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Thankful Thursday | I kept us here with words

This week I am thankful:

that I have “kept us here with words”

In Maggie Smith’s book, “You Could Make This Place Beautiful”, there’s a short essay called Full Disclosure.

book cover.

I’ll just put a photo of it here for you, and for context, I’ll tell you that in other parts of the book, she shared that her husband was quietly resentful of her writing work and also resentful of the fame that happened when one of her poems went viral. 

maggie smith essay.

This is one of the little essays that made me burst into tears during my trip through the book. Her story is different than mine because she did stay in the marital home, but still, this resonated with me.

Like Maggie, I earn my money by writing. Like Maggie, I have been self-employed. Like Maggie, I have a job that feels a little weird and intangible.

But the words earn money, and that turns into something tangible: a place to live.

I brought us here to this rental with my writing income, and we have been here for the last year and a half because of my writing income.

View of Kristen's living room.

I kept us here with words, and I am endlessly grateful.

And also a little bit…proud.

Not in an, “I’m better than everyone else!” kind of way, but in a slightly defiant, independent way. I built something, on my own, with my words, that puts food on my table and keeps a roof over my head.

So, I feel both a whispered, grateful, “I kept us here with words.” and also a standing tall, chin raised, “I KEPT US HERE WITH WORDS.”

But after the defiant yelling version of this, my brain still comes back around to quiet gratefulness; I know, I know, I know that I am so privileged to have this job, and my heart is always filled with thankfulness for that.

that my cold was mild and well-timed

You know how last week I was saying that I hadn’t been sick in so long?

Well, shortly after that…I got a cold. But, it’s been a pretty mild one. And I am so grateful it happened this week because this week is one of the lightest ones schedule-wise for school the whole semester.


Clinicals start next week and continue for the next nine weeks, so I’m glad to have gotten a cold out of the way now.

And I’m going to optimistically hope that I will catch zero more colds all semester. 😉

that I did actually remember to put salt in the cinnamon rolls

Zoe’s birthday was this past weekend, and when she had her friends over for a sleepover, I made some overnight cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next morning.

In the morning, I baked them, frosted them, and then headed out for a previously-scheduled coffee with a friend.

frosted cinnamon rolls.

On the way there, I was like, “OH NO I DO NOT REMEMBER PUTTING SALT IN THE DOUGH.”

And then I was feeling very annoyed with myself. Like, why do I always have these realizations at very unhelpful times??

But I tasted one when I got home, and as it turns out, I must have just put the salt in there on auto-pilot because they tasted fine.

I can tell you from personal experience: if you make yeast dough without salt, you know something’s wrong when you taste the finished product. It is so flat and terrible without salt….practically inedible.

that Zoe’s friends are so fun

Obviously, the main priority is that Zoe enjoys being around her friends.

But whenever I hang around with them, when they’re here for a sleepover, or we’re going to Hershey Park, I too have fun with them. They’re great girls, and they are not too cool to talk to me, the mom.

It is a lovely bonus when you happen to enjoy the people your kids hang out with!

for so many sunny days this week

Sunshine = happy me.

a foggy sunrise.

And while we are promised clouds today and rain tomorrow, there are a lot of sunny days in the 10-day forecast and I am happy for that.

Also: I am really noticing the longer days now! I had to be somewhere at 6 pm the other day, and as I was driving there, I noticed that it is most definitely not pitch black even at 6:00 these days.


for being able to catch up with an old friend

Last Thursday, after my math exam, I met up with an old friend that used to play cello in the church band with me. I hadn’t seen her in so many years even though we live near each other (both of our lives went a little crazy, for different reasons), but we had so much fun catching up with each other.

We walked seven miles together and we barely even noticed that we had walked for so long.

What are you thankful for this week?

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Saturday 24th of February 2024

Did you ever think when you began this blog that you would be making a living with it? One of my friends started a writing group at the senior center to get our memories written for our children. It's been fun. We read it aloud, which then summons the memory of an incident from one of the others. I have not been very good at it. I need to get more serious about it. A group of women, I know, were talking following the death of someone we knew, about our children not knowing what we do, if we accomplished anything of importance.... A member of the extended family died. His wife wrote a beautiful obituary. These people have been in my life since I was born (my brother being 14 yrs older than me), but I did not know a lot of this. Reading it, some of my memories now made sense. I do hope that you will continue to write.

The thankful part. Our weekly walk on Monday was lovely. When I woke, the outside temperature was 28 degrees. But the sun was out. In areas it was a little breezy but that did disappear. We were able to get our water selfie. There are 7-11 of us who show up on a weekly basis. Our mileage is more important than our time. We point out the art we see in nature--faces on the burls and galls that grow on trees, heart shapes that form when water freezes to ice, cloud formations..... We chat, listen to each other, laugh with each other.

Jill A

Friday 23rd of February 2024

I kept us here with words. I love it. You should be so proud. Having your life blown up and having to depend on only yourself is a big deal.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

You should feel PROUD for what you have achieved and can provide with your words.


Friday 23rd of February 2024

Kirsten, I'm so thankful for your blog and your thoughtful insights that you share. You're the only one that I still followed after many years.

My Thankfuls

1) Always for my wonderful and loving husband and our three beautiful and healthy girls.

2) That we have medical insurance and emergency funds to pay the bills. Had a couple dental stuff from cavities and tooth issues. Also, additional breast screenings to make sure there's no breast cancer and a major hospital bill for a child that needed stitches and a brace.

3) Crossing off my To Do List. Love getting things done!


Thursday 22nd of February 2024

I thought that book was SO good, and I am glad those words spoke to you. Not only did your words provide for you, they are such a source of positivity for all of us lucky readers. Thank you for sharing your words with us.

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