Gratitude Journal

Because I need a daily reminder to lean hard into the soft work of being grateful, for all of this and more, I give thanks...

1. The smell of coffee brewing.

2. The sleepy, ruffled hair on my boys' heads when they walk into my bedroom every morning.

3. Reliable electricity that gives me light on the edges of the day, warmth in winter, and cool air in summer.

4. Strong legs that carry me, support me, move me. 

5. Watching a veil of clouds move across the moon and create a blue-ish halo.

6. Hearing just the right song on the radio and turning the volume up as loud as you can stand it. 

7. A cool morning out under the stars.

8. A long drive with a good friend (and no kids in the car!)

9. The restorative gift of silence, and the ability to lean into it when it's most needed.

10. The way remembering my body's mighty work in bringing life into the world helps me be forgiving of its imperfections.

11. A weekend away from the boys, and how it helps me see everything differently.


12. The ache in my chest of missing those boys that grows throughout that weekend away.

13. Walking in the door and holding them all in my arms.

14. Coming home and understanding that, like the old saying, home is not this place but these people.

15. Laying with my husband on the couch, both half asleep, while the boys watch cartoons.

16. A job to go to in the morning (even when I really want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep).

17. A seven year old who still wants to sit in my lap.

18. Walking through a thick November fog where the sidewalks seem to disappear into nothing.

19. The way even a small change makes me see everything in a new light (what I like to call the new haircut principle).

20. Making a cup of tea to warm my hands on a cold afternoon.

21. Combing my boys' freshly washed hair.

22. Holding Lincoln close while I sing his lullaby.  How long will he let me hold him like this, his chest pressed against me, his head resting on my shoulder?  I cling to him as hard as he does to me.

23. Wrapping a long scarf around my shoulders like a shawl.

24. Candies with wrappers whose ends are twisted together that can be unwrapped just by tugging gently.

25. The season of pumpkinsPiled artfully on mantles, spread into pies, whipped into coffees.

26. Jogging with the dog through the neighborhood on a cold morning.

27. Pulling out the sweaters because a cold front has finally found us.

28. Watching our 7 year old son play the role of Uncle Sam in his 1st grade play.

29.  Looking around the room during that play and watching the faces of our neighbors as they watched their own 1st graders perform.

30. The dog sleeping at my feet as I relax in a comfy chair.

31.  The morning sun coming through the clouds.  Funny how I never stop being grateful for that sight.

32. The short Thanksgiving work (and school) week.

33. The love of a good man.  Such a soft place to land after being out in the world all day.

34. Strong legs.

35. Hearing Lincoln say "yo, maw" and knowing he means I love you.

36. Planning recipes for Thanksgiving dinner.  Oh, the possibilities!

37. Being woken up early on a vacation day by my 7 year old because he wants to lie in bed with me and cuddle.  I hope he remembers these moments and not just the crazed, busy, angry moments in between.

38. Five days off work with my boys.

39. The terrible, wonderful process of cleaning out the garage and purging so much unneeded stuff.  I feel lighter!

40. Having Sam tackle the garage with me.  Opening boxes of shared history and being plunged back in time with him.  Being dirty and tired but proud of ourselves together.  

41. Watching Sam and Nico play Risk together for the first time, Nico jumping up from the table to do a happy dance every time he made a fortuitous move.

42. Having a job I don't dread coming back to after my time off.

43. Spiced & spiked apple cider with whipped cream on top.  We call it butter beer, and you really should try it.

44. The enormous full moon just above the horizon.

45. Seeing the first Christmas lights come out in the neighborhood.

46. Decorating the Christmas tree together as a family, little hands reaching for their favorite sparkly ornaments and hanging them in disorganized clumps on the bottom half of the tree.

47. The excitement of opening the advent calendar envelopes every day.

48. The way Nico made me promise to tell him if I needed anything while I was feeling sick so he could make sure to get it for me.

49. Seeing every single day that I married the right person. 

50. Christmas baking, and this year Nico has been my helper. Over the moon to have a baking partner.

51. Every single day I have with my children. Thank the Lord for their sweet faces.

52. The excitement of a road trip (mostly because I am terrible traveler who hates flying and feels better about the whole traveling business if I can bring all my stuff with me).

53. Being on the right side of the dirt.

54. The fact that every morning is a fresh start.

55. Potty training success!  Little by little, we are saying goodbye to diapers!

56. Warm socks that you can pull up to your knees on cold days.

57. The first sunny day after a week of clouds and rain.

58. Pears that are so soft they are almost over ripe. 

59. The smell of freshly ground coffee. 

60. Rain slicked sidewalks that reflect the streetlights.

61. A field of one-time wildflowers that have been dried out by winter and now wave like pale strands of wheat in the wind.

62. The fact that I was taught to read. I take my education for granted far too often.

63. The red tiled roofs of the buildings outside my office window.      






  1. Eyes to see, mind to think, ears to hear, heart to love.


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