A Guest Spot on “Loving the fifty something” blog!😊

HI Everyone!

First, let me apologize for being behind on your awesome blog posts! I am back now and hope to catch up, but I have to admit that I have been chronically behind for months now! 😳 And, we have three trips scheduled for August! I really hope to read your awesome words soon!

While I was traveling, Sam, from Loving the fifty something, published a guest post featuring me. She was kind enough to include me in her “amazing over 50’s” series! If you have not met Sam yet, she is a amazing over 50 herself! She surfs and mountain bikes and has a fabulous attitude about aging! Check out her blog and connect with an outstanding person!!

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Thank you Sam 🙏!

You can see her write up, (and then follow her blog!) 👇🏻

https://lovingthefiftysomething.com/2018/07/26/amazing-over-50s-guest-post-5/

 

 

Thank You!😊💕

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The beautiful Sophie from Foodzesty, has nominated me for the “Best Pal” award this year!!

Don’t know if you have already voted yet, but I would be honored if you would consider me if you do!

Someone also nominated me as most inspirational! Can you believe that! Another fabulous honor, but I don’t know who it was, so thank you mystery person😊

Have a fabulous weekend everyone, love you all💕!

I am so touched and humbled by this!

growning self blogger award

“The Growing Self Blogger Award has been created to acknowledge and celebrate amazing individuals, in the blogging community, who are persevering through life’s challenges not only to GROW as individuals,  but to reach out and help others GROW as well.” ~Roda

I feel truly blessed to have met so many wonderful individuals through this process called blogging! I had no idea this world even existed a year ago. I started blogging to deal with my personal pain and isolation and found a network of strong, funny, talented, artistic and kind human beings! Many of whom were dealing with life’s struggles just like me.

I never would have dreamed that the friends I have made in the blogosphere would help me in my “real world” relationships as well. I have been more open, more willing to try new things and, dare I say it, more trusting. Actually, I am still working on that last one 🙂

Many bloggers have been generous to me and nominated my blog for awards, and all of those are important to me. I admit, I am way behind! Embarrassingly so! I hope to start catching up soon. But one lovely human, one that I will never be able to put on the back burner, has nominated me for the award that she herself has crafted. Which makes it extra special! If you know Roda, then you understand what I am talking about! Her nomination brought tears to my eyes, so I will begin digging out of the backlog with “The Growing Self Blogger Award”

 

How it works:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank the individual that nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Describe the award and mention the creator: Roda  – Growingself.blog
  • Nominate up to 5 blogs.  Remember, the purpose of this award is to specifically celebrate those individuals that have made a difference in your life or the lives of others.
  • Give at least 1 reason why you nominated each individual.
  • Notify your nominees of the award

Today I would like to nominate:

Sophie from Foodzesty

Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes

Jay from My Truth is Now

Linda from Mainepaperpusher

Sophie- You are my long lost sister from Greece! No, we don’t look alike, I’m sure, as I have red hair, freckles and burn instantly so no one would ever confuse me for a Greek beauty! But, we connected so quickly and strongly from the instant we started messaging. You are so kind and considerate and inspire me to get into the kitchen and try new recipes. We have our mutual love of Rafa to bind us across time zones and you are the first person I think of when a tennis match pops up on my TV. Thank you my dear friend for all the emails and the beautiful post card from Greece!

Monka- I have learned so much from you! Your healthy recipes help me stay on track and fuel my, sometimes, insane workout schedule. I have found new ingredients and tried new techniques which have helped me grow my culinary repertoire. Thank you for putting up with all my questions! One day I will figure out how to get to your cooking site to share those recipes. You are so sweet to take the time to research my queries and help me navigate the blogosphere!

Jay- You are such a sweet man! You inspire me to read more than my usual “goto genres”. I am a creature of habit and will easily fall back on my usual authors. You have made me a better analyst, helping me look beyond the obvious and uncover the many underlying possibilities. I am honored to be a witness to your literary ascent! Please know that I am truly privileged to be a small part of helping you on your way 🙂

Linda-I know, I know, you don’t do awards. I also know that you break the rules when you feel strongly about something. Guess what? Your friendship is so important to me that I am breaking your rule! I am not nominating you to be irritating, but because I feel so strongly about the impact you have made on my life that I am going to talk about you whether you like it or not! So there! We have much in common, and I know if we lived on the same coast we would be fast friends. You inspire me to keep putting myself out there, we both know how easy it is it become isolated. Those of us who are a little too comfortable with alone time can become overlooked, as it were. And, we have the same sense of humor! Your Guest in Jest series is one of my favorite weekly posts! I would give just about anything to spend an afternoon with you drinking coffee, eating cookies and laughing our asses off. Thank you, my friend 🙂

And Roda….The only reason you are not nominated is because you nominated me! I will find you in Colorado, or Seattle, one day. And, hug the stuffing out you 🙂

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The Christmas Tag

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Sophie from food zesty has stepped out of her kitchen and tagged me for this post! Sophie makes wonderful Greek dishes in her kitchen in the Netherlands. Pop over and check out her mouthwatering recipes!

The rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog
  • Add the picture in your blog
  • Copy these rules into your post
  • Add a link to this original post (littlediyprojects.wordpress.com/thechristmastag)
  • Answer the 10 questions (you can add extra Christmas-related questions if you want)
  • Tag at least 3 other bloggers with links to their blogs
  • Have fun!

The Questions:

1. What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
2. What’s your favourite Christmas memory?
3. Are there special traditions your family has for Christmas?
4. What’s your Christmas wish? (Can be personal or general)
5. What’s your favourite Christmas dish?
6. What’s your favourite Christmas decoration?
7. What’s your favourite Christmas song?
8. Where do you usually celebrate Christmas?
9. What does the ‘Christmas Spirit’ mean to you?
10. Who out of anybody in the world would you want to spend your Christmas with?

My Answers:

  1. Holiday baking! This time of year is a great opportunity to bake something new that I have not tried before, and make the old favorites too!
  2. The best memories for me are from when my kids were little. Seeing the excitement in their eyes made all the craziness worth it.
  3. For the last 30 years we have come together for Christmas Eve (usually at my in law’s home) and have a specific dinner. This was set in motion decades ago and has never really changed. Family members have been added (births and marriages) and deleted (divorces) but otherwise, pretty traditional.
  4. I wish that all the people in my life have a wonderful holiday.
  5. The one I have not tried yet!
  6. I have an elaborate decoration that I hang on my door frame every year (except for this year!). I spent several years adding and changing it to get it “just right”.
  7. Anything from the Trans Siberian Orchestra holiday CDs
  8. Washington state, but this year we have a second home so we will see which is better this season!
  9. It is important to be kind all year, but especially during the holidays. I think the Christmas spirit is a focused intent to be particularly tuned into those around us and what our neighbors need.
  10. Always family, especially my kids and hubby. This year we are spreading out the holiday, with three different celebrations in two different states. It is fun to do something new this year and have an adventure or two. 🙂tag

    My Nominees:  My Truth is Now, The Orang-utan librarian, and Once Upon a Hot Flash

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Merry Christmas from the Tilley’s!

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Cheeky Life Lessons

No one says it better than Miriam! Another wonderful post by a special lady 🙂

Out an' About

With all of our dramas and flooding issues at home lately, life’s been a bit full on. But enough’s enough!

We all have our hard times so a big step back is sometimes necessary. Time out from the serious stuff where we can take a few deep breaths and focus on something lighter.

What better way to do that than through the cheeky antics of our pets and the animals that share our world.

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Roda’s December Gift of Gratitude Series

Yesterday my daughter and I went shopping. That, by itself is not so impressive, especially this time of year when everyone is purchasing gifts for the holiday.

What was special about this trip is where we went to spend my money! We headed out to Leavenworth, which is a Bavarian themed town, 2 hours north of our home in Redmond, Washington. It is a special community located in the mountains and they know how to do Christmas right!

The drive took us over the mountain pass into the middle of nowhere, and then all of a sudden this town appears.

 

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It was a clear day, but cold! 34F was the high, and a decent wind was blowing.

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The views are spectacular!

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The main street, which runs through the middle of the town, is in the Bavarian style and decked out in lights, garlands and holiday colors.

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There are shops and plenty of restaurants.

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We strolled along the street, stopping every so often to buy a gift or duck into a store to warm up!

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We had lunch and lots of coffee on this chilly December day.

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We marveled at the gorgeous decorations inside the stores

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Finally, it was time to head home. We grabbed one more cup of coffee and climbed into the car for the 2 hour return trip, and this is where the gratitude part comes in!

An hour into the drive we were stopped on the road. We saw flashing lights about 100 yards ahead of us on the only two lane road out of town. No cars were traveling in either direction and we knew something bad had occurred. More cars came behind us as we waited for the accident to clear, but we didn’t move. An hour passed as we thought that we would be moving “any minute now”.

People around us began to leave their cars and walk over to the scene of the accident, and it was getting darker on this mountain road. I checked the map app on my phone and found that the only detour was to return to the town and head over two other mountain ranges to get back home. A detour that would take 3 hours and 20 minutes.

As a group passed our car, I rolled down the window and they told me it would be at least 4 more hours until the investigation was complete. There was a fatality.

A motorcyclist had lost his or her life that day. My daughter and I processed this differently. She was irritated that we did not leave earlier, assuming that we would have been through the area before the crash. I was not so sure.

As we turned around to begin the three hours detour she continued to be irritated at our misfortune. But I was grateful! What if we had left earlier and were in the accident? What if it was my daughter lying under that tarp?

We had just spent a marvelous day together and the worst that happened to us was that it took 5 hours to get home instead of 2.

But we were home, safe and sound. Eventually she came to the same conclusion and we both felt happy and safe at the end of this day, when another family had a horrible tragedy to process.

IMG_2657Our hearts go out to that family this holiday season.

Merry Christmas 🙂

Join the amazing Roda from Growing Self in her Gift of Gratitude series.

Roda’s December Gift of Gratitude Series

The amazing Roda from Growing Self has started a Gift of Gratitude series. I think this is a wonderful idea and am trying to figure out a way to participate with her on this brilliant quest. It has been too long since I spent time on my blog’s “Gratitude for Attitude” section, and long overdue! I am kicking off this series today by being grateful for time spent with my kids during this holiday season.

My children are young adults with lives of their own and quite busy. I no longer have daily contact with them, so I appreciate when they have a break in their busy lives to hang with old mom!

Our talented son had his senior recital a few nights ago. We were treated to 90 minutes of beautiful classical clarinet music, so proud of him!

I am grateful for his talent, hard work and the fact that he chose a college in our backyard so I can see his performances!

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Yesterday our daughter and I went to a local nursery, which is one of our holiday traditions, and spent the afternoon browsing, and spending my money! We had a marvelous time looking at all the sparkly things!

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I am grateful that I have these wonderful kids in my life and that they still find it enjoyable to hang with mom! Love these two 🙂

Join Roda in her gift of gratitude series! I feel better already 🙂 Thank you Roda!

Half Marathon Training, Week 3 Update!

This is what it has been like to be in Seattle for the past two weeks.

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Sadly, I am not exaggerating! I am also not complaining (well, yes I am) because I know much of the US is under many feet of snow and have had a really tough winter! We in the Pacific Northwest are lucky compared to much of the rest of the nation, but I am not enjoying running in the rain. Tuesday’s 4 miles was cold, windy and wet. I got through it but never did warm up the rest of that day. Thursday was better because we managed to find a dryish window and fit in the 4 miles in-between showers. Saturday was supposed to be the long run for the week. When we got up in the morning, somewhere around 5:30am it was pouring! The forecast was for heavy rain all day. We debated running anyway, but ultimately decided to gamble that Sunday would be better. We went to Vertical World and climbed for our workout while it poured outside. I made some progress on an 5.11a and a couple 5.11b routes, but will need to work on those some more! The good news is that our patience paid off on the run and we got it right!

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The sun and blue sky! Now, it is not warm, not by a long shot!

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The mist took quite a while to burn off

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The steam from my morning coffee was a great indicator of the 35 degree temp!

But, all things considered, we were thrilled to be able to run 6 miles in our winter gear and not end up soaked! Thank you Universe, perhaps spring may come after all! I am grateful for the weather, my health (knock on wood) and being able to share this experience with my husband!

March 2017 Half Marathon Training Schedule
This is a blank and printable March Calendar. Courtesy of WinCalendar.com

February 2017 March 2017 April 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Feb 26

Week 1

  Feb 28

4 miles

1

 

2

3 miles

3

 

4

5 miles

5 week 2

 

6

 

7

3 miles

8

 

9

3 miles

10

 

11

5 miles

12 week 3

13

 

14

4 miles

15

 

16

4 miles

17

 

18

6 miles

19 week 4

 

20

 

21

4 miles

22

 

23

4 miles

24

 

25

6 miles

26 week 5

 

27

 

28

5miles

29

 

30

5miles

31

 

 

Next week is another 4, 4, 6 and I hope to get my times a little faster.

Gratitude for Attitude, Day 21 Update!

gratitudeI decided to not reblog my daily gratitude challenge so that I would avoid filling up your feed with a ton of my personal responses. Instead I am opting for periodic updates, such as this one!

It is day 21 of my 30 day challenge, heading into the homestretch! I have been doing a good job keeping on track but did miss one day when I was posting in other categories. I am still worried about posting while we are in Mexico, I don’t know how my internet will be while we are there, and day #26 will be a long travel day. I will try to finish this challenge!

Day #21

The prompt today is “what song are you grateful for?” Hum, I don’t have a song, but I am grateful for Pandora. When I began running I didn’t listen to music. I used that time to organize my thoughts and sort through feelings, often unpleasant ones, and focused on pounding and purging those sad, hurt and painful emotions out of my consciousness. Honestly, some of my longest and fastest runs were when those emotions were at their strongest, and most agonizing. I always felt better after my workout but, perhaps that was not the best therapy for my mental health. I loaded Pandora onto my phone and found the Def Leppard radio station, along with classic 80’s rock platform (I’m old, remember!) and found that running with music helped me to finish my work out and have a more positive outlook. I still use running to work through the same issues, but now have a way to turn the noise down when it becomes truly difficult. So, I am grateful for the music technology that brings the songs to me on the go!

Day #1

When I woke up this morning the first thing I smell is coffee brewing. Today I was extremely grateful for the odor of fresh brewed coffee made by my husband! He rises early to catch the stock market before it opens (so we are talking 5am in the Pacific Northwest). I am always grateful that he makes a wonderful ,strong pot of coffee for me when I get up!

Day #2

This is a tough one! This is like picking your favorite child (which I don’t recommend doing!). I am grateful for both my cell phone and my computer. My cell phone keeps me connected to my kids and helps me keep track of my life, perhaps I am too dependent on this particular technology.  My computer is invaluable for entertainment, blogging and information.  I am grateful that there are innovative minds out there helping me navigate my world and keeping me connected to all of you!

Day #3

Today’s prompt is “what color are you grateful for today?” For me, this is ocean blue. When I am stressed or upset and need to refocus and calm myself, the image of the ocean waves on a warm sandy beach is my “happy place”.  I don’t live close to the ocean, in fact its about a 3 hour drive with no traffic-and there is always traffic! I am close to many rivers or lakes and find that most bodies of water help to calm me and realigns my attitude. I hope, one day, to live closer to the ocean itself, perhaps a home with an ocean view, that is a dream that makes me happy!

Day # 4

What food am I grateful for? This will sound odd but I am grateful for solid food! I grew up with a genetic anomaly that affected my colon. I really suffered from age 13 until I was 42 and met the doctor that would change my life -no exaggeration here! It took medicine 30 years to catch up to this ailment and I spent the majority of those three decades eating soup, broth and a few other foods that did not hurt! So, today I am grateful for all the spicy, meaty, cheesy goodness that I can partake of like all the rest of the world! And, grateful for a doctor who went into the oh so glamours field of gastroenterology!

Day #5

It’s day five of “Gratitude for Attitude” and January 1st. What sound am I grateful for? Well, I drank and ate a lot last night during New Years eve, so I was awake a good portion of the night trying to sleep but my body was processing my excess indulgence and sleep was not going to happen. I did hear my husband softly breathing next to me which usually irritates me that he can sleep so easily! But, this morning I realize just how much I would miss that sound if he were not there. How many nights have I lay struggling to sleep and found his quite, slow inhale and exhale comforting? Too many to count! The few nights we have been apart, recently for his work travel, have reminded me how hard it would be if he were not there, laying next to me. I am grateful he is in my life, and still here to enjoy the future with me. I am resolving, on this first day of the New Year, to be grateful for is presence, even when he can sleep and I can not!

Day #6

I guess I already spoke about the ocean and what it means to me in day #3-I did not read ahead to today’s prompt which is “What in nature are you grateful for today?” I could easily reiterate how much the ocean and flowing bodies of water mean to me, and that would be a true statement of gratitude! But I guess I will cheat here a bit and include another aspect of nature that makes me happy and fulfilled, and that would be hiking in the woods and rock climbing outdoors. Our son is a rock climbing instructor and hiking and climbing often mean spending time with him. I cherish the time I spend with my husband, daughter and son and being active with them, running, climbing and hiking outdoors and, in nature, feed my soul. I miss this specific outdoor interactions with them, but when I can’t be with those whom I love, I still find peace and happiness when I am alone hiking through the woods, sitting by the ocean or running along the river. I am grateful to have these happy connections to draw from when times are tough!

Day #7

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It’s been a week so far and I have been doing a pretty good job keeping up with the prompts. Some have been really easy, day #2 for example. Others like today: “What memory are you grateful for?” are considerably more challenging. Not because I don’t have any amazing memories, but because I am a parent. Every mother knows that there are so many incredible milestones that you are privileged to witness as your children arrive into adulthood. I am grateful to have lived long enough to be an active participant and have a front row seat to many such achievements. It is too hard to pick just one!

I am blessed with two healthy and talented children and one of the memories I am grateful for was the opportunity to see my daughter win the state gymnastic championship when she was 8 years old (the next four state championships wins were really special too!). The look on her face when they hung the 1st place medal around her neck, after all the hard work and practice she had put in, was one of the most prideful moments my husband and I have shared with her. She beamed for a week! Another close rival for that coveted “grateful memory” award came during my son’s senior year of high school. He is a gifted clarinetist and was a performer in orchestra, the high school symphony and wind ensemble and was the principle clarinet for the Bellevue Youth Symphony here is Washington State. Each of these groups bestow a year-end award to a special musician and is either awarded by the peers or the music director/conductor. I sat in awe as my son’s name was announced at each end of year concert. He had been recognized and honored by every ensemble and was so proud, as were his parents!

These are the moments and memories that I am grateful for today! What are yours?

Day #8

When I first read the “what book are you grateful for?” prompt, I was completely overwhelmed. How could I possibly choose just one book! I started mentally reviewing all the great novels, autobiographies, true crime, mystery series……then it hit me. I am grateful that there are still book stores where I can grab a cup of coffee and spend hours perusing actual books! Not E-readers, nooks or kindles, but actual hard backs and paperback editions. I don’t read on my electronic devices, I want to curl up with an actual book, by the fire with that cup of coffee. I want to use a book mark or highlight a fact or passage that speaks to me. I may be in the minority here, and I am ok with that, what I am not ok with is the loss of choice. When Borders went out of business I was terrified that all other brick and mortar bookstores would follow suit. I try to buy from small businesses and Barnes and Noble as much as possible to do my small part in maintaining my future options. Long live the hardback!

Day #9

Today’s prompt: What place am I grateful for?

I am going with a place that is a composite of every beach scene I have encountered. Its my “happy place”. The space that I envision if I am practicing yoga, meditating or attempting to still my mind. It looks something like this:

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In my mind the waves are making a beautiful, powerful sound, the wind is gently blowing and I can feel the sun on my face.

I am fortunate enough to have travelled to some amazing places and this imagery always comforts me and takes me back to a place where I feel safe, loved and protected.

I am grateful for nature!

 

 

Day #10

I am moving into the middle of the challenge now!

Day 10 asks “What taste are you grateful for today?”The molecular biologist in me automatically goes to the sour, sweet, salty and bitter taste bud options. But I think the intent of this prompt is supposed to be more emotional based, so I will respect the spirit of the question and go with coffee! I came to coffee drinking later in life, around the age of 25, when I was in graduate school. I had and hour and half to two hour drive each way while living in Southern California. I was exhausted and needed some sort of help staying awake while commuting at 4am and working in a demanding doctoral program. So, I had my first cup and I still remember that moment today! It was amazing, the taste, the energy, I thought “now I can get through this!”. Two years into that program I had my first child, 17 months later my second child, 6 months after that I defended my doctoral thesis-and needed coffee the whole time (minus gestation and lactation time of course!). I am still excited to taste that first cup of coffee in the morning and have been back in the Seattle area for the last 20 years- a perfect match!

Day #11

What holiday am I grateful for? They each have their own unique qualities that I enjoy, but I think I will go with Thanksgiving. I really enjoy having the food, family and fun without the pressure to buy presents! We have a very traditional day with all the standard dishes, which are great. But for me the best day is the day after Thanksgiving. I get to lay around in my pjs, watch football (all day) and then eat wonderful leftovers!

Day #12

The texture that I am most grateful for is that of paper. I know, I keep talking about books! I recently was not able to choose the stories and novels that I enjoy the most as I was reading other material. It reminded me of how much I crave and really need that time to connect with a good book. “A good book” as any writing that is important to you! Don’t let others judge or dictated what they deem worthy of your time! It is none of their business what you enjoy reading! I have been made to feel bad about my literary choices to the point of where I would conceal my books and read only when I was alone. It took time for me to realize that this person had no right to make me feel this way, but it’s hard to set aside  harsh judgements from those we love. It is a struggle to this day, but I am grateful that there are still books to hold, read and enjoy!

Day 13#

“What ability am I grateful for today?”I think the timing of this entry is quite apropos as I just finished a three mile run.  Well, more like a three mile hobble! I am running with an injury and was so irritated that I could not go faster or farther today. I was down and discouraged by the slow healing timeline for this nagging damage in my calf. I was feeling worried because I am scheduled to start my half marathon training next month. I grumbled to myself all through my shower about how long this is taking to heal. Then I sat down to look at my daily “gratitude for attitude”prompt and realized that I am grateful to be running at all, or walking for that matter! So many others would love to have the mobility and the opportunity to be healthy enough to even consider entering a half marathon. I should be focusing on what I can do, what my abilities are and as opposed to what they are not! And, this is why I am doing a daily gratitude challenge-so I remember what is truly important!

Day #14

What sight am I grateful for? Our kids are young adults, 22 and 20 years of age. They have school, work, friends and hobbies. They are close, not just in age, but as friends as well. They rock climb with a group of friends, the go to Dairy Queen to eat blizzards and they lead busy lives. The sight I am most grateful for is the rare moment when all four of us are home together, just eating dinner, watching a movie or talking about our day. It is a sight I took for granted when they were younger, because we had plenty of time together back then.  I cherish these moments now that they are so few and far between!

Day #15

I am most grateful of Fall.  I have been a student and professor for my entire life. Fall for me is the start of the year where I am gearing up for classes. Either teaching them, taking them or, when my kids were in K-12, preparing my children for the start of the school year. I know January is linked to renewal and resolutions, but for me, September was that “fresh start”. This was the time when all things were possible, when I was going to be more organized (supposedly) and it meant that a new 9 month list of deadlines, assignments and test schedules began. There is a surge of energy that always will be linked to Fall. And Football is back baby!!

Day #16

Is this a trick question! Who asks a woman what she likes about her body? Well, I am going to go with strength. I am grateful for my body’s mobility and it’s abilities. I have run two half marathons (two more planned next year), rock climbed both indoors and outdoors (I’m climbing at about a 10.d/ 11a/b level inside and much lower grade outside!) and I do yoga regularly. I need  this exercise to survive my everyday life and really feel the absence of endorphins on the days I cannot be active. My knees ache, my left calf spasm all the time, my shoulders pop and crack but I will never give up! I am lucky to be able to do all these activities and truly appreciate my body’s ability to keep up with my mind!

Day #17

Today’s prompt: What knowledge are you grateful for? I recently found myself in the very real possibility of loosing connection with some extremely important people in my life. They have been my family for the last three decades and severing that connection looked like a certainty. You never realize how much time you will have with someone and my time was rapidly running out. I took the time to write a letter to each person letting them know what they have meant to me, my children and my life. I am grateful for the knowledge that  they know how I feel about them moving forward, no matter what happens in the future.

Day #18

My “piece of art” is really the entire genre of classical music. My son studies classical clarinet performance in college, and there were many moments during his k-12 years when my husband and I did not know if our son would even go to college. We are in one of those school districts that are very challenging. Our son does not fit the traditional math, science, reading curriculum. He is artistic and loved classical music and history, which were the subject he excelled and not the subjects covered on standardized tests. He struggled because his gifts were not appreciated in that system. When he discovered classical music his world opened up and his path was revealed. He has blossomed in college where his abilities and talent are appreciated. That was all we wanted for our son, and the art of music made that possible-I am eternaly grateful for that!

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Day #19

The touch I am grateful for is that of the simple, but powerful, hug! I did not grow up with a lot of hugs in my family, we were not a hugging family. I met my husband when I was 19 and he is from a hugging family and all of there family friends were big time huggers. Every holiday, party or small event now required multiple hugs from folks I really didn’t know all that well. They are amazing people, who only meant to be welcoming and I was not uncomfortable, but unaccustomed. It would take years for me to grow to a comfort level with this greeting. Once I did, I realized how kind, warm and comforting this simple contact generates. Once my children were born there was not acclimation period needed! I hug my children all the time and I may not have had that ability if my only exposure had been from my parents. I am grateful to my hugging coaches over the years!

Day #20

Ok, this one is too big for me to answer with just one name. Who in my life am I grateful for? That is not a one name answer! I can take the easy way out and say my children of course, but if it were not for my husband, they would not exist. If my in- laws were difficult people then I may not have married the man who would later give me said children! I am already up to six people! I will say that my family have all contributed to making my life worth living, and the difficult times worth weathering and I am grateful to have each of them in my life!