Let’s talk gratitude, and not the ‘what we all have to be thankful for’ gratitude but the really deep-down-in-your-bones gratitude. The kind of gratitude that not everyone relates to, the gratitude that can seem a little weird and out of place at times. The kind of things you think to yourself but rarely, if ever, utter out loud. Vivi’s gratitude lies in armfuls of bunnies.

This is worse than Vivi finding out there's no Santa. The alternate bunnies have been compromised. The end is near.

I’ve started to teach Addie about this kind of gratitude, the kind that lets you find little bits of lovely in even the most bleak of situations. Like a perfectly sharpened pencil at the start of a math test or a really comfy dress that looks like a very fancy dress so you feel as though you’re getting away with wearing your pajamas in fancy situations. How about when you get one of those big lettuce hearts in your salad and the dressing has seeped down into all the little crevices and it’s covered in crouton dust (maybe that last one is just me?)

My mother-in-law delights in the little burnt french fry bits at the bottom of the bag. Cody loves it when he gets the last bowl of cereal out of a box and it’s half cereal dust, it apparently makes the milk taste better. I love to shove my face in the fur of a cat who has been sleeping in the sun, the smell of warm cat is intoxicating to me.

I’m grateful when someone my own age calls me hun, darlin’ or sweetie. It means strangers can be friends and not everyone in this world is a terribly cynic.

There aren’t even words for how grateful I am that the heater in my car gets so hot it makes me grumpy. The heater in my previous car didn’t work, which made me grateful that I discovered that wearing big mittens over thin tight gloves kept my hands warmer than any single pair of really expensive gloves.

I’m grateful for my garbage disposal, that’s another one of those things that when you go without — you miss them terribly.

More than anything these days I am painfully grateful for my family. Even though we annoy each other quite often, we are still each others’ favorite people to be around. The relationships that exist within these four walls are each powerful and unique — from the obvious one between Addie and Vivi to the more secret one between Cody and Wink. Having a place to call home, and a home I love being in was never something I grew up with.

Christmas Photo Attempt 2013

I like it here.

Silly as it sounds, I’m grateful for my ability to find the lovely in most any situation. If only everyone would stop and smell the proverbial roses a little more often. We were talking about perspective at church yesterday and one of the more experienced ladies said “A good way to look at your life is to ask yourself ‘Will this matter in 100 years?'”

The time I spend on the floor laughing with my little girls will matter in 100 years, because it will carry over to how they love their babies and their grandbabies. The fact that I spend all this time on the floor in cat hair covered sweat pants?

That won’t even matter next week.

What are the little strange and remarkable things you find yourself quietly grateful for?

What are you doing in your life that will matter in 100 years?


So grateful (see what I did there?) to be partnering with Hallmark during the holiday season on a series of sponsored posts to talk about all the little ways this season can bring us together and allow us to look at life and our relationships in a new way.  

 (Our holiday photo props are courtesy of Hallmark, more on those later!)


  1. I am grateful that I will, finally, be able to marry the person of my dreams. It stinks that I had to leave the church I loved so much to do so, but being without my finance’ is like being without air. I can’t live.

  2. Lately I’m grateful for an uninterrupted shower. I’m even more grateful when I hit the trifecta – a shower plus time to fix my hair and do my makeup. I’m especially grateful when little people nap at the same time. On a whole different plane, I’m grateful I didn’t have a seizure with preeclampsia.

  3. Angela Arnett Stone says:

    Amen. I learned during a prolonged serious illness that there was no day that was truely terrible because there were so many things that could have been worse. That sounds bad but I started being grateful when something fell and didn’t break. I was grateful that dinner turned out. I was glad to get that green light. I was glad for that joke my kid told. It started as just countering bad with it could have been worse to you couldn’t focus on the bad for all the small goods in a day.

  4. Ahhhh…I love this. “will this matter in 100 years” sums up what I’ve been trying to explain to a friend. I choose happiness over everything else in a lot of situations because in the grand scheme of things, the petty things won’t matter 100 years from now 🙂

  5. I’m grateful for so many things. In particular: every single moment I get to spend with my family. And even though they aren’t all perfect moments I feel fortunate that I get to have this family that loves and understands me while making me feel like the luckiest woman on earth.

    Next, even though I don’t love the fact that I have to work, I am thankful that I have a good job that has kept me employed for the last 11 years. I have a boss that completely understand the importance of family and my need to take time off so that I don’t miss those important moments in life.

    Oh and also I’m grateful for soft cozy sweatshirts, yoga pants and my couch on a cold winter’s day!

  6. I’m grateful for my family. All of the time. They are here. Even when I am all squished in the bed by the dogs and my daughter hogging I am grateful Because in 100 years it WILL matter to me that I got that snuggly time in when we were sleeping. It matters now too. It matters always.

  7. I am reminded every winter how grateful I am for our gas log fireplace. It is my favorite part of our home. I love the comforting home sweet home feeling it gives me. I am thankful for my bed. I lie there at night snuggled in warmth while the cold wind blows outside. At this time I am completely grateful that I am warm and safe next to the love of my life. That my babies are warm and safe and healthy dreaming away in their beds. When I say my prayers warmth in the winter time is always one I thank God for and pray for those who aren’t. These moments are perfection to me and I cherish them.

    Also, I am thankful for bailey’s Irish cream. It is so yummy especially when enjoyed in front of the fire place:)

  8. I am so very grateful for those Duraflame logs…Yes I know that seems like a crazy thing to be grateful for, but my family loves a warm fire, and frankly I am just terrible at starting a fire. But with those logs all I need is a match and we are happy and warm. I love those things!

  9. Absolutely LOVE that family portrait of you guys. xxo

  10. My husband. I sometimes can’t breathe thinking about him and what my life would have been like without him.

    When I stop everything, nothing else matters. I get bogged down in crap. But if I can stop, look at him…I realize nothing else matters.

  11. “I’m grateful for my garbage disposal, that’s another one of those things that when you go without — you miss them terribly”

    I can not possibly relate more. My husband and I moved two months ago and we didn’t have a garbage disposal installed. We bought one, but my dad didn’t have time to help us install it until last weekend. Cooking and cleaning up dinner the past few nights have been so much easier. 🙂

  12. i am grateful right now to have The Mr. at home with us!

    i am grateful for this fun holiday season. holiday drinks (peppermint mochas & shakes), holiday songs & lights.

    cozy blankets, a good book, eggnog ice cream, the warmth of a hug.

    i am grateful for time i can spend with friends (especially uninterrupted-by-little-ones time.

    i am grateful that The Mr. & i planned for me to stay home with little one for a bit; and it has turned out that i can continue to do so.

    i am grateful that i am not in a situation where i have to worry if we are fed or warm or dry or in need of basics of life (and fun things)

    i am grateful that i am able to “adopt” a family this holiday season.

    i am grateful to be appreciated. when little girl told me yesterday “i like all of your recipes; you should have been a cook when you were older” i knew that my time in the kitchen is worth it.

    and i am forever grateful that she seems to be on a path of a generous & caring heart herself. i am dreading the teen years… and i am hoping with all of my might that this part of her personality will not change.

  13. On a small scale, I am grateful for a warm cup of coffee, a cat buddy and a quiet house in the the mornings. It is a nice way to start the day 🙂

    On a large scale, I am so very thankful for my healthy kids and my healthy husband. We are blessed

  14. I am (in the bones) grateful when I come up the driveway from walking the dog, and I can see my husband and our little boy playing in the front room. It thrills and delights me that they love each other so much. I am so lucky to come home to that!!

  15. I am a kind of person who believes that there are always a lot of things to be grateful for no matter what. 😛
    Some things I am grateful for: family, friends, pets, nature, great foods and nice music.