November 17, 2009

What Are You Thankful For?

Yesterday was a simple day.

It was a small day full of small things. Full of slow walks and big dreams, persistence and just rewards. Of Shakira and sweet potato-tofu curry. Scary movies and working side by side on the couch. Of peppermint tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Chopping vegetables and the smell of garlic filling the air. Of wine and of work and of rest. It was a day full of you wash, and I’ll dry.

See, what I’ve come to realize is that Justin & I are simple people.

Small people whose lives are made up of small things. Of inside jokes and forehead kisses and baby, brush the hair away from my face. Of standing shoulder to shoulder and walking hand in hand and feet (and paws) intertwined on the couch. Of 90’s save the world movies and Law & Order SVU re-runs.

That right there is the sheet music of our lives. And it gets away from us. So many times it gets away from us.

But home always calls us right back to that place. Of chopping broccoli and sipping red wine and looking up at your best friend to realize….

this right here….this is what everything else is for. This small, simple moment. That makes up our entire world.

And I’m thankful for it. Thankful for the chance to hold on to it while it’s here.

So today I ask you….what are YOU thankful for?

What are those small, simple moments that make up your life? We can’t wait to hear your stories. So to sweeten the pot, we’ll be picking one lucky winner to receive either a $50 gift card to the grocery store of their choice to go get their Thanksgiving turkey (or tofurkey as the case may be!) or a $50 gift card to Restoration Hardware. Y’know, in case anyone is really jonesing for that wreath!

The contest ends tomorrow at 5pm, so get to thinking!… And to thanking!

***In related news, we are also so very very thankful and humbled that we recently passed our 8,000th comment. Unreal!! And our lucky winner just so happened to be Justin’s dad who said he didn’t need an iTunes card. That we should just put it toward our mortgage instead. Ah, Parents!! :)

  1. Betsy Jo

    I’m thankful for a long walk on a cold November day with my husband who’s disease-free after a long, life-changing illness. I’m thankful for 3 pairs of young eyes that look up at me with love each morning. I’m thankful for family who love me and support my dreams. I’m thankful for beautiful light that makes me want to shout! I’m thankful to be able to work as a nurse, and realize how blessed I am every day. I’m thankful for words to write. I’m thankful for photography. For simplicity. For faith. For life. I’m just thankful to be me.

  2. Margot

    It was a small, gutsy move, but I’m thankful I got up the nerve in 2001 to ask a cute boy in my high school choir to my senior prom. We started dating several months later, and were married this past August. It just goes to show, a little nerve goes a long way!

  3. Caitlin

    I’m thankful for cool fall days that make me wake up saying “Buddy, it’s fruitcake weather” because it means that I’m thankful for my mom who read me that Truman Capote story every November. I’m thankful for the doctor who performed brain surgery on my grandpa last month and cleared him of cancer. Thankful for being lucky enough to marry my best friend soon and thankful for the amazingly generous people who are helping to make that happen. Thankful for beauty and words and tradition and being here to celebrate the simple things.

  4. Hannah

    I am thankful for having a defining moment in my life so powerful that I will remember it always. Where do I go from here? How will I get there? These will always be mysteries, but that is what makes life so exciting. The things that I should know and should be crystal clear as a bright sunny day only became evident in the pouring rain. Who are my true friends, who has my back, and who is only concerned with their own well-being, even if it so happens to be my day, my moment, my everything. I am thankful for having seen through the mud and the muck to realize something so extraordinary. And so now I can continue down the road not taken, not knowing where I will end up. The difference now is that I know who thinks I’ll never make it ,and more importantly, I know who knows that I WILL.

    He will always be at my side, he will always have my back, and he is only concerned with my well-being, on any given day. I am thankful for everything that he is.

  5. Allison K

    I am thankful for having the most fabulous mother, who has supported me for 31 years, listened to me & most of all who’s been my best friend!!! Even though my dad has passed on, I’m extremely thankful that he lives on in me, I am very much his daughter!!! I’m thankful for the most wonderful guy who came into my life when I was at my absolute low & picked me up & now puts a smile on my face everyday!!! Im thankful for all my friends who have been threw all the ups & downs of my life, who have supported me & let me be who I am today!!! Most of all I am thankful for everyone who is in my life or who has been a part of life, because of them, I wouldn’t be here & I wouldn’t be who I am & I am extremely grateful for that, so thank you!!!

  6. Dennis

    I am thankful for all of the love that is around me from my God, my wife, my children and my family. What more is there?

  7. Jackie Lamas

    Cute puppy! I’m thankful for my family and all the joy they bring me. Through the ups and downs we’re always here for each other no matter the circumstance. The laughter we enjoy every day and the heartfelt honesty we are able to share is something truly wonderful to have. They are my best friends and confidants and always there to show me a better way. With out them life would be grim and boring. They are the color of life!

  8. Marissa Rodriguez

    I hope I get to meet you guys someday. I love your writing, your work, your simplicity and visiting your blog. Because of my husband, I know that exact feeling/moment that you described! And great contest by the way! Today I’m thankful for my new juicer(actually it’s my moms but I use it everyday) I know that’s simple and kinda’ silly, but I’m in love with it! So if I win, I’ll definitely be buying more fruit and veggies! :)

  9. Kristine

    I am thankful for the little moments in life that we often miss – but namely for the times when I don’t miss them.

  10. Hannah

    I am thankful for having a defining moment in my life so powerful that I will remember it always. Where do I go from here? How will I get there? These will always be mysteries, but that is what makes life so exciting. The things that I should know and should be crystal clear as a bright sunny day only became evident in the pouring rain. Who are my true friends, who has my back, and who is only concerned with their own well-being, even if it so happens to be my day, my moment, my everything. I am thankful for having seen through the mud and the muck to realize something so extraordinary. And so now I can continue down the road not taken, not knowing where I will end up. The difference now is that I know who thinks I’ll never make it ,and more importantly, I know who knows that I WILL. He will always be at my side, he will always have my back, and he is only concerned with my well-being, on any given day. I am thankful for everything that he is, because he is MY everything.

  11. michele bowman

    i am thankful for the emails i get from my son who’s away at university, letting me know what he did today and that he loves me. it’s nice to know that he still needs his mom, even though he’s 18 and 3 hours away from me.

  12. Jil

    i am thankful for my amazing finace and that we get to share the rest of our lives with one another. for all that i know about him and for all that i have yet to discover, i am so thankful for his love.

    oh… and this blog! you guys seriously bring so much joy to the world! i envy your karma!!

  13. Jil

    yeah… and the ability to type/spell… Fiancé :o)

  14. Kristian Bishop

    I am thankful for friends who have children – I am thankful that I can enjoy them, play with them, babysit them…and then give them back :)

  15. Tira J

    I am thankful for LIFE!

  16. Courtney

    Just that, the little things in life. The person who lets you and your one item go ahead of them and their full cart at the grocery store. The friendly smile and nod from a passer by, confirmation that kindness is still out there. The cuddly (on in my case, hardly cuddly) dog to keep your lap warm during a night in. Parents that graciously let me join them for dinner often (or 4 nights out of the week). A God who is so much bigger than small ol’ me and faithfully gets me through the hard trying times and the rejoices with me in the good times. These are a few of the things I am thankful for.

  17. Reuben Poon

    That’s so awesome! Funny enough, I’m thankful that every day for the past several months (or however long) I have been Tweeting something I’m thankful about. It’s been awesome!

  18. René Tate

    Beautiful… My thoughts coming soon.

  19. Willie Fagan

    Love this post.

    I am thankful that modern communications such as this can ‘join’ people across the world. I am in Melbourne, Australia, and you are in Connecticut, USA.

    I think it helps foster a sense of ‘worldwide community’.

    It is amazing!

  20. Sylvia

    I am incredibly thankful for my new fiancee and his ability to calm and center me, even in the most stressful of times. I am thankful that my mom is coming to visit me for the holidays this year, that my 2 year old nephew and my 4 year old Australian Shepherd get along fabulously, that my family is all healthy and happy, that after 2 years of being a long-term temporary employee I will FINALLY get employed with full benefits! and that I have the leisure of being able to pursue all of my dreams.

  21. Julia

    I am thankful for nets :) A wise couple once told me that they started their business with the philosophy "jump and the net shall appear." Well, I jumped this year… and thank goodness, the net appeared! In the form of a wonderful husband who has dried my tears, listened to my fears, and continues to provide unfailing support while I struggle onward in my new endeavor. In the form of family who did not question me when I told them what I planned to do but instead rejoiced. And finally, in the form of employers who I already knew to be wonderful people, but have proven to be two of the best friends and mentors a girl could ask for. I am thankful for each and person who helped to form the net that broke my fall. Upwards and onwards! :)

  22. Allison Joy

    I’m simply thankful for being able to wake up every morning and live the day. God is so good!
    P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I’m really enjoying yours!!

  23. tiffany zajas

    I’m thankful for:
    – warm soups and chili on a brisk day
    – puppy dog kisses
    – candles that smell like pumpkin spice
    – planning and preparing for family to visit for the holidays
    – looking at old photographs and remembering
    – holding hands
    – and so much more…

    You’re right, it is so important to remember even the little things. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  24. kim

    sometimes..being human I get in that "I want more.." kind of place..more stuff…better stuff…more!..but then…I come across a reminder ..sometimes a powerful writtten word (like your blog)..sometimes an observation that provokes thoughtful reflection..I am thankful..for being thankful..for gratitude..it is what keeps it real!

  25. Chelsea McGowan

    Today, I am thankful that I finally woke up feeling better. I’m pregnant with my second child, and have been horrendously sick… throwing up every single thing I eat, every day, for almost 4 months now. We’ve reached the halfway point in our pregnancy, and I’d given up hope that I’d feel good to enjoy the holidays with my family. That led to guilt, because I wanted my son’s last Christmas as an only child to be something really memorable… mom pukin’ her guts up on the couch is memorable, but not in the good way!
    But prayers have availed, and I finally woke up feeling better. It’s lifted my spirits and raised my smile again, and I’m so thankful that I’ll get to spend this holiday season rejoicing at the love of my beautiful family, and the life growing inside me… who might just not hate me after all! ;)

  26. michelle

    I am most thankful for a husband who loves me…for who I am. It took me 35 years to find him – and even when I first found him, I tried like hell to convince him he could ‘do better’. I am thankful he disagreed :)

  27. Ray

    I just want to cuddle with your dog! Awesome photo. ;D I am thankful for my ability to write about whatever I want in secret. It is my safe haven place. To write freely, without any eyes watching, if I don’t want them to.

  28. Erin Hamilton

    I am so very thankful for my one year (and one day) old daughter who reminds her parents on a regular basis that the simplest moments in life are often the sweetest!

  29. Lindsi

    I am thankful for my husband. He regularly forgives me for putting up a fight when I need to let my guard down. He is in Grad School full time for Mental Health Counseling and wants to work with missionaries once he is done. He continually surprises me with his amazing heart towards others as well as myself.

  30. Amy Clifton

    I’m thankful for the 95 years that my grandmother was on this earth. She died 8 weeks ago tonight, and she taught me to find joy in the simple beauty of our world…the monkey face in the center of a pansy, the star when you cut an apple in half, the man in the moon, moss under a tree, the cute yawning face of a newborn baby, the glow of a maple tree lit up by the fall sun. I credit lots of my "eye" as a photographer to the lessons she taught me about finding beauty all around and of looking for the best in people. She was amazing and will be missed for 95 more years…

  31. Linda Stahowiak

    I am thankful that for the first 41 years of my life that I was able to be independent, travel, live out some of my dreams and have a fantastic family that supported me and made me feel like life alone would never feel alone. BUT now (2.5 years later) I am also thankful that after accepting that I would be alone for the rest of my life that I then got engaged and married the most fabulous man that I have ever met and that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. I am so thankful that life with my best friend is so much more than I ever thought it could be. I am thankful that I have been given this second half of my life to live with the love of my life and thankful that it’s the simple things that make it wonderful.
    I am grateful for the way he makes me smile at the start of every day with this simple greeting, "good morning beautiful".

  32. Tabitha

    I am SO thankful that my best friend’s brother started breathing on his own today after being critically injured in a horrible car accident a few days ago. The doctors have gone from telling us to be prepared to say goodbye, to telling us that they are preparing for surgeries that they weren’t sure they would even be able to perform. We are praying for a full recovery!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Katie

    I’m thankful for getting laid off this year!

    It sounds counter intuitive, but I wasn’t happy at my job. I was always stressed out and crabby. Since I’ve gotten laid off, I’ve had time to learn how to cook, plan my wedding (finally! We had been engaged for 2 years), and pursue what I really want to do: write. I’m proud to say that I had a fabulous wedding, can bake a loaf of bread from scratch and have two freelance writing gigs (in addition to a very supportive, wonderful new husband).

  34. Shy

    so, you will never believe this but I was thinking of this exact photo all day today. I visited a breeder last night and fell in complete love. Then today I was basically told no from my landlord… It was a very sad day. But, for some reason this picture of Coop was in my head all day …..
    THEN, surprise, surprise… you blogged it! funny world ;)

  35. Lisa H. Chang

    I’m thankful for, after a year of being married, the challenges this past year has given my husband and I. He’s been consumed by the arduous task of preparing to study in another country (the U.S.) and I’ve been at times supportive, at times frustrated and at times just plain needy and selfish. But we’ve finally hit our sweet spot, where I’m able to accommodate his need for long periods of quiet study and he’s able to accommodate my needs of a listening ear and help with the dishes and laundry once in a while. :)

  36. maggieb

    I am thankful for the formative things…amazing parents, a wonderful husband, blessed children…and the little things, like HOT showers and coffee. Thank you God.

  37. Dennise

    On Oct. 26th, my grandma closed her eyes for one last time. Yes, there were tears of sadness with the news, but deep down inside I knew I had little reason to be sad. You see, my grandma filled me with so many of those "little moments." I will forever remember her warm smiles, her gentle touch has she held my hand while speaking, her hugs overflowing with love. I can just go on and on. But in the end, these "little moments" are what life is all about…

  38. Emily

    I am thankful that you were both available for our wedding day next year! YAY!

  39. MM

    @Emily: Us too!!! xoxo

  40. Alison

    I am thankful that from one of life’s most painful moments I am finding strength I didn’t know I had, love I didn’t know was possible, the real importance of friends even if we don’t see each other enough, and the power to change myself for the better. I am thankful, that even though the pain is great, I have the opportunity to see these things clearly.
    And I am thankful for that puppy face that just made me grin over the rim of my pumpkin spice coffee!! :)

  41. Susannah

    I am so thankful for finally being married to the love of my life. After two years of living in different countries, there is nothing more exhilarating and sweet than waking up with him by my side, sharing bowls of Honey Bunches of Oats, working side by side on our business then ending the day…together.

  42. Deyla Huss Photography

    WOW I dont even know where to start really? I am thankful for so many things…. Im thankful that my husband wants me to get up with him every morning and have that coffee time we so cherish before the kids get up. Im thankful for that blanket my son lets me "borrow" incase I get scared. I’m thankful for those talks my daughter and I have about lifes bumps in the road, our health, our compassion, our ability to see, hear & smell. really I could go on….. Thanks for having another post to force us to stop and just take a moment to think. Love you guys!

  43. Katelyn

    I am SOOOO thankful for color! I actually just realized how truly thankful I am for it the last few days so I blogged about it today! Can you imagine what our jobs would be like with NO COLOR?! Oh, so incredibly boring. So, I am thankful that we have teals, and blues and greens and yellows…. they make life so bright and beautiful!

  44. Jen

    what can you not be thankful for? someone once said "…Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough…"

    I am thankful for the everyday blessing of simply getting to live my life. I’m married to my best friend, I have two beautiful kids, I have a roof over my head and I have the best occupation in the world…

    Kenny Chesney/Dave Matthews say it best "…I’m alive and well, breathing in and out’s a blessing…can’t you see?"

    love you work and thanks for the reminder!

  45. Emily Beaty

    What a CUTE image! I just love puppies. :) I am thankful for SO much, but I’m most thankful for Jesus Christ, my Savior & Lord. Without HIM, I am nothing!

  46. rachel darley

    I am thankful for tastebuds, for without them, I wouldn’t have job (work at a seasoning company), wouldn’t enjoy grandma’s cooking (and who doesn’t LOVE grandma’s cooking?!), the Holidays just wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t enjoy the food, and because they allow me to indulge in chocolate heaven. Oh yes, I am VERY thankful for tastebuds. And also for 1:45 pm dance parties at work. Nothing like a dance party to celebrate the near-end of the work day!

  47. Stephanie

    I’m thankful for hand squeezes in sad moments, strong arms that hold me & let me know everything will be alright, laughing at ourselves, thinking/saying the same thing at the same time, and getting to wake up next to my amazing hubby every morning. I’m also thankful for a quite large & amazing family who showed so much love, support, and took care of my grandmother in her time of need, and during the last week of her life. It just shows how well she raised her kids and how much they (and my grandfather) loved her.

  48. Amanda Donaho

    I’m thankful for the opportunity to give. Blessing others, even in small ways, usually ends up blessing me even more so!

  49. Ned

    I’m thankful for Nate. A healthy, beautiful, happy and smiley 11 month old. I feel like I won life’s lottery.

  50. Lauri

    I am thankful for the woman at the dog rescue who after pulling many dogs out of the S. Carolina kill shelter and driving off with them in her van, decided to turn back around and squeeze one more puppy in….thanks to her we have our little Derby Dog!

  51. Spring

    I’m thankful for a lot; for my friends who have helped me get through the past year and a half without doing so "in my face"; for my amazing Maddie girl & her spunkiness and for my husband, who is my best friend and soul mate; but who has become an amazing Godly man in the past year. For our church for welcoming us and again, for E, accepting that welcome with open arms. And of course you, Mary, for this blog that makes me smile daily! I’m so proud of you!

  52. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    I know the contest is over …. but I asked the same thing on facebook the other day …. and know what my bizness partner said "for my parents having the sense to put away a little $$$ each month so I graduated from college debt-free" …. and I CONCUR! Seriously! Snaps to parents who were thoughtful enough to do so …. if I had a big debt, I truly don’t think I’d be able to follow my dreams the way I have ….

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