Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude


November is fast becoming my favorite month of the year.  Not because Mr. B is always leaving to go hunting (I hate that part).  Not because of the cool crisp temperatures, the crunchy sweet-tart apples, or the lovely gold, crimson and orange brittle leaves.

I think my favorite part of November is the thankfulness.  Thirty days devoted to gratitude.

In a book I’m currently reading – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp – the words thanksgiving and gratitude are interchanged with the word eucharisteo.  Eucharisteo may be my most favorite word ever.  In the book, the author is challenged to write down one thousand eucharisteos.  One thousand gifts.  One thousand things to be thankful for.

By day 25, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything profound.  Family and God and Salvation and Roofs Over Heads and Dogs and Food are all easy to come up with.  But when thanks have been said for the big things… what then?

Does anyone care that I’m really thankful for soft-yet-strong toilet paper?  Not likely.  Is it appropriate to post on Facebook my gratitude for an empty yoga studio on the only day I happened to be running incredibly late to teach class?  My boss wouldn’t love that.  But then again, giving gratitude isn’t about anyone else.

Often we miss the small things, look for the big things… and come up feeling disappointed.  What I have found this year, is that paying attention to the small, silly, and even insignificant things has made my heart feel just plain glad.  If I can find one thing, just one tiny thing, to be thankful for in each day; the bad things don’t seem quite so heavy.  I understand this year, more than ever, why often it is recommended to have an attitude of gratitude.  Because it really is an attitude – a choice.  You can choose to be grateful for all you have – or you can be remorseful for all you don’t.  You can be happy for how far you have come – or you can be mad about how far you have to go.

I will share with you my list of eucharisteos for the month of November…


Day 1: I am thankful for Mr. B. God knew the desires of my heart when He created him. Neither of us are perfect, but we are perfect for one another
Day 2: I am so thankful for Little K. For a girl who was never going to have kids, I am head over heels for that little guy. I can't imagine there is anything better to be called than "Mommy".
Day 3: I am thankful for my parents. They are truly the best.

Day 4: I am thankful for my best friend for life, my sister, Ber. Because who else besides a sister can say things like, "Where in the hell did you get that skirt?! Molly Ringwald's closet in 1989?" And that, my friends, is a direct quote.

Day 5: I am thankful for our home, it may be little but it is full of love.

Day 6: I am thankful for God’s grace.

Day 7: I am thankful for my BFF Linds. She is more of a sister than a friend, and I would never have accumulated so many hilarious/crazy "do you remember that one time..." stories without her. Love you "Linds the ruthless"!!

Day 8: I'm thankful for a very exciting opportunity that seemingly just fell into my lap.

Day 9: I am thankful that, two years ago today, I conquered my fears and insecurities, and began CrossFit. This picture is of me during my very first CrossFit class, feeling like a 30# press was very hard. I have come a long way, thanks to my amazing coaches. I am thankful to all of them (past and present) for encouraging me when I wanted to quit, yelling at me when I was being lazy, and for congratulating me every single time I have tried my best. I'm nowhere near the fastest or strongest person at my box, but I am light-years ahead of where I was when I began (physically, emotionally, and mentally).
Day 10: I'm thankful for tomorrows.

Day 11: Today, and every day, I am thankful for my freedom. I salute all of those who have served, and are serving, our country to protect our right to freedom. #hugaveteran

Day 12: I am thankful for my Daisy girl. She was our first "baby", she gave us someone to love, and made our house feel like a home. She made us believe we would be good parents someday. Now at 7 1/2 years old, she still brings us joy with her wagging tail and sweet snuggles. She protects Little K like he is her own and makes sure the mailman knows who is boss. #doglovers
Day 13: I am thankful for wine.

Day 14: I'm thankful that our family is fortunate enough to have our needs met. We truly are blessed.

Day 15: I am thankful for CrossFit WODs that challenge you to the point that you feel like a total rock star just for finishing.

Day 16: I am thankful for all of this awesome (and very rare) one-on-one time with the best mom in the whole world!!

Day 17: I am thankful that Mr B and Little K are coming home this afternoon. It has been a long 5 days without my handsome guys!!

Day 18: I'm thankful that my husband is not afraid to pitch in and help around the house. Among many other things, he knows how to cook, do dishes, vacuum, clean floors, dust, and do the laundry. His help is hugely appreciated during this time I am adjusting to working part time while still being a stay-at-home-mom. #backoffladieshestaken

Day 19: I'm thankful my parents taught me to stand up for what I believe. Today I am standing up for all of us who know and believe that leggings are, in fact, pants (just as long as they aren't see through when you bend over... And please, for the love of all things holy, make sure the frontal region doesn't make you resemble the lowest part of a certain humpy animal).

Day 20: Today I am thankful for sweatpants.

Day 21: I am thankful that CrossFit is such great stress relief. A tough WOD sure gets the aggression out of your system in a hurry!

Day 22: I am so very thankful for my family. All of them. I'm sure I've already said that... but it is true today, and every day.

Day 23: I'm thankful that our Christmas shopping is now 90% done!

Day 24: Today I am thankful for fuzzy blankets and naps.

Day 25: I'm thankful my car does not need a new transmission after all! A catalytic converter is expensive, but not transmission expensive.

Day 26: I'm thankful for a month devoted to Eucharisteo. Gratitude makes my heart feel happy.

Day 27: I'm thankful for the loud echoing laughter.

Day 28: I'm thankful for too much food.

Day 29: I’m thankful for my in-laws.

Day 30: I’m thankful for (kid-free & guy-free) girl time with my mom and sister!


Even going through and rewriting all of these things for which I give thanks, my heart swells with gratitude.  I may not be swimming in diamonds and pearls or have the perfect body or the biggest house or the nicest car or every outfit I’ve ever pinned on Pinterest… but I have more than that.  I am blessed with so much more than all of that.

Thirty days are done, but I think I am going to carry on with Eucharisteo.  I desire to live a life of gratitude.  Not a life of entitlement and want.  I need to remember daily that we have been blessed fully.

I challenge you to join me in one hundred days of thanks.  You can start today if you’d like.  I am looking forward to hearing of the gifts you are blessed with, and I want to hear how your daily gratitude is changing your attitude.

Look for the little things.  Give thanks.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Texts to a Traveling Husband

When Mr. B travels for work, which has become fairly frequent lately, he can expect a number of random photo texts from me.  I thought I'd share with you some of his my favorites.  Just so you can know how lucky he is to be married to me.

1. "Frida Kahlo"



2. "I snatched myself in the forehead today..."


3. "Little K is a 'Bad to the Bone Monster Cowboy' today."


4. "Happy Wednesday!"



5. "I need coffee!"


6. "Let's rob a bank?"


7. "We are having a rough night tonight.  Come home soon!!"



8. "Goodnight!  We love you!!"




There is a pretty good chance that he isn't even surprised to see my nose taped to my forehead again.  Just to keep things spicy, I'll occasionally tape my nose to my chin -- actually I've never done that, but I'm going to now.  Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that he is a lucky, lucky man.  After all he is always In Good Company.








Monday, November 4, 2013

My Daddy Farted


In previous posts, I have written about the numerous embarrassing moments that come with parenting a 3 year old.  All of these moments seem to happen at my expense.  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one lucky enough to have gotten to discuss wieners (not the hot dog variety) while walking through Target.  Little K does not have an inside voice.  Not at all.

LK: Mom?  Do you have a wiener?
M: No buddy, girls don’t have those.
LK: Girls don’t have wieners?!
M: Ssshhh.  No.
LK: You don’t have a wiener?
M: No, Little K, I don’t have one.
LK: Say it mom.
M: What?
LK: Say the word.
M: What?
LK: Say you don’t have a wiener.
M: Buddy I don’t have one.
LK: No, say WIENER, mom!

My darling husband hasn’t ever had to experience one of these moments… until Saturday.  Mr. B took Little K to dinner and a movie so that I could take a turn hosting my monthly cooking club at our house.  While they were seated at Dairy Queen, Little K's booster seat made a squeaking noise on the booth seat.

LK (leaning over to the woman sitting next to him): My daddy farted.
MB: Little K!  No I didn’t!
LK: Yes you did!  I heard it!
MB: No, it was the booth.  I didn’t fart.
LK: Yes you did!  You farted!
MB: Hush.  No I didn’t.
LK (again to the woman sitting next to him): He did.  My daddy farted.  I heard it.

When Mr. B told me about this, I laughed.  An evil laugh of justification.  A laugh that made my stomach muscles hurt and tears come to my eyes.  And, even though Mr. B had been “Dad of the Year” all day long, I told him that it was about damn time something like that happened to him!


Then I was reminded me of a time Mr. B and I were eating at a small Mennonite café with my parents.  It has been a long-running joke in my family that my dad has worms (he doesn’t) because of his insatiable appetite.  He is a relatively small and thin guy, but could eat his weight in anything (besides vegetables) more than a few times a day.  We often say things like, “Time to feed your worms, Daddy?”  Anyway, we were all at the Mennonite café one very quiet morning eating breakfast.  There was no music playing, no chatter, no clattering of dishes.  It was quiet, despite the many patrons – most of whom were Mennonite.  For some reason, I chose that moment to feed my curiosity (I don’t really know what kind of worms would make someone feel hungry all the time) and said, “What kind of worms do you have, Daddy?  Tape worms?”

The women at the table next to me not only snarled their noses and curled up their lips, they set down their forks and declared themselves full.  Several tables full of people stared at us in disgust.

It is now that I realize, I deserve any embarrassment that 
Little K may cause.  My parents have been long-suffering at my expense, and my adulthood hasn’t spared them much.  I suppose I should be proud that I have obviously passed down the I-didn’t-realize-this-was-a-horrible-time-to-say-that-can-I-please-somehow-make-this-situation-more-awkward gene.  Hopefully he continues to be funny too.




Be awkward.  Love yourself.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.