The Great Book of Lists: Chapters 5.2- Elements of My Day

The idea for this list comes from Brandon Burchard’s day planner. As a snapshot of your current life, it will allow you to leave a trace of what your days are made of, what you truly enjoy and what you’re really looking for.

So, just this once here are the instructions to build your list :

  • quickly jolt you to do list
  • what are the 3 things you are excited about today
  • what are the 3 things you are truly thankful for today

To Do-

  • Straighten up home office
  • Baby-sit the little guys
  • Update calendar
  • Work on blog

I am excited about-

  • Spending time with the little guys
  • Hopefully discovering goodies I purchased for my new “hideaway/retreat/mom cave” and packed away and forgot- while cleaning my office
  • Seeing a dear friend

I am thankful for-

  • My family
  • The beautiful sunshiny day
  • Quiet time

This is another chapter in The Great Book of Lists.

Season Now

I never knew what the name of this song- The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell-  was and I had forgotten it until now when I was searching for appropriate music to accompany this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons.

beej and star wars

I find myself in a season I had not anticipated. 15 months ago when Beej was born and the baby equipment slowly overtook our house, I found myself plunged head first into the world of a newborn once again. Because Beej is my son’s child, I was experiencing it from the new perspective as grandparent. Watching this little guy, who looks so much like his daddy- but opposite in coloring, grow from infant to toddler these last 15 months has been been amazing.

beej and ari on ari's bed

He is a curious mixture. He is the living embodiment of his dad in so many ways. He is very curious about how things work and spends much of his time examining his toys, discovering all the secrets they hold. He was born with a larger than life personality, just like his dad. He is always smiling and looking for the humor in every situation. And if there is no humor to be found, he will find his own, often laughing hysterically at things only he finds amusing. That really is his daddy all over again.

Beej reading

My son and his family moved in a few months ago while waiting to move in to their new house. I have been granted the gift of seeing this little guy daily. I am so grateful for this time. Because he was here, I was able to build on his interest in books. He has an extensive board book library and every day he spends hours either looking at his books, examining each picture or flipping through to simply look at his favorite pages. On any given day, we read the same book 5-10 times. One day, we estimated that between me, my son and my husband, Beej heard Goodnight Moon 20 times.

beej and ari reading

He loves Ari and she loves him in return. She has endless patience with him and he adores her. He loves to cozy up against her when she’s in her bed, usually holding one of his dog books- either Baby Einstein’s Dogs or Go Dog Go.

Whether it is reading his favorite books, stacking blocks or rocking in my chair listening to our favorite songs at nap time, I will cherish this season in our lives as the special gift it has been.


The Great Book of Lists- Chapter 1.2: The Little Things You Love

This week’s chapter for The Great Book of Lists- Chapter 1.2: The Little Things You Love is a perfect reminder for me to remember how many little things I love….and how they aren’t little at all! Be sure to click on the link above to read more lists and find out how you can take part.

Here is a list of little things that I love:

  • Looking out my window on a blustery winter day and enjoying the view. Today’s peaceful snow covered yard is vastly different from the lively bird convention, complete with robins, cardinals and blue jays, that had congregated on the still green grass (in January???) just yesterday. Both scenes bring me peace, just by being there each time I glance out my window.
  • 6 year old CJ’s earnest expression on his face when he offers to help me wash dishes. “When 2 people do the job, it gets done quicker and it’s more fun, Nonna.” Is it just me or do you feel like this should be the intro to a song? 
  • My dog, Ari’s face peering up at me, eternally optimistic and hopeful that NOW is the time she can jump up on the ottoman and snuggle under a blanket. She spends too much time hovering around my chair, just in case NOW is the time. 
  • 13 month old baby Beej’s little hands patting my arms when I pick him up and his head drops to my shoulder. 
  • Music, music and more music. Need I say any more? Okay, I must. Music- it’s such a part of my life, whether I’m listening to my favorite songs, playing it badly on the piano, hearing my son play beautifully or it’s simply in the background.

What are some of the little things you love?


Couldn’t Do it Without Him

As I begin my year of focusing on gratitude, I would be remiss if I did not begin with expressing how thankful I am for my husband, who is also the father of our children.

While helping set up for a meeting yesterday, we were moving folding chairs to form a circle. In order to fit all of the chairs, they had to be half on/half off of the square carpet that was on the floor of the meeting room. I took one look at this and said, “We need to move these all the way onto the carpet. It’s going to drive me crazy with all of them with two legs on the carpet and two legs on the tile floor.”

My husband patiently went around, moving the chairs onto the carpet. I stared at the set up and shook my head.

“Now they’re too close together. People aren’t going to want to sit that close to each other. Let’s move ’em back.”

A friend walked in as we began doing this and she asked what we were doing. When I explained, she turned to my husband with a smirk and said, “You have to be a saint. She’s just slightly high maintenance, huh?”

He laughed and said, “Actually, she’s the easiest one to deal with in the family.”

I know you are probably thinking that any smart husband would have said the same thing. (And you are correct!) But there’s a difference in the way he could have said it and I realize that. His sincerity rang true. I haven’t always been the easiest person to be around but lately….

The truth is we are experiencing a very trying time in our family right now with physical and mental health issues, and our parenting skills and patience are being put to the test.

He is a patient and loving husband, as well as a dedicated and kind father.

I am so blessed to share my life with him. I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.

And I am grateful.

2016- My Year of Gratitude

A year has passed since I made the decision to take a pass on resolutions and choose one word as “the” word for the year as part of One Word 365. That word was FOCUS and I failed miserably. I started the year off with the most honorable and sincere intentions. Focus seemed like just the word for me. I pinpointed the 4 areas that needed focus and wrote out my game plan.

From Day 1, it did not work. I tried for nearly 3 months, making lists to help achieve the goals I had set to gain focus and every week I was carrying most of the goals over to the following week. I finally abandoned the project mid-March, feeling like a failure. I wasn’t sure where I went wrong.

Then 2015 rolled to a close and my Facebook feed was filled with resolutions-both funny and serious. It brought that F-word back to mind. What to do? Go back to resolutions I would abandon the 3rd week of January? Commit to FOCUS? Try a new word? Nothing?

I read my 2015 opening post- Hello, 2015!– once again. A few things jumped out at me. I began 2015 exhausted- both mentally and physically. 2014 had been filled with so many blessings… much to be thankful for. And when I looked back, it was all a big blur- so many major milestones in my children’s lives…in MY life. It was such a major year and I had spent the majority of it just trying to survive.

2015 turned out to be one of the most trying years of my life. I found myself being tested in ways I did not think possible and I was forced to take a closer look at myself and a few toxic relationships that I was holding on to. I had to face truths that I did not want to believe.

In previous years, I would take part in a month of gratitude every November- posting something I was thankful for on Facebook daily- but in 2015, I couldn’t face it. I didn’t feel very grateful and was heading down a slippery slope. The year ended on a particularly low note.

And then New Year’s Day happened. It wasn’t exciting or even noteworthy. My little core group was all together. Michael and Jasmine were off work, as was my husband. Kris, Andrew and CJ were all off school. And me and Beej just were… But we were all together and it was a peaceful day. No one fought. All my kids and the little guys were under one roof and no one was grumbling… at least not too much. Everyone just existed together and it was nice.

AND I felt it.

AND just like that I knew what I needed to do. I knew what went wrong last year. And I knew what my 2016 word was- GRATITUDE.

Last year my perspective was all wrong. Instead of focusing on all the great things in my life, I was concentrating on fixing things. I was faced with weekly to-do lists to make my life better or change certain aspects. I was going about it all the wrong way and somewhere along that path I stopped appreciating those millions of small things that made my life so much better than I realized.

The more I looked into this “new” way of thinking, the more it felt right. And right in a way that FOCUS had not.


I’m not sure what form this will take.  My ultimate goal for 2016 is to take note of those little things and really appreciate each and every one. I’m hoping by doing this, that the rest will fall into place. In a perfect world, I will have a weekly gratitude post….. I’m feeling optimistic!

What does the beginning of the new year find you doing? Are you making resolutions? If you are a regular resolution maker, did you have a successful 2015? Or is your focus on one word? If so, what is it? OR are you just going with the flow and letting life happen?

Happy New Year!