90 Days of Thankfulness, #1 – 30

About a month ago I was sitting on the couch, wondering how long until the end of the year. I counted it up, and it was exactly 90 days. How did *that* happen? The year snuck by without me even noticing.

It seemed sort of significant that I would wonder that particular question on that particular day. Maybe it was time to notice more? To mark the significance of the final three months of the year in some way? Especially this year, the year we lost both jobs and a loved one, and experienced so much turmoil and chaos.

And then it hit me. What better way to celebrate the closing of the year than to write down the ways I am thankful. I started that night with the first of 90 days of thankfulness and shared it on Facebook and Instagram.

Tonight I thought it might be fun to share the first 30 days of gratitudes all in one place. A little journey through the last month of my life. I hope you enjoy it.

90 Days of Thankfulness, #1
Did you know the first of the new year is 90 days from today? Yep, me neither. Given that revelation, I’ve decided to do 90 days of thankfulness, starting tonight. Tonight I am thankful for:
* Certified death certificates, finally in hand
* Food given to us by friends
* Spontaneous visits
* The bright orange, purple and pink butterflies on my shower curtain
* A vanilla coconut milk steamer being made for me right now by Mr. Magpie. (Thanks, honey!)

90 Days of Thankfulness, #2
Today I am thankful for:
* Nature walks
* Raspberry coconut flour muffins (yum)
* That I get to spend chunks of my week with such awesome, creative, interesting homeschooling kids
* The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
* A blissful hour before dinner to do anything I want to (now just to decide what that will be!)

90 Days of Thankfulness, #3
Today I am thankful for:
* Adorable fancy dresses from Goodwill for a little girl’s dress-up play
* Being almost done with canning for the season
* Homemade burgers and fries
* An already-too-rare sunny, warm day
* A little pile of fabric and scraps thanks to a filled punch tag worth $25 at the local quilt shop

90 Days of Thankfulness, #4
Today I am thankful for:
* Clean gutters
* Good friends
* The Lumineers and all the other music I listen to that keeps me going on long days (today also included classic Indigo Girls, America and a Narada Guitar Works compilation).
* My Rhapsody subscription
* Feeling like I’m finally getting the hang of canning

90 Days of Thankfulness, #5
Today I am thankful for:
* Tiny boats! (See my photo from earlier…)
* Fluffy duvets and flannel sheets
* A swept & dusted house
* A countertop full of home canned food
* My shelves of fabric in my office/craft room that inspire me

90 Days of Thankfulness, #6
Today I am thankful for:
* Hot baths
* Finally getting started stitching down the binding on Baby Girl’s quilt
* A fantastic book to read, given to me by a friend
* Feeling inspired to actually get back to work again
* That I have my $10 garage sale sewing machine to use since my fancy machine is broken. At least I can still sew!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #7
Today I am thankful for:
* Homemade chai tea lattes with coconut milk (thanks, honey!)
* Unexpected understanding from (almost) strangers
* Knowing that, while I am kind of stressed about the very bad way my site update is going, that it’s such a minor problem compared to the real problems I *could* be having
* A working driver’s side window (thanks, honey!)
* A front garden that isn’t entirely embarrassing, thanks to an afternoon of work in relatively warm, sunshiny weather.

And a bonus — in front my water meter cover thing (you know, concrete, metal lid, etc.), has been completely wonky since we moved in 6 years ago. All crookedy and sticking up half a food in the air on one side. Like, really wonky. And I have been meaning to fix it since the day we moved in. Well, I was outside today and realized that someone fixed it for me! I don’t know if it was a generous friend or neighbor or the crew that’s been working on the sewer, but some lovely elf fixed it. What a blessing!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #8
Today I am thankful for:
* Jack Johnson, Jack Conte, Alexi Murdoch
* Incredibly inspiring quilters on Instagram
* An unexpected kindness of food today from my Mom
* A blog that is back up and running, and only kept me up until 1:30am
* That my son has genuine, real friends that want to spend time with him
* A husband that is surprisingly resilient to the times when I am completely and psychotically stressing out

90 Days of Thankfulness, #9
Today I am thankful for:
* Spaghetti sauce in the fridge and a husband willing to reheat it (thanks honey!)
* New duvet covers from IKEA
* Having enough money (for the first time in five years) to buy new duvet covers from IKEA
* Finding out that I can get a used iPhone and use it with a pay-as-you go plan — iPhone convenience w/o the monthly price tag
* A houseful of kids, happily playing together while I make progress on the tiny boats

90 Days of Thankfulness, #10
Today I am thankful for:
* All the lovely winter squash! Pumpkins, Delicata, Kabocha…. oooh, we’ll be feasting this week
* A chance to get some hours in at our community farm
* A box full of peppers and zucchinis to cook up and freeze
* Nut/date balls being made for me as a treat (thanks, honey!)
* Kids in bed early enough that I can finally start the new season of Once Upon a Time (thanks, Hulu)
* That Saturdays are starting to feel just like Saturdays instead of the weekly reminder of the day my Dad died (not completely, but a little, and I’m thankful for that)
* Anticipating an entire day tomorrow to sew, sew, sew!!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #11
Today I am thankful for:
* A new lawn mower to replace the broken one (thanks, Mom!)
* Eufloria (I’m totally hooked)
* Yo-Yos (the quilting kind, not the toy kind)
* That there’s actually some comedies on TV that aren’t all awkward and angsty
* Finally understanding in a real, visceral way what “Keep Smiling” really means and how profoundly it can impact your life (more on that subject coming on the blog this week).
* Living in the best community ever!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #12

Some days it’s easier to be thankful than others. I woke up with the blues, Mr. Magpie got laid off today, and we had a long day of driving to long-distance doctor’s appointments for my Mom. But these are also the days that I think a thankfulness practice is most profound. So, today I am thankful for:
* The chance to spend the day with Mr. Magpie, my Mom and my kids
* A beautiful, sunshiny autumn day
* That my family is healthy, and my Mom’s medical issues are being addressed
* That we still live in our home, and it is safe, warm, and watertight
* That we have heat, hot water, refrigeration, and a stocked pantry
* That we have good friends, that my kids have good friends, people who look out for each other and want to spend time with us no matter how poor we are, or how raggedy our clothes
* That I can still sit and watch something funny on TV

For all of our hardships, we are still very blessed.

90 Days of Thankfulness, #13
Today I am thankful for:
* Sunshine in October
* A loving son & daughter
* A cozy bed to sleep in
* Pinterest & Instagram
* Actually having written half a blog post for the first time in two months — maybe I can finish it tomorrow!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #14
Today I am thankful for:
* Big Bang Theory
* A fixed dishwasher (thanks, honey!)
* Fair-trade chocolate
* Fridge pickles and new recipes
* Fermentation (so easy! so cheap! so good!)
* All the opportunities that are showing up for us. Just a few to so far, but they’re there, and that gives me hope.

90 Days of Thankfulness, #15
Today I am thankful for:
* First chard of the fall season, cooked with onions and hamburger and butter… soooooo good.
* Fall!!! The colors and weather are gorgeous right now!
* Mr. Magpie and I are really hitting a groove with our teamwork, being on the same page with finances and things. It’s really nice.
* The Complete Tightwad Gazette (I reread this every fall/holiday season and I’m about to start again)
* Sidetracked Home Executives (an oldie but a goodie)

90 Days of Thankfulness, #16
Today I am thankful for:
* The chance to sew alllllll afternoon
* Finishing the Tiny Boat quilt top!!!! Woo hoo!!
* First Delicata squash of the season, roasted with salt, pepper, butter and honey. SO GOOD. I’m about to eat one right now.
* The chance to learn Scratch with my homeschoolers (Scratch is a game development framework designed by MIT for kids).
* A couple of freelance gigs for Mr. Magpie — here’s hoping for more to come!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #17
Today I am thankful for:
* New bloggy friends
* A gift of landscape timbers from a friend
* Beanless chili (made with turnips!)
* The understanding, patience and graciousness of the people around me as I continue to evolve in navigating all the events of this year
* The chance to read blogs for fun instead of for work now that I don’t read blogs for a living anymore
* A possible job interview this coming week!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #18
Today I am thankful for:
* Realizing that It’s okay for me to make breathing room for myself and taking actions to do that
* A chance to see great old historical photos of our town — and find out I could save up to buy some to hang up at home
* The chance to say I’m sorry to someone in person
* A clean house
* The realization that I am closer to a functioning routine than I thought when I woke up this morning

90 Days of Thankfulness, #19
Today I am thankful for:
* Roasted veggies with rosemary & olive oil… soooo good.
* Finishing the Tiny Boat quilt top, *again* (I realized I had made a mistake and had to fix it)
* Continued gorgeous fall weather
* Inspiration to clean & purge some more from the one-room schoolhouse I toured yesterday
* A very clean and streamlined room for Baby Girl (the rest of the house is next!)

90 Days of Thankfulness, #20
Today I am thankful for:
* A newly organized room for Rocket Boy
* All of our new duvets and covers are now on our beds
* A newfound sense of purpose and direction
* Continued gorgeous fall weather here in the otherwise-rainy Pacific Northwest
* That recommitting to my grain-free diet seems to be having profound impact on my mood and focus. SO thankful for that.

90 Days of Thankfulness, #21
Today I am thankful for:
* Another great day of getting rid of excess stuff and making our home seem like there’s room to breathe
* Our head colds seem like they might be out the door very soon. We’re already better than we were this morning.
* Mr. Magpie took some leftover squash and made squash pie. So good.
* I found this awesome app called HomeRoutines that is exactly what I was wishing for! It’s perfect for managing my S.H.E. stuff. And extra bonus, the kids love it and are now using it to manage their own chores, too! You get to give yourself a gold star when you finish something. I’m really excited.

90 Days of Thankfulness, #22
Today I am thankful for:
* Having all day at home to try and get things done. I wasn’t very successful, but it was nice to be home all day anyway.
* My babies growing up into such great kids!
* Knowing we’re going to have some chocolate in the house again on Tuesday when our bulk grocery order comes in
* The feeling that the fog is lifting. This whole summer and fall have been so difficult, but mostly I have felt completely overwhelmed and confused — until the last few days. There’s a huge load of work in front of me, but my mind is clear and my will is galvanized
* I am so thankful for my clarity and drive right now that I have to say it again! I have some very clear goals and plans to achieve them and that feels so empowering

90 Days of Thankfulness, #23
Today I am thankful for:
* Inspiring stories & ideas from The Happiness File by Pam and Peggy Young
* That family birthday celebrations were saved and scheduled despite last-minute sickness and scheduling snafus
* Alliteration
* The Goldbergs. Finally, a comedy that’s funny but also heartwarming and not awkward, angsty or centered on will-they/wont-they relationship dynamics. Plus, Wendy McLendon-Covey is great
* Wikipedia (because you know I did not just pull that name out of my hat, I had to look it up)
* The Internet
* The parts of life that are NOT on the Internet!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #24
Today I am thankful for:
* The amazing fact that we can make connections with complete strangers, and those connections can affect our lives
* The gift of clarity from a fellow blogger.
* Knowing that the most important thing in my life right now is finding room to breathe
* The joy my kids have in celebrating their birthdays
* The chance to go watch Doctor Who. Right now!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #25
(Meaning that there are only 65 days until the Near Year.)
Today I am thankful for:
* A lovely birthday day for my children
* The chance to sit and chat at length with dear friends
* The revelation that one can both be a fun, joyful person *and* an observer of the moments of life — that seriousness in tone is not a requirement to breathe in life and attempt to capture it in words or pictures. This may be obvious to many, but hit me like a giant ton of bricks
* A fantastic, funny, nostalgic discussion on all the gross/rude/hilarious songs and memes of childhood (i.e. Jingle Bells, Batman Smells)
* The absolute heart-bursting delight that comes from seeing your 10 year old get his fondest birthday wish and your 4 year old share her observations about being 4. (Apparently, when you turn four, you’re surprisingly still the same size as you were the day before.)

90 Days of Thankfulness, #26
Today I am thankful for:
* The squashy couch in my office / craft room
* That I’m making progress on that tree skirt I started last year
* The realization that since am committed to having fewer objects in my house, that It serves me to be way more selective about what objects those are — which completely changes my whole attitude toward things
* Another piece of the puzzle in figuring out how to move forward with my work
* The winding down of a bountiful harvest season

90 Days of Thankfulness, #27
Today I am thankful for:
* Neverland Book Club (a book club at my library for grown-ups reading children’s and YA literature)
* Actually being able to finish the book for the book club meeting before the book club meeting!
* Homemade egg foo yung. Mmmmm….
* Eminent Halloween activities and events
* Feeling like my life seems to be coming to a state of somewhat under control. Knock wood!

90 Days of Thankfulness, #28
Today I am thankful for:
* Fun, successful Halloween festivities with my home-schoolers
* The amazingly fun streamers you can make from a few sheets of regular-sized paper, thanks to The Complete Tightwad Gazette (one of my favorite books)
* Two recipes collected for my Christmas cookie/candy baking extravaganza that I can actually eat now that I am grain free! (I’ve really missed my Christmas cookies)
* Several great, insightful conversations about balance — cultivating friendships vs. needing time alone, being a good provider of education & experiences to my children vs. making time for myself to work, pleasing others vs. pleasing myself, and the flow of energy between people as they attend to one another. Perfect for all the thoughts I am having this week.
* The novel Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham which is helping lift my spirits after finishing the beautiful but oppressively sad book The Book Thief.

90 Days of Thankfulness, #29
Today I am thankful for:
* Happy Halloween!
* The beginning of Winter (I know most people don’t reckon it that way, but I do)
* This amazing peppermint body butter that a friend made for me last Christmas that I hadn’t tried until just a couple of days ago (as we’ve established, I am very slow) and finally put on my feet and oh, my, it’s really fixing my feet!!! My feet were bad. Very bad.
* Hash browns
* Chocolate (not at the same time as the hash browns!)

90 Days of Thankfulness, #30
Today I am thankful for:
* Dia de los Muertos
* Homeschoolers
* Tissue paper flowers
* Rogue Legacy (my first time playing tonight – fun!)
* Happy, smiley babies that I get to snuggle and love and then hand back to their parents. Best combo ever.
* Friday!

So many things happen on a day-to-day basis, and how easily we forget them all. With this, I remember.
I’m only 30 days in, but I can say without question that it’s a deep practice that is working it’s magic on me. I almost can’t articulate how, but I know that I am calmer and more joyful, despite all the hardship, than I have been all year.

Do you want to join me? I would love it if you did. I’m using hashtag #90daysofthankfulness so we can all find each other. Maybe we could have a link party in a couple of weeks to recap what we’ve shared so far. Just start, whereever and whenever you are, make the process your own.

What are you thankful for?

~Angela :-)

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Comments

  1. Beautiful. Since I don’t ‘do’ Instagram or Facebook I didn’t realize how bad your year has been! Bless your heart. But on a lighter note, may I say how absolutely BRILLIANT (yes, that word again) you are to use the snap hair clips to hold your binding!!! Seriously! I’ve seen the clips you can buy. I just use pins but I can see how the clips would be better and the HAIR clips so much cheaper! Ah, you are a wonder, you are! (that’s actually a quote from Dicken’s Christmas Carol, with Basil Rathbone on 78 RPM records that were my parents. A dear friend put it on CD for me so I can still listen every year. Starting in August.) Love you, girl! Dona

    • Thank you so much, Dona! I wish I could take credit for the hair clip idea, but it’s been around for awhile. The ones in that picture are actually oversized ones that I got from the local quilt shop. I used to use an actual hair clip, though, and although it was smaller I think I liked it better! :-) So if I could do it over I would just get more hair clips. Meanwhile — bring on the Christmas music!! :-) ~Angela~

  2. That’s a great therapy I think. Right now I’m thankful for central heating and my new downstairs windows as it’s really windy and cold tonight!

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s been very healing. It’s starting to get cold here, too, and I am so thankful for my heaters! :-) ~Angela~

  3. Barbara H. says:

    There’s lots of good stuff here, Angela. I’m always thankful for a post from you. I had to delay reading this one when I learned that an elderly friend had died last week. It hit me hard. It’s been a tough time of loss and potential loss. It’s helping me clarify where I want to put my energy – when I have it, that is. Everyone goes through times like these and you have certainly had your share this year. I appreciate the shift in perspective that this exercise gives one. I’m not quite ready to do it yet, but it’s coming.

    • Oh, Barbara, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Hugs and thoughts and prayers for you, my dear friend. Clarity is good, and so is gratitude, but those will both come with time. Just let yourself be, for now. <3, ~Angela~

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