Thursday, November 10, 2011

My thoughts on the Penn State scandal

Please read my new post at http://jeanninejersey.blogspot.com about the Penn State scandal. I went to Penn State in the late '90's, and this whole scandal is breaking my heart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Love notes, Gleeks, and Inspiration

New gratitude list posted in http://jeanninejersey.blogspot.com. Thanks for switching over!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A month of Thanksgiving

New gratitude post up in the NEW blog - http://jeanninejersey.blogspot.com - thanks for checking it out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A husband that cleans, baby showers for a friend, and boundaries

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- A husband that cleans the house on a regular basis - with my busy schedule, it wouldn't get done if he didn't do it (and he does a better job that I would anyway!)
- A fun gathering of my favorite ladies yesterday to celebrate a new baby on the way- In-laws that I like to spend time with - they are fun and great cooks!
- A successful celebration of one of my favorite groups last week - great food and fellowship!
- Generous donations for this year's Race for the Cure - y'all know who you are!
- Seeing my friend J make such great progress on his weight loss goal
- Being able to put down boundaries and set aside some time to do "nothing"

Dear God, thank you for the many, many blessings in my life. I would have included more about S - he really is the best husband ever! - but you already know how great he is. I am a lucky lady! Thanks for the time with friends and family, as well - it's nice to be surrounded by so many people that enrich my life. Please look over K as she tries to get healthy, and J-M as she travels to get answers on her cancer treatments. My sister is traveling this week, too - could you keep an eye on her, too? Please help me know what to do with the _____, and help me to stick to my guns with eating right and take care of myself. I hope if I can be of service today, I see the opportunity - if I am going to miss it, please nudge me in the right direction. Amen.

What do YOU feel gratitude for today?

P.S. I am going to start migrating this blog over to http://jeanninejersey.blogspot.com. If you would join me over there, I'd love it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Electricity, November, and Nanowrimo



Yesterday, I noticed that LOTS of people in my Facebook feed were posting what they were grateful for - and it took me until today to figure out what was going on. At first, I thought "Yay! My daily gratitude blog has inspired other people to talk about gratitude....", and then, I realized, "Jeannine - you doofus. It's November. Thanksgiving is this month." Whoops! :)

At any rate, it made my heart happy to see other people expressing thanks for the blessings in their lives. They were grateful for things like being able to go to school to get an education, having a job to pay the bills...or electricity.




Many of my friends back in Connecticut have been without power for days - they had a HUGE snowstorm this past weekend, and it put the power out of commission since Saturday. According to the official reports from Connecticut Light and Power, they won't be able to restore everyone until Sunday, at the earliest. By that point, they will have been without power for EIGHT days.




Think about all of the things you use power for each day: showering, cooking, doing laundry, heating your home, charging your phone, lights for when it gets dark, watching TV, using your computer, and the list goes on. EIGHT DAYS without that? I'd be losing my mind.




So, today, every time I flip a light switch or use something that is powered by electricity, I am going to take a moment to say "thanks, Dude."




Today, I am feel gratitude for:

- Power - see above.

- A husband that is good at ironing - I am terrible at it, and he doesn't mind...thank you, Lord!

- Headset for my phone - taking care of business while I drive, baby!

- Nanowrimo - what a fun new adventure to try to write 50,000 words in 30 days

- Being back on track with eating - Halloween candy is my new nemesis...but it's out of the house now.



Dear God, thank you for the power You bring into my life, both physically and spiritually. I know that I am a lucky lady. Please keep an eye on all of my friend up North that are dealing with having no power. Please grant them comfort, protection and warmth in any way possible. Please continue to watch over my friend M, on her venture, and over my friend L, as well. If I can be of service to You or Your kids in some way, please show me how and give me the tools to be of maximum effectiveness. Finally, please let me let go of the outcome of the _______. I am trying not to be a control freak, but it's kind of kicking my butt. Amen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fun idea for a gratitude journal





I love this idea! What a fun way to keep track of what you are grateful for - EVERY day!


To find out more about this adorable journal, go to: http://iloveitallwithmonikawright.blogspot.com/2010/12/get-ready.html

















Monday, October 31, 2011

Cracker Barrel's Biscuits and Pay Day

Today, I am grateful for:
- Time this afternoon to try to get a little organized before tackling NaNoWriMo - writing a novel in 30 days...sure, I can do that, right?
- Cracker Barrel's biscuits - dear Lord, do I love me some biscuits!
- Lunch with a former co-worker that I already miss a bunch
- Pay day - and juuuuuuuuuuuust in time, too. Phew.
- An awesome short hike with S yesterday - we found a lake behind our house (ok...HE found it on Google Earth, and then, WE went out on a hike to find it)
- Beautiful fall weather (especially since my friends up North are still without power and are snowed in!)

Dear Lord - thank you for the many blessings you've put on my plate - the ones I am mindful of, and the ones that I seem to take for granted by not mentioning them. I do know that I am truly blessed in every way. Please help the friends of mine that are without power - literally - it's less than awesome for them right now, and they are freaking COLD. Please continue to watch over the people that recently lost their jobs and guide their paths - and also, please keep an eye on my friend, M, her heart can't take much more, Dude. Please grant her safe travels and a peaceful mind as she takes a trip into the unknown. Please show me if I can be of service today to You and Your kids, and help me to get out of my own way long enough to do what is needed and right. Amen.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Keeping my job, and the lessons I can learn from the people that didn't



This week was a rough week at work - and now that it's public knowledge, I can talk about what's going on. Unfortunately, our company did a "RIF", also known as a reduction in force - and a lot of my favorite people had their positions eliminated. There were rumors that I was going to be one of the casualties, but luckily, I am still standing after the RIF.



I talked to my friend, C, about this the other day - he used to be in the same field as I am, until becoming a casualty of a RIF a few years back....and then, remained unemployed for a YEAR. Yet, he says it was one of the best things that ever happened to him, and he says that the lessons he learned in that year about himself and how he fit into the world were something he wouldn't trade for the world.

Another friend, R (one of the people that lost his job) was so gracious about this whole situation, even though it happened the day before his 30th birthday! He said, "Oddly, I am at peace with it. I've had a good run here...Totally starting a new chapter on my 30th birthday...I'm pumped to see what my next adventure is going to be." What grace!



What I know is this: God has a plan for everyone. It may not look like each of us think it should, and we may not like what it takes to get us to where God wants us to be. Yet, there IS a plan. I know that each of these people will end up in a better place: personally, professionally, or both, even. In the meantime, my job is to pray for them, and to keep my ears open for opportunities for them. Oh, and to do the job I am blessed to still have! I can also be a power of example, if I do my job with a positive attitude - so I am going to make that "my job", too.

Today, I feel gratitude for:

- Getting to keep my job

- The opportunity to work with the amazing people that I did, and to be able to continue a friendship with them outside of work

- The safe return of S from his business trip and a quiet evening together to get caught up

- The lady at the post office yesterday that gave me free tape (I had forgotten it and was going to have to buy it or go home and get it...she saved the day!)

- Getting my hair cut and colored yesterday - I want to go there every day and just have them wash my hair and rub my head!




Dear God, thank you for the many blessings in my life today, especially, my job. I was in a lot of fear about losing it - as you well know! - and still feel some fear about moving forward from here. I know You have a plan - please help me to have faith in You and It, and to keep my hands off of it. Please watch over my former coworkers as they begin this new path - guide their steps and grant them peace as they deal with the challenging prospect of trying to find a new job. As a matter of fact, please also keep an eye on all of my current coworkers too - help us to find comfort in You and each other, as we try to move forward after this shakeup. Also, please keep an eye on my family, loved ones and friends, too. That's a lot of people, dude - but I know You are up for the job! If I can be of service today, please show me how - and give me the tools to do what You need me to do. Amen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A True Test



Yesterday, I got a call that shook me up a bit - and unfortunately, due to the nature of the information, I can't even say what it was. It was an excellent opportunity for me to practice using my gratitude list. I felt my old self try to bubble up and throw myself a pity party.



(Side note: I really think there's a market somewhere for Pity Party decorations...maybe I could sell Pity Party Packs: one black party hat, one busted noise maker, a CD that only plays "All By Myself", a giant vat of cookie dough. That's what I would want at MY Pity Party!)



I fought the urge, and closed my eyes and made up a mental gratitude list...because even in the face of some potential bad news, I have lots in my life that I can be grateful for. Here's the list!



Today, I feel gratitude for:


- A husband that wakes up to kiss my goodbye every morning at 4:30am

- Friends that bring me back from the ledge

- A coworker that expertly cleaned my car!

- Tenant in my condo back in CT that covers most of the mortgage

- Gorgeous weather so A and I could have coffee outside

- Getting caught up with two very good friends yesterday on the phone - more to come today!

- Getting all of my steps in (I am wearing a pedometer to try to get 10,000 in per day)

- S having cell service exactly when I needed to talk to him

- A good reaction from ____ when I called him for support




Dear God, please remove my fear about _____. Help me know what You want for me, and to have faith that You have a plan for me. That's about all I have right now. Thanks for keeping my loved ones safe and sound. Amen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blogs I Feel Gratitude For


I am very appreciative of people that read this blog - and give me such good feedback...and for friends like my buddy Greg, who is desperate to do something to "make the blog". (I don't know if this counts...)

So, today, I want to show some gratitude for the blogs that I read and share them with you:

1. Jon Acuff - for both his "regular" blog and Stuff Christians Like - both blogs make me laugh and inspire me at the same time.

2. Carla Ten Eyck - a fantastic photographer AND a very funny (and sometimes, poignant) woman - pretty to look at, and fun to read.

3. Annie Eats - she makes food that I want to share with friends (or sometimes, eat alone at home so no one can see how much I have actually eaten of her yumminess!) - Meredith and I made the cake you see here last night, and it was DIVINE!

4. Oprah - I kind of want to BE Oprah - or the next Oprah anyway.

5. Office of Letters and Light - the blog for National Novel Writing Month, which kicks off on November 1st (and I am going to do it!)

All of these are great blogs to get me motivated and back in the "right" state of mind - all for different reasons.


Which blogs do you love to read for inspiration??



Friday, October 21, 2011

Marrying the right man, the USPS and McD's


Lots of stuff to be grateful for today - as there is every day, really! After lots of waiting, our marriage license finally came in. That meant that I could go get my social security card with my new married name, and my new driver's license...and every other piece of identification that you can imagine. Good grief - I had no idea how many things I use my name on! It's a small price to pay to be officially Mr. and Mrs.

We were also able to begin the process of combining our finances - which some people think is a scary thing, but I actually think it's a great thing. As my friend C says, everyone she knows that has separate finances ends up getting divorced! Now, I am not saying we won't each have our little "fun money"...but for the big stuff, it all goes in one account. We are a team, and I am grateful that I married a man that believes in that, wholeheartedly.

So, today, I am grateful for:
- Marrying a man that believes in us really being a team, emotionally, spiritually and financially
- Getting 9 1/2 hours sleep last night - I fell asleep watching a movie last night...and slept the whole night through. Aw - yeah!
- The USPS - when I can't be with the ones I love, I can mail them cards!
- 24 hours McDonalds - when I really, really need a caffeine fix on the way to work at 4:30am.
- Finally being done with two amends that I had been putting off
- A new freelance voiceover client - a friend recommended me out of the blue - thanks J!

Dear God, thanks so much for all of the blessings in my life. Help me to slow down enough to appreciate them and give them the attention they deserve. Please bless A and K tomorrow as they officially begin their lives together. Please watch over all of my friends and loved ones, and if there's a way to be of service to You or them, please move my heart to act in the way that would be most helpful. Please watch over the G family as they continue to mourn the loss of Z. Please help me to seek and do Thy will in all things. Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Safe travel, new sheets, and found time

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Safe travel home for S - and a good outcome from his business trip
- New sheets - not just clean sheets, but NEW sheets. Heaven.
- "Found time" today to get caught up on a few things around the house (not everything, but it's a few steps in the right direction)
- Finally being able to make the amends I've been putting off - and for not creating anything else to have to make amends for during the process
- Freshly groomed and good smelling dogs

Dear God, thanks for the many blessings in my life - and all the ones I didn't mention, too. You are pretty darn awesome, and my life is pretty darn good. Thanks for my friends, family and loved ones, and please keep them safe and healthy. Amen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Old Reliable

In an effort to try to be "interesting", I was sitting here trying to think of things that I haven't mentioned before that I feel gratitude for, but as it turns out, today, I am feeling gratitude for the "same old, same old". Just because it's not something NEW, doesn't mean I can't feel grateful for having it in my life. As a matter of fact, today, I think I most grateful for the constant and continued presence of my Monday night women's gathering.

Since being introduced to this group of women, we've morphed and grown. Some people have fallen out of the habit of coming - or their lives have gotten so full and good that they can't make it as regularly as they used to, but at the core of it, is a group of women that support and love each other - and honestly, I don't know what I would do without them. Whether I see each of them each week isn't the most important part - for me, the best part is knowing that SOMEONE will be there each week, no matter what. I know we are a lucky bunch of girls - especially because so many of us don't have "family" near by. We've become, what we call, a "family of choice" - and I love my FOC!

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- My FOC - they are "Old Reliable" - always there in some way or another
- Facetime - it allows S and I to see each other when he's on the road
- Pinterest - I could spend all day on that website!
- Cute shoes - I am so glad I spent money on GOOD shoes a few years ago, because they are fun to pull out again season after season.
- Cold weather - it may make me a freak down here, but I love the cold weather and the clothes that come with it!

Dear God, thank you for all of the blessings in my life, and for the many others I don't even know You are arranging all the time. Please protect S as he travels and goes up against ______ today. Also, keep an eye on my FOC - some of them need some serious TLC, and that would just be awesome if You could help them out. Help me to be of service today, and please remove my obsession about freaking food. Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, grateful Sunday

Today, I am grateful for:
- S's safety - it's scary how quickly things can change with a text that says "Everything's fine - but I was in a car accident". Truly one of the scariest moments I've had.
- A day to just chill out and read
- A friend to go for a walk with - because otherwise, I wouldn't have gone!
- Unexpected refund from medical bills that were overpaid - it's nice to GET some money from the medical system for once!
- People that take volunteering seriously

Dear God, thanks for all of the blessings in my life - and for a chance to have a better week than last week. I have planned to lay low - and NOT fill up my days beyond recognition. Let's see how that goes, right? Please keep an eye on S as he travels - and please grant us BOTH some courage as we have to have conversations with ________ this week. Also, please remove my fear about _____, and direct my thinking to what you'd have me be. Amen.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Can you be too tired to feel gratitude?



It's hard to feel anything but exhausted when you don't get enough sleep for enough days in a row. I've done it to myself again by scheduling too many things in one week - you'd think I'd learn by now not to try to do EVERYTHING, but I haven't! That being said, I am grateful to be able to have so many different opportunities available to me to be involved with my friends, work and the community. I just have a hard time prioritizing - or choosing, actually. They are all so near and dear to my heart that it seems impossible to eliminate any of them. Do you ever feel like that? I can't be the only one!






I was so exhausted yesterday, that I didn't even have the energy to put together a list for the day. Bad Jeannine. I know, from experience, that I get MORE energy if I take the time to take an inventory of the positive things in my life. So, today, I'll START the day with a gratitude list - and we'll see how it goes!






Today, I feel gratitude for:



- A husband who is supportive and loving, when I am kind of a mess (re: cranky, tired, and feeling frumpy and frustrated about being on a diet)



- Modern Family - I know I am a little late to join the bandwagon for this show, but holy cow, it is super clever. I was literally laughing out loud yesterday, while watching.



- New Ben Folds album - "The Best Imitation of Myself" - he makes me happy I have ears. Genius.



- Girls' Night tonight with some of my favorite ladies



- Pay day! (The bills were starting to pile up a little too high for my comfort level!)






Dear God, it seems silly to be complaining about being tired when I chose all of the stuff in my life - so, please help me to get better at putting down some realistic boundaries about what I can and can't do. Also, please help me with this healthy eating thing - it also seems silly to be praying about food, but this stuff continues to kick my butt and affect my mood for the whole day. I know there are people struggling with MUCH bigger things than that - so, please keep an eye on those people and show me how I get out of my own crazy head to be of service to them. Also, I chickened out of making amends yesterday to ____ and _____ - can you show me the best time to do that? Thanks for today and all of the blessings it brings - help me not to squander or ignore them. Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- a positive result for a friend's unexpected trip to the hospital
- being part of the process to interview new candidates for the ED position at St. Anne's - it feels good to be part of the solution
- Smoothie King's Lean One Smoothie - I wish I would have listened sooner to Steven when he told me how awesome they are (and with my schedule, having a quick thing to take with me is a MUST!)
- a long nap this afternoon - I am always grateful when I find time for a nap! Today, it was much more needed than usual.
- advice from friends on a sensitive topic - without judgement.

Dear God, thanks for everything. Help me to remember to turn to You in all things, big and small - even when I feel like it's out of Your jurisdiction or that it's not something I think You need to be worried about. Please keep an eye on KK - I love her lots and need her around for a long time. Amen.

Sent from my iPhone - please excuse any typo's!

Life is good - and I am grateful! Http://todayifeelgratitudefor.blogspot.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grateful for what didn't happen

As the Garth Brooks song says, "Sometimes, I thank God for unanswered prayers..." Some of the time, it's the things we DON'T get that are our blessings for the day, right? Have you ever NOT gotten something that ended up being better? Could be big or small?


Here's my list from the weekend - and it's all gratitude for things I didn't get or that didn't happen. Today, I feel gratitude for:

- Not walking all the way into the men's room at church yesterday - I wasn't paying attention to where I was going (shocking, I know!), and walked halfway into the men's room before I realized where I was. Luckily, I was able to turn around before I saw anything I shouldn't!

- Not gaining weight on a football weekend! For the past few weeks, we've been "bad" while tailgating, so we've put on a few each weekend and spent ALL week getting back on track, only to do it again

- Not getting worried about potential "drama" that would have made me crazy only a few years ago.

- Not running out of gas on the way to work this morning - it was a little stressful to watch the gas gauge at 4:30am and know that I would really be stranded if I didn't make it into work!

Dear God, thank you for all of the things you didn't allow to happen this weekend - and for the many other ways that you blessed me. Please keep an eye on my loved ones today - and please show me how to be helpful to them, if they need it! Please remove my fear of ______, and direct my thinking to what you'd have me be. Amen.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Random Gratitude

After I get out of work for the day, I don't usually spend a lot of time in front of a computer - so, when things pop into my head that I feel gratitude for, I try to hold them in my head as long as I can to write them down or type them up on my phone. Looking back on them later, they might appear kind of random, but it ends up being almost like a diary of my activities for the day, which I think is kind of fun.

So, in the past 24 hours, here's what I felt gratitude for, in no particular order:
- the super friendly staff at Publix in Helena - and I mean, FRIENDLY. Wow. These people love their jobs, and their customers, and it makes me happy to shop there. The produce guy was literally cutting me samples of apples yesterday while I was there because he was so excited about his new shipment of Gala's.
- having enough cash in my wallet to pay for parking when I was running late for a work event and couldn't find a free spot anywhere! (When am I going to learn to be on time? I don't know...)
- couch time with S - it really just does a heart good.
- a quiet place at work, with a door that locks, where I can sneak in a nap, instead of having to drive home and waste the hour back and forth.
- a friend's anniversary today - her story is inspiring!

Dear God, thank you for the fantastic life I get to lead today - help me to act as grateful as I feel, and to be an outward steward of the gifts You've provided. Show me Your will, and please give me the power to carry it out, today. Please keep an eye on my friends, loved ones and family - and if I can be of service, please show me how. Amen.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grace

"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." ~G.K. Chesterton

Growing up in my house, we always said grace before dinner - did you? Did you give thanks before breaking bread and digging in?

I remember my dad saying it a lot of the time, and it often sounded too "big" for me, as a kid. "Bless us, oh Lord, for these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive..." Quite honestly, I didn't really understand what we were doing - I was too focused on the yummy, fragrant food that my mom had prepared and was ready to stuff my face. It seemed like some silly grown-ups' trick to make us wait before we could eat.

Now, like a lot of things I didn't quite understand as a child, I "get it". My parents were setting the example of taking the time to pause and actively thank God for the nourishment He provides - both literally and spiritually. While my dad and I pray in very different ways, using very different language, we are both aiming at the same target - and I am grateful for the example that he and my mom set for us.

G. K. Chesterton makes an excellent point in the quote today. What else can I say grace for?

Tonight, S and I are going to see Cirque De Soleil, and I will take a minute before it starts to thank God for the gifts of the performers. I most certainly am not blessed with the same gifts - and I am grateful that I get to witness their artistry, and to share it with my husband.

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- So many new books to read on my Kindle that I kind of feel overwhelmed by the options when I lay down to read
- Time this afternoon to recharge
- Date night with S to go see Cirque
- Affordable football tickets
- Being able to say "no" gracefully in a tricky social situation today

Thank you, oh Lord, for these thy gifts - and all the other awesome stuff that You continue to bless me with each day. I really do live a blessed life, and I know it, today. Keep an eye on the girls at St. Anne's - and please help me to sense Your timing in making amends to ___, ____, and ____. I know that's coming, but I just don't feel brave enough yet. When You think it's time, please give me the courage to do what's right, even when I am scared. Also, please remove my fear around combining finances with S - help me to remember this is all part of the deal and that everything's going to be ok. Amen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A nice email that made my day!

Last Friday, I received this wonderful email and wanted to share it with you. It totally made my day/week/month! I am grateful for Geralyn taking the time to reach out - and I am SO happy that she's found this blog helpful. Have you found it helpful? I'd love to hear from you, as well! 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Hi,
 
Congrats on your marriage.  Love your pics and wish you and S a lifetime of health and happiness.
 
I love your gratitude blog.  I had heard about the gratitude journal several years ago, and did one for a few years....but life got in the say and I got so busy with other stuff that I quit doing it.   After reading your blog, I am starting one again.  When I get in my car in the morning, I turn off my radio and say my prayers, and always thank God for all the many blessings I have, and say my prayers.  Then, I turn on Magic 96 and listen to you and Rob!  I listen at work and it really helps my day go better, and love 'dirty laundry'.
 
Just wanted to let you know what a difference you are making with your listeners.  Keep up the good work.
 
Geralyn Humphrey   

Monday, October 3, 2011

Strep throat can't keep me from being grateful


I woke up this morning with a v-e-r-y sore throat and glands that felt like golf balls. I was pretty sure it was strep throat. I am a strep throat veteran, you see. Strep throat has been a companion of mine many times over the years. It's been a while since we last visited, but I remembered it, crystal clearly. So, even without going to the doctor yet today, I knew what I was dealing with.

It was 4am - which is when I usually get up for work - and I've been sick quite a bit this calendar year, so I've used up the minimal sick days my company gives me. Any further sickness requires I use up my vacation days, and I am only down to two of those for the rest of the year. So, I had the debate: "Do I use up one of my remaining vacation days to stay home, go to the doctor and head this thing off at the pass?" or "Do I tough it out, go to work, potentially get everyone else sick and hang on to one of the two remaining vacation days I have left?"

In the end, I felt bad enough to sacrifice a vacation day to be able to stay home. I am so glad I did. I went to the doctor, and sure enough! I've got strep! They gave me a steroid shot to help kick start the recovery (so far, no Hulk-like symptoms have reared their ugly heads!) and a massive antibiotic, which the doctor said will "pretty much knock out anything you've got in addition to strep".

I've been a zombie today. All I've had the energy for (despite the steroid shot they gave me!) has been watching movies and TV, and playing games on my cell phone. The doctor DID prescribe more rest and fluids, so I am doing what he said. Hopefully, I'll be better by tomorrow. I have a FULL day tomorrow (as always)!

So, here's my list for today - because sick or not, there's something to feel gratitude for, right?

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Modern medicine - I am pretty lucky that I was able to go into an "urgent care" clinic this morning, get seen by a doctor within an hour, get diagnosed and get medicine on one trip out of the house.
- Cable and DVR - a sick girl's best friend - kept me occupied all day long without having to get off the couch.
- Pretty weather - I am able to sit out on my back patio for a little bit to let the dogs play in the yard since they were going stir crazy. (Bonus gratitude for the patio to sit on and the backyard for them to play in, and for being able to figure out the umbrella so that I could sit outside and type on my laptop...which I am also grateful to have.)
- Friends that offered encouragement when I was bummed about _____
- My fantastic husband - he's just a good egg, all around and I am lucky to have him.

Dear God, I know that even when I feel yucky, life is better than I realize. Please help me to focus on the positive, and not resort to one of my favorite character defects: self pity. Thank you for the many blessings I've listed, and for the ones I have in my heart, too. Thank you for L going to do yoga at St. Anne's today - and for her gracious attitude when it didn't go as planned. Please keep an eye on my friends and family, especially my in laws going to the wake and funeral of their cousin, Kim, may she rest in peace after her valiant struggle with cancer. Also, please divorce me from the resentment I feel at the JERK who took down my Komen signs from the front of the neighborhood. Amen.

So, how about you? Even if you are having a yucky day, is there something you feel gratitude for in the middle of it all?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Does good weather just change everything?

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Incredible weather - good grief, it's gorgeous outside!
- Fun night with friends watching football last night
- Breakfast with friends this morning
- Spontaneous walks in two different parks near our house - what a husband I have to suggest them!
- Time in the hammock this afternoon to cuddle with my dog and read a new book

Wow, Dude - when you make good weather, you make GOOOOOD weather. This is awesome, and I am grateful for all of the awesome stuff that comes along with it. Thanks for filling my life with good friends and an awesome husband - they were all worth the wait. Please keep an eye on my family with their health and traveling, and on my in-laws as they deal with the loss of a beloved cousin. Thanks for friends birthdays and anniversaries today - what a filled day! Amen.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Is Gratitude Offensive?

Yesterday, in a meeting, a friend of mine called me a "kiss ass" because I post this blog every day - and it got me thinking. First of all, I know he was kidding - but it still kind of made me pause and think. Is it offensive to post this blog each day? If not offensive, is it obnoxious?

I really hope that my daily list is not considering kissing ass (although, if you are going to kiss someone's...God is not a bad choice!). I also hope it doesn't come across like bragging. I really believe in the power of attraction, and I think that by thinking good thoughts, more good things come into your life. I am not trying to show off, by any stretch of the imagination.

My purpose in this blog is four fold:
1. To recognize where my blessings come from and make a habit of acknowledging them
2. To fight my sarcastic, cynical nature and focus on the positive
3. To be accountable to maintain the habit of having a grateful attitude about EVERYTHING that comes into my life, even things that might seem like they don't offer much to be grateful for.
4. To show other people how this works for me, in order to show them it could work for them, as well.

Yesterday was kind of a bum day. Without going into the details, it just seemed like I couldn't go anywhere without bumping into drama or trouble - definitely not my idea of fun. On the verge of tears of frustration and anger, in my car, I made myself think of things to be grateful for...and in a short car ride, my attitude turned around.

Here's my list - Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Tree lined streets - big ol' trees, with big, tall, long branches that create canopies over the road
- Sunshine - after a foggy, yucky morning, it was good to see the sun poking her head out.
- Privacy in the car - thank goodness I can retreat to my car and have some alone time, where I can sing, shout, pray out loud.
- My health - I can breathe, walk, etc. without any struggle, and there are lots of people that would give anything to be so lucky.
- My husband - he knows exactly how to make me smile, even when I am fighting not to.

There? See? How can I be a grumpy pants when all that good stuff is in my life? Life is good, for the most part, and if the price I have to pay for having all that are occassional days where I feel like I have a black cloud over my head, so be it.

Dear God, thanks for giving me another day to try again. Please grant me the serenity to accept the things and people I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, especially my attitude, and the wisdom to know the difference. Please keep an eye on K's family, especially my MIL - they are going to miss her a lot, and she's fought valiantly. Amen.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saying "Thank You"

"God gave you a gift of 84,600 seconds today.

Have you used one to say "thank you"?" ~William A. Ward

My focus for today will be saying "thank you", out loud and directly to the person or thing I feel gratitude for. It's all well and good for me to post this here and to share it with you, but it's a little self centered of me to assume that the people I feel grateful for read this blog (although, I hope that they do...and I am not above being a little self-centered...). Today, I am going to take it to the "next level" and say "thank you" in person!

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Coworkers that let me vent
- A husband that always has my back
- Opportunities to be of service to two organizations at the same time
- Back massages
- Microwave popcorn

Dear God, thanks for the awesome people, places and things in my life - I am surrounded by good stuff, and I owe it all to You. Help me to be more outwardly obviously in my gratitude for the blessings You've given me. Help me with the character defects of ________ and _________ today....oh, and ________. They are kind of kicking my butt right now. Amen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Passing it on


Today, I spent some time with some ladies that live in a residential rehabilitation home - there's 18 of them that are living in a big ol' house in downtown Birmingham. They are all newly sober - and as usually comes with that many women in one house, new in sobriety, there's a little drama going on. OK - there's a LOT of drama going on - gossip galore.

My intention in going to the house was just to spend time with them and have a little pizza - maybe play some games, bring a little sunshine and distraction. As always, when I go, I brought "prizes" - journals, puzzle books, sweets - because who doesn't like a treat, right?

Well, with all of the grumbling going on at the house - I knew it wasn't going to work to just eat some pizza and dive into some games. There was some serious animosity going on - physical tension when certain people walked in the room, certain girls refusing to even hang out in the same room where we ate the pizza (now, THAT is a serious issue! Who doesn't want to be near pizza??). I hate tension - and so, my little brain struck with an idea! "What if I taught them how to do my handy dandy gratitude list exercise in these here journals, and explained how gratitude turns my grumpiness around?" Ta da!

They were into it! Everybody was able to pick their own journals out - and I walked them through the process. I explained that my lists varied from very simple things like "air" or "being able to walk" to very specific things like "the way the moon illuminated the backyard and made it so bright that I could see the way the dogs were spooked by the little baby frogs on the back porch". Once I gave them some examples, they were off to the races - some of the girls even put ME on their lists! Bonus!

All of the sudden, there were smiles on faces and the mood in the room lightened. They were actually having a good time trying to brainstorm things they were grateful for, and despite their extenuating circumstances, they were all about to come up with at least a page full of people or things they felt lucky to have. Just to add a little sparkle to the moment, I even handed out stickers that said things like "Well Done!" or "Wow!" - just because it was fun.

When everyone was finished, we moved on to how to write the prayer at the end. I told them that the formula I try to follow is three fold:
1. Thank God for all of the blessings in my life.
2. Ask Him for help to not mess it up and try to find a way to be of service that day.
3. Include a request for a friend.

I told them there was no right or wrong way to write the prayer - that mine varied every day, but that I use that formula as a way to get started when I feel stuck or don't quite know how to talk to God that day. (It happens - some days, I feel like God and I speak different languages.)

I encouraged the girls to use this as a tool - when they find themselves getting cranky or feeling discontented, this was an action they could take to turn their attitudes around. Moreover, it was something they could (gently) suggest to the other residents as a way to stay positive - instead of resorting to gossip and complaining. They seemed into it, and I am excited to have been able to pass it along today!

Here's MY list for the day:

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Being able to pass it along and have it be received so well
- Someone on the board that's willing to step up and try to FIX some of the issues that are wrong
- Trying a new tilapia recipe that S and I both actually like!
- New books to read on my Kindle
- Plumbers that can fix things when they break

Dear God, thanks so much for the wonderful things You've graced me with, today and every day. Thanks for the opportunity to pass along this fun gratitude list tool. Help me to continue to practice gratitude in my every day life - and to be an example of how You can work through someone if we let You. Please keep an eye on the girls at the house - it's crazytown there right now, and they are scared. If I can be of service in another way, please show me how. Amen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fighting My Grumpy Inner Nature

Today, I am feeling very grateful - kind of just all over content. Although it's not my nature to look for the positive side of circumstances, because of practicing gratitude, it's become habit...which means that in the things that would have formerly made me grumpy and grumbly, I can see something to feel gratitude about. It's a fabulous way to travel through the day, instead of feeling like the world is out to get me or get in my way. Here's what I mean:

A friend running late to meet me for lunch? Sweet! That's time to read "The Hunger Games", which I am now hooked on. Dogs are both sick at the same time? No problem - we have a great vet that will get them back to fighting shape in no time, and we get a discount for having multiple dogs. Car trouble six months ago? Whatever! That's in the past - and to make up for it, they gave me two free oil changes, so I got a free oil change this week AND one more to come - that rocks! I live too far away from work to get home and back again before my next meeting, so now I am "stuck" in town with nothing to do. Absolutely not! It freed up time in my schedule to be able to go volunteer at the Komen office today, which I've been meaning to do anyway since it's a cause near and dear to my heart.

See what I mean? It's all about perspective - and making gratitude a habit has changed mine, for sure.

The last thing on my list for the day is my wonderful husband - today is our monthaversary, and I am grateful for being so lucky to marry a man that will indulge me when I want to celebrate our smaller milestones.

Dear God, thanks for everything - please help me to not mess it up form here. Amen.


What's on your list today? What can you look at in a new way?

Monday, September 26, 2011

How can you be grateful for laundry???


This afternoon, I PLOWED through some massive laundry - and instead of being grumbly, like I wanted to be, thinking things like "How can two people make such a ridiculous amount of laundry?" or "Why do I have to do all of our laundry?", I decided to be grateful for laundry. Huh? How can someone actually be grateful for doing loads and loads of laundry? Check this out:

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Having a washer and dryer, in the house - I vividly remember the days of apartment living, where I would have to haul all of the laundry down to the basement (or worse, to the laundromat!!), make sure I had enough quarters to get everything done (I hate the looks of the people at the bank when you ask for several rolls of quarters...like they KNOW you are an "apartment person".), make sure no one else was doing laundry when you wanted to, and plan to hang out for several hours because if you leave your laundry alone, the creepy guy that lives in apartment 2c might come sniff your underwear.
- Having a husband that likes to iron - all I have to do is hang the stuff he wears...and he'll iron it when he wants to wear it! Booyah, baby!
- Having so clothes to wash - I also vividly remember being a broke college student, whose entire wardrobe consisted of t-shirts from various radio station events or college functions and jeans.
- Having time to get it all done - I know some people would kill to have a few hours of solid time to focus on getting their house in order and laundry done.
- Awesome music on my iPod - kept me grooving and singing along for most of the afternoon.


Dear God, thanks for the lesson of the laundry. It's all about my perspective, huh? Thanks for the opportunity to practice gratitude. Please help me to keep that attitude for the rest of the day! Show me how to be of service to You and Your kids - and get rid of the junk in me that blocks me off from seeing those chances to show how You can work in me, if I let you. Please help me to get motivated on the amends that I owe ____, _____, and ______. I need to clear off the side of the street so my little brain can work on other stuff. Help me to make time for that in the next 24 hours, if You can. Keep an eye on all of my loved ones, please - and comfort and guide them in their daily walks. Amen.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Patient husband, naps and our refrigerator

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- A forgiving husband - he seems endlessly blessed with patience and forgiveness for my crankiness when I don't sleep well
- A nap - yes, I probably should have gone to church, but I am pretty sure God understood the necessity of getting caught up on sleep
- A refrigerator full of healthy food - it feels good to be back on track
- Movies that make feel laugh and cry
- The amazing spirit of the kids I hung out with today - cancer survivors that outlasted me on the dance floor - all with smiles on their faces

Dear God, thanks for today - and for all of the blessings in it. I am very grateful for my life - and I know I owe it all to you. Help me to be of service to You and Your kids in the best way possible. Amen.

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gratitude Quickie

It was a long - but good! - day, but yesterday, we didn't have internet at the house...so, I wanted to post a list for today!

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- A day full of family time in Tuscaloosa
- A husband that likes spending time with me
- Our Internet connection being restored
- A successful work day reporting from the Alabama game
- Neighbor that was quick to help with taking care of the dogs while we were out all day

Dear God, thanks for the blessings in my life - both those listed and the many others. Today was a good day - and I know I owe it all to You. I am going to take this raging headache to bed...but I'll see You tomorrow. Please watch over me and my loved ones as we sleep. Amen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bright lights, adjustable mirrors and dangly earrings

You know what I HATE?? People that drive behind me with their high beams on. Part of the reason it drives me so nuts is that there's no way to politely signal them to let them know that they are blinding you. If they were driving toward me, I could just flash MY brights at them, and give them the opportunity to turn them off. Instead, when they are behind you, there's no way to let them know - and they could be behind you for MILES.



Ok - deep breath. Here's a chance for me to try to find something I am grateful for in this situation, so it doesn't ruin my morning. Hmmmm - uou know what I am grateful for? Adjustable mirrors! Maybe it makes me a bad person, but now, instead of being blinded, I can just adjust my mirrors to reflect their ridiculously bright lights back at them. Does it work? I have no idea. Does it make me feel better? Abso-freaking-lutely. Somehow, by doing this, I feel like I am winning in the driving game. Is it very spiritual of me? Nope. But today, I don't care. (Insert maniacal little giggle...)



What else is on my gratitude list today?



Today, I feel gratitude for:

- Dangly earrings - they make me feel so fancy and grown up

- Car dancing - it's fun to be able to let loose and have a little fun in traffic (even more fun to observe OTHER people doing it!)

- To do lists - I would forget to do everything if I didn't have a few "to do" lists

- Online billpay - it makes life so much easier!



Dear God, thanks for the attitude adjustment today. That may not have been what the Serenity Prayers means when it says to have the "courage to change the things I can", but it definitely perked me up. I'll try to be more grown up for the rest of the day today, with Your help, of course. Please keep an eye on E and her mom today, and on my dad today - and anyone else that needs some comfort and/or healing. If I can be helpful or useful, please show me how. Amen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My garage is awesome

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick

When S and I moved in to his house, I had a lot of boxes of stuff that didn't have a place to go in the house immediately, so I put them in the garage. This was a source of contention between my very uncluttered soon-to-be husband and me - he doesn't keep a lot of stuff that doesn't have an immediate use, and I couldn't quite understand what the big deal was to have boxes in the garage.

I insisted that I didn't mind parking in the driveway - "It's easier", I proclaimed, "and besides, I am scared to park in the garage anyway. I don't want to hit the sides of the house when I pull in and out." For my safety, he claimed it was better for us to both park in the garage. His points? If we park in the garage, it would be harder for someone to break into the cars, and if it's raining, wouldn't it be nice to have shelter while exiting the car and going into the house?

OK - he had me there. I hate getting rained on. So, after he made that point, those dang boxes haunted me - especially on cloudy days, when the threat of rain was imminent. Slowly, I unpacked as many boxes as I could and found places for the contents in the house, and finally, anything that didn't make the cut of things that needed to be inside the house, I either neatly stacked in the very back wall of the garage (so that the cars could still fit inside) or put up in the attic, where they would be out of sight and out of mind.

Not only did I have a very happy husband once I finished, I was also able to park in the garage on rainy days (and other days, too - it's gotten less scary as I have gotten more practice.) Now, after months of parking with impunity in our uncluttered garage, I can almost forget that there were many times over the years of living in apartments without garages that I had to RUN from the car to the apartment, attempting to dodge raindrops. And today, when it was raining torrentially, I was super happy to have a garage to park in. I won't take a garage for granted ever again. (Ok, I might...but if I do, I hope someone reminds me that I said that today.).

Another thing that I often take for granted is my access to tickets to fun things like shows that come to town. Since I work in radio, we occassionally get tickets to events like concerts or shows when they come through town. Since I've been in radio for about 17 years now, it can almost seem like a "given" that we get to go to these events, when in reality, it's not a given at all. It's an awesome perk, and tonight, we get to go see one of my f-a-v-o-r-i-t-e musicals, Les Miserables. I have loved this show since I was a preteen, so I am super pumped to be able to go. (I apologize, in advance, for anyone sitting near me if I sing along too loudly.)

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- A garage where I can park my car when it's raining
- A break in the rain for the dogs to go outside right when I came home - perfect timing, Dude!
- A free haircut at a fancy salon - is there anything better than having someone massage your head while they shampoo your hair? Actually, YES! You could also have someone massaging your hands, at the same time! Heaven...
- Tickets to go see Les Miserables tonight - my inner theater geek is bouncing up and down with excitement
- A DVR that can tape "my shows" while we are out at the theater tonight, so I won't miss anything

Dear God, thanks for the blessings you shower upon me - and for the chance to notice them and feel gratitude for them. I am even grateful for the rain that showered all day, because I know that soon enough, it'll make all the plants around us green and gorgeous. On what seemed like a gloomy and yucky day, it would have been easy to dive into matching my mood with the weather - and instead, You made life so good that I couldn't ignore how lucky I am. Keep up the good work! Amen.


What do YOU feel gratitude for today? Anything that struck you today that you might normally take for granted?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Babies, Married Men and Naps

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- A healthy new baby for D and RJ - born naturally, just like they had hoped!
- Downloadable sheet music - I have downloaded a few of my favorite tunes for the piano, and it's been fun to try to play again. I mean, I've got the thing sitting here - and because of my schedule, I have a chunk of time in the afternoon before S gets home...so, no one is affected by my attempts to pound out the notes, other than the dogs. So far, they don't seem to mind!
- Men that love to be married - I saw two guy friends today, having lunch outside together, and both asked how things were going with being married - and I got to thinking about the two of their marriages. Both men often sing the praises of their wives, and are very vocal about the joys of being married to these sweet women. How cool is it to know these men?
- Naps - I am not rubbing it in, but I got to take a 2 1/2 hour nap this afternoon! Awwww, yeah!
- Gorgeous weather - again, not rubbing it in, but I did my reading this afternoon in the hammock in the backyard - sun shining, birds singing, not too hot, not too cold...just right!
- Being able to buy S a present he reallllllllllllly wanted - and getting to see him enjoy it! Although I may never get to see him again unless it is via FaceTime on the new iPad - it's really nice to be in a position to be able to get him something he's wanted for over a year and to see him using it a TON, already!

Dear God, thank you for today - and for the gifts that it brings. Thanks for the gift of new life in W! I'll keep it short and sweet today - please grant me knowledge of Your will for me and the power and courage to carry it out. Show me where I can be of service to You and/or Your kids, and keep a loving, comforting, protective arm around those that need it! Amen.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Second Chances

Last week, I made my unspectacular debut on a regional TV show called "Tide and Tigers Today". It's an hour long show that airs on Saturday mornings from either Auburn or Tuscaloosa to cover the Auburn Tigers or the University of Alabama Crimson Tide home football games, and to talk about college football, in general. My official title is "Tailgate Reporter", which means I am not the girl interviewing the coach on the sidelines, or the person throwing down statistics, facts and figures. My entire job is to report on the other stuff - the fun, human interest type of stories.

After missing opening weekend of college football (because we were on our honeymoon!), I wanted to get down to Auburn and ROCK my first TV show. As it turns out, I should have done a lot more in the way of preparing. I kind of figured I would be able to "wing it" - after being in radio for 17 years, I am accustomed to thinking on my feet and interviewing people. I would drive down on the morning of the game, and chit chat with some folks about their tailgating experience that day. I had also arranged for a friend to bring her son to be on camera for him to talk about how excited he was to be at his first game. I was supposed to verbally spar with the guys back in the studio, and ask them "tough questions" they weren't prepared to answer to see if I cuold stump them. Should be easy enough, right?

Wrong. Due to technical issue, I couldn't hear the hosts back in the studio and couldn't answer the questions they were asking me. Due to a schedule shuffle, my friend's son couldn't come. Due to having no backup plan for if my star interviewee couldn't come, I randomly grabbed a very shy child and ambushed him to being on camera - which turned out just about how you can imagine. Due to being late, I had parked very far away, and had to literally run the mile and a half to the stadium, which left me sweaty and unable to have to time to find other people to put on camera. Due to being late, I didn't have the time I planned to do the research for questions I was going to ask the hosts back in the studio.

Super. Awesome. Fabulous. I failed BIG time...and in front of a lot of people. I hate being bad at something...h-a-t-e it! I especially hate it when it's completely preventable. I considered writing an email to the producers to apologize and quit (or at least, offer to, if they wanted me to!). My husband talked me out of that, and suggested I wait until a few days had passed before talking to anyone about it and to see what they thought of how I did.

It turns out that they weren't thrilled with my efforts - but not as disappointed as I was in myself. They had LOTS of helpful suggestions for how to do better next time, and had even set up a fun interview for me to do while I did the next week's show with the mascot of the school's team. Wait...what? Next time? You mean, you are not firing me?? You mean, I get a second chance? Seriously?

Of course, I was psyched to have a second chance - but also, pretty scared, as well. What happens if I flopped again, even with all of their help?

This morning, I tried to remain in gratitude for my second chance - and it changed everything. I decided that I was going to be grateful for the whole day, and purposefully, thank God for the whole experience, even if I failed again. I even remembered to hit my knees and say a little prayer before I headed out for the day.

Instead of being AWFUL, here's how it went down: My darling husband took me out to breakfast first, and even walked me to the broadcast site, holding my hand the whole time. As we drove down, I wrote out all of my questions in big writing on a clipboard, so that if I froze up, I'd have a little cheat sheet. My interview arrived early, and I got the chance to do some preparation with him beforehand, and clear up some of the questions that could have been tricky during the live shot. The other reporter saw how much fun we were having with the interview, so he made a fun suggestion for how we could do the final segment - and it was a huge hit! The equipment worked, and I could hear the questions they were asking me from the studio.

Can I get a "Woo hoo!!!"? What a difference a grateful attitude can make!

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Second chances
- A yummy breakfast at Waysider in Tuscaloosa with S - and getting to hear about the tradition
- Getting guidance and help from my coworkers
- Feedback that will help me get even better next week
- Love and support from my husband, family and friends

Thanks, Dude. You are awesome. Thanks for the second chance, and for not letting me blow it. Thanks for the whole day. Seriously, God. I really appreciate it. Now that I can relax for a few hours and reflect, I am also brazen enough to ask protection, guidance, and comfort for my loved ones - specifically, D, C, D & RJ, L, C, and anyone else that is suffering without speaking up. Amen.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Blah Blah" gratitude


After doing a gratitude list for a while, and trying to be creative about what I am grateful for, I can almost get cocky about the amazing blessings in my life that can almost seem like they are just givens. It's not that I am NOT grateful for them, it's just that as I take stock of my life, those things don't immediately come to the front of my mind, since they are part of my daily life. What kind of things am I talking about? Having a job, having a roof over my head, having enough to eat, and being healthy...just to name a few.

So, when I sit down to do my daily list, I can actually find myself thinking "Ok, I am healthy, employed, and well fed, and I have a safe place to live...blah blah blah. What ELSE do I have going on that rocks?"

This morning, my radio station is broadcasting live from Children's Hospital of Alabama - and it's absolutely breaking my heart to watch these kids and their parents march through the lobby on their way to treatment. Kids wearing masks because it's not safe for them to breathe normal air, parents that look like they've been through war, families that are up at 5:30am and already at the dang hospital because the treatment is going to take ALL day. Small children Good grief, I can't even imagine.

Today, I am going to try not to blah my way through a gratitude list. The "basics" are not givens. They are precious gifts, and today, more than usual, I know that I need to remember that.

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Being healthy
- Being financially stable to donate money to the hospital to support the incredible work they are doing here
- The fact that this place is open for the kids that need it
- Professionals and volunteers that can make sick kids smile and forget they are sick for a while
- The wakeup call out of the "blah's"

Dear God, please bless and protect these children. Please comfort them and their families as they battle their ailments. Thank you for the wake up call out of the "blah's". Today, K will be in court - I pray for the best possible outcome for her son. Also, it's the home stretch for M, please bring her through with flying colors. Continued prayers for D and RJ, and soon-to-be born baby. For myself, I only ask that You grant me knowledge of Your will for me, and the power to carry that out. Amen.


Your turn: Have you ever "blah blah'd" anything in your life that you should be grateful for? What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bubble baths, new music and more

Today, I feel gratitude for:


- my awesome husband surprising me last night by having a bubble bath drawn for me (complete with candles and Jim Brickman playing on the stereo!) when I got home from work - he even kept the dogs out of the room so I could just relax and enjoy it! How did I get so lucky?


- lunch with a dear friend yesterday at a new restaurant - great food and conversation


- my Kindle - now, I have something to read wherever I go (and for a nerd like me, that's imperative!)


- new music by Mumford and Sons and The Script on my iPhone - it's fun to groove along to new music.


- inspiring podcasts from the Eventual Millionaire - they make me think I CAN reach my goals (monetary and otherwise).




Woo hoo, God! This life You have given me is just freaking awesome these days, and I am feeling so grateful. Thank you for all of the many blessings You have given me - and for the awareness of how good life is. I would hate to be missing this stuff! Please help me to stay on track with aligning my will with Yours, and please remove any of my character defects that get in the way of me being useful to You and Your kids. Please continue to watch over M as she deals with the culmination of all of her hard work this year, and D and RJ as they continue "Baby Watch 2011", and anyone else just needs a little extra TLC today. Thanks again, Dude - You Rock! Amen.




What are YOU grateful for today? Can you think of ONE thing? I'd love to hear it! As always, I am grateful for you taking the time to read this blog!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How gratitude saved my marriage last night

Doing this daily gratitude list saved my marriage last night! Here's what happened:

I have not gotten a lot of sleep this week - which is a chronic issue for me since I get up for work at 4am. I TRIED to get a nap yesterday afternoon, but our dang dogs were especially rowdy and noisy yesterday, which prevented any nap from happening! So, my fuse was a lot shorter than usual when S came home from work and started going through the mail that I had sorted and left out on the counter. He started going through MY stack (because I hadn't bothered to tell him which stack was which) and dismissing it as "junk".

Also important to this story: I'm a little sensitive to the mail issue because my beloved husband and I have VERY different views about what to keep and file and what gets tossed. He tosses pretty much everything - and I keep pretty much everything. One of our biggest fights was me trying to convince him that I needed a desk because I wanted a place to file things - and he just thinks it's a place for me to hoard papers. He eventually bought me a desk (because he's sweet and wonderful), and now, I have to get it all organized to show him how helpful it is to have a place for everthing! I have been procrastinating on all of that while planning the wedding - but now, I have NO excuse. I have given myself a deadline of working on that this week, so that is another reason I was on high alert: GUILT. I know he hates how messy my desk is, and I feel guilty that it's not organized like I know he'd rather it be.

So, with all of that going on, when he started dismissing all of my very important mail as "junk", I snapped at him and told him it wasn't f-ing "junk", and that he should just stick to his OWN mail. The poor guy had just walked in the door from a long day at work and was only trying to go through the mail - and I jumped down his throat because I was tired and feeling guilty. He was obviously hurt (and surprised!), as I grabbed my mail and shuffled off into the other room. He announced that he was going to go get changed for the long walk we had planned with the dogs.

Now, if I hadn't been actively trying to have more gratitude in my daily life, I probably would have sulked for the whole night, thinking about what a jerk HE was, and probably would have passively aggressively started loudly making efforts to clean up my office. Not a fun night for either of us.

Instead, when I walked off into the other room, I actually had the thought: "Ok, Jeannine, you know you are being a little ridiculous right now. How can you turn this around by finding something to be grateful for in this scenario?" In just a few seconds, I came up with a LOT to be grateful for:
1. That I have a husband that didn't snap back at me when I was a jerk.
2. That I had a husband at all (hey - it took until I was 35 to get one!).
3. That my husband is concerned with neatness (I know a lot of husbands aren't!).
4. That he wanted to go out on a walk with me because he knows it's important to me to be active and healthy.
5. That it was cool enough outside to go for a walk together.
6. That we were healthy enough to both be able to go for a walk.
7. That we live in a place that is safe to go for a walk.
8. That we had the time to go for a walk together.
And so on...

By the time he came back out of the bedroom, changed and ready for our walk, my whole attitude was turned around. I ran up to him, gave him a hug, and apologized for snapping at him. He was pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I am sure he was dreading being held hostage during our walk by a cranky, sullen wife - and instead, I had brightened up and was actually being pleasant and grateful for our time together.

That NEVER would have happened if gratitude hadn't already been a habit, and doing this daily blog has made it a habit for me...and I am grateful for that today, too!

Have you ever used gratitude to turn a yucky moment around? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9.13.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:


- My husband - he's just dreamy and fun to be with
- A packed brown bag breakfast - it's easier to stay "on track" when I plan ahead and bring food that's good for me
- The ability to laugh at myself - it's not fun to make mistakes...but they make the best stories! (This picture is of #1 and #3 on the list today - we couldn't figure out how to cut the cake!)
- Time to do laundry today - although I have NO idea how two people make so much laundry
- People offering help and guidance on my new freelance work ventures


Dear God, when I refuse to accept that I am human and make mistakes, please help me to remember to find the humor in my missteps, and to share it with someone. Help me to remember that I need to walk before I can run, and crawl before I can walk, and even though I make my mistakes in a pretty public forum, that nobody dies if I have a bad day at work, and that if I keep a good attitude about the whole deal, I get another chance to do better next time. Also, I feel like I have been praying for this for a while now, but please guide and protect D and RJ with the whole "about to become parents" thing - it's looking like You are going to make that happen sooner than later! Woo hoo! Thank you for all of the awesome people in my life - please keep them safe and help them know You and Your comfort. Amen.


So - what are YOU grateful for today? I'd love to hear about it! Post it in the comment section below.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Audio Gratitude List

Bonus for today! I did an audio gratitude list while I was driving home from hanging out with some of my girlfriends:
http://www.mediafire.com/?7ie0kq94q4kvfz4

What do YOU feel gratitude for today?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9.12.11


I am trying to get back on track today - while I have been very much living in gratitude each day (my life is pretty dang good lately!), I have been a remiss in posting! I find myself thinking about things I "should" put on this list, while I am driving, while I am walking, while I am working, while I am having lunch with a friend, while I am in a meeting...any place but in front of a computer! Instead of feeling good about how full my life is and how blessed I really am, I have been kind of beating myself up for not being more diligent about gratitude! Kind of counter productive, eh?

Yesterday, S and I watched a lot of the 10th anniversary coverage of the 9/11 tragedies. It brought back a lot of difficult emotions - and put in perspective the fact that I was beating myself up for such a small thing. In the light of that tragedy (and many others!), there's very little in my life that has ever been worth beating myself up for.

So, with that said, I am ready to get going again:

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- A tenant for my condo in CT - yay for not having to pay a mortgage for a house I am not living in anymore!
- Kathy Griffin's comedy - she makes me laugh, even when I am not really in the mood to do so.
- Supportive friends, family and coworkers - my big debut on live TV did NOT go very well, but my crew made me feel like a rock star anyway
- Time to go for a run this afternoon
- A husband that doesn't mind cleaning - how did I get so lucky??

Dear God, thank you for my awesome life and the awesome people in it. I do realize that I am one of the luckiest girls around. So, it may not seem like such a big deal to you - but I could use some help getting back on track with food and exercise. On top of being derailed from my daily gratitude blog, I have also gotten pretty far off track in that area, and really need to feel healthy again. It's pretty tough to feel useful when I am feeling frumpy and sluggish. Please show me how to be useful in spite of myself, and in honor of You. Please keep an eye on my loved ones - I kind of need them around, ok? Thanks! Amen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9.7.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Meeting K's beautiful baby girl today - truly one of God's miracles!
- Fox Point seasoning from Penzey's Spices and for A sharing it with us. Dear LORD, I don't know how I lived without it on veggies before now.
- Free chicken biscuits, yogurt and fruit delivered to the radio station today...just when I was starting to think about going to grab a bite to eat!
- Trying out a new recipe today...and having it work out!
- S promising to take care of the remainder of the laundry tomorrow - hallelujah for not having to fold the final two loads from our honeymoon!


Dear God, thank you for the multitude of blessings you have given me and to my friends and family. Please protect and guide all of us, and grant us knowledge of Your will...and give us (or take away) what is necessary to do it. You are pretty awesome, Dude. Amen. Oh, and P.S. Please grant D and RJ a safe and happy birth of their baby boy SOON! Thanks. Amen again. Link

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9.6.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- An incredible wedding day, filled with family and friends, where I got to marry the best man I know, my true "answered prayer"
- The opportunity for us to go on a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon to St. Lucia
- Making a new friend today
- A clean home to return to after a long vacation and every day after work
- The book, "The Happiness Project" - inspirational and interesting - real life application for ways to tap into being happier

Thank You, God. Thank You for the gift of life, for a world of natural beauty and power to live in, and for the people around me who love me and accept my love. Thank You for caring about me and helping me every day in my journey, and please help me ask for the gift of Your help each day.  Amen.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

8.25.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Safe arrival of G yesterday - it's awesome to have my matron of honor in town
- Getting to sleep in today and having the WHOLE day to do all the little things that need to be completed before the wedding
- A fabulous surprise shower from my coworkers
- Encouragement from friends that know exactly what to say and when I need to hear it
- The morning meditation I read today about being loyal (I've included it below) - because I definitely have struggled with this over this past year with all of my extra's!

Dear God, my heart is full of love and gratitude today. I am so excited and happy to be marrying the man of my dreams in a couple of days, and to have our family and friends here. Please grant me knowledge of Your will for me and the power to carry that out. Please help me to be efficient and calm during what could be a stressful time and to remember that this is all for an awesome reason: because You brought me and S together at the perfect times in our lives to fall in love with each other and get married. Please help us to keep our eye on the prize: being married to each other, and forget about any of the little stressing details that distract from that. Please grant safe travel to my family and loved ones, and keep a loving arm around those that need some extra TLC today. Amen.


If you don't have any loyalty to what you are doing, you ought not be doing it.
-- Tom Harding

We understand loyalty to friends and family members, but does loyalty to an activity imply the same thing? To be loyal to an activity means to stick with it even when we hit the inherent snags. Let's consider a hobby for instance. Are we so frustrated when we can't track down a particular stamp or seem unable to complete the 5000 piece puzzle that we consider quitting the activity in disgust? If so, we probably lack the loyalty that Tom alludes to.

Each of us has to consider for ourselves whether or not we value this kind of loyalty when it comes to the "extracurriculars" in our lives. We're not failures if we decide to drop some hobby for another one. Sometimes we can't see that some interest doesn't fit us all that well until we get deep into it. What's more important is that we remain loyal to our values, whatever they are. When some activity loses its appeal, for any reason, and we continue to stay with it out of shame or embarrassment, we're not being loyal to that which is most important - ourselves.

Today, I'll ask myself if my hobbies suit my true interests.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

8.23.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Caffeine (dear LORD, what would I do without it?)
- Not being a garbage truck worker (I drove in behind one this morning and it stunk to high heaven!)
-A great women's meeting last night (SO good to see my girls!)
- Hurriance Irene changing her direction away from where we are going on our honeymoon
- Fun dinner plans for "date night" tonight with S.

Dear God - the countdown is winding down and there's lots to do. Help me to prioritize and remember to make time for YOU in all the craziness...without You, I wouldn't have any of this anyway! Please continue to be with my friend D...she's got too much on her dang plate, and it's seriously not cool. Thank you for my life - and the many blessings in it. Please grant everyone safe travel this week...Amen.

Monday, August 22, 2011

8.22.11



Today, I feel gratitude for:



- S finding my wallet this morning (we looked for over an HOUR last night - but he found it in his car under his driver's seat - NO idea how it got there, but SO glad it was found...especially since we have so much need for it this week as we get ready for the wedding and honeymoon!)


- Getting caught up with friends last night while on my very long "gotta wear the dogs out" walk


- Deciding to pay off our credit cards instead of buying each other a wedding present (how grown up of us!)


- Reminders to BREATHE (it's amazing that I keep forgetting...seriously. I find myself holding my breath!)


- Giada's recipe for stuffed sweet baby peppers - YUM!


Dear God - the countdown is on, and there's lots to manage. As we know, I don't always manage my own life so well, so I am turning it all over to You, Dude. Let me know what I am supposed to do next - and give me the strength and knowledge to handle whatever I am supposed to, today. Thanks for the many blessings in my life - I know that I have it pretty darn good! You rock for granting me these blessings and the awareness to realize that they are there. Please grant all of my loved ones safe travel - and please keep an eye on L, D and RJ and anyone else that is suffering in silence. Amen.

Friday, August 19, 2011

8.19.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Brakes that work on S's car (and his quick reflexes to use them!)
- Helpful salespeople at J. Crew and New York and Company (the latter of which slid me a $70 off of $150 coupon just to be nice yesterday!)
- Marc Broussard's new album - it's fun to listen to on my way to work!
- http://www.happyplaces.com/ - it's guaranteed to make you crack up today - I dare you not to laugh!
- So many good wishes and so much good advice as we approach the wedding day (in 8 days!!)

Dear God - grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done. I am keeping it simple today, God. Please look after my loved ones and friends, too, and lift my resentment towards _______, and grant her everything I want for myself. Amen.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

8.18.11

Today, I feel gratitude for:


- Our first recycling day! It made me so happy to see our big old 75 gallon can full to the top with stuff that would have been thrown away.


- Flowers from M-Power Ministries' garden - they are doing amazing work and it was uplifting to volunteer there yesterday - and to get the beautiful flowers for my home.


- Leftovers - it was SO nice to come home and have something easy to eat after a long day.


- Finding places to cut in the wedding budget


- Good bonding time with S last night




Dear God, please grant me knowledge of Your will for me and the power to carry it out. I am pretty sure Your will doesn't include me being a jerk to anyone and everyone - so please help me to not be so snarky and sarcastic. If I am wrong on that one, though, let me know. Also, I've been a potty mouth lately - and I am pretty sure that's not part of Your plan for me either. Please remove my resentment against ______, and grant her everything I'd want for myself. And finally, please keep an eye on D, RJ, J, and L - they all seem to need a little extra TLC today. Amen.







Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8.17.11



Today, I feel gratitude for:
- Jim Brickman's fabulously relaxing music - it's like Prozac in music form (hypothetically speaking, of course, because I haven't ever actually taken Prozac.)
- A comfortable car (since I drive 100 miles a day or more, it's nice to be comfy on the ride!)
- S packing up and loading into my car all of the stuff I cleaned out of our cupboards to donate (and have left sitting in the corner of the kitchen for over a week!)
- D calling to tell me about my airheadness on my bridal registry! (Read about that in my wedding blog at work.)
- Finding humor in our marriage application - check out the "yes or no" question above where we had to sign our names!
- Bonus: Jon Acuff's blog - and his insight and candor.

Dear God, I offer myself to you to build with me and do with me as You would have do. Please take my very flawed self and put me to work doing what You need today. Please remove my resentment towards _____ and give her everything I would wish for myself, and please continue to look after D, RJ, L and anyone else in my circle that's suffering in silence. Amen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Want to join in??

I got this email from my Aunt Jane over the weekend:

Hi Jeannine -
I'm enjoying your daily gratitude emails and am wondering where I go to sign up for the same thing so that people can follow me, like I follow you. I think I could benefit from making a commitment to daily gratitude, especially if I am being held accountable.
Thanks,
Aunt Jane

That made my whole day! That's the reason I do these lists - and post them. I benefit greatly from a daily gratitude list - it changes the way that I think about the world. Instead of traveling through the day and grumbling, I find myself looking for things to add to this list. Instead of being annoyed at what seems like a ridiculously long stop light this morning, I am grateful for the fact that it gave me a minute to look up and see the gorgeous full moon. Ta da! A grumble turned into a moment of gratitude - mostly because I know I need five things for this list each day.

If you want to start posting your lists here - I would LOVE that. It would help me to see what YOU are grateful for, too - it might spark a thought for me, or remind me to do today's list...or just give me a much needed smile. Post them as comments - or email them to me, and I'll post them!

Here's my list for today:
- Beautiful moon (which I saw while sitting at a stop light)
- An awesome email from a friend that hadn't seen me in a while to ask how much weight I've lost
- A chance to see the girls at St. Anne's really blossoming and changing over the past few weeks
- Wedding presents (people are beyond generous - seriously!)
- Time to run something by L - she's a good sounding board and changed my perspective on a tricky wedding situation

Dear God, thank you for the many blessings in my life - and for the chance to reflect on them. There are many more things that I have to be grateful for than made the list today - but You know that. Please remove my resentment towards _____, and help me instead to look for ways to be helpful to them - and to learn the lessons You have for me to learn from this messy situation. Also, please look over my friends D and RJ - they need a break, Dude. L could use one too, from the sound of things. I feel pretty freaking powerless to help since I am so far away from all of them. If there's some way you could give them comfort, peace, and/or rest, I know they could use it. Also, please grant me and S safe travels to and from the courthouse to get our marriage license. It would suck to get this close and have something happen. Amen.