Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gratitude Day #19, #20, #21 and #22 2012

Today, on this day of feasting and indulgence, it is not lost on me the number good, actually great things in my life. My absolutely purposeful gush today is not intended to boast or bore but is simply an avenue for grateful expression. If I had my way I’d invite you all to my Thanksgiving table and I’d invite you to share what you are most grateful for. I’m clearly aware of the perceived corniness connected to daily gratitude posts and I’m totally okay with it because at this point my second hand shabby chic table only sits about six at a time…so until the universe provides a way for all of us to sit down together and share, I’m left with good old Facebook to help make a few valuable connections. So. On this, the ultimate day of gratitude, here is what lies inside my cornucopia of blessings.

Last year, at this time our life was very different. Burke had just lost the job that inspired a move to Texas. My job was nothing short of maddening. We were living in a strange place surrounded by frustration and disappointment desperately missing our Salt Lake City lives….the family and friends that comfortably reside in the foothill of the Wasatch Front and all that had lovingly shaped us into the people we had become. Thanks to the generosity of the Rich family we had a chance to spend Thanksgiving at Jacob Lake surrounded by those we love the most. A trip home at a critical time in our life helped us reboot, remember, re-energize, and re-engage with our newly established life in Dallas. I will forever be grateful for the generosity and kindness of those who enabled a much-needed trip home at a critical time of our life. I’ve said it before and I know I will say it again…. I love being a Rich. Marrying Burke Rich was the best decision of my life. Not only did I get a terrific guy, I was gifted a terrific family. Thank you again for accepting me and love us. Thank you for last year and for this year and for all of the years to come. I love being a Rich.

This year, I am so happy to report that after a 365-day orbit around the sun all things in life have significantly improved. Thanks to the kindness of a dear friend Burke has an incredible job that he loves! Work for me not only turned a major corner…but the professional opportunities I have been gifted with have blown my mind. We not only feel more comfortable living in Dallas we have carved out a home, a community, a wonderful group of friends and a collection of surrogate parents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Today, Burke and I prepared a Thanksgiving feast in our new kitchen for my Mom, brother and all of our dearest Dallas friends. The food was so delicious. The conversation was rich and full of laughter. The feeling was…home….our home…we served turkey and all the fixin’ prepared in our kitchen, served on our dishes, at our table to those who have helped our hearts heal and grow and expand in a once foreign place called Dallas, Texas.

As much as I love being a Rich…I equally love being a Robinson. Burke and I spent the last few days unpacking the last few boxes and hanging photos and art in our new place. Cherished memories from my grand parents remind me who I really am and that I’m loved. Photos of my brothers sit on my shelves reminding me of the strength and power and depth found in four of the best men I know. Black and white images from my parents wedding remind me that family ties reach far past the bounds of this life. This week marks twenty years since my father died. Twenty years. I am humbled and reminded and inspired and encouraged and determined and driven and better because of my parents. I am blessed by their example and strength. I’m lucky enough to have my Mom spend a few days with me in Dallas this week and I could not be more grateful for all she has brought into my life.

Today, I am grateful that life offers up both the messy and the divine. I am grateful that I know who I am…and most days, I really like her. I’m grateful for second…and third…and fourth chances to get it right, ask for forgiveness, re-think the plan and try again. I am grateful for the honesty and kindness of friends both new and old. I am grateful for Birdbath. And music. And Dr. Pepper And Nissan Altimas. And crayons. And Clorox. I am grateful for strong women and faithful men who get out of bed each day and fight the good fight….and on…and on….and on….I could and maybe I will continue to record my daily grateful thoughts but I think I find a different forum. In short (ha ha ha), I’m just really grateful for the chance to be me…it’s a pretty good gig and I’m grateful you are part of it.

Gratitude Day #18 2012

Green Tabasco Sauce dribbled on pretty much anything. Rootbeer with pebble ice. Raspberry jam smeared over warm homemade bread. Ice-cold water. Turkey sandwiches with lots of black pepper. Potatoes, pretty much in any form. Homegrown tomatoes, particularly from my favorite gardener Ben Rich. Pineapple. Peaches…I love peaches. And I don't we can ever underestimate the power of a chocolate chip cookie.

Gratitude Day #17 2012

Today, I am grateful for my brilliant and talented nieces and nephews. One of my greatest treasures is to be called “Aunt Lizzy” by fourteen almost fifteen Robinson and six Rich kiddos. Some of them are married grown-up with college experiences, budding careers and babies of their own. Some are living abroad teaching, testifying and testing all that they know to be true. Some a
re wrestling the teenage years with vigor and recognized achievement and success. Some still enjoy fruit snacks, play dates and bedtime stories. These sweet children are forever in my heart and often float through my mind and memory. Love them. Love them all. They are strong. They are very smart. They are kind. They are endlessly talented. And they are mine forever…and I really love that.

Gratitude Day #16 2012

I am grateful for the opportunity to work. My ability to work in a field I love, in a capacity that stretches me daily and with people that inspire me to think differently about kids and creativity and learning is a true blessing in my life. This week, I had the chance to attend the National Guild for Community Arts Education conference held right here in Dallas, Texas. This conference is dedicated to bringing like-minded people together for three days of thinking and sharing and celebrating all things children, community and art. I was inspired, challenged and reminded but not surprised that I have found my tribe.

It is not lost on me that my opportunity at Big Thought is a gift and a blessing. When I moved to Dallas almost two years ago, I thought I would teach the third grade. Little did I know then how different and yet how connected my daily contribution to the world of education would become. This job is stretching me to think in new ways, it is opening my eyes and it is nurturing my soul in ways I did not know I needed. What more could a nerd like me ask for than a wide open (sadly mountain free) space to test out a few ideas about how weaving art and literature and education can improve a students ability to be successful.

Fundamentally, I believe in the importance of building communities where both children and adults feel safe, valued and needed. I believe that access to art and education FOR ALL is right and not a luxury. I believe that the only way to improve our world is through dedicated hard work and creativity. This week and several times throughout the last year, I have somehow found myself sitting at the table with national experts on arts integration, educational policy and community building. I keep wondering how I ended up sitting at the big kids table with my intellectual feet dangling off the chair. I’m not exactly sure how its all happened or even how long this education gig is going to last but I do know that for now it’s really working and I could not be happier.

Gratitude Day #15 2012

Growing up I was a scrambled egg kind of girl. Never really fond of the omelet (due to some painful childhood memories) and hardboiled eggs continue to produce mixed results. Recently, I have discovered that I am most grateful for the powerful protein punch provided by two medium eggs over toast. Simple, classic and sold for a reasonable price in most breakfast joints across this nation. Many happy mornings being with Burke making eggs and toast and I could not be more grateful. I not only love that he makes breakfast but that he know just how I like my eggs…medium…just enough runny egg goo give the toast something to do but not too much runny egg goo to freak a girl out. Today, I’m grateful for eggs and toast.

Gratitude Day #14 2012

Tonight I’m grateful for 14 teenage girls who remind me of what is really important in life and help me keep it real. These bright shining stars are good to the core and they are making me a better version of me.

Gratitude Day #13 2012

Burke. I know he already made it on the list this year but I just can’t help it. He’s just pretty much my favorite person in the whole wide world. 

Gratitude Day #12 2012

Today, I thankful for C.S. Lewis and Zombies. I appreciate and value them equally but for completely different reasons. I am currently listening to C.S. Lewis’ classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and I’ve almost finished World War Z written by Zombie scholar Max Burton. I find both authors profound and prolific and these two books are providing a much needed break from 
the daily grind.

Both texts provide the prefect avenue for mental escapism. Both inspire additional thoughts and speculations. Both detail heroic journeys experienced by ordinary people. Both stories capture an almost unquenchable sense of hunger…one for Turkish Delight (BLECH!) and another Brains (BLECH?). Both books are masterfully coming to life via my IPod (three cheers for audio books) and provide entertainment and companionship in a variety of times and places.

Today, I'm grateful for the power of books and their ability to transport, transform, inspire, remind, provoke, relate, and reward.

Gratitude Day #10 2012

Plain and simple...I am thankful for Saturday. For some time now I have been convinced that we as a society need to reestablish our understanding of a week and change it to include eight days. Five days of respectable labor. One day for grocery shopping, cleaning, and all other life maintenance. One day for pure leisure and rejuvination. And one day for religious worship. Of cou
rse you would be able to shuffle and or eliminate or add other tasks as needed but let's be honest...all would benifit by a consistent threes day weekend. Just think how much more productive you could be if you had the ability to complete all of you intended or desired tasks. Consider this post the begining of my official petition and I invite all who agree with this suggest to leave a comment and I will see what I can do about filing an official claim with the universe to help this motion be put into action.

In the mean time...I will continue to cherrish the sanctity of Saturday and consider it one of my treasured blessings.

Gratitude Day #9 2012

In 1995, after completing my first year of college, I started working at Franklin Covey in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was my first real job as an adult and I worked in an inbound Catalog Sales call center. For my younger friends, far before you could purchase anything you could think of online you had received a catalog in the mail (via the postman) which contained a wide varie
ty of desirable products. If you wanted to purchase such items you had to pick up a wall-mounted telephone, dial a 1-800 number and place your order. Working at Franklin Covey was the perfect college job and the golden handcuffs of the call center world not only offered a nice salary but it provided a strong foundation for my future career in a variety of ways.

So, beyond those pesky 7 habits that regardless of how hard I try I just can’t shake from the inner dialog, today I am grateful for my first real job and for email. I thought about my Franklin Covey days this afternoon while scanning my outlook sent box. In 1995, if I wanted to correspond with someone within my office or somewhere in the country I had to open Word Perfect, type a letter, print the document and then either fax it or send it via snail mail…and then wait days to weeks for a response. There was an entire room full of fax machines and file drawers and an entire full time staff dedicated to sending and receiving documents. HOURS upon HOURS and REAMS upon REAMS of paper were required to exchange simple information. After a few year of “Thank you for calling Franklin Covey, this is Elizabeth, how may I help you?” I moved from the call center to an analyst position requiring me to communicate with our workforce on a consistent basis. Today, as I sifted through my email messages, I remembered with perfect clarity drafting actual memos, printing 200+ copies and then spending about an hour filing the memos into everyone’s respective file folders. Communicating simple information was a chore and a task that consumed so much of my time.

My goal today was to clean out my email inbox and resolve a series of issues in preparation for next week. This afternoon, while searching for an email I sent to a colleague in NYC earlier in the week, I scrolled through my sent box and was instantly transported back to the fax room at Franklin Covey. There are days that I really hate email and feel completely overwhelmed by the number of messages in outlook. But today….I am grateful and pretty much amazed at how email has changed the workplace. The number of email conversations sent and received by a few simple clicks of the mouse on any given day is actually pretty amazing. If while reading this post you are convinced that I need to get out of my office and get a real life, you are probably correct…and don’t worry I’m almost done…but today, after a week full of information exchanged in record time to people in our office, working in our community and through the country I’m really pretty thankful for the ability to send and receive messages almost in real time. Email is both a blessing and a curse…but when I really think about it, email falls into the blessing category far more often than not.

Gratitude Day #8 2012

Tonight, I am grateful for the chance I had, or perhaps I should say took, to make dinner. Probably seems like a simple thing to be grateful for but it felt good to empty my dishwasher, load it again, chop vegetables, boil pasta and enjoy all inside a clean, well lit, modestly spacious kitchen. 

My desire to cook, bake and test out new recipes pretty much came to a halt in our l
ast apartment as our shameful kitchen was just larger than a small hall closet and produced about one square foot of usable counter space. Y U C K! It was a patience building process for sure….and I think I actually failed more times than I didn’t. I love my new kitchen. I love my new space. I love my dishes. I love my cookbooks. I love my brightly colored set of nesting mixing bowls and overall I feel blessed to have the opportunity to cook for those that I love the most.

Gratitude Day #7 2012

I am grateful for the kindness of strangers. So, Burke and I rarely find ourselves with nothing to do on a Wednesday night and so we decided to go see a movie (I know, on a school night!?!?) with some friends. I came from work and Burke came from home and we had a great time. After the movie (Wreck it Ralph…two thumbs up) we parted ways and hea
ded for our cars. It did not take long for me to realize I had misplaced my keys. Like any good wife, I called my husband for help and consequently he got into a fender bender as he turned around to rescue me.

Within a matter of five minutes we had lost a set of keys and dings someone’s car. AWESOME! Here is where the gratitude kicks in…so grateful that nobody was hurt in the accident…so grateful for the kindness and those driving the other car….and their understanding….so grateful for the kind nameless stranger who found my keys in the movie theater and turned them in (could have easily clicked my alarm, located my car and drove away)….so grateful for the helpful police office and insurance agents who did not make us feel foolish…so grateful for humorous, understanding and helpful friends who helped us see the irony of engaging in a car wreck after watching Wreck it Ralph…so so so grateful.

We drove home about an hour after our first attempt in both cars and surrounded by our great friends. Today I am grateful for the kindness provided by those we know well and those we do not know at all.

Gratitude Day #6 2012

Like so many others, today I am grateful for the opportunity to vote. Nothing more and nothing less, I am grateful for this freedom and all who have lived, died and fought to protect it. Not exactly thrilled by either of these national campaigns, the endless bickering, punditry, ads, radio spots and predictions but I am grateful about the process, the potentials, the intentions, 
the energy, and the goodness that I still believe is possible for our country. Without question, I am grateful for the opportunity to cast my vote.

Some may find it interesting that in Texas you vote with a paper ballet and a giant scantron machine. When I arrived at the poling station I was greeted by a friendly senior citizen and instructed to select a ballot, enter a booth, review my choices and use the pen that was provided to cast my vote. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the pen was actually a Sharpie PERMERNANT marker. Coincidence? I think not.

Today, I got to do one of my favorite things….with one of my favorite things….an omen of great things to come….only time will tell.

Gratitude Day #5 2012

If I’ve said it once…I’ve said it a million times….if you are going to write something down make it count and use a SHARPIE. Today, I am grateful for the one and only Sharpie Permanent Marker. Burke and I recently moved to a new apartment in Dallas and in the process of organizing my life loot I located Sharpies in boxes, basket, tote bags, and every purse I own. I have a jar of 
Sharpies on my desk at work and a second jar of colorful Sharpies on my desk at home. I found two Sharpies in the console of my car this morning. You just never know when you are going to need to write something…and really mean it, right?

If ever you were to wonder…I don’t discriminate…I have an impressive collection of the traditional Sharpie marker in fine point, ultra fine point and extreme fine point. Oh, and I continue to marvel at the technological advances of the Sharpie gel highlighters (seriously made graduate school a bearable) and I’m way beyond basic black or even the standard four pack. I mean a girl just needs more than black, blue, green and red in her life, right? We as a nation, actually we as a civilized people need to be able to write with confidence in turquoise, lime green, magenta and peach. Am I right? Or am I, write? However I do draw (no pun intended) the line with the chiseled tip…every girl has standards, right?

You give a kid, a teen or even an adult a Sharpie and writing or drawing something quickly becomes an adventure and not a chore. Endless creative avenues can be found inside one carefully designed writing tool. When it comes right down to it….If you think you are going to make a statement…or even a shopping list….make it bold….be clear….do it in color….and make it last. Love me the Sharpie.

Gratitude Day #4 2012

I identified today’s thankful thought in a cinch…ladies and gentlemen put your hands together for….the grilled cheese sandwich! I am grateful for the creative hungry innovator who came up with this ingenious idea. Bread + Cheese + butter (don’t be a hater) + a hot surface = YUM and comfort all at the same time. 

I believe firmly in the power of grilled cheese. Its transformat
ive characteristics can both reduced hunger and soothed the soul. When coupled with soup (I always prefer tomato) this trusty toasted wonder adds depth and flavor while producing such a satisfying dunk.

When meat and dare I say seasonal vegetables and fancy pants condiments are added this simple sandwich it quickly becomes the upscale menu item known as a Panini. A Panini, with its complex additions and more extravagant cheese selections, could simply be considered the older cooler wiser big brother of the traditional grilled cheese… you know the type…the one you hope to grow up to be like one day. Its younger yet loveable sibling, the open faced grilled cheese, is best made in a toaster oven by my Grandma Parker in her kitchen and when she is wearing a colorful housecoat and string of pearls. However, since this sweet lady has passed and many may not be able to experience this true display of culinary affection, I invite you to reach out to a friend or loved one and try to recreate this exact scenario if you want to experience its true healing and restorative powers.

It’s a perfect combination of crispy bready cheesiness and I’ll gladly pledge my allegiance to grilled cheese any day.

Gratitude Day #3 2012

Today, while cleaning out a few more boxes as part of our move to a new and improved apartment, I found a box of mixed tapes dating back to 1992. I am grateful for mixed tapes...what they meant to a generation, the time they took to create factoring in the caveman like technology that was available at the time, and the powerful messages that were communicated by both giving an
d receiving a mixed tape. I don't have a way to play or listen to any of these historical artifacts of my youth as we don't own a tape player but I just seem to part with them. Long live the Memorex cassette tape and all it stands for! A generation of thirty somethings would not be the same without them.

An interesting side note...I also found the 1994 Taylorsville High School Concert Choir recording of Mozart’s Requiem.... good times.... brought back a flood of memories of a sea full of girls with permed hair wearing hateful purple dresses with tasteless white lace collars.

Long live mixed tapes and Norm Wendell.

Gratitude Day #2 2012

Short and simple. I am grateful for Fridays! Mondays are fresh and new. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are chuck full of projects and tasks and meetings. By the time Thursday arrives I've engaged in positive self talk. But me a was busy and productive and we started playing Pandora around 2:00 p.m.... I checked all but one thing off my list....wrapped up another week...and now happily hanging out in my PJs' with Burke just so very happy to have completed another week. Love me a Friday!

Gratitude Day #1 2012

October 2012 was a serious whopper…a real butt kicker…however, like that little red headed orphan promised…the sun did come out…and in my world that has truly been because I married a really good man. Bottom line is Burke is the best and his love, friendship and support make all of the difference. He has cooked, cleaned, done our laundry, packed all of treasures, moved all of our treasures and unpacked most of our treasures while I have attempted to juggle life and all of its extras. Burke has listened when I needed to vent, fixed when I was broken, clarified when I was clouded and has done it day after day, week after week, month after month. Some seasons are breeze and others are a bit more complicated and I feel blessed to be loved by such a kind person. Today and always I am grateful that he chose me…and the fact that he continues to choose me makes all of the difference.

Gratitude Day #24 2011

Today, I am grateful for the chance I have to enjoy Thanksgiving at Jacob Lake, Arizona with Burke’s family. I love these people! I love this warm and cozy lodge full of people who love to be together. I am grateful for their individual and collective kindness. I am so grateful to be a Rich! Nine turkeys, six large pans of dressing, two heaping pots of mashed potatoes, four giant trays of rolls and I have no idea how many pies will soon feed just shy of 120 family members. I am grateful for a few days to spend tromping through the forest, shooting guns, hunting for Christmas trees, laughing with cousins, and mostly feeling loved by so many. I am grateful to be a Rich!

Gratitude Day #23 2011

Nineteen years ago this week my father died. I have lived more of my life without him than my brief sixteen years when he was alive. I have been thinking about him and the events of that week a lot lately. He fixed my car with a Lego once. He sang in the church choir. He loved to cook the Thanksgiving dinner. I often wonder what my Dad would think or say about my grown up life. What advi
ce, commentary, and counsel would he give? He would love my Burke.

I am grateful for good friends who encircled a confused and frustrated sixteen year old girl whose world instantly changed forever. I am grateful for a Ward family and community who provided the love and support we needed in all of the right ways. I am grate for my extended family that carefully guided, directed and loved us through it. I am grateful for my brothers who love me like no one else can. I am grateful for the strength and courage of my Mom- I am grateful for the knowledge I have about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of Salvation. These concepts and principals serve as the bedrock of my faith. I am grateful for the perspective his death and his has brought to my life. Without question I have been born of goodly parents.

Gratitude Day #22 2011

I am grateful for the vision of a city government who cared enough about the youth of their community to create YouthCity. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to work with so many creative adults and kiddos. My heat skipped a beat when I walked in the door at Liberty Park as a million memories came rushing back. I love Liberty Park this time of year…crunching leaves under
foot, a crispness in the air and a park full of happy kids. It was a perfect afternoon full of hugs and catch-up conversations with kids, parents and co-workers.

I am also grateful for lunch with dear friends who love me – good, bad and ugly. It was a delight to enjoy some favorite foods and share time with my girl friends. It’s a blessing when you can break bread with someone you have not seen in months and you can pick-up right where you left off.

Gratitude Day #21 2011

Feeling so lucky to be in Salt Lake City for a few days. Yesterday we spent some time with Burkes cousins and we continue to think about and pray for Clara Lewis and her sweet family. Graeful for the medical professionals that are providing such great care. We are encouraged by the strength and love of the Taylor family. 

We were also able to have dinner with some of my family and my cup rutneth over. I am grateful for my nephews and nieces who are quickly becoming such amazing adults.

Gratitude Day #20 2011

Grateful for a perfect Saturday in Salt Lake City. Grateful to be able to sleep in and enjoy a lazy morning with my Burke. Grateful for lunch with Burke’s family at Crown Burger (a Salt Lake City institution) – perfect meal with some of my all time favorite people. Grateful to watch my darling nephew dance with joy after watching his first movie on the big screen. Grateful to connect with some of the best people I know over homemade pizza and brownies. It felt good to feel like us again. Cooking for people we love, laughing until it hurt, swapping stories about our lives, careers, marriages and families. Feeling so blessed by the people in my life… who have helped shape my life. Grateful for the time and space to reflect upon what really counts and feel the love and support of so many.

Gratitude Day #19 2011

Grateful for the ending of a full week and the knowledge that a huge project for work is almost finished. Grateful for the long hours and hard work of my staff. Grateful to be able to leave early from work and have enough time to wrap up a few loose ends before Burke and I boarded an airplane for a much needed trip to SLC. Grateful for the kindness of a good friend who drove us to the airport. Mostly grateful for our generous Thanksgiving benefactors who have financed the much needed trip home. A bit overwhelmed by the love we feel for those who contributed funds to ensure we could reconnect with loved ones far and near. Had no idea how much my heart needed a Salt Lake fix until we landed. Grateful we arrived safe and sound. Grateful to see the snow covered mountains and the tree lined streets of my youth. Grateful for a good night rest in a warm bed on Normandie Circle.

Gratitude Day #16 and #17 2011

Grateful for NPR and smart phones - a double whammy. My car radio any every other radio dial that I have had stewardship over has been tuned to NPR for the last 18 years of my life. Steve Inskeep, Renee Montang, Ira Glass, Terry Gross, Robert Siegal, Melissa Block, Neal Conan, Carl Castle, Doug Fabrizio (a SLC favorite) and the sweet squeaky voice of Ms. Diane Rehm ring loudly in my heart and head. These NPR journalists have not just delivered the news-they have been thought provoking teachers and faithful friends. Hearing their consistent voices present, discuss, and debate current events and news topics on my morning commute, throughout the day, and on my way home has helped provide an educated structure to my thoughts and has inspired me to think differently in many ways. Thank you driveway moments, you have helped to secure my place in the news junkie world.

I am equally grateful for smart phones. When I met Burke I had what I thought was a pretty good phone. Little did I know how my world would change with the implementation of a little hand held device. Since I met Burke (4+ years ago) I have owned three Smart Phones. I am often amazed as how fast I can access information, entertainment, and instantly communication by way of my phone. It takes great photos, keeps track of endless amounts of data, serves as a socially acceptable babysitter for a grown woman, and fits so nicely in my hand. This girl is grateful for the ability to access and share information. Tonight I am grateful for the power of public radio and the technology of smart phones.

Gratitude Day #15 2011

Grateful for like minded people. Salads. My sewing machine. Modern medicine. Washing machines. And bedtime.

Gratitude Day #14 2011

Tonight, I am grateful for family and prayer and modern medicine. Thoughts and prayers tonight for Burke's cousin Clara and her two daughters who were hit by a commuter train this afternoon. Grateful for two sweet little girls and their mom who is a fighter. Sending our love to the Lewis, Taylor, and Rich family from Dallas.

Gratitude Day #13 2011

Today, I am grateful for our first annual Friend Thanksgiving dinner in Texas. Last year, Burke and I spent Turkey day just the two of us in our little apartment and it was delightful. This year our table expanded to include a few friends that have quickly become like family and my brother Sam. What a difference a year can make. We realize our feast was a bit early but we will all be in different parts of the country in the next two weeks and wanted to break bread together. Good food + Great friends + Deep laughter = a successful celebration of gratitude. Feeling grateful, full, rested, and rejuvenated and as ready for another week as I ever am.

Gratitude Day #12 2011

Saturdays are truly one of my favorite things. Could use another Saturday tomorrow but I don't want to be greedy. Perfect blend of productivity and relaxation.

Gratitude Day #11 2011

Grateful for freedom and al those who work to maintain it.

Gratitude Day #10 2011

I am grateful for the women in my life. I am a collector of female friends who nourish and enrich my life. I love to find the similarities and differences at each stage of development. I have been blessed to have amazing examples of kindness, strength, compassion, forgiveness, humor, guidance, wisdom and courage from a wide variety of women of all ages and backgrounds. Grateful for five semi-serious semi-silly teen girls who meet monthly to talk about books and life and other random things. Grateful for my sisters-in-law who fight the good fight daily, love the men in my life, and help me feel safe in my own skin. Grateful for the women I have worked with at FranklinCovey, Clayton PTA, YouthCity and Wasatch, and Westminster College-you have helped me become the professional I am today. Grateful for my sweet traveling companions, road trip buddies, and fellow Browning babes. Grateful for my mother and my mother-in-law and for their examples of resiliency, faith and love. Grateful for the YouthCity mom's and daughter's who have allowed me the chance to share a bit of the journey. Grateful for the Dallas 4th Ward Young Women who inspire, uplift, and challenge me in all of the right ways. And to all of the other women who linger in my heart and soul-thank you for simply being you, it has made all of the difference.

Gratitude Day #9 2011

Today, I am grateful for $80 and thirteen good years. We learned today that my car could become drive able again for a mere 80 bucks however the diagnosis is fatal. It appears the positive connection from the alternator to the battery needed to some adjusting - an easy fix for a reasonable fee. However in the process we discovered only 3 of my 4 cylinders are operational and its not providing satisfactory compression AND my alternator is on the fritz. In combination she just won't survive much longer nor will our pocketbooks. We have decided its time to just keep her comfortable until she fades out all together....literally planning on driving her into the ground. She has been a faithful friend for oh so long. Grateful we can share a few more weeks on the open road. Grateful for the nice man at the shop who offered suggestions and then understood our decision. Grateful for $80 and thirteen good years.

Gratitude Day #8 2011

Kind Texans. Tonight, while driving home, just one block away from my house in the hood, my trusty Nissan (topic of a previous day of gratitude) slowly came to a stop right in the middle of an intersection. She just gave out-I think the old girl is getting tired. Lucky Burke and Sam quickly came to my rescue and we placed a call to AAA. Car was pushed through a busy intersection to safety and a tow truck was called-but, not before FIVE kind Texans stopped and offered to help. FIVE different people pulled over and asked how they could be of service within 20 minutes. One nice man even taught me that all cars have a special set of double blinkers than can be activated when in distress. I thanked him for sharing his insight and replied that they were on however since all power to my car was dead they were not working. HOW NICE ARE THESE PEOPLE? Today I am grateful for the kind offers to help by complete strangers. Hazard lights and AAA are pretty awesome as well. Currently taking wagers as to what is wrong with the car and how much I get to spend on repairs. YIPEE!

Gratitude Day #7 2011

NERDS! I am grateful for nerds. The nerdier the better. Married one. Live with another. Been a proud card carrying member of the nerd herd for years. One day I hope a herd of my own little nerdlets will wear glasses and read books under my roof. A girl can dream, right? I am grateful for nerds!

Gratitude Day #6 2011

1. The ever faithful power of a Sunday afternoon nap.
2. All of the people we have met in Dallas that have brought depth and perspective to our life. We feel loved. 
3. A clean kitchen. What is it about starting the week with a clean kitchen? 
4. This quote, "God cares more about our character than our comfort."

Gratitude Day #5 2011

Laughter. Today I am grateful for the ability we have to laugh...and laugh until it hurts. Life have been a bit serious for the last little while and today I laughed until I cried. Thanks to Burke and Sam for helping me remember.

Gratitude Day #4 2011

So grateful for a Friday night complete with homemade pizza and movies. A simple yet rewarding celebration that we survived yet another week.

Gratitude Day #3 2011

Feeling pretty basic today. Grateful for a quality highlighter and the principle of hope. No real connection to speak of. Just impressed by a superior writing tool and the knowledge that things in life continue to evolve and improve with time and years. Feeling confident that all thing seem to work out in the end and normaly far better than I had planned. Like that cheeky red headed orphan belts with pride..."the sun will come out tomorrow"...and I'm pretty happy about that.

Gratitude Day #2 2011

Americorps. In 2002, as a recent college graduate, I wanted to refocus my career path and decided to spend a year as an AmeriCorps member. Hands down one of THE best decisions of my life. Spent a year developing a family literacy program at Redwood Elementary. Was paid the least amount of money for any job I have ever worked but the perspective and resulting professional contacts have be en priceless. I was reminded of that year of my life today as I drove into an improvised neighborhood where Americorps members were working on a Habitat for Humanity rebuild. Grateful for my AmeriCorps year.

Gratitude Day #1 2011

And the month of gratitude begins.....posts of things I am grateful for today trusty 1997 Nissan Altima still drives like a champ. #2 tall cup of cold water at the end of a long day #3. heartfelt conversation with old friend. #4. all staff and kids of YouthCity after-school program in Salt Lake City-you have my heart for always.