thankful thursday ~ heartstrings

28 days of gratitude ~ day 15

i am grateful the special at cafe mundo was so delicious, that the company was excellent, that the movies we rented at the grocery store were particularly heartwarming this time, and reminded me of my son’s affinity for australia (just like the protagonist of alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day). his new elective class is called travel hacking and his first presentation is about perth, australia. i believe his trip to europe next year may be just the first of many travels, judging by his interest in faraway places and desire to visit other continents. he fancies australia because of the cool architecture, the dinosaur fossils, the dialect, and of course, wombats. i am trusting our connection will be such that while he may travel far away, he will always return, just like a boomerang from down under.


28 days of gratitude ~ day 16

there’s always a token day in a gratitude challenge that reminds me to be grateful i don’t need to earn an A in gratitude. this is that day. a day full of blessings like the rest, but through which i admit to have trudged with less of an ability to access the gratitude attitude.

28 days of gratitude ~ day 17

it’s a no-brainer on a day like this. a slightly delirious, sleep-deprived, elated day. today i am grateful for the absolutely amazing experience of being present for the birth of my sister camp boss’s newest bundle of joy. when i recently shared with her my ambition of having a parallel life to this one in which i become a midwife instead of a marine biologist, she said i could tag along. of course i am grateful as well for the health and well being of my sis and safe delivery of my new nephew, but selfishly, being able to check the box by “attend a human birth” on my bucket list, is something for which i am thankful and will cherish the memory forever!

28 days of gratitude ~ day 18

i am thankful for being able to give a friend what i needed when quinn was born. someone to come in and clear the dishes from the sink and give it a rinse; to handle the homeschool algebra lesson; to make sandwiches for lunch and prep the dinner and hold the baby so she could stretch her hips and systematically put the laundry pile through the machines. i needed it, way back when, a lot more than she did, she always does such a good job of coordinating her household, but it still felt healing to my 12 years ago postpartum self who was very isolated and lacking support. immense gratitude for the community of women surrounding and supporting me now, in all kinds of ways.


28 days of gratitude ~ day 19

tonight i am grateful for moon dates with my rainbow love, a rainbow ring around the moon.


28 days of gratitude ~ day 20

today my husband had to go to the dentist and jury duty, which made me grateful that all i had to do was go stand in a 2 degree cold room for a few hours, performing water changes on tanks full of arctic cod eggs. i have been feeling more grateful for my day job(sss) than i had been in january, with my current funding stretching out a year ahead, and government shutdowns at bay for the time being. also helpful for stoking the gratitude fire is my husband cheering me on about being a badass whenever i am blah-blah-blah-ing to him about work.

being so busy also is a great time to remember to be grateful for nachos!


28 days of gratitude ~ day 21

i am thankful for rainbow lights and laughs. our bedroom lightbulb needed to be changed. my husband says he didn’t spend very long in the lightbulb section of the store before choosing this one. he had installed it and i saw it right away when i went to change clothes and turned on the light and oohed and ahhed. later that night at bedtime, he was in bed and had the covers pulled up and i could tell by his eyes he was laughing. “what???” i asked. he said, “there’s still something else you haven’t noticed yet.” he waited. and waited. he had to 100% point it out to me and even then my reaction was, “oh that’s different?” apparently the lights over our bathroom sink have 3 bulbs and apparently one was burned out, and apparently all 3 had been mismatched bulbs…. the one that was out was the round kind that was supposed to be in all 3 fittings, but the other two were random ugly bulbs. he had gotten 3 of the nice round ones. he explained how it had been bugging him for a while. obviously i couldn’t then lie and say it had been bugging me! if it was up to me, they’d be mismatched forever and i might wait until all of them burned out to replace any. i am thankful for balance, rainbows, and bringers of light to my life.


28 days of gratitude ~ day 22

i am grateful that i get to be a grandma so early in my life. today my third granddaughter was born, a girl birthday sandwich on 2-22 (we always celebrate on the 22nd around here; dorkaversary!) in between one uncle on 2-21 and her uncle quinn and her daddy who share their birthday on 2-23. a week of celebration forever after it shall be!


28 days of gratitude ~ day 23

i am grateful for so many new babies leading up to my son’s twelfth birthday this week, reminding me of just how lucky i am to have the honor of parenting a whole new person in this lifetime. as he gets less new and more gangly and sometimes surly, it can be easy to lose sight of what a privilege it is to bring a child into the world, as someone who always knew i’d be a mama. my new nephew’s birthing bore a lot of resemblance to my own home birth, and witnessing it was an amazing gift both in itself, and in the ways it allowed me to revisit the wonder of that moment twelve years ago. my new granddaughter came along in a more mainstream manner, but i’ve been reminded of the hospital angels who helped me through my recovery from blood loss and who helped me figure out how to survive the pumping life of a nicu mama. i am so grateful both of these babies entered the world in good health, and so proud of both of their strong mamas whom i’m blessed to have in my life.

28 days of gratitude ~ day 24

i am grateful for all of my family, and my step-daughter is in particular on my mind today. i have always felt 100% embraced by her as her dad’s partner, although i am not technically old enough to be her mom. we are doing some pretty major bonding, as she is seeking new mama advice and reaching out with questions for my input. if you know me, you know i don’t believe in tmi, so i am open to discussing any topic or seeing any human part or fluid. nothing’s really off the table, everything is better with more knowledge. saying i’m open to it is litotes, i love to get into lengthy discussions of uteri or breasty-booby stuff! it’s making me grateful for my husband raising such a good natured woman, for my experiences leading to having some potentially useful advice, and this awesome new feeling of pride and joy in a daughter person when i thought i wouldn’t have one of those. i wasn’t sure if i was going to be called a grandma name or be mary beth to this new little one, because mary beth is what my other two granddaughters learned to call me when i was their grandpa’s girlfriend and they were very little (they don’t call quinn “uncle quinn” either, since they are not much younger than he is!). however, as we were leaving from our visit, she told baby girl to say bye bye to nana. it was at that moment that i was overtaken by a cloud of either pollen or cat hair.


28 days of gratitude ~ day 25

though i had good intentions to mindfully practice gratitude each day this month, i have to admit i have written many of these gratitudes after the fact. some were bullet points that i elaborated, and some were fabricated completely out of looking back through texts or photos and remembering what happened on that day for which i was retroactively grateful (and would likely have been grateful in the moment, though i wasn’t paying serious attention to it.) i don’t think it’s cheating, but i’m also not taking this class for a grade, so there’s that. i am grateful for writing, the process of looking back and reflecting on life’s moments, because sometimes there is just no time for writing while living!


28 days of gratitude ~ day 26

i am grateful for a new fluffy pillow.

28 days of gratitude ~ day 27

today i am grateful for big snowflakes, and a gangly brand new twelve-year-old sprawled on the window seat, describing their movement to me. “i saw three helicoptering ones! and one that was gliding! and look, there’s one that’s just like a parachute!”

i am also grateful for a young woman who has for the past several years looked up to me as a mentor in science, since before she began pursuing her undergraduate degree in biology. when she texts me out of the blue to ask if i can give her an example of experimental pseudo-replication in a marine setting, i text her back right away, explaining my understanding of the concept with examples, and why it’s an ethical issue. it’s a string of several rather verbose and jargon-filled text messages. she writes back letting me know she was on the verge of tears, and her professor still hadn’t emailed her back, and she needed to finish the assignment so she could study for tomorrow’s exam; which on some level i just knew, because i’ve been there, in that space where it seems like experimental pseudo-replication is the most important thing, instead of one of the many small things. it’s a little difficult to reconcile how i feel lukewarm towards my own career path and have even considered alternatives, and yet, i encourage her interest in this field and give her a leg up every chance i get. it’s almost tempting to stay around just so i can work for her one day.

28 days of gratitude ~ day 28

28 days went by so quickly, what with new babies i thought might both wait until march to make their appearances. if i have learned anything this round of gratitude, it is how much complaining i still do, how far i have to go yet to be in gratitude for a greater percentage of the time. i am grateful for the new awareness, as much as i wish for a different result, and to not be so bothered by the cold, my son’s lingering cough, and being too busy to write. the thing i love so much about gratitude is every moment is a new opportunity to start again. from the first sip of coffee in the morning, to the last bite of nachos in the evening, my days are packed full of blessings. babies, kitties, angular tweens to cuddle. trees swaying in the breeze, rainbows peeking subtly around clouds, flurries of snow. day lengths are becoming almost tolerable, and i can feel the trout lilies and trilliums are ready to bloom, right around the corner.

2 comments to thankful thursday ~ heartstrings

  • camp boss

    I think this might be one of your best gratitude posts… I could be slightly biased….the picture of rich and new grand daughter is precious, and a snow watching preteen is timely. My gratitude for your love, support, dish washing, and algebra help is more then I can say thank you for!!!! Thank You

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