365 Days of Thankfulness – Day 30

I can’t believe November is done today and in one month 2016 will be over.  So quick…lots to be thankful for though.


Today I am thankful for seasons.  Right now, we are soaking in Fall colors and wading through fallen leaves around here.  A Winter storm is moving in on Thursday that is supposed to be pretty windy and rainy.  But, it is still Fall.  And although we won’t get any snow here in our city, a short drive up the road about 10 miles will get us to a place that does get it during the Winter months.  We have mild, sometimes wet Springs and hot, hot Summers.  And I love them all.

I lived in So Cal for 10 years after graduating college and the biggest thing I missed was the seasons.  In So Cal, it is pretty much Spring all the time.  The Summer will get hot inland, but then it goes back to Spring.  Sure, there may be a cold day here and there, but most of the time, Christmas is met with 60s or 70s and sunny weather.  It just isn’t a year without some seasonal changes.  I want to change out my clothes, wear different shoes and feel like there is some rhythm to life.

The colors around here are beautiful right now.  Here is a picture from some years ago:

Fall Drive 2007 003

Soon, though, the leaves will be gone – already we have a bare tree in our front yard.  Most of the leaves falling off last night.

I am feeling ready for Christmas with the weather changes.  I am feeling in the rhythm of life.  And I am feeling the loss, but also recognizing that after a dormant Winter those empty spaces will burst forth with new buds, green leaves and a renewal!

365 Days of Thankfulness – Day 29

I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of November!  I really don’t know where time goes.  But, it goes.  It goes very fast…Today, I’m thankful for our home, which is coming a bit out of spite…


Today, I’m thankful for our home.  It hasn’t been shown much love in the last seven years that we’ve been here.  We aren’t the cleanest of people.  We don’t do maintenance much.  And I’ve become convinced that we should not be homeowners (although we do own a home in So Cal that we rent out, but a management company deals with the maintenance and such down there – we rent here because of that house in So Cal).  My husband would like to buy a home up here.  He is convinced we would take better care of a home that we owned, but I’m not convinced.  So, I’ve been trying to embrace the home we have and show others that it can be nice.  So, today’s post is going to focus on some of the things I am thankful for in our home.

First, I love that we are in a neighborhood where there are kids my DD’s age to play with.  Rarely does a day go buy that if she wants to play with someone she can’t find someone.  And I feel safe letting her outside without direct supervision because we all check on them intermittently; we live on a circle, so we don’t get much traffic; and, the childless neighbors are all very nice to the kids.

Second, I kind of appreciate that our carpet is old and dirty because we seem to constantly be spilling stuff or when the dog was a puppy she would have accidents.  I feel like we aren’t ruining something really nice when life happens.  Of course I would love to have nice, new, clean carpeting, but realistically, it wouldn’t last long.

Third, I love all the natural light our house gets.  We have two big windows in the living room and the sliding glass door.  All of the bedrooms have windows that get light at some point during the day.  We also have high windows in the stair area that gives the stairs and hallway good light.

Finally, I love that we have nice yard areas.  I wish that we took better care of the backyard and could make it nice.  But, it is nice to have plenty of space for the dog and trees and such in our yard.

So, that’s it – my thankful list for our current home.  We won’t be here forever (or maybe even for long), but I’m really going to try to embrace the home we have for all it is while we are here.

Six Word Saturday – Thankfulness Challenge Day 28

Today I am doubling up with a Six Word Saturday post that will focus on the Thankfulness Challenge as well!  So, without further adieu…

Three weeks until Winter Break 2015!

Today, I am thankful for the realization that Winter Break is only a short, three weeks away.  Now, that could be a negative since I still have a boatload of grading to do.  But, I am choosing to focus on the BREAK that is coming.  Last year, I taught a Winter session class and this year, I won’t be doing that.  So, there will actually be a period of weeks when I will have the mornings to myself while my DD is at school.  I will have some major prep to do for classes in the Spring, but it will be nice to not have classes, grading, etc.

Five Minute Friday – Table – Thankful Challenge Day 27

I am once again joining Five Minute Friday this week.


Table.  It is a simple furniture item that most of us have in our homes.  But it is also a symbol of togetherness.  I got my parent’s dining room table when my mom passed away this summer.  It is funny how it is the same table, but feels totally different in our house.  We never ate many meals at the table at my parent’s house.  Mostly, we sat on the couch or chairs in the living room.  Especially when it became difficult for my dad to get around.  But even before that.  The table was for special occasions.  But, it was also there to do paperwork.  For my DD to do her art projects when she was visiting.  To hold the myriad of medications – for my dad and then my mom and for my DD when we were visiting.  It was also finished by my dad’s hands.  He did a lot of antique refinishing in his retirement and this table was one of those projects.

It is a bit too big for our space when I put the leaves in (which I did out of desperation to be able to put the extra chairs around the table and have them fit).  So, I will have to take the leaves out and move the extra chairs to the garage, to be pulled out on those special occasions when people are visiting.  But, I will be having family dinners at this table more regularly than we did at my parent’s.  I will be enjoying that table as a family, with meals.  And when I do, I will think of my dad working on it and my mom taking care of it.  I don’t have a ton of things from my parent’s house, but this is one that I will cherish and use with joy.  The family table.

I am thankful…for the table, but more so for the memories attached to it and the ones we will make at it.


Make Your Holiday Shopping Pay!

Affiliate links included.  I don’t do a ton of reviews, affiliate links, etc. on my blog because I only want to be “affiliated” with things that I trust and that really are beneficial.  So, I decided to do a little plug for Ebates today and if anyone joins and makes purchases, I will get a “bonus” in my account.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Today is the biggest shopping day of the year (maybe) and I won’t be doing any!  I used to work retail when I was in college and I HATED Black Friday!  And that was before everyone was opening up ON Thanksgiving!  But, I hated that so many people would go out shopping and act like the lines and the chaos were unexpected in some way.  I hated that people would be so rude to each other and to the workers (me) in the name of a deal.  And I hated the long hours that it meant (not just on that day, but the remainder of the holiday season – earlier opening and later closings the whole time).  So, I now do not shop on Black Friday.  I haven’t in years.  But, I still love a good deal!

I started using Ebates a while ago, but I didn’t realize just how many places I could use it until I installed their Chrome extension a while back.  This gives me an alert on the top of my screen whenever I land on a website that offers cash back for purchases.  I now have been cashing out well over $100 each quarter (that is how often Ebates pays out – you have an account where the money builds up and it is then transferred into an account of your choice).

I use it for my regular online purchases (which is usually a pretty small amount), but I have also started using it on my hotels.com bookings and that has me getting pretty good amounts of money when I book hotel rooms.  And for Christmas shopping, I will definitely be using it to save a little extra on every online purchase.  If you aren’t already a member of Ebates and plan on doing online shopping or travel purchases for the holidays, get your membership now!  And be sure to install one of their “buttons” for your browser as there are so many retailers who offer Ebates rebates that you may not think would!  You’ll never miss a rebate that way!

365 Days of Thankfulness – Day 25

Well, I’ve missed another few days.  Everday blogging is not an easy venture!  It seems like it would be easy, but it really isn’t.  I’m going to try to make this quick so I get it posted as every time I leave a post partially written, I never get back to it, so I now have a bunch of drafts…so, completion is the goal!


Today, I am thankful for the news we got yesterday that, for now anyways, there are no heart surgeries in our future.  Although my DD’s tricuspid valve is still leaking and her heart is getting larger because of it, the pressures are good.  And since she doesn’t yet have any symptoms from her bradycardia issues, the team of doctors they brought together to discuss her case last week has decided that there is not a need currently for a pacemaker or a valve replacement.  So, for now, we are simply holding steady and hoping that she doesn’t have any symptoms for a long time to come.

I didn’t really know how heavily the thought of that was weighing on me until we got the news that they would NOT be doing any surgeries. I realized that I have been stressed for weeks about the possibility of another open heart surgery with the hospital stay and the long recovery and the emotional toll that it takes on us.  Obviously, it will come at some point in the future, but I just wasn’t quite ready for it now.  So, I am thankful for the delay.  I hope that her heart continues to work “good enough” for years, but I will begin to prepare myself for the alternative should it come sooner.

365 Days of Thankfulness – Day 22

Another day at home.  My DD is not feeling “bad,” but she just wants to be at home.  I think she is a bit under the weather still, but more of it is just wanting to hang out and take it easy, with which I can totally relate.  There is a lot going on tonight – the Advent event at our church and our city’s Christmas Preview, but she said she just wanted to stay home today (and I assume that also means tonight).  So, that is what we’ll do.  I am going to come up with a few advent things of my own (I already planned on doing a Christmas book a day for advent and we can make a paper chain with acts of kindness and bible verses like they did last year at the church advent event).  And maybe she will want to go later on after spending all day at home, but if not, it will be okay.  I’m still feeling a bit under the weather myself, so taking it easy and just watching a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies sounds like an okay way to spend the day to me.  Currently, I am watching Charming Christmas.


Today, I am thankful for great childhood memories.  Not all of my childhood memories are great, but I have a number of really good ones.  I am thankful to have grown up in a house that was full of laughter.  Today, I found the Carol Burnett show on a cable channel we have and I was so excited because that show just makes me laugh thinking about it.  And it wasn’t even that the show was that funny (although it is a hilarious show – they don’t do humor like that anymore), but that I remember both my mom and dad laughing until they couldn’t breathe when watching that show.  Both of my parents had great laughs too.  My dad’s laugh made me not afraid to laugh out LOUD when things were funny.  And my mom’s laugh was contagious.  I loved watching funny shows with them.  And Carol Burnett was one of their favorites.  Another that came up recently was the Thanksgiving show from WKRP Cincinnati, which was and still is hilarious (I watched it in my living room yesterday and it made me laugh out loud in a very cackling way, much like my dad used to).  Laughter is so important.  And I’m thankful to have had it all during my childhood years. I want to spend lots of time laughing with my DD as well.  I want her to have memories of her mom’s loud and contagious laugh!