Because I need to do this…

by Kristen on December 4, 2013 · 36 comments

in Thankfulness

On Thanksgiving day, I usually write a list of 50 things I’m thankful for, and this was the first year that I’ve not done that (It might have had something to do with the fact that I actually hosted Thanksgiving this year, so I needed to make more than rolls! And I had kind of a busy week aside from that, so I couldn’t really have gotten it done ahead of time.)

Anyway.

Gratitude is like a muscle that grows the more you use it, and I think gratitude is a huge part of being content, and that contentment is a huge part of cheerfully living on less.

At the moment, I’m not feeling particularly grateful or content. So, I’m gonna type out some random things I’m thankful for, just because I need an attitude adjustment. I don’t have time for 50, but I’ll just type until my blogging time is up.

I am thankful…

-for the imaginative make-believe play that happens in our house every day.

fuzzy bears

-for a husband who cares if I’ve had a hard day, and who does his best to cheer me up (yesterday, he brought me a large peppermint patty and a cute poinsettia plant…which I will hopefully not kill!)

-for the lovely-smelling Christmas tree in my living room (no lights or ornaments yet, but we’ll fix that soon. We just got it yesterday!)

-for cute kitchen helpers. Zoe helped me make some knotted rolls the other day, and Sonia helped me make some tortilla chips just last night.

kitchen helper

-that I am able to homeschool my kids. There are hard days, but I’m so grateful for the opportunity to educate them this way, especially since I know it’s not an option for everyone.

-for the Christmas break from school that is coming up in a little less than two weeks. ;)

-for Pandora internet radio. We use it here and there throughout the year, but we wear it out in December!

-for my van. I know minivans aren’t the hippest thing in the world, but I love mine passionately. You just can’t beat the space/price ratio a minivan can offer, and that thrills my practical heart.

-for tea parties and kind friends from church who love my kids.

tea party

Okee-doke. I’m feeling more cheerful now, and it’s time for me to go start my day with the kids.

If you’re feeling down (or even if you’re not!), feel free to share a few things you’re thankful for in the comments. It’s pretty darn uplifting!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail December 4, 2013 at 8:06 am

You make me happier, and I am already pretty happy to start with.
I am grateful for my husband and our apt. that is all our own space. After a little trip to stay with various relatives–we do it a lot, being far from all–I savor our own little space. On the other hand, I am grateful to have these wonderful family members and to be able to comfortably share their time for a bit….to be able to drive distances still, to have 4 granddaughters that we cannot get over, to see our kids doing what they like and are good at in the professional realm, to one day potentially be able to live nearer the kids, to have been quite healthy in our retirement, to have been an educator for over 30 years and have dear memories, to still be in touch with ex-students and see them succeed in whatever they have chosen, esp. those who are also teaching either their own kids or others. But most of al to have my husband of 43 years near me and daily proving he is the right one to have chosen to share this life with.
So sweet to wake up and see Zoe’s picture. Thank you for the pleasure of your family blog, Kristen.

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2 Elizabeth December 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

Grateful for that potato bread recipe that helped me use up all my leftover mashed potatoes. I have two loaves in the freezer now and I gave a loaf to my neighbour so your Monday post was very successful!

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3 Patti December 4, 2013 at 8:08 am

Good morning Kristen,

Nice post. Beautiful tea cup. Zoe’s hair is thick! Lucky her. Hope your week continues to bring more cheer.

Patti

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4 Liz December 4, 2013 at 8:19 am

Grateful today for experiments in the kitchen. Leftover pancakes with apricot jam for breakfast, vegetarian Reuben casserole for lunch, and for dinner a fresh pot of minestrone soup with honey-wheat rolls not too far behind.

Grateful for my dog who inspires me to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, and a city that is so walkable and diverse I can go from residential space to “urban hiking trail” to industrial strip all in one 4.5-mile circuit.

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5 Angie December 4, 2013 at 8:23 am

Thank you for the post this morning! It was just what I needed. My two youngest children put me in a bad mood this morning with all of their nonstop bickering and whining. Despite the fact that I did not necessarily like them at the moment, I am so very thankful to have them and their older brother. Honestly, my life would be empty without them. I am thankful that I am able to stay at home and do the things I love, such as making all our food from scratch, raise chickens, garden, be home when the kids are home from school. I am thankful for our beautiful, warm home. I am thankful for my health. And last, but not least, I am thankful for my husband.

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6 Karen. December 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

Grateful, to begin with, that my baby slept from 8 to 5. A long time for a little urchin, and it makes for a very sane, well-rested parent!

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7 Tammy/psmflowerlady December 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

I’m grateful for:
1)My willingness to learn and grow – intellectually and spiritually
2) The gift of being a Mom
3) A small but wonderful group of soul-friends
4) That I was born, raised in and live in a country and community where my basic needs have been met – utilities, food systems, transportation and including freedom from attack, warfare and violence.
5)Hot tea.
6) Meaningful employment that allows me to support my family
7) A warm, cozy house
8) My wonderful kids who are turning into interesting and equally wonderful adults
9) My two wonderful dogs – both from shelters
10) The incredibly beautiful and restorative natural world around me through all the seasons if I take the time to pay attention.

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8 klem December 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

- I’m grateful I got to spend another Thanksgiving with my elderly parents. Every year with them is a gift.

- I’m grateful that I get to watch my daughter grow up. She is a constant surprise and delight.

- I’m grateful to have two cats that I adore. They aren’t the smartest, cutest or friendliest of creatures, but I enjoy their company.

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9 Liz @ Economies of Kale December 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

I am grateful we’re heading into summer here and the weather is warm.

I am grateful for good friends who distract me from my thesis :)

And I’m grateful for my landlords’ cat, who has decided she likes sleeping on my bed!

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10 SarahD December 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

just had to comment quickly on your minivan gratitude. :-) I loved mine passionately as well. It had been so reliable for many years so. We practically lived in it, some days. When it began to fall apart both externally and electrically and become very un-reliable, despite our efforts to patch things up, we decided it was time to buy a new vehicle. When it came time to trade in the old one, I had to choke back tears. It was like losing a trusty old friend. Our new van is pretty great too, but I loved that old rusty one. :-P

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11 Anne December 4, 2013 at 9:35 am

I hesitate saying this since it sounds mean in a round-about way, but I am truly grateful that another family member is hosting the 30plus family members for Christmas for a change. It gives me a break to enjoy a little quiet time with my out-of-town children . That is the best gift ever and I am so grateful!!!

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12 Tricia December 4, 2013 at 10:24 am

I love this post! Life is so good especially when you cherish simple things!!
All the money in the world can’t buy happiness! Thanks for sharing.

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13 Amanda December 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

I could use a dose of gratitude today too. I’m thankful for:
-delicious and abundant food
-good health care
-a healthy husband and son
-a healthy pregnancy
-big, loving families
Well, that helped a little, but I’m still feeling crabby about the pregnancy that will never end. I’ll be two weeks overdue on Saturday. Really feeling it. Thanks for letting me vent.

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14 Kristen December 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Oh my gracious! Two weeks is so, so long. Hoping you’ll be unpregnant soon!

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15 Katie @ Horrific Knits December 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

I posted my list on Thanksgiving this year-but I almost forgot it (eep).

http://redcrowgreencrow.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/2013-gratitude-list/

Sadly, I am in fact pretty thankful for canned pumpkin this year. Sometimes it’s the little things.

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16 Tina Ray December 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

Crockpot cooking. Yes, that is what comes to my mind quickly regarding being thankful. Coming home to dinner already cooked after a full workday it a heavenly thing!

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17 Rachel December 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Oh man, I agree! Crockpots are the best!

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18 kris December 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

I’m so with you on the Mini Van! I *heart* mine dearly! My oldest son has his own vehicle and my oldest daughter will have her own shortly, so it’ll just be me, hubby & the 2 younger ones and I could get away with a car but I just don’t want to give up my van. The kiddos thing I’m crazy-maybe a vaca in a cramped car would help them understand, lol. :D

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19 Amanda December 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

I’ve been wondering where your Thanksgiving list was because I enjoy it every year. Thank you for sharing this mini list today.

Right now I’m thankful for a husband that runs errands with our 16-month-old so that she can have Daddy time and I can clean while the 3-month-old naps. I’m also thankful for my heat and electricity in this winter weather. Finally, like you, I’m busy wearing out Pandora with Christmas music right now. :)

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20 Kristen December 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Isn’t that the best? Mr. FG is always so good about taking a kid out with him when he runs an errand, and I’m so happy that they can get some one on one time with him that way.

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21 Deborah C. Williams December 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

Kristen I am thankful for your blog among many other blessings. Your insight and wisdom about living frugally has been a blessing. I enjoy reading your blog and always learn from you!!!

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22 Suzanne December 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I’m grateful that my oldest son moved back home after graduating from college — our whole family can be together for Christmas :)

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23 Katy Wolk-Stanley December 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

And I am thankful for you!

Mwah!

Katy

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24 Kristen December 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Back atcha, dear Katy!

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25 Rachel December 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

I just love your blog. I really needed to do this exercise, too… I haven’t been feeling down per se, more just really tired and stressed and overwhelmed (you would think coming off of a week’s vacation would be the last time I’d feel this way… I don’t know what’s up!)

- Like you, I’m so grateful for my boyfriend who helps cheer me up and calm me down when I’m stressing out. Last night I was putting away dinner leftovers and I spilled pea soup all over my work clothes and kinda had a mini meltdown about it. He told me to go to bed and took care of cleaning everything up. Plus he gives me hugs :)

- Also grateful FOR that dinner (split pea, bacon, and potato soup) because it was AMAZING and my boyfriend said he hadn’t had pea soup in years, but his mom used to make it and he really loved it. Delicious and nostalgic :)

- So grateful for my AWESOME family and friends at home (which is a few states away) – we were able to visit them last week and I got to spend 5 whole days there. It was amazing!!!

- Some of the things that I’ve been stressing out are such first world problems that they totally reminded me what I’m actually grateful for :) I need to get my sailboat covered up for the winter… but I’m so grateful that this year I was able to fulfill my dream of buying a sailboat!

- Similarly, we need to clean the house and put up the Christmas decorations (it makes me feel better to know others haven’t done it yet either :)), but I’m really grateful that we not only HAVE a house to clean and decorate, but were able to find a rental house that is just perfect for us, and allows our dog. I love our house!

I think those are the big ones :)

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26 Kristen December 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Oh, gosh, sometimes coming back from vacation is the WORST! I totally understand.

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27 Frances December 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm

You are a wonderful person with a wonderful family. Your children are reflections of wonderful parents! You are godly and wise and that is kind of rare these days…I am thankful that I found your blog and that I have watched your family grow…You are an inspiration!

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28 Nashay December 4, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I am thankful for my wonderfully supportive husband who allowed me to quit my job and focus strictly on school. He is working harder to make my dream come true.

I’m also thankful for my apartment, the God helps us stretch the money he blesses us with, the free furniture that my uncle gave us, living in a peaceful neighborhood, the opportunity to go to school, and my family.

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29 Kiki @ Choosing to Cherish December 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I love to read your tnankful list. In fact, you are the one who inspired me to list mine. Thanks you!

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30 Kiki @ Choosing to Cherish December 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

“thankful” and “Thank you!” I meant :)

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31 jenny_o December 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

“Gratitude is like a muscle that grows the more you use it …”

You are so right.

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32 Caitlin December 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I am thankful for your minivan comment. :) My dream car since I was a little girl has been a mini van. A new, or new to us, car hasn’t been in the budget lately and I am ok with that. BUT we just had an opportunity to buy a new to us van, my dream model too! A Sienna! For a REALLY good deal. It looks like we will bite the bullet and buy it, but its hard to know what the right decision is! I am praying for wisdom. Do we need the van right now? no. Is it a good deal on a newer car that will fit our growing family for years to come? yes. Whats the right decision? I wish it was clear cut! Anyway, all that to say I appreciate your comment that you love your van. :) It’s good to know. I feel like you are a kindred spirit.

Keep your chin up! Go turn up pandora and find a station that you can dance with the kids too. We’ve done that the last few nights in the early dark and it makes us all happy.

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33 Candace December 5, 2013 at 11:45 am

I’m so incredibly grateful for my boyfriend. I grew up in a house where I felt a lot of guilt rather than love, and I’ve spent most of my adult years not really understanding the concept of love without guilt. But ever since I met him I’ve never felt so loved. It’s an amazing feeling to know someone loves you!

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34 aga December 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I am thankfull for food I have and roof above my head. It doent belongs to me but hay I am not homeless. I thank to God for my husband and daughter ans that we can be together.

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35 brooke December 9, 2013 at 8:17 am

I totally understand not feeling in the mood to be write a long list – or feeling particularly thankful. I also understand how your mood can change by forcing yourself to appreciate all you’ve been blessed with.

Anticipating your Thanksgiving post, I made one of my own: http://graceandlight.typepad.com/crafting-life/2013/11/my-2013-thankful-list.html

Thank you for the inspiration. :)

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36 Jan Elizabeth January 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I’m late to the party, but I’m going to do this because I also need to.
I’m thankful that I got a new job, even if the home I’m working in feels a bit dark and unhappy. (I’m a nanny.) I’m thankful I can move my piano students around my new nanny schedule. I’m (very) thankful to be getting paid next Friday, after 8 weeks without a paycheque! I’m thankful (through slightly gritted teeth) to be able to shoehorn my stepdaughter into our guest nook for a couple of months so she can get back on her feet. I’m thankful we have buds and shoots all over our yard, and a bustling bird feeder. I’m thankful for The Frugal Girl blog, which takes me back in feeling to my childhood with my lovely mother, helping me get past the nightmare of her Alzheimer’s leading to her death. I’m thankful for cuddling sessions with my new grandchild(!!), and the release from all other cares that go with them. I’m thankful all three of my children are getting post-secondary educations. I’m thankful to be letting go of worrying about what other people think, keeping up with the Joneses, rampant consumerism and the feeling of running like crazy on a treadmill.
The things I’m worried about keep coming into my mind, so I need this list to offset them. Thank YOU for helping me focus on the important stuff!

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