House Beautiful

Tag Archive for 'gratitude'

Thanksgiving Goodness.

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Hope you’re posted up somewhere cozy like this today… sipping your morning coffee (or afternoon toddy)…

Inhaling something that smells like this…

Sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner at a table like this…

And wearing something like this…

As for me & Karrie (!)  …Let’s be honest.  It’ll be more along these lines:

Cramming as much turkey & cream-of-everything as we can in our little pot bellies… Probably watching this later…

And eating these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies I just made:

…the batter bowl of which I just licked for breakfast – and washed down with half a can of French fried onions.  I so wish I were kidding.  I also wish My Fitness Pal app would stop asking me to log my breakfast.  It’s like the bastards know.

In any case… God, who doesn’t love Thanksgiving???  Can I rap a short list real quick about what I’m grateful for?

1.  Parents who kick ass. My sweet dad – aka Stevie B – who is like a cross between Elvis and a cowboy and a warm, fuzzy grizzly bear.  And my mom, who just sent me leaves and acorns and some other interesting treats in a care package, because she knows Fall is my favorite time of year at home.  The best part?  A “ps” in the card that said something like: “Helpful Hint!!  You can surround these cinnamon candles with the Fall foliage as a neat Thanksgiving centerpiece (!)”  Bahahah – Jayne.  God love er.

2.  Having had the gift of Grandparents…  the last of which, Bud, we just lost this Spring.  I was so lucky to have 3 of them I was close to for a very, very long time – well into my 30’s.  I don’t know many kids who are as lucky in that regard as I have been.  I feel like they taught me so many of the things I know – whether they meant to or not – about how to sew, how to bake Christmas cookies, how to build things… about what’s really important and how to be a good person to the people around you.  Now when I think back on my childhood and on the time they were all here, it almost feels like magic.  I miss sweet Bud, Ruth and Nanny Jam all the time, but I also kinda always feel like they’re still here.  And I’m so grateful for that, too.  Those are sweet Bud’s tooties under the Thanksgiving Day table at our house in Columbus 2 years ago.

3. OMG – GUS (!&$#^!!!) So grateful for the most insane, sweet pup full of unbounding joy who ever lived.  Did I tell you he’s flying home for Christmas with me?  Yep.  Pass the tranquilizers.

4.  Friends who are family. I’m lucky enough to have innumerable ones… including but not limited to that gaggle of hookers, my Burris K-12-ers, and my volleyball family.  I’m also grateful for my bestie and co-blogger, Karrie, whose fam I’m spending Thanksgiving with today.  This is what a lot of our snort-worthy convos look like:

5.  Living in this gorgeous place and finally having bitten the bullet and gotten out of my own way so I could start doing what I love this year.

Hope you guys have a GREAT holiday weekend with family & friends!!  Cheers to lots of naps, Scrabble and Christmas movies on TNT…  and decorating tomorrow.  OMG it makes me so happy I could pee.

Much love to you!


This is totally how I feel this week.  And I know it’s how Karrie feels too, because we had a mid-week text exchange about how we had both been reduced to tears at our desks out of utter frustration and massive overload…  we must be bi-coastal cycling together or something.  And I know EVERYONE has their own set of stuff they’re dealing with, so it’s not just us.  But in the throes of the worst and most mind-bendingly stressful week of work I’ve had in my entire professional career, I’m trying to find some balance, and a way out of this horrible head space. And how to manage my life in a positive way when it comes to times like these when it’s not just raining, or pouring, but freaking monsoon-ing.

Here is all I have come up with…  and consider this an open forum, because I would LOVE to hear how you amazing ladies (and gents) cope with sh*tstorms.  Especially you Moms…  If I had this level of work stress + a screaming baby in the background, I think I might need to be committed.

1.  Make a List, and tackle 1 thing at a time. Cuz getting it out on paper helps transfer the load, right?  I also read recently that you’ll sleep better at night if you do this before bed…  that way you’re not lying there with your mind racing, thinking about the mental list of the umpteen things you have to get done tomorrow.  I also read something genius recently…  and it sounds like an 8th grade school project, but: grab a stack of index cards, and label each of them with something that’s weighing on your mind that you need to take care of.  Then line them up in order of which is most important, and it’ll help you decide what you need to tackle first.  It’s the same concept as the triage in the emergency room…  most critical items (patients) get attention first.  If it’s a paper cut, it can wait.

2.  Put on some lipstick and keep going. It sounds stupid, but I swear it’s a confidence booster…  even if no one else sees you.  I did this yesterday and got whistled at in the Kroger parking lot by a redneck in a truck that I’m pretty sure was only moving because he was pedaling it through a hole in the floor.  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeey.

3.  Learn to say “no.” Cuz when you say yes to some things, you’re saying no at the same time to others…  e.g., saying yes and overcommitting yourself means saying no to other things that might be more valuable to you – like time to yourself to decompress, or time with your family.  Or your DVR, whatever.

Also, nobody can do it all…  and trying to do too much is like trying to ride 5 horses with one ass.

4.  Keep things in perspective. Yesterday, whilst I was having a meltdown, I saw on Facebook that one of my girlfriends from college’s little boy had just died.  He was about to turn 1, and had spent the majority of the past 12 months in the NICU, with his parents at his side.  Every single day.  THAT is devastating beyond comprehension.  The trivial facts of my work life are not.  Life is so, so precious.  Go hug somebody.  Right now.  Seriously.

5.  Remember to be grateful. Where your thoughts go, your intentions follow.  So if you’re thinking awful, dismal things…  well, you get the idea.  Whereas if – amidst chaos – you can manage to remember a few things each day you’re grateful for, however small, I swear it changes your perspective.

6.  Do something kind for someone else for no reason, and without expecting something in return. Because focusing on helping others snaps you right out of being self-absorbed, and lets your mind shift to the task at hand. One tip is to find a white sands rehab near you to get the right healing and feeling healthy. Make your neighbor cookies, write thank you letters, send someone a care package, or better yet – go volunteer.  Paint the old lady at the nursing room’s fingernails.

That’s all I got.  If anyone needs me today, I’ll be working on taking my own advice. What tricks do you guys have for managing stress / maintaining a good work-life balance?