Friday, May 30, 2014

Gratitudes for 5/29 and 5/30/14

"Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for." ~ Zig Ziglar

"Feeling gratitude isn't born in us - it's something we are taught, and in turn, we teach our children." ~ the late, great, Dr. Joyce Brothers

Today I am grate*full...
1. for my late night conversations with Marc.
2. that Sriram Hathwar won the spelling bee! (Well, he was declared a co-champion with this kid from Texas.) It was a really exciting final round.
3. for beautiful weather.
4. for our new TV/DVD combo that we got from our friend Jen Spicer. I'm so grateful not to have to tax my laptop playing DVDs anymore.
5. for good party songs playing on my Pandora.
6. for realizing that chair dancing is good for my anxiety.
7. for Clorox wipes.
8. for chocolate.
9. for good friends. Got to hang with both my sixth and seventh period crews today.
10. that my husband told me I look hot this morning.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gratitudes for 5/27 and 5/28/14

"Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy." ~ Jacques Maritain

"Of all the characteristics needed for both a happy and morally decent life, none surpasses gratitude. Grateful people are happier, and grateful people are more morally decent." ~ Dennis Prager

Today I am grate*full...

1. that the more I express my gratitude, the more opportunities the universe provides me with to express gratitude.

2. for the beautiful landscape where I live. On my drive to work this morning, I was struck by the beauty of two hills, the valley between them, and another hill behind them.

3. that spring is gently turning to summer.

4. that my beautiful daughter (who is 6) still wants to sleep in Mommy's bed at night. She is growing so fast, but moments like these remind me that she is still my little girl and I love that.

5. that I found a lost article.

6. for something work-related about which I can't post details, but for which I'm grateful.

7. for flip-flops. I love them.

8. for FlyLady.

9. that they have located the girls being held prisoner by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

10. for amazing and loyal friends.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Gratitudes for 5/25/14 and 5/26/14

"Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy." ~ Henri Nouwen

Today I am grate*full...

1. The origins of Memorial Day may have become somewhat muddled, but I'm grate*full to whoever created this day of rest and celebration to honor those who have gone before us and those who have bravely served our nation. I am especially grate*full for the service of my father and father-in-law.

2. that it's 11:48 AM and I'm still in my pajamas.

3. that the weather is absolutely gorgeous.

4. that my husband finished mowing the lawn.

5. for good times spent with good friends. Our babysitters Monica and Lethia came over yesterday and we played Monopoly and we couldn't stop laughing. It was so much fun.

6. for hugs and snuggles from my Marc.

7. for hugs and snuggles from my Rachael.

8. for hugs and snuggles from my Melanie.

9. for a warm bed to sleep in.

10. for hot showers.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Gratitudes for 5/24/14

"America's fighting men and women sacrifice much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to the soldiers that have paid the ultimate price for this cause, as well as for those who are blessed enough to return from the battlefield unscathed." ~ Allen Boyd

Today I am grate*full....

1. that Rachael is adapting well to eating solids. We ran low on formula this month so we're trying to increase the time in between bottles. Last night for dinner she ate a whole jar of baby sweet potatoes.

2. for absolutely gorgeous weather.

3. for the sacrifices of our veterans, especially my father and father-in-law.

4. that we have friends who are comfortable calling us in their time of need.

5. that thanks to our friend Jen, we now have a TV for our bedroom that has a built-in DVD player. I now do not have to play my Joey Show DVDs on my laptop anymore. :) :) :)


Friday, May 23, 2014

Gratitudes 5/23/14

"Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." ~ Charles Dickens

Today I am grate*full...

1. for our amazing babysitters, Monica and Lethia.

2. for enough food to eat. Our cupboards are rapidly getting bare, but compared to the truly hungry in the world, we are richly blessed, and I would be wise to remember that.

3. for clean water to drink. I try so hard not to take this for granted.

4. for the love and support of my immediate family and good friends.

5. for the safe arrival of my new great niece, Livia Ruth McDuffee, eight days ago! I can't believe I didn't post about that! She is definitely her mother's daughter! I have seen pictures so far where she looks just like my brother (so there are some Brown genes in there), and just like my brother-in-law, her grandfather (so there are some Phillips genes in there too!). Big sister Lainie is the spitting image of her dad, except for one thing: like Harry Potter, she may look like her father, but she has her mother's eyes. I love all six of my great nieces...Sara, Emma, Ally, Ashlee, Lainie, and Livia :)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gratitudes for 5/20, 5/21. and 5/22

"The struggle ends when the gratitude begins." ~Neale Donald Walsch

"Gratitude is an opener of locked-up blessings." ~Marianne Williamson

"Do not take anything for granted — not one smile or one person or one rainbow or one breath, or one night in your cozy bed." ~Terri Guillemets

I've had a rough couple of days. I'll admit it. I thought I was going to end up coloring again, but I'm OK.

So today, May 22, 2014, I am grate*full...

1. that we're not doing any more fire drills today. Being on crutches and in so much pain makes them very difficult.

2. that my dear and loving husband made me lunch.

3. that the kids are going to get to play with their friends Hyland and Trynatie today.

4. that I subscribed to Menu-Mailer and am getting some good tips that I think we can use.

5. for early morning snuggles with the Roodle.

6. for getting to see her play with her big sissy this morning.

7. for Enya on my Pandora.

8. for the black t-shirt I'm wearing. I really love it.

9. for Bruno Mars.

10. for chocolate.

11. for chocolate-covered espresso beans.

12. for clean water to drink.

13. for something work-related about which I can't post details.

14. that Whitney Houston lived and sang. She had some problems, but dang, that girl could sing!

15. that I go by my kids' former doctor's office on the way home from work and that I don't have to fax the release of records form that I have. Long story.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Gratitude from 5/17/14 forward

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you?'" ~ William A. Ward

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving." ~ H.U. Westermayer

So I owe 15 gratitudes today. When my past trauma is triggered, which it has been a lot lately, and was in the extremely recent past (like in the past 15 minutes), it is so difficult to get out of that head space where I think the only appropriate response is to mutilate myself, and into one of gratitude, so I am extremely challenging myself right now. But we have to challenge ourselves to live in active gratitude. It's vital to our happiness as humans. Of this I am certain.

So today, 5/19/14, I am grate*full...

1. for the life of my beautiful firstborn daughter, Melanie Jane. Today is her sixth birthday. At 1:30 in the morning on Monday, May 19, 2008, my midwife told me that I had labored long enough without progress, and it was time to call the OB in for a c-section. Our precious girl was born at 3:12 AM.

2. to have known some amazing priests in my day. When I found out that I would be having major abdominal surgery, I begged for a priest. The one who showed up was Fr. Dennis, one I had gotten to know the previous year, and who lived at Brossart House, which was right up the street from my apartment at the time. I was so grate*full it was him. Some priests, who don't speak for the majority, have done some unspeakable and terrible things. And the Catholic Church, overall, hasn't done the best job of handling the perpetrators of those vile acts. But I have had the good fortune to know some who are truly great...

3. for Fr. Dan Noll, who kept me Catholic when I was ready to jump ship as a high school senior. He was the pastor at the UK Newman Center, and he taught me so much about WHY we do the things we do. I grew up in an environment of, "Don't ask questions, just do what you're supposed to." And half the time the other kids in CCD didn't even know what we were talking about in religious ed classes because their parents didn't even bring them to church, so every year, it was going over the order of Mass...AGAIN. But that's a story for another day.

4. for Fr. Tom Farrell, who took the Newman Center over when Fr. Dan was reassigned. (In the Lexington diocese, there's a "term limit" of sorts...the longest a priest is allowed to stay at one particular parish is 12 years.) I found out when I got back from spring break my fourth year that Father Dan was leaving the Newman Center, but we got to have a say in who the new priest would be. The staff all really wanted Fr. Tom. I had met him on a twilight retreat a few years earlier, and I wholeheartedly agreed. Fr. Tom was the perfect choice for our progressive community. He got me through a lot of hard times, not the least of which was the death of my mother in 1999.

5. for Fr. Chris Linsler at St. Mary our Mother church in Horseheads. When our son, Marc, was four weeks old, in June of 2011, he had to have abdominal surgery. I was almost as scared then as I was that first night alone in the house after my mom (who was my only surviving parent) died. Marc was in the hospital for four days, and we saw Fr. Chris no less than three times. He was an amazing source of strength and support for us during that horrible week.

6. for Fr. Robert McNamara, aka Fr. Mac, or, as my kids like to call him, "Father Macaroni," and "Father Mac and Cheese," respectively. He was the first priest we met when we started attending St. Mary's Southside when we moved. We ADORE him. He is so sweet and nice and so good with the kids. My children adore him.

7. and, finally, for Fr. John DeSocio, who is the pastor at St. Mary's Southside. He, Fr. Mac, and the rest of the staff, including Deacons Paul and George, have made us feel so welcome, and it's part of the reason we keep going back. We love it there!

8. for the roof over our heads. We have some friends who are in a situation almost identical to the one we were in six months ago, and we're so lucky that a) my father-in-law didn't kick us out immediately if not sooner, and b) that we have a beautiful home.

9. for this beautiful pink pair of flip-flops that I have. I bought them in Canada nine years ago (I can't believe it's been nine years since my epic trip to Canada, where I saw more of Minnesota and Manitoba than I even bargained for). They are a reminder of that amazing trip, where I met some friends in person for the first time, and saw others that I hadn't seen in over a year (yes, this means you, Viccah, Christina, Tan, Chriss, Melissa, Jackie, Wendy, and Andres!) and haven't seen since! Anyway, I thought I had lost one of them (actually, I thought MELANIE had lost one of them LOL) and when we moved we discovered we had both of them! I was so happy!

10. for SARK and her amazing magical message boards that brought me and so many friends together over the years.

11. for the swingset in my back yard.

12. for my dear and loving husband and friends Chris and Matt who helped him get the swingset set up quickly.

13. for my two older children's amazing friends (and our amazing friends) who made their birthday like Christmas they got so many toys, books, and clothes.

14. for my jobs.

15. for job interviews tomorrow and Wednesday.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Gratitudes 5/15 and 5/16/14

"There is no joy without gratitude." ~ Brene Brown

"I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I'm on, and to relish each day as a gift." ~ James McGreevey

Yesterday, 5/15/14, I was grate*full...

1. that my surgery got scheduled. This means that, hopefully, there's an end-date in sight for this medical nonsense that I have going on inside of me.

2. for cuddles and snuggles with the Roodle.

3. for how observant Marc is getting. One of my thumbnails split a couple of days ago and the one side of it is really sore. So I keep a bandaid wrapped around it to minimize the pain that goes with touching, well, anything. He looks at my finger yesterday and says, "You have boo-boo, Mommy?" "Yes, honey, Mommy has a boo-boo. My fingernail split." "Does it hurt?" It was so cute and sweet!

4. for Joey Show on DVD. I think I'm grateful for that every day.

5. for clean water to drink. So many people in the world don't have it, and I try hard not to take it for granted. I got really dizzy yesterday and I think between dehydration and my tendency to be anemic rearing its ugly head, I was making myself pretty sick. I've tried to drink more today.

Today, 5/16/14, I am grate*full...

1. for something work-related about which I can't post details.

2. that, when I created a Richard Marx Pandora station, the first song it played, "Endless Summer Nights," was my favorite Richard Marx song!


4. for Andrea Schroeder and the Creative Dream Circle. If you have any kind of creative dream you're pursuing, you MUST visit this page.

5. that doing my "big three" always gets me feeling better, even if it takes me a long time to get there.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gratitudes 5/14/14

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ~ Maya Angelou

Today I am grate*full:

1. For something work-related about which I can't post details.
2. That I found a lost article.
3. For shirt-sleeve and flip-flop weather.
4. For coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
5. For an awesome comment Lethia made on Facebook yesterday.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Catching up Gratitudes

"When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity." ~ Elie Wiesel

I am a few days behind this time, so today I am grate*full...

1. for an objective that makes my heart sing.
2. that I found a folder I needed for work.
3. that I found a budget template that I can work with.
4. for my Lifetouch School Year Calendar :)
5. for the ice cream that's waiting for me in my fridge. I mean freezer.
6. for Rachael's impishness and mischievousness (I probably won't always be grate*full for this).
7. for work blessings.
8. for Pandora.
9. for the roof over my head.
10. for cable.
11. for internet.
12. for electricity.
13. for natural gas.
14. for trash removal.
15. for clean water to drink.
16. for my dear and loving husband.
17. for chocolate.
18. for the Indigo Girls.
19. for Joey Show on DVD.
20. for naps.
21. for Barbara Sher.
22. for Wishcraft.
23. for Andrea Schroeder.
24. for Becky Natale (on her birthday).
25. for Avril Lavigne and Alanis Morissette.

On Friday, May 9, I was grate*full...
1. For being paid.
2. For BEAUTIFUL weather.
3. For good coffee.
4. For diaper coupons from Tops.
5. That we're all wearing our recital t-shirts and look awesome.
6. That I got to snuggle my Rachie Roodle at work this morning.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gratitudes 5/8/14

"Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind." ~ Lionel Hampton

When I am struggling, it is important to make sure I do the "Big Three" every day: journal, pray, and express my gratitude. I have been struggling lately. So I cannot just do gratitude half-heartedly. I must do it with my whole heart. That means even if I do write it in my journal, it is important that I am accountable, here, and on the Facebook group.


Today I am grate*full...
1. for the roof over my head.
2. for enough food to eat in my home.
3. that my children are all safe in their beds.
4. for the donations I've received for the raffle and the GoFundMe campaign.
5. for rain that washes away pollen in the atmosphere and makes flowers and food grow.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Gratitudes 5/7/14

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
~ William Arthur Ward

I'm going to be brutally honest. I'm having a hard time. I'm losing my job at the end of next month. Finding things to be grateful for is very difficult for me right now, but I am plodding through, because expressing my gratitude is one of the "big three" things I do to tolerate distress. I journal, I pray, and I express my gratitude. And when those three don't work, I color and blow bubbles and basically declare mutiny on adulthood for fifteen minutes or an hour or however long it takes until the distress passes.

So today, May 7, 2014, I am grate*full...

1. for the lives of my friend Ryan and my step-granddaughter Kristina, who both have birthdays today. Also my friend Carolyn.
2. for
3. for the support of family and friends.
4. for being able to talk to my bestie on gtalk during work.
5. that my desk is slowly but surely getting cleaned off.
6. that I made serious progress on the programs yesterday.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Catching up POSTING of the gratitude

"Take full account of the excellencies which you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not." ~~ Marcus Aurelius

Today, Tuesday, May 6:

I am grate*full...
1. that my friend Meg saved my behind today. Literally. She has no idea.
2. for my "Relaxation" station on Pandora.
3. that so far, the tears have held off. I'm having a really rough day today.
4. for a picture I found of Melanie and Rachael taken shortly after Rachael was born.
5. for the ability to begin again.

Monday, May 5:

I am grate*full...
1. That my fridge is so full that I had trouble getting my creamer out this morning.
2. That we have so much bottled water that I had to move it to get at the scale to weigh myself.
3. For our fan in the living room. After I doled out carrots for the week I was burning up.
4. That I woke up early enough to do my journal before school, plus pack lunch.
5. For the picture I got of Marc sleeping last night. It was so sweet. (I often call Marc "Marcus Aurelius" so that's why I chose this quote.)

Sunday, May 4:

I am grate*full:
1. for naps. Got a good, long holy nap of obligation today. It felt wonderful.
2. for a good Mass at St. Mary's and how nice the people are there.
3. for groceries and an awesome dinner that John made.
4. for snuggles with the kids.
5. for clean water to drink.

Saturday, May 3:

I am grate*full...

1. that Monica got Rachael a onesie that says "Little Sister."
2. for Rachael laughs.
3. for comfy pajamas.
4. for my Keurig and for K cups.
5. for our SNAP benefits.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Gratitudes 5/2/14

"Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse." ~ Henry Van Dyke

Today I am grate*full...
1. For the candy money, so I could put gas in my car.
2. For seeing the sun.
3. That it wasn't raining (much) on the way to work.
4. That it was shirt sleeve weather.
5. For a good rehearsal last night with Nolan DeSanto.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Catching up the Gratitude

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder

So I've been pretty good at keeping gratitudes on the journal (; it changes lives!) but not so hot at posting them here. So I am caught up through today. I have to write today's.

Today, May 1, 2014, I am grate*full...

1. for my early morning snuggles with Rachael.
2. that Marc is MATCHING PITCH when we sing together.
3. for my e-mails from the Positivity blog.
4. for Paul Simon's music.
5. that we got new SNAP benefits.

On Wednesday, April 30, I was grate*full...
1. I'm grateful that it wasn't raining too hard when I was driving to school :)
2. I'm grateful that Melanie didn't whine at me too much when I went to get her up for school.
3. I'm grateful that I have chocolate.
4. I'm grateful for my task scheduler on my Outlook.
5. And I'm grateful that this semester is almost over.

On Tuesday, April 29, I was grate*full...

1. That I have a job interview tomorrow.
2. For Courtney's support. I love my BFF! My bestie.
3. For enough food to eat.
4. For the roof over our head, that we can now pay for for another month.
5. That my t-shirts are paid for.

On Monday, April 28, I had three days to catch up, and I was grate*full...
1. for a colleague making me laugh.
2. for another colleague making me smile.
3. that my flowers still seem to be thriving.
4. that John got a job doing a new back porch for our friend Niki. We desperately needed the money for rent.
5. for something else work related and colleague related about which I can't post details.
6. for Monica for babysitting today and Lethia for coming over later.
7. for George Michael music on my Pandora.
8. That my friend (and Marc's godmother) JoAnn keeps posting her gratitudes day after day.
9. That I'm making progress on my Consumer Behavior project.
10. That I do my curriculum pull-out payroll in pencil. (I made a mistake.)
11. That we have a place to have OA meetings.
12. That I found some jewelry I wanted to wear.
13. That I found some jewelry to raffle.
14. That I only have two board meetings left until I'm off the board.
15. That I may soon have an end to a health problem I've been having. It's going to require a surgical procedure, but it's a short one, and a minor one, and will hopefully get me a LOT of relief.

On Friday, April 25, I was grate*full...
1. for sunny skies.
2. for early morning snuggles with my baby girl.
3. for payday Fridays.
4. for the supporters of the "Everyone Can Play" Music Collective.
5. that I don't need the typist classification to apply for the attendance secretary for summer school job.

On Thursday, April 24, I was grate*full...
1. That the potholes on South Walnut Street in Elmira have been patched.
2. That my father-in-law didn't have to go to the hospital after his FALL.
3. For something work related.
4. For my office mate Laurie.
5. For another colleague.
6. That Tim Bonomo, my former advisor from CCC and owner of the Palace Theatre in Corning, is going to donate a gift basket to the raffle for my recital!!!!!!!!

On Wednesday, April 23, I was grate*full...
1. That I got flowers from Jake and Michele for Administrative Professionals' Day.
2. For something work-related
3. That a work task didn't take me as long as it usually does.
4. For my sparkly white shirt.
5. That we're cleaning out and I keep getting school supplies. I love school and office supplies.

On Tuesday, April 22, I had 20 gratitudes to make up, and here they are:

1. For long talks and snuggles with Melanie.
2. For Pandora and my new Alanis Morissette station.
3. For my meeting with Jenica last night.
4. For going back to OA and seeing friends and meeting new people.
5. That I got to see some of my favorite Labor and Delivery nurses.
6. For Monica and Lethia.
7. That I found a bunch of tickets for the Friday show.
8. For Diane.
9. For my friend Allyson.
10. For Laurie, for helping me keep things in perspective.
11. That I got my therapy appointment rescheduled.
12. For the Beatles.
13. For having the opportunity to make up some of the time that I had to take unpaid. 14. For the House Fairy.
15. For clean water to drink.
16. For the roof over my head.
17. For my job.
18. For my rosary.
19. That I didn't have to wear tights today.
20. For coffee.