With gratitude - my black piano

Day 11

I've written before about my black piano. That dear piano got a good dusting last evening. It was desperately needed, trust me!

Anyway it has been getting a bit more play time lately. I've been taking time to sit and play more. The holiday season and its wonderful music inspire me a bit more this time of year. Miss A has also been heading to the bench more and more often to plunk/play away. She even asks me occasionally to come and play a duet...ahhhh.

I'm also playing piano for church school again this year. I did this for many years in high school and started again when Miss A began her church school years. It's been a joy to play each morning. First, its a good excuse for me to play on occasion. Second, I feel like I'm contributing something. Third, there are few sounds better than a group of kids ages 3-8 singing, "May God bless you, may God keep you, may God bless and keep you, another year through." They sing that pretty much every week as a second verse to "Happy Birthday to You!" when we recognize all the kiddos who have celebrated their birthday that week.

I'm thankful that I learned to play piano. It has served me very well and provided a means of giving back for which I am very grateful.

With gratitude,

With gratitude - all about the lashes

Day 10

Way behind in blogging but I have been thankful every day! Today its all about mascara. I have tried ALOT of them. Most crumble or flake by noon. Then I happened upon this creation while on vacation awhile ago. I'm sure I kept it longer than it was supposed to be kept, but its finished up and my new tube arrived recently. The simple fact that I reordered means its fantastic! Don't be shocked...its not inexpensive...but actually using it up meant no money wasted trying other formulas.

Thank you Trish McEvoy for creating this wonder in a tube. I'm a bit in love!

Just for fun,


With gratitude - here's to health

Day 9

I find myself lately, more than ever, being thankful for my health and the health of my family. Perhaps it is because I've been following several friends and/or acquaintances who are battling various forms of cancer. Or a recent visit with a friend who shared a bit of what she's been going through. We concluded that if you don't have your health what really do you have?!?!?!! We all take so much for granted each day. Many would be so grateful to have our minor aches and pains. We have little to truly complain about. So I've returned (begrudgingly at first) to an exercise regime. I'm also trying to turn myself into a morning person in an effort to avoid all the excuses I can come up with to NOT get my workout in. This is not an easy task for someone who would much rather stay up til 2 a.m. working on a project or catching up on all things DVR'd!

So today I'm thankful for my health and that of those around me. I'm thankful for friends and/or acquaintances who are responding well to treatments and beginning to heal. Finally, I'm thankful for CaringBridge.org. Thank you for creating a place for families to share their journeys, receive support and prayers and remind us all of how precious life is! 

With gratitude,

With gratitude - ahhh for oolong

Day 8

I should probably be thankful for Diet Coke today but I'm on a mission to kick my habit. Water, water and more water needs to be on the menu. Plus I've been reading about all the health benefits of tea lately. So I have a container of tea in the kitchen which I hope to work my way through. It's a bit of an acquired taste to me so it may take some time (and sugar or honey) but I'll get there.

While at our local Caribou Coffee a couple of weeks ago I decided to try a Pomegranate Vanilla Oolong Latte. It sounds complicated but really its just DELICIOUS!!! My home version is pretty close and involves only steeping the 'sachets' in hot milk and adding a dash of vanilla extract.

Tea + skim milk = a healthier drink alternative for me
Never mind its getting cold in North Dakota so something warm is a little better tasting these days than the old stand-by Diet Coke. So today I'm thankful for a new drink that I love and is much healthier for me than DC. Sorry Coca-Cola!

With gratitude,

With gratitude - a friend's journey

Day 7

Pretend its Monday morning....

The girls are up and eating breakfast. I'm quickly checking my email...for really no good reason, just something I tend to glance at quickly. What I saw was a quick email from a special person who has been patiently waiting on news from Africa. The girls' first dance teacher has been/is Miss Jenny. She has done a fantastic job and is a wonderful teacher. She also happens to be a mom of two lovely ladies herself. Their family of 4 has been patiently awaiting word from Africa letting them know its time to come and get a sweet boy who will soon call their home his. Jenny has blogged about their journey here. As my girls say, "oh, he's so cute!" He is and I can only imagine the homecoming he will receive shortly.

So today (and on Monday..remember we're pretending here!) I'm thankful for all the hoops that were jumped through and all the paperwork completed so these friends can bring another family member home.

With gratitude,


With gratitude - time

Day 6

Today I'm thankful for time. It was the end of daylight savings time today which meant we got to set all the clocks back (I think I've gotten all of them!). Of course most of our household was up bright and early anyway but it meant we could lounge around a little longer before getting ready for church. It was so nice.

The time change had me looking and thinking about clocks today so here are a few visuals. All from Pottery Barn. I love most everything Pottery Barn!

Rustic Wood & Iron Clock
Side-Mounted Station Clock

Grand Hotel Clock
With gratitude,


With gratitude - a tree for fall

Day 5

I follow many blogs. They have become a good thing to scan through as I'm waiting at dance class, speech or after school pick-up. One of my favorites is petitelefant.com. Allison Czarnecki writes in a style I find fun to read. She also likes many of the same things I do, so its interesting. She posted a picture of her gratitude tree and I wanted to share a picture of ours.

This is our first year. I originally saw this idea a few weeks ago on Pinterest (its a really fun virtual bulletin board site that is ADDICTIVE!!!!!).

The girls are both contributing and its been interesting to see what they add to it. I was pleasantly surprised to see Miss A sitting at the island writing a couple of tags this afternoon. She added at least two because as she said, "I forgot to yesterday." We have so much to be thankful for. I'll share our list after Thanksgiving...it should be interesting.

With gratitude,

With gratitude - waves of grain

Day 4

Almost caught up!

Today I'm thankful for 'amber waves of grain'. I took this picture in August as the girls and I were making a quick trip out to visit Mr. M. He was busy combining the wheat. School was almost back in session which meant time together was limited for several reasons. I spent many hours riding with him before the girls came along and there was more time. Now our visits are shorter and the cab more cramped. However, the time is still precious.

The barn is in the yard of Mr. M's aunt and uncle's home which is also where his grandma lived for a time. It's old. The paint is chipped. I think it's beautiful.

The whole scene reminds me of how lucky I am to live where there are beautiful fields, spaces to roam, kind people and generations of families who have made it a special place to raise the next generation.

With gratitude,

With gratitude - my monkeys

Day 3

I'm behind...sorry. I vow to catch up though!

Today I'm thankful for my monkeys. I have two of them and they are beautiful, kind, funny and full of life. I can safely say I've smiled and laughed every one of the last 7 years plus about 5 weeks because of one or both of them.

Thank you girls for making life much more fun and interesting and challenging and occasionally frustrating. Even in the most difficult moments, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

With gratitude,


With gratitude - holiday memories

Day 2

It was just Halloween. Our Can-Can Dancer and Jessie (from Toy Story 2 & 3) had a great time. They traveled the neighborhood with Mr. M and came back with two baskets full of candy and a little excess in a Target bag that also made the trip as "overflow" storage.

Just to clarify, the girls did NOT go trick-or-treating by themselves. They headed across the street just to visit one neighbor, came right back with treats in hand and I watched them the entire time from the front door. I happen to LOVE that they held hands as they headed off. **sigh**

I stayed at our house handing out candy to the ghosts and goblins that visited us. We also enjoyed another tradition which I'm thankful for. All the grandparents and a favorite uncle have been coming in for dinner on Halloween evening the last couple of years. Now that we have a child in school making the trip to visit everyone to trick-or-treat has become challenging. Thankfully they are willing to come to our house on Halloween evening, enjoy dinner together and get a peek at our trick-or-treaters. I hope we can continue this newly formed tradition for years and years to come.

With gratitude,


With gratitude - an annual tradition

Day 1

Well, its been a year since I last blogged about gratitude. Thanksgiving is just around the corner (where exactly has the time gone?!?!?!!!) and I'm ready to be more aware of the Wonderful Between once again. There is much of it if you are just looking and aware of your surroundings. You can look back to read posts from last year if you wish.

Today I'm thankful to be here again this year to do it again. I have even seen a few facebook status updates from friends noting what they are thankful for today. It is so fun to see and inspiring. They all put a smile on my face.

I'm busy thinking of ideas for posts and need to get some pictures downloaded. Stay tuned!!!

In the meantime...join my challenge...what are you thankful for today??? Comment here, change your facebook status, blog about it or just THINK about it. You don't have to make it public knowledge to be affected by the power this challenge will bring to you. Trust me, doing this for a month will change your perspective on the world and you'll notice the challenge following you until next November.

With gratitude,
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