Sunday Thanks: Happy Birthday to Me!

Three years ago today the doctor removed my breasts after a breast cancer diagnosis.  In the three years since this time, I am thankful for every second (well, almost, minus the ailments) which has been allotted to me by the Big One up above.  If it weren’t for the Big “C,” I probably never would have walked too many miles over the course of two days, never met some endearing friends, never released stressors from my life, never been more honest, never loved more deeply, never paid attention more, never thanked more people, never truly listened more, never attempted to let people know they matter on a daily basis, never laughed at myself more, and never squeezed on more people.

So, on this Sunday, for what or whom are you thankful?

Sunday/Monday Thanks: Cards

One of my sweet Daisies, Miss Hailey, from my Girl Scout troop surprised me with the most beautiful box of cards for Christmas. I do not know how she knew, but this is one of my favorite ways to spend my downtime, writing cards and sending them to others.

To me (and my squirts), opening this box is like opening a box of possibilities.  My oldest daughter has created a book out of the beautiful cards.  My youngest squirt created surprise notes of love hidden beneath my hub’s pillow and my own pillow.

I have used the cards to thank the Daisy, thank some teachers, thank a Girl Scout leader, surprise my hub with a love letter, thank my friend who controls the bush growing on my head, thank a woman blessing who listened when I needed someone to listen, thank a woman blessing who offered to take my youngest squirt to school when my oldest was sick, and send to the women blessings on my #fmfpartysnailmail list.

I also plan to visit The Word Needs More Love Letters to see who else I can send a  card.

So, grab that box of cards gathering dust in the back of your drawer, and use your words to change a person’s life if only for the time it takes for him/her to read the card.  Every minute counts . . .

Who do you plan on sending a card to today?

Sunday Thanks: Creating Mini Christmas Scenes

With our newest family member being a puppy, we have had to think outside the box in terms of decorating for Christmas.  Miss Daisy Duke loves to chew on hands, stinky feet, fluffy sweaters, and Little People.  So, in order to find safety for our wee playthings, the girls and I created mini scenes with what we had on hand.

We collected empty vases, jars, and storage containers.  Then, as a substitute for snow, we started with the glitter we had on hand.  When the glitter ran out, we moved on to powdered sugar, but we didn’t like that material as well.  So, we decided to make use of granulated sugar.  Oh yeah;  now we were making [snow] bacon.

Then, with what Little People, miniature trees, glass beads, and whatnot we could find around the house, we designed our mini scenes.  I plan to save glass jars this year so that we can use them next Christmas for more mini scenes.

Cost: $0

Time spent together:  Priceless

Please enjoy our gallery of mini scenes and lose yourself in them as we do.

For what or whom are you thankful this Sunday?

Monday (should be Sunday) Thanks

Sunday Monday Thanks.  My children never cease to amaze me, and I am constantly learning from them.  When we asked our two daughters to make a Christmas list, my oldest daughter added, “7.  for everyone to be jolly at all times.”  If this does not put life in perspective, I do not know what does.  Not to mention, 4 of the 7 items on the list are books.  One proud English teach of a momma here. . .


A friend I have known for over twenty-five years e-mailed me this morning asking if my girls might be interested in her doll collection.  She wrote, ” . . .it’s time for me to pass them along to the next generation . . . [and] I was thinking that your girls may like them.”  The collection itself is not what touched me, but the fact she thought enough of my girls to pass on a sentimental collection.  Who knew when we were sitting on the page bench in the Illinois House of Representatives twenty-five years ago talking about boys, about which representative tipped the best, and about when we would next soak up the sun we would one day be talking about bequeathing items to others?

In the mail today I found my FREE “You Just Got Joy’d!” cards, and I was ecstatic.  I am looking forward to using these in the next few weeks in an attempt to brighten the days of others (which, in turn, brightens my day . . . can’t beat that).

The hub and I have a visitation and a funeral to attend out of town.  As we were trying to figure out the logistics of a dog, two small girls, two jobs, and volunteer coaching, my salt-of-the-earth friends stepped in without hesitation with one covering practice and the other watching my girls while my hub and I travel.  I am deeply grateful for them as is my hub.

Today is the birthday of a dear friend whom I met at church over five years ago.  A phenomenal writer, she was there for me every step of the way during my breast cancer journey with just the right words when I needed them.  Not wanting to bother my hub with the numerous appointments as I felt he had enough to deal with considering his wife was losing her breasts, she said, “You need to let him in,” and so I did.

Motivating words from a teacher and author whom I know I met for a reason my first year of teaching.  She mentors me, incites much laughter in me, and, most importantly, loves me unconditionally.

For what are you thankful this Monday?  Share below in the comments section so that others may realize how much they have in which to be thankful.

Sunday Thanks: Gpa O.

Ninety-one years young is the age my hub’s grandpa is turning today, and I am so grateful to have him in my life.  I first met him twelve years ago at my then boyfriend’s (now hub) doctoral defense.  I had not met any family members to this point, and this is the day I met not only his parents and brother, but also his grandparents.  I was definitely sweating bullets.

A couple of weeks later, the then boyfriend (now hub) and I drove to his grandparents’ house for the day.  They live on some land complete with two fishing ponds, horses, dogs, and at the time, two llamas.  After lunch, Grandpa decided to take us out on his boat so that we could water-ski (my first and only time to date).


The then boyfriend (now hub) used his slalom ski and danced on the water with ease before it was my turn.  Talk about pressure.  With patience, Grandpa navigated the water with my repeated attempts until I finally was able to stand on my skis for close to thirty seconds, and it was glorious.  Yet, riding the inner tube connected to the back of the boat proved to be more my speed.

Enjoying our time on the water, we all initially missed the acrid stench coming from the engine which eventually turned into billowing smoke.  Stranded on the lake without a working engine, Grandpa reached for his oar and began paddling.  Shocked, to say the least, to witness such a feat from a grandpa, I remember nudging the then boyfriend (now hub) and whispering, “Don’t you think you should do the paddling?”  After all the then boyfriend (now hub) did competitively lift weights.  The then boyfriend (now hub) responded, “No, he likes to do this.”  Shaking my head in disbelief, Grandpa continued to paddle with barely a hint of perspiration on his forehead.

Twelve years later, I now thoroughly understand what a pillar of a human being this man is, possessing strength not only in his physicality, but also his character.  So, without a doubt I am thankful for Gpa O. and wish him the best of birthdays on this day.

For what are you thankful?

Sunday Thanks

I am thankful for . . .

the girls’ excitement over being in the same Sunday school class.

Sunday morning squeezes from some amazing women blessings in church.

my stomach not imploding.

the wisdom of my BFF.

an amazing chapter book written by my youngest squirt.

my oldest daughter’s laughter after a mechanical cat jumped out at her at the spooky store.

For what are you thankful?

Listening to Tim Price’s sermon several months ago at Troy United Methodist Church, he encouraged us all to pray without asking for anything, but instead praying a prayer of complete thanksgiving.  This gave me pause to think we should devote our day of rest and all days to thanking our Creator.  So, every Sunday consider participation in Sunday Thanks.

Please reflect on today, the past week, or one incident in particular.  Share what you are thankful for in the comments section below.  Perhaps, your sharing will encourage someone else to realize how much he/she has in which to be thankful.


adjective: thankful
  1. pleased and relieved.
    “they were thankful that the war was finally over”
    synonyms: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved

    “she was thankful that the evening was over”
    • expressing gratitude and relief.
      “an earnest and thankful prayer”
      synonyms: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved

      “she was thankful that the evening was over”


Sunday (or Monday) Thanks

I am thankful for . . .

three days to spend with my family.

exploring a new place to eat.

meeting some incredible students who make me laugh.

another person agreeing to participate in Card Shower Requests.

catching up on a week’s worth of laundry.

a generous neighbor volunteering to fix our roof.

For what are you thankful

Please share in the comments section or link to your blog.  By posting what you are thankful for, you may remind someone of what all he/she has in which to be thankful.



Sunday (again, a little late) Thanks


In reviewing this past week, I am thankful for . . .

an amazing Book Club Babes discussion combined with a FREE exploration of the St. Louis Art Museum.

donations from woman blessing Tonya to benefit the Fall Festival at my youngest squirt’s school.

songs sung by the choir at Troy UMC which caused many a goosebump on my skin.

a good talk with woman blessing Pat.

my oldest daughter’s love of playing the cello.

woman blessing Christin thinking of me.

a long nap in the afternoon.

For what are you thankful?  Share in the comments section or add a link to your blog.

Listening to Tim Price’s sermon at my church a few months back, he encouraged us all to pray without asking for anything, but instead pray a prayer of complete thanksgiving leaving your wants and needs for another time.

This gave me pause to think how I should devote this day of rest and all days to thanking our Creator. So, every Sunday consider participation with me in Sunday Thanks.

Please reflect on today, the past week, or one incident in particular. Share what you are thankful for in the comments section or link your post of Sunday Thanks using the blue button below.

Perhaps, your sharing will encourage someone else to realize just how much he/she has in which to be thankful.

DO add a link to your blog.
DO comment on the link before yours and after yours. Make some connections.
DO visit every Sunday.

Thank you . . .

Sunday (a little late) Thanks

Busy yesterday simply savoring the time with my family, I failed to post my Sunday Thanks, but did not fail to be thankful.  My girls have recently gone back to school, and I missed them those two days they were gone last week.  In the summer, we are together morning, noon, and night, and that’s how I like it.

I am thankful for . . .

Kryptonite Boob Sweat (breast cancer survivor here with new and improved kryptonite boobs), the naming courtesy of my friend in Virginia, woman blessing Christie.  Having destroyed a third cell phone (by accident, of course) in a matter of four years, take or leave a year, I had to break down and ask my friends to text me so that I could add them to my contact list.  Admitting that storage of my previous phone (may it R.I.P.) in a sports bra while climbing Monks Mound is not conducive to technological longevity was humbling, to say the least.  Adding my friend’s humor to the situation made it all worthwhile.

witnessing a man in his seventies climbing the stairs repeatedly at Monks Mound (I need to step it up a notch).

two surprise “packages” (cards) in the mail.

amazing mission trips completed by the middle and high school students at Troy United Methodist Church.

a loved one’s body finally at peace.


For what are YOU thankful?




Sunday Thanks: August 10, 2014

I am thankful for . . .

my oldest daughter caught reading the next book for her Book Club Babes.

IMG_0924a new use for cucumbers (dessert!!!) from our garden.

the Hub’s grandpa given the green light for chemo.

completing two ups and downs without any cardiac failure.

20140810_095308din din with the in-laws.

some quality time with my family.

the laughter of my girls while playing with the neighbor.

For what are you thankful?