fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

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riviera maya {days 300-306}

For those of you who read regularly, sorry again for the unexplained absence. I don’t know about you, but leaving on vacation is always a (great) whirlwind for us making sure all the pieces are in place. I also didn’t realize there’d be no wifi, so when we discovered there wasn’t, I took it as a sign that I should spend our trip being in the moment and grateful, and update you all when I got back. 🙂 So here it is:


for this (^) amazing guy who planned this amazing trip so that I would feel celebrated and have a chance to relax. I am so blessed.


for two of my favorite places to have my feet…in the sand and in the ocean.


for dinners (and breakfasts and lunches) together and hot weather (that made my hair crazy but my soul happy).


for dolphin kisses and dances, which were AMAZING.



for the opportunity to visit and learn about Tulum, Mayan ruins situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean, in the middle of a jungle. So cool.


I’m super grateful for days spent in beautiful places like these exploring and relaxing, for the beauty of God’s creation and for amazing little things like snails.

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And last, but definitely not least, I am grateful that I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend in the whole world. I am so thankful for the time we got to spend together exploring, relaxing, reading, talking, holding hands, laughing, and just being together. There is no one in the world who knows me as well as he does and gives me the freedom to be more and more like the person I am meant to be. It is an amazing gift to be loved so well, to have a husband who works hard to make me feel loved, and who continues to get to know me better and better. He is a gift and I am so very grateful to have had this restful time in this beautiful place with my favorite.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

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exhausted {day 205}














as you can see, we had a crazy full day! after 13.1 hours of dancing (and a 4 am wake up–rough!), I am about the most tired I have ever been, but I feel happy and…full. not like with food (although that is also true), but my soul feels full. It is amazing and emotional to hear the stories of families who have faced what seemed to be insurmountable odds and come out on the other side with the child they feared they may lose. it’s amazing to be a part of a group and event that is doing so much good. I am so thankful that, 4 years ago when Jamie told me about the first dance marathon, I got up the guts to ask her if I could join them and to commit to raising $400 in a week, and to show up at a hotel in Chicago only (barely) knowing Jamie. It was, and continues to be, among the most rewarding things I get to do with my time. I am also, in case you can’t tell from all the pictures, so grateful for Harlow, and her health, and for a long but good day hanging out with her awesome family.

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couch full of snuggles {day 182}


tonight our house is full of crazed pups. we’re dig-sitting for my parents while they go to Florida (jealous). I’m grateful that they’re adjusting quickly to one another and that we were able to spend the night snuggling on the couch under a blanket of puppies. (figuratively, of course, otherwise I don’t know that I’d actually be grateful for a blanket of puppies…)


also for a snow covered world this morning. I am a fall/summer/spring girl (in that order), but I must admit, it’s a little bit magical when the world is covered in a sparkly layer of snow.

and last, but by far most importantly, I’m thankful that my mom is safe after a scary experience today. I don’t know what I would do without her.

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results {day 111}

today I am thankful for good biopsy results. The tumor that was removed was a benign fibroadenoma. This means it was not cancerous and does not require a second surgery. Thank you, Jesus! I am also grateful for my mom who has been hanging out with me all day every day since the surgery in case I need something, for my sweet hubs who is working hard and then taking care of me and the house, and for my sweet friend who drove 2 hours to bring me dinner and flowers. we are very blessed.

thanksgiving {day 103}

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just so grateful today I don’t even know where to start.
for good time with both our families, laughter, silly time with Riley, time out to be thankful, my sweet hubs, a gluten free version of grandma plote’s famous pumpkin pie, for a successful (and delicious) gf thanksgiving. overwhelmed with gratitude.

what are you most thankful for?