Monday, November 11, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 11

I know today is Veteran's Day, and many people are expressing their thanks for those who have served our country.  I am definitely thankful for them, but this post today needs to be devoted to something, or, rather, someone else.

Chris's Grandma Ebert is my favorite person in the world.  The first time I met her was when Chris took me to a family Christmas party soon after we began dating.  She scared me to death because she announced to pretty much the entire extended family that she liked me.  We hadn't even kissed yet, so I was not ready for the grandma to become attached.  Six months later, when he was getting ready to leave for his two-year mission for our church, she said, "Maybe he should just stay home so we can get you while you're still available!", which also scared me to death, because, come on, the missionary's grandmother is not supposed to say things like that!

When we told her we were getting married, her response was a jubilant "Yipee!", complete with an arm thrown in the air for emphasis.  It's nice to have Grandma's approval.

Ellie's full name is Elizabeth, and she is named to honor her great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth VanDam Ebert.  Interestingly, the daughter we chose to name after her also happens to be the one who inherited her personality.

I could relate so many more stories about this amazing woman - her wicked sense of humor, her fierce independence, her undying devotion to her husband through his declining years, her quick wit, and her wonderful stories about growing up as one of 14 children - but I'll share just one more.  Today, November 11, is her 92nd birthday.  She likes to tells us how, when she was little, her family would go to the Veteran's Day parade in downtown Salt Lake City, and she thought it was so wonderful that the whole city was throwing a birthday parade just for her.

So, today I'm thankful for Grandma Betty, a beautiful and delightful woman whom I am privileged to know and love.  And I'm thankful that one day I will get to carry the title of Grandma Ebert, which I will forever associate with her.

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 10

It's no surprise to anyone who's read my blog for the past year that there are some things about my church that make me uncomfortable.  I have been going through a faith transition of sorts lately, perhaps something that is long overdue, really, considering that I was born and raised Mormon and have never strayed from the church.  Mormons are prone to saying "I know" when talking about their beliefs regarding the church, and for many years that has made me uncomfortable.  There are not a lot of things that I can say I know for sure - I may believe them, but I don't know them - but the one things I feel I can say that I do know is that God loves me.  And today I'm thankful for the faith I have that allows me to know that.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 9

I spent all day today learning the ins and outs of being a dance mom.  Lexi joined her middle school dance team this year, and today they performed at their very first competition.  They were the only middle school team, so their performance was just an exhibition, meaning they weren't judged, but it gave them a chance to practice in front of a larger audience than just their coaches and a handful of parents.  There are only 9 girls on the team, but they got up there in front of all those high schoolers and the packed audience and brought their very best, and I'm proud to say they rocked it!

I heard several people comment on how sassy Lexi was (she's the last one to take her place - you be the judge).  She was definitely in her element.  She loves performing, and today I'm so thankful that she has the chance to express herself, and to be a part of a team while doing something she loves.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 8

About three years ago my friend Rachel and I decided that it wasn't enough to share books with each other, so we started a book club with other women in our neighborhood.  Since then, I have read all kinds of books that I never would have chosen on my own.  Some of them I have discovered that I love (like this month's book, The Sisters Brothers), and some I'll be happy if I never see it again (To the Lighthouse, unfortunately, and also anything written or edited by Tom Perotta), but either way, I love that not only am I trying out books and genres I might never have opened otherwise, but I'm also getting the chance to discuss them with a group of women I have grown to love.  Today, I am thankful for my book club.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 7

Thirteen years ago I became a mother.  And now this little cutie:

Has turned into this beautiful young woman:

Vicki came into this world friendly, optimistic, and cheerful, and nothing has changed.  She is always finding the positive in things, and her sense of humor is fantastic.  I'm so proud to be her mother, and I'm happy to be her friend.

I'm thankful for all my girls, but today, on the day she becomes a teenager, I'm especially thankful for Vicki.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Days 5 & 6

Day 5
I live in Portland, so I'm no stranger to rain.  But we had a dry summer and an absolutely gorgeous beginning to fall.  And now it's raining, which I find depressing.  But today, I've decided to be thankful for rain, because without the cold rainy days I wouldn't be able to enjoy the beautiful sunny days as much.

Day 6
We've lived in the same house for eight years - the longest I've lived anywhere since I was 13.  Over the years we've made connections and grown friendships with people in our neighborhood, a group of people who I have come to think of as my village.  I blogged about them two and a half years ago, and I still love them all just as much now, possibly more.  Tonight each of the girls had somewhere different to be, all at the same time, and I relied on friends to help make sure everyone was where they needed to be when they needed to be there.  I love being a part of this village, and I'm so thankful I have them.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 4

This morning I drove Chris to the MAX station so he could catch a train for work.  Normally he rides his bike, but right now spokes keep falling off of it, so it's in the shop (again) for some more TLC.  While I was driving home, I was thinking about how I really didn't want to be anywhere but my bed right then.  Did I mention it was 6:30am?  And that I am, in no way, shape or form, a morning person?  Now, there is a bus that runs a few blocks from our house, and Chris could have walked those few blocks and then caught the bus, but it only runs every half hour, so if he happened to miss it, that's a long time to be standing in the rain.  So instead, I drive him to MAX, which takes about 15 minutes round trip.

What does this have to do with gratitude, you ask?  Well, today I'm thankful that Chris has a job for me to drive him to at 6:30 in the morning.  We've been really fortunate the last eight and a half years.  He's had the same job, despite downsizing at his office, and I've been able to stay home with our girls while they were young.  I'm well aware of how blessed we are, and I'm very grateful for it.

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Day 3

Just after I turned 13, my family moved from Oklahoma to England, where we lived for five years.  During that time, I became quite adept at traveling.  So far, I have been to 21 different states, and 13 foreign countries.  I have seen the sun set over the temple of Poseidon and I have attended a service in St. Paul's Cathedral.  I lit a candle inside Notre Dame and danced around Stonehenge.  I watched ice break off a glacier in Alaska and I rafted down the Snake River.  I have climbed the steps of El Castillo at Chichen Itza and I have stood beneath the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  I have camped at the beach and in the mountains, and I have looked down on the Matterhorn and on Mt. Hood from inside an airplane.  I have skied in the Swiss Alps and in the Rocky Mountains, and I have gone swimming in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

It has been my privilege to see all of these amazing and beautiful sights, and today I am thankful for the beauty of the earth.

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Month of Gratitude, Days 1 & 2

It seems as though the trend on Facebook each November is for people to post something they're grateful for each day.  Being one who generally digs her heels in against anything "trendy", I've avoided this the past couple of years.  But I've been thinking about gratitude a lot lately, and today I read this quote: "The more you are thankful, the more you attract things to be thankful for."  It really resonated with me, and because of that I've decided to take up the challenge, and share something each day this month that I'm thankful for.  And because this poor little blog has been neglected for so long, I decided to do it here, rather than on Facebook.   Of course, I'm a day late, but better late than never!  So, without further ado...

Gratitude, Day 1
I'm thankful that when I tell my daughters they're awesome, their reply is inevitably, "I know!"  We've tried hard to make sure that they have confidence - that they know that they're smart and important, and that they have worth in this world, and that they're capable of doing and being anything they want to, if only they put their minds to it - and it feels like that has payed off.  I hope they'll always be able to answer "I know!"

Gratitude, Day 2
I'm thankful for friends, old and new.  I have lived a somewhat transient life, and I'm blessed to have friends in many places.  I'm thankful for friends who know me and love me anyway, friends who have lived with me and love me anyway, and friends who disagree with most of my opinions and love me anyway.  I'm grateful to know that there are always people who will stand by me when I need it most, and friends who won't notice when three hours have passed because we're enjoying the time so much.  I would be lost without my friends.

So, friends, what are you thankful for?
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