Gratitude is the sign of noble souls ~ Aesop

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gabran

Joy delights in joy ~ William Shakespeare

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I'm thankful that I didn't have a chance to post yesterday because I was too busy hanging out with my hubby who finally came home after nearly 6 weeks away! And I'm not just happy he's home because I'm tired of doing all the household chores by myself;p

Monday, February 27, 2012


It is such a joy to devour the novel my sister WROTE! More Than a Stranger -- such a great title, and such a great book. I can't wait until it comes out in bookstores so I can just stand near it and point "MY SISTER IS THE AUTHOR!" It feels good to feel so proud:)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I'm thankful for my wonderful neighbors who brought me food for my dogs when I ran out today and had a migraine so I couldn't go out myself. And they delivered it to my door with a cute puppy in their arms named "Smiley" who did indeed make me smile. It's nice to know there is still such thing as neighborly neighbors in the world...Mr. Rogers would be proud:)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Movies and music

I love how a great movie can lift my spirits and touch my heart on even the loneliest days. I watched Dan in Real Life tonight and just let the joy of the wonderful words and the fantastic music wash over me while the cold winds blew outside. In rooting for flawed and loveable characters it helps me to remember to root for myself, and I'm thankful for that. And in a related note: Sondre Lerche (the extraordinary talent who did all the music for the movie) also has a song on a separate album that I love to listen to called "Everyone's Rooting Just for You." Whenever I need a pick me up in the confidence department, it has quite often come to my rescue. Also, Steve Carrell makes me smile:)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Early morning snow

I was very grumpy when the dogs woke me up an hour early this morning, and I begrudgingly got out of bed and went to the door to let them out, when I got quite a surprise -- SNOW! It was 63 and sunny yesterday and somehow it snowed overnight just enough to sprinkle a little magic on everything. It was beautiful. So beautiful I forgot what time it was, and I forgot that I was ever annoyed. By mid-morning the pouring rain set in and washed it all away, so it was quite a little blessing that those sweet pups of mine woke me up when they did after all.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mr. Postman

Today I am thankful that my longest stretch ever away from my husband is coming to an end on Saturday. I am so grateful he's finally coming home, and I'm thankful for all of the letters and cards that have sustained me up to now. I just love handwritten letters and I'm glad he feels the same way. Oh -- and I'm thankful for the gorgeous new mailbox those letters get to arrive in!
Now Mr. Postman is stuck in my head...which is okay, because it's a fun song:)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dancing Dust

I'm reposting my first ever post on this blog which I started as a Joy Journal for Lent in 2010. I will once again this year be writing something I'm grateful for every day for the next 40 days in the hopes that it will help me "give up" negativity for Lent this year:) And now, a few thoughts about Ash Wednesday...

Ash Wednesday. The day when many people go to church in the middle of the day in the middle of the week to a service that, quite honestly, has always extremely bummed me out. I mean there was a certain cache to it as a little kid, getting out of school for an hour, coming back with ashes smeared on my forehead. A proud beacon proclaiming to the world that I was good because I knew I was bad. But as I grew older, the ashes seemed morbid to me -- really, who wants a reminder that they are going to die, that life is short and they've probably messed up what little time they have? Truthfully, it kind of pissed me off -- isn't the whole God thing about Life? About Forgiveness? What's with wallowing around in the depressing stuff? 

And yet -- somehow I always find myself going to church. On Ash Wednesday. And so, the last time I went, I wore a bright orange polka dot shirt and a baby blue sweater as an act of rebellion. No sackcloth and black for me. I prepared myself for somberness -- but found something entirely different. As I walked through the heavy arched door, my eyes lowered in proper (if feigned) humility, I discovered words had been written on the floor. Written in a whisper of black ash across the gleaming marble...

"Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." 

I steeled myself for the usual surge of doom, but for some reason, it didn't come. And that's when something wholly unexpected happened. I started to laugh. Yes, laugh. It started as a tickle somewhere deep inside and worked its way up to my throat as I worked my way down the aisle. I knelt at the pew, my shoulders shaking now. Trembling with, what was it? Joy? On Ash Wednesday?? What kind of a Christian am I...?

The kind who was given an amazing gift.

A glimpse of the miracle of it all. 

What glory, what magic, what a wonder that dust should be raised up in such a way! What sheer beautiful absurdity that dust should walk and talk and wear Jimmy Choo shoes. If dust could be formed into fingers and hearts and eyes that can speak as well as see, is not ANYTHING possible?? I wanted to dance to show that dust can dance too. How??? The human body has 90% chemically in common with dirt for heaven's sake! And yet, here I sit, typing a blog. Breathing, feeling, loving...

And it made me think of an incident with Pippin, my youngest pup, that happened only a few days earlier. I have a steam shower in my bedroom bathroom, if not THE reason I bought my place, at least one of them. I love the swirl of the steam, making me disappear in the glass box of my shower, love drawing on the foggy doors -- some people sing in the shower, I doodle. Okay, I sing too, but that's not important. What's important is, I love the steam. Anyway, as I stepped out of the shower on this particular morning, Pippin was sitting on the mat, toy in his mouth, patiently waiting for me to play. But suddenly, he dropped the plastic toy and began to back out of the room with a look on his face I had never seen before...a look of pure fear. The hair on his back stood up and he began to bark, barking for his life it seemed as the steam billowed towards him in in a hazy white cloud. Steam. Just steam -- I tried to reassure him, but he ran from the room. He couldn't understand it, so he feared it.

Oh how much time do I spend, how many days, how many sleepless nights, barking at steam? Being afraid of the ashes. Afraid I have sinned too much and believed too little. Thinking the cloud is going to kill me when really its just going to relax me and clear my nasal passages. I faced the fear that day -- the ashes, the reminder of death, the way being reminded makes me feel -- and I let the steam of it all pass over me for what it was, a bunch of hot air. And I found to my amazement that on the other side of fear was joy -- exuberance even. The amazing truth that life is a mystery...a beautiful, wonder-filled phenomenon. And if dust can dance, is not anything possible? :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The wonder of Wordsworth

I don't know how it has taken me my whole life to discover this poem, but it is pure joy and genius:

My favorite part:

And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.


Heart Hugs:)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Flying high

I'm writing this from 37,000 feet -- how amazing is that! For all of human history, man has wanted to fly and now not only do we get the privilege of soaring -- we get to check facebook and watch movies while we're at it:) I am grateful for the courage to take this trip and for the blessing of spending time with my friends and family. And for realizing that when it comes to my job, I've still got it:) I guess you could say I'm flying high...