gratituesday – part 8.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Here, I’ll get us started:

I am grateful that I got off my butt tonight and did my run. It was just a 3-miler but I may have procrastinated all day about doing it, I can’t say for sure. But I DID IT. I felt strong, and I didn’t eat a single bug. Also, I’m grateful that I don’t care how fast I run. That way, I can stop and take pictures for you. You’re welcome.

I am grateful for these roasted garbanzo beans* that John made us. Just sea salt and olive oil. Who knew?

*Disclaimer: I call them garbanzo beans. Do you? Or are they chick peas in your neck of the woods? Inquiring minds just gotta know.

I am grateful for the simple pleasures of summer. Like watching little 5-year-olds skipping stones at the beach. Alright, fine, they were hardly skipping them.

I am grateful for watching little 5-year-olds plunking stones into the water at the beach.

I am grateful that Olivia gets to have this guy as her dad:

Yeah, that one. With the unicorn on his head. I’m grateful I get him, too.

I am grateful that photos of animals or people in mid-blink make them look intoxicated. And just to clarify since my own husband didn’t recognize her in such an embarrassing state, this is OUR actual cat, Abby:

Poor, Abby. She’s gonna be hurtin’ in the morning.

I am grateful for Red Vines. Yes, all you black licorice lovers, I realize that technically it’s not really “licorice” but I’m not here to judge. Also, I’m grateful that Olivia can’t read yet because I’m going to tell you right now that this package was hers and I ate all of it.

Last but not least, I’m grateful for Family Game Night with these characters:

Where we can hear each other’s real laughs, and see each other’s real faces. I savor these moments and try with everything in me not to take one minute of them for granted.

On tonight’s to-do list? Possibly, eat a fudgesicle.

What are you grateful for? I’d love to hear from you!

gratituesday – part 7.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Here, I’ll get us started:

I am grateful that I not only love the day job I have that feeds my belly, but I also have the opportunity and honor to do volunteer work that feeds my soul.

Like the new logo I was asked to design for our sweet little church:

I realize that church isn’t for everyone, but this place sure is for me and my family.

This little church is the real deal.

If we were going to expose Olivia to organized religion, it was absolutely going to be in an open and accepting environment that has love, kindness and respect for others as its top priorities.

We needed to be welcomed into a place of worship that accepts everyone, regardless of where they are in life and who they choose to love and be with.

Our pastor, Dee, is a prominent supporter of marriage equality and she puts her money where her mouth is. She hits the streets with her message, and takes our enthusiastic congregation with her.

This church isn’t trying to be hip and cool with its views on same-sex marriage just to gain a few more followers on Facebook.

It is modest in its message and steadfast in its actions. And I am really grateful to be a part of it.

I am also grateful for this cookie I had today:

I had lunch last week with a friend at the bakery that makes these little gems. They are lavender sugar cookies and I can now confirm that they are awesome.

The funny thing is, I told my friend that I really wanted one but didn’t need it after our big lunch. And then? A week later, John brings this home for me. Just because. And he had no idea I had even been jonesing for one the whole time. He just knows that I love anything lavender, and had a hunch I’d enjoy it.

This is what 20 years will do to you, my friends. It is a beautiful thing.

And? My boobs and I are super grateful to be done with our run for the day. Sure, it might seem a little weird to you that I’m referring to my boobs as my new side-kick, but if you read yesterday’s post, it will make sense.

And if you didn’t? Well, I can just be a little weird and I’m perfectly fine with that.

It was so stinkin’ hot out there. Every single person I passed asked/commented, “Isn’t it too hot to be running?” For which I replied, “Yep. It sure is.”

But, I had a run scheduled and dammit, I’m going to do this. Or else I’m gonna have to change my blog tagline because “confessions of a recovering procrastinator” will no longer cut it.

Last but not least, I am truly grateful that I faced my fears tonight and lived to tell about it.

And I promise to tell you about it. First thing tomorrow.

What are you grateful for? A new toothbrush? Nailing a project at work? Your baby’s first smile? I’d love to hear from you!

gratituesday – part 6.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Here, I’ll get us started:

At the risk of sounding like the most hopeless sap ever (I am, and I’m totally fine with it)
I am so grateful for my amazing husband. And not just because he does a laundry list of things (including the laundry) for us everyday, and loves us in huge ways, but because he does things like this:

Seriously? Is this guy for real? Men, take note: if you want to impress the ladies, learn how to braid. Bonus points for matching the hair bands to the outfit.

And not to be outdone by the mad skills of her dad, I sure am grateful to have my very own personal in-house stylist that goes by “Olivia”:

(All the paparazzi has made her a little camera shy).

In keeping with the personal grooming theme, I am really grateful for this multi-generational mani/pedi session we had on Saturday. Aren’t my people cute?*

*Disclaimer: yes, I am aware that we have a 5-year-old who is getting far too comfortable with salt scrubs and hand massages. Meh, life is short. Let’s (foot)soak it in.

Last but not least, I am really grateful for new friends like Katie at Runs For Cookies who inspire us each day to be better. Push a bit harder. And eat one dessert, instead of three.

This woman is nothing short of amazing.

Last week, she mentioned my wee li’l blog as something she’s been enjoying lately, can you believe it?! I’ll tell you one thing: this newbie felt like a total rock star for 24 solid hours.

In conclusion, I have “Tell you all about the run I FINALLY did today” on the top of my to-do list. For tomorrow.

What are you feeling grateful for? Air conditioning? New shoes? Great friends? I’d love to hear from you!

gratituesday – part 5.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Alright, I’m just going to call it: even as a Pacific Northwest native – born and raised – this so-called-summer weather is gettin’ me down, man.

It’s like the other 50 shades of gray around here, but not nearly as much fun.

Oh sure, I’m grateful for all the Big Ticket Items like my wonderful family, great friends, my health, a roof over my head, my pink polka dot pants, that sort of thing.

But sometimes when Mother Nature dishes up a lot of this:

I’m pretty grateful for a dish of this:

This is quite nearly sorbet perfection, people.

John first bought it for me a couple of months ago when I found myself knee deep in a clear-liquid-only diet. I’d love to keep you all as readers, so I’ll spare you the back story*, but let’s just say this little treat was like a frozen slice of heaven.

*Disclaimer: Yikes! That was totally an unintentional pun. Totally awkward, but I’m leaving it in anyway.

I’ve fallen hook-line-and-sinker for it ever since. Also, I should tell you that this is not a sponsored post. No one from Ciao Bella is aware of the cult following I’m attempting to initiate.

I might even have to start a Facebook fan page. Or at least tweet about it or something.

I should also tell you that if you happen to have any pull whatsoever at this company, even through a distant third cousin, I am not in the business of turning down free ice cream.

In conclusion, “Turn Your Frown Upside Down” has floated to the top of my to-do list.

What are you feeling grateful for? A great work-out? Swimming your kids? Bacon? I’d love to hear from you!

gratituesday – part 4.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Here, I’ll get us started:

I’m grateful for my MacGyver-like skills when it comes to things like foraging for food.

Take today, for instance. We were away for the weekend so we have virtually no food in the house. Everything with any semblance of nutrition was already sent to school with Olivia.

But the parental units need to eat once in awhile, too, and when lunchtime rolled around, our options were dismal.

What’s a girl to do?

That’s right, kick it MacGyver-style and start foraging. I’ll share the recipe with all of you – that’s how much you all mean to me – but please note: explicit written permission is required before the reproduction of this special gem:

The Forager’s Lunch
aka “God Bless The Immune System”

1 handful of the remaining crumbs of tortilla chips/pita crackers/etc. OK, pretty much anything you have on hand that used to resemble a chip or a cracker.*

*Disclaimer: I tried to add some broken pretzel crumbs but John drew a line.

1 can refried beans. If you don’t have refried beans, then use black beans. Or garbanzo. Or rice. Or whatever you have at the back of the pantry with a questionable expiration date.

1 cup of shredded cheddar, mold layer removed. Don’t worry, it comes right off. Plus? Cheese is basically just mold anyway. It adds flavor. If you don’t have cheddar, use any cheese you have on hand. Don’t have cheese? Skip to next ingredient.

¼ cup diced tomatoes from last week’s chili dinner. These do require a sniff-test. If YOU don’t pass (out), then THEY pass the test. It’s as simple as that.

¼ cup diced onion (optional). Ah, the beloved onion. Almost always available in the pantry, adds a ton of flavor, and, lucky for me, lasts just above forever.

Bake at 400 degrees until heated through and cheese is melted. Also, long enough to kill harmful bacteria.

Doesn’t it plate well? Who said this wasn’t a food blog?

It was actually pretty tasty, truth be told. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion tomorrow, which may or may not be written from a hospital bed as I recover from food poisoning.

I’m grateful for this big, bright orb in the sky, trying with all her might to break through the clouds:

If you’re from the Pacific Northwest (aka PNW), or know someone from the PNW, or have ever seen the PNW mentioned on the news, you might know that summertime can be a bit like the elusive blue whale that is really, well, elusive.

No one around here takes the sun for granted, let me tell you. When we have regular weather reports like this:

where only 50% of the week looks promising, we throw caution and sunscreen to the wind and take full advantage of the situation.

Sure, we’ve had our fair share of rain this month, but technically summer doesn’t start for two more days so I guess the joke’s on us. Oh, PNW summertime. You give new meaning to “she runs hot and cold”.

Speaking of summer, I am grateful for the time of year when you can walk outside your front door and be greeted with colorful gifts like this:

We moved into this house last fall, so we completely missed all of nature’s spring and summer splendor. It’s like Christmas in June! Except with more strings attached. You know, with all that business about WATERING and WEEDING.

Nature can be SO demanding sometimes. Sheesh.

Last but certainly not least, I am pretty grateful that this guy:

invented this stuff:

I’m all for taking a holistic approach when I can. I take my vitamins close to regularly, I drink my smoothies. I even use my neti pot (I hope you’re reading this, Mom). And I can just about always shake a cold with a few extra naps and positive thinking.

But when things start to get cozy in the sinuses? All bets are off. I don’t know about you, but “Enjoy a hacking cough” will NEVER be an item on my to-do list.

Sometimes you just gotta call in the Big Guns.

What are you grateful for today? I’d love to hear from you!

gratituesday – part 3.

Because there’s always something to be grateful for. And also, it’s Tuesday.

Here, I’ll get us started:

I’m grateful that in this age of technology, we can still kick it old-school when we need to. Here is my run route for tomorrow. I got in my car. Set the odometer to “0” and drove for 3 miles. Then I turned around and drove back, ending at exactly 6.0 in my driveway.

Also, I’m horrible with directions so I have to write it all down on a notecard and carry it with me.

Yes, they still make “notecards”.

I’m grateful to have a mom that loves me enough to nag me to go see the doctor about my hip. ALL IS WELL, MOM! I AM CLEAR TO BE RUNNING AGAIN! LOVE YOU, MEAN IT!

Also, I am super grateful for this huge stack of trash mags in the waiting room. I never have time to read these anymore and they are a juicy treasure. I almost wish the doctor was running late so I could spend more time with them.

I’m grateful for this little blonde girl who couldn’t keep her eyes off of these online cooking shows. She kept begging to puhleeeease just watch one more! Oh alright, I guess so.

And I’m even more grateful for this homemade, from-scratch cornbread that she made all by her 5-year-old self.*

*Disclaimer: this is not a gourmet cooking blog or a fancy photography blog. Just wanted to make that point clear in case I’ve misled you in any way, shape or form.

I’m grateful that after nearly 20 years, we still behave like hopeless teenagers.

And I’m grateful for after-dinner walks with no set destination. But I’m even more grateful that we (try to always) take the time to slow down and appreciate the unique bond between 5-year-olds and fuzzy, crawly things.

In summary, I sort of feel like crossing that doctor’s appointment off the to-do list was such a big win today, it mostly cancels out the things I didn’t finish.

What are you feeling grateful for? I’d love to hear from you!