Cultivating a Life of Gratitude

I am committing myself, during 2010, to attempt to cultivate a greater awareness of how much I have to be thankful and grateful for by sharing my daily findings and musings with you. It is my hope that by blogging about gratitude, I will be more aware of what is going on around me in my life, my family, my friends' lives and our world.

March 31, 2011

Conversations Like This ...

I am thankful for the time I have been gifted to have conversations like this ... and that my little dude asks great questions that are fun to chat about ...

(Scene: I am walking into E's room to greet him after his nap.  He is still snuggly under his covers when he asks ...)

E: "Mama, will you sleep here with me?"
Me:  "Sure buddy!"
E: "Can we talk a little bit?"
Me:  "Absolutely! What do you want to talk about bud?"
E: "What's my little brother gonna look like?"
Me: "Well I'm not sure.  What do YOU think he's gonna look like?  Do you think he might look like you?"
E: "No, he's gonna look like Uncle Joshy!"  (sigh ... so precious!)

(Side note:  We will not find out what gender of baby we're expecting until end of April/beginning of May :))

March 30, 2011


Sometimes (especially when the forecast for where I live is predicting the snowflakes for the next 2 days) it really helps to have really fun things to anticipate.   Last summer (minus a trip for just Ross and me to AZ) we stayed mostly close to home.  Summer in MN is gorgeous and we celebrated a few awesome weddings, but I really missed going to the beach (NOT the lake beach, the ocean beach).   I am thinking of creating a large paper chain to count down to our family vacations this summer.  You see, THIS summer, we have 2 really fabulous vacations we are planning for (saving for) and looking forward to very much!  Early in the summer we will be heading to CO with the Manders' family to enjoy God's creation in the mountains and a wonderful timeshare thanks to one of Jerry's relatives.  A few weeks later, my parents booked a shore house for 2 weeks in OCNJ!!  AH!!!!  I can hardly wait.  With piles of snow starring at me through my windows in these last days of March, summer is a season I am more grateful for than usual (even if it means tornado season is on its way).

March 28, 2011

Thawing Out

So about this time last year (or maybe a month earlier) I remember writing a post similar to this one.

As I have been rather grumpy about our snow and cold temperatures, I was reminded in church yesterday, about how God desires for us to be CONTINUALLY grateful (even about the weather).  It's funny because on Saturday, I watched as the thermometer climbed to 37 degrees and since the boys were not home, I decided to go on a walk, because 37 is pretty toasty for us right now.  It was beautiful (albeit a tad on the chilly side).  As I was walking, I realized I was thankful for how this weather is delaying the start of tornado season in MN.  I am also thankful the cold temperatures are slowing down the flood waters, too, which is hopefully helping out many people who live in the flood zones of all of the rivers.

Today, as I was walking back from the clubhouse/doing my walking inside on the treadmill, I heard several birds chatting back and forth and a robin flew right in front of me.  If those aren't sounds of spring, I don't know what is!  So, I am making a choice to be grateful for the chorus of birds that sang to me as I walked home this morning.  While I might not yet be able to play at the park with E or feel the warm sun on my skin or do all of my exercising outdoors, God does provide those little signs of hope through his creation.

March 17, 2011

Baby #2

Today I am thankful to be able to share the news that we are expecting Baby Manders #2 on Sept. 17, 2011 which just so happens to be my 30th birthday.  (For many reasons, as long as the health of baby is great, I would love for this child to make it's grand appearance BEFORE that date.)

I am also thankful that I have been mostly feeling okay through first trimester.  I did take a nap when E-man would nap almost every day for the first tri. and my more 'icky' feeling time of day was at night (so dinner's were a little tricky).  I think I'm through most of that though!  My energy level is stabilizing somewhat and food doesn't completely gross me out after 3 p.m. YAY!  I'm thankful for those 'signs' of pregnancy though, because I know those signs usually mean things are proceeding as normal as possible.

I am also thankful for a new OB team.  I loved my doctor for E-man.  She was great but she was a good 20 minute drive from where we live and even further from where I was working at the time.  The doctor and Nurse Practitioner I am seeing for this babe are within a 5 minute WALK from our house.

E-man is very excited about this babe and we talk about the baby in Mommy's tummy often these days.  On January 1st, he asked me if I had a baby in my tummy but asked in a rather emphatic way.  At that point, it was a possibility, but I did not know my little prophet-son was actually telling me "Mommy, you have a baby in your tummy!" E-man will be almost 3.5 by the time baby is born and while I know his world will be turned upside down in some ways, I also think he'll be at a fun stage to welcome a baby brother or sister.

Perhaps this blog explains a little bit about why I have not been blogging so much - I just have not had the energy (I would often blog during nap time or later at night - both which have been my times to slepe as of late)!  I continue to travel on my gratitude journey and when I have the extra little creative 'energy' to think about blogging, I will make sure to share my thoughts with my blog.  :) Until next time!

March 1, 2011


So, one of my friends I wish you all could know, Krista, recently decided to read the Bible in 90 days. is an extremely cool website that has all sorts of Bible reading plans on it and the website provided her iphone with an ap to complete this with even greater access to the structure and organization of the plan and it provides the daily readings right on the site, too.  She asked me if I'd consider doing this with her and I thought for one second and said yes!  Another one of my good friend's, Stephanie, has been reading through the Bible and she often brings up different situations to me to talk through and so I thought between these two girls, it would be really good for me to dig in and commit to reading through the whole thing.  OH MY GOODNESS! It is kicking my tail.  The Bible (combined with the Holy Spirit) always has something new to show me, to teach me, or to challenge me with and this time is no exception.  The irony of purchasing a new color Nook and the fact that I have not picked up a fiction book since last week has been floating through my mind. However,  I think this is a good thing and I CAN use the Nook to read on Youversion since it is wi-fi.  I'm thankful for these friend's who are challenging to me to dig into God's Word and to be accountable for reading it intentionally and with vigor.  So thank you dear friends!  I love you girls! :)