginning these young women have welcomed me into their lives.

It’s a lot of fun having them around. Especially for the holidays, though I’m sure it’s stressful for them zipping back and forth to do stuff with both their dad and my family and their mom and her family. But we make it work. For me, I come from a small family, so it’s nice having more people around. Plus, Sydney and Sophie will play and sing a couple of Christmas carols for us (I may have told them that they have to sing for their meal).

It’s difficult to know what else to say because I obviously want to respect their privacy. I’ll leave it at blended families are good and I got lucky by gaining two sweet stepdaughters.

What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 3

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


Today I am thankful for my kitten, Joan Didion.

Joan Didion, 5 months, with her beloved Ratsy

Joan Didion appeared in our front flower bed on the 4th of July. We noticed her as my uncle was headed out. After a long day of celebrating with family and wine, I had the bright idea of feeding her. Steve and I are not cat people. Yet Joan Didion grew on me. She and Steve have their moments.

Joan Didion appeared just as I was beginning my yoga teacher training. I initially viewed taking care of her as an ongoing act of seva, or selfless service, to further my yoga journey.

At that point in time, she was an outdoor cat.

She remained an outdoor cat for a grand total of 5 days.

I am a softy.

Honestly, though, taking her in probably saved her life. She was just 6 weeks old when we found her. It’s advised for kittens to stay with their mothers for 8 weeks. We don’t know what happened with her littermates or parents or former owners. (Lesson: spay and neuter your pets!)

She has a nice life now. Toys, food, clean water, veterinary care, and a bed. She loves playing with Perrier lids. She likes playing with chunks of chicken or ham before devouring them.

She’s been a good friend and companion. Though I’d really appreciate it if she’d stop scratching the blue chair and ottoman!

What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Gratitude–Day 1

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a personal challenge to be more aware of all of my blessings in life, I am writing a post about one of those blessings every day for the 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. Some will be serious. Some will be silly. But they will all mean something to me personally. I invite you to join in, in the comments, in your own writing space, or simply in your head. So often we take for granted how much we have to be thankful for. It’s good to stop, reflect, and remember.


I’m kicking off my 30 Days of Gratitude with words of appreciation for my husband, Steve. We got married in May, after four years of dating. Our entire relationship he has been so supportive of me pursuing my goals, even when those goals have changed into completely different goals.

Yes, I wore a black dress to my wedding. It’s my color.

I wouldn’t be teaching yoga right now without his support and encouragement. He has been so patient with me as I have gone on a bit of a journey to figure out what I want to do in life and how I can do it.

We laugh a lot.

We cook a lot.

We chill a lot.

And we travel whenever we can.

He has helped me find my voice and encouraged me to question things (even more than I already did), which has led to a great increase in personal boundaries and interests.

I never would have jumped off the top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas without him.

What are you thankful for today?