Friday, November 27, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 28

picture courtesy of

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Yahoo!!!! I did it! I made it! Party for meeeeee!!!!

Twenty-eight days to a new habit of forming an attitude of gratitude! Whew! Today I am grateful for achieving my goal. I am also grateful that the 28 days are up! Now I have more freedom in my posting.

There has definitely been a shift in my psyche during this little exercise. I often stop and realize how much I have to be grateful for. Don't worry, I'm not kidding myself with thinking I'm an ultra enlightened human being or anything (although I like to think I'm on my way). I still have bad days, negative thoughts and "woe is me" moments, but I also have created a habit of looking at all I have to be grateful for. The more gratitude is practiced, the more it will be second nature and will replace the negative.

How awesome that the exercise came to a close the day after Thanksgiving. Serendipity baby! Completely unplanned.

How about you? Did anyone follow along? Did anyone take on the challenge? Have you created an attitude of gratitude? What are you grateful for?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 27

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

I am very grateful for the wonderful meal we shared with family at my husband's cousin's house. I am thankful for safe drives, warm houses, good conversation and pie! We had a pie extravaganza after dinner. There was a pumpkin cheesecake, apple pie, sugar cream pie and pumpkin pie. I actually made mine completely from scratch this year. It was a first and it was a beautiful thing! Tasty pies following a tasty dinner! Thanks Jennifer for cooking a fabulous bird.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 26

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

  • five loads of laundry clean, dry, folded
  • one homemade pumpkin pie
  • one autumn spinach apple salad
  • one batch chocolate chip cookies
  • one picnic lunch complete with basket & blanket
  • two loads of dishes
  • one supper of enchilladas
  • one clean kitchen
  • one swept floor
  • six errands ran
  • eight e-mails sent
  • four kids showered, fed, happy, ready for bed
Whew! I'm exhausted and my body is aching. I am grateful for a full day of numerous accomplishments and I am ever so grateful that there is no school tomorrow so I have a chance of sleeping past 6am. Woo Hoo!!!
I'm off to kick my legs up in the recliner and slap in a movie. I Love Netflix!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 25

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

The weather today was chilly and full of drizzle. My bones and muscles fought me the entire day. I am typing this at around 10:30 pm on my way to bed. My throat is hurting and I am exhausted. I should know better than to stand outdoors for two hours in crummy weather tempting a fibro flare to rear it's ugly head. Today, the payoff was worth it.

I had an assignment to cover an archaeological dig in my area. Second born has dreams of becoming an archaeologist when he grows up so I asked for permission to bring him to the site and permission was granted. The men in charge of the dig were incredibly gracious, informative and just plain nice people.

After the dig my son and I traveled to the site of an old abandoned motel site. It consists of a main building and many small stand alone rooms that used to be for rent. It was abandoned many decades ago and is now a site of structural skeletons. It was fun to explore and imagine the stories of the property.

I am very grateful for an incredibly fun and educational day spent with my second born.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 23 & 24

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

I am posting this the morning of the 23rd due to a computer (er... teenager glich). Yesterday's gratitude was of warm weather, a relaxing day and a Packer Win!!!

Last night I was not able to post due to a computer malfunction. I sat down to my computer and the whole thing looked like an X-ray or something. It was quite freaky. Husband always says to "turn it off and back on and it will fix itself". His old standby. It didn't work.

This morning I was going to take it in to have it repaired hoping they would get it back in time for an article deadline I have looming. Teenager wants to see what's going on with it so I turn it on and he holds down (control+option+command) with his left hand while hitting the "8" key with his right. Voila! Problem solved.

"What the heck was that?" I say.

"Oh, that makes it so the colors are all inverted. Cool, huh?" says teen.

"Yeah, real cool. Don't do it again!" my response while laughing a nervous laugh of relief that my computer is not about to blow up.


Today I am grateful my computer is working properly, I am grateful for a healthy, curious son, and I am very grateful for my sense of humor. ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 22

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Today was rather exhausting for me. I had an early Thanksgiving dinner so my step-father could celebrate. He will be having a chemo treatment on Monday and knows he will be ill on Thanksgiving. We wanted to make sure he was able to enjoy the holiday so we gladly celebrated early.
Last night was another sleepless night in a long line of sleepless nights. The new kitten I adopted has been more than a handful. He has behavioral issues, digestive issues and we just finished with some health issues. I have not been getting much sleep due to dealing with him. I woke up this morning crabby, emotional and irritated. I cried my way through the morning and fought off the shakes.
I would like to take a moment to shout my gratitude today as hard days make the good all that much better! I AM GRATEFUL!!!!! for my loving family, for the progress of my step-father's chemo, for Thanksgiving dinner, and for SLEEP!!!! which I intend to get more than my share of this evening. Sleep. Don't cat's make it look so easy?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Days 20 & 21

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Here I am a mere three days away from my goal of 28 days of gratitude. It is interesting how the universe has provided me with continual reminders of my journey. I have been running across gratitude postings among some of my favorite blogs and my awesome mama friends on Cafemom have been posting their gratitude's as well. I guess it only seems fitting that I will be finishing my month of habit forming gratitude attitude creating right before Thanksgiving. The Powers That Be must have planned that one. I'm much too busy to have thought my plan through so thoroughly!

Yesterday was a very busy day and my body was retaliating from all the work I put it through. I gave myself the evening off to relax for a bit and fear the relaxation worked a wee too well as I fell asleep before having a chance to post! I am grateful for the relaxation and for the fact that I have come very far in my "growth as a human being" process and can easily forgive myself. ;) Positive self-talk is a very good thing.

Today was spent running errands (grateful for all I achieved), talking with friends and neighbors (grateful for the presence of every one of them in my life), and walking a wooded path with my family (eternally grateful for my little clan). The weather has been beautiful (grateful for that) and my mood has been matching (everyone is grateful for that!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Days 17,18,19

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Whew! What a long couple of days! My internet provider was having some major issues and I was not able to connect. I kept true to my commitment and took some time each day to think of all that I am grateful for. Today, at this very moment, I am extremely grateful for my working internet connection!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 16

Wow! Look what I found today!!! (click on the link and share in the journey) I Am Thankful

The last few weeks have been really trying for me. Lots of sadness, stress and trying times. How wonderful that I started this Gratitude challenge for myself right when I need it most. I am grateful the universe keeps sending me reminders of keeping a Gratitude Attitude. I have run across many articles, blogs and websites with gratitude as a topic since starting this journey. The universe does provide and what you think of does attract.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 15

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

I was at the craft store today. As I was heading back to my vehicle, I passed a small sheet of notebook paper on the ground in the parking lot. So often I pass something that piques my curiosity and I continue on, wishing I would have picked it up, wondering of the story it contained, it's origins and how it ended up where it did.

Today was no different than any other. I was walking, I spotted the note and I passed it. It was apparent it had been there for some time as it was faded and well traveled upon. I continued on as I did not want to seem odd to others picking up some random piece of another shopper's litter.

Was it a shopping list? Perhaps a note declaring someone's undying love for another? I walked on bothered by the fact that instead of acting on my own spirit and curiosity, I was instead caving to the insecurities of worrying what others might think of me as I picked up the dirty note. Then again, it was litter and why should anyone ever let litter lay?

A conscious choice was made today to turn around, march back the 20 yards I had proceeded and pick up the note. It was so satisfying to go with my heart rather than my ego. I clutched the note and smiled all the way to the car.

As you can see by the scan above, the paper contained directions. Who's directions? Where was the person going? Where did they come from? What was the reason for their travels? Did they ever reach their destination without their carefully planned directions? Or were these directions simply an afterthought of a trip already taken just waiting to be discarded from the floor of the car by a foot rushing out the door?

I love objects that cause one to think and imagine. Would you like to take a stab at the story contained within the note? Leave it in the form of a comment. Turn it into a book. Write it in your journal. Ponder it over coffee.

I have spent time on a magical website in the past that caters to just this sort of find. Care to indulge in a little fun?

I am grateful for my bravery of battling ego today. I am grateful for imagination, curiosity and mystery.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 14

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Oh how grateful I am for cottage industry and Mom & Pop shops. I love buying local. I love connecting with my community. I love having a relationship with the people I purchase food and goods from. I appreciate the care they put into all they do. I appreciate the quality. I appreciate their smiling faces. I love the little Amish style dry goods grocery that opened in my area. Sigh...

I love and acknowledge that I am half way through my 28 days to an attitude of gratitude!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 13

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

I am extremely grateful for my sisterhood of awesome women on Cafemom!!!! You know who you are ladies! You have been such a lifeline for me. We have cried together and celebrated together. You are supportive, loving, beautiful, amazing women. I am so eternally grateful that I found all of you when I did. You have helped me to grow as a person and always for the better. Hugs and Kisses to all of you. I love you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 12

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

The first major piece of furniture my husband and I invested a decent amount of money in was the dining room table. We both know the importance of eating at least one meal a day as a family. The quality of time spent sharing, discussing, and nourishing our bodies is irreplaceable in our book. We knew it was an investment in our family, not just as a piece of furniture.

How would we ever have guessed it was also an investment in entertainment. We have game night on the table, entertain family and friends over the table and enjoy the spontaneity and creativity of our children's imaginations at the table. The picture posted above was taken in the summer. My teen was making pancakes one weekend morning and the two little ones happily devoured them decked out in their pj's and swim goggles!

Last night over dinner, we discussed Purple People Eaters. We could not come to a solid conclusion on whether the People Eaters were Purple or if they were of a different color but ate Purple People! Ha! What a fun and silly conversation we found ourselves in without even realizing how silly it really was! I am grateful for my children, their creativity, spontaneity and imaginations. I am grateful they have opened up the magical world of make believe in our home.

Please feel free to share photos and/or stories of spontaneous family moments from your home.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 10 & 11

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)
No time to blog yesterday but plenty of time was spent thinking of all that I am grateful for. I am especially grateful that my evening was spent going out to eat and watching a concert with some good friends. My wonderful, loving and supportive mother had given my man and I four tickets to Tran Siberian Orchestra for an early Christmas present. To steal the words from Borat's mouth, Wowie Wa Woo! (Okay, I cannot believe I just said that!) What a great gift and how desperately we needed a date night! That was my Day 10.

Day 11 (today) was spent rather lazily. I am very happy I have been working on my 28 days to an attitude of gratitude as it has been a pretty hard month or so. Making gratitude part of my daily inner and outer dialog has helped me get through the rough spots. I am grateful for this journal.

The following pictures were taken by me while I was driving. Don't worry folks! I was paying full attention to the road. My camera was in the passenger seat and the kiddos were in the back. I don't even remember where I was headed but I was feeling overwhelmed. My mind tends to get creative when I need a diversion from negativity. The lights of the cars in front of me were such a contrast to the evening sky settling in. I wondered what it would look like in a photo. I reached next to me, picked up the camera and shot without looking through the viewfinder (remember I was driving). I just held it up and shot. When I came home and downloaded the pictures I thought they looked pretty cool! They are also a good representation of how I have been feeling lately.

I am really working hard at allowing self expression into my life. Fear and self-judgment so often puts on the brakes. Even posting these photos is a step as it allows others into my quirky mind and the quirky things I do in life. But is it really quirky? Maybe it's just creativity. Here's a great little video on self-expression. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 9

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

imagine a picture
of a large mirror


It is quite late and I must tuck myself in so I will be short and sweet. I am grateful for you! It means a lot to me that you would take the time to check my page, care what I have to say and some even go so far as to comment and communicate with me. It is such a validation.

Part of the process of establishing an attitude of gratitude is to share. To be thankful is passive but to actually show thanks or give thanks or say thanks is active. There is action behind the emotion. It has an affect on others by spreading the positive feeling. I hope to pass on the gratitude by letting you know how grateful I am for you! (pssst! pass it on!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 8

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

It is 9:30 a.m. and I am already very grateful today. I am grateful I was able to sleep in!!! I am grateful for the sunshine and warm weather forecast for the day as it allows my 14 year old solar powered cat (Hi Farley!!!) to charge up for the day ;)

The presence of the sun and warm temps will also allow me to finish up preparing my home and yard for the cold mid-west winter to come.

Thank you Mother Nature for the gift of this beautiful day!! I will use it wisely.

Gratitude Attitude - Day 7

I am posting day 7 one day late. I did not take the day off from thinking about what I'm grateful for as I do not want to break my 28 day cycle! The day was packed from wake to late bed-time. The first two hours were spent getting kids up, ready and off for the day. I took a shower and readied my self for the busy day ahead. I finished five loads of laundry, did the dishes, cleaned, paid the bills, did a phone interview with a local lady for an article I am writing, ran some errands, spent two hours at the grocery store, came home and spent time with the kids, threw in some pizzas, left the house at 5:30 to volunteer at the concession stand at School Movie Night, came home and spent some time with kids, hubby and friend, got kids ready for bed and hit the sack exhausted.

Here is what I thought about and was grateful for yesterday. It was a low pain day (I have fibromyalsia) and I was grateful for that as it allowed me to accomplish a lot. I was grateful that it was payday which always reminds me how lucky I am he has a decent job that supports his family. I was grateful for movie night as it was a lot of fun, raised money for the school and allowed so many kids and adults to share a fun, family based Friday night.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 6

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

I am so very grateful for my wonderful neighbors. When the sun is shining there are children playing and parents chatting. When the snow buries the sidewalks two feet deep, it is community effort until everyone is out. We have shared rummage sales, borrowed eggs, had heartfelt talks, leaned on each other and laughed together. I have many wonderful neighbors surrounding me that make me feel safe and loved. To show my gratitude I try to be the best neighbor I can whether that be through acts of love with baking, helping with yard work or childcare, or simply telling them how glad I am they are my neighbor. Pictured above is my little princess presenting one of my beautiful neighbors with a gift of homemade coffee cake with fresh fruit. The picture slightly dated but I put it out there in hopes of loving thoughts and prayers sent her way. Her husband has been going through some very serious health issues and almost lost his battle last night. He is stable as of this moment but needs a lot of healing vibes sent out to him.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 5

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Today I am ever so grateful for my teenage son. Yes, I am thankful for a teeager. ;)

He likes to challenge my patience and is a bit moody some days but he is an outstanding young man. He spends most of his time with the family, gets along well with everyone, respects (for the most part) our rules, and is very loving. He does not get into trouble and does well in school. When he has behavior hiccups or grades start slipping, we discuss the issues, figure out what can be changed and he works at improving the situation.

(He likes to pick on his siblings and frustrate his dad but what teen doesn't? And what the heck is up with teens needing so much sleep? Could it be the late night read-a-thons? Riding bikes, playing football and early morning school days? Or is it the freakish growth spurts?)

I am also grateful that I remember what it's like to be a teenager with mood swings, thinking you know everything and the pressures of school. With these memories comes the compassion necessary to properly handle any negative attitudes or behaviors that may arise. It also allows me to realize his need to grow in person, in freedom and in self-expression. I was very young when he was born and we have grown exponentially together. I am so proud of the young man he is becoming.

I am extremely grateful for my loving, talented, healthy, wonderful teenager.

Have a gratitude to post? picture? words? do share!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 4

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Today I am throwing it out there and saying it. I am grateful for my odd sense of humor and my strangely creative mind! :0)

Not everyone that knows me may appreciate these qualities in me. Many who know me may not be fully aware of this side of me as I have kept it somewhat sheltered. If I trust you, you get all of me. If I fear judgment or ridicule, I may keep some of it at bay. The older I get, the more I turn into a healthy, self-expressive, show us what you got kinda gal!


Humor - for some reason I think jokes about flatulence or excrement are hilarious. Yes, you heard me, I'm talking poop and farts. Strange but true. Another true fact? The jokes are funny. The actual act of either grosses me out completely. Not Funny!

Self-expression - I come up with mantras, quotes, little sayings and post them all over my house. Might be some epiphany I had or words of encouragement, even a goofy expression I come up with that makes me laugh. I write them on my shower walls, my bathroom mirror, sticky notes all over my computer or anywhere else in the house I have the hankering to adore. My latest mantra (made by me) is "positive action = positive abundance". The stanza to a song I came up with "happiness is so hard to find when you live your life through someone else's eyes". I don't know how to write music or songs, but I actually came up with the jingle to accompany it. No clue how to write it out!

You have to check out the websites of Keri Smith and Sark. I love them for their fearless acts of self-expression and their passion for helping others open up to their own creative side. My husband needs to spend time with these fine women as he is uber creative (building, carving, drawing, sculpting) but fearful of exposure. That's him below working on his second chainsaw carving. Wow! What a man!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 3

© Chuck Kiesling photography

(28 days to an attitude of gratitude - learn more here)

Today I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with Chunk Kiesling. He was a good, smart, caring man. He was gifted in photography. His Photobucket account shows his talent. Click on the link and spend some time seeing the world through his eyes. You'll be glad you did.

I am thankful for the time we spent conversing at parties, for the laughs he gave me and for the time he took out of his schedule to help me understand my camera a little better. I am also thankful for the positive and supportive words he shared with me about my work.
On Saturday I was given the news that Chunk passed away unexpectedly this past Tuesday.
May he rest in peace.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Gratitude Attitude - Day 2

Today I am thankful for the music that fills my home. It comes in many forms. Children laughing is always music to my ears. The radio or my iTunes can often be found accompanying the mood of the house. Many days I am lucky enough to be able to catch a live concert right in my very own living room!

I am also grateful for a handy and capable husband. For all my nudging (and sometimes downright nagging) to get something done, no matter what speed he works, I truly am thankful for what he is capable of doing for the family. He is currently working on finishing the basement bathroom. Gorgeous!

What about you? What are you grateful for today?
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