Day 30 :: Thankful for ...

... the chance to be thankful everyday. 

What follows is a cheesy cliché-fest but it has to be said, especially on this last day of publicly sharing what I'm thankful for. 

When I Instagrammed the photo above, part of my caption read, "Purposefully chose #nofilter to remind myself how beautiful life is just the way it is." Could I be any cheesier? But I find that it's the truth. Is my life "perfect?" Of course not. But it's pretty darn close, and it really requires no embellishment or improvement to be a beautiful life. I occasionally find that I'm preoccupied with trying to make my life "better" by wanting things to be just right, or I make my life overly complicated for no good reason; the result is that I don't see what's already so good.

It's easy to complain about what's not right in my life, but in the grand scheme of things those problems are so minor they're laughable. Instead, I really should be thankful that I have so much to be thankful for. And remembering that will lead to a happier, more positive way of life, which I really need right now. 

Basically, I have the power and choice to make each day better and happier than the day before. To simply have the chance every time I wake up in the morning to focus on my happiness (instead of on sheer survival) is a luxury I should never take for granted ... or squander. 

I probably won't continue to share what I'm thankful for everyday, but I resolve to remind myself, as often as possible, of the many things that make my life a wondrous thing.


Day 28 :: Thankful for ...

... Thanksgiving and Hanukkah falling on the same day, and that we got to spend it with Rupert's family. Happy Thanksgivukkah!


Day 27 :: Thankful for ...

... arriving safely at our destination after driving through some snow in the dark. (This picture was taken during the nice flurrying snow; we ran into some "can't really see where we're going" snow later in the drive.)


Day 26 :: Thankful for ...

... the mild craziness of getting ready for Thanksgivukkah. It means we have family to celebrate with and much to be thankful for. 


Day 25 :: Thankful for ...

... a little disposable income so I can occasionally treat myself to lunch (or a new shirt, or a book, or stationery).


Day 22 :: Thankful for ...

... my children's good health. I took them to their first check-up here and everything's A-OK. And we liked their new pediatrician, a youngish guy (a first for us and probably a good thing for Ian).


Day 21 :: Thankful for ...

... a few quiet moments staring outside at the birds and squirrels fattening up for the winter. 


Day 20 :: Thankful for ...

... libraries. (Left: Ian's middle school library where I volunteer; Right: my local public library's children's graphic novels/comics section)


Day 19 :: Thankful for ...

... my kind & loving/lovable husband, Rupert. (And, just to be clear, his real name isn't Rupert. It's kind of a long-standing joke that stuck on the blog.) We have a special thing going, mostly because he is extremely tolerant of me. (This photo was taken at Thanksgiving; we really need to take more pictures of just the two of us.)


Day 17 :: Thankful for ...

... family game nights. And an understanding family who lets me just be a spectator. ;)

(They're playing Takenoko, if you're wondering.)


Day 16 :: Thankful for ...

... former colleagues who are visiting DC and invited me to join them on a night tour of the monuments.


Day 15 :: Thankful for ...

... the children's literature community. I attended my second Capitol Choices meeting today and, like last time, it reinforced the importance of the work these people do. On a personal level, I've been encouraged and buoyed by people involved in children's literature who I've met online and in person. 


Day 14 :: Thankful for ...

... supportive friends around the country. In my time of emotional need, my friends never fail to come through for me. Whether it's a virtual hug through Facebook, a phone call, or a handwritten letter, my friends always show me that they've got my back. 


Day 13 :: Thankful for ...

... my son. Happy 13th birthday, Ian! You are a great kid and you've certainly made being your parents a pretty easy job.

(Guess what his favorite food is!)


Day 11 :: Thankful for ...

... time spent in the kitchen with my parents, learning how to make food that's familiar to my taste buds, and passing that knowledge/skill down to Maya. 

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention on Veterans Day how thankful I am for our veterans and their families. 


Day 10 :: Thankful for ...

... family dinners. 

We were blessed when we lived in Los Angeles: dinners with both of our extended families were a regular part of life. Having loud, boisterous meals, talking and laughing (and sometimes arguing), sharing experiences across generations ... it's an amazing part of family life that I now miss terribly.

Since my parents got here, a lot of our activities have revolved around food, and spending time together like that has been special in an incredibly routine kind of way. Like things are back to "normal." Don't get me wrong -- I love my nuclear family more than anything -- but when it comes to food, the more the merrier!


Day 9 :: Thankful for ...

... my parents visiting us, and ...

... for all the Japanese food my mom brought us!


Day 8 :: Thankful for ...

... my sisters who are great aunties. My big sis sent Maya some animal cake pops for her birthday.


Day 7 :: Thankful for ...

... county services. Today is one of two free leaf collection days.


Day 6 :: Thankful for

... having skills that are useful to someone else (and are appreciated). Today I covered books for the middle school library, and the library staff is impressed enough to save a lot of the covering for me to do.

(This book, Counting by 7s, is supposed to be quite good -- put it on your to-read list.)


Day 5 :: Thankful for ...

... friends. My high school friend S was in DC for work so we made plans to hang out. She works for a movie studio and travels around the country coordinating and setting up screenings. This was actually her first time in DC so I gave her a very brief tour of the Mall between lunch and heading back to Georgetown for the evening's screenings (which I got to attend).


Day 4 :: Thankful for ...

... my daughter. Happy birthday, Maya! The last eight years have been nothing short of amazing, challenging, and life-changing. We love you!


Day 3 :: Thankful for ...

... technology. FaceTiming with Grandma in L.A. so she can watch Maya open the birthday presents she sent.