Thanksgiving weekend in images

standard November 30, 2009 2 responses

Our drive to Tahoe took a record 3.5 hours during which the children slept blissfully. We had watched the weather forecasts like hawks, hoping that the predictions for clear skies would hold true. M’s little Honda is sexy and fun, but it would be no match for icy snowy roads. We were in luck and the roads were both clear of holiday travelers and snow.

Between the hours I’ve been working and Little L’s run-in with Hand Foot & Mouth I was beyond fried by the time we packed up the car and headed to the mountains. I desperately needed up unplug and recharge. Long before we had started to gain altitude I was sleeping just as hard as the girls.

It was a perfect weekend, lots of quality family time, plenty of relaxing downtime.

We had a very class and low key Country Club dinner. No leftovers, but no cooking, which is, all in all a pretty decent trade off.

 Little girls even get to have Mac&Cheese and curly fries for Thanksgiving at the club!
  It makes them happy.

And even though it did eventually snow, we didn’t let that dampen our fun. Instead we got bundled up nice and warm… 

Hats and gloves…
 Big thick jackets…

  … and we trudged out to enjoy some of the snow.

Where we found mammoth pine-cones.
Worried about the snow in the trees…

and pulled out daddy’s sled from when he was a kid…

  

And then someone took her gloves off and discovered that snow isn’t just soft, white, and fluffy. It’s also very, very cold.

We made it home safe and sound despite the snow on the roads, pulling in late last night after another pleasantly sleepy drive. Even before we left I had plenty to be thankful for, I’m just glad I had a low key, stress free weekend to enjoy it all.

Grateful for so much

standard November 26, 2009 1 response
Even before I took on the Tiny Prints Gratitude Challenge I was already very focused on appreciating the good things in my life rather than lamenting the things I didn’t have. I haven’t stopped. (And not just because that ended so fortuitously.)

I love how pausing and thinking about the things I’m grateful for can turn a bad moment or even a bad day around. Even on a good day it doesn’t hurt to ‘Take note and give thanks.’

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. In honor of it and the upcoming holiday season I challenge you to take the 21 day Gratitude Challenge. (Or the 7 day one if you just don’t think you can maintain that level of positive thinking.) It might not result in you snagging the coolest job evah, but it might change your outlook on your day to day life. And frankly that’s nothing to sneeze at.

We’re heading to Tahoe to spend the weekend with part of M’s family and you can bet that I’m going to make them all share a few things they’re grateful for. It’s good for the soul and it sparks awesome conversations. Before I go I’m leaving you with a few of the things I’m grateful for and an inspiring video to get you started on your quest.

I’m grateful for…
– My husband, who is the most understanding and supportive man I could ever have hoped to snag.
– My kids, who, even when they are sick or grumpy, are loving, funny, and sweet.
– My sisters. I don’t see them often enough, but I feel their love despite the distance.
– My parents, also too far to hug, but never too far to appreciate!
– My friends, virtual, real, far, near. Love them all, need them all.
– My life. It’s not what I would have imagined for myself, but nothing I had dreamed of touches a candle to it.

I wish you all a fabulous, loving, and fun Thanksgiving. (Yes, even if you aren’t in the US.)

Friday Flashback – What’s so great about the Fall?

standard October 31, 2009 3 responses
Friday Flashback is all about bringing to light some of my favorite posts from my archives to breathe new life into them. I’m reposting this because last night we had to add a blanket to our bed; a sure sign that Fall has arrived! This was originally published in September 08.

What’s so great about the Fall?

As I tossed and turned last night in bed trying to get warm I grumbled about the start of Fall. Then this morning I read this at The Inspired Room, and well, I got inspired. Odd how that works. So instead of ranting, I’m going to go all Pollyanna on you and give you 20 things I treasure about Fall.

1) It’s cool enough to cuddle at night. Which is great because I seem to be popular these days. M, C, and Little L keep fighting for who gets to sleep in my arms.
2) Pretty leaves changing colors. In CA we don’t get a lot of this, but every so often we turn a corner and spot a gorgeous tree aflame with colors and it leaves us breathless.
3) I can drink a late night cup of tea without needing to take a cool shower after. ‘Nuf said.
4) Flannel jammies. I know it’s not sexy, but they’re oh so cozy and I’ve missed them.
5) Orange and Black. I love watching Halloween decorations pop up right and left.
6) School supplies. I know, it’s odd, but nothing soothes my frazzled brain like row after row of neatly organized school supplies. If that makes me a dork, so be it.
7) Slow cooker meals. Something about Fall makes me long for slow cooked stews and other yumminess.
8) Pie. Warm. With heavy cream ladled on top.
9) Art and wine festivals. Sure it’s always the same stuff, but I still love going.
10) The beach in the cold. I love taking a walk on the sand when it’s cold and the wind is blowing.
11) Fluffy slipper socks. Especially when you slip them on before getting on the couch.
12) Huddling under a blanket with a loved one to read books or watch a movie. Goodnight Moon is oh, so much better under a fleece blanket.
13) Soup! Butternut squash. Carrot ginger. Cream of mushroom. Yum.
14) Putting the kids to bed when it’s already dark. What? That totally counts.
15) Car seat warmers. Toasty tushies.
16) Apples! Apple pie, apple crumble, apple sauce, apple chicken, apples and honey, apples, apples, apples!
17) The smell of chimney fires.
18) Sweaters. Wool or cotton? Thick or thin? Doesn’t matter as long as they are cozy.
19) Scarves. Stylish or functional. Love ’em all.
And last, but not least
20) The feel of cold little noses when you get hugs and kisses from little ones coming in from the cold.

Happy Halloween everyone, and happy Fall!

Gratitude doesn’t stop here, it goes where you take it

standard September 23, 2009 3 responses

Today was World Gratitude Day. And in honor, and to show you that the Gratitude Challenge didn’t end when the 21 days were up, I’m going to share with you the email I received from the Tiny Prints Founder & CEO, Ed Han. (And no, this has nothing to do with the fact that I wish I could go work for him. Though I would be terribly grateful if that were ever to happen. Ahem…)

I’m very excited both with how the challenge went for me and for the group and for how it’s now turning into something bigger and better than any of us ever dared hope. Gratitude is contagious. And it makes lives better. Go on, I challenge you to read the following and to take the challenge. Oh, and watch the video. It’s awesome. Pretty please?

Dear Jessica,

Since today is World Gratitude Day, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to participate in The Gratitude Challenge.

Not only did you complete every step of The Challenge with style and grace, but your stories of heroism, hope and harmony have inspired countless readers to do the same.

We started this project as a internal movement focused on helping our colleagues to achieve one simple goal—to counter everyday stress and negativity with daily affirmations of gratitude. As The Gratitude Challenge grew to include bloggers outside of our company, however, we learned just how much gratitude can change a person’s life.

From tornadoes to car accidents, fires and family drama, The Gratitude Challenge saw our bloggers through meaningful, life-changing events. We learned so much from this experience that we made a short video about how gratitude can revitalize your perspective. You can watch it below:

We hope this experience has meant as much to you as it has to us, and we hope that you and your readers will to continue to follow our progress as we invite the world to join the movement at gratitudechallenge.com.

Best wishes,

Ed Han

Tiny Prints Founder & CEO

Life is Like a Bowl of Stone Soup