Cleaning–When I first woke up I thought “Awww man! I don’t want to clean today.” And then I started. As always I fell into the groove and started seeing everything come together. (Nope…didn’t take my decorations down yet. I wait until after Epiphany to do that.) I’m grateful for a clean house. 🙂
A great YA Novel--I read “The Theory of Everything” this afternoon in a few hours. It was 310 pages of AWESOME! Loved it and grateful for Seattle Lit Crawl for finding an author I really like!
Enough–I chose this word as my one word resolution (www.oneword365.com) for 2014. You can find out more about why on the mail page of my blog. Super excited to put away old resolution setting habits and try something new.

Pushing through--I got into a heated discussion on a Facebook group page discussing gender inclusion in the churches of Christ. We didn’t disagree on the need for it but on the approach. The man disagreeing with me (and his wife) had a tendency to state things in a “we’ve done this and you haven’t” kind of way and the message sent was “you don’t know what you are talking about.” At one point I used the software industry as an example and the man tried to “school” me on that as well. I didn’t want to put him in his place publicly and so I held back. But then I kept thinking about it and decided to at least go to him privately and make sure he understands why I didn’t fight him and that I didn’t back down just because he barked loudest. Ultimately we had a decent conversation and I got him to see his tone was too abrupt and he was being prescriptive on a page talking about ideas. I’m grateful for pursuing the conversation and not just writing the guy off as a jerk. 🙂
Fruit Loops–I had the best bowl of fruit loops EVER for dinner tonight. Seriously…YUM! After all this rich food the last week it was nice to eat something simple.
65 in 365!: I made my goal for 65 books this year. Sheesh…I managed to cut it very close. Haha!

Social Media–I often feel a sense of frustration at social media and the way that it has made our lives this passive participation in being real and fundamental to one another. But I know…wholeheartedly…that I do love the ebb and flow of my interactions with people from all walks of life from all over my past as I work out my daily struggles, successes, and plan for my future. It isn’t easy. But despite what some say…it is real. At least it is for some of us. If it isn’t real for you….go away and leave the rest of us alone.
Fiction and Non-Fiction–In my quest to get to 65 books in 2013, I read two entire books today. Once a crazy book of fiction by Christopher Moore and another an amazing statement of faith by Sarah Bessey. Both have their place in my life. Both have their spot in my brain. And I am grateful for who I am because of the words so many authors have put on the page.
Malbec–A quiet blessing to the person who first grew the grape that makes the amazing Malbec. That is all. 🙂

Good Insurance--This morning I got up and went to the eye doctor. I discovered that Amazon…bless their frugal hearts…pays for new frames and lenses every 12 months. So I got to get a couple pairs of glasses and use my flexible spending money. What a huge blessing!
Hair with Erin–Two things happen every time I got to get my hair done at Radar Hair and Records. I leave with an amazing cut/color and I adore sweet Erin more and more. She is always fun to talk to. Has a genuinely kind soul. Is lovely. And makes me feel lovely. So grateful to have found such a sweet spirit!
Books–In my quest to reach my goal of reading 65 books this year I have been buried in some amazing books. All of which have been either on my nightstand or on my list for MONTHS. As I sit and engross myself in them, I am reminded why I love to read so much. And I am reminded that all the television in the world doesn’t ever add up. DOn’t get me wrong…I love to watch a few shows but sometimes I go on a quest for MINDLESS shows when really what I seek is deep in the pages of a novel or a memoir or a non fiction book on a topic I love.
Unfamiliar Desire–Tonight I sent a text to my best friend that said “Something may be wrong with me. I’m contemplating going to church on Sunday.” The desire to step foot inside a church has long left me. Don’t get me wrong. I love Jesus (and yes…I cuss a little as my mug says) but I am struggling with the notion of being identified with what passes for Christianity today to my friends of different backgrounds. I am struggling with what it means to be a person of faith in a community where the loudest brand of that is Mars Hill…and my desire to cringe and run from that element is strong. I have long struggled to forgive myself for staying too long in places or trying to help plant churches that didn’t value the gifts God has given the other half of the church. For the record…what I don’t struggle with is guilt over not going to church. And yet tonight I felt the inclination to do a little web search for churches. We’ll see if it actually translates into my going…since going to a new church has always ranked on the awkward scale right up there with a gynecological exam (…because I’m HORRIBLE at small talk in awkward and intimate situations and can be counted on to say really ridiculous things). We shall see. All that to say…I am grateful for the lack of judgement and inquisition I am giving myself for having this unfamiliar desire and for my willingness to see where it goes without judgement, shame, or fear. 🙂

8:30–I slept this morning until 8:30. That NEVER happens. And it was delightful.
Friendship–I had lunch with Zach, Sara, Marshall, Lesley, Ukiah, and Lacey and it was lovely. My life and roots do not go deep with these people but I’m grateful that I am able to be genuinely myself in all regards. Grateful for good conversation and meeting of the spirit. (And I’m super excited that Lacey is going to come spend the night with me next weekend!)
Books–I know I know….I am grateful for books a lot. I can’t help it. I finished three books over the course of the last 3 days and each one was so different, well written, and important for me. I love that my brain has stopped churning or seeking to be numbly entertained (a thing I fall into sometimes like so many others) and that I’m devouring books this week. YAY!!!

Skype–This morning we skyped with Kelly and Sierra in New Mexico and Jacob in Qatar. It was so nice to see their faces and to watch everyone open presents. If we have to be far away, thank god for technology.
Authentic–I love that over time I’m just learning to be authentic. I believe so much in it. And I am less and less concerned what others think. And more and more interested in listening and talking to those I love about what they think about the big things. I love these REAL relationships full of deep conversations and real things.
Late Night Chat--Zach and I sat up late and just talked about all sorts of things. I love those moments. I love those talks. I’m grateful for the ability to express ideas, doubt, love, and faith to someone who I know loves me unconditionally. Grateful for this guy and his friendship…being family is just extra. 🙂

Meandering Morning–Worked from home this morning and because I stayed up late writing the doc mentioned in my previous post, I was afforded a little more slow time. I wandered through my morning. Took calls. Answered emails. Slow moving train. I appreciate this time of year for just that pace.
Mani/Pedi–Went for a lunchtime Mani/Pedi with my beautiful friend (inside and out) Jen. It was nice to have time to relax and talk while getting my very nasty fingers and toes taken care of. How did I go so long (since I went with Sierra) between manicures!? 🙂
Eve--Had an easy drive to Portland tonight and dinner with Zach at PF Changs. So nice to just catch up slowly. I guess the pace of today was SLOW MO!

Quiet–The office was quiet today. Not completely dead. Just quiet. Grateful!
Wrapping–Finished wrapping the last of my gifts for others today. So blessed to have the means to buy gifts for those I love and cherish. And grateful for the backache that comes from wrapping presents. 🙂
Late Night–I needed to write some notes and a doc for one of my engineers. I so wasn’t feeling like I’d be up for it tomorrow morning so I stayed up late tonight and finished it. Grateful to look forward to a morning of quietly answering emails and dealing with minor things rather than having to think hard about a project.

Brunch and a chat–Had a lovely brunch with my lovely friend. He makes me smile and reminds me that there are solidly decent people in the world…even if those same people are sometimes clearly unaware of their own goodness and solidity. 🙂
Website–I got to see the pages of my new website and I love it! Yay for Christmas presents you could never ask for or guess you’d receive.
Blooms–My sweet friend Jennifer called me and asked me to come over for dinner. It was such a sweet invitation to join she and her husband and I couldn’t resist (not that I wanted to). Such beautiful, warm, and kind people. So grateful!

Pajama Day--I should be ashamed of merely changing from one set of pajamas to another…but I am not. What a lovely day in PJs with a fire and a book!
Above mentioned book–Not sure why it took me so long to dive headlong into this beautiful and amazing story by Elizabeth GIlbert. God knows I’ve dragged the damned thing (heavy!) everywhere for over a month. It is EPIC and formidable and the writing…my lands…the writing is good. I have met Elizabeth Gilbert twice and loved her both times…this book is SOMETHING! I keep having to remind myself that she wrote Eat Pray Love and that is a good sign!
Comforts--I am so very fortunate to have a life of so many easy comforts. I know that this is not the case for some many. Running water, working toilets, heat, lights, etc. I cannot begin to imagine that there is anything special about any of us that means we deserve to be born into this sort of luxury as opposed to our brothers and sisters all over the world. Today was a reminder of that! Thankful for what I have and hopeful that I not take it for granted and find more and more ways to serve others.

Certainty--Somedays I know very little. This week has felt like that. However this I know for sure. I am good at what I do. I don’t do it like everyone else…but I am still very good at what I do. My hope is that I continue to be so and to be valued because of my contributions…no matter how slightly outside the norm.
Owen--Tonight we took Brad out to celebrate his birthday and he brought Owen and Emma. I have not tonight changed my mind about wanting a child of my own…I do not. I have not regretted not having one…I do not. I am however grateful for moments like tonight when holding Owen, I feel my body do that thing…that involuntary mama rocking thing…as baby Owen melts against me and happily lets a stranger kiss his sweet head and rock him. I know some of my friends can’t understand why I’d not want a child…I don’t…but that doesn’t change that I can be enchanted in those moments of holding one. What can I say…I am especially enchanted by things I can return to their rightful owners. 😉 Added bonus was the fact that these men I work with, who have only ever seen me as a badass, intelligent, hardworking woman, saw something else entirely. They saw the side of me that has shown up to rock the babies of my friends…my sisters…tired mothers at church…and the babies of the women I’ve been a doula for. The side that can hold a crying baby without getting flustered…the side that can keep carrying on a conversation with a squirming infant seated in her lap…the side that can smell a babies head, smile, and keep talking about whatever tech article was published today. I am woman. We are something else entirely…which is surprising to the men folk…and sometimes utterly shocking even to us.
Redemption–Nic and I talked redemption, life altering moments, and the nature of the Divine (yup the one we don’t claim to have a lock on or understand that this point). We cried. We hugged. We recognized God at work. The redemptive language of friendship…spoken in stolen moments at a party. That my friend is Church with a capital C unlike anything I’ve experienced in the walls of a cathedral, auditorium, or school house in many many many years. To that all I know to say is…Amen walls!

Not It–Today I sat in a room while two grown assed men had a fight. And later when one of them apologized I said “Hell…anytime there is a heated fight at work, I am just grateful to not be a participant. Don’t worry friend. Passion is passion.” He didn’t like my answer but I meant every word. I was just glad to not be in the thick of it and instead bemusedly watching from the sidelines. 🙂
Dirty Martinis–The last week has been a dirty martini jag beyond measure. I’ve had these now and then over the years but geez…the last week this has been my go to drink of choice. DELICIOUS! 😉
Flower Power--Wore my floral chucks to work today. They made me feel extra super cool. 😉

YIKES! Not sure how I got so far behind on gratitude days except that I was sick for about a week and work has been CRAZY as people do their major push to the holidays. I don’t think I can catch up but let me just touch on some super sweet gratitudes over the last 8 days:
12/11-I’m grateful for the birth of my friend Jennifer Elliott. She is beautiful, funny, kind, and her friendship is enduring despite the fact that we only lived close to one another for a brief period of our lives. She blesses me and I love her! So glad she was born on this day!
12/12-Drinking good whiskey with Jon is always a good idea and was particularly fun on such short notice.
12/13–Shochu Tasting with the team was SO MUCH FUN! Glad John could come with us even though he left the team. It was an interesting history lesson and now I have been introduced to a new liquor that I really like. 🙂
12/13–Party for Dennis and Jen–Finally celebrating my boss and his new wife was a fun time. This guy has had a rough 2013 and yet so much good has come of it as well. I’m grateful we could spend time together as friends and as a team to celebrate.
12/14–Made a quick drive today to PDX to attend the Russell’s going away party. The look on Cheryl’s face when she saw me was priceless. Spending time with Zach and Sara was also an extra bonus. Glad I could make a quick appearance to wish this sweet family well on their new adventure!
12/16–The Bowling Party was fun. Glad we were able to stay on the winning side of the equation and finish in 8th. That is not bad up from 22nd! 🙂 Woo hoo!
12/17–Calm in the storm. I was given a presentation to do Wednesday morning VERY EARLY at the last minute yesterday and I’m so grateful that I was able to spend the time doing prep and not make an idiot of myself this morning.

Sick Day–I’m grateful to work somewhere that I can take a sick day. I know many don’t have that luxury and I’m completely aware of it.
Christmas Shopping–Finished my shopping today. Looking forward to getting everything wrapped and in the mail this week. (I’m super far behind this year because I normally do all of this over Thanksgiving weekend…but I’m getting there!)
Boundaries–In recent months (weeks…ah hell…days!) I’m realizing that I have taken down some boundaries that need to be put back up. I have over-shared with a few people in my life that are proving to not be deserving of my trust and now I’m paying for it by being strung along, lied to, betrayed, and having people share things with others that were not theirs to share. This is more painful because of 2 weeks surrounded by people who I can trust without hesitation. But after talking to my best friend I am reminded…be more cautious but no so cautious that there is no room for love, laughter, and people in my life. Learn, grow, be wise, stay open. It’s all balance…

GSD–Grateful for getting shit done.
Even though--Glad I was able to bowl tonight even though I’m not feeling so hot.
Hot Toddy–I survived the evening at bowling on hot toddies. If I could drink them all day at work I might be better off. 😉

Sleeping Late–Oh how I needed to sleep in. Lovely.
Brunch and Bowl–Went with the child-free ladies to eat and bowl this morning. Then spent the afternoon watching the game with Allanda in the bar. Such a nice day!!
Whiskey--I drank the rest of the Balvenie 12 year double barrel scotch. And I don’t mind admitting it for one second. 🙂

Breakfast with Sweet People–Had breakfast this morning with Emily and Nathan. What a couple of sweeties. Smart, lovely, and so very interested in building relationship with those they meet. I’m grateful to know them.
Marilyn--She was the first friend I had when I got to Seattle. She remains a dear friend to me after ups and downs. I’m grateful she stuck it out with me despite momentary freezes. 🙂 I’m grateful for a 2nd annual craft fair trip today followed by a lunch of shared stories and yummy apps.
Salted Caramels–Amazing caramels that taste like heaven on earth. Yummmmm!!!

Voiceless--I am grateful for the irony that even when I wake up without a literal physical voice, I have established a strong enough personal voice in writing, action, and love that I can go through the day without saying much and still get my point across to any and all who need to hear me. Laryngitis follows me into and out of any little illness and it always feels a bit like a reprieve. 🙂
Box of Wine–Not what you are thinking! I don’t drink wine from a box! 🙂 But I did get a delivery from Amazon Wine to the office with 6 awesome wines. YUMMMMM! Grateful to have a wine rack filled with wines from all over the world and locally. So good to have choices. 🙂
Candles and Dinner — Every now and then a candlelight dinner is in order. Tonight was one of those and it was a joy to laugh, share, and eat with him.

Jobitude–Today I was back to work for the first time in over 2 weeks. In the past that might have been difficult or even depressing. Even at this job a few months ago. But today I was ready to be back. Ready to engage my brain. Ready to take on the challenge. Ready to have a good attitude. I know it won’t feel like this every day…because nothing is THAT awesome…but I’m super grateful for a great first day back.
Hugs--Being met with hugs by some of my favorite coworkers was also very sweet. Geno, Brad, Dennis, and Paul all hugged me upon first sighting and it was precious to me. 🙂
Hopes Dashed–Why would I be grateful for having my hopes dashed? Um…because I believe in living in a hope filled reality. But if the hope is based on something false…like the inability for another person to be genuine, authentic, vulnerable…then I am a grateful to be brought to the TRUTH.

Smiles–Morning smiles over coffee are among my favorite ways to start a day.
Dodging Bullets–Sometimes you have a conversation with someone and find out something that you needed to know in order to not make quite so big a fool of yourself…I did that today with a friend and I’m super grateful for the bullet that I think I dodged.
The Middle--And sometimes you need to sleep in the middle of your bed, surrounded by your kitties, and you need to get in early and sink into the peace so that you can tackle going back to work tomorrow. 🙂

Lazy Day–Spent a lazy day on Greg’s couch, petting Gracie, and passing the day. Lovely!!!
In Flight WiFi–I mean…what watching Chopped and texting your BFFs to pass the time on a really delayed flight.
Being Met–Years ago I travelled a lot for work. Often as I walked past security to head to my car or ride home, I’d think how nice it would be if someone was meeting me and happy that I was home. Tonight someone met me and was happy that I was home…and I was right all along…it was nice. 🙂

One last Albuquerque Coffee–Love love love that Jelisa asked me to grab one more cup of coffee before I left for Denver. There are only a couple people in my life…three to be specific…who I feel I can say absolutely anything to and be totally vulnerable and never ever fear rejection. All three live in Albuquerque and I got to spend good time with all three this week. Sitting across from the one who has been in my life the longest one more time before heading back to my life in Seattle was just a blessing. This is the friend who has stuck with me, grown up with me, cried, laughed, carried, accepted my help, received my doubt with peace, and just helped me laugh through it all. Every single person should have a friend like this…it makes life worth living on the days that you just aren’t too damn sure.
Drive--What a perfectly beautiful drive back to Denver. Sunny. Dry. Warm. Music blasting. Podcasts playing. Coffee in the cup holder. Gummies on the seat. Good lovely 7 hours of road tripping. I know many of my Northwest friends don’t get it…but there is NOTHING like the sky in the Southwest. It is large, changing, beautiful no matter the weather…and the backdrop of the mountains or the foreground of the plains…breathtaking. Happy for 7 hours to dwell in it.
Worst Date Stories–Leslie, Greg, and I had dinner and then hit Avery (my favorite Colorado brewery by the way!!) for tastings. During the evening we told single people horror stories…you know…dating nightmares. Greg, God bless him, doesn’t have very many. Probably because he is awesome and much more selective than either his sister or I. Leslie and I could practically duel to the death on bad first date stories (Thank you Seattle Summer of 2013 for material). I continue to be so grateful for these dear friends. They are family. Friends. Blessings. I am a lucky lucky lady!

Peace--I went to church with my family this morning in order to spend time with my niece and sister for another hour or so. I found that I was only annoyed by two or three things said during the sermon…BONUS. Ultimately I am finding that I can read my comfort in a church setting by my physical body which is super interesting. For instance when I went to COTA a couple times this summer I felt light anxiety at being in a new place but nearly yogic calm during the service. When I go to the coC near my home in Seattle I feel edgy because of the doctrine but able to relax in my own skin because of the music and the familiar cadence of worship. Any time I enter a mega church or church-in-a-school environment, my stomach cramps (though I’m fairly certain that is post-Sagebrush ick than actually specific to a church). Today I felt conspicuous, out of place, and still peaceful. Grateful for the awareness and trust of my own body and intuition.
Jordan & The Smores–Had a yummy lunch with Miss Jordan Beauty Queen of the Engaged People today. We laughed, caught up, talked about boys (something we would have rolled our eyes at 2 years ago!!), and then we read the most ridiculous cookbook…which wasn’t really a cookbook…with about 100 different kinds of Smores. Every single recipe said the words “Roast the marshmallow.” WHAT!? It was so very typical of our humor and the kind of fun we can have. Friendship is a very good thing!
Rose’s Other Family–Coffee with Nikki and Averi today. Such a blessing to laugh so hard with them. An older lady came up to us…and we were SURE she was going to tell us to be quiet because we were being so loud. Instead she told us that our laughter and giggling and fun had made her day and that she was so glad we had gotten to see each other. MELT! I love these two lovely Wolff Ladies and am very grateful for their friendship.
Microbrews and Friends–Had dinner (because I was SO hungry…NOT!) with Nancee and Michelle tonight. I realized while I’m sitting with them how lucky I am to have such a great group of friends from all walks of life and from all different areas of my life. I am really so very fortunate and blessed. Catching up with these girls and their careers and families was a huge moment of grace…and the Jackalope IPA was amazing too. 🙂
Packing–I have no idea how my bags will survive the trip home, but I managed to squeeeeeze it all into the two suitcases (which is one more than I had outbound) and am just grateful I could fit it all. I did leave a tip and some good haircare/body wash for the housekeeping folks at the hotel with a note telling them to please feel free to use whatever they’d like and thanking them for keeping my room tidy all week. 🙂

Dwelling–This morning a couple of the ladies who used to come to  my house weekly for Bible Study and then later for Dwelling (Lectio Divina) together met me for coffee, breakfast, and to talk through the Magnificat. It was so precious to me to pour over Mary’s song with Cindy and Katelyn. It felt like no time had passed and it was so nice to connect with what was for so long “church” for me…and for them. What a great blessing to catch up with these ladies and to communicate about faith, hope, grace, and love on a deeper level.
Sisters–My sister and I got to spend a couple hours alone just talking about family, life, etc. It hasn’t been easy these past couple of years but it’s been better since spring and things feel even better today. So very grateful to feel more on track…more together…more connected.
Girlfriends–Another evening hanging out with dear friends talking and laughing. I continue to be stunned at how fortunate I am to have such stunning, wonderful, intelligent, and kind women in my life. What a privilege to be their friend!!


Walk & Talk–So grateful that I got to walk through the beautiful Rio Grande Bosque with my wonderful friend Linda. We were able to catch up and then go for breakfast and catch up some more. She is a joy as a friend and I am so grateful for her laughter, advice, and friendship.
Beer & Chat–Went by my friend’s house to grab a gift to put under my tree and had some extra time. Linda (another Linda!) has been so gracious and glad to see me each time we’ve been together on this vacation. What a pleasure and joy to be able to catch back up with such a dear and wonderful friend.
Chill–My throat and head hurt some today and I decided to just hang out tonight and chill. I have two more busy days ahead of me in Albuquerque and I wanted to try to relax a bit. It was so nice to eat some leftover green chile and lay around a bit.

Today is the culmination of all the other days of writing this page of my blog. It is the day when Americans come together and share gratitudes. On this day I always feel so grateful that I stop daily to think of these things…some so important and some downright silly…but all things that touch me and make me thankful. I started doing this daily journal when I realized how negative I’d become living in Seattle and trying to start a new life again. This journal helps me daily to look for the joy. And in doing so I have viewed even the hardest days differently and can look back over the last year and really remember so many wonderful moments. To all those who follow this part of my blog…thank you!! I am so very grateful for you. Thank you God for all the beautiful things that cross my path and for the eyes to see each one. xoxoxo

Sierra Day--Today was my day with the lovely little red-headed girl. She is growing up too fast and I hate that…and love it. We did stuff we like…nails, lunch at Dions, and a movie. But mostly we laughed and loved each other. This child couldn’t be more loved if we tried. God bless each day of her life…good, bad, in between…may she be safe, secure, self-confident, and loved. That’s not asking for much right?
Sitting with my Sister–When I dropped Sierra off, she and I sat with Kelly for a bit and just gabbed. Gosh how I’ve missed laughing and talking with my sister. Our relationship is different…which is how relationships go…but I’m grateful for where we are today. Press on sisters…no matter what…press on. It is worth it.
Tradition!!-– I just sung that word in my head to the Fiddler on the Roof song. Linda H and I have a long-standing tradition of having a beer the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. We started that tradition somewhere around 2006…and have kept it up many years…though the last couple have been wash outs. So grateful to sit across the table from my dear sweet BFF and unpack some of the stuff from these past months, weeks, years. How did I get so lucky as to have such dear friends!!
Text–I got a text from a coworker who didn’t know I was out-of-town. I told him that I was feeling really good about my visit here and also missing Seattle. We made plans to get together and gab over lunch when I return. I mention all of this to say how nice it was to hear from him  and to know that he was thinking of me. (PS–Before you ask me if I’m dating him…the answer is NO…we are just friends. We each have particular taste in partners…but either way he warms my heart!)

Tears and Depth–Laughter, tears, and good coffee are requirements for any morning spent with Linda KS. What joy to spill my guts. Share my fears. Be known. Hear truth. A true traveling companion through life. I can’t imagine not knowing her…and it feels like we’ve been on this path together for so much longer than is possible. Undyingly grateful!
The PNWers get together–Had lunch…not just ANY lunch…EL PINTO…with Zach and Sara today. I love these two people so much and even though of all my family they are the two I’ve seen the most in the last 2 years, I never cease to be grateful for their friendship, constancy, and love. What a blessing to share a meal with chile with these two…knowing full well I’ll see them again in a month at Christmas. Lovely lovely lovely!
Happy Happy Happy Hour--I “planned” this really unplanned Happy Hour and just threw the invitation to all my Facebook friends in Albuquerque. I wasn’t entirely sure who would show up but I promise you it was the Who’s Who of People Leah loves and admires. It was an excellent group of people and a beautiful show of love and friendship. I literally left feeling light and loved.
Kat–I wish I could explain why I fell into full-blown ugly cry when Kat walked into the bar for Happy Hour. Sometimes there is a face you need to see so much…almost without knowing it…just because it will settle some part of you that needs settling. For me that was Kat. Her very presence flooded me with love, joy, and remembrance of a lot of shared pain and joy. So very grateful to see that always radiant smile and share hugs and words.

Home–Waking up this morning I had a feeling of joy just knowing that I am home and that there is no hurry to see and do everything. There is time. I know this feeling will fade as I get closer and closer to leaving but it is such a joy to feel the ease of this vacation sweet over me today.
Adrienne and Olivia--Had breakfast at FLYING STAR with two of the most beautiful girls around. My time working at Gap was somewhat difficult but I have often said I believe I worked there so that I could leave with Adrienne as my friend. I am so very fortunate and grateful for her. Laughing over breakfast with her mini me Olivia was also a true treat!
Lunch with the BFF--I love that seeing Jelisa in February and in May has made us so in tune this trip. This is one of the few friends who still feels just as involved in my life despite the distance between us as she did when I lived over the river. I am so grateful for the long-lasting, enduring, and kind friendship we have built over these MANY years. I am blessed beyond measure.
Not Quite Geeks--Rachel and I had drinks and played a little Geeks who Drink tonight at Oneills. Let’s just say…we didn’t do well but we weren’t in last place. No matter…the whole point of the evening was to get to spend time with Rachel. Mission accomplished!! 🙂

SNOW–Again with the snow…this time in Albuquerque. Beautiful snow cover on everything including the lovely Sandias. Thankful for the white of the winter season…one of my very favorite things about the desert!
Family–Today was our day to celebrate Thanksgiving as a family. The last few years have not been easy and today was a sign that we have moved in the right direction. I am so grateful for the open heartedness of my sister and her husband to have us all in their home. We are a family…we will always strive to move in a positive and loving direction. And today there was success.
Hours--Spent hours tonight catching up with a friend on the phone while laying in pajamas on a sleep comfort bed in my hotel room. Seriously…great conversation from a great bed in great pjs. Happy girl.

Roads–I took off early this morning thinking I needed to really beat a trail towards Albuquerque in hopes of getting in ahead of the majority of the weather. And that is exactly what I did. The roads were PERFECT. No snow. No ice. Mostly just wet and empty. Super grateful for the ease of the drive and the quiet on the road.
Last Minute–Once I’d arrived and checked in, I called the dear Linda KS and basically begged for her to come see me for a drink. I needed to connect with her right away and was so grateful that she was free. We talked…well…I think I talked and she listened to me go on and on. 🙂 Either way…we connected and I instantly felt as though the visit home was underway!
Dinner with the BFF--Tonight Linda H made me dinner. She and TC were gracious and fun hosts as always and Linda and I were able to talk and talk. It has been far too long and I know after tonight that I will not be able to stay away 18 months again. More frequent, short visits are necessary because I miss my friends far too much!

Peace–Had breakfast with a third friend from my old company in Seattle. These three men all took divergent paths and I felt myself relax at hearing how happy each of them…and so many others are. What a blessing to know that these people who I care so much about have all landed in great places…and knowing that I too landed where I was supposed to…brings me peace.
The Sibs–Spent the day with Leslie and Greg. I love watching them interact, banter, and be friends with each other. I can’t imagine having that sort of relationship with my brothers and so it is so great to see it in them. I am so grateful for their friendship and for how I feel like I fit right in with them and their senses of humor, laughter, and joy.
Phone Call--Sometimes you get a call that makes you feel special, important, and missed. I got one of those today and it just made me smile.
Book Girls–Dinner tonight was with the Book Club girls from Denver. I have seriously not laughed that hard in MONTHS! It was good to catch up, talk about life, talk about sex, talk about EVERYTHING. These girls remind me that I can make friends with people different than me. These girls are dear, smart, beautiful, and hilarious. So grateful for them. 🙂

SNOW–I woke up this morning to a cover of snow. It was so very beautiful. Only a few know how I love the last quiet moment between snow fall and morning bustle. I am so grateful to have gotten to experience it! Other than time on the water, there is nothing I love more in nature than that very moment. Snow and I are friends…we go way back.
Bosses–I had lunch with my former boss Laura and drinks with my former boss Russ. (Next week I’ll eat with Adrienne too.) I consider myself so very blessed to have had such wonderful wonderful bosses and supervisors that I would seek them out and they’d be willing to spend free time with me. Laura is a dear precious friend and I’m so grateful for her encouragement over the years. And Russ and I needed to give each other the hand of grace and forgiveness…even though neither of us needed forgiving. 🙂
Denver Friend!!--Life in Denver wasn’t easy…but my memories are still so fond because of the lovely friendships I built with so many people. Bethany is one of those friends. She was my BSF leader but more importantly became my dear dear friend. Tonight we got to really unpack the last couple of years and it was such a huge blessing. Also getting to laugh with her little ones was totally work every minute!

Best/Cutest Taxi Driver…EVER 😉 
Lunch with Mark--I had lunch with Mark today and it was like a couple of hours in the nook…but a couple hours without TEARS in the nook. Mark has been through a lot while I’ve been settling into life in Seattle and I can’t  imagine being more grateful for his health than I was today when a strong, vibrant, healthy man hugged me and then laughed with me over Thai. God is good!
Picking Up Ella--I went to Miss Ella’s school today to surprise her by picking her up and taking her to Sonic. Only those without children can imagine my panic when I realized she was in a sea of small people and I hadn’t seen her in 18 months. When finally I found her and she turned to face me she said “Oh! I know you!” and we both smiled. Such a sweet girl. Grateful to be her extra aunt. (And grateful for seeing Tyler, Jocelyn, and Aoife too!)
Lounging with Gracie--Got to Greg’s and he was out for his birthday. So I got to enjoy laying on his couch and petting the wonderful Gracie…queen of the Golden retrievers! 🙂

Finishing strong–Closed up a few things before leaving today and handed my work off to my boss cleanly. Feels so good to walk away for a few weeks!
Help–My teammates dove in today and started planning a celebration for our boss that I’d previously felt like I was all alone in planning. Super grateful that they were willing to help me out. YAY!
Symbols--A dear friend called to tell me tonight about a decision regarding an important symbol in his life. It warmed my heart to be his sounding board, friend, and encourager. So grateful when friends move in healthy directions towards their own happiness. 🙂

Saving Grace–Today I fired off a snarky missile on someone else’s Facebook page aimed at their friend. God in her mercy didn’t allow it to post. I was grateful when I realized it. 🙂
Allanda–Tonight Allanda and I bowled really well against one of the strongest teams in the league. More important than that, she and I got to just talk and catch up. It was fun hearing her stories and sharing mine.
Curious George–I gave my friend a copy of this book tonight. It made him smile. Something he needed that also blessed me. download

Brunch with Family–Met my sweet cousin (once removed?) Sheila and her great family today for brunch. We laughed and got to know each other. What a blessing to have this big crazy family to be a part of and so glad to sit down with this lovely family and catch up.
Book Club–Went to Book club today after a couple months of not making it. Really enjoyed seeing new faces and familiar ones as well. What a fun group of folks. My special moment was when the very very serious English major across from me cracked a smile and started having fun.
Hanging out–A friend came over this afternoon and we talked, hung out, and spent some quality time getting to know each other better. I valued the chance to spend this time, drink some whiskey, and work on my website. Thank you kind Web Designer! 🙂

Teriyaki and a Talk--Made last minute plans to go to a dive with my friend Chris. Talking about life with a friend…old life, new life, how smiling can turn things around and bring you good energy…made me feel lighter. It is so funny how you can think the conversation is going to go one way…and it goes somewhere else entirely…and you realize how grateful you are for friendship, kindness, and vulnerability.
Clean House–I love that my house is clean (except the floors as usual! grrrr!) so that when I come home from vacation everything will be clean and neat! And I’ll have clean clothes to wear while I do my traveling laundry. Excellent! 🙂
Kindness–Today I was kind with myself. I started to give myself some shit about a bad decision I made recently and then I just let it go. Relaxed. Then spoke gently to myself. I’m not always great at it…but I’m getting better! 🙂

Taking Care--One of my coworkers today said “You and Dennis (my boss) really take care of each other well.” That hasn’t always been the case but it’s better now than ever because of some very honest conversations we had to have recently. I thought it was sweet that it was noticeable. I’m grateful to be known for having his back and vice versa.
Wine and Fries and Friday–Drank a couple glasses of wine with my sweet friend Jen and her friend Jackie. It was so needed. And so relaxed. Grateful for friends.
Peaceful–It was a hectic week full of a lot of craziness and yet…as I climb into bed tonight I feel peace. Grateful for that feeling.

21 Day Meditation–Been meditating with Oprah and Deepak each morning. I’m always so grateful for these free sessions and how they calm me. So grateful!!
Happy Hour–What a beautiful group of ladies at the meet up tonight. It was good food, good drinks, and great company.
Laughter--I’m so very grateful for the laughter of my best friend Jelisa. The fact that she is such a part of my every day from so very far away keeps me sane and happy. I love her and can’t imagine life without her in it. I’m so glad that my moving so far away has not meant not having her. Lucky lucky me to have such amazing women in my life.

Walk to Wainwright–Today I walked with a coworker from our building downtown to the end of SLU. It was a great way to break up the day. It was a productive meeting. It was a good walk, a good talk, and an excellent amount of sunshine. 🙂
Love–Jake called me today to tell me he loved me and wished he was close enough to give me a hug. I so love that man! And I am so proud of the man he is that he can call and say what he needs to say, express his heart, and be so vulnerable. So grateful for him.
Drinks--Had a couple beers with Rich after work. Relaxed. Chill. Accepted. 🙂

11/10 to 11/12
It’s been a hectic few days. So much to say and share…but I’ll just say this…I’m very grateful for my friends. I’m very grateful for my work. I’m very grateful for resilience.

Random Conversations–I went to pre-bowl for the league nights that I’ll be in NM and CO this morning. I was TERRIBLE…so I happened into the bar afterwards to chat with Turina the Bartender and to pay for my breakfast. She and I always have a good exchange on Mondays and she is one of those really beautiful women who makes it look effortless. Anyway…she made me a drink and I sat with her talking about men, how small Seattle REALLY is, and life. I love the randomness of making friends in odd moments.
Miss Judy–Today I interviewed a lovely older lady to come look in on the babies for me while I’m on vacation. The Kits…especially Malcolm who was HELD…liked her. She was chatty and interested and just sweet as she could be with them. Fingers crossed I may have a grandma for the babies after this. Here’s hoping!
Mensa--So far I’ve gotten a couple nice responses and a couple extra snarky comments about my acceptance to Mensa. So much so that I photo-2just pulled it off of my Facebook because I was getting messages “behind the scenes” about what a scam it is. For the record…I paid a small fee to take the test. I scored well. And my scores matched my original test scores from when I was a kid within 2 IQ points. My goal for joining is to meet other people and quite frankly get a discount on my auto insurance. And guess what? I’m grateful for it. No matter what anyone else thinks. 🙂

photo-5Daylight--These extra dark days are hard. So when the sun shines through my window and the clouds break…YES and THANK YOU are all I can say!
Girltalk–Meeting Jen and Courtney always helps me unwind from my day. They are funny and chatty and it helps. It reminds me that I’m not the only person with a story for a hard week and it reminds me that it is just that…a story. Tell it. Let it go. Move on. Grateful for the girls! photo-4
Big Orange Baby–At the start of this week I thought I’d be in a pickle trying to figure out which of 2 guys I was going to pursue something with. At the end, I was with this furry guy and that is OK with me! 🙂

Friends–I have really great friends. Even when I’m struggling…scratch that…especially when I’m struggling they surround me with love and peace.
Unashamed–After yesterday I was struggling hard with shame. I was reminded by someone dear that I would NEVER allow a friend to feel shame in this situation. It helped me to pull out of the worst of the shame storm and move forward.
A beer & a movie–Chris. I’m grateful for him.

Today turned out to be one of the worst days I’ve had in a very very long time. I won’t pretend anything else. It wasn’t sunshine and roses. It was hard. There was pain. There were tears. What I can say is that I’m grateful for the person who came along side me…who was my friend in a really hard moment…and who’s offer of protection, help, and comfort was a safe place in a storm. Thank you Matthew.

The Corner–I turned a corner somewhere in the past couple of weeks. I’ve been told time and time again at Amazon that I have earned a lot of respect and have a ‘seat at the table’ that many do not. This week and last I’ve discovered that I do indeed have that seat at the table and am given a wide path to ask questions, question teams, and push for action. I’m grateful for this…especially since I don’t know how long it will last.
The Dark–So far I’m not letting the dark get to me. I am taking vitamin D, working out, and ensuring that I get outside for a walk every day while it is “daylight”. The extra gloomy days have stayed at bay this fall and I know shorter days are coming. But ultimately my goal is to stay busy enough that the darkness doesn’t feel overwhelming.
#1 Brother–Grateful for the #1 Hooper boy (aka first brother to his sibs). He makes me laugh…and I can always use a text, call, or in person chuckle.

Lunch and Honesty–Had a really good conversation with a coworker today about the state of our team. It was helpful and I was able to be honest. Most importantly I realized that the fog of anger I’d felt these past couple of months about work have lifted. I’m able to detach somewhat and see it all more clearly.
Calm–Today I was listening to a heated conversation that felt very much like it was going nowhere fast. I tried to move the meeting to a new place…but that didn’t work. So instead I let the loudest of the people in the room run themselves out of steam by complaining in one long winded diatribe. Then I slowly and calmly restated what I’d heard and tried to move them all towards next steps. It was tough but helpful. I remembered that I have excellent arbitrator skills and should use them more often.
Bowling Ball all my own–Tonight I took the plunge and bought my own bowling ball. I figure it can’t hurt to have my own given how much bowling I’ve been doing and hope to continue to do. I really really do love my team and so many of the folks we bowl alongside week after week. What fun!!!

Sharing Life–Had brunch today with my friend Ilona. Even more important than the yummy meal and Bloody Mary was the sharing of stories, pain, joys, and hopes. I am blessed to be given so many kind and lovely people in my new life in Seattle. I’m grateful for this friend and her sweet laugh and open heart.
Driving Surprises–I went for a drive to clear my head…because sometimes that’s what I need after a few days of emotion, physicality, and diving into new things. As I drove I asked God for something special. And God did what God does…SHOWED OFF! I saw this beautiful field of Elk and 1385502_10151863977531107_304482715_nthen this amazing rainbow. 1380223_10151863791151107_41902979_n
Silence–I’m grateful for a few hours of quiet this evening to do my homework for the online class I’m taking, to start laundry, and to sit with my journal and write about the weekends events. I am grateful for all the sounds, sights, and touch I’ve had this weekend and I’m grateful for a few moments to recalibrate and balance my head, my heart, and my body in order to be available for more stimulation and growth this week.
Enough--I am so very grateful that today I feel like enough!

As Lorelai would say--“Well…I mean it was kinda nice to get dressed up and have a freshly laundered man open a door for me.” ‘Nuf said. 😉
Costco Pizza–I’m also really grateful when someone shows you enough about themselves to assure you that you have made a seriously good choice…even though the choice was SO very easy and obvious from the start. hahaha!
Skin--Those moments when you the physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional worlds converge to ensure that you feel lovely in your own skin and happy with how your often crazy whirling mind works. The ability to lay back, smile, and think “In this moment I am neither insignificant nor too much…I am enough.”

Uncautious Optimism--Today I’m feeling hopeful. In the past I would have described it as cautiously optimistic. Said another way, I’ll remind myself not to get too excited so that I don’t get hurt when it doesn’t work out. But what a crock of bullshit. Mindful living means feeling hope when there is hope and sad when there is sad. So today I was just joyful. Just happy. Just joyful.
Spiritual Formation--This week is feels as though the world is converging to build something new. Spiritual formation at it’s finest.
Words–Today I used and heard a lot of words. Words mean something and I’m so grateful for those I share words with.

Anne–It’s always a grateful day when you get to hear your role model speak. I saw her this time last year and I’ll see her again this time next year if she is in town. I’m so very grateful for her.
Conjuring–The ability to conjure things…not sure how it works but I’m feeling pretty sure about the power of the gifts.

Vet House Call–My poor babies had shots today but instead of a miserable ride to the vet, they had a housecall. It was lovely and I’m so grateful for this service.
Quiet Workspace–Jhana and I worked from my house today. What a blessing to get a lot done in the confines of my own house.
Holding Space–Today I help space for this girl at work who needed to voice her anger and frustration. There isnt much else I can do…but I can hold space, pray, and promise her that she will come through. I had that momentary flash of spirit that comes when giving GOD advice.

Peanut Butter Cup–Do I need to explain this at all?
Ya Never Know--I had a sweet church grandma who used to say to me “Honey, always think about what you are doing and how it looks to others1425602_10151851839656107_1670811861_n because you never know who is watching..and that includes boys!” I always loved that advice and hoped it was true. Tonight I discovered that it is. Love it!
Life–Building a life in a new city is difficult. But every now and then I take a deep breath and realize that I am indeed building a life. I have friends, interests, a place to live, and a job. There are people to call or email or text locally that remind me that I have friends here. Instead of thinking of the rains that are coming, I’m smiling at each sunny fall day. Love is coming…either romantic, familial (as in how I love my friends), or city. Let’s see which lands first.

New View–We moved from the 20th floor to the 21st floor over the weekend and today was our first day in our new seats. Initially I was sitting in kind of a weird spot with my back to the windows. One of the guys on my team said “We should move your desk to the corner facing out.” YES!!! He helped me and now I’m literally surrounded by windows and can see ferries and sailboats on the water between skyscrapers…and when I sit back in my chair I can look at the Olympics. Please dear Lord let the sun last a few more days. 🙂
Bowling--I know I say it every week but it has so become a highlight of my week. I really love my team and always have fun getting to know the teams we play. And then of course there are The Brothers and their team…who I just love. It is good for my soul to have a place where I can be super social butterfly and then go back to my regular life on Tuesday morning.
Dinner–After bowling several of us went to dinner and I really enjoyed laughing with Sally, her family, Ilona, and Paul.
Learning to Play--Today I practiced the art of Play. I tried viewing my work as play more than work. I tried to see each task as a puzzle I was trying to sort out and the other folks I work with as team members in the game. Let’s face it, all I do all day is solve word problems…so why not view it as a game and enjoy it more. It worked really well today. I was able to laugh more…relax into what I was doing…and wait for the answers to come to me. What a huge blessing to view life and work as a game…it also made the actual game (bowling) even more fun! 🙂

Surrounded-I woke up this morning, warm, rain falling lightly, and surrounded by furry kids on each side. I reached for them and they moved and shifted so that they were each under a hand being pet lovingly. I closed my eyes again and was able to drift in and out for a bit. I love to wake up slowly and my two darlings make it so much easier to do so.
Anne Lamott on Super Soul Sunday–One of my spiritual heros was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday this morning. And even better I get to see her speak again (2nd time since moving to Seattle!!!) on Thursday night. That’s my way to spend Halloween. Sometimes someone’s words and being just resonate with you…Anne does that for me. What a huge blessing.
1384019_10151848217691107_1197471072_nSpeed Sight Seeing with Kirsten--I took my dear friend Kirsten to all my very favorite sites in Seattle in a matter of about 4 hours. We saw the Fremont Troll, the Locks, Kerry Park, and Golden Gardens. It was so fun but most of all, we just laughed, talked, shared life, and caught up. Gosh I missed her face and her sweet darling heart. So glad to reconnect and hope it’s not 12 years again the next time. (It won’t be since I think I agreed to run a 5K in Albuquerque with her next year!) LOL
Tilth–5 courses…amazing wine…terrific company. At one point I took a bite of Squash Flan and said “This dish TASTES like Fall feels.” It was amazing and now I get why Chelsea loves it so much!
IMs with my new pal Jeramey–Sometimes a deep and meaningful conversation about God, spirituality, and authenticity is punctuated with comments about Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. And sometimes that makes me love my friends even more!

Meditation–I haven’t been doing a very good job of taking quiet time in the mornings to clear my mind and set an intention. When I do this I am calmer, more peaceful, able to be a better influence on the people around me, and able to make clearer decisions. However lately I’ve just not been taking the time. But this morning I did my blogging from my quiet corner and then sat for about 20 minutes. It was no feet of mediation greatness but it was a quiet time spent with a sweet kitty on my lap where my brain was able to get to wordllessness. I am grateful for this time.
Kindness--A lady…a stranger…showed me a great kindness today. I am grateful for her stepping outside of her box.
Jhana–I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…she is a delight to be on the Seattle journey with and an outstanding +1 for a party.
The Brothers--Had such a fun time at The Brothers (from bowling) house tonight watching horror movies outside in the cold. It was a night of snark and sarcasm. It was just plain fun and these are lovely people. Grateful they are my friends.

A Nearly Empty Calendar--As it turned out a couple meetings got added to my calendar late in the day but I’m grateful for how empty my calendar was so that I was able to be prepared for those spur of the moment meetings. Now if I can just make it so that every Friday is mostly meeting free, I’ll be set!
Matthew--I’m grateful for chats with my new friend Matthew…even the IM chats during the day that are crazy and rambling (on my side not his).
Drinks with Max--Finishing the week by having a drink with Max is turning into a bit of a good habit. He’s such a good guy and I’m grateful we are on the same team and that he has just enough time between the end of the workday and when he has to go pick up Sasha to grab a drink. I’m fortunate, once again, to work with a few awesome men.

Trust?–I’m not sure exactly what the reason was but my boss’ boss threw something my way today that is way above my pay grade. I don’t think he’d give it to me if he didn’t trust me…although I’m kind of his last option unless he does it himself. Rather than worrying about his motives I’ve decided to believe it is because he trusts me with messaging all the way to Jeff B.
New Novel–I cracked the pages of the new novel I received by Elizabeth Gilbert and within the prologue I had that “AHHHHHH” feeling. The feeling I get when I’m about to sink my teeth into an amazing book. 🙂
Way-finders--This book I’m reading by Martha Beck has the stunning ability to make me say and feel “Yes, that has happened to me” in a way that is bringing me peace and comfort. I’m so grateful to have started this book…after months of putting it off…and realizing once again that there is something different and unique about the way I view and interpret the world. So grateful for the camaraderie of this book.

The Opening of Layla by Eric Clapton–I was sitting at my desk today working on the 4th revision to a document that I am SICK of writing when suddenly the opening guitar refrain of Layla poured into my ears. My smile would have given me away if anyone was watching and I felt the pure joy that comes with certain music…certain songs…certain sounds. Love!
A Weak Spot in the Fortress–Today I turned a conversation with my boss over and over in my head. Not in a bad way. In a good way. Figuring out how I can use my powers for good rather than evil (heehee) and also acknowledging that when I am hurt or shamed, I put up an impenetrable fortress of protection and pull up the ladder over the moat. This was a good skill when I was 7 and being abused. It is not a good skill now…and when coupled with my leadership energy is flat out detrimental to me, my team, and to the flow of ideas. Grateful that Dennis poked a hole in the fortress and did so in a kind way…an unknowing way.
Words–The online course has pushed me to pursue artistic creativity…something that always makes me feel anxious. The anxiety is there but I give myself permission to be an artist and it sneaks off to a corner to watch. I am however fascinated by the fact that the byproduct of that creativity is a flow of words that hasn’t been showing up lately. SO grateful for words, words, and more words coming to me easily, fluidly, and beautifully.

Pep Talk–At the end of the day today I gave my boss a pep talk. He is getting married this weekend and he has been noticiably nervous every time we’ve mentioned it. I hugged him, offered him best wishes, and then I reached up and put my hand to his cheek and said “You are going to do great. One thing, don’t forget to have a good time. You’ll blink and it will be over. And no matter what happens, when it’s over you’ll be married. That’s the goal. Marry the beautiful girl.” I removed my hand, he kissed my cheek, and when I turned around 5 people were watching us. One said “That was a hell of a pep talk.” I made some joke and my boss joined in…but the moment was there and I’m grateful I could offer it.
Shopping for Art Supplies--I have a history of feeling shame when trying to be artistic. I remember freezing up entirely when my ex boyfriend just wanted to spend the day painting and playing. I tend to be so afraid to fail that I can’t play. But this course…The Gifts of Imperfection…are helping me move through it. I spent $65 on art supplies and had some pictures printed. I’m excited to see where this course leads me. My wish is that the creativity would unlock and the words would flow more easily.
Classmates--My friends Tanya and Ilona are on the journey through “The Gifts of Imperfection” with me and I’m so very grateful. Also the online photoTwitter community is so amazing and encouraging. I feel grateful and blessed to be surrounded by such love and creativity.
Book--Every now and then a girl just has to buy the hardback copy of a new book. I felt this way about Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest. I opened the package from Amazon today to find this beautiful, rich, aesthetically amazing book. I can’t even turn the first page yet because I am savoring how beautiful it is. Looking forward to every single word.

Ease–My boss and I have somehow fallen into an easy relationship. It could be the forced honesty of these past 3 weeks. It could be that we each are showing up with more compassion. It could be that he’s getting married and going on vacation for nearly 3 weeks. Not sure. Either way…I am grateful for the ease and the growth.
Lunch–Had lunch today with two of my three work friends. I am seriously grateful that they put up with my craziness, ask for my advice, and are just generally so fun!
175!--I bowled a 175 tonight. That’s my best game ever! My favorite part is that I think I bowled that game by perfecting the art of SMILING while bowling! I mean seriously!?!? Over the past few weeks I’ve just taken it all too damn seriously. Tonight each time I prepared to throw the ball, I just smiled into the distance and felt myself relax. It’s a GAME Leah! 🙂 Grateful for the applause of my friends and the joy of bowling a Turkey in the 10th frame…something I’ve never done but always wanted to do!

1002457_10151833024871107_2115168060_nCoffee, Fog, and a Book–I’m in love with mornings like this morning. Texting with friends, drinking a strong cup of coffee, in my pajamas, book in hand, Super Soul Sunday on TV. These mornings make my soul rest easy.
House Hunters Domestic–Went house hunting with Nicole and Leroy today. OMG did we have a good time. There are some BEAUTIFUL houses and some real messes. And I’m so glad to have gotten to walk through the houses with my friend…seeing things with eyes for her and her sweet family.
Luc–Nic, Leroy, and I went to Thierry Rautureau’s restaurant Luc in Madison Valley (my favorite neighborhood!) and it was DIVINE!!! I drank this beet juice infused Bloody Mary and was happy.

Therapy & Massage–Went to see Magical Misty the Massage Therapist today. I went in stressed out and as I told her how things have been this last month, I felt myself really get enraged at a few things. And then over the course of 90 minutes my brain got quiet, my body reacted to her skills, and I felt a wave of the crap I’ve been carrying leave me.
Sushi with JhanaHad THE most delicious meal with my friend Jhana tonight. As a vegetarian I make an exception now and then for Sushi…and have begun to call myself a pescatarian for that very reason. It’s not often…for instance it has been well over a year since the last time I had sushi….but that’s often enough to own it. Anyway…we ate at Nishino tonight and it was so completely amazing. So grateful for the wonderful waitstaff.
Tutus--Had a really funny and sweet text exchange with a new friend. I don’t know where it’s all going but no matter what it is really nice to have such a smart man to banter back and forth with. Super blessed.

Closed Doors-Today a door was shut on a possibility that I wasn’t sure I wanted or not. But now I know that it isn’t going to happen and I’m able to be happy and move forward in faith that another opportunity is right around the corner.
Daniel-Really loved meeting one of my coworkers out over drink. It was so nice to meet a new person and to laugh and share stories.
Warm Feet–Tonight I came home and put on some great socks and as my feet got warmer I realized how often our comfort is distracted by the smallest thing. I want to be more resilient and I want to have warm feet. 🙂

Breath–Today I found my breath…well…I HAD to find my breath. I was feeling stressed and uncertain and I just took a second and found it…yoga breath. And for that I am grateful.
Laughter--Laughed today. My laughter has been touch and go these past 3 weeks but today I really laughed and it was like music to my own ears.
Technology overload–Got my new phone and know that my new laptop is going to be in the office tomorrow. Having the best is not necessary but I am so very grateful for the means.

Vulnerability--I’m a pretty open book…which means I am often vulnerable. But I am also a pretty solid and grounded person…so I can sway with the wind and not be broken when trouble comes. But true pure vulnerability in the hands of an untrusted person is rare for me. I had to have a personal conversation with someone today that I knew put me on the vulnerable side of this particular person. I asked a dear friend to hold space around the moment and not only was my message received well, the other person was so lovely in response. What a refreshing moment.
Fonte with the Fabuladies–Drinks tonight with my friends from the Child-free group. Those ladies are FUN and FUNNY! So grateful for their interesting stories, kind hearts, and just genuinely sweet natures.
Jhana–I’m very grateful for my friend Jhana. I like that moment when you want into a party or happy hour and seeing your friend calms you down and/or makes your heart happy. That’s how I felt tonight. I’d been feeling rushed all day and anxious (see above) and when I walked into happy hour and saw my friend, I felt myself take what felt like the first breath in 10 hours.

Mangoes–I bet mangoes are among the top things I’ve been grateful for in over a year of writing this. If not mangoes specifically then fruit as a category. This morning I had a mango for breakfast. Sure…not the most high protein solution…but who cares!? It was delicious!
Give and Take–Had some good give and take with my boss today about some of the decisions we are trying to make as a team and an org. He and I sometimes struggle with communication but we had a seriously honest conversation about the future. And I heard myself be blunt in a way that I’d been holding back and I sensed that my honesty helped him to relax into what he could and could not do when it comes to me. And for both of us that is something to be grateful for.
Fire–Came home tonight and turned on the fireplace for the first time all season. I was chilly and it was nice and soothing after such a crazy couple of days. As much as I hate the idea of the wet dark winter…I do love sitting by the fire.

Muscles–I stretched some muscles today…mental muscles…that needed stretching. I was asked a lot of questions and had to come up with decent answers on the fly. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear myself process the questions quickly and sometimes even surprise myself with the answers.
Friend–My favorite bowling buddy…and not so secret crush…was wearing a wedding ring tonight. I had that little moment of embarrassment that I’d been flirting with a married man. But there was no awkwardness and I realized that this guy really likes being my buddy too. It’s good to have someone outside of my normal circle to just laugh with. I’ve missed the social part of my nature…though it may be small…it is indeed there. 🙂
Plans Plans and Plans–The anticipation of my November vacation home is improving my mood. I obviously needed this trip desperately. Praying and hoping and wishing that all goes off without a hitch as I desperately need to draw from the well of acceptance that my Friemily (Friend Family) provides.

Sunrise–The sunset was so perfect I set my internal alarm clock to wake me up before dawn to watch the sunrise. Sitting on the same piece of driftwood as the night before and feeling the sun on my back as I watched the color of the water change from black to gray to blue was a beautiful way to start this day.1378386_10151819084156107_1148790884_n
Laughter–I read half of BossyPants by Tina Fey over breakfast this morning. I couldn’t put it down. I laughed out loud at my breakfast table and when anyone looked my way I just held the book up so they could see what I was reading. Nods of approval or agreement followed each time.
CherryLimeAid–On my way home I remembered that I’d heard there was a Sonic Drive In in Tacoma…so I looked it up, found it, and made my way there. It’s been at least 2 years since I’ve been to a Sonic. I think there are only 3 in the entire state of Washington. It was the nectar of the gods today…a way to have communion on Reset Sunday. I drank of that drink for the next 8 hours until the last sip was gone…then I chewed the perfect ice. Yummm
Peace–The last 2 weeks have been anything BUT peaceful and I was hopeful that getting away by myself would be a good reset. As it turns out…I came home to the same issues but I also brought some peace with me. I carried in some forgiveness, some hope, and a tiny touch of grace meant just for me. This week…hope will rise above the bullshit and there will be peace.

1378399_10151819206966107_1503144629_nTimeout–I put myself in timeout this weekend by going to the coast. It is needed. I spent today wondering the beach, sitting on the boardwalk, having a drink in a sports bar, watching tv, reading, and organizing some thoughts for writing. I came here to write…but I’m listening to my body that says this weekend is for reflections. All that I’ve written has been all for me.
Courageous Forgiveness–Lately this phrase has been coming up for me a lot. For me this looks like finding the willingness to have the courage to forgive people who have wronged, hurt, or disappointed me. And that includes courageously forgiving ME. To better do that I’m taking some steps that I hope will help me and move me in a more positive direction…away from certain elements of myself and away from certain people…and toward more integrity, more honesty, and more respect.
Sunset--I sat on a piece of driftwood tonight and watched the sun set over my glorious Pacific Ocean. I thought of all the times I’d done this very thing…from different spots of course…but sitting on the beach watching the sunset over the ocean. Some of those times have been sadder. Some of those times have been happier. But all of those other times are gone. Tonight I lived mindfully in the beauty of this one particular sunset.

TRIP!–Bought plane tickets and rented a car for a trip to Colorado and New Mexico in November. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!!!
Help–My boss asked me for help today on something pretty simple. I know it took something for him to ask and it would have been easy for me to lord it over him…instead…he asked, I helped, he thanked.
Gadget–My personal laptop is about to give up the ghost…so I bought a new laptop today. My first MAC…MacBookAir! Cannot wait until it arrives!

Honesty–Had a really honest but composed conversation at the end of the work day today. I felt good about my reaction and my honesty. I felt good that it was received well and that I was able to speak some truth.
Mistral–Had drinks with my team and some friends last night. It was relaxed and fun. I enjoyed it.
Art Kit–My new art kit for the Brene Brown class arrived today. I’m not an artist by any means but I love the colors and the fact that I will soon have a reason to use it and grow deeply.

Season 4–I am really enjoying Season 4 of Downton Abbey…and I love that I’m seeing it on UK timeline instead of having to wait until January. Although it is taking EVERYTHING I’ve got to keep my mouth shut! 🙂
Mad Skills–I did what I do today…I gained trust of business partners and came to the table hard at just the right time. Super happy to get to use those rusty skills.
Feeling good–Had a really good couple of days of feeling good, eating well, and working out.

Perspective–I had a moment today where my perspective was cleared. It hasn’t been lately and while I know why. I have been letting myself off the hook and expecting more of others than they are able to give. Remembering that my standards are not the same as others is critical to grace-giving behavior. And remembering that I can choose grace and still speak truth about respectful and acceptable behavior is clear again today.
Technical Fun–Got to work right in my “wheelhouse” today. The conversation turned technical and I was in my sweet spot. I was grateful for a change of pace.
One step closer–Moved another step closer to a short term goal that will make me happy.

Building Trust–Today I pulled from old skills and built trust with some partners at another company. I listened, made eye contact, and spoke clearly and honestly. The lady thanked me for my straight forward answer and hearing her. Yup…grateful to still have those skills somewhere deep in there.
Bowling–I had another good night of bowling!! And the skinny guy hugged me and I found a cutie pie to have a crush on. Yup…success!
Mango–I had mango for dessert when I got home. Sometimes I just wonder why we’d ever need anything processed with things like mango in the world!

Brunchy goodness–Had a delicious Cafe Flora brunch with Stephen and Cara. DEEEEELISHUS
Salmon Days–Bought my baby Buddha and got started on my Christmas shopping! So grateful for the sunshine and good deals!
Diane Nyad on SSS–Super Soul Sunday inspired me and reminded me that the human body can endure so much and come through stronger!

Mt. Baker Beach–Went to my quiet spot near Lake Washington today. Just snuck it into my day. It was a little chilly but the sun was shining on my face. I left all my electronics at home or in the car and just sat. No idea of time and nothing to “do”. Amazing moments trying to think clearly.
Plum Bistro–Yummy veganny goodness with great company with Cara and Stephen in town and Jhana coming along.
House full of people–In Albuquerque I rarely went a week without having people in my house. Here an evening of sitting around talking and having a drink with friends is not as usual. But last night after dinner having everyone in the living room hanging out was lovely. And I’m grateful.
Heart to Heart–Had a quick minute to have a heart to heart with a friend tonight and unpack my terrible, rotten, no good, very bad week. It felt good to unpack some of it and have the weight of it lifted…or maybe shared…so grateful for friendship.

Fear Falls Away–I had to talk to someone about something that I thought would be a difficult conversation. I wrote the script for how it would go and had worked out my reaction and responses. I was “planning” from a place of fear. And yet… the response was not at all bad. It was actually very underwhelming. My fear fell away and was replaced by surprise…and a willingness to just roll with whatever happens next.
Happy Hour–Had wine with Jen and Courtney after work and then dinner with Jen and Ryan. It was nice to just be with a friend to close out a pretty hard week.
Making Cookies–It was nice to do some light baking tonight to provide gifts for the neighbors. They have been so kind to me over the last 16 months that I wanted to do something nice. But as these things often go, ultimately I got the benefit of the quiet mind that comes with baking/cooking for me. A glass of wine in one hand and measuring cups in the other. Grateful for someone to bless. 🙂

photo (1)Plans–I’m on a bit of a mission to build a plan. I don’t want to talk about it so it doesn’t get jinxed but my bffs are in on it and we are all excited. 🙂
Coffee Meeting–Had an interesting meeting today over a latte. Don’t know exactly where it will go but it can’t hurt to chat about the future.
Fall Decorations–Put up the fall decorations in my house tonight. As hard as it is to give up summer in Seattle, I’m happy to have my fall photo (2)decorations up and moving into the holidays.
Friends–I’m really grateful that my cats like each other so much. Sure they wrestle 4 times a day….but they also do this.

One Laugh–I didn’t feel like laughing today. But as if on cue, my friend Geno said came around the corner, looked at me, and said something that cracked me up. The sound of my own laughter and then his in return for my snarky response, reminded me to take a deep breath and hold tight to joy that can surprise us.
The Space Holder–Nicole held some space and time today for me. She bore witness. She spoke reminders. She didn’t make it about herself and she didn’t tell me how to fix it. She just held it. I learned something…was reminded of something…and was blessed.
Work–Today I am grateful for the document that I needed to revise and work on before the end of the day. It provided a distraction and an outlet. I can think of 5 reasons why I think it was a waste of time but the document was written and I put my heart and soul into crafting perfect sentences once again. Grateful for the task.
Pumpkin Brownies and the Maker–My friend Jen brought pumpkin brownies to my desk today at work. Just because. Grateful for her sweet heart and her patience with her self-centered, cranky friend. 🙂

Compassion–Today someone showed me such sincere compassion that it was heartbreakingly kind. He took time to ask how I was. He touched my shoulder. He waited for my answer. He sat with me while I unloaded a lot of emotion that was built up. That compassion…from a practical stranger was a saving grace in a very dark moment.
Means–On a day where so many are dealing with being furloughed or not getting paid in a timely way because of the government shut down, I have to say how grateful I am for my pay check coming on time, my bills being paid, a warm home, and healthcare. I know that I work to earn these financial means but I also know what it’s like to not have a steady paycheck and deal with the uncertainty. Grateful for the means to take care of me and mine.
Off Button–Some times I get so sick of technology. While I often love the connections that are enabled by social media. And then other days I’m so very grateful for the ability to turn the bullshit off. Today was the latter.

photo (1)Tea and Words–This morning I started a new practice of a cup of tea and some time over words. This includes a time of Lectio Divina, working through a book called 40 Days and 40 Nights: Taking Time Out for Self Discover, and also Morning Pages (a practice from Julia Cameron that I’d stopped doing). Hoping to do this for the rest of 2013 and get back some balance and early morning introspection. photo (2)
Rainbow–As I left the house tonight in a hurry to get to Bowling, I looked up and saw the most beautiful full rainbow. This was one of my favorite things in the skies of New Mexico (which I’ve been missing so much these last few weeks) and then today the Divine gave me the gift of a beautiful rainbow. So grateful.
Smiles–Tonight we bowled a really fun team. I bowled 3 great games (for me) including my best score ever (172). My favorite thing about tonight though was the laughter and friendship with my team and the opponents. At once point I literally felt that my face was hurting from smiling…something that hasn’t happened to me a lot in recent months.

Church with Nicole–When we are able Nicole Walters and I have brunch or coffee or whatever. And each time we do I come away knowing that we had some Church. The two of us talk openly about the difficulties, the joys, the relationships, etc. that compose the music of our life. It is open, kind, and without photojudgement. I’m blessed by this celebration of words and thoughts.
Bloody Marys–With Church, Nic and I often find ourselves hunting out a good Bloody Mary. Today’s from Pintxo was delicious. I’m becoming quite the connoisseur.  Probably time I start making them! 🙂
Preparations–Starting a new morning routine tomorrow. Reviving some of the old routine and adding a few new elements. Today I laid out all the “tools” I need to have an early start to a new spiritual practice.

How does this keep happening? You know how…I’m not prioritizing gratitude.
And guess what…not making it a priority is definitely affecting my personal peace. Here are some things I know happen when I don’t prioritize gratitude:
1. I care more about what other people say. I’m especially brought low by my friends who speak down to me or by facing my lack of value to my employer.
2. I get incredibly homesick. I want the safety, comfort, and ease of my closest friendships. I want the familiar…the smell of green chile in the air, wood burning, big big blue skies, good local music, and coffee or wine with my girls. I feel this way often enough as it is…but when gratitude is out of focus, I seek the certainty of my friends.
3. I also don’t prioritize my health. Food choices get lazy and my desire to work out suddenly disappears.
4. I stop meditating, praying, writing daily pages, etc. Why? Because those are all ways that I live in gratitude.
5. Things seem bigger or smaller than they really are.

Gratitude does not give me an inch more control over my life and what is happening. What gratitude gives me is control over my reactions, my responses, and my peace of mind. Being focused on gratitude reminds me to be thankful to God…and to others…and some days especially thankful to myself for being my own biggest fan and showing up on my own behalf. Gratitude is a place to live from not something I write down every day. In losing my focus…several times over these past few busy months…I’ve lost my peace and am unable to show up for myself. And when I don’t show up for myself I don’t feel good about what I let happen. I don’t feel good about how I feel physically because I’m not taking care of myself. I’m not happy with how I’ve let a friend walk all over me, talk down to me, and not be honest with herself or me. And I know that there are words that need to be written that are not getting on the page because I’m focused on survival and not on gratitude.

So now what?

Today I am grateful for…
–Waking up and hearing the voice of the One who knows me ask me a very important question before my feet even hit the floor
–Lunch and wine with a friend who has stood the test of time and change in the city of Seattle. A friend who is different from me but is also a mirror. A woman I admire and like. A woman who is able to tell me exactly what she likes about me without flinching and who’s certainty about the fact that things will work out in the end for both of us gives me a little more courage.
–Tyler and his beautiful tattoo that speaks volumes about his love for his lovely first born. The demonstration of love…father to daughter…that I haven’t always felt or understood. Beauty and truth…etched in art on his arm. Word!

Roof--Got the estimate. Cheaper than expected. VERY happy! 🙂 Grateful that this occurred because it pushed me to take care of some financial paperwork that I’d just been ignoring. Hopefully they can fix it quickly and my tenant will be able to settle in for the winter. 🙂

Calling Bullshit–Today I had a tough conversation with a coworker. As he began to talk more slowly and I heard the guy on girl condescension that so often 1238220_10151770485126107_1814495257_nhappens when technical men are first engaging with me, I thought “Oh man…I’ve got to stop him or I’m going to get angry and that won’t go well.” Instead of continuing to listen, I did indeed stop him and through humor shut down the tone and story before it could unfold. In doing so we avoided a fight, we were able to laugh together, and I feel like we got to a better starting point for the project. These sorts of conversations are still not something I enjoy but I’m grateful that I’m not willing to let it go like I was when I was younger. Give respect…except respect…get respect. 🙂
Dinner Dates–Had dinner and a couple IPAs with Zachary and his colleagues from Bridgetown. What fun to meet the people I’d not met before and see the faces of those I had. And of course, everyone who knows me knows I’m happier when I’m with one of the Nibs…so seeing Zachary was an extra special blessing that I’m extra special grateful for. 🙂
The Pastrix–After dinner we met Nicole and Leroy at St. Marks to hear Nadia Bolz Weber read from her book Pastrix. I just read this book on Sunday and read her previous book last week. It was a blessing to hear her talk and be blessed by her story. Grateful to do that with my friends near by. I’m also grateful for the energy I saw that she gave Emily and Lacey in particular but also Zachary as well. Such a blessing. 🙂

Choosing Peace--Yesterday I wrote a blog post about how often I’m thrown sideways by bad news or potential financial burden. I am grateful that today…for just this day…I chose Peace. I don’t know what tomorrow holds..but today I felt light and full of joy.
Texts from the Basement–My sweet friend Greg has been helping his best friends with flood damage to their Boulder house. He sends me pics of the progress and checks in from time to time since most days we IM. I’m so glad that Greg doesn’t have any damage from the flooding and I’m so grateful that he is the kind of friend who stops to help those he loves.
Bowling–Let’s face facts people…I’m a seriously inconsistent bowler. But I am consistently FUN and I enjoy the company of my team. I am able to get my team to laugh and I often make “friends” with the other teams we play. And those are some of the reasons I am grateful for Monday nights. 🙂

09/10-09/15–A week of gratitude got away from me. And you know what? I’m paying for it. I have lost sight of how often I live from gratitude to gratitude and how important a practice it has become in centering me and my life. This week…after getting back from vacation…I felt a focus on survival. It was as if I’d suddenly lost my ability for hope and peace. And guess what? I didn’t look for things to be grateful for.
Oh they were there. There were good conversations with coworkers and other loved ones. There was the blessing of things to do at work. There was beautiful sunshiney weather, perfect bourbon, and peaches. And yet…I did not take the time to express my thanks.
And what happens? When the stress comes…and it always will…I was not armed with hope, peace, and grace. All because I’d lost my focus on gratitude. So the next time someone tells me “being grateful is nice FOR YOU” I’m going to remember this and say “It’s not just nice…it’s required for my survival!”

Ankle Deep in Prayer–I always find God comes near when I stand with my feet in the ocean. I can’t explain it exactly but we’ve been meeting that way since I was a very young child and the ocean was the Caribbean instead of the Pacific. Today we had a conversation. It consisted most of thankfulness, pleas, and a few tears of pure frustration and confusion. I know there are those who wish to poke holes in my faith and like to take shots at me both to my face and behind my back…but here’s what I know…God shows up. Every single time. God has been my mother, my father, my husband, my best friend…and despite the fear that sometimes comes and the melancholy and ache for more that can overtake me…GOD shows up.
Friends--I am loved. Some days it is hard to remember. When I am lonely or feel adrift here in Seattle. But here’s what I know. I have friends all over this country and the world. I am loved and while I may not be anyone’s MOST important person, on any given day I am the most important person that someone needs to hear a word from. And on days like today, my prayer is that the words come to offer support and encouragement to those I love in return.
Familiar Attitudes–I came home today to one big orange lover boy who is happy to see me and has followed me around since I walked in the door and one little grey furrball who is pissed off about my being gone for 3 nights and make sure I know it. I know they are “just cats” and to some of you that means they are not relevant creatures. But for me they are home…and friends…and my little family. And I’m so grateful for their funny attitudes and snarky faces. And I’ll be grateful that in a few minutes when I climb into bed they’ll both go with me…even Rose who will make sure it’s clear that she is still pissed by sleeping a few inches away and only letting me pet her a couple times before she bites me. 😉

photo (4)ATM Saint–I’m grateful for the person who got my ATM out of the machine after I left it (I wasn’t thinking clearly apparently) and called my Credit Union to cancel my card. So very kind!
Doggie Cuddles–The sweet Australian Shepherds…Blue and Sammy…at Spoiled Dog Winery were adorable and fun to get nuzzles from while doing tastings. I am looking forward to when I have enough space to have a dog. Malcolm and Rose on the other hand…not really looking forward to that very much. 😉
Sand covered feet–I’m always happier with sand between my toes and water lapping over my ankles.

Waking up near the water–I could smell it, feel it and hear it upon waking. I seriously NEED to live on the water’s edge…somewhere.

photo (3)Coupeville-Wandering around in Coupeville at the Farmer’s Market and then the various little shops was a blast.
Being a Couple–Today Cara and I pretended to be a couple…she a stay at home wife and me an Insurance Actuary. I mean seriously…two jobs that neither of us could do or be good at! And we did it simply because the guy taking our order at the restaurant was annoying and we didn’t want to talk to him about our actually interesting REAL jobs. Somehow he still found a way to tell us a ridiculously long story about insurance. But we giggled our way through the entire experience.
Skewers of Goodness--We ate veggies and the most AMAZING fake chicken ever made for vegans rubbed down and marinated with Tom Douglas’ Pineapple Ginger marinade. I mean SERIOUSLY!!! An amazing meal!

Up and at “em”–I got up early today and got myself together in time to get a cup of coffee, run to TJs, and get my nails done before heading to Anacortes to get Cara. I’m so glad I got up and got stuff done instead of being super duper lazy and sleeping too late. 🙂
Beautiful House–We are staying in the most amazing house near Coupeville in a quite little cove with hardly any lights and almost no water traffic. It is so beautiful and amazing. I could stay here all summer happily. Who needs city life? 🙂
Gregmopolitans–Called Greg. Got receipe (for the hundredth time I think). Made cosmos. Feeling very soft around the edges. What a great start to a lovely weekend.
Good news–Got a text today from a sweet friend saying she got a job she wanted. I seriously couldn’t be happier for her if I tried!!! She so deserves it and I’m so grateful that things fell her way.

Night In–Was able to spend tonight getting packed and ready for this weekend. I had anticipated being rushed and feeling crazy and unprepared. Instead it has all come together nicely for this weekend.
Holding the Boy–Malcolm seeks affection every single day…usually in the mornings. But tonight he climbed into my lap, got into my sweatshirt, and took a long nap…something he doesn’t do as often as he used to. Love that sweet orange monster.
Magazines–Some nights are just made for flipping through magazines and catching up on your “tivo”. Tonight…once I was packed…I had about 90 minutes to just flip and watch. Good start!

Bed–I love my bed…but some nights it just feels so much better than others. Ahhhhhh….. (Can you tell I’m writing htis update frm bed?)
Groceries–Managed to squeeze in a trip to the grocery store tonight (for things I can’t get delivered via Amazon Fresh) so that I’m not rushing around Thursday night before the trip on Friday.
Leading–This week I’m doing what I do best…moving things along that need moving along. It’s funny how good it feels to do what you are good at when you haven’t done it in a while. 🙂

Dinner with Sandra–I had a really sweet dinner with my BSF leader Sandra. It was nice to hang out and talk to her and get to know her outside of the BSF setting.
Knowing–I feel certain that I shouldn’t go back to BSF this year. I’ve been waiting for that certainty and I’m grateful to have the clarity after days of waiting.
Fine Then–Today I took charge of a difficult conversation…without being asked (which could come back to bite me in the ass) but because no one was doing it (which could bite someone else in the ass). My gratitude comes from that moment when I took charge and recognized the best part of myself…the part that knows when no matter what I need to do the right thing.

13 hours on the Water–Anyone who knows me understands why that makes me happy.
Sunset–The sunset over the sound was AMAZING and I’m glad I have pictures of it.
Instruction manuals-Super grateful for page 13 of the boat instruction manual that helped us clear the gas line and get home after 2 hours sitting still on the water.

Sunshine–This morning even before I opened my eyes I could feel the line of sunshine that runs across my bed warming my body. I could also feel the heat on Rose’s fur when I found her laying close. That feeling…knowing you are waking up to sunshine, should never be taken for granted.
Pajama Day–I needed this lazy day of pajamas. This summer has been a whirlwind and today felt like a day for chilling out. So nice!
Lime Popsicle–Not sure why this was so magnificent except maybe that I haven’t had one in forever. DELICIOUS!!! GRATEFUL! 🙂

Massage–I never ever stop being grateful for my amazing massage therapist Misty. Today she said “Wow…your legs are changing. The skin and the muscles are more tone. Whatever you are doing keep doing it.” She then worked on my back and hips…making it nearly impossible to breath…but healing me with every elbow digging in my muscles. 🙂
Sailing–Just when I start to get annoyed at Seattle being…well…Seattle. I go out on the water with really nice people and realize that there are some beautiful reasons to be in this part of the country. And one of the main reasons is the water.
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups–Do i really need to explain why I’m grateful about this?

Working from Home–No meetings + Friday = Working from home! Yay!!!
Hair–Erin did magic on my hair again. Cut, cover the grey, and some wine colored highlights. I keep thinking that I’ll get tired of having this short hair and tell Erin to help me grow it out. And then I realize how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my short hair. 🙂
Jameson and a book–Good whiskey and a good book…love!

Connection–Some days I think that my biggest problem with Seattle has been lack of connection. Despite being an introvert, I do crave connection, words, creativity, and sharing. And I especially crave it when I go to long without it. Today I had connection. With a couple of co-workers. With a lady at the store. I just felt like I existed (You’re a REAL BOY Pinocchio)! I’m grateful for seeing and being seen. More please!
Ginger Ale–I am grateful for ginger ale. I am grateful that I get a chuckle out of the fact that as a kid I thought Ginger Ale was an alcoholic drink and that something was wrong with my best friend’s parents because they let her have it with dinner. I love that when I’m sick, it makes me feel better. I love ordering it on a plane and then hearing passengers behind me order it to…most of whom probably were going to order a diet coke until they heard my order. And I love it mixed with whiskey after a long long long day of work. 😉
General Hospital–Every now and then, I come home, put on my pajamas, and watch an episode of General Hospital on Soap Net. I love how bad the acting is. I love that I have known some of these characters (hello Luke and Laura) since before i could read. And I love that for 40 ish minutes, I can be scandalized and laugh hysterically while saying “Oh for the love of God. Just tell them that you are the baby’s mother already. ” Grateful for the mind numbing  brain reset of such bad good TV. 😉

Rumi in the Morning–This morning I sat down to read so that I could write my “morning ramblings” but instead I picked up a book of Rumi poetry and got lost in it for a while. I am so happy with a book of poetry and I’m so happy to read a book of poetry first thing in the morning.
That smell–Some days Seattle smells like it is on the ocean and other days it just doesn’t. Today it does. And it is then…in that brief moment when I catch a whiff of salt air…that I am reminded how much I love the water. And I am grateful for living close to it. I may not know how long I will live here but I sure as hell plan to enjoy the time I do.
Sailing invite–I was invited tonight to go on an ALL DAY sailing trip on Labor Day with one of my coworkers. OMG!!! I was so excited to get asked…because he is one of my favorite people at work and because I LOVE to be on the water. And I am now so excited to transition Sunday into Pajama day and spend Monday making a run for Deception Pass and Whidbey! 12 hours on the water! HELLOOOOOOO happy girl!! 🙂
Meetup–I really do love my Child-free Ladies Meetup group. Sally is such a sweet lady and I enjoy the other ladies (well most of them) so much. I know some people are instantly put off  by the name…but it is a group for women who don’t have kids, don’t plan to have kids, and/or have chosen not to have kids. It is easier on the moms out there if we have some friends like us…and it is pleasant for us as well. This does NOT mean I don’t love kids…it means I love having a few friends who have made the same choice as me. And it’s also great to exchange cat and dog pictures with people who appreciate it. 🙂

Humor–The trick to removing little feelings of resentment seems to be having a sense of humor. And today I found lots of little things funny and felt less anger towards a certain situation. Super grateful for a funny Creator giving me a funny bone.
New Book Club–Made myself go to another meetup group. It was enjoyable in some aspects and hilariously stuff in others. But either way, I’m always glad when I push myself and find that I can handle those kinds of situations with strangers. Not sure why it is ALWAYS a surprise but it is. I think that anxiety of meeting new people is actually getting worse with age…so I need to keep pushing myself.
Thank You Note–I got a thank you note and gift from the Spriggs. The gift is lovely but my favorite part was the card that all 4 of them had written in. I have been so blessed by these people over the course of the last 16 years and am grateful that we got to spend some quality time together in my current hometown.

AM Writing–This morning I spent a few minutes reading and then got to write on the “This morning I was reading…” page of my blog. Felt so good to write first thing. I think it makes me a calmer person if I can create first thing in the morning. If I’m not going to have a creative outlet at work, I might as well be creative at home. 🙂
Choices–I am grateful that every day I get to make choices. One of the things I hated about being a kid was not having choices. I love that I get to choose what I’m going to believe about myself and others and that I have the right to trust or distrust some people. I feel myself pulling away from some people that I just don’t believe have my best interest at heart and who have been using me to play into their agenda…and I am grateful for the choice (and the freedom) to step back and think about what I want, what will make me happy, and who I am willing to be in friendship with on the road to both of those answers.
Wine Tasting and Dinner–My friend Jen and I went to a wine tasting class in Kent after work tonight. Jen knows a lot more about wine than I do and the class was sort of quirky. But we laughed, drank some wine, had decent snacks, and just in general enjoyed hanging out. And we got a good bottle of wine for $20. We also got to see a drunk guy fall off his chair (something we’ve seen twice now when we’ve been out together) and have our picture taken by a stranger. Grateful for my friend Jen and her willingness to go along with my crazy idea and how she always invites me along too. 🙂

Sunday–I love Sundays. They are hardly ever the same. But there is a different feeling that moves with you on Sunday. Today I spent some time in meditation and prayer…then went about my day with several stops along the way to spend time with various people. Now I’m reading and prepping for the work week. It’s a blessing.
The Butler–What a great movie with an amazing cast and a poignant story to tell. So very glad Carol and I went to see this.
Friends--Tonight I was in the kitchen thinking about some of my friends locally when I suddenly said “Oh….I have friends locally.” I’m not sure when and how that happened. A couple (Carol and Nicole) were given to me by others and I have been SO grateful for both of these ladies. A couple others…specifically Jen and Marilyn…are friends from work. And then Jhana and Becky are friends from meetup groups. There are many others who have become sweet people in my life. This list is more about women who I have had mutual seeking of friendship with…give and take…sincere interest in getting to know me. And that is a huge blessing.
Bernadette–The main character of the book I’m reading HATES Seattle. And it cracks me up to hear someone rant…even if she is just a fictional character. xoxo

No Alarm–Waking up in my own bed without an alarm was glorious this morning.
photo (2) Jhana–Had so much fun with my friend Jhana. I like her tenacity, directness, and compassionate heart. I always enjoy watching my photo (1)friends do what they love and Jhana loves to sail. I am grateful for my friend.
 Sailing–I love being on the water. It makes me happy. It makes me peaceful. It makes me want to be on the water more often. So grateful for the invitation, the beautiful weather, the amazing place I live, and serenity.

08/23–This week
I again didn’t blog this week each night because I was super busy with my parents here. I normally take little notes on the things I’m grateful for as the day happens and then narrow the list for this blog but I just didn’t do it this week. But I can call out a few big winners on the gratitude front for the week. They photoinclude my gratitude for:
Good Visit–My parents came to visit. This is the first time they’ve spent any significant time with me alone since I left the house 20 years ago. Prior to this the two of them had only ever spent the night in one of my homes once, for one night. Needless to say I was anxious as we have a lot of things we disagree on. But it went really well. All was calm. I’m grateful for the fun we shared. And while I wish we could go deeper, I’ve determined not to push for that against their will and am grateful that there was no fighting.
Showing Respect–In times past I have often been Goldilocks in my relationship with my parents. Too hard…and argumentative. Too soft…and disrespectful to myself. This time I was just right. I was not argumentative at all but I also didn’t lay down and die whenever we came to a point of disagreement. Mostly I held my tongue or said “Let’s talk about something else.” But when pushed, I didn’t just back down and give up ground…MY ground…to a different opinion. I’m grateful for learning to respect others AND respect myself.
Seattle–This city…and state…showed up lovely during my parents visit. We went sight seeing, spent time out on the water, and drove up to Rainier. It was all beautiful. It was never too hot and was only chilly in the early morning. Thanks for being lovable Seattle…may your streak continue in the months to come. 😉

Self-Care–The Magical Hands of Misty the massage therapist
The Visit--My parents first day here being quiet and simple
Respecting me AND them–Choosing silence instead of a fight AND also not agreeing when my parents were discussing gender inclusive churches of Christ. 🙂

I didn’t blog these days and now I’m having a really hard time thinking of things I was grateful for. So I’m going to be grateful that the rough week is behind me and that I’m not thinking of bad things that happened…even if I can’t think of good things either. 🙂

The Scale–Super grateful that after a weekend away with my friends, the scale was down. Yay!
Cafe Flora–Such a delicious dinner tonight at Cafe Flora. They never disappoint. From my cocktails to dinner to dessert. Always perfect. Always fresh. Always so glad to be buying food from such reputable people.
Dinner with Family–Ate dinner tonight with my sweet cousins Tracy and Sarah Luegge. So grateful to share a meal, laughter, faith, and conversation with these lovely people. Even more grateful to be in a family with lovely people. Also continued gratitude for Tracy’s health and Sarah’s strength of support.

Scones with the Hunts–Cara made us the yummiest scones this morning and we just chilled with good coffee and good breakfast. Yummmm!
Discussing God, Compassion, and Life--I really enjoyed the conversations I shared with both Cara and Stephen this weekend. I am glad to have friends who have spent a lot of time thinking about where they are on the spiritual spectrum and have landed in a place of compassion to all beings. Blessing!
Beautiful walk in the Sun–Today we walked out to the Trestle. After a really rainy and grey morning it was a PERFECT day for a walk. Sunshine, only a little heat, and a little breeze. It was a perfect after lunch walk. So glad for such gracious hosts.

The Best Soy Latte that you ever had and me–Cara picked me up at the Clipper and we had a delicious soy latte together. And I kept thinking of the lyrics to Train “Drops of Jupiter” and thinking how nice it was to have a latte with such a good friend.
Farm Tour–What a beautiful farm my dear friends have. I am grateful to their commitment to grow without harming animals and to find new ways to promote this lifestyle.
Dinner on the Porch–Cara made the most delicious “chicken” picatta tonight and we ate our dinner and had an adult beverage on the beautiful porch and Brightside. What a wonderful way to end a beautiful day.
Cuddles with Jefferson–Oh this sweet beautiful boy shared my room and my bed tonight at Cara’s. It is crazy to think that it has only been a short while since he was completely feral. He is precious and sweet. He and my boy would compete for lovin’. I’m so grateful he has a beautiful home and lots of love around him.

Calm–I’ve been doing another 21 Day meditation challenge with Deepak Chopra. I am enjoying this one more than the last 2 and really find it’s helping me to start the days calm.
Lunch in the Sun–Jen and I sat on the 4th floor deck and really enjoyed the sun and our lunch. Her company is always good and I’m always grateful for some sunshine.
Vegan Lasagna–Had the most delicious Mushroom and Chard Lasagna tonight for dinner. I’ll make that again and LOVE the flavor and the fact that it is so healthy.

Clear Schedule--When I started the day I have quite a few meetings. By about 10:30 ALL of my meetings had been cancelled and I was able to concentrate on getting some work done. YAY!
Trader Joes–I made a super quick run to Trader Joes on the way to work to buy both my lunch and some food to take to the outdoor Shakespeare play. I have never gotten over their small store, amazing products, and terrific prices. I do love getting my groceries delivered but I think I need to add a weekly run to TJs to my schedule.
King Leer–What a lovely and well-acted play in the Magnuson amphitheater. And FREE!!! Love this community theatre in the summer!

Fresh Start–When I took on that huge project at work at the end of May I spent 7 weeks being very lazy with my workout plan and food. I drank too much, ate erratically, and worked out maybe once or twice a week. The results: 5 pounds gained back, feeling lethargic, and lost time. Bygones. Today I restarted my personal program including working out, keeping a food journal, meditating before work, and drinking proper amounts of water. I’m feeling better already.
Inbox–After a 4 day weekend and a team building on Friday my inbox was pretty out of control. I got it back under control today and was able to feel organized for the rest of the week before sending myself home early today after starting to feel kind of icky. Thankful for the persistence to work through the haze and get organized.
Yoga Rose–I love doing yoga with Rose. She cracks me up. Anytime I’m anywhere near the floor she is near me curling herself around my arms and legs. She is funny and sweet and relentless in her pursuit of my attention.

Breakfast with the Girls–Had breakfast this morning with Sara and Sierra. They are two peas in a pod and as I watched them I was reminded how grateful I am that they have one another. Each of them bring out the most interesting things in the other and they are good for one another. I’m glad they have each other and I’m hopeful that no matter what they will be close. (I’ve been the adoring little sister and I know there is nothing like having a big sister that you love and who you know loves you back!)
Writing & Reading--On the train I managed to write something for work that I needed to send out tonight for review quickly enough that I was able to spend 3 full hours reading my book. I mean seriously! 3 hours!!!! Glorious goodness!
Home Alone–I love love love having people here. And I love love love all my friends. But I also love love love being in my house, alone, in my pajamas, with my cats, doing NOTHING but thinking about fresh starts.

The Troll–Took my favorite girl to the Fremont Troll today. She was so confused when she saw it and then she just started laughing. The sound of her laughter makes me happy.
The Train–Sierra and I rode the train to PDX this afternoon. I know she was a little bored but it was fun to watch her enjoy the wanderings to the dining car or the newness of the ride on the train or in a taxi.
The Talk–Talked to Zachary tonight for a few minutes about something I needed to get off my chest. He validated that I wasn’t alone and that made me feel better. He’s a good friend. And still just as cute as he was the first time I laid eyes on him 27 years ago. 🙂

Flight of the Butterflies–Sierra and I went to see a 3D IMAX movie today at the Seattle Center. It was a beautiful movie but my very favorite part was that kids all over the theatre stood up or reached to try to touch the hundreds of 3D butterflies so close to our faces. Sierra did it a couple times and I saw her hand twitch more than once wanting to reach. Beautiful movie.
Kitties and the Girl–Rose and Mal have loved having Sierra here to hang out with her. It is fun to watch them love on her and her on them.
Ice Cream for Dinner–We ate lunch/dinner fairly late in the afternoon so decided to stop to get ice cream. We then decided that was a perfectly sufficient dinner. It’s good to have a kid around so that I have an excuse for doing something like this. 🙂

Downstairs–There is great joy in knowing that one of my babies was downstairs asleep under my roof. Knowing that she is safe, sound, and here to just have fun is a huge blessing to me. Reading a book next to her bed and watching her slowly come to life has always been a great pleasure of mine and doing it today was special since I don’t know how many more years she will let me into her space like this.
Bowling–I have 100 free games of bowling for the month of August because of the league bowling we’ve been doing. So Sierra and I went bowling. We played 7 games and she kicked my booty in 4 of them. She’s not to bad. She’s finally open to advice and we laughed and enjoyed our morning together.
Nails and Naps–Took my favorite girl to my favorite nail salon. Those ladies were all over her!! They like me and so of course they asked her a million questions. They thought it was hilarious when I let her decide that we needed matching nails and she picked black and silver french manicures. These ladies know me…blue or green all over color is about as WILD AND CRAZY as I get with my nails. One of the ladies who often works on my nails said “I can tell you love her.” She is not the first person to say that after watching us together…but it always warms my heart to hear it. We then came home and took naps. Loved those quiet moments…just chatting…right before we each dozed off in our spot in the living room.

Task List–I chipped away at my task list pretty quickly this morning nailing down and marking off several things that needed it. What a huge blessing to be free of a few things going into this long weekend with Sierra!
Sailing–Dennis (his fiance Jen) and the boys and I went sailing today. Max was our captain and we had so much fun!!! I just felt so very free and relaxed to be out on the water even though it was rainy, cold, and gross. These guys make me laugh and I enjoy their company. So much better than some of the silly Team Building things I’ve done over the years. SO much better! I guess that is the plus side of being that close t the water!
Airport–I left that boat…LATE…and hauled butt to the airport to pick up my favorite kid. I was walking so fast just trying to get to her since I knew I was late, security was slow, and I needed to meet her at the gate. Our faces lit up when we saw one another and that she still feels that way when she sees me is a huge blessing. Love that kid and am so grateful to have these days with her.

Voice–This afternoon I found my voice again in a meeting. I’ve been laying low for about 2 months now because I’m sort of back in learning mode but I was in a meeting that was going nowhere fast. And I suddenly heard myself…as usual the only girl in a room full of men…say “Seriously…what do we have to do this week to ensure that next week’s meeting is NOTHING like this one or the last one because I can’t take it anymore. We aren’t making progress.” I then volunteered to take on two of the tasks that seemed like they might get us moving. At which point I got a table full of stares before my two favorite engineers said “Your right!” and then weighed in with their opinions.
Happy Hour–Bless Ramnath for saying “Let’s go to Mistral” after the previously mentioned meeting. So off we went…the Dream Team + 2 senior level SDEs. Good bonding opportunity and great laughter.
HOME–Spent a mindless evening in front of the tv surfing. There was no reason for it. It didn’t do me any good…but it was SO nice. So meaningless. So relaxing.

Linda–So grateful for the birthday of my friend Linda Koski Stalder. She showed up in my life by God’s design…of that I’m sure…and I am better for it. So very grateful for her ability to stay connected to me even long distance when so many others have been unable or unwilling.
Lunch with Jen–I continue to be grateful for my friendship with the beautiful and smart Jen at work. Sometimes when I’m walking next to her down the street I think…people must be looking at us and thinking “oh look, that super model has a short fat friend” but I don’t care. She is so sweet and funny…and most importantly she makes an attempt to be friends with me in a way that no one at work has. I appreciate her and want to be there for her as well. 🙂
Night off–Tonight I went straight home, ordered vegan take out, and finished some work. Sure…working wasn’t my first choice…but it was nice to be in my house and off the social clock for a bit. Obviously all the dating and hanging out after work is starting to wear my introvert nature down a bit…but I’m glad for a “mostly” free night.

Heart to Heart–My boss and I have been struggling these past few months with communication. I’ve walked out of many of our interactions frustrated and feeling unheard. But the last couple of weeks he has been trying something new that I have to give him credit for. He is asking me questions like “What do you think I should do in this situation?” and telling me more of what is going on in his world. I don’t do mandatory relationship connections very well and need to feel valued and real as a person…and individual. He is trying to do that…and I’m not sure if it’s because he really wants to or because he’s starting to figure me out. But I’ll take it.
Mentorship Series–The mentorship program that one of the managers in our area set up for the women of our group to meet more senior level women at Amazon started back up again today. We met a really interesting lady who has been with Amazon for 13 years and has worked in many groups. It was interesting and I’m grateful for both her input and the interactions amounts the ladies of our group.
Date with Neil–Tonight I had a date with Neil Gaiman’s latest book…The Ocean at the End of the Lane…and I honestly could not wait to get home to it. And it was 100% worth it. I love when a book just captivates you and pulls you in. So grateful for his gift and for a quiet night in my pjs.

Last night of Bowling–I am grateful for the fun time I had being part of this group. I’m not any better a bowler than when I started but I have cute shoes and had some fun.
Margaritas –Really enjoyed hanging out with the bowling ladies and having a meal to celebrate completion of the league.

Brunch with Jhana–Today I met a lady from one of my meetup groups for brunch. I won’t go into too many details but I am so grateful to have another friend locally. It’s starting to happen…slowly but surely I’m making connections. I’m mostly grateful for a friend to laugh with and enjoy.

Lady Date–Today I met a sweet girl in my book club who asked if I wanted to hang out sometime. We joked that it was liked being asked out on a “lady date” and I was so happy to have someone ask me (as I seem to usually be asking). On another interesting note…she looks like my cousin Becky and her name is Becky!!!
Nap–Today I laid down in the middle of the floor in the living room…something I NEVER do…and took a nap. The kits curled around me and we slept for an hour. It was amazing and sweet.
Don–After 3 hours of IMs, I got on a phone call with my sweet friend Don. Sometimes a friend comes along that you don’t even realize blesses you with their love and support. Don loves me…he supports me…he believes in me. And that makes me a better woman, friend, sister, and person.

Meditation–I had an amazing meditation time this morning before work. So grateful for the blessing of mindfulness. I hope it showed in my work all day today.
Happy Hour–Had happy hour tonight with the Dream Team. It’s been at least a month since we were together and I genuinely miss it. It was good to talk work, religion, and blessing with this lovely group of people.

Wind–The days in Seattle are not hot. But even still every now and then the wind blows and takes the punch out of the heat. What a huge blessing that our environment knows how to provide comfort and blessing
Official Happy Hour--A few of us were supposed to meet with some of the VP ladies of Amazon tonight. It didn’t happen. What did happen was real conversation. And for that I am grateful.
Catch up--Today I caught up on several tasks given to me over the last week. I love to go into Friday caught up and am grateful for the time I could spend getting organized.

Alejandro–I had a really cute deck repair man come over this morning. I worked from the couch while he worked on the deck. He was cute, kind, and flirty. And while I liked him, what I am more grateful for is my friends who played along with my craziness. Including Heidi, Chad, and Mike. Bless them for knowing my sense of humor and being game to play along and be silly! I love my friends!
Happy Hour–Happy hour was truly happy tonight. Jen and I went to grab a drink at about 4:30 and Max came along while we were there. I know I talk about my struggle to make friends but over time I am realizing that I’m building a circle of people who I like and who like me in return. And life is more fun in that circle.
An Earlier Evening–Tonight I got home at a fairly decent hour and was able to sit for a few minutes and just do NOTHING. It was lovely. I have been so busy the last couple of weeks and my calendar does look like it will relent until the end of August. And I’m happy about that because it means I’m using these beautiful summer days to the fullest…but I also know my own tendency to hermit will come out eventually. So nights like last tonight where I make my own dinner (instead of eating out or eating in a hurry on my way to some event) are such a blessing. As is climbing into bed and reading for an hour before turning the lights off a bit early and going to sleep…which is where I’m headed now. 🙂

Coffee with Kush–One of my favorite engineers asked me to have coffee with him just to catch up. I really adore the engineering team I’ve been working with. I may be done with this project but I hope they’ll reach out to me from time to time to talk.
Honesty–I love when I get to be honest with my boss. Not that I lie to him other times…but sometimes I just tell him what I’m thinking and struggling with. He’s learning to just roll with it, listen, and then let it be for a bit before responding. And I’m learning to just say what I’m actually thinking instead of trying to figure out how best to tell him what he needs to know. I’d fallen into a bad pattern with him and I’m finding my way out.
Bookclub–Good night tonight at bookclub with the ladies. Such a smart and badass group of ladies.
Rum–Tonight I had some lovely rum with OJ and it was DEE-liscious!

Green Pants–I LOVE my sassy green pants and mixed with my cute new owl earrings I was SET. I so appreciate days when I just feel beautiful.
Coffee with Jen–I so appreciate being invited along by my new Seattle friends. Today my friend Jen…the supermodel at work…IMd me and asked me to coffee. I really just like being invited by others to ANYTHING…but especially by people who I really like.
Bowling Tips–The guys we bowled tonight stayed after the games were over and gave me tips like (1) bowl with a heavier ball, (2) move a little to the right, and (3) don’t think so hard. They don’t know that #3 is not at all a problem. I don’t think AT ALL when I’m bowling! LOL

Baptism–A girl I love…who holds a secret corner of my heart…was baptized today. I loved that child before she was born…I loved her while singing “I shall not be moved”, “Blackbird”, and “Place in this World” (Michael W Smith)…and I loved her long distance. I’m proud of her even though it isn’t my pride to have. A beautiful day for a beautiful girl. Grateful for the calling on her life…and for what God will do with her courage, intellect, heart and spirit.
995431_10151641833651107_989785434_nTourists–Spent one more day with the Spriggs today. I sure do love Bailey and Graham and their precious hearts and hilarious laughs. And then there are my dear friends Steve and Keri. What a blessing to talk, laugh, and share life with these friends for a few more hours. We went to see the Ballard Locks, Golden Gardens, the Fremont Troll (not GNOME Steve!), Gasworks Park, the Floating Bridge, and Mount Baker Beach. I also showed them the brown house that I wish was mine (yup…even if it is Seattle). So grateful for moment with my friends that keep me trying. God has been good to send my people from time to time. 🙂
Church–So two straight weekends of church…two VERY different churches. Tonight I went to a Eucharist service at Church of the Apostles (http://www.apostleschurch.org/about/story/). It is a neo-monastic, liturgical, intentional community in Fremont. It was a nice, ordered service. But as has been the case for the last couple years, I was anxious and had a bad case of “frigidity fingers” (Thanks Bailey for that term). Everyone was calm and friendly. I felt welcome without feeling crowded. And then a young lady…a member…from their community got up to give the message. She shared a new spin on the story of Mary and Martha (with research to back it up) that removed the guilt and shame that this story has given evangelical girls/women through the years. For so long it has been a story of trying to make time for sitting at Jesus feet (Mary) while still trying to take care of domestic duties (Martha). What she shared…and the fact that I walked into a place where she was the person doing the sharing…brought tears to my eyes.
Jake–Talk to one of my favorite people tonight. My heart is always calmer and my head more peaceful when I talk to one of my boys. I love this man dearly and with all the mama/sister/aunt/friend energy I’ve got to offer. So grateful that he is chasing his dream and eager to see what God has in store.

Massage–Misty massaged the HECK out of me today. She worked a couple problem areas and chatted me up to distract me from the pain. She has such amazing hands and her ability to see the problem even before touching me is amazing. When I walked in the room she said “Something is going on with your right shoulder or chest.” NAILED IT! She is gifted and I am grateful.
Phone Meander–Spent a couple hours on the phone today with Linda K talking about life, catching her up on my crazy dating life, and just speaking a few things out-loud. The funny thing that happened on this call is that neither of us cried…at all. That HAS to be a sign of progress. 🙂 hahaha! I couldn’t miss her more than I do right now after talking to her…but I am so grateful for the sound of her voice, her acceptance of my special brand of crazy, and the blessing of her friendship.
Nap–Took a nap today with Malcolm. We held paws and both slept like it was the middle of the night. Neither of us does that very often so we both much have needed it. I am blessed to have that luxury and I recognize and acknowledge here and now that there are people all over the world that do not eat if they skip a day of work and they do not have 3 beds and a couch to choose from to take a nap in the middle of the day. I am not worthy but I 1069890_10151639820601107_1540629679_nam grateful.
First Choice–Cara and I got our first choice at a great rate for our island wander in September. I am SO excited!!!! The Divine was taking care of us by helping us get the right place for the right vacation. 🙂 Yippee!!!!

Check-marks--I had a quiet day today and a very quiet calendar. It was a huge blessing to knock some things off my “to do” list quickly. It felt productive and puts me in a place to “reset” starting next week and take a few more lingering things to completion.
Happy Hour–Went to Shot & a Beer with my coworkers. My boss and I were the last two at the bar and we had a conversation that needed to happen. It was personal and heartfelt. It doesn’t and can’t solve all of the “stuff” between us about work but more importantly he knows that I genuinely care about him and what is going on with his family.
Dream Team--It felt good to sit with 2 of the other 3 members of the dream team tonight over a drink. I miss working with them daily but am so grateful for their friendship and the feeling of having my back covered in every situations.

Cherries–Oh how I love cherries and they don’t grow them better than in Washington!!
Meetings–Today I met with another couple of engineering managers to talk about how I could help them and get involved with their teams. While doing this has left me a little annoyed at the feeling of “starting over”, I so appreciated the energy and excitement of the engineering managers about my participation with the team.
Shakespeare in the Park–What a fun night at the park with the book club. So glad I went. So glad I was able to laugh and sit in the fresh air with these lovely people.

Sunshine, a book, and cuddles–I’m finding that I have been waking up a little earlier and spend a few minutes reading in bed in the sunshine surrounded by my two fury BFFs. It makes me calmer and kinder. So grateful for those quiet starts.
Lunch–Had lunch today with a coworker and friend. I appreciate someone who doesn’t agree with me to placate me but who also gets me enough to know why I’m struggling lately with the way things are at work.
Happy Hour–Had a super fun time at Happy Hour with the Child-free meetup ladies. It is always interesting and fun to spend time with these lovely people. I may have even met a girl that I’d like to hang out with apart from the group. (Why does it feel like trying to make a friend is like dating in Seattle?? Geez!)
Possibilities–Some days I get discouraged by the additional year I need to live here. Other days I feel like both the place and the people have great potential. Of course it could just be the sunshine talking.
Green Chile Stew–The Happy Hour group met at a little dive restaurant in Belltown tonight. We sat on this gorgeous patio and when I opened the menu I saw 3 recipes that included Green Chile. I didn’t hold out much hope but the stew was GOOOOOD. I’m so very happy!!! 🙂

Rain--WHAT??? Did I just say that? Let me explain…I’m grateful when it rains at NIGHT and when it doesn’t rain until I get the top back up on the Jeep. And I’m grateful for how fresh it feels the morning AFTER it rains. Woot! 🙂
Feeling Good–I woke up this morning and realized that whatever has been oddly ailing me and wearing me out was gone. And I’m so grateful for that! SOOO grateful.
Cornflakes–I ate some delicious cornflakes for breakfast AND dinner. It made me happy.

Summer smells–This morning I woke up and went out on my patio to read for a few minutes. I love the way that summer smells in Washington.

Muffins with Friends–This morning I made homemade blueberry muffins and my friends Keri, Bailey, and I ate breakfast together. What a blessing…both the delicious muffins and the friends
Church–Went to church today for the first time in a while. I can happily report that I didn’t feel my skin start to itch or feeling like running screaming from the building. It’s a start. 🙂
Texts with the BFF–I love that we live in a world where my best friends are just a text away. I don’t know how I’d make it if we didn’t have that at our literal fingertips.

Spriggs–It has been so fun to have my friends Steve and Keri and their wonderful kids Graham and Bailey here today. They are spending the night and we got to do a bunch of fun things today that were just so much fun. The highlight was just being together but I also enjoyed the Space Needle, Lunchbox Laboratory, and a little bit of sight seeing. 🙂 Always good to have friends around who have known you all of your adult life…16 years!!
Party at Amit’s–Such a fun BBQ at Amit’s today. Saw a lot of people I really like and a got to meet a few new people. I really enjoyed spending time talking and laughing with Amit’s sweet mother, wife, and sister-in-law. I love that his daughter and niece now call me Aunty. 🙂
Sunshine–I got so much sunshine today. It feels AMAZING and I’m so very grateful for the heat of it and the feeling of warmth on my skin. 🙂

Planning Day–Spent the day today planning some important discussions next week at work. I scheduled necessary meetings and got my “ducks in a row”. I was glad to have the space in which to do that.
Coffee with Peju–I am grateful for the cup of coffee I had today with one of the ladies from my BSF class. It was fun to talk about dating with another single woman and just enjoy the exchange of horror stories. 🙂
Happy Hour with Chelsea–Chelsea asked me to Happy Hour…something we’ve never done by ourselves. It was so great to catch up with her, to laugh, and to just generally make sure we were cool.

Being Home–I stayed home to work today. I am grateful that I didn’t have any meetings and was able to chill at home and try to get the rest I’ve been needing this week to cure whatever is ailing me. Grateful for a company that allows me that flexibility.
Flowers--I have not gotten over how beautiful the flowers are in the Pacific Northwest. They are so easy to grow and they thrive so easily here.
Clean House–My house isn’t ever a total disaster but it gets cluttered and a little messy now and then. I love when people come to visit and it gives me a reason to shuffle through each room making sure everything is in it’s place and all the little piles of clutter get put away. 🙂 Looking forward to seeing my friends the Spriggs this weekend.

Good Meetings–I had a couple really good meetings today with some folks that I’ve never met with before. They were each interested in my view point and wanted to hear what I had to share that is always really encouraging.
Safe Kitty–Malcolm walked out of the house with me today. He was very smooth but I’m really grateful that I didn’t have to chase him or try to hunt him down. Instead I was able to easily get him back in the house. Most importantly I’m very grateful for the safety of my cats who live indoors. Indoor cats are generally healthier and face less danger. So grateful for my healthy kits.
Fruit for dinner–Tonight I really needed to just eat something light, sweet, and delicious…and low and behold my CSA box appeared today. I ate blueberries, a nectarine, an apple, and some cherry tomatoes for dinner. Toss in a handful of almonds for dinner and I’m feeling excellent! 🙂

Flat Iron–Today I straightened my very short hair and you’d think I had a radical makeover with all the comments I received. 🙂 Either way I’m grateful for what a flat iron can do. 🙂
Lunch–Had lunch with a coworker that I’ve not spent any one on one time with before and it was really nice. We talked about dating in Seattle and just generally had fun discussing life here and the work we are each doing.
Conversation–I had a 1:1 with a guy at Amazon who’s work has nothing to do with mine. I really wanted to pick his brain and understand how he views the role I play at the company since he used to work in the same org. It was nice to have a frank conversation with someone who doesn’t have any history on me personally but knows a lot about the people I work with. He gave me some good advice about how to go about finding out what I want to know to make some decisions about my future with A.
Prayerful friends–I’m not feeling great. But I can’t quite figure out what doesn’t feel good. But what I do feel good about is that I have friends who will be praying for me and who will help me through whatever the “blah” I’m feeling happens to be.

Prayer–I’ve been struggling with some fear today. And I’m grateful for the closeness of the Holy Spirit on days like today and the ability to stop and ask for peace in the midst of my fear. It hasn’t passed completely but I feel surrounded.
Being Honest–One of the girls I bowl with was a little bitchy with me tonight when we arrived. My instinct in those situations is either to lash out or to shrink back. Instead I said “The way you are talking to me isn’t cool. You need to dial it down a notch okay?” She was stunned and got quiet but by the middle of our first game she was fine and we moved on. I’m grateful for learning to stand my own ground without being a jerk or pouting.
Making Choices--If I’m honest there are some things going on at work that hurt my feelings. I’m feeling pretty discarded and unheard. However…I get to choose my reaction. I get to choose whether to relate to those feelings or move through them. And today I chose to disengage and I’m grateful. Now at least I know my job is a series of “what have you done for me latelys” and I can plan my emotions accordingly. May not sound great but Im so very grateful for having my eyes wide open as I move into year 2.

Clean Sheets–Is there anything in the world that feels as good as clean sheets? I mean…there is…but it doesn’t feel that way when you first put them on your bed. 🙂
Clean Closet–The closet in my master bedroom has been a bit of a mess since I moved in a year ago. This weekend I cleaned it out and put it all back together. I’m grateful that I took the time to make that happen. 🙂
Dave Alvin–Tonight as I prepped for the week (made my lunch, got my bag ready, etc) I danced around to Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women. Hearing Dave’s awesome voice and guitar made me homesick for Linda…but so grateful for moments of fun, laughter and beauty.

Silence–I had the tv running this morning as I cleaned and puttered around the kitchen. I wasn’t really listening and when I  sat down to read reached over to flip it off. The instantaneous silence made me melt. I’d had noise for background all morning and was so grateful for the quiet. Sometimes I think there is holiness in the first moment of silence after a noisy day.
Cuddlebug–Malcolm has gotten less willing to sit on my lap for any length of time. I think some of it is age but some of it is also the weather. He is generally less cuddly in the warm months. Today he followed me around as I was doing some cleaning and when I asked what he wanted he just meowed at me. I don’t speak cat but for whatever reason I thought he might want to be held. I sat down and he instantly jumped into my lap and went to sleep for an hour. I love him for following me until he got my attention.
Bananas–I almost always have bananas in my home. But every now and then I take a bite of a really perfect banana and think “How could there not be a God?” That is how much I love bananas and their perfect packaging. 🙂

Zachary–Today my favorite oldest nephew turned 27. I’m not sure how that’s possible because he’s still 7 in my head some days. 🙂 I’m so grateful for his amazing heart, his awesome sense of humor, his lack of flinchiness when I fire off an F-bomb, and his loving nature in all things. So very grateful for this guy. Glad he’s my nephew and glad he’s my friend.
Frivolity–Today I watched General Hospital, the View, and Dr. Phil. Did I get stupider while doing so? Maybe. Did it feel good to watch something so frivolous? Yes…yes it did!
Drive–Took a drive today and found a little spot by a lake. Wasn’t fancy but it wasn’t crowded. Very nice to just sit quietly and listen to the water.

Lazy Days–Spent today cleaning the house a bit and being lazy.
Good decisions–Today I believe the Divine intervened on a really bad decision I was about to make. And for that I’m grateful. Now if I can just figure out how to not make bad choices in this area of my life, things will be golden.
Bad Ass Rose–During the fireworks all afternoon and evening, Malcolm hid out in a dark quiet corner of the house. Rose laid on the bed…and then at about 11 came downstairs to get her belly rubbed. She sought me out for comfort and then sat looking out the window. I love this cat. She is wise enough to know when she is safe and when she is not. And she is slowly but surely deciding that I’m worthy of trust and have something to offer her besides thumbs to open the food. 🙂

Lunch with Ram–Had lunch with one of the dream team today. He and I have never hung out alone and today I felt like I had a little brother. Someone who cares that I make good decisions and is willing to weigh in on my choices…but who also knows that I’m not a dummy and will do the right thing. It’s good to have friends.
Happy Hour–Went to an early happy hour with Marilyn. It was nice to talk about stuff…discuss where we are both at in our particular situations…and have a drink. Then when the guys all showed up that kept the fun going for a little while.
The Party at Nic’s–Loved spending the evening with Nicole and her sweet family and friends. It is good to be part of the group and to be invited. I’m so grateful for the time I spent talking to Deedee and Tara, Ryan, and Cole. Very fun and sweet people and I’m grateful.

Feeling pretty–I wore a pretty dress today and felt beautiful. Not sure I LOOKED beautiful but I felt it.
Getting things Scheduled–I scheduled a few conversations that I need to have with some other people at Amazon today. I feel great about taking a proactive stance on seeking changes and making things happen for myself. I think most people at Amazon just let stuff happen to their careers and hope for the best…but Amazon has met it’s match. 🙂
A beer and an easy decision–The dating scene is Seattle is literally not workable for me. I went on a date tonight with a really handsome and really STONED dude. I have to admit that there was something really comical about it even though part of me was seething. On the bonus side…it is super easy to make a decision to move on when someone is that big a bonehead. lol

Restful sleep–The ability to sleep in my downstairs guestroom because of the coolness of the bottom floor of the house is a blessing. Ahhh….10 degrees cooler is better than nothing in this heatwave. 🙂
Being Unflappable--Things at work are weird. Everyone is uptight and they seem particularly combative with me over the rearchitecture decisions that have been made. I’m grateful that nothing they do or say to bait me is worthy of a reaction from me. And I’m grateful for the knowledge that their anger and frustration isn’t really even about me. photo
Breaking in my Bowling Shoes–I enjoyed another night of bowling with the Childfree ladies. I’m really really bad but I still had a lot of fun and my shoes are cute! 🙂

June was a rough month…and a busy month…and a rough month. There are fewer gratitude posts here but you can see my progression into the pit and back out. And for that wholehearted living I am grateful. 🙂

Book Club–There were MEN at our book club and that makes me happy. I want to make some guy friends…and not for dating. What better place to meet them than over IPA and Neil Gaiman? Yes please! One of the other girls, one guy, and I laughed so hard I thought my stomach would never recover. And of course it was over something RIDICULOUS. I also shared my fries with another guy who has only lived in Seattle a month. I felt like an “old timer”. 🙂
Date–Meeting a guy named Chris for a drink today. We had a really good conversation. I’m not sure we had much chemistry as he seems a bit serious…and we all know I’m mostly crazy.But it was good for my confidence and I’m glad I stepped out. 🙂
Fans–The wind blown around by the fans in my house. If I can’t have AC…and really hardly anyone in Seattle does…then I will settle for good fans and a prayer that it cools off at night. 😉

Breakfast & a Book–My latte and my Neil Gaiman over oatmeal on a lazy morning in Madison Valley. Yes thank you!
Heavenly Hands–The 2 hour Shirodhara massage that the glorious Misty gave me today. Holy crap…it’s like a full body reset! Amazing!
Hours to Read–having plenty of time to read my book club book in anticipation of tomorrow’s book club meeting. Yay for a lazy day in the sun with a book. Thanks for showing up Seattle! 🙂

Fire Up--The battery in my Jeep that just fired up when I turned the key. It’s the little things we don’t think of day to day until they are no longer there that we realize how badly we needed it.
Finding Moments–Time to sit down in a chair in the middle of my day and took 20 minutes to read fiction. It wasn’t critical. It wasn’t important. Except that it was important to ME. It is a few moments like this that I have been missing.
Time with Erin–My hairstylist gave me some color, a cut, and indulged my need for girl talk. She is such a sweet and beautiful person and I’m grateful that she is just herself. Love my cut, love my highlights, and love my stylist. 🙂

Insurance–I know people complain about the price of insurance but I am always so glad for my amazing insurance company when something happens like today. My battery didn’t start and they immediately sent someone over to jump start it and get me on my way. 🙂
Dealership–I spent time today at the Jeep dealership. I’m not necessarily grateful for the HOURS AND HOURS I spent there but I’m grateful that they were polite, that I only got called “darlin’ once, and that they had a coffee bar.
Books–I’m reading TWO awesome books at the same time. I’ve so missed reading during these weeks of work that have been so consuming. Super happy to get some time today to read.
Vulnerability–I’m reading Dr. Brene Brown’s book on vulnerability and courage. So I decided to take a leap and I asked a guy out. I was pretty sure by the time I got to the question that he was going to say yes…but I did it. 🙂 woot!

Slow Mornings–I appreciate slow mornings where I can just take my time. I am so very fortunate to work in an environment where I don’t get a lot of pressure on slow mornings.
Conversation–Today I had a conversation with a young lady who needed to be encouraged, reminded, and flat out told how much she had to offer. I realized that I might be the only woman in her life saying those words to her…and I’m grateful that the words came, that they blessed her, and that I’m in a place in my life where I’m able to give generously of my time and words.
Daniel--God bless Daniel who jump-started my jeep and helped me get home tonight. Bless him!!!

Apologies–Tonight I sent a few team members an apology for being too negative over the course of the last week or two. They were so lovely in their responses that I ended up being blessed by their kindness. One of them spent over an hour with me on the phone just talking through my apology and why I didn’t need to do that. I am blessed with a few lovely people in my life here in Seattle.
Senator Wendy Davis, Tx–I’m not going to argue this or get into it with all of you. I admire this woman’s tenacity. Her heart. And her willingness to use the system to the advantage of her cause…and the cause of many women all over the US. Go on with your bad self Wendy!
Healing Tears–Every now and then a girl just needs to sit down and cry. And tonight that is what I did. I’m grateful for tears that heal…even when nothing changes.

Bowling–It is silly. I’m a horrible bowler. And yet I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting to bowl with the ladies on Monday nights. Each week I meet new people…on the other team…and I get to joke and have fun with the ladies on our team. I’m super excited that one of the girls bailed and I’ll get to go every week in July! Woot!!!
Off the Hook–My 6 weeks of project work have come to an end…and I feel gloriously free. I know it is likely that I’ll get dragged back into it all…but I’m super grateful for the freedom in the meantime. 🙂
Dodging Bullets–Maya Angelou says “When people show you who they are, believe them…the first time.” And I am so grateful that Brian showed me who he was by talking down to me and taking a position on gun control that I just don’t want any part of. I love knowing myself well enough to know when to walk away. And I love that I have a voice…all my own…and am not afraid to tell a man talking down to me what I think. Doing so with a smile on my face, a slight laugh in my tone, and without ever even slightly raising my voice is just a gift of the Holy Spirit. 🙂

Restoration–Sleep…a night of sleep without any meds to bring me down or an alarm to wake me up. Full, beautiful, restful sleep.
Words–Writing returned to me today and I couldn’t be more filled with the blessing of knowing that when I show up, the words do too.
Reading–Books. I have opened books over the course of the last few weeks and read the words on the page over and over. Today I was able to finish a couple that had been in the works and select new ones to begin. Grateful for the presence of books in my life and their return to a place of teaching.
Cody & Brennan--My friend Cody shared a comment on Facebook from a book “The Furious Longing of God” this morning. I asked if I should read it and he encouraged me to read it right away as it is short but meaningful. I spent 90 minutes being reminded why Brennan Manning is among the most beloved saints of our time and why losing him hurts our hearts. I cried my way through most of the book and was reminded of the name that Hagar gives to God in Genesis 16:13…El Roi…The God Who Sees.
Love–My sweet friend Wil ended his message to me tonight with the words “I love you Laker buddy.” I smiled and my eyes flooded. It is good to be loved well by sweet men. I have been blessed with an abundance of lovely men in my life who are not afraid to say they love me.

**Authors Note**
As may be apparent by the last post (06/04) life got away from me and I was unable to focus on gratitude. I speak about this in my blog here https://hippychristiangirl.com/2013/06/23/enough/.  Most importantly I just want to say that even those of us who have learned to live gratefully lose our way. And yet…we pick up and move forward. Blessings to you on your journey.

I’m grateful that this day is over. Full stop.

Andrew–Andrew in the Amazon business center is the highlight of my day almost anytime  I have to go into that room. He is so kind, helpful, funny, and just generally wonderful to talk to. I’m grateful for his presence. 🙂 
Lunch with
 Jing–Went to lunch with a lady from another of the payments teams. We’ve been trying to do this for a while and I am so glad we had lunch. She, like me, is very interested in making interpersonal connections and it was good to hear that I’m not the only person who has struggled with that at Amazon. I’m thankful for the time to talk over a great meal and to problem solve.
Bowling–Had a ton of fun bowling tonight with the “childfree” group. I’m a terrible bowler but it was nice to just laugh and enjoy myself. Grateful I could make it and that there was a spot for me to bowl.
Cara–I’m grateful that my friend Cara got home tonight to her family. She had a trying couple of days of travel and while I would have been thrilled to see her if she’d been stranded in Seattle, I am grateful for all going well so she could see her girls and her hubby tonight instead of tomorrow.

Confirmation–Sometimes something happens and you receive confirmation that a decision you made in the past was the right one. That is how I felt this morning drinking coffee with an old flame. Great guy. Bad fit. Grateful.
Game Time–Glad to spend some time with the “childfree ladies” playing games today. I’m continuing to push myself to get out there and make friends. It’s happening. Slowly…but surely.
Chill–This weekend feels like it got away from me. I really enjoyed all the various interactions and people connections. But I also desperately felt the pull to get some alone time at home with my journal, the kits, and a glass of wine. Immense gratitude that the time was available and I could take advantage of it.

Cuddles--Slept well and late. Cuddled with the kits who have been hungry for extra attention after their crazy sitter issues last week. Grateful for time to be lazy this morning.
Magic Misty–My massage therapist continues to be amazing. Today she worked on me for 90 minutes and let me chatter away the entire time telling her about my life, my vacation, and where I’m at in my transformation. She is both therapist and massage expert. I’m blessed and grateful.
Elevator Guy–Today a young guy in the elevator told me all about his bad morning. And I was able to offer him some empathy and encouragement. I’m grateful for moments of connection.
Wil-Long ago there was a guy…a hilarious, irreverent, cute guy and I had coffee. We never got it together enough to date because we couldn’t be more different…but he’s managed to be my friend all these years. Tonight we had one of our hours long phone calls and I love how inappropriate we are with each other. Such a good friendship…and maybe more…but only once a year. hahaha!

Movies with the Dream Team–Today the Dream Team and I went to the movies in the middle of the day. Such a great idea after all the hours and effort we’ve poured into our work these last 3 to 4 weeks. Love that I work with people who are so good that we don’t SNEAK out to a movie but schedule it on our calendars and go.
Tiki Bar–We had happy hour in Brad’s Tiki Bar (aka one of the manager’s offices) and I was glad to see all my other team mates that I’ve not seen in a few weeks because of vacation and the project I’ve been working on. I’m grateful for laughing with everyone. 🙂
Party at Nic’s–Went to Nicole’s to address envelopes for her to send out signed copies of Charis (BUY THIS BOOK!!!). We drank, ate, danced, and laughed. I’m so very grateful for my sweet friends in Seattle and for being included in the fun!
Mojo–Tonight I discovered that I still have my mojo and I’m grateful for that…and for kissing and being kissed. 😉

First day back–Went from meeting to meeting today on my first day back in the office in a week. Immediately back in the groove with the Dream Team and happy to see others. Six months…make that two or three months…ago I would have dreaded going back to work after a vacation but I didn’t feel that way today. And I’m so very grateful for recognizing that in myself.
The Big Kids Table–I joined the 3 year planning sessions today and feel grateful to sit at the Big Kids table and hold my own. It’s not something I’ve ever been intimidated by in my career but at Amazon being invited to these discussions is often very selective…so I’m glad to be invited and to push along the right plans.
Hugs–I’m not much of a hugger…but today I hugged Brad, Rich, and Dennis. It was really funny to see how happy they were that I was back and to be welcomed so warmly. I guess I’m not the only one who is grateful for my job.
Happy Hour–I bought the drinks for my team (Product) and the Dream Team tonight at Mistral. I was very happy to see them all and grateful to celebrate the little wins we’ve had these last few weeks.

Kelly–Today is my sister’s birthday. I’m grateful for her and for how she shared her kids with me over the years. We’ve had ups and downs but at the end of the day she is always always my sister.
Transition–Had a transition day at home in my PJs working. Grateful that I could be in my own home after sleeping in my own bed last night and spend time soothing the very anxious kitties.
Mastin & Jenna–Been participating in a weekly class on love from The Daily Love coach Mastin Kipp and his girlfriend and Coach Jenna. It has been interesting so far and I’m willing to see what comes of it. I’m grateful for their honesty and hopefulness about life and love.

Salsa--Picked up some of Ike’s awesome salsa and enjoyed chatting with him. Grateful for friendship…new and old.
Final stretch–Made the final stretch home from my vacation. The drive between Portland and Seattle was lovely and uneventful…except the last little stretch with the stop and go traffic and the flirty truck driver. It was a pretty drive and I even noticed things on the drive that I’d never noticed before. Funny…I think I just had an eye for seeing beauty out on the road. Grateful for such a safe and uneventful driving experience. 2001.5 miles!
Kitties!–I came home to a blazing hot house (88 degrees) and kitties who had neither food nor water. I was NOT happy and they were very anxious and troubled. I am so glad I didn’t extend my trip and that I came home to these babies when I did. I’m so angry with their sitter but I am SO VERY grateful that neither of them are sick or hurt.

Breakfast with the Cops--I ate breakfast at a table next to 4 CHP officers this morning. They were older men and they made me laugh for the entirety of my breakfast. They told me stories, flirted with me, teased each other for flirting with me, and just generally made my breakfast memorable. After I told them I was on the next to last leg of a 7 day road trip, I got a long lecture from 3 of the 4 about safety when traveling alone. The 4th said “Well…forget all that crap…for your next road trip get a boyfriend to go along.” The other three rolled their eyes and lots of comments about my independence and not being a sexist were bandied about. The 4th officer stood his ground…”Girl like you ought to have a boyfriend. I didn’t say you NEEDED one. But you ought to have one.” What a crazy bunch of guys. Also I’m pretty sure I had an escort (at a non stalking distance) all the way to the Oregon border. 🙂
Crater what? –I drove to Crater Lake. In a snow storm. I’m glad I’ve seen it before because based on what I saw today, there is no lake. 🙂 There was complete cloud cover over the lake and the snow was coming down hard. While I was bummed to not see the lake, I displayed the delight of a child at the snow. Colorado sold me on the beauty of snow and this past winter I missed it so much. All the gloomy rain in the world can’t compare in any way, shape, or cold form to what the world looks like under a fresh blanket of white snow. Grateful for my fix of slush and snow before the heat comes.
Rainbow–Tonight I got a bad case of the screaming mimis. This is the feeling i get when I want to scream on the inside but try to keep it together on the outside. After 7 days on the road I finally had a moment tonight where I thought “I CAN’T GO ANOTHER MILE!” It was mostly because we were driving about 20 mph on I-5 and I needed to pee. Anyway…just when I thought I might freak out, I glanced out my passenger window and there was a beautiful rainbow. Grateful for the sign of peace.
Dinner with Zachary–I got to have dinner with Zachary and unpack our last few weeks. He is a blessing, a friend, and my family. So grateful for him, his life, his passion, and his & Sara’s beautiful new home.

Tom B–My parents have a dear friend that I’ve known all my life. His daughter and I were good friends as very little girls. I saw him at church today and it made my heart happy. I’m grateful for his sweet smile and warmth.
In the Jeep with Luke–I got Luke to myself for a few minutes today when he drove my Jeep from breakfast to church. It was nice to have a few minutes just to talk to him and laugh.
Ben–Exchanged some texts with Ben. He’s just become such a good man and I know he is trying to figure out direction. So grateful for this guy and looking forward to seeing what the next steps are for him.
The other sweeties--Loved getting to love on Sarah, Hannah, Aaron and Adam. I’m an aunt who loves her nibs…even the ones I don’t see often. I tried to fill them up with love, laughter, and support today. Grateful for seeing their sweet faces.
Khaled Hosseini–I’m listening to Mr. Hosseini’s latest book as part of my trip. Really loving it. I always love his writing and I’m really enjoying this book and looking forward to how it is all going to come together.
Mt. Shasta--As a kid we often camped in Shasta…so rounding a corner on the drive and seeing the beauty of that mountain was amazing to me. Beautiful…reminiscent…and peaceful.

Surrounded–My friends were praying over my day. Many many people were surrounding me with peace, love, and comfort. And though I can never explain it…I felt every prayer. So grateful for such faithful and true friends.
Family–I have a big big big extended family. I haven’t been around them in quite a while though I’m friends with many of them on Facebook. Being face to face with people that I consider my friends…but who also are my family…was such a huge blessing. I was nervous…like I always am when I meet new people…but within minutes I realized that these are people who just love me because I’m one of them. It’s acceptable to be me…and I’m theirs…and they are mine.
Solid–Sometimes when I’m with my immediate family I feel invisible. I feel myself shrink back and withdraw into myself. But I had promised myself that I would be myself…no matter what. That I wouldn’t apologize for being myself, hide, or hold back. And I didn’t. I felt solid. Real. Whole. And that is all about me and not about them. I’m grateful for the ability to honor myself and feel solidly me.

Redwoods--It’s been a wild since something in nature made me feel like weeping. Today I turned a corner and saw a big beautiful redwood and my eyes watered at the beauty of it. I was reminded of the fact that Redwoods have very shallow roots and they stay standing by reaching out towards one another and intertwining their root systems. This reminds me of the people in my life who hold me up…my girlfriends in particular…who love me without condition and hold and lift me when I’ve got only shallow ground to stand on.
Golden Hills–When I was in college in Tennessee, I would come home from the land of kudzu and no sky and be so grateful for the golden brown hills of central California. Who knew that all these years later I would feel the same way leaving the almost suffocating greenery of Washington. Don’t get me wrong…Washington is beautiful and the flowers are stunning. But the 18 shades of green and small skies sometimes make this big sky girl feel crazy. Today I drove away from the coast and out of the woods…and right into those golden hills. So grateful!
Mrs. Arlin–Today I went and stood in front of the door to my 1st grade classroom. I get anxious every time I go to Galt..where I grew up…but I didn’t feel that anxiety standing in the playground of my elementary school. It never occurred to me until today but I don’t feel anxious because school was my safe place. It’s where I was good enough and loved by my teachers for who I was.
A Win–I had a quick call with my team tonight because they wanted to tell me about a win we had today. I was silly to worry that while I was gone I’d stop being part of “the team”. They reminded me of that today and I’m so grateful

Yoga on the Beach–I mean COME ON! Two of my very favorite things…the beach and yoga…together. It made me happy to unroll my mat, stand at the top, and salute the sky in hopes that the sun would peak through. When I felt the heat of the sun on my back, opened my eyes, and saw spots of blue in the gray, the only words I could utter were “Thank you!” So grateful for moments like this. Pray for many more moments of doing Yoga in new places.
Home–California SMELLS like home. Sea air, redwoods, pines, and gravel. I can’t explain it. It just does. Grateful to have gotten this far and for Daisy’s excellent performance.
A 5 Course Meal–I called down to the hotel restaurant to ask if they had any vegan offerings, and they said they would accommodate me. The chef came out to chat and asked me if there was any veggie that I didn’t particularly like. I said I didn’t love Brussels Sprouts. He said “I will make you a real meal…but I would also like to convince you to love Brussels Sprouts.” What came to the table were the most amazing Brussels sprouts…second only to Lesley Snider’s Christmas BSs. I enjoyed every last bite. He enjoyed the challenge. Then brought me lavender infused sorbet. Seriously grateful for that man and his gift.
Young Lady–While I was buying a pack of gum and a smoothie today, I chatted up the clerk behind the counter. I felt the eyes of the man behind me and turned to smile. He was elderly and returned my smile. As I sat in my Jeep with the window down, he walked by and said “You have lovely manners young lady. I bet everyone likes to talk to you.” I laughed and said “Not everyone” and we parted ways. I’m grateful for people who tell others of the good they see. I want to be more like that…and not when I’m an old man. (uhhh…woman.) 😉

Sleep–A glorious nights sleep after days and nights of working way too much. GLORIOUS!!!
Safe travels–I’m very thankful that despite the constant rain…and I mean constant…that there was perfect safety in my travels.
The Ocean–Each time I’d go through the woods and climb a hill and see the beauty of the ocean, I couldn’t help but smile. That is how I feel about the ocean…always. I’m so very grateful to be near my sweet Pacific again!
Night at the beach–It has been MANY years since I walked the beach at night. Tonight I did and it was simply breathtaking! So grateful that God met me there!
Decisions made easy–I’ve been struggling with a decision. A “turn to the left or turn to the right” decisions. Today someone else made that decisions easy. I am grateful for that answer to prayer.

05/20 & 05/21
Exhaustion–The last two days were really one long day with a couple naps of 2 to 2 1/2 hours. So I’ll summarize again:

I am grateful for the exhaustion that comes with a job well done
I am grateful for eye contact and being asked for my opinion by The Dude
I am grateful for the certainty that I have gotten my voice back…no holds barred…being myself…and feeling the freedom that comes with that knowledge
I am grateful for the fact that hard work has always been a good place to escape when I’m troubled over family issues…and I’m grateful that in the midst of that escape I often find self-confidence, friendship, and laughter
And….I am grateful to be starting an 8 day vacation!!!

05/18 & 05/19
BFF–I could list a dozen things I’m thankful for from these two days with my best friend Jelisa. I can sum up these two days quite simply:

I am grateful for uncontrollable laughter and someone who knows how to play along with my silliness
I am grateful for words of healing and tears of both pain and truth
I am grateful for the nice man who is loving my friend back to life
I am grateful for knowing…without a shadow of doubt…that there is one person in my life who will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS be on my side.
I am grateful for being known deeply and knowing deeply.

Stride–It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but I’m grateful for hitting my stride at work, feeling my own value, being busy.
Tattoo–For weeks I’ve been thinking about a tattoo to honor the little girl I was (who I call LeLiLu because that is what my dad called me at that age) and the ladybug totem. So today I decided to go get it done. I love it and can’t wait to “unveil” it. 🙂
Jelisa–My best friend is coming. She will be here in about an hour and I can’t wait! I’ve seen her twice this year already and I’m so very grateful!

Movie Night–Went to the home of one of my coworkers and we hung out, watch the first of the new Star Trek movies, and do a little work. I know that we won’t get to work this closely forever but I really love being part of this team. For months my boss has told me that I add tremendous value to the company but for the first time in 12 months I’m showing up and bringing everything I have to offer every day. It’s hard work…and I’m loving it.
Princess–One of the guy’s on the Dream Team calls me Princess. He says it when he’s talking to me or when he’s talking to the other team members about me. I love it! It reminds me of when Don Burke calls me “kid”.
Car Wash–Daisy got a bath today. I love when Daisy is shiny and clean. And to top it off the team and I went to Best Buy (to BUY a blue ray player to play the movie on…instead of just getting a dvd copy of the movie!!! hahaha!) in Daisy so I was grateful that she was clean and shiny. 🙂

Relationships–Two of my coworkers don’t like each other but I like both of them and know that they are just misunderstanding each other. As we are all working together on something I felt it was important to talk to each of them. Later I heard them chatting warmly and trying to find some common ground. I admire and respect each of them so much for making an effort and meeting each other half way. I feel grateful that I could try my best to bridge the gap and that they each tried.
Homesick–I’m feeling homesick tonight. I miss my friends. I miss the sunshine. I miss the sky. And all I can think is how fortunate I am to love a place as much as I love New Mexico.
BFF--Got to talk to the BFF tonight. I’m so glad she’s coming again this weekend. I honestly can’t wait!!

Greg–I caught up with Greg tonight on the phone. I’ve been missing him and it was so nice to just talk. Grateful for my friend!!
Nails with Jen–The sweet lady at work that I’ve been kind of mentoring asked if I wanted to go get my nails done. I’d really just gotten my nails done but I didn’t want to say no. So off we went to get our nails done after work. She is so sweet and has such amazing potential.
Really good Coffee–And I mean…REALLY good coffee! Amazing!!! So grateful for fuel!

Meeting–The Dream Team and I presented our document to our VP today and received excellent feedback. There is still a lot of work to do but I am proud of the work we produced and our ability to make a case for re-architecture.
Finding Common Ground–I feel like there is common ground between me and a person I’ve struggled to get along with over the last 6 months or so. I feel like we’ve made progress and that I can wisely move forward in good faith to try to be friends…or at least friendly. I’m grateful that I didn’t burn the bridge but instead remained calm and steady in the face of some tough days.
Crying with Joseph--Tonight at BSF we discussed Genesis chapter 50. Jospeh’s brothers are so afraid after their father dies that Joseph will take revenge on them. It hurt my heart when Joseph cries over their distrust and fear. It hurt me because I know that my own family doesn’t trust me and is afraid of my truth. I cried while explaining this to my group and though I was initially embarrassed (because I’ve not shown them that side of myself), I realized how nice it felt to share an honest emotional response like that with the group. Grateful for being myself.

05/12 Daughter of my Heart–This morning when I woke up I realized it was Mother’s Day. This is rarely my favorite holiday since I don’t have an easy relationship with my own mom. Don’t get me wrong…I love her. It’s just complicated. However, my first thought upon waking was to think of all the sweet kids who have come into my life for me to “mother”…even those with lovely brilliant mothers…who just needed a little extra parenting from time to time. Specifically my mind went to AJ…who is far too much like me in the bad ways and good. She then sent me a text out of the blue thanking me for being a spiritual mother to her during a rough season. I’m so grateful for this sweet girl and her heart. It is my fervent prayer that this is the year that God shows off by bringing such love, joy, and peace that she never ever expected. And so many others–Other children of my heart include of course Zachary, Jacob, Sara, Sierra, Amanda, Katelyn, Ariel, and Jordan. All of whom are just fine without bossy old me in their lives but for whom I am grateful and blessed. My friend Emily once made me a sign that says that every woman is a mother…and she is right. Pajamas–Today I briefly got out of my pajamas to put on workout gear, go for a walk, and then take a shower. It was just that sort of day…and I’m grateful for it. Stamina–For 10 days straight I’ve spent HOURS every day working on the details of a document for a 1 hour presentation tomorrow morning. I am grateful for the stamina to keep going, keep editing, and continuing to have a good attitude about it. Maya Angelou–Dr. Angelou was on Super Soul Sunday this morning and she blessed my heart as she always does. I was reminded of the time I was able to see her live with my friend Neva. The smile on my face when she started speaking that night is comparable only to the smile on my face at the first cord played by Clapton at the Pepsi Center a few years back. So grateful for that opportunity especially given her ages.

05/11 Hot Hatha–Went to 90 minute Yoga class today with Nicole. It was so perfect and refreshing. Don’t get me wrong. It was hot hot hot and a workout but my body felt so good afterwards. I’m grateful for the class and for the opportunity to see my friend Nicole. Cat Nap–I came home from yoga, showered, and thought I’d get to take a long nap. Instead I got called by the Dream Team into the office to work on our document and only got a few minutes to lay down. I’m grateful for those few minutes because they saw me through the next 7 hours of work. I’m also grateful for my furry kids who are willing to nap with me for 5 minutes or 45 minutes. Late Lunch–After working for about 3 hours the team needed a break. One thing I LOVE about this team is the insistence that we eat real meals rather than grabbing snacks or order pizza. So off we went for a sit down meal complete with wine. We worked through lunch editing our notes but it was still good to get out of the office and eat a real meal.

05/10 Breakfast & Beer–I had both breakfast before work and a beer after work with a good friend from Denver. It was a short visit but it was so nice to see this person and get to catch up. Every once and a while I luck out living in Seattle that people find there was here for work. Grateful for laughter, hugs from a friend, and talk. Edits edits and more edits–5 days running most of my time has been spent editing a document. Today it was getting it to a healthy stopping point so that we could work on specific parts and not the doc as a whole. I am grateful for the patience of my team as I push through their comments and made edits as quickly as a can. It’s not easy given this many folks with different voices and styles trying to come together. Grateful that it is THIS group of people and not the myriad other folks it could be. Lunch in the Sun--Today Jen and I had a long lunch on the patio of the fourth floor. It was beautiful and the sun came out. I was even a little red on my chest and arms (yup…I live too far north). It was a good conversation and valuable for both of us I think.

05/09 Blue Toes–I should have more things to be grateful for today but today it’s blue toes and the nice ladies who always take such good care of me at Hoa. Peace–Okay…maybe one more. I’m grateful that in the midst of this crazy special project, I’m free of other people’s chaos and can rest back into the peace of being focused on this single project. I’m also grateful that I can throw myself into this team and this document writing and not get lost in the minutia of a launch that has no need of me.

05/08 Child-free Meetup–I joined this meetup group a while back and have been to several meetings. Every time I go I have the most interesting conversations and meet nice women. Tonight was particularly fun. It was just 4 of us and we talked, laughed, and got to know one another. I really enjoyed it so much! So grateful for the groups I’m starting to feel a part of and for the hope of making friends. Helper–I was able to help out a friend’s son by making a pretty specific referral for him related to some positions. It felt nice to help a smart young guy out. Hope something works out for him. Boundaries–I’m grateful that long ago I learned the skill of setting boundaries. This morning I told the rest of the Dream Team that I had to leave at 5:30 (for the meetup). I didn’t feel the need to apologize or explain myself  I just honestly told them what I intended to do and that I would open my calender for the entire afternoon to support them. I’m grateful for being fearless when it comes to setting boundaries and going after what I need.

05/07 Dream Team–I’ve been working with a small team of folks on a special project. We’ve taken to calling ourselves the dream team because it is a group of folks that is really excellent at what we each do working together to solve a pretty important issue. I’ve had more fun…and worked harder…in the last 4 days than probably in the entire time since I started working at A. Clean Room–Tonight after working 10 hours and knowing I needed to work a few more, I came home and cleaned my bedroom. The activity of clearing the clutter allowed me to also clear my head. I then made myself a quick dinner before sitting down to write a document for a few more hours until 1 AM. Grateful for an activity to clear my mind..and my floor (of laundry). 🙂 Hours–The special project I’m working on has meant a LOT of hours lately. I’m not grateful for the number of hours. But I am grateful to finally be so sure of myself that I know when to put in these kinds of hours for the good of the business and my own goals and when to call it a day and go home. I’m grateful that I no longer work these kinds of hours just to get noticed and try to get a little ahead. I’m grateful that those years are behind me and that now I know how to work hard…work smart…and make good choices.

05/06 Sun Sun Sun–What an amazing stretch of gloriously beautiful days! Today was no different. It was 84 degrees downtown. That’s middle of summer weather for Seattle. I found myself just standing in the sun…like all the other NW weirdos…because we crave it so badly. I’m so grateful for a few days of heat and sun to remind us that summer is coming. Productive–I love a productive day. Maybe it was the sun. Maybe it was that I just felt energized after taking a day on Sunday to Veg. Ahhhhh. So thankful for getting a bunch of stuff done. 🙂 Misty–The massage therapist jackpot has been struck. I went to my third visit with Misty at Spa Vida. That lady has magic hands. She knows exactly how much pressure to exert and does not baby me. I knew I’d like her when she said “I’m glad you like deep pressure. Some people come in here and they just really seem to want me to pet them like a kitty. I do healing work when you give me some room to really manipulate the muscles.” Today’s appointment was supposed to be my standard 30 minute express massage but Misty had a cancellation and asked if I’d like to do 60 mins. I jumped at the chance and now I expect to be sore in new places tomorrow. Love her! Love how comfortable I feel with her. What a huge huge blessing! BSF–Went to BSF tonight after having missed a couple of weeks. I really like my group. I’m also really ready to be done for the year and have a break. I’m grateful for what the group has meant for me…and I’ll be grateful in 2 weeks when class is over for the summer..and I’ll be grateful to start back up in the fall. 🙂

05/05 Being Heard–I talked to my sweet friend Linda twice today. Once to just catch up…and then again an hour or so later when I called to cry some needed tears. I’m very blessed to have good friends…friends who listen and really hear my words. Being heard is often the cure for feeling misunderstood and disconnected. I am a stranger to many who should know me…and known well by those who have chosen to be in my life. I am grateful. Empty–Today I feel like I had my insides scraped out in the course of one short conversation. This feeling is so familiar to me and is one of my earliest memories. In past years I’d have turned to something to numb the pain…food, shopping, alcohol, etc. Today I just called a friend, wept, and sat with my emptiness. Today I knew that the empty feeling would pass and that I didn’t want to wake up with residual shame from making a bad decision. Grateful for change. Grapes–The Red grapes delivered in my Fresh order this morning are literally the sweetest and most amazing grapes I’ve tasted in MONTHS. I am not sure why they are so good…but they are. I’m grateful for the sweet things that come to us from the natural world and make our mouths smile with pleasure.

05/04 Work–Today I had to work. I’m grateful that working on the weekends is not something I do very often. 🙂 Sunshine–I sat with my laptop in the sun and hammered out edits to a document and the start of  a new doc. I’m grateful for the sun…this beautiful Summer-like weather right smack in the middle of the long months of rain are pure blessing! Biscuits–I made vegan “buttermilk” biscuits and they were HEAVENLY!!! Grateful that there are so many amazing recipes in the world for someone cooking a special diet! (http://www.holycowvegan.net/2009/02/vegan-buttermilk-biscuits.htmlBeing Missed–Today my sister sent me a text telling me she was sad (she gave me details but I won’t share them here) and she said “I miss you.” My sister and I have not had the easiest couple of years of sisterhood. We had a really great visit in Portland a few weekends ago. And my heart felt happy to be missed. It isn’t always easy to understand the people we love…and it’s not easy for them to understand us either. Remembering that all of us are human and share a common human experience allows me to be more loving, forgiving, and to push forward. I’m glad to miss and be missed. Healing is on the way.

05/03 Authentic Living–Despite how difficult this week was I feel like I showed up authentically every single day. This has meant saying “No” or being the only dissenting voice and asking my sweet team of fellas to get a drink when I was out of steam to keep talking about work without getting out of the office. I’m grateful that after many months of showing up now and then…that I brought ME to the table this week. Guess what? No one died from having the real Leah in the room! 🙂 Lunch–I had a yummy spaghetti lunch with a young lady who I’m talking with weekly about Product Management and Payments. I admire her desire to dig in and learn in order to be prepared for whatever is the next season of her life. The joy of being the mentor is when you see yourself in the role of mentee too. 🙂 Stepping Up–I was asked to pull together a doc that initially I was just going to review and give feedback on. I said yes. I didn’t hesitate and I was able to push through some other work to get the doc to an early draft before the team needed to meet late this afternoon/evening. Best laid plans–I’d previously had plans to go to Karaoke with my friend Carol and her friends tonight. I was really looking forward to it! I also got a “rooftop happy hour” invite from Nicole for this afternoon. Both of those were fabulous options. I did neither. Instead…I worked…very late. And while I would have rather gone for fun I’m grateful that I stayed in the moment and didn’t get down or lost in the loss of a good time instead of work.

05/02 Team Meeting–Today our team (me and 3 guys…4 counting the boss) were supposed to meet to discuss our documents. As we all stood around trying to decide what to meet about one of the guys said “We could go to the bar?” The thought slipped by and the guys continued to stand around my desk until I said “If you are going to stand around my desk, let’s go to the bar!” And we did. Within moments we were sitting with drinks in our hands talking about work, our week, our projects. It was far more productive than anything we could have done in a stuffy (or more likely freezing) conference room. Belly Laughing–I love to make people laugh. I love to laugh. But I sometimes hold back the full force of my own laugh. I rarely lose myself in a laughter moment unless I feel very safe…like with my girlfriends. Today in a meeting something was said that was so funny…I closed my eyes, stomped my feet, laughed with my whole body. I could tell that my reaction surprised a couple of people…who’d never seen me laugh like that or be so free. And there was a tiny moment of vulnerability and maybe even a little bit of embarrassment ..and then I smiled and moved on. It was worth it because I needed THAT laugh. Scandal–Sometimes you just need a night of no thinking. Not numbing…because I’m choosing not to numb anymore if I can help it. Just chilling…not working and not thinking. Grateful for this silly tv show that captivates me for 1 hour a week and helps me just turn off the crazy course of thought that runs in my brain.

05/01 Recognition–I was a grump today. It was brought on by external conversations but I let it get in my head. I was unreasonably annoyed and struggling to keep my act together. But keep it together I did…because I realized I was a grouch and that I needed to filter filter filter before speaking. I’m grateful for being self-aware and recognizing when the ability to be triggered is HIGH. We/They/Us–I am a pinch hitter…a gap filler…a movable part in the mechanism of Amazon. This means that while I have a team I am often identified with other teams. It has been pointed out to me that I have a tendency to identify with various teams at various times using “We” and “Us” instead of the “They” and “Them” but that I change this vernacular to suit my purposes. Try though I might, I don’t see the issue. I generally identify with the team I’m helping, supporting, or backing at the moment. It is fully genuine and not intended to create confusion. This is a “come what may” kind of moment for me. I choose not to care what others think about this particular use of language by me. I choose to be grateful that I support whoever needs supporting. 🙂 Home–Tonight I had a night at home. Chilling. No need to clean or cook or finish up some work or do anything else. And it was glorious. I’m grateful for nights like this.

Encouragement–Today in my weekly 1 on 1 with my boss I found myself offering him some encouragement. He is pretty hands off…which I appreciate. He is gone a lot…which is fine though we do start to miss him. But most importantly…he is supportive. I have once again hit the boss jackpot. Dennis always has my back. If he has his own agenda, it isn’t played out at the expense of what his team needs. In that way I feel he is different from the other managers I’ve encountered recently. It is good knowing that he trusts me and that in a fight he’d be on my side because of that trust. I’m grateful for him.
Opinionated–Someone at work said “What do you think Leah? You’re opinionated.” The word initially repelled me. It’s funny how having “an opinion” is different than being “opinionated”. After a couple seconds thought I did indeed give my opinion. Then I realized…I am opinionated. My friends know it. My coworkers know it. I know it. I’m also not ashamed of being opinionated. I’ve worked hard to know what I know and trusting my intuition. I can’t apologize for that. I’m grateful for being opinionated…even if others find the word distasteful.
Book Club–I went a 2nd time to the book club in Ballard. There were even more ladies…many new comers. The group was fun, engaging, and enjoyable. I feel a little unease from the leader…but I don’t know if it’s directed at me, someone else, or is just her nature. I really enjoyed being in a group of people that have NOTHING to do with my work. I need more of that and am grateful for every opportunity.

Pranks–You know you are getting a reputation when the new people on the team ask for your help in keeping a prank going while they are out of town. I had to laugh and was also kind of honored to be asked to participate. I’m grateful that my reputation precedes me. hahaha!
Promotions–Today promotions were announced of all the folks in our division of Amazon. Several of the engineers that I really respect were promoted. One in particular is a guy I think is so sweet and works so hard. He is young and deserving and I’m grateful that his talent was honored. 🙂
Pasta–I cooked my favorite Pesto Pasta tonight for dinner. It is always the first thing I want to make when I get a batch of asparagus in my CSA box. It was DELICIOUS. I’m already looking forward to my lunch tomorrow. 🙂 I need to make the pesto in bulk and freeze it as soon as the basil comes in out in front of my house. I wonder if it will be as good with Thai basil as with regular. Grateful for recipes that I love and make me happy!
Wine and Chat–My cousin Shari and her daughter Courtney spent the night tonight. I’m grateful that they got here safely through the snow storm (crazy!) and that we were all able to just talk and drink wine together. What a blessing to get to know a cousin for the first time and find that you sincerely like each other as woman. I feel blessed and fortunate!

Brunch with Anu–Had a lovely brunch with my co-worker from India. We talked about our lives. About being strong, smart women in a world of men. We discussed our concerns and our plans for our work with Amazon. And when we parted there was an easy hug between woman…coworkers…new friends. It was lovely and I am grateful.
Paris–Today I had a moment where I wanted to once again just give up on my healthy eating and exercise. My inner critic likes to tell me that losing weight, taking care of myself, just making good decisions is too hard and that I should just forget it and go back to bad habits, bingeing/purging, etc. And then in a moment I thought “But when I go to Paris I want to be healthy, full of energy, and free.” For me that freedom grows with each day I push through the temptation and embrace better choices. So grateful for dreams of Paris…and Bali…and India…and South Africa.
Yoga–Yoga today told me a story. Really I told myself the story…but it happened during yoga. Where most of my storytelling occurs. So grateful to get my name back. (Go to the home page of my blog for details)

Clean House–I love love love when my house feels tidy and clean. It’s not that I’m a mess normally…but I sometimes don’t sweep the floors enough or pick up piles of paperwork or my shoes that I slip off the minute I come in the door each night. I live alone…sue me. 🙂 But I am having house guests Monday night and thought I’d at least tidy up a bit for them. I love when everything is in it’s place. Now I just need to be better about making a sweep through the house each night like I used to in Albuquerque…then the little piles of stuff won’t actually get away from me. I’m grateful for my lovely home and how fresh it feels tonight.
Fresh–If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…I love Amazon’s grocery delivery service. I placed an order earlier today and then twice have added things to it this afternoon. I’m so grateful for this service and the ease with which I can ensure that each week I eat healthy, fresh foods.
Heat–I stepped into the yoga studio today and my body responded to the lovely warmth of the room. I am so grateful for the heat in a hot yoga room. People who have never stepped into one can’t comprehend the way the warmth envelopes you and over the course of a practice helps unwrap your tight muscles and detox your skin. So grateful for the opportunity to practice today.
Speaking of Practice–For some reason I was WAY off my game today. I couldn’t get my breath in sync. I couldn’t hold poses that are normally pretty simple. I felt overwhelmed by the speed of the flow when normally I’m able to adjust the pace to what works for me. I felt panic rise a couple of times and had to do some self-talk more than I’d like to admit in the course of an hour. At various times I felt like the rest of the folks in the room were also giving the same energy out. But…I am grateful that I went. I’m grateful that I showed up. I’m grateful for any time on the mat. And I’m grateful for the energy that just naturally occurs in a room full of people who are trying. I am grateful for the teacher. And I’m grateful for my friend Nicole.
Beer–One of the funniest things did happen while I was in Savasana (aka Dead Man’s pose) at the end of yoga. On a connected day of practice in this pose, my mind is quiet and I’m able to really release myself into the ground. Today, given how far out of sync I was, I kept alternating between swearing in my head and thinking “I need a beer.” This back and forth ultimately made me laugh and I gave into it. I am grateful for a sense of humor…one of the most important things in any practice but especially the practice of yoga. 🙂

Laughing with Dennis–When my boss caught me pacing around a conference room table while reading a novel, he laughed so hard he had to double over to catch his breath. That in turn made me laugh. I’m always grateful for a good laugh.
Confidence–When I told the above story to a couple of my coworkers later they said “Weren’t you embarrassed?” I realized that it never occurred to me to be embarrassed. One of the girl said “I wish I was as sure of myself as you are. You are so sure that it is okay to be exactly who you are…I want that.” Her comment made me smile. I know it wasn’t true when I was her age, which is what I told her and that it comes with time. Super grateful for the confidence that makes me able to laugh at myself. 🙂
Lazy Night–Came home, made dinner, and watched tv. I needed a night of totally silly television and mind-numbing magazine page turning. Grateful for the luxury of a chill night.

Annual Review–Best possible rating I could receive. Grateful that my work is recognized as valuable.
Praise & Criticism–This morning before my review I read The Daily Love. In it Mastin talked about how our opinion of yourself has to come from inside and that no amount of praise or criticism should affect us greatly. It was amazing to see that acted out in the feedback from my review. My boss and I discussed it. I took both the praise and criticism under advisement but didn’t let it move through me only helping me to see my own good opinion of myself more clearly. Blessed!
Happy Hour–Went to happy hour with Becky, Heidi, Anu, and Jing last night. It was a good time with laughter and chat. Nice. It made me miss my girlfriends a lot…but still grateful for time out.

Texting with my fellas–Today I exchanged a group text with Tyler and Cuyler and though the initial topic was a bit of a bummer, we laughed…as we always do. These two men always make me feel like both an equal and a sister. Funny…I have two brothers…who could neither one give a crap about me. But these two guys…along with a few others (Brad Jefferson, Chad Lowman, and Greg Belfor)…have become the men in my life that I know without a doubt I can count on and who always have may back. I’m so very grateful for their ability to make me laugh…and just the certainty that they are always standing with me. I’m very fortunate.
Beta Support–Today was the first of two days that I am responsible for providing phone support for our beta launch. Thankfully there were no calls because I haven’t answered a phone to provide technical support to a merchant in MANY years. Sadly outside of the folks on our team who do support for a living, I probably have the most direct merchant support experience from my days at ECHO, Infonox, and TSYS…but geez…these are not skills I wish to revive. That being said I’m grateful that the phones didn’t ring. If we can just get through Friday afternoon, all will be fine. 🙂
My Insightful Friends–I posted a quote from Dr. Brene Brown about love that I’d read today. I so appreciate my friends who weighed in and shared their thoughts. We all have different views on love and how it is defined. In the end though I think we all agree that we want to give and receive love in abundance  We also all want to learn to love ourselves more in order to be better in our relationships. I’m grateful that I can throw out a question or a comment and have such a rich and meaningful discussion with my dear friends about it.

Lunch with Shari and Courtney–What a joy to spend some time with these lovely ladies. We worked out our cousins once removed and twice removed stuff and then decided to just not care about the “removals” and just enjoy the part about being related. I’m so grateful for my big lovely family and how much being in this family reminds me that I am loved and special. Grateful for the chance to hang out.
Quiet–I am working on keeping a still and quiet head at work. There are so many mixed signals being sent by both management and my peers, that normally I’d call bullshit and expect some answers. But for some reason this time around I’m just willing to pull back and watch the craziness. I’m trying very hard to stay out of the drama…and if that means missing some opportunities, I am okay with that. I am trusting in God’s ability to bring me all the opportunity I need. Grateful for a quiet mind.
Tapping–Tonight I came home and watched Nick Ortner’s video on EFT (aka Tapping). It was an interesting video and I remembered again that Stan used this technique with me in therapy years ago. In trying it tonight I was shocked by a couple of times that emotions rose to the surface that I wasn’t expecting. I will say that I am more sleepy than I’ve been in weeks and ready to go lay down. I’m grateful for ALL the tools I can find to help me conquer pain, fear, and any other limiting beliefs.

An Extra Day–I’m so grateful that I had the fore site to take off an extra day after the weekend in Vancouver. It’s not that I was tired or had anything specific to do. The bottom line is that I needed time to start the work of processing all we’d learned. I needed to sleep late, cuddle with the kits, drink coffee, journal, and think. The bottom line is…I needed a Sunday…on a Monday. 🙂
Yoga & Meditation–Loved spending some time on my mat and on my pillow today. Really spending some time working through what I want next. I don’t have it entirely figured out yet…but I’m on my way!
Hits–Today was the biggest day ever on my blog for readership. If you write it, they will read. 😉 Grateful for that!
Weigh In–I fully expected to come back from a weekend away having gained a pound or two. We ate really well and went to the gym. But with an extra glass of wine here or some dessert there, I was concerned. Instead I was down an entire pound when I weighed in today! Well on my way to making some of these intentions REAL. Grateful grateful grateful! 🙂
Saying No–Late tonight my boss sent me an email asking me to move my annual review tomorrow. I’d already rescheduled lunch with my cousin for tomorrow and I didn’t want to cancel as I can’t tell you the last time I saw her. Anyway ..two things happened. (1) My initial reaction was to get annoyed. And then i stopped, reminded myself that his request was not personal, and that enabled me to think of options and (2) I told him I couldn’t change to that time and offered him several more time slots. He said that was fine and changed it to fit me. We MUST learn to ask for what we need. I need to have lunch with Shari tomorrow, I made that known, and he responded by giving me what I need. Love that! Super grateful for my sweet boss!

Caroline Myss, Mastin Kipp, and Alex Woodard–We listened to some more amazing speakers today. But these two worked a tender spot in me like I was getting a massage on an old injury. Each of them having giving me a great deal to ponder and process. I am so grateful to have finally seen the lovely Caroline Myss in person. Her book “Sacred Contracts” was a revolution for me several years ago and I’m looking forward to reading her latest stuff. Mastin was the man from the blog…on speed. Not literally of course. He was sweet, funny, and on fire. And he bravely and graciously talked about his love and admiration for Jesus in a room full of religiously wounded souls. Bless him for blazing a trail. And Alex shared a song he’d written for a woman who’d lost her soul-mate ..and it defrosted a corner of my heart that I’ve been holding back for too long. So grateful!
Deeper Waters–Cara and I really dug deep in our conversations this weekend. We shared old hurts, new difficulties, relationships, and strength. It was lovely. I appreciate Cara’s honesty and lack of condition on our relationship. She loves me and moves through our interactions with grace and beauty. Very grateful for swimming in the deep end of the pool with her this weekend.
Healing Tears–After I dropped Cara at the ferry, I started for home. I’d only driven a couple miles when I felt a wave of both laughter and tears come over me. I realized how blessed I have been, how blessed I am, and how fortunate I am to have a blessed future ahead of me…come what may.
Words–I’m a writer. Sometimes I don’t write. Which makes me a writer who doesn’t write. It doesn’t make me NOT a writer. Today I was overwhelmed with a story to tell. It wasn’t exactly based on the things we’d learned this weekend but I knew it was a story that had been peculating and that rose to the top once my cup was full. The story overflowed out of me and I feel good putting it out into the universe. I am full of gratitude for being loved well in times past…and deliciously anticipating being loved well in the future.
Home–I love walking in my door…seeing my furry babies…and sinking into my own chair. I loved tapping out a story on my laptop and drinking tea from my favorite mug. I love knowing that I can stay up late because I have the day off tomorrow. Home. Grateful for Home.

Speakers–Just loved every speaker today at the “I CAN DO IT” conference. Dr. Dyer made us laugh and cry. Also really adored Michael Chase and recommend him to anyone. We tried EFT Tapping…and my cramps went away. And we listened to an amazing woman Nancy Levin talk to us about getting out an abusive relationship. Afterwards it was fun to get some pictures taken with different ones and just chat. I love this community because the speakers and writers are so down to earth and accessible. I am Grateful!
Laughing with Cara--We had lots of laughs today….several snort inducing things actually. But one of my favorite things is that we managed to just roll with the snootiness of our seat neighbors in the afternoon sessions who were angry that we’d “taken” their seats. It was open seating and we liked two spots and they were NOT happy. Ooops. We were…ummmm…grateful (?) to be given a chance to practice all the loving-kindness we’d been learning about? hahaha!
Meals–We have had several AMAZING meals since getting here. I’m so grateful for the lovely vegan spots we’ve managed to find this trip. Lovely lovely lovely!
Introspection–I’m not always thrilled to have to be introspective but I’m always always grateful for gentle opportunities to practice it and lean into changing myself where possible. Grateful for the many messages learned today in the lectures…and more grateful for the deep and meaningful exchanges with lovey Cara. 🙂

Bubble Gum–I found Hubba Bubba and Bubbalicious at a gas station on my way to Vancouver! Amazing! I blew big giant bubbles all the way to the border. I chew gum almost every day but I’ve tamed the amount of noise that I make when chewing. But when I am in the car alone…I chomp, pop, and blow bubbles like a 2 pack a day chewer. So You can imagine my pure joy and gratitude to see grape at the counter on my way out!!! Yay!!!
Vancouver–Hello beautiful northern city. I came to Vancouver once for a business trip years ago and fell in love with the people and the city. Each time I’ve been back it has only made me love it more. Grateful for a weekend in this lovely city.
Cara–Super glad to see my sweet friend Cara and spend a weekend getting more enlightened! Grateful for the opportunity to do this retreat weekend with her and to just laugh and crack each other up!

Insightful–My boss’ boss said I was insightful today when I disagreed with he and his boss and took a slightly different position on the concept of platform evangelism  I think I made my presence known firmly but with tact. And my boss was so happy I’d said something he’d been trying to get across for a while and gave a difference voice to the same message. Super grateful for the moment.
Lecture–I gave the pharmacist at Walgreen’s a piece of my mind when he felt I needed commentary on Obama and my birth control. I’m grateful for thinking of a response in the moment instead of just letting him say something jerky to me. Hint for the judgey jerks out there…you NEVER know why a woman takes birth control. So shut your faces about what we choose to take in being good stewards of our bodies.
Packing and prepping–I spent my evening packing and prepping for my trip to Vancouver tomorrow for the weekend. I’m so looking forward to seeing Cara and going to the I Can Do conference. It’s going to be a lovely weekend…with an extra day to chill out on Monday! So grateful for the opportunity.

Holding my own–Today I went to a meeting with my team and a couple other senior people on the platform team. One of the guys flexed his brain muscle and thought to put me in my place. I (the only female in the room) didn’t flinch, turned to him, listened carefully, and then explained my position clearly. I think he was so surprised that I didn’t fold…he’d never dealt with me before…that it shut him down. My boss beamed with pride…which nearly cracked me up. Grateful for the little moments when I am just myself and still manage to surprise someone else.
Holding my own again–I was just on a late night call with the team in India. When the Lead Engineer explained a process I chimed in and said “Maybe things changed since I last weighed in on this (about 4 months ago) but I seem to remember…” and then I explained a couple of steps in the workflow that this much respected guy had left out. He laughed and said “Ahhh…you caught me Leah. I was speaking from memory and you managed to remember more than me about how it works!” The team…who hasn’t had a lot of interaction with me…laughed and gave me kudos for my ability to understand the workflow. I am grateful when people, who have maybe underestimated me, realize their mistake and admit it. 🙂
Drinks with the Girls–I went to Happy Hour with a few girls from work. We had fun…ate popcorn…and didn’t talk about work in excess! So grateful for that!

Sleep–Sometimes sleep is healing and restorative. That is how I felt waking up this morning. As if I’d been given a fresh start!
EEK!–Today I did some testing that kicked off a Sev 2 alarm on the team. The funny thing is that I KNEW it was likely to do so and kept meaning to go tell the team. As Sky rounded the corner and said “Hey Leah…” I replied “OH shoot…did I set off Production alarms???” He just laughed. I love that I work with guys who find me funny despite the craziness of how my brain works and how I go about my life. I also so love that they roll with what seem like crazy moments and that they say stuff like “Good catch” when they realize that I’m not chasing silliness but that I often do things because I sniff out or intuit a problem. I love that they appreciate my ability to dig and dig until I get comfortable with a problem…and I am grateful that they do so with humor despite the distraction I can sometimes be in the moment. 🙂
Sharing Life–I had dinner tonight with my sweet friend Nicole. We talked family, faith, and life. I’m so grateful that Tyler introduced us and I’m super grateful for the introduction and how precious Nicole has become. She is so genuinely herself. It is so rare to find truly authentic people in the world and Nicole is that. So very grateful for a lovely meal with a lovelier friend. 🙂

Dennis–My boss is back from 2 weeks in Moscow and Amsterdam on business. His fiance Jen and I are both happy. I am happier at work when he is around even though he and I don’t have a ton of interaction day to day. For some reason I feel less like I’m adrift and subject to the whims of the other managers when he is here. The funny part about that is that I’ve never asked him to defend me, stand up for me, etc. The lesson…sometimes your presence is all that is required to give someone assurance.
Dr. Maya–I finished Maya Angelou’s latest book “Mom & Me & Mom” yesterday and was so touched by her writing…once again. She made having Vivian Baxter as a mother troubling and wonderful in a matter of a few pages. I’m grateful for her style of simple, deep, and penetrating writing that breaks your heart and rebuilds it.
Going–Tonight when I got home from work, the last thing I wanted to do was go back out to Bible Study. It sounds horrible but some weeks if I get to come home between and grab dinner, I have to convince myself to go. I’m so glad I did. Listening to the comments the other ladies made about Joseph and the way God raised him up in difficult circumstances and trials, reminded me that God is still God and she sees what I’m going through. So grateful for the blessing of GOING when I wanted nothing more than to STAY. (That might just be the story of my life!)

Spring–It didn’t rain today. It was beautiful. The pink blooms on the tree right outside my window where I spent a good part of the morning reading are beautiful. Just last night driving home in the rain I was talking to God about needing some relief from the gloom and today I got it. Thanks God.
Church Bizarre–I went to a church bazaar with a local acquaintance  She asked me weeks ago and I said yes without asking “what is a church bazaar?” Guess what? I still don’t really know. I think it is an auction/rummage sale/craft fair combo? Also I honestly can’t spell and told several people via text that I was going to a church BIZARRE instead of BAZAAR. 🙂 I’m glad I honored my commitment to the young lady who invited me.
Pema–Today I had to use some of the skills I learned in “The Places that Scare You” by Pema Chodron. I was feeling sort of discouraged about a few things and I stopped to meditate on the fact that I’m not the only person feeling the way I’m feeling…and I was able to move through it to the other side and get back to an okay place rather than going down a rabbit hole. Super grateful for the tools I’ve gained from studying those methods.

I am grateful today for each of these…

Working from Home–Today I stayed home to finish some documents that I just haven’t been able to knock out while in the office. I think they are pretty good and I managed to get them done in time to get an early start on getting to Portland to see the family.
Windshield Wipers–It rained nearly ALL THE WAY to PDX. And each time I started to grumble…because let’s face it I’m sick of rain…I thought “At least I have excellent windshield wipers and all weather tires.” And for those things I’m truely grateful.
My BFF–Jelisa talked to me while I was driving for over 2 hours. Most of which was horrible stop and go traffic. But I barely noticed because I was so engaged in getting totally caught up on her life and catching her up on mine. I’m so very blessed to have such a dear friend to laugh with, cry with, and who just KNOWS me so easily. Love her!
Laughter–I was nervous about seeing my sister tonight. We haven’t spent much time together since I left Albuquerque. Literally a few minutes in the last year. But we pushed through the initial awkwardness with laughter and really enjoyed one another’s company…old companions and friends with a lot of shared past.

Massage–Misty with the magic hands practically made me weep today on the massage table. My shoulders, neck, and back are a MESS! She applied pressure like I couldn’t believe for such a small woman, she distracted me with chatter while I dealt with the pain, and she helped me through it. I’m so very grateful for her hands and for the money to pay for this kind of physical service.
Dry Sauna–After the massage I sat in the dry sauna for about 10 minutes just trying to give my body some relief from the massage. It was so warm and soothing. I’m so very grateful for those few silent moments alone in the sauna.
Dinner–Met my sweet friend Carol for dinner at Pier 70 tonight. It’s Seattle Restaurant week. We had a delicious 3 course meal and it was so yummy! More importantly we talked life, spirituality, and future. What a blessing to have a delightful, wise, and fun friend in this crazy rainy city! 🙂

Sophisticated–Today I was told that my hair looks sophisticated. I’m not sure I’ve EVER had that word used to describe me! Such a great compliment word!
Choices–After the really hard day I had yesterday it was nice to bring a conversation about choices I had with a new contact into my day and honestly feel the room to have choices! Thank you Jesus (and Rich) for the reminder.
Long talk with Hans–Spent quite a while having a long conversation with one of the engineers. I’m not willing to trust anyone at work right now because I’ve been burned more than once now…but it is nice to talk work theory/strategy with someone.
Jillian–Went to listen to Jillian Michael speak tonight. She talked about food and exercise…and then she talked about breaking destructive patterns and rewriting out stories. My favorite moment was when a young lady asked Jillian during the Q&A how she should decide when to break up with a partner who is a saboteur  Jill gave her some tips on communicating her needs…blah blah blah. Then the girl said “He says ‘Well you are always going to be fat so why do you even bother to work out.'” Jill stood up and said “Oh…I take back everything I just said. You need to fucking leave him. Kick his ass to the curb because he is a useless jerk.” We all erupted into applause and jumped to our feet and the girl laughed, cried, and said she would. It was awesome! Love that Jillian and grateful to know that there is a place in the world for PURE AUTHENTICITY and honesty!!

Rough Day–I don’t have much to write here. I’m still grateful for the beauty around me and my breath…but today was a super hard day emotionally and I’m just happy to be grateful for the little things like a square of dark chocolate, an orange, and the kitties hogging the bed.

Sun Came Out–This afternoon the sun was shining and I stood at the window of our office and basked in it like a cat. I’m very grateful for moments like that.
Veggie Fajitas–Made myself some quick fajitas for dinner tonight and they were DE-licious! So grateful for those meals that just hit the spot!
Compliments–I got a lot of compliments today on my hair. It was nice to have such sweet comments made..especially by men.

Walk in the Rain–I went for a walk today even though it was dreary. It was nice to stretch my legs and not car about getting wet while clearing my mind.
Chat with Parents–Feeling good about the conversation I had with my parents on Saturday. We don’t talk regularly and we don’t see eye-to-eye on very much but I feel really good about our talk and am grateful.
Lunches–I planned my lunches for the week and feel really good about having a plan and being responsible for both the calories and the financial gain of not eating out. 🙂

Kitty Alarm Clocks–This morning was a rare occasion where I didn’t have to set my alarm. My furry alarm clock named Rose woke me up when she was hungry and couldn’t take it anymore. She is tenacious and when I didn’t stir immediately she got Mal to help her. All I could do was giggle. Grateful for sleep and for my funny alarms.
Yoga Sculpt–Did an hour of yoga with weights today and it was a tough workout. Super grateful for how Yoga continues to help me and and bless me.
Vagina–Yup…you read that correctly. 😉 I’m reading a book called Vagina: A Cultural History by Naomi Wolf and it is AMAZING! It is sad, troubling, educational, and revealing. Every woman, man who loves a woman, doctor, person offering social service or working with trauma victims or women suffering from sexual dysfunction ought to be required to read this book. I think that limits the NON-readers to gay men in non-medical fields. You’re off the hook gay boyfriends and brothers! 😉 For me personally it is opening up my eyes to some physical components of my own abuse that I thought were psychological  So grateful for this book and the studies it points to.

Lunch with Smartie Pants Peeps--Had lunch today with Hans and Chelsea. We all talked 100 miles an hour but it was good to toss ideas around the table and eat another bowl of Chile Lime popcorn. Yummm!
Erin and her scissors–My hairstylist is the sweetest thing! She is funny, cute, and did a great job helping me figure out what to do with my hair. I said “Let’s go short” and she helped me find courage and push through fear to chic. Love my hair…love the lady who cuts my hair.
Latte with the Ladies–Had a wonderful latte with some wonderful ladies from BSF. The conversation was rich and deep. So grateful for that time…and for their rave reviews about my hair. 🙂

General Hospital–I watched the 50th Anniversary episode of General Hospital. They did a good job of making me interested in what is going on…even if they did make Jax and Brenda come back for the day to torture Sonny and Carly. General Hospital brings back memories of childhood (my sisters coming home from college), college (watching in the afternoons with my girlfriends) , and the years I worked from home (my very favorite years so far of my career). I’m grateful for the reminder of some fun times in my life and a show that helped me mark it through the years.
Presentation–I gave a presentation to my development teams today to catch them up on where we on with our product launch. It was fun and interactive. I was back in my element. So grateful for a moment of using my old skills.
Mentor again?–Today another young lady at work that I respect came to me and asked if I would talk with her about my career and how to break into Product Management. What the hell am I doing all of the sudden to give off the “come get career advice from me” vibe!? I find it comical (see yesterday’s post) but am still very grateful for the opportunity to use these skills.
A moment–This morning a team of people followed me to my desk to tell me that they still couldn’t provide the information I’ve been asking for them to provide for weeks. I was not pleased, rolled my eyes, and enumerated the consequences of the delay of the information. That in turn made the boss snippy. It took everything in me to not do or say anything. But why? Why didn’t I say exactly what needed to be said? Who is this person I’m becoming?? Wondering what I’m grateful for? I’m grateful that I’m starting to as THOSE questions. I am damn good at what I do and one of the reasons is because I speak my mind…tactfully and in the right moment…but I always speak my mind when it is important. And I’m grateful that instead of slowly turning into a robot…I’m still ME!!!

Mentor–I was asked to mentor a young lady at work who would like to be a Product Manager. She is bright, beautiful, and has a ton of promise. It was nice to be asked and I hope that I can help her get her career on the path she wants. (Which is odd considering that I have a successful career that I’m not sure is on the path I want!) 🙂 Grateful for a chance to make a difference for someone and use this skills of guidance, listening, and encouragement again.
Mentee?–I thought I was going to drinks in order to meet with a potential mentor. Turned out she is at the end of her rope as well and I ended up giving her encouragement. I was a little taken aback by the change of things…but hardly surprised as every attempt I’ve ever had to find a female mentor in work or church have backfired. Instead I think I had drinks with someone who could be a friend. And I’m always grateful for friends.
Balloons–I sent balloons to my sweet friend Mark at IP Commerce. It wasn’t much. And it doesn’t make up for the fact that I wish I was there to hug him. But I’m so very grateful for the little ways we can send love from afar.

Jacob–I talked to Jacob today and it was nice to hear how happy he is and that things are going his way. The last couple years have been really hard for us as a family and to hear his happy voice and his laughter makes me smile and feel relief.
Mark–My dear friend Mark had his final chemo treatment today. Mark is one of those people that makes the world a better place. He and his sweet wife and daughters are a blessing to me and I’m so grateful that he is done with this course of treatment. Mark is one of the men in my life who reminds me that there are amazing, Godly men in the world. So grateful for he, Jolene, and the girls! 🙂
Thinking Things Through–I’ve been struggling the last few days with being in a weird transition place. I’m listening to Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and questioning some of my decisions. I’m having interesting conversations with some of my friends in the industry. I’m unsure about what I want…and am thinking some things through. I’m grateful that I recognize the questions in my mind as just that….questions…and am not letting the confusion and lack of clear vision for my future make me feel down. I’m grateful that I can participate fully in the thinking process without being emotionally affected by the process.

Amazon Women in Engineering (AWE) Conference–It was a good day listening to speakers from outside the company and internal women discuss their experiences at Amazon. I am grateful to have gotten to go to the conference.
Happy Hour–Went to happy hour with a couple of the women I work with and a lady I’d never met before. I am grateful for that relaxed time.
Books–I love love love when there are books on my doorstep when I get home. Amazon gets a good percentage of their paychecks to me BACK between books, groceries, and gift buying. 🙂

Jesus–All day today I’ve sung the song that starts “Lord the people praise you…” and I’ve been very grateful for the song in my heart. A good moment was when I was singing LOUDLY in the shower and as I finished and pulled back the curtain both of the kits where sitting on the bath mat listening. This is NOT a normal occurrence so I’m pretty sure they were praised Jesus too. 😉
Lazy Morning–I had a lazy morning of walking, making breakfast, drinking coffee, and reading. It was PERFECTION!
Sunshine on the rooftop–I spent an AMAZING afternoon and early evening on the rooftop at Mark and Nicole’s with several of their dear friends. We drank wine, snacked, and talked. It was a blessing to me in so many ways and is one of my very best days since moving to Seattle. I am so grateful for Nicole and her friendship and the glorious sunshine that brought us all to the rooftop.
Dinner and GoT–I hung around long enough after the sun went down that I managed to get invited to dinner (this is precious to a single girl who needs some lovin’ on a Sunday night from her local family). Mark made dinner while Nic and I gabbed. Then we all sat down for a very confused watching of the Season premier of Game of Thrones. There aren’t words for how grateful I felt to belong today. I pray that I’m a place of belonging for others the way that the Walters are a place of belonging for their friends and loved ones!

Amazing Sleep–I slept so well last night…I think it was the intense yoga at Kula before bed. Sheesh. I was out the minute I hit the pillow and slept soundly for 8 hours. I woke up so refreshed and ready to enjoy this beautiful sunshiney day! So grateful for the blessing of sleep. So grateful that God knew we’d need sleep…not just physically but emotionally.
Walk–I went for a long walk this morning meandering through my hood and then over Rainier to look at Jimi Hendrix park. It was such a beautiful day! Way to show off again Seattle!
Book Club and an IPA--Went to another book club today at Elysian Brewery  The club was good…a little odd but good…and the beer hit the spot. But mostly I’m just feeling less anxious about going to these new groups and meeting people for the first time.
Frank Peretti–Many of my religious friends have read Peretti’s book “This Present Darkness”. It’s a great book. But I’ve always preferred “The Prophet.” It has been a LOOOOONG time since he’d written a solo book (without Ted Dekkar) or an adult book (not one of the kid’s series he writes). The Illusion was awesome. I started it a couple weeks ago and then had to stop to read books for book-club and by authors I was going to meet. I picked it back up today and was about half way through…I read straight through the evening getting consumed by his characters and their interesting and spiritual story. His dedication at the end of the book to his wife is so great. Perreti is an odd dude…and odd dude who loves Jesus. Grateful for this work by him.

Launch–We made a huge step on our product launch today. I still can’t talk about it but I’m super grateful that we met a huge milestone.
Yoga Yoga Yoga–I waited all week for Moonlight Yoga tonight with my friend Becky. It was wonderful, challenging, and centering.
My Voice–I was in a meeting today where there was a lot of back and forth about a topic. I mostly watched until finally I decided to intervene. I spoke with authority, calmly, and summarized the conversation. It was a good moment because I heard the calm authority in my own voice and thought “Ahhh…there’s that girl! I’ve missed her!” I knew it was the right moment to lead…and once the decision was made the voice came right back. 🙂
Friday–Needed Friday so badly! Grateful it finally arrived. 🙂

Vision Doc–I had to present my vision for the platform to the rest of my team today. My document was too technical and the guys on my team spent 90 minutes tearing it up. That is at least 45 minutes longer than they spent on anyone else’s. At about the hour mark I could feel myself starting to get annoyed with all the criticism…then suddenly something hit me…they are nitpicking me to death because my document is that good. Later my boss said my doc was great. I realized that the scrutiny is what happens when you either REALLY suck or are REALLY great. And in this case it was the latter. I’m grateful for the realization.
Laughter–I laughed with a couple girls at work today. Girls I haven’t laughed with in a while. That was nice and I’m grateful for the break in tension.
The Pat–Today one of the engineers patted my shoulder after a long conversation where I basically promised to take the heat when a decision I made came back to bite us all in the ass. He said “You are really good at your job and you aren’t afraid of making a decision.” He’s right. And it was a huge compliment coming from this guy.

WFH–I worked from home today to write a vision doc that I’d just not had any time to work on over the past 2 weeks. It is due tomorrow and I have to present it. It was TOUGH. I had to write it based on my newest responsibility/promotion…half of which I don’t really know. I expect my boss to red line the hell out of it. All that to say that I’m grateful that after 9 straight hours I was able to finish it and get it in decent shape for ripping apart. 🙂
Cuddles–Mal is very good at stopping me when I need a mental break from whatever I’m working on. Today he did it twice at just the right time. I think he must read my body language or energy but I am so grateful that he keeps me going.
Wine Bar–Met the “childfree Seattle ladies” for wine again tonight and got to talk to a different part of the table this time. What an interesting group of ladies! They may or may not have convinced me to join a bowling league in May. Hahaha! Super grateful that I made myself go after such a long day.
Cleaning frenzy–My living room and kitchen have been a MESS! Just cluttered and in need of some attention. I’ve also been creating a cardboard box stack for over a month…probably because my neighbor is so weird about watching me to make sure I hadn’t my boxes properly. Anyway…when I got home tonight I had some sort of energy surge and just cleaned the living room and kitchen. I’m SO much happier! Sometimes it is good to work from home because then you can’t ignore the mess as well. 🙂
Justice Sotomayor — I listened to some of the DOMA testimony today and I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor and her ability to stand her ground against the old dudes of the Supreme Court. I mean…I know she’s no shrinking violet but it did my heart good to hear her give John Roberts and Antonin Scalia a run for their money.

Class–Today I attended a class on making great hiring decision at Amazon. I realized that hiring at Amazon is a whole big deal and that I really would rather not be in a hiring loop if I can help it. I’m hoping I can just fly under the radar and avoid as it as much as possible.
Class Part 2–One of the “teachers” of the class is a guy that I find intriguing and have a little bit of a crush on. He’s a little cranky and quiet…but he mumbles funny stuff a lot. He was actually a really good and engaging teacher and I think he thinks I’m an idiot because I laughed at his jokes just a little too loud and smiled at him a lot like a goofball. But I don’t care. It was fun and I’m grateful for getting out my flirting skills…they are rusty.
RSVP NO–I’ve had an event on my calendar for weeks. I thought I’d RSVPd and then tonight…just when I realized I was going to be late I saw that I actually hadn’t. I was super grateful because I needed to come home and really didn’t want to come in late. I’m super grateful when fate just works stuff out.

Calm–Some days you just have to be grateful for calm. That is what I am grateful for today. Nothing excitingly good…nothing terribly bad. Just calm.
Taxes–I work up this morning feeling panicked about my taxes. I am normally quick to do them in early February but I knew they’d be complicated this time due to yet another move, job change, 401K, and RSUs from Amazon. I scheduled time to do it this Saturday but all day I worried over my taxes until finally I thought “Geez…why don’t I just stay up late and get this over with. Then at least I’ll know how bad off I am.” I finished…and the good news is I’m getting a tiny bit back…which is way better than paying! Grateful!
Opportunities–I swear to God when it rains it pours! I have had so many people coming out of the woodwork to offer me a job. I know it’s because I have Amazon on my resume now but SHEESH! Does anybody remember how less than about 2 1/2 years ago I lost my job and couldn’t beg anyone to hire me? Yeah…me either! 😉 Super grateful for all the opportunities coming my way even if I’m not interested in any of them. 🙂

Brene Brown–Watching Dr. Brown speak with Oprah this morning about shame resonated on a deep level with me. I wish all my friends who have suffered trauma or deal with loss would watch her Ted talk or her appearance on Super Soul Sunday. I’m going to get a couple of her books soon. Grateful for her honesty, humor, and willingness to write while she grows.
Books–Today I finished two books that I really enjoyed reading and got caught up on my reading for Bible in 40 Days. One more week and I’ll be through the Bible this Lenten season. I’m grateful for books…for their escape…for their ability to quiet my mind after a bout of creativity.
My Favorite Canadian–Got super awesome news about my friends in Duncan today. Always glad to celebrate as they find more joy in their farm life. 🙂
Rose’s kisses–My little aloof kitty has taken up a new habit. If I lean close to her and lower my head and ask for a kiss, she will rub her cheeks and face all over my hair and forehead. It is an unmistakable sign of love from a kitty who has struggled over the last 2 years to trust me completely. So grateful as she continues to be sassy, lovely, and sweet. She’s just a kitty to some…but she is part of the family in my house.
Making Breakfast Burritos–My new Sunday afternoon habit seems to be making breakfast burritos for the week. Small tortillas, pinto beans, tofu, potato, green chile, and salsa this week…about 310 calories of animal free goodness! Grateful for how much I enjoyed warming a burrito last week to eat before leaving the house. Grateful for the ones in my fridge now to greet me each morning this week.

A Novel–I got lost in a novel today and for that I’m so grateful. 🙂
Hurt–Today I was hurt by something from someone that has long been considered a friend. And I coped by exchanging texts with a trusted friend and going for a walk. Grateful for good ways to cope. That may be something that those of you raised in nice, sane homes don’t get. But those of us who have struggled with trauma and abuse are always grateful when we make good decisions about how to cope.
Oz--Went to dinner and a movie with one of the girls from BSF and her sister. I’m grateful that the movie was entertaining and that the company was good.

Finishing–I finished the majority of my testing today and delivered my results. I also realized that the testing was for my own peace of mind and not really critical or important to the rest of the team. So…I’m grateful for my own peace of mind. 🙂
Debugging with the guys–I spent time with one of the guys from marketing debugging some software with the engineers today. When we were done he said “That was fun. Thanks Leah.” And at first I didn’t know what to make of it. Then I realized that he enjoyed the process of watching all of us work through a problem and the humor with which we did it. I’m grateful to have ended the work week with that moment.
Alone–I’m realizing that I can sit at home alone in this dreary city and continue to dislike it…or I can take advantage of opportunities to see speakers, authors, bands, etc. Doing these things alone is tough at times, but I’m learning to press through that moment of hesitation and keep going. And each time I’m rewards with learning something new, having a thought validated, or a special funny or kind moment. I’m grateful for all of it.
Rob–Went to hear Rob Bell talk about his new book. He was funny, very tall, and his talk touched me in countless ways. I’ll try to write more on that tomorrow. After looking forward to it all week (my outlook calendar actually said: ROB BELL!!!!!!), he did not disappoint. I’m grateful for kindhearted and reverent people like him who are willing to look criticism and banishment in the face and just laugh and say “I’ll love you anyway.” Grateful that I just “happened” to notice his name on the bookstore speaker list. What good fortune!


Remembering–In the madness and uptight environment of our office for the past couple of weeks, there are moments when I feel edgy and near losing my cool. Today I was definitely on the verge of being short with someone but I realize that the thing I’m annoyed with (the process) is not his fault. So I unwound and didn’t let it go any further. Then later I went to ask for some help from some team members and they laughed at a slight crazy way I’d gone about testing a specific use case and all I could do was laugh. I’m grateful for remembering to not take myself or the situation so seriously. As Ken Walters would say, “It’s not rocket surgery folks!” 😉
Andi the Small but Mighty–I sent the Universe a memo this morning begging for my lunch massage to be done by a lovely lady named Andi. She is strong and doesn’t hold back when I say “The pressure could be harder.” That lady worked my back, shoulders and neck over and I will be sore tomorrow but I believe she has been the cure for my rotator cuff soreness. Bless her! Grateful for her strong hands….and that she isn’t super chatty. 🙂
The Viking–Had a quick chat today with The Viking. I was reminded why I loved my job in Colorado so much…my coworkers. The work was still work but I sat with some great folks every day working stuff out. Don’t get me wrong…I sit with nice folks now too. But the bond is very very different. It was a good conversation and I was grateful to hear his voice and get caught up a little. I was also grateful to be reminded that things are not the same in that office anymore. Many of my friends are gone and the dynamics are very stressful. Grateful that God knew what she was doing all along. 🙂

Mercy–I realized at 3 PM today that I hadn’t done any of the work I was supposed to do for a 9AM meeting. I stopped my boss in the hall and said “I’m not prepared. I’m sorry. I just haven’t had time with all the testing. What do you want me to do?” And he said “It’s okay. Let’s ask the guys on the team if they are ready to present and you can go next week.” The guys were fine with it and I received mercy. So grateful for their understanding of my craziness this week.
SPRING--Today was the first day of spring. It started out cloudy and gloomy and ended sunny and bright. It was chilly and windy but still lovely. Around here sunshine is lovely no matter what all the other weather related issues are. So grateful that for the first day of Spring, Seattle showed off!
Flowers–One of my favorite things about Seattle are the flowers. They are already everywhere. I love them and they make me smile.
Holding Steady–I am amazed at the epidemic of control freakiness that I’m seeing every single day. And today I can count like 4 different people in 4 totally separate circumstances. In one instance, everything in me wanted to go back at this guy with all I had. Instead I said nothing. I watched the discussion unfold over email and waited. Here’s the thing…I don’t want anyone else’s job. I want MY job. And also I want everyone to want their own job and to let me do mine. While I’m frustrated by the craziness, I am grateful for discernment. The day will come when I climb up the hill I’m willing to die on and stand my ground…maybe…but today wasn’t the day. I pray that the humanity of my co-workers continues to win over my need to be right.
Pink–I snuck away tonight to get hot pink toes and light pink fingers. I feel much better having pampered myself after some long days. Super grateful for the treat!

Single Mindedness–For two days straight I’ve been testing. And I can hardly concentrate on anything else. I wish I’d been given a little more lead time so I could be more thorough but I’m just pressing through to make it work. I’m grateful for my schedule clearing both through my own doing and not so that I’m able to concentrate.
Blueberries–I took blueberries in my lunch today and they were goooo oood. I can’t wait until it’s the local season again. I’m very eager! So grateful for this delicious snack.
Good sleep–I’ve been sleeping very soundly the last few nights. I think it’s because by the time I hit my bed my brain is exhausted. I’m super grateful that my brain and body are tired and ready for sleep when I hit the pillow! I am also grateful for the role Jillian is playing in that by getting me up super early to workout. 😉

Monday–Usually Monday’s are hard. Today was hard. But today was also blessed and full of good things. I had a conversation with a lady last week and another friend via email who are looking for work and I was reminded of how hard Monday’s were when I couldn’t find a job a couple years ago. Monday’s signified that everyone else…of value…had somewhere to go and I didn’t. At least that is how it felt during the midst of that storm sometimes. Now even when it is hard to get myself moving, Monday reminds me how grateful I am to be going somewhere to do something that will result in a paycheck with which to pay my bills.
Testing–I spent the day doing testing on the product we are close to launching. I am so grateful to be at this step. Mostly because I’m sick to death of all the pressure everyone else is feeling at work to perform to some arbitrary date which makes them act in unreasonable and socially unacceptable ways. It is a good product…and hopefully all will be better when it goes out the door.
The Biggest Loser Finale–There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind who is my Facebook friend that I really admire and respect Jillian Michael. Her contestant won on the biggest loser last night and I felt pride in the girl’s pride. I know that the show is an unrealistic way to lose weight for many people…but it is still inspiring to see what the human body can do and how we can respond to that sort of challenge. I’m going to hang out with Jillian someday…I’m just sure of it (which is why it’s on my vision board!) 🙂

Words–I love when I sit down with an idea for a blog and the blog writes itself. The result is always better than way. I am grateful for the gift…I can’t claim to understand it but I am grateful for it nonetheless.
Packing my Lunch–As a kid there was little I loved more than packing my own lunch. I loved deciding what would go in it and planning it out. Then making it all fit into whatever lunchbox or bag I was currently carrying. For a while now I’ve been haphazardly packing my lunch and then last week I got a bit more organized. I bought more lunch supplies today and am enjoying picking my meal and snacks out of the healthy choices I’ve selected. 🙂
Cooking–Today I also enjoyed trying recipes I’d never tried before and putting together a few meals ahead of time for the week. I know for me that this is the secret to making healthier choices and not running to Subway or getting takeout Vegan Chinese or pizza at the last minute. While these are not horrible choices there are better ones…and I’m grateful for the time today to cook and get organized. 🙂
Oprah–I know it may annoy some folks but I’m grateful for Sunday’s on Oprah’s network. There are always interesting shows to have as a backdrop of sound to my day of reading, cooking, doing chores, and relaxing.
Vinyasa–Today I did an hour of vinyasa with an online course. It is always hard for me to get going but my body is always so grateful that I’ve done it…and today is no different. It was a focus on forward bends and back stretches and my back feels better than it has in days.

No Alarm Clock–I doubt I have to explain why this makes me grateful. It was so nice to not set an alarm clock and to wake up, get a cup of coffee, and head back to bed to read.
Saying No–I decided to say no to being part of the leadership team at BSF. I feel grateful to have been considered and grateful to God for not calling me into leadership.
Phyllis Tickle--This lovely woman blessed my socks off today. Her talks were amazingly interesting and enlightening. But the blessing she spoke over me while signing a copy of one of her books absolutely made this day shine. I was reminded to press on with life and to lean into who God made me to be.
Don Miguel Ruiz--Listening to this sweet man speak about The Four Agreements and hear his son share as well, was an additional blessing today. Very grateful for growth moments.
Body Bugg–Started wearing a Bodymedia fit band today. It tracks your activity (calories in/out) and your sleep. It is super interesting to have this physical feedback. I think it will help me see patterns and make good decisions. 🙂

Launch Ready–Today we were very close to being beta launch ready on the product I’ve been working on since getting here. There are people on this team who act as though the entire project lived and died based on their existence and there are others who understand that this was a team effort. I am grateful for the team and for not letting others “run me off” from my part.
Shot & Beer–Went for a drink with my team today. LOVE the guys I work with and so glad to be part of their team.
Home–This week was hectic and busy. I was out a lot this week and needed to come home!

Taking my Lunch–I’ve been taking my lunch every day. It cuts down on the drama of finding good food that is also good for me. And I love having my very own food in my very own lunch box. So grateful for good choices.
Getting a lot done–I’ve been making progress through my to do list this week and that makes me feel grateful and happy!
Dinner with Carol–What a fun fun fun dinner! Carol and I really went deep and talked about friendship, faith, and the future. I feel so blessed to have shared her birthday with her this year. Grateful to Nancee for the intro.

Coffee Date–I went to coffee with some girls I met at a Meetup group. We talked for 4 1/2 hours. I thought I’d be home by 8 PM but got home after 11 PM instead. 🙂 It gave me hope about making a circle of friends in Seattle.
Curry Veggie Soup–I had the best Curry Soup for lunch today. My lunch plans fell through and I didn’t have my lunch packed but it was delicious.
Strength–I’m feeling strong and good after a couple weeks of restarting Body Revolution with Jillian and using her app to keep a food journal, monitor water, and track vitamins.

2 Workout Tuesday–Super awesome morning workout and a great circuit this evening. Grateful for my body and spirit showing up for the workouts.
21 Day Meditation Challenge–Day two of the meditation challenge. Really enjoying the structure of having this challenge to do. Grateful for a centering activity before leaving for work.
Normalcy--Today I realized that my day felt “normal”. Something I haven’t felt in a long time. Months? Maybe since moving to Seattle. I don’t think it’ll feel that way every day since I’m not doing something I feel super passionate about…but I’m grateful for days of normalcy.

Rachel Held Evans–I enjoyed listening to Rachel talk today. She is funny and open. I was grateful for the chance to hear her talk.
Road–When I’m troubled, there is no better place to work out what is in my brain than the open road, the radio, and no technology. I am grateful for time to think and no distractions beyond a little traffic. Oh and I’m grateful for only a little traffic.
Home–As much as I continue to struggle to build a life in Seattle, coming home is still coming home. My kits, my nest, my life. I’m grateful that on a day filled with so much uncertainty that coming home was a blessing.

Breakfast–Today I had breakfast with a friend from out of town. It was so nice to sit across from someone I love and who loves me back. Someone who knows the quality of my work and how much I want to find a niche at work without my having to talk about who I am. And someone that I can listen to talk about his situation too. It was good to be able to bring God into the conversation and be ourselves. I was blessed with a good morning with a friend.
Brew–Had some good micro at The Raccoon with Zach, Sara, and Ben. Good company. Good beer.
Life Talk–Zach and I talked late into the night about life, ministry, and the state of the church. I continue to be so blessed by his friendship. I’m grateful for the man he is and that he lives close enough for me to benefit from conversation and life.

Whistle–I got whistled at today. By an old guy. His young friends were horrified and apologized. But I just smiled, raised one eyebrow and said “Thanks.” Was it the most feminist response? Nope. Did it make an old man’s day? Yup. 😉
Jeep Exuberance--The girl who pulled my Jeep in at Jiffy Lube was SO excited to drive my Wrangler. Apparently it is her dream vehicle and she’s never been inside one. I told her to take the long way through the rest of the parking lot on the way to pull it up at the end of the oil change. She said she wasn’t allowed but she appreciated the offer. She was adorable and her excitement was contagious. When i got back in my Jeep I remembered again how much I love Daisy and how very very blessed I am to have her.
SUNSHINE–And the star of 3/9 was THE SUN!!!! Lord have mercy that golden orb in the sky was GORGEOUS! I will tell you that nothing makes you appreciate the sun like living in Seattle. And I can also tell you that when the sun comes out here things look so beautiful. Mt. Rainier was out. The grass is turning green. The windows were down on the Jeep and the doors were open at home even though it was a little chilly! 🙂


KC135s–I’m proud of Jacob for finishing Navigator school and for his excitement over being assigned to the KC135s. Love that kid. He’s on my list of favorite people…right up there at the top! 🙂
Fizzy Water–It’s a silly splurge but I buy a couple of large bottles of sparkling water each week. They are a treat to my regular water intake and I feel special just drinking it. Grateful for the simple things.
Laughter–I laughed at work today. Really laughed. That hasn’t happened in a couple weeks. I don’t need to tell you I’m grateful for laughter…people who know me know I love to laugh.
A Plan–I have some areas of my life that need overhaul and intention. Today I got one of the areas in check and started getting a plan together. I always feel better when there is a plan.
Tim Gunn--I know I know…I don’t know this person. But Tim Gunn never ceases to make me smile. I love him on Project Runway. I love him on The Biggest Loser. I love him when he does talk shows. He’s a quirky guy but he is LOVELY. He is kind, funny, and genuinely desires to help those in his path. I’m grateful for people who just want to help.
Puppy Love–One of my coworkers brought her sweet dog into the office today. He and I have exchanged love and kisses before and today he came to me in a meeting and put his head on my knee and wanted some love. I sweet talked him for a couple of minutes and we exchanged some love. He’s a sweetie and I’m grateful for his (and all other animal’s) big, gentle heart.

Ayurveda Massage--Today’s lunch massage was very different than the others I’ve had. It was a softer touch but very soothing. I still greatly appreciate the blessing of having this option so close by and the blessing of the $ to pay for it.
Kale–If I were a songwriter I would write a song about Kale. After my massage I went to Whole Foods and made a salad and they had prepped Kale on the bar. It was amazing and I’m grateful for how a little Kale can rev up a salad.
Texts from the Ledge–Today I received a text from a friend who is trying to make a difficult decision. The funny part is that I had just sent a text to another friend about a difficult conversation/decision I was facing as well. It was precious to me to serve and be served in that moment with two of my very best friends.
Silly Things–Today I was looking at training classes offered by Amazon’s internal training team. They have these classes called “the 60 minute manager” and each class lasts 90 minutes. Come on??? That’s FUNNY! I’m grateful for little things that make me laugh.
So Close–Another long hard week is almost over. I’m so grateful that I have a 3 day weekend coming up and am really looking forward to going to PDX for the night on Sunday.

Research–Yesterday I spent some good effort doing research and gathering industry info on a topic that I’m being asked to get involved in at work. I’m super grateful to have spent my time on something valuable today.
45 Minutes–On Tuesday night I asked God for a sign that I wasn’t stuck…that I had options…even if I never consider taking the options. Today within 45 minutes I received 3 totally unsolicited contacts from recruiters…two from large corporations and 1 from a local recruiter. I love the way that when we ask for blessing and reassurance, the Divine provides it.
Authors–I was reminded today that I need to write my own story and stop accepting other people’s limiting beliefs about their own lives and my life. I am so grateful for that reminder and for the strength of mind to move forward and past those limiting beliefs. I’m also grateful that I don’t have to worry about writing stories for other people in my life. What a blessing.
Action–In reviewing my own dissatisfaction with Seattle, I’ve discovered that before I pass judgement I need to make more of an effort. So I have signed up for some classes, meetups, book clubs  and am going to try a church. In asking the Holy Spirit for guidance on how to have a community, she is providing that and I have a full calendar of opportunities that I’m excited about. 🙂

Compliment–Last week I complimented a lady I work with because she looked so beautiful. This particular lady is quiet, unassuming, very good at her job and flies under the radar a lot. When I complimented her last week she lit up and blushed from my words. It was sweet and showed how genuine she is at heart. Today she was standing next to me and said “Now YOU are the one who looks beautiful.” I could tell that it gave her joy to give me a compliment in return and I definitely appreciated hearing it. Such a sweet and genuinely kind exchange.
Waiting Things Out–Sometimes I’m reminded that if I just wait to act on things that stress me out, they work themselves out without my doing anything. I’m so grateful that I laid back and did not take any action on a few things over the last few weeks and that it all worked out without my intervening.
Yoga--All afternoon all I could think about what getting to my yoga mat tonight. I’m doing 60 minutes a day via CorePower online and loving it. I want to get some form back before I start going back to classes regularly. Mostly I was just grateful for how the time on the mat did what it always does…offered a place where I can’t think about anything but the yoga and can empty my head of whatever noise is flooding around in there.
Engagement–I have THE sweetest hairstylist in the world and she just got engaged. Her boyfriend proposed during a concert on stage and the video is so awesome. I’m so glad that this dear young lady has someone who loves her that much in her life. So grateful when those I love are loved well.

Long Day–Today was a long day. Another long day in a long line of long days. I am grateful for hope for the future on days like these. I’m grateful for all the blessings I have and do not take them for granted…even on the long days.
Coffee–Grabbed coffee today with a kindred spirit. Super grateful for the occasional connection that occurs in the midst of the storm.
Jacob’s Dream–Our BSF lesson today was in chapters 26 to 28 of Genesis. All day I have been hearing the refrain where Jacob wakes up from his dream of the ladder to heaven and says “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” I am seeing where God has been in places that I didn’t recognize him in the first place. And I’m prayerful that He is in THIS place and will reveal himself at all the right moments.
The Umbrellas–I feel blessed by one of my little tribes of women online. I’ve nicknamed them “The Umbrellas” and I’m grateful for them in so many ways.

Blood Oranges–Received the most beautiful blood oranges in my Amazon Fresh delivery today. They are sweet, beautiful, and the best dessert I could ask for. So grateful for fruit in general and this fruit specifically.
Quiet Mind–Managed to get my brain still today during meditation. The act of extending the space between thoughts can bring such pure relaxation and calm. Some days there are mere milliseconds between thoughts…and other days like today I can extend the distance and find peace. I’m so grateful that God meets me in that space and helps me find stillness.
Talking John–Amanda and I are going to start dwelling in John 14 after spending most of the last month dwelling in John 1. Another new friend Claire and I discussed a sermon she is working on about John 17. After I finish the Bible in 40 Days challenge that I undertook for Lent, I intend to begin a long slow meander through the Gospels. Sorry Brother Paul…I’m wearing of calling ourselves Christians but actually being Paulians. So I’m taking a break from you and spending some time with Jesus and the Gospels for as long as it takes. I’m grateful for conversations about the book of John since that is where I want to start my journey with Jesus in April.

Being Homesick–I have been homesick these past two days. Deeply heartsick for my friends and bright big blue skies. But I am grateful for that feeling and for learning to just sit with the feeling because it is a reminder that I am loved, that I have a tribe, and that after years of feeling like a gypsy with no roots I have a home to be sick for.
Driving–Today I wanted to buy new jeans. I went to two stores where I had previously shopped and both were closed. And while I’m not grateful for that…I am grateful for the drive. Natalie Grant, Florence & the Machine, and Susan Tedeschi and I needed some time to sing loudly and praise God at high speeds.
Ann Voskamp–I received Ann Voskamps “One Thousand Gifts” from my friend Holly for Christmas. I read the first chapter over the holidays and

Mal liked Ann Voskamp's book too!
Mal liked Ann Voskamp’s book too!

thought “Whoa…this is heavy and I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish!” Ann’s writing is poetic, lyrical, and heavy. And I struggled. This morning I decided that come hell or high water I was finishing this book today. As I read I continued to struggle through parts of it…but then the heavens opened and her message came through. Particularly in Chapter 7. And I realized how grateful I am to have read this beautiful little book about a woman who’s life couldn’t be different than mine in almost every way…except the way that counts. We are both seekers of contentment and the heart of the Divine. And we’ve both discovered gratitude and thanksgiving as the key to unlocking our paths. Thank you Holly. Thank you Mrs. Voskamp.
When the words come–Today the words came. I was praying for a friend and the words came. Words from my heart. Words from the Bible. Words that I needed to hear as much as I needed to share. It was a reminder that I MUST write. MUST. I am grateful for the words and the Spirit which pushes them along to the surface.

Hum a tune–
I love the way humming a song while you go about your day can help your mind to separate from it’s pain and troubles and remind you that there is always a song to be sung and a reason to sing is right around the corner. Grateful for a song to hum.
Connection–A couple times today I had conversations with other people that created a real connection. I appreciate those moments so much more these days because I did not feel strongly connected this week. As a person who lives relationally  I thrive on feeling kinship, camaraderie and solidarity. I’m grateful for those little moments of that today and for the people that I exchanged a piece of my soul with.
Stack of Magazines–I came home to find a stack of magazines in my mailbox. I love when it just happens that all my mags arrive close together. I love that I have a stack of glossy, good smelling, reading material that only talks about things I’m interested in like Yoga, Vegetarianism, Health, Fashion, and Seattle (I’m TRYING people). Super grateful for the anticipation of pretty pictures and a time to turn my brain down to a low buzz.

Turning off the filter–Many people don’t believe I have a filter. It shocks them that I do indeed have one and that I use it…DAILY. People who know me well…or are at least around me enough…figure out that I am quick with a comeback and rarely miss a chance to say something if I think it will get a laugh. Often though I get the laugh by not saying anything and just making a face. This same quick humor can also get me in trouble when I disagree with someone, am offended by an injustice, or when I feel strongly about something that has been said. I often find I type responses to things that annoy me on Facebook…only to use the backspace button to edit or delete what I’ve said before I post something I can’t take back. But sometimes…I need to trust my instincts. And today I fired off several missiles at my undergrad alma mater and their stupid new PANTS rule for the cheer squad. I am GRATEFUL for the right to turn off my filter and say when something is ridiculous, sexist, and unfair.
College–I am grateful for the friends I made. I’m grateful for the education I got. And I am grateful that I never have to go back.
Hot Chocolate–I love you Red Chile Hot Cocoa. I love you and your healing powers to take my home in my mind for a few moments.

Mastin–I get a daily blog/email from a guy named Mastin Kipp. He’s a young guy with a lot of positive energy, who reminds me regularly that I am more than my job or my circumstances. I am grateful for Mastin’s upbeat and honest encouragement.
Meetup–I FINALLY made myself go meet some strangers at a local meetup group. This group is the Child-free Women’s group which I joined so that if I do make some friends I don’t have to worry to much about whether or not they can get a sitter for the night if we want to go to Happy Hour. 🙂 I don’t like walking into new groups alone. It makes me dreadfully nervous. And yet I did it. There were two other ladies who were new tonight and the 3 of us seemed to hit it off right away. I’m super grateful for realizing that maybe there are some nice people in this city who want to be my friend.
Choices–This week I am making choices every day that are difficult, frustrating, and by most standards seem counter-intuitive. Nothing about this is easy for me. Nothing about it comes naturally. But my intuition tells me I’m doing the right thing for myself and for others. I am choosing peace. I’m grateful for the powerful energy I’m receiving from the prayers of my friends that is allowing me to make these choices. So very grateful.

Lunch with the Ps–I had lunch with the Principle Architects for our division today. These two people are VERY intelligent…so realizing that they think I’m pretty damn smart myself was refreshing after the past few weeks. These two are also able to talk about things other than work and to laugh. It was nice and enjoyable. I was grateful for the discussion and distraction of the lunch.
Sparkly Midnight Blue Nails–You all know by now how much I love to get my nails done. Today they are a bad-ass midnight blue color and they make me feel sassy.
X–On nights like this when I somehow allow myself to read the comments on articles about Gender Roles in the church, I am grateful for the little “x” in the corner than allows me to close the page and walk away. Furthermore, I’m grateful that I have the right to not be married or under the authority of some of these men who believe that they are spouting something new and interesting by repeating the same patriarchial poop that I (and countless other women) have been hearing for generations. Additionally I’m grateful for a Jesus who counted women among his followers, had women Deacons and Apostles in HIS church during the 1st Century, and who lived a life marked by His willingness to turn societal norms on their heads and start a brave, rebellious, revolutionary movement that including the individual indwelling and gifting of the Holy Spirit on all believers…those with penises and those with vaginas. So grateful!

Headphones & Loud Music–I’d like to thank Pandora and the creators of my headphones for helping me through Monday. I’m grateful.
Conversations–I have good friends. They know that when I reach out to them, I need encouragement and they provide it. I am particularly grateful to Chad and Linda S today for their snark, help, & wisdom. Super grateful for good friendship…and hoping that I can find folks like them in this city someday.
Sunshine--There were a few moments yesterday when the sun was shining and giving me an amazing view of the water and the mountains. I’m grateful for the view and particularly grateful for the sunshine that allowed the view to shine through.
Hiding Place–I found myself again today sneaking downstairs to find a quiet place to get some work done. I’m grateful that I could find a corner with a view and some sun and knock out some documentation and emails that needed answering.

Breakfast with the Author–Enjoyed trying Geraldine’s Counter with Nicole today. We talked family, talents, work, and hair. It was a blessing. I am grateful for her friendship and making time for me.
Reading–Finished two great books today. One by my friend Nicole…AMAZING! Another about a beloved cat. I also spent some time catching up on some blogs that I love and trying to find a few groups to hand with to make friends. Grateful!
Watching the Oscars with my Friends–So I watched the Oscar with my friends…via Facebook. I was far more interested than I’ve been in years and it was because of the interaction with my loved ones. I love beautiful clothes. I love movies. And hey…I love Denzel’s face. I’m grateful for all of it…especially my friends.
Mindfulness–Sat for an hour today in meditation. It was confusing, conflicted, and a lot of emotion came up. But I STAYED. I stayed seated when my ass fell asleep. I stayed seated when my emotion and fear became uncomfortable. I stayed seated when I began to be rough on myself. I stayed seated when my doubts about staying seated came up. And in the end, I found a few moments of calm, quiet, and ended with conversation with Jesus about who I am, who I want to be, and seeing myself through His eyes. Grateful grateful grateful that when I show up, the Holy Spirit does to. Thank you gentle Lady!

Reading Charis–Started reading my friend Nicole’s book. Couldn’t stop. Then my Kindle powered down and I nearly screamed! 🙂 On the flip side now I have more to read tomorrow. So grateful for my friend’s talent and for her sharing! Can’t wait until all of you get to read it too.
Staying Home–I did not leave the house today. Shoot…I barely changed my clothes. (I did shower and go from PJs to yoga pants!) It was so lovely after the week I’ve had to just spend the day catching up on tv, napping, and reading. Grateful!
Tofu Scramble with Green Chile–I made tortillas and then built a scramble of a bunch of my favorite things including green chile, avocado, and onions. So grateful that last night when I had the craving there was time to get an order in to Fresh to deliver the goods for this feast.

Lunch–Today I went to lunch with 6 people from work. You would think after about 7 hours of time together doing Architecture discussions we’d have all been sick of each other but instead we went to lunch and had a great time talking about non work stuff. It was a nice change of pace and good to be with a group that I rarely spend time with socially. Grateful for the invite.
Interview–I filled in for my boss today to interview a possible candidate for a role on one of the other teams that roll up to the same team as us. I had serious reservations about doing the interview given my feelings about the last 9 months but I wanted to be a good sport. Funny enough I was honest but enthusiastic and when we were done the candidate said “After talking to you I’m so excited for the rest of the interviews today.” I shook his hand and walked out bewildered. Is it comical that I could still be on the fence about this company and yet be a good salesman for them already? Someone pass the kool aid? UGH! Either way…I’m grateful I met a new person and had an enjoyable conversation with him and put him at ease for the rest of his long day of interviews.
Samoas–Once a year I eat my first Samoa. The rest are never quite as good but the first one of those coconutty girl scouty goodnesses makes me happy and grateful. Even better this year was meeting the girl scout daughter of my friend Michael. She could NOT have been any cuter if she tried….but then she has a really sweet handsome dad. (oops…did I just type that outloud?) hahah!


My pal–My friend Malcolm knew something was up with all the sleeping yesterday and the numbness with which I am moving through my days

164421_10151381711731107_628458456_nlately. After I was done putting on my makeup and needed to be heading out the door, he climbed into my lap and stopped me. He hugged me, cuddled me, and went to sleep. And in those moments while we cuddled, I was reminded that some things are important and some things are not. I’m grateful for my furball friend, who somehow knows how to read my moods, and keep me centered.
Dang! The lady who did my express massage today was all elbows and painful places. She worked me over and didn’t miss a single sore spot. She really helped my shoulder that has been giving me trouble during yoga. She was a tough little thing and I was grateful for her hands and strength. (I’m sure tomorrow when I’m sore it’ll be different.)

Reminders–Today I received reminders from a local friend and a long distance friend…reminding me of some critically important things about myself that I needed to be reminded of. Most importantly each of them reminded me that I’m free. Free to choose my words, interactions, and boundaries. Free to choose where to live…where to work…who to love…how to act and react. Free to be true to myself at all costs. So grateful for friends, for reminders, for perfect timing, and for freedom. 

Tight Muscles–I had some seriously tight muscles when I got out of bed this morning. You’d think I worked out while I was sleeping given how tight my back was when I woke up. I’m not grateful for tight muscles but I’m grateful for yoga first thing in the morning helping me slowly move into a looser back, shoulders, and neck. Thankful for yoga for so many reasons.
Quiet space & Headphones–There was a lot of chatter today in the office that was making me feel stressed. I am grateful for my headphones and for a secret spot to work away from my floor.
3 hours of sleep–I wasn’t feeling well this afternoon so I came home early (might be related to the crazy tight muscles). I laid down the minute I got home and was instantly asleep. I slept for nearly 3 1/2 hours. That is half a night sleep for me…so very nuts for someone who doesn’t nap well. I might be getting sick but I’m grateful for an understanding boss and the freedom to come home when I can tell my body isn’t feeling well.
Introducing Friends–Tonight I made an introduction between a couple of my friends via Facebook. I have no idea why introducing them hadn’t occurred to me sooner…but I’m grateful that they were both receptive. 🙂
Yelling Jillian–Most of my friends know that I really appreciate Jillian Michael and find her motivating. I also think she is funny, smart, and kind. Her podcast is a highlight of one day of my commute every week. Tonight I watched a dvrd episode of this season’s Biggest Loser. She lost her shit with Bob (who I find so yummy I can’t stand it) and Dolvett (possibly the best smile on tv) and questioned their willingness to take less than the best effort from the contestants. Listening to her question them and the contestants I realized that I often give up on myself before I push through a challenge…and I don’t NEED to do that. I make excuses rather than deal with reality and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m grateful for her sometimes shrill always aggressive style. I am grateful that she speaks her truth and that her truth is often right. I also appreciate that she doesn’t apologize for being aggressive and expecting the best out of people.

Yoga Kitty–Rose believes that any time I roll out my yoga mat, it is her job to walk all over it and break it in before I start. She often rolls around trying to get me to rub her belly when I am in awkward poses like broken table or downdog. The extent she will go to in order to get her head or belly in the perfect position for petting never ceases to crack me up. She is a great yoga buddy and I’m grateful for her.
The Heated Blanket–This morning I took the heated blanked off the guest bed and plugged it in to cover my legs in my chilly meditation corner. This drew Mr. Malcolm to me even more easily than my snuggling into the meditation corner does already. He climbed up on me, got under the blanket, and laid down for a nap while I did a little reading, some prayer, and then took a few moments to quiet my mind. Usually I have to shew him away because he wiggles around to much and distracts me while I’m trying to find stillness…but the heated blanket seemed to be just the trick to help HIM find stillness. So grateful for such a sweet friend to share my morning routines with.
Yoga Kitty Part 2--I got the CUTEST calendar from my friend Nancee in NM that is 12 months of Yoga Kittens! So adorable and so very perfect for me. 🙂 hahah! Grateful for her gift and for her friendship.
Discernment–Twice today I wanted to react strongly to things that were said by coworkers. Twice today I managed to stay silent and let the moment pass. Was in the best decision? I don’t really know. Did it keep me from pointless bickering? Yes. I’m learning to be grateful for where I can add value. I’m learning to be grateful for arguments that are avoided. I’m learning to be grateful for moments of laughter and quiet.

Women on Fire–Today Alicia, Beyonce, Rihanna, Mariah, and some others got me through my day. I’m grateful for anthems by woman about women that give me a reason to be proud and to shake my booty while I work. I keep getting caught dancing…but that’s not the worst thing that can happen in the world. 🙂
Dirty Hair–I should have washed my hair this morning. But I was running late and knew that I wouldn’t have time to get it completely dry. So after a quick shower I just sprayed it down and sculpted it back into something. Can I just say…I’m so very grateful for hair that plays along even when it should roll over and play dead. So grateful for my crazy hair!
Debbie Ford–This author and speaker passed away today. I haven’t read a lot of her work but I saw her interviewed on Oprah and have since read one of her books. I appreciated her honesty about the vanity that kept her from admitting her cancer to others or allowing some people to see her while she was ill. I also respect her willingness to call herself out on the fear that she let ensnare her even though she’d taught against fear for years. In the end she seemed to have found her way back to peace. I’m grateful for honest people speaking their stories. And I’m praying for her family.

John 1–Continue to dwell in John 1 with my friend Amanda. Just keep getting new things out of this chapter. It’s pretty amazing! I’m grateful for the practice of dwell, for what God is saying, and for sharing this with Amanda.
Downton–I love this show. I hated the ending of Season 3 even though I knew it was coming. It’s amazing how a show can capture you and transport you into another world for a few moments. It’s the way that books have helped me and been my friends through the years. Huge blessing & much gratitude to the writers, actors, directors, and producers. I’ll miss hearing my favorite words every Sunday night…”OH MATTHEW!”
Magazines–Today I took a day off from all the books I’m reading and flipped through a stack of magazines that has gotten out of control. I didn’t finish but it was nice to flip idly while catching up on the shows on my dvr. I am now current on RHBV, Scandal, & Revenge…as well as a couple of the cooking shows that I record and never watch. 🙂

Coffee & Counsel--One of the girls from my BSF group asked me to have coffee with her and offer counsel on interviewing and looking for a job. It was nice to hear someone’s story. And it was nice to share some of mine. It is stunning to me that this is the same girl who jumped all over me a couple times in group. I’m grateful that I extended grace and that she is a lovely young lady to be friends with.
Teal Fingernails–I needed to run some errands yesterday but just had to stop and get my nails done. I’m not sure how I’d gone so long without getting them done but I’d somehow missed at least one appointment and they looked AWFUL! It was nice to get them taken care of, painted, and I’m grateful for how nice the ladies are who take care of me.
Avocado--I bought some ripe avocado for dinner and it was amazing. I enjoyed it so much. I always do but for some reason today I appreciated it even more! I’m grateful for that special fruit!

Moments to Read–I have been sneaking away at lunch to read for a few minutes. It tends to calm my heart and mind. A few stolen moments at lunch time make my afternoons much better.
Standing Desk--My standing desk is very nice. My feet hurt a little..which I expected during these first few weeks but I like the set up so much better. Even sitting on a tall chair and getting a better view out the windows is nice. 🙂
Catching up with Geno--Spent an hour talking shop with my coworker on Friday. It was good to hear his perspective about how some things work and to weigh in on my own feelings about what I’m seeing. I’m grateful to be able to be there for him and vice versa. He’s a decent guy and becoming a friend.

Handing out gifts— It was SO much fun to give out Valentine’s Day gift bags to the engineering and product management teams. What a blessing to see their faces light up like children as I said “Happy Valentine’s Day” and gave them a pink bag full of candy. So grateful for the joy they felt!
Chocolate–I’m often grateful for chocolate but it seems like I should be extra grateful for chocolate on Valentine’s Day since it is a day filled with chocolaty goodness. 🙂
Box from the Boss–My sweet boss gave me and the other two guys on our team little Snoopy boxes of chocolates. Such a cute little token. I think my joy of gift giving is starting to rub off on him. 🙂
Love-I know a lot of people hate valentine’s Day. If I’m honest I’ve hated it sometimes through the years. But this year…like many others…I’m just grateful for a day to celebrate love. Love is so important and so needed in the world. Romantic love and every other kind of love. So grateful for ANYTHING that raises the volume on Love!

First Day of Lent--Love the start of something. I have particularly grown to love the Lenten season honoring the grief of the cross but leading up to the beautiful day of Resurrection!! I may have my doubts about religion and many other things…but I so so love Jesus and am grateful for all that’s been done on my behalf.
Call from Sierra–Sierra called me today to thank me for her new DCs. She was SO excited and it was so cute. The first gift I ever bought her was shoes and I have yet to deny the child a pair of shoes when she asks. I really hope she doesn’t get turned on to Jimmy Choos or Louboutins too early! 🙂 I’m grateful for the sound of her voice and her joy.
Cuddlers–Today when I got home from work my kits were extra needy. I wonder if I’ve been tuned out or something or if they just got on each other’s nerves today and needed ME as a distraction? Either way…I’m grateful for their cuddly goodness!

Sierra–The best and most dear little red headed girl around turned 11 today. I love and miss her and am SO grateful she was born!
Morning Activities–I’ve been struggling with sleep the last couple of weeks and that means I’ve also been struggling with morning workouts and meditation. This morning I got up on time and did some Yoga and Meditated. It was so very helpful to my having a wonderful day. I know this to be the case but I’ve let my bad sleep patterns get the best of me. I’m grateful for this morning and hopeful I can get the routing going…especially since these are part of my Lent celebrations.
Leading–Today I had a meeting with a very aggressive new guy and I was worried that I’d not be able to lead the discussion. But I followed the Pema Chodron advice I read this morning. In any situation always attempt to think through your behavior from start to finish with the mantra “Good in the beginning, good in the middle, good at the end.” Grateful for how the meeting went down.
Homemade Soup–The delicious potato soup I had tonight was AMAZING! I’m so glad I thought to throw it all in the crock pot this morning. I’m also grateful for the immersion blender I gave myself for Christmas! 🙂

Pinky & the Brain–Today one of my favorite people at work accused me of trying to take over the world. I of course replied to the group email with a picture of Pinky and the Brain. He then said “What are we going to do today Leah?”  Every time I think about this exchange I smile!
Rolling with the waves–Not punches…my boss said I can’t say I’m “rolling with the punches” because no one is trying to punch me. Instead SurferBoss says I’m rolling with the waves. And he’s right. I’m not thrilled about my job or being here and continue to be confused. But I’m not unhappy. Instead, I’m rolling with the waves. Able to enjoy the ride but wondering when the next super awesome wave will come along that rolls me to a new part of the beach that I haven’t seen. And that is an okay place to be for me.
Tassels–One of the girls at work signed me up for a burlesque class. There is NOTHING about that that doesn’t make me cringey and uncomfortable. And yet…I will go. Today I really enjoyed making jokes about tassels  pasties and the bump&grind. (All names of classes within the workshop). I mean really?? For someone like me those titles are just like gifts to my sense of humor so I can make jokes all day!
BSF Girl–The girl from BSF who has been so hard on me over the past few months stopped me tonight to ask if I’d have coffee with her one day this week or next. She wants me advice on something and seemed really eager to talk. I of course agreed, though I was taken aback. In her request I felt a surge of compassion. She is so very young and so very sure that she has her beliefs figured out. I’ve been that girl before and I admire her for being open to sitting down with me to talk and asking for my help. I’m so very unyoung and so very unsure…and yet she sees something I can help her with. And help her I will. 🙂

Foggy Day–Loved the foggy morning, sipping coffee, and doing my BSF lesson. Grateful for slow Sunday’s
Chatting with friends–I spent some time online today talking to some friends. I’m not much of a Skype-r most of the time but it was fun to catch up and I am grateful for technology.
Cereal for Dinner–This is something simple that always makes me happy. I’m grateful for cereal and for being an adult who can eat cereal for breakfast any time she wants.
Downton–I love Downton Abbey a lot. All is well in Yorkshire…which means on next week’s finale all hell is about to break loose. (I already know at least one major cast change so I’m preparing for heartbreak). I’m grateful for the occasional tv show like Downton, Upstairs Downstairs, etc. that come along and captivate.

Sunshine–Oh the sunshine today was amazing and I’m grateful for it!
Laughing in the Store–Today I heard a song that brought back a memory from college so strongly that I laughed right out loud in the store (much to the confusion of the other lady on the cosmetics aisle with me). I’m grateful for silly memories!
BSF Group Fellowship–Went to a dinner fellowship with the ladies in my BSF group. It was interesting to hear them talk about their lives outside of the group and get to know them a little better. Super grateful for some time with some lovely ladies outside of Monday nights where everything is very structured. 🙂
Bethany–So grateful for texting with my Denver friend Bethany. She makes me laugh and reminds me of the best of myself! I am so lucky to have made a few wonderful friends in my short time in Denver. (Funny how living in Seattle makes me miss Denver after I bitched about Denver for 10 months!) 🙂

The Table–I moved to the big boy table today at work. To be clear I earned my way there with my hard work and by being willing to help anyone who needed help these past 9 months. I’m grateful for being recognized for what I’m good at.
Boys–Yesterday during the office Happy Hour my boss hollered over the crowd to me “Hey Leah, get one of your boy toys to go get the shot glasses out of my office.” I cracked up and sent one of them to get the shot glasses out of his office. The reason this makes me laugh is I realized that what he saw was that I’ve built a friendship with a bunch of guys at work who I’d do anything to help and who really like me in return. His comment cracked me up but it also made me realize that these young engineers are becoming my work friends. I appreciate them and they respect me…and for that I’m grateful.
Mushroom & Green Chile Tamale–Thank you Whole Foods for having a food bar that has vegan items on it. Including the amazing tamale I had for lunch. Yummmm!
Birthday Gifts–I believe the last of my birthday gifts arrived last night. The sweetest mittens and a necklace from my friend Julie. I am just so very blessed!

Drinks with Becky–Tonight I had drinks with my former coworker and friend Becky. It was nice to see her happy and oozing peacefulness since deciding to make a change in career. It was also good to see her outside of the office and know that I have a friend in her. I’m grateful for finding her friendship before she left the company.
Feeling Good–There are just days when you feel pretty…even if you don’t look different to anyone else. That is how I felt today. I am grateful for days like that. 🙂
Garage Chat–I chatted in the garage with a developer tonight that I don’t often get to talk to and certainly have never had more than a passing one on one conversation with. He made me laugh and was very engaged in the conversation. It reminded me that we need to look for humanity and connection at even the oddest times (parking garage around 8 PM is an odd time to strike up a chat). 🙂 Grateful for an open spirit.
Handsome guy–Today on my way to lunch I saw THE most handsome guy I’ve seen in a while. He was tall, black, had long dreads and when he spoke he was British  I stared. I mean LITERALLY stared. 🙂 He smiled and said “Hi”. It’s a wonder I didn’t ask him to marry me. Anyway…I’m grateful for beauty…in unexpected places. 😉
Walk in the Sun–I don’t know how or why but the SUN came out today and was AMAZING!! It was nearly 50 degrees and BRIGHT. So I went for a stroll to Denny Park. I needed some sun and needed to breath real air and it was LOVELY! So grateful that I had a little chunk of time in my day for that walk. 🙂

Dwelling in the Word–Amanda and I so enjoyed our time doing 30 Day of Wonder together that we decided to keep it up. We are doing Dwelling in John 1 for a few weeks. Today reading John 1 aloud was such a blessing to me and then sharing what I’d heard God say and hearing what she’d heard God say even blessed me more! I think it is precious that both of us got weepy when John the Baptist declares “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” in vs. 29. Just the declarative reminder of the solution to the world’s…and my…sin problem was lovely!
Compliments–I met with the 3 D’s today. My boss Dennis…his boss Doug…and Doug’s boss Dave. I’ve never been in a room with all 3 of them. Shoot…I’d never even had a conversation with Doug until today. It was good to chat with them. It was good to receive their kind words about my hard work. And it was good to be guarded and open all at once. I am often one or the other and today I was both in equal measure. Tells me that I’m being cautious yet willing and for that I’m grateful.
Decorations, Cupcakes, and a Scarf–The birthday fun continued when I showed up in the office and saw that my officle was decorated in a Wonder Woman theme! It was so fun and sweet and I love it. I also loved the cupcakes that Marilyn made for the team to share and the GORGEOUS scarf she brought me from India. I’m very fortunate and blessed by my kind co-workers. I loved that a room full of developers, Marilyn, Dennis, and Geno were there to help me continue the celebration. 🙂
Flowers from the Bull Rider–Every year…no matter what…flowers arrive at my office from my ex fiance. That man is WILEY! The fact that he could figure out what building I work in at Amazon is VERY tricky!! And that he could do it while on a peacekeeping mission in Congo is pretty darn amazing. He’s somehow managed to keep up with me no matter where I go and tulips from one of the dearest men I know never cease to make me smile. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…it is good to be known deeply by loved ones. Christopher is among those much loved ones in my life. 🙂 I’m grateful that no wind, no rain can stop you Baby. 🙂

Sleep–I slept alarm free today. A rare occasion. The kits and I slept late for us and we were all 3 very happy when we finally rolled out of bed to get breakfast and coffee (for me not them).
Vision Board Review–I spent some time today sitting in meditation looking over my vision board and review what things are on track and what might need to be added. I’m grateful for the focus of my vision board.
Sore shoulders–Yoga from Sunday finally caught up with my shoulders. I NEED to be doing it more regularly! I’m grateful for the reminder of my muscles.
The Keurig–Loving the new coffee pot. Grateful for the gift to myself.
FLOWERS–I got the most beautiful flowers from Cara and Holly today. So lovely and I’m so grateful both for their gift and for the beauty of fresh cut flowers. I have become my mother…NOTHING makes me as happy as fresh cut flowers. 🙂

Birthday–I’m 37. I made it another year. For that I’m grateful. 😉
Breakfast with my Bestie--Had breakfast near the Market with Jelisa this morning. Over the past few days we’ve fallen into a comfortable old groove. It’s been a very long time since we spent this kind of time together and it’s been so good to really talk to her and to just be together.
Site Seeing–We did some last minute site seeing and gift buying for the kids. I’ve magically avoided going to several tourist places since moving here but if I’m going to go, going with Jelisa is better than anyone I can imagine.
The Women–I am so very blessed by wonderful and generous friends. I got beautiful gifts from Linda Koski, Linda Fowles, Linda Garretson, Adrienne, and of course Jelisa. These women are among my closest circle of girlfriends and I feel so privileged to have such a deep wealth of amazing women on my side!


Yoga–Went to Hot Vinyasa with Jelisa this morning. So amazing. Fun to take her to her first hot class experience. Always leave feeling so amazing! 🙂
Django Unchained–I can’t say enough about this movie. Not for the faint of heart but what an amazing story. I loved it and it was definitely better from a recliner with my friend sitting next to me. 🙂
A Pitcher–I thought we’d get a small pitcher of beer to drink and finish watching the Superbowl while we talked. Instead we got a BUCKET. Okay it was a pitcher but it was HUGE! Super good IPA to drink to my birthday Eve! 🙂
Laughter & Tears– Both happened today and I’m grateful for both.

Phil--I’m grateful that Punxsutawney Phil predicts that spring is on the way! 🙂
Sightseeing with my bestie: Today we drank coffee in our PJs and talked. Had breakfast at Starbucks and talked. Went on the Locks boat tour and talked. Rode the Great Wheel Ferris Wheel and talked. Went to the Fremont Troll and talked. Got desserts at The Flying Apron (vegan goodies at their best) and talked. Had dinner at Cafe Flora and talked. And came home to sit by the fire and talk. I’m SO grateful for this day!
The water–Just when I can’t think of anything I like about living here, I get out on the water and think “OH RIGHT…I love this!!!’ I miss home. But I do love being this close to water. I really ought to try to live closer …at least close enough to see it..then maybe I’d remember more often. 🙂
Laughing until I’m hoarse–No need to explain that. Just very very grateful. 🙂
Being Known–Jelisa and I talked a lot tonight about how hard it is to really know and be known. We are so very fortunate to have grown up together. The first time I met Jelisa was at the Christian Student Center on a Wednesday night for bible study. She was probably about 6 months pregnant with Koryne and Kameron was sitting between us. He said “Do you want to see my Mom’s baby?” and tried to list Jelisa’s shirt in church. We’ve been friends ever since. She is literally the most tender, kind-hearted, patient, and compassionate person I know. I’d do ANYTHING for her and her family. They are a part of me and I am so very grateful that nearly 16 years ago after moving to Albuquerque, I prayed for girlfriends and God sent me Jelisa and Jenn. What a blessing! 🙂

One Amazing Gratitude: My best friend got to Seattle today. I cried happy tears when I saw her. We’ve talked non stop since she got here. She looks beautiful and healthy again instead of too skinny and sad. My heart is happy. I’m SO grateful! (PS–God, get ready. We have a lot of talking to do about my belonging closer to my girls vs what the heck am I doing here. Just sayin’)

Clean House--One excellent thing about having a house guest is how clean your house is when they get here. 🙂 I’m grateful for my spotless house.
The Practice of Patience–The nosey old lady from across they way, who I’d previously made peace with, started with me again tonight. I felt myself grow cold at her correction and I managed to bite my tongue and cut the conversation short rather than getting into it with her. I’m grateful for the opportunity to practice patience.
Understanding–A couple of the guys at work found me today and wanted to talk through some technical details with me to see if I had concerns. They didn’t have to do that. They didn’t have to spend the time it took to work through things with me but they did. I’m grateful for their hearts, minds, humor, and spirits. I’m also grateful that they trust and respect me enough to work through things with me.

Asking for Advice–I sought advice from someone at work today. This is not something I do often…if ever. I don’t have any relationships that are close enough at this point that I’m comfortable seeking advice…but I took a risk and I feel that it paid off. I’m grateful for good advice from a lovely man.
Lunch with the boys–I had lunch today with two of my favorite developers. We talked shop but that’s okay. It was good to walk away from our desks and talk openly together about some concerns and highlights from our week.
Painting–Tonight I received my beautiful painting from Averi Wolff. I love it so much and am so grateful for her skill and her desire to pain something for me. I’m eager to pay her and turn her into a paid artist. 🙂 379281_10151321763601107_1127358768_n

For day 29 of 30 Days of Wonder that I’ve been doing with my friend Amanda based on our reading of Margaret Feinberg’s latest book “Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God”, today I set an alarm to go off every 3 hours and then wrote down at least 3 things for which I was grateful. I recommend everyone do this at least 1 day a week. This is how I started this gratitude journal months ago…but it is also such an amazing practice of mindfulness to get into. Below is my list:

1. Working heat on a cold winter morning
2. Freshly laundered sweaters that smell like Lavender
3. My favorite hat

1. Classical music to drown out the noise around me and in my head
2. Smiling with Tommy…my new dev pal who enjoyed my telling him he looks just like Nolan Ross on Revenge
3. Being chill about  a new assignment from my boss’ boss even though my boss didn’t know about it

1. The beauty of concise communication to bridge a gap between two people who were not understanding one another
2. The response of my coworkers when I told them that I use big vocabulary words to offset the number of times I swear in a day
3. Productive discussion with Geno and Paul about a future hand off

1. Marking things off my to-do list
2. Cold and clean water to drink
3. NPR afternoons–It’s been way to long since I’ve had a day at my desk where I had time to plug into my headphones while I work

1. Talking to Hans…this is quickly becoming one of the things that most calms me down and resets my head
2. Calling Linda to rant and have her talk me down from the ledge
3. Pajamas

Green Smoothie–Man did I need this smoothie today. I was having a super hard time getting going and my stomach was feeling queasy. What a blessing to be able to drink some fruits and veggies and feel the energy level kick up.
Dinner with Josh–So nice to have dinner with a friend/coworker from Denver. I think each time I start to doubt my decision I’m reminded that while I loved my guys in Denver, things are not the same there anymore. So grateful for keeping friends and living somewhere that they come to on business.
New Audio Book–Started listening to Rachel Held Evans book “Evolving in Monkeytown” on the way to work. Super good and it’s like having a friend chat with me all the way to work. I’m grateful for good timing. 🙂
Laughing with Heidi–One of the girls I work with sometimes really makes me laugh. She has a bit of a dirty mind…just like me. She watches people closely…just like me. And she can read the looks I throw her…unlike a lot of people. She and I laughed our way through the day today and that was a huge blessing.

Breakfast with my favorite couple–Zach and Sara had a layover in Seattle this morning and I went to fetch them for breakfast. We went to this quirky cafe by the airport and got to talk and catch up. I am so blessed to have this sweet couple living close enough that I’m in their path to Thailand. 🙂 I’m grateful for their beautiful faces, health, and the fun of the trip before them exploring the world.
Movie in a recliner–I went to the iPic theatre today to see a movie. A little pre-birthday gift for myself and also to scope it out for Jelisa and I to maybe go next weekend. I had a recliner, chair service that includes a full menu and full bar, and a pillow & blanket. I mean SERIOUSLY! I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to a regular movie! The movie was a fun action flick and I really enjoyed the entire experience.
Extended meditation–I had a beautiful meditation time tonight in my little sanctuary  I talked to God and visualized the week. So grateful for the space…both in my home and in my head.
Mimosas & Downton–I’m ending a quiet weekend by drinking mimosas and watching Downton. I’m grateful for the peace of Sunday evenings.

Nails--Got my nails done today. I haven’t had them done in weeks because I’ve just been too tired and busy to go. But I went today and the girls were so sweet to me and my nails look amazing. I’m grateful for these little things.
Dark Chocolate–Dove Dark Chocolate is a life saver and I’m grateful for it. 🙂
Cleaning–I’m prepping for a houseguest next week. MY BEST FRIEND!!! Woot Woot! I worked on the guest rooms and the main floor today. Always so grateful when things are fresh and clean. 🙂

Working from Home–No explanation necessary…just grateful for a day on the couch getting some things done without the drama of the office.
Reviews–Wrote lots of reviews today including one for myself and my boss. I generally hate the process of reviews and that hasn’t changed. But I’m grateful to have them done and to know that at Amazon they actually matter.

Eyes Open–After 3 really crap days, today I felt like I went into the day with my eyes wide open. My instincts are to putt up some walls to protect myself from those who would prey on my kindness and openness. I’m being cautious and weighing my words more carefully. But I feel the freedom of not being so naive and being used without my knowledge. That being said…I will not guard my heart. I will not keep people out of my life. I will offer forgiveness. And I will protect myself through it all. I’m grateful that I know that I can balance this and that the Spirit will give me wisdom about how to proceed because I’ve asked for help.

Vanilla Latte–Does much need to be said about this? I doubt it. Most days I drink strong black coffee and love it. But every now and then I get something special and it makes me grateful for special things. 🙂
Linda–I spent a good long while on the phone with my sweet friend Linda tonight. I have been so blessed with such amazing ladies to call my best friends. Linda is the person I call or email when I’m down…or when I’m happy…or when I’m feeling particularly silly. I love texting with her too. But getting on the phone with her can absolutely change my perspective. My favorite thing is that I can bring up some little thought I’ve been having and we work it over until it is a full fledged thought. So grateful for her friendship, laugh, and help!
Sleeeeep–I’m not asleep…yet…but I’m going to be so very grateful for it! 🙂 Goodnight!

Talking to Becky–Spent some time with one of my coworkers today talking through some of what’s going on in my head. It felt good to receive empathy from a new person and I’m grateful that she and I spent the time talking. I am also grateful to have her perspective on some things that ultimately she knows better than anyone else about some work that I may have to take on. I am grateful for her kindness and her willingness to walk through the roughness of my decisions with me.
Manssages–I paid for my boss and another one of the managers to have massages today. They’d said they were jealous of the lunchtime massages that some of us have been getting to I scheduled them a “bro-date”. These two guys are VERY hetero…but it never even occurred to me to warn them that the massages are done by whoever is on staff that day and could be male or female. Well as it turns out the other manager got a male massage therapist. The best part of this entire story is that when my boss told the story he could barely catch his breath from laughing so hard at poor Brad’s reaction. I laughed so hard listening to Dennis tell the story that I felt like I’d been there. I’m grateful for laughing that hard on a day when very little was funny to me.
Happy Hour--Had drinks with a couple of great coworkers. It was a nice way to finish the day with nice people and good drinks.
Finding the right emotion–After talking to my friend Hans, I felt like he helped me get to the heart of my emotions about all of this. Calling what I’m feeling by the right name feels SO good. I’m grateful that he “called the thing a thing” when I wasn’t finding the right words. 🙂

Nice People–I continue to be grateful for the nice people I work with including Marilyn, Hans, Jeff, Geno, and so many others.
My boss–I continue to be grateful…if still cautious…that my boss is a decent guy who has my back.
6 PM–I was very grateful when 6PM rolled around and I could get OUT of the office today because my brain was ever so tired of rolling around all that happened today.
A Pawn–While I am not grateful to be a pawn in the game, I suppose I should be grateful for being good enough at what I do that people think I’m worthy to be pushed around the chess board. LOL
Abraham–I’m grateful for the study of Genesis and God’s pal Abraham at just the right time. I’m grateful that Abraham went somewhere when God told him to even though he didn’t have a clue why. (Been there) I’m glad that Abraham had to be told the promise over and over again because he just wasn’t sure about God’s plan (Done that) And I’m grateful that Abraham was a bit of a screwup who hadn’t gotten it all right up to the point at which God intervened (Yup…that too).
Preachable Moments--This is what I call it when the Spirit takes over and teaches me a lesson by having me SPEAK the lesson. It’s always shocking when this happens either on paper or verbally. I never cease to be amazed at the rush of crazy (aka adrenaline) I feel afterwards that tells me “This is not a normal conversation.” I’m grateful to be used. I’m grateful that in these moments I’m reminded that anyone who wants to doubt my gifting can take it up with the Divine Creator of the Universe. He/she will be happy to discuss it with you…but I don’t have anything to prove. 😉

Creativity & Words–Today I wrote for a while. Nothing significant. Nothing I’d share. But I wrote…and wrote…and wrote. Sometimes the consequences of a flat day (like yesterday and this morning) is that when it lifts I have an excess of words that need to get out. It felt good to create characters and write dialogue. I’m grateful for creative moments and a flow of words…even if they don’t come as often as I want or at convenient times. 🙂

Flat–Today I feel flat. My mood is off. My energy is low. I don’t want to think about anything. I’m not sad or depressed…I’m just flat. So I slept a lot, read a little when I could concentrate, ate a little, and watched a movie. Mostly I was just quiet. In my head…on social media…and with my words (only spoke a couple times and that was too the kitties). I am grateful that this came at the right time…on a day off when I had nothing else to do. I am grateful that I don’t often feel like this and that I have a much higher baseline and vibrational frequency most of the time. I’m grateful for a new day tomorrow. And I’m grateful for the comfort of my home on a flat day. 🙂
Amanda–My sweet friend Amanda wrote me a thank you note for Day 19 of 30 Days of Wonder. It touched my heart and reminded me of why I am so glad that God pushed me to keep serving and leading and loving on those young ladies in Albuquerque even when I was going through a rough patch. They gave me a reason to keep going and I’m so grateful that they have become such dear dear friends to me as adult women. So blessed by Amanda’s creativity, her heart to serve, and her love for God. So grateful!!!

Potluck & Happy Hour–I helped pull of  a potluck and a happy hour to honor a coworker who was having his last day at Amazon before moving on to other things. I’m grateful that it went well and that everyone got to say goodbye to him. This was one of those political situations where the smart thing might have been to just let him drift away without any fan fair  But when have I ever done “the smart thing” for the sake of being safe when it isn’t the right thing to do in a relationship? Grateful that it went well…that there was laughter…and that there was joy for our friend in his departure.
Trust & Forgiveness–The person I thought I’d need a do-over with from Thursday night wasn’t even the least bit mad at me for being aggressive. As a matter of fact he said “I am not even slightly close to being mad at you.” I wanted to hug him. I didn’t but I wanted to just because in that moment (and then later when we discussed it further) I realized that we’ve built a trusting work relationship where we both respect the other and where we each know that the other has our back. It means there is room to screw up…not that I’d take advantage of that…but I’m still grateful for it. That my friends is grace among friends. 🙂

Massage Day–Always one of my favorite days! I continue to be grateful for the ability to afford this gift.
White Board Moment–Today I drew a complex platform diagram on the board for a team member who just joined. I had to smile because people who have worked with me know that when I can confidently get up and draw the diagram, I know my shit. This is the first time any one has asked me to draw it that I didn’t even consider referencing my notes or the visio I built myself. I’m grateful to know my shit…and grateful that there is still more to learn.
Do Overs–After DAYS of being critical of how my teammates have been talking to one another, I did it too. 😦 I talked over someone and used an ugly tone with them. I’m disappointed in my actions. I’ve apologized. But I’m grateful for do -overs and I’m hopeful that I’ll be shown grace.
Go-To Foods–Cracked me up tonight that when I started trying to put together some dishes to take for our impromptu pot luck that I went straight for Green Chile. I made Green Chile stew in the crock pot. I also made an appetizer of cream cheese and Red Chile Raspberry Jam. Finally I made homemade salsa with green chile. It’s just so ingrained as my go-to, quick, and easy option. I’m grateful for my home state. 🙂

Amazing Cauliflower–I had THE most delicious Cauliflower today at lunch. It was amazing! Just when I wonder about how veggies will ever surprise me again, they do! mmmmmm! Grateful for all the delicious veggies in the would.
Being Funny–I was reminded again today that when people add humor to a meeting, it makes even the most mundane discussion fun. I work with some serious people who I am dragging funny out of and some funny people who are dragging funny out of me. I’m grateful for moments of laughter. I’m also grateful for moments in the hall laughing with folks…today was a day where that happened more than once and it was a blessing. It makes the other stuff the team is going through bearable.
Don–My friend Don never fails to make me smile. He’s funny and a little grumpy and way to smart for his own good. He also has great taste in music, movies, and friends. 😉 I’m grateful for coworkers that somehow I got to keep as friends even after we didn’t work together anymore…and Don is on that list.
Fog–The fog this morning was so beautiful and hadn’t been this thick in all the time I’ve lived here. It was pretty. It was a surprise when I hit the sidewalk for an early morning walk. And I’m grateful for anything that isn’t rain. 🙂

Fingerless Gloves–I continue to be stunned at the fact that keeping my wrists and palms warm keeps ME warm. I actually get so warm that I get too hot and have to take the gloves off. I initially just thought they were cute and nice for our cold office, but I’m stunned at how much they actually do to keep me cozy. Super grateful for my ever growing collection of fingerless gloves. 🙂
Tyler and Cuyler–These two never fail to remind me that no matter how far away my friends are…they are still there. I bitched about something to these two lovely gents today and they consoled me, reminded me that I’m not in it alone, and missed me back while I missed them. I’m a lucky girl to have such lovely fellas in her framily.
Being Me–Today when it was announced that one of the guys I work with was leaving the company, my initial reaction was to feel emotion surge in my chest. I didn’t cry but I had that moment where I thought I might. I’m not the most touchy-feely person around and I seem to be getting more cautious and picky about affection the older I get. I don’t give away my friendship quite so willy-nilly anymore and currently seem to be in a season of 582498_10151296717256107_2337490_nprotecting my heart from too much attachment or risk. So even though my emotion surprised me, I’m grateful for it because it is a sign that I can still be bothered by a change in my human scenery when someone kind, funny, and intelligent is removed from my landscape.
Wheaties–There is sometimes nothing I love more than cereal for dinner. And tonight I’m grateful for my old standby…Wheaties. 🙂
Pink Dr. Martens–And lest I forget…today I wore punk rock pink (Ty’s description not mine) Dr. Marten 8 hole boots. They are hot! They got a ton of attention. And they are not shoes for the faint of heart or anyone who wants to be inconspicuous. Strangers complimented me on my shoes and my boss said “WHOA!” It was a sassy move on my part after a hard day yesterday.

Coming Home-Man did I need to get home tonight. Brain tired. Body weary. Emotions right below the surface. I’m grateful for a place that I love to go to at the end of the day. My home. A retreat.
Hugs from Grumps–When the crankiest guy on your team gives you a comforting hug, your day has gone sideways in a bad way. But I’m grateful for the hug from a guy who doesn’t like hugs much to a girl who doesn’t like to be hugged at work much. (Which magically was not true at IP Commerce where I got a hug DAILY from someone.) I’m also grateful for Hans riding out the storm that is my emotions on a day like today and letting me walk away…and letting me come back to talk more when I was ready. He’s good to me…even when he probably wants to yell “HEY KID…GET OFF MY LAWN”.
Acceptance–It is okay for Amazon to be quirky. It is okay for me to be a different kind of quirky. I accept that the company is a great company. And I accept that I am a great me. The successful marriage of the differing quirks…remains to be seen. And I’m grateful…for the growth opportunity and for the acceptance of whatever is to come.

Nothing to Do–Today I am grateful that I had nothing to do all day and could stay home. I was feeling under the weather again (maybe overdid it at the snowball fight on Sat night) and it was nice to just hang out and relax. I slept and read and watched tv and exchanged texts with some of my very favorite people.
Kitty meditation–Malcolm is becoming an expert meditator. Except that he doesn’t OM so much as PURRR. I’m grateful that in his ever present need for attention that he sought me out to sit on my lap while I sat in my meditation space tonight. He is warm and cuddly and his purr adds extra calm to my prayer and quiet time. I’m grateful for his funny face and his over zealous need for love.
New Horizons–I am reading “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp and I’m torn. She writes lyrically…like poetry. But I can only take her 1 chapter at a time because she strikes me as the most bummed out Christian ever. I doubt that is actually true but reading her book takes me low to lift me back up. And I feel so heavy hearted by her sadness than when she shares her point I’m so grateful to see that she got something positive from it that it is lifting. Mostly I’m grateful for the ability to listen to a different voice than ones I’m familiar with or accustomed to. I need that…and sometimes avoid it. Grateful to Holly for the gift.
Red Wine–My weekly glass of Red Before Bed on Sunday Nights is extra yummy tonight. Grateful for the vintner and the big guy in charge of the sun and rain and stuff to grow the grapes.

Snow Ball Fight–It was fun to go to the new Guinness Record for the biggest snow ball fight. Super grateful for the will to go do something like that alone.
Being Ready–Today my house looks clean and glorious after taking down the Christmas decorations yesterday. I loved having the tree up and the way the house feels with the holiday cheer…but I’m also glad to have my house back in order. I did leave a string of white lights on my balcony…because…why not? 🙂
Less Icky–Today I’m grateful to not be sick. My back is still achy but I was able to do yoga this morning and Jillian this evening so I’m healing.
Chad–I’m grateful for my friend Chad. I’ve said that before…but I mean it again today. He takes my crazy texts and plays along. He laughs at my jokes. And he just generally loves me just like I am. I am a lucky girl to have such a great friend!

One Last Day–I left my tree up until I was really ready to take it down this year. And today I decided I would have it up for one more day and then take it all down tomorrow. Such a blessing to follow my own needs…and this year I needed the tree up longer.
Sick Days–I am grateful to work for a company that allows for sick leave and to be fortunate in that regard when so many others are not. I know that it is a gift on days like today when I woke up achy and light headed to not have to try to go to work and make it through the day. I slept just about every 2 hours all day long and am exhausted now. Some of it is spiritual junk leaving after meditation yesterday and some of it might be a virus. Whatever it is, I hope when I wake up that it is gone.
Health–A dear friend went to the Doctor today for a breast exam. I’m grateful that her spirits are high and that so far the doctor doesn’t think it is bad news. More tests to come. I’m also grateful for her heart and her willingness to trust God through it all. As she said “We are stronger than whatever this is.”

Being missed–My friend Linda Pearl tells me she misses me often. And it never ceases to touch my heart and make me feel important and special. I love her and am so grateful for the surprise she was to my life a couple years ago.
Jokes that touch the heart–I joked with a coworker today that I’d be on his team in a heartbeat and he chuckled and then said “I’d trade for you any time. If you are ever serious, I’d love to have you on the team. No question. You say the word, I’ll talk to Dennis.” I was kidding but it meant the world to have this person, who I respect greatly, say so seriously that he’d love to have me work for him.
A Season–I have really been grateful these past couple of weeks for the knowledge that I am in a season of life right now. This is not forever…this is for now. And that has made the path smoother and the ability to just roll with the punches easier. I wonder why we EVER get caught up in something being permanent… after all…nothing ever is!
Snow--For a few brief moments today I sat and watched snow fall over Seattle. It made me heart sick for Denver and Albuquerque…and I realized how lucky I am to have places and people to be heartsick for. It also made me realize that as much as I love being close to the water again…I do so love snow. And I miss the mountains of the high desert. I miss long talks with my girlfriends. I miss sunsets…uh…and the SUN. And I miss the pace of life with people who really like other people. And I’m ever so grateful to have loved and been loved by a place and a group of people so much so that my heart can ache. Not everyone has that…and I’m so very blessed.
Forgiveness- Today I let an old hurt go. I let an old hope go. And I forgave myself and the other person. And all will be well. Grateful for release and peace.

Pain–I had some serious back pain today and decided that rather than pop some advil that I would stretch and try to breath through it. It didn’t go away but it helped. I have a really high pain tolerance but needed some help. Though the exercises and breathing I was able to tolerate the pain more and to wait it out without taking more meds. I’m grateful for the techniques I’m learning to cope with fleeting pain.
Conference–Cara and I are planning to attend a conference together in April in Vancouver and I’m super excited. I think it will be fun to be together and also to hear all of these really excellent speakers. Grateful for the $$ to do so.
Feeling Pretty–I felt pretty today. I felt confident and could tell that my walk was sassier and my posture was taller. I love days like that when I just feel pulled together and stylish. Very grateful. 🙂
$29 Dr Martins–I found pink Docs on My Habit and bought them. They aren’t a necessity but they are marked down $90…so why the heck not! I’m grateful for the occasional fun sale and my ability to enjoy it.
Thank You!–Today near the end of the work day I was suddenly exhausted. I knew I had another meeting tonight at 8:30 and my thinking turned negative. And then instead I thought “Nah…I’ll just be thankful anyway.” It was nice to make the decision to be grateful in the face of what could have affected the rest of my evening.

Mornings–This morning it was really hard to get up when the alarm went off. But I did and I am so grateful because I know that when I work out and meditate it gives me more energy to push through rocky afternoons. I’m grateful for how my body feels when I’ve been working out for a few days.
Yoga Dreaming–I’m grateful today for the Yoga class I took with Nicole on Sunday because it has been ruminating in my brain ever since. I am looking forward to going to yoga on Saturday and Sunday and I’m grateful for something healthy to look forward to.
Jelisa’s Upcoming Visit–Today I confirmed and scheduled some time off in early February for my birthday weekend because Jelisa is coming to see me. I’m so excited and can hardly think about it because I’m looking forward to spending several days catching up with one of my BFFs. There is something so peaceful about being with friends who know your history, know your story, and who have kept current on your life. I’m looking forward to seeing her and am so grateful that she’ll have the opportunity to come! YAY!!!!
Focused Attention–As part of the “30 Days of Wonder” that I’m participating in on twitter I was supposed to spend some time with someone today giving them my full attention. I realize that sometimes when I’m with my boss I do not give him my full attention. So today I gave him my full attention for 30 minutes instead of my half-assed attention for an hour. Why am I then surprised that he did the same and we managed to have a pretty good meeting of the minds on a couple topics? 🙂 Grateful for the daily focus that Margaret Feinberg is leading with her book Wonderstruck…including my conversation today.
Reminders–Tonight I was reminded that I’m grateful to be where I am for many reasons…including that I have an excellent opportunity in this season of my life to decide what I do and don’t want to do next.
PB&J–Today for lunch I had PB&J on whole wheat bread and it was GOOOOOD. I’m grateful. 🙂

Walking Away–Sometimes you just have to walk away and today I am grateful for knowing when to “fold ’em” and leave a situation that I could have made more volatile. 🙂
Meeting of the Minds–Really grateful for a Jeff and Hans and Marilyn. They are calming and fun influences even when we have to discuss difficult topics.
Attitude Adjustments–Several weeks ago I mentioned in my gratitude journal that I was grateful that I didn’t rip into a girl in my Bible study who often seems to go at me. Tonight she was an entirely different being. Something has happened and she was nice and friendly. She even asked me some personal questions that didn’t sound like an accusation. I am grateful for whatever work God is doing in her life. 🙂
Julie and Erin–I’m grateful for two very special people who share this birthday. My friend Julie and my sister Erin. They both live very far away…and one is far away in spirit while the other I’ve grown closer to over the last couple years. I pray for each of them as they are Godly women who love others with big love. I am grateful for the influence each of them have and have had in my life. So grateful for their warm hearts and spirits.

YOGA–I went to Hot Vinyasa this morning with Nicole and it was like going home. Well…if going home is a 120 degree room where part of the time you want to throw up and the rest of the time you think you might faint. 🙂 haha! Kidding! I LOVED it! I now have somewhere to practice…at least on the weekends. So very grateful for Nicole’s invitation, the spirit of community in a yoga class that keeps me from feeling judged for my weight or my lame practice, and for the way my body responded willingly (if not comfortably) to being led back into Yoga. I’m also grateful for Tyler’s sweet Mom for giving me yoga a year ago as a gift! 🙂
Lunch with Nicole–What a lucky girl I am to have a friend (Tyler) who would share his friend (Nicole) with me. She is a delight, a blessings, and an amazing sounding board. I’m so grateful for her open spirit and accepting nature. She’s feminine divine power at it’s finest and for that I’m grateful!
Sabbath from Electronics–With one exception (messaging Nicole this morning), I didn’t touch my phone, laptop, Kindle, etc. from Sundown last night to Sundown tonight. It was tough. I kept thinking I would quickly text someone or leave a status on Facebook or Twitter. It was eye opening to me how much time I spend hooked to my computer. I’m grateful for the break. It was good to miss my social network and to have something to say! 🙂
DVR–On nights like tonight when a new season of Downton Abbey, Oprah’s interview of David Letterman, a new season of The Biggest Loser with Jillian back, and a new episode of Revenge are all on…I’m so grateful for my DVR!!! 🙂

Warm Feet–Since moving to Seattle, Malcolm has taken to spending his pre-dawn hours lounging across one or both of my feet. He usually lays over the top of one foot almost like it is propping him up…a la chaise lounge. This has become a delightful feeling to me. A signal that morning is near but that I have just enough time to doze back off and feel the weight of him (all 15 lbs) cuddled close. I am grateful for the smile…though sometimes it is only in the furthest reaches of my sleeping mind…that his sweet presence brings to me.
Jaime–My friend Jaime and I met YEARS ago as teenage girls. I was visiting from California and she was one of the super fun girls in my brother-in-laws church. She was funny and beautiful and kind then…and she remains all of those things and more now. 7 years ago today Jaime received the “all-clear” after battling breast cancer. I was not in her life during these years only having reconnected via Facebook in recent years. Jaime is a wonderful woman, a brilliant lady, and a generous aunt and friend. I am grateful that she is a survivor and that I’ve been blessed to grow in my friendship with her over the years and miles to celebrate this day!
Lunch & a movie–Carol and I went out for Asian food (a GLORIOUS vegan menu!) and to see Promised Land. It was a welcome day of chatting, getting to know one another, missing Albuquerque, discussing Seattle, and enjoying the continued cuteness of Matt Damon. I am grateful for this time together, for the meal, for the laughter, and for the movie.
Embracing Quirky–So grateful for my quirkiness…and so grateful to release old wounds from 2012. 🙂

Honoring my Body--The team I’m on wanted to do a group hug today and I wouldn’t do it with them. I know that they were all surprised and a few people were hurt. I’m sorry for that. But I don’t like big circular group hugs. They make me so uncomfortable and remind me of a time when I was hurt very badly in both body and spirit. I can’t explain why what happened today (and has happened other times) elicits such a visceral flight reaction in me. But what I know is that refusing to do so gives me control back and power over a situation that has the possibility of sinking me into a dark place. So while I’m sorry that my lack of participation hurt some people, I’m grateful that I know how to take care of myself and honor my own body, mind, and spirit.
Laughter--I laughed a lot today at work during lunch and at our impromptu Happy Hour. For that I am very grateful. I needed the laughter and the moments of bonding with my coworkers after this week.
Success--I got to send an email announcing a bit of success today for the team. I’m super grateful that I had both the opportunity and the foresight to think to do it. What a blessing to see progress.
An evening in PJs–All week I’ve been slightly mournful of giving up my week of vacation time just being lazy and hanging out. But tonight I came home, put on my pajamas, grabbed a book, and crashed in front of the fire. I felt myself melt back into relaxation mode and I am so grateful for that ability.

Honesty–Had a super honest heart to heart with a couple of folks today and while the news was sort of a bummer it felt so great to just have my concerns confirmed. I am grateful for honest discourse and the ability to laugh and walk through the storm together.
Sore Muscles–Today my body feels like it’s been hit by a freight train both from the killer massage I had yesterday and from starting back up with Jillian’s Body Revolution using heavier weights. Sheesh! I am grateful for this because (1) getting a massage is a luxury and (2) my body is able to work out and responds to the exercise.
Getting Sleepy–I’ve struggled with sleep most of the 7 1/2 months I’ve lived in Seattle without explanation. The last several nights I’ve been making myself get into bed at the first sign of sleepiness and have tried to establish some patterns of relaxation. So far my sleep the last 3 nights has been excellent and for that I am so very grateful. 🙂 Yay!
Other tasks–I’ve been working through a couple tasks at work that our outside of the product launch that has been my focus for the last 7 months. The team I’m helping is focused singularly on one thing…and I really really needed some other things to think about. And thankfully those things have presented themselves. I’ve really enjoyed having something else to learn and think about. I’m grateful for the chance to volunteer for a different type of task with some different teams once in a while…just for the sake of breaking up my days a bit. Love my team…but always grateful to meet other people. 🙂

Sunshine–Oh the glorious sunshine two days in a row. Yup…you know you’ve lived here a while..uhhh too long?…when two days of sunshine is THAT exciting. Nevertheless…I love it and am ever so grateful for it!
Massages–It was a brilliant idea to schedule a lunch time express massage on the first day back after a vacation. GLORIOUS! Jay, who did my massage this time was amazing. I have been having a lot of problems with my right rotator cuff and he worked on it for an extended period of time. This might be the first night in a while that I go to bed without an ache in my right shoulder. I’m super grateful for that. I’m also super grateful for the financial means to get a mini-massage every few weeks to take care of some of the symptoms of stress. Awesome!!
Choosing to be Happy–Today could have been difficult and hard given 11 days off leading up to it. Instead I worked out, meditated, and got to work ready to be happy to be there. It won’t always be easy but today was a very good day and I’m super grateful.
Little Realizations–I realized tonight while talking to some ladies I work with that I miss interacting with customers or partners regularly. Even just presenting new information to a group…a la my cookie meetings with Sales at IP Commerce. I miss the give and take leading a crowd and I miss the exchange of ideas that comes from that. Sadly there isn’t really anything about my job that is interesting enough to present in that fashion…and we don’t have a sales team. (It’s actually also possible that I miss being the voice of reason and fact behind super fun sales people!) I don’t have a solution but I am grateful when any little spark of realization hits me. I know I want to be speaking and sharing ideas with people…sadly I’m not eager these days to do that with payments information. And I’m grateful for both the realization and the confirmation of the fact that I’m missing the use of one of my gifts.
I wasn’t BORN that way! –Today one of the guys at work was wearing a shirt that I ALWAYS want to say something about but never do. Today I went for it and said  “Geno, that shirt always makes me think of In&Out Burger.” After some deliberation we decided it was the colors and the shape of the smiley arrow that did it. Then a conversation about Burgers ensued. Geno suddenly looked at me and said “What a minute! How do YOU know about how good In&Out is?” I said “I’m a California girl you know?” And he said “No no no…YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN!!” I laughed and said “Yeah..NOW I am. But I wasn’t BORN that way!” We all had a good laugh. 😉

2012I’m grateful for the lessons, laughter, tears, and trials of last year. I had a couple of my deepest lows in a very long time. I made a few new friends. Some old friends walked away. I got my voice back after 2 years of living in the tornado of my life. My voice returned to me and I used it. I used it to speak my heart about God’s love, the peace of Jesus, politics, the exclusion of the less fortunate, misogyny  etc. I also used my voice regularly to say something silly or snarky to make others laugh. 2012 sucked in a lot of ways…but it will always be the year I got my voice back. I’m grateful and I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now.
2013 Day 1I have always loved New Years Day. I love the freshness of a whole new year in front of you. I know that it is “just another day” to many but for me it is like a free pass to close the door on the last year and open the door to a new chance.
MelancholyI’ve been fighting back the blues and melancholy of the end of this holiday season and the break all day. Each time I give it any thought…like now for instance…I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. The tree still looks beautiful and my heart still feels warm from all the rest, exchanges of love, and time of introspection and reflection. And although I know good things await me on the other side of tomorrow’s alarm clock…I just feel like weeping a teeny tiny bit. Why is this on my gratitude list??? Well…because I know that my melancholy comes from having really enjoyed the past 11 days to their fullest. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful for rest. I’m grateful for the reminder that this feeling rings deep in my soul that says “You are more than your job Leah!” because I am more than my job. I have more to give and sometimes I have to walk away from the place that pays the bills and gets the majority of my waking energy in order to hear that reminder. I heard it…loud and clear…and I’m grateful.
AmazonI am grateful for my job. It is challenging and I work with nice and smart people. I may not fully fit in and it may not be the most fun I’ve ever had building something…but it is a good company, with a good reputation, and a desire to do better for it’s consumers and the merchants who use it’s services. And for that I am grateful. And I’m grateful for THAT perspective. for about 2 months I’ve felt STUCK. But with some time and distance I am reminded…(1) I am not my job and (b) this is a place on the trip…this is not the final destination!
Soul Food (not literally)Today I finished “Wonderstuck” by Margaret Feinberg and I watched the documentary called “Craigslist Joe”. Both of these beautiful pieces of art reminded me that there are beautiful people in this world and that there are those who put good content out for us to consume!

Gratitude–I’m grateful for gratitude. Is that a weird loop or what? Here’s what I know…every day, all day long, I listen to people bitch and moan at work, in my life, on Facebook ..and it’s exhausting. When I first came to Seattle I fell into a pit and found myself complaining and unhappy about a lot. Then I read The Power by Rhonda Byrne and was reminded of the amazing gift that gratitude can bring us. So I started being grateful each day …and doing it publicly so that no matter how bad the day, I had to live in the space of gratitude. I’m grateful for what it has done for me…what it does for my heart to write these things out…and for becoming a person of grace because of the way that gratitude levels the playing field of humanity. 🙂
Gingerbread Cookies–The neighbor across the way…Jo…brought me a gift of Gingerbread cookies. She and I had a weird run in earlier this year through no fault of our own…but I wasn’t sure we’d recover from the hurt feelings and gossip. But we’ve now exchanged cookies (the international love language of women??) and talked about getting some of the neighborhood ladies together for a glass of wine.
Erin at Radar Hair & Records–My new hairstylist is the BOMB!!! Not only does she cut and color my hair beautifully, but she is a sweet spirit. She is beautiful, funny, and warm. I am so blessed and grateful…and so are my roots! heehee!
Fearlessness–Today I was thinking about how 10 years ago at 26 I could not have moved to Seattle on my own. I could not have gone to book clubs, happy hours, or movies by myself. And here I am at 36 headed out to listen to Mozart at the Cathedral because it is how I want to spend my New Years Eve…listening to beautiful music…in a space inhabited by the Spirit of God. I’m so grateful for the gift of fearlessness. It may not be listed among the gifts of the Holy Spirit…but I am POSITIVE that She has blessed me with that particular gift!!

Les Mis–Excellent movie. Grateful I was able to go.
Meditation Space–I got the meditation space set up. I’m grateful for that space and excited to start using it each day.
Friends to Talk To–I watched the first season of a show that came highly recommended over the last few days. And it was sad. I thought it was going to be funny and uplifting…but instead it made me realize that the world still makes fun of people who are striving for personal and spiritual growth. I was mostly grateful for a friend to discuss it with online because I was feeling that maybe I missed why everyone else liked it and it instead made me sad. This friend offered validation…without pandering to my thoughts. So grateful to him.
Finishing my BSF lesson with a week to go–I’m usually one of those people who forgets about the bible study lesson after we’ve had 3 weeks off and then ends up trying to rush through it the night before the first class back. But I completed it today and won’t have to worry about it now for NEXT Sunday night. 🙂
Cruise–I’m so very grateful that one of my BFFs is going on a cruise starting today with her hubby and his family. I’m grateful that she will get to rest, enjoy her family, and not worry about things at home. I’m grateful for the blessing of this trip from their family at such a perfect time.

Thank You Notes–Today I wrote Thank You notes. I LOVE writing Thank You notes and particularly if they are written on cute stationary. I’m grateful for gratitude? LOL
More Vision Boarding–I was unhappy with the vision board I made at the Vision Board party earlier this month. It was a good start but I think the anxiety of meeting new people just made me edit myself in ways that I didn’t like after I got home. I intended to add to the board but instead I just started over. I gathered pictures and words that interested me the entire month of December, bought two new boards (one for work and one for the office), and then today spent the evening putting them together. So much happier with the result and feel like now I can hang the home board in my new quiet space area in the yoga room. YAY! Grateful for vision and for the vision boarding party that got me started. 🙂

Mal crashed in front of my two new vision boards. :)
Mal crashed in front of my two new vision boards. 🙂

Having friends reach out–Two different local friends reached out today to ask me if I wanted to hang out this weekend. It is nice to have people want my company. I’m grateful.
Sleep–Last night I slept like a dream and for that I’m grateful. I’m not having any side effects from the release of toxins during the Cranial Sacral therapy and I’m very happy about that as well. I needed the rest and am very grateful for that as well.
More days–I am so grateful to have MORE DAYS off ahead of me. It’s so nice to know that tomorrow is not the last of my days off. What a blessing to have 3 more days to spend as I wish! Tomorrow…going to the movies! Monday…getting hair done and Midnight Mozart at the Cathedral. Tuesday…pajamas and planning! YAY!

Lavender Lotion from NM–Today I cracked open the Lavender lotion and creme that I had delivered from Los Poblanos Farmstore. I love the smell of lavender and I particularly love the lavender from Los Poblanos. Makes me so happy and I’m so very grateful!
Cranial Sacral Therapy–Met with Barbara today. We did some breathing exercises  some stretches, and discussed my issues with PTSD and with sleep since moving to Seattle. She then had me climb on her table and began the CS exercises. As she moved her hands lightly over my head, neck, and face I thought “What the hell am I paying for exactly?” Then I began to feel the pain intensify for brief seconds and then leave my body. At one point I even felt a flash of heat and a dull headache as she pressed down on my chest with one hand and my forehead with the other. And then as she gently moved her hand side to side, the pain left. I have not been this pain free in my neck and shoulders in MONTHS. I’m not sure how it works…and maybe I don’t need to be…but it was amazing! I’m grateful for her skill and for my body’s response.
Open to oddness–At one point during the therapy Barbara said “Do you have a sister that you are worried about and who has made decisions you are concerned about?” I hadn’t said ANYTHING about my family. I said “Yes. Why?” She said “I’m just picking up on it. But it’s odd because you are the younger sister aren’t you?” I hesitantly said “Yes”. She said “You are a younger sister who carries everything as though you are the older sister. I won’t presume to tell you what to do but you should explore those feelings.” Weird and so very accurate. I’m grateful for having someone tell me something unexpected but needed. 🙂
Bean & Green Chile Burritos–YUMM! Thank you Jesus for tortillas, refried beans, and green chile! 🙂 

Heathcliff–Every year over the days between Christmas and New Years I read Wuthering Heights. It is dark, brooding, and beautiful. Heathcliff, tortured terrible soul that he is, has become a place I return to year after year. This year one of my favorite quotes of Heathcliff speaking to Catherine after her betrayal is: “If he loved you with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn’t love you as much as I do in a single day.” Love!! Gratitude to the long passed Miss Emily for giving me the gift of Heathcliff!
Sneaky Rose–Rose has only once before sat on my lap of her own free will and decision. I’ve gotten her to lay on my lap a time or two since then but by my choice and much convincing. This morning however as I woke up I felt a familiar weight on my chest and mistakenly assumed it was Mal (comical in and of itself that I could make this mistake). I also felt a weight lying next to me in Rose’s typical spot. In my sleepy haze I assumed the kits where in their normal spots. As I opened my eyes Rose was looking down at me from my chest with half opened eyes in a comfortable doze. Mal was curled up against me in her normal spot. I am grateful that she is learning that being close to me is a good thing…and that she is claiming my lap of her own free will even in the face of a much larger force…her huge brother.
Nails--Got my nails painted today by the lovely ladies of Hoa Salon. They have finally figured me out and they now know what I like and how I like it done. They don’t seem as put off by my desire for them to take their time and not be in a hurry. I’m grateful for not being rushed. 🙂
Cake from the Neighbors–My new neighbors left me a beautifully wrapped Italian Panettone Cake. I haven’t tasted it yet but it was such a sweet gesture. I’m grateful for sweet neighbors to give gifts to and receive gifts from as a gesture of good will.
Silence–It has been a very quiet day. Other than the few words spoken to the ladies at Hoa and my usual chatter to the kits, I haven’t talked much. I am grateful and relieved to have the blessing of these few days to be silent, introspective, and have time for planning. I’m looking forward to setting up my quiet time space downstairs over the weekend, creating a new Vision Board, and renewing my daily yoga practice. Hallelujah and Thanks! 🙂

Chad–I’m so grateful for Chad and his gift. He sent me this precious box to put thing I love, that make me happy, and that I’m proud of so that on days that are tough and I’m doubting myself, I can read the truth about myself and remember. 🙂 I’m so grateful for my friend! 522898_10151265346481107_874923457_n
My Framily–Each day I am so grateful for my delightful friends…who have become my family as I have so few close relationships with my relations. These friends have also taken up the empty space where my friends who have dumped me or who no longer agree with my politics or religion have left gaping holes. These are friends who will love me no matter what and this year who showered me with amazing gifts for Christmas this year. I felt so loved and blessed by AJ, Linda G, Linda H, Linda K, Adrienne, Cara, Holly, Jelisa, Chad, Jocie and Tyler, and of course Zach and Sara. 🙂 What a huge blessing to be grateful for. Each person got me something perfect for me…including books and original jewelry, winter gear, and lovely smelling stuff! I’d never be able to pick a favorite because they are each delightful and a reflection of my friendships. I am so very thankful to love and be loved by so many! I am also so grateful for how excited some of my friends were (particularly Holly, Linda K, and Chad) for me to open my perfectly picked gifts! So fun!!!
Safe drive…very minimal traffic–Such a lovely drive home. Listened to part of a book, sang loudly with some of my favorite artists, and just generally was able to get inside my own head for about 3 hours. Lovely!
Movies and cuddles–Spent the evening watching movies (Love Actually, Leap Year, and The Lake House) with spicy hot cocoa spiked with Baileys and one sweet kitty on my lap and another laying on the arm of my chair. Blessed and highly favored…and so very grateful!

Celebrating Jesus–I am grateful for a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I’m grateful for this day where many people all over the world stop and imagine what can happen when the miraculous intervenes in every day life. I’m grateful for those who honor the day even if they don’t celebrate it and I pray that I repay that honor with respect and interest in their special family traditions, holidays, and cultural celebrations. Thank you Jesus…for all you did and are doing.
Relaxing Christmas–What a lovely relaxed day with Zach and Sara. I really enjoyed a lazy morning of eating together, opening presents, and just hanging out. I’m grateful that they live so near and that we could spend our day together.
Dinner with the Sniders–It was nice to meet Zach’s boss and friends and to eat a lovely dinner with them. I’m so grateful to be included and to enjoy a fun and joyous evening with them celebrating.
Facebook–Today I am grateful for the ability to watch everyone else celebrate their holidays via Facebook. I thought today of what it was like to be so far from loved ones on special days when there was no FB or texting. I could never call all the people who I wished I could send love to. I’m grateful for a couple calls, lots of texts, and much sharing of pictures, messages, and love on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Other Leah–What a blessing to have God set up an appointment for me to bless another woman named Leah today with some money for gifts for her kids. I feel so fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time. For WEEKS I’ve been so grateful for the money to buy gifts for my friends and family and once again I’m grateful….so grateful to be blessed so that I’m able to bless another! Praying for her tonight as she spends the holiday with her little boys.
No traffic--After many predictions of a horrible drive between Seattle and Portland today, the traffic was AWESOME. No stop and go. Not a single issue. Less traffic than I’ve ever experienced on this trip. Grateful for safety, an audio book, and some tunes to sing loudly too. 🙂
Skypemas--This is our new term for opening presents via skype in 3 states. It was fun to watch my niece open her gifts and it was good to see my sister. I’m reminded sadly of the cavernous distance between my sister and I emotionally…but I’m grateful for moments where we are reminded of our shared past and history. I’m grateful for the technology that allowed that special sharing of Christmas Eve for my nephews with their little sister and mother.
Jake--I’m grateful that Jake skyped us back after his mom and Sierra hung up. We spent HOURS just hanging out with him via Skype. I mean HOURS. It was such a blessing to talk and catch up. To laugh together and share stories. I’m so grateful that Jacob has the life he wants in the Air Force…and though I hate the distance…I’m grateful that he has been so successful and I’m eager to hear what plane he will be assigned to in March.
Zach & Sara–So grateful for dinner with my favorite couple. What a blessing and a joy the both are individually and as a couple. I’m so blessed by their happiness and satisfaction with their lives here in Portland. And I’m grateful to be spending a couple days with them here celebrating this special holiday.

Cooking–Today I cooked up a storm for the holiday. I made things that Zachary requested (Cheesecake and Tortillas rolls) and things that I know he and Sara will enjoy (Green chile cheese enchiladas and cookies). I’m grateful that I can use something that comes so eaasily to me as cooking to offer them some love. I’m mostly grateful for the meal we’ll enjoy together tomorrow. I’m hopeful that eating that much cheese for the first time in a very long time won’t make me sick. 🙂
Being me–I realized today that I am finally owning who I am…at my core…without any shame or fear. I don’t care much these days what anyone thinks. It is so important for me to be myself. To be genuine and to really embrace what feels right to me. For instance I keep a vegan home. I eat vegetarian sometimes when I’m in someone else’s home or when I’m out with coworkers or clients. But today I cooked non-vegan dishes because…well…Zachary is more important to me than my veganism. And quite frankly…relationships are always more important to me than dogma or doctrine. It’s how I live as a Christian, it’s how I live as a feminist, it’s how I live as a writer, and it’s how I live as a vegan (vegetarian for those very serious vegans who would now count me out…lol). And well…I don’t give 2 flips what anyone else thinks and that feels AMAZING! That’s the beauty of doing things because YOU want to do them…you stop worrying about everyone else. This is just a good example in my life where I’m really deeply embracing who I am and what makes me happy.
Neighbors–I mean gift bags for a few of my neighbors today. I’m super excited to offer them something from my home as a way of saying “Merry Christmas.” I’m grateful to live among nice, quiet people and I hope my gifts are received with love.

Sleep...lots and lots of sleep–I slept a lot last night. And then read and dozed the morning away in bed. Then several times throughout the day I would get warm and comfortable while reading…and go to sleep. I felt like a narcoleptic  🙂 I half watched a couple different shows from my DVR but as I can’t remember how they ended I know I must have dozed off. I’m grateful for the place sleep has in our lives to mark a new day, a new try, and sometimes a body asking for a break.
My body–For MONTHS I have asked my body to go and go and have ignored it’s signs of stress. The pain in my necks and hips. The sometimes odd rhythms of my energy. My sleep patterns have become shit and I just push through…always planning to pay more attention. I’m better at this when I’m working out but in recent months I’ve treated working out as something else to DO…another task…rather than a gift to my body. My lack of mental preparedness has meant that my body just shows up as I put it through more paces…but it doesn’t get the rejuvenation it needs from working out, walking, etc. Don’t get me wrong…it has it’s good days. And overall I continue to be fortunate to be blessed with good health. Today my body said “WHOA WHOA WAIT A MINUTE!” I could feel the toxins that are released from a massage moving through me. I had a nagging headache at the top of my spine…where I never get a headache. And I just felt generally BLAH. I am grateful that in response there was sleep, lots of water drinking, and even pain. I am grateful for a body that says “ENOUGH”. I am grateful for the warning and the reminder to treat myself more kindly.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis--I am grateful for this book. For it’s humanity. For it’s voice. For the beautiful writing. What a great way to spend a day. 🙂

Laughter–I laughed more today than I have in MONTHS. It felt good. I must have seemed like I was having fun because Brad said “It’s good to laugh isn’t it Leah!?” I’m grateful for the ability to laugh at myself, with friends, and just enjoy people.
Gift Giving--I had so much fun giving out spicy hot cocoa and secret Santa gifts. I so enjoyed the reaction of my co-workers to be given something. I was surprised that it was not a “thing” to give gifts to coworkers. It was also fun to take treats to the Engineering room for our team. I’m so grateful to have the means to give gifts this year.
Starting vacation–It’s funny how I knew this time off was coming up but somehow I managed to just not think much about the time itself until about yesterday. And then this afternoon I realized…I have 11 whole days stretched out in front of me to do whatever I wish. I’m going to Portland for Christmas. I think I’ll run to the beach one day (I know it’s cold but the ocean is still lovely!). I’m getting a massage. Will catch a movie or two. I just love the idea of sleeping in, laying around with the kits, and reading as many books as possible.
Anticipation–Today Holly asked if I’d opened the gift she’d sent yet and I said “No. I LOVE anticipation.” I know some of my friends think I’m crazy but I really do love putting all those gifts under the tree and just waiting for Christmas morning (or in my case the first morning I’m home AFTER Christmas) to open gifts from my sweet friends. So excited…and grateful for the joy of anticipation. I want to LIVE that way…in anticipation of the good gifts coming my way. 🙂

Long Productive Days–I’m grateful for the long and productive work days I’ve been having lately. I like to work hard and it’s been cycles of slow and busy for me these past 6 months. I think (hope) I’ve finally hit my stride and know how to go looking for more work. I can at least give it a try. 🙂
Getting it–I finally feel like I’m connecting with folks in Seattle and in India. Part of that is the ability for them to see that I know what I’m talking about…but also I think it has to do with what Marilyn and I discussed last weekend about being ourselves and not losing our humanity. I dropped my guard…and even though it might not have been overt to the team…it is there and I’m grateful for it. I MUST be me…anything else just won’t work and will make me miserable! 🙂
Lunchtime massage–Marilyn and I went to 30 minute massages. Based on the website I expected a 30 minute chair massage for my neck, shoulders, and back. Instead it was a full undress with MALE massage therapists. I thought she and I were going to die from shock. Though I know I’ll be sore tomorrow and I’ve already started getting a headache from the release of toxins, I’m so grateful for the massage of my very uptight and tense muscles.

Heathcliff–Today I was thinking about…anticipating…my Christmas reading of Wuthering Heights. Oh how I love Heathcliff and his mopey ass self! 🙂 I’m grateful for my own tradition to look forward to sometime between Christmas and New Years. 🙂
Seattle–It was cold today but there was something so sweet about this city this morning. It was as if the entire city itself was holding it’s breath and watching over the Sound to see if snow would come. It was endearing.
New Blue Light–I can’t tell any difference from my full spectrum light but I am really enjoying the Smurfette comments I keep getting! 🙂 haha! I’m grateful for the purchase and I’m hoping that it helps keep me charming.

Quiet–The office was quiet today while many team members went to a party. It was a good day of getting caught up on smaller things and moving the ball towards conclusion of this week. Grateful!
A Gift for Amanda–I’ve had one friend on my Christmas list for weeks and have had no idea what to buy for her. Then last night the exact perfect gift presented itself and within minutes the gift was shipped to her. I’m grateful for an answer to an open prayer.
Christmas Lights–I love coming home to lights in my windows and trees lit up in the houses. So grateful for the sparkly and pretty part of this year.

Architecture Review–I sat in on most of an all day session to discuss our platform architecture. I am grateful that only a few elements were fully foreign to me and that the majority of the conversation made sense. 🙂
New Alarm Clock–I received my new “dawn simulating” alarm clock today. I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow morning. I need all the help I can get to get my screwy sleep patterns under control.
Mushroom and Green Chile Fajitas–Uh…do I need to say more? I’m grateful for the Green Chile in my fridge and the mushrooms I’d almost forgotten where in there too. Yay for veggies!
Clementine Oranges–I ate half a bag of these over the course of the day today. They are like CANDY. I don’t care that they market them to small children. I love them and am grateful for Mrs. Clementine that created them. (I made that last part up!)
Humanity–I am grateful for conversations about keeping our humanity with my favorite co-worker. I’m grateful that this is important to each of us and that we are both looking out for ways to be ourselves and not get lost in the shuffle of the culture of our work environment. I’m grateful for the solidarity of the struggle and the grace that we will receive to handle difficult days.

Sleep--My sleep patterns continue to be completely screwed up. I’m not getting enough but also I know the lack of light is making me want to sleep more than normal. I’m grateful for mornings like this one when I can sleep until I’m ready to get up and take my time rising.
Jesus–Spent some time in the gospels this morning letting the words of Jesus wash over me. I’m grateful for my friendship with Jesus and for the ability to let his words wash over me and provide comfort.
Coffee with a friend–Had coffee with a friend on a layover in Seattle. He reminded me of who I am by just being in conversation with me and relationship. I was reminded of why I made the decision to be here and that it is okay to be here waiting to see what God has in store. Thanks friend!
Confirmation–I shared some light bulb moments with my sweet friend Linda K tonight and she responded with the same thing I felt God had revealed…but BEFORE she read what I wrote. It was nice to have confirmation from the Holy Spirit and from a friend so neatly wrapped together. All she and I could do was marvel and how she nearly repeated what I’d said but just in slightly different sentence structure. Crazy grateful and anxious to see what the Divine is up to.
Hurt–I’m grateful that the hurt I’ve been feeling over the rejection of a couple different friends is starting to dissipate  I’m reminded that I can go on, I will find new friends, and that some friendships are just for a season. I’m slowly recognizing that some of my beliefs and the divergence of life-paths are creating distance between my friends and I as we grow older. I’m hoping I’ll be open to their return when/if the time comes and continue to pray for grace as they leave my life. I’m grateful for what they’ve meant and grateful for the peace I feel as they depart.

Elf, The Musical–What a sweet show. Similar to the movie with many of the same great jokes but a darling play. Had so much fun being distracted from the tough emotion of the past 24 hours. So grateful for the actors who sang, dances, and entertained us today. So talented! 🙂
My Friend–I am so grateful to have a friend…a true friend…at work. Marilyn is so kind, funny, warm, and lovely. She blesses me with her ability to 12286_10151248190726107_1464558546_nbe introspective and to speak honestly about her own life and listen to me talk about mine. Seattle has been rough in the friend department…but I’m so very grateful for Marilyn and her friendship!
Cocoa Making–I spent the evening making Red Chile Cocoa for my co-workers. It’s fun to think of putting these gifts on their desks on Friday. They may not even like it and may think it is a weird gift…but they will know I thought of them! 🙂 I’m grateful for a season to give gifts to those you wish to be in relationship with.
Nail Salon–Today I went to the nail salon with someone that I normally would not choose to hang out with. Such a good thing because you see the humanity of the other person and get an opportunity to see and be seen in a different environment. I realized that I’ve been too hard. I tend to read people early, and while I still think my instincts are accurate in general,  I want to be a person who looks for and honors the humanity in others. I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given today.
Nails--Also I very simply love my red nails. The color is “I’m really not a waitress” and I adore it. I’m grateful for the ability to pay for a luxury like getting my nails done!

Distraction-The news today of the shooting in Connecticut was too hard to listen to or watch. I am so grateful on days like today that I no longer work from home where the tv would have been hypnotizing. Instead I was able to pray and keep going about my day instead of sinking into all of it and losing myself in the news. I came home, watched a little, and then moved on. I’m not a great voyeur…and I’m grateful for that!
Leadership-After yesterday’s serious discussion with Dennis, I showed up and still provided leadership where I could in some important meetings. I want to continue to be myself…no matter what is down the road it is important to me to honor myself today and everyday. I’m grateful that I did that today.
Shots with my boss-Dennis, Becky, and I sat in his office and did shots of Jameson and talked about Dennis’ engagement. It was refreshing to just relax after such a long, difficult week.
Shopping-After work I took a drive and went to Petco, CostPlus, and the grocery store. It was so nice to wander through CostPlus and look at all the pretty things. I’m grateful for the freedom to wander. And I’m grateful for the few additional things I was able to get to start working on my meditation space. 🙂

More Silliness in the Elevator–Today Brad, Marilyn, and I were silly in the elevator with some strangers. We said “Hi” to everyone to the point that it was comical. It was a nice moment of laughter. So grateful for little moments like that.
Blatant Honesty–Spent some time really talking to my boss Dennis today. He and I have what I feel is an odd relationship. I like him. He has lots of walls up…and as usual I have almost none. hahaha. But I’ve been holding out on him because I didn’t want to be so vulnerable. I took a shot today and spoke my truth and I feel like he REALLY heard me. I’m grateful for taking the risk.
Being heard–I had a situation today where I felt like I listened, and listened, and listened and in return I wasn’t heard. Instead my feelings and experienced were dismissed and the other people seemed in a rush to shut me up and get back to a topic they were interested in. I was hurt and my flight desire kicked in big time. Shortly after leaving I called a BFF because I knew I would be heard. We talked about life…the deep things. She heard me. She let me talk and didn’t correct or mother me (since she knows I HATE that more than almost anything!). I’m so grateful that I have Jelisa…and other life friends…who hear me when that’s all I need. What a blessing!

Numbers--I love dates like today’s date! So much fun. I’m grateful for the little things.
Mary Oliver–This morning I read some poetry by Mary Oliver that kept me thinking all day long. I knew I was closed off in my first couple meetings of the day but Ms.Oliver’s trees poem kept reminding me to be open and try harder to enjoy the moment.
Elevator Bit–Becky and I laughed so hard…and made everyone on the elevator laugh too. I’m grateful for being funny and for friends who play along!
Testing–Finished a bunch of product testing today and most of it was successful. Feels good to knock that off my list.

The Candy Store–Walked to the Candy Store and the Godiva store today with Marilyn at lunch time. I bought gummy octopi, gummy exotic fruits, and gummy colas. I also bought chocolates for people 21 and older (they have alcohol in the middle). Then somehow I ended up joining the Chocolate Club at Godiva and got a free Chocolate. So…I’m grateful for Chocolate and for my friend Marilyn who likes Candy!
Vitamins D, B, and St Johns Wart–I’ve been take some mega doses of these drugs this week to try to offset some of my homesickness and the affects of the dark and rain. I don’t think the pills get the credit for my better mood but I’m grateful for the ways that they can and do help ward off the blues.
Being Funny–I wish that my entire job was to add levity to every situation. I try to bring laughter and some lightheartedness into every meeting. It isn’t always appreciated…because Amazonians are often very serious…but more and more of my team mates are starting to just laugh when I’m silly and accept that I tend to be a bit of a smart ass with a joke at the ready. I love making people laugh and I’m grateful when it happens.
Learning–I’m learning to take to heart the good feedback and compliments I receive more so than the criticism and negative. For most of my life (and I believe a LOT of people are like this) one bad comment could spin me for days but I might completely dismiss a nice thing said to me or about me. Today I received compliments from my friend Marilyn and from my favorite grouchy SDE Hans…and those two nice things are far more important to me than the crappy condescension I dealt with today from a manager. I choose to be more interested and invested in the feedback of those i work closest with (Hans, Marilyn, etc.) than those who are only invest from a distance (the other guy). 🙂
Awareness–I love when new people that I haven’t met suddenly realize that I have something to offer to a meeting and that I know something about our industry, product line, or Product Management in general. That happened twice today where I saw the realization that I was someone to listen to happen with two different people. I am grateful when my skills are used and valued.
Being Checked On–My sweet friend Linda G sent me a text just to check up on me today. She hadn’t seen me on Facebook and she noticed that my posts had been serious about work lately and she just checked in to make sure I was okay. I’m grateful for such a sweet friend!!!

Sleep–Had a wonderful restful night’s sleep. So grateful for rest to start the week.
Busy Day–It was good to be busy today and useful. Certainly helped me in my quest to make the best of each day that I’m working to benefit the company that pays my bills. I’m grateful for my job and I’m grateful for days where I have plenty to do.
Last gift–I wrapped my last Christmas gift tonight. Now to mail a box to the Little Red Headed Girl and her mama. So grateful for the means to send gifts to those I love and those who have blessed me this year.
Genesis 15:1–This was one of the verses we read for BSF this week. I continue to be blessed by God telling Abraham “I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward.” I am grateful that God not only protects me but that my relationship with God is a reward. 🙂

Intention Words–Today I spent some time writing down all of the words that I want to reflect and live in the next year…starting NOW (forget 1/1). I brainstormed the words by just writing them down on a piece of paper and then I cut words that were duplicates  The most interesting part for me was that I then defined what the word means FOR ME. This was interesting because a simple word often led me down to a real desire, need, or change. My plan is to pray, meditate, and review the list each Sunday until New Years and narrow the list to a reasonable number. I am grateful for the planning and the choosing of words that will be my intention as I walk into a new day.
When I grow up–I also made a list of the phrases I would want used to introduce me…or in my obituary. That was a telling exercise because I found that there were phrases that I didn’t expect…like Advocate for Joy…that popped up unexpectedly. I am grateful that I am starting to get some clarity of dreams and vision. Next up…learning to trust and believe them to the core of my being and work to make them reality.
Elie Wiesel–Oprah had the always touching Elie Wiesel on Super Soul Sunday and also replayed her visit with him to Auschwitz in 2006. I was touched and horrified all over again. I was reminded how a single picture that I saw in a book as a 6th grader of the skeletal bodies of Holocaust victims broke my heart and angered me to the point that I swore I’d never be silent in the face of that sort of tyranny and pain. I am grateful for Professor Wiesel’s words and his spirit.
Dresses with Cheryl–Cheryl and I talked houses and dresses today via email. It was fun and light-hearted and refreshing. I am grateful for the break in a pretty heavy day of intention and planning.
Cracking myself up--Today I was looking at my vision board again and I said aloud (to an empty room) “Awww man. I forgot to add a picture of Cory Booker to my board. I want one of him.” This then made me laugh…because it is both true and a funny thing to say. Can you imagine if yesterday when Nicole told us to let the room know if  we needed a specific picture I had said “I need a picture of Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ” 😉

Vision Board Party–I am so grateful to have gotten to spend the middle of my day with some lovely ladies doing some vision boarding. I found that my vision was kind of all over the place and not nearly as “type A” as it has been in past years. I’m grateful for that and can tell that things are indeed changing.
Magazines--After the vision boarding party I had a desire to spend some time catching up on all the latest issues of my magazines. So I laid on the floor in my living room and thumbed through the last two editions of O Magazine, the latest Veg News, Fitness, Yoga Journal, and National Geographic. So grateful for beautiful pictures and well written stories. I hope that magazines stay around for a while. I love everything about a physical magazine.
Scandal–I haven’t had a tv drama that I watch regularly since House went off the air last year. I have really avoided getting into anything but I’ve been sucked into trying Scandal..mostly because I’ve always thought Kerry Washington is gorgeous and an amazing actress. I watched the whole first season tonight…which is why I’m typing this at 1:51 am. I’m grateful for a well acted show that is sexy, political, mysterious, and has a STRONG and intelligent female lead who still loves and feels deeply. Now she just needs another boyfriend.

Today is a one hit wonder but it’s a big one…
Laughter–I laughed so hard tonight before leaving work that I was crying. I haven’t laughed like that since my road trip with Linda to move here. NOTHING has been THAT funny. Hans, Raj, and Marilyn had me in stitches and it felt so good to just let go, double over, and LAUGH!

Bad Days–I’m grateful for the occasional bad day so that I can remember what a blessing a great day is.
Glasses & Lip-gloss--I’m grateful that glasses and lip-gloss are an excellent distraction from cry-face. I mean really….do men even notice if you’ve been crying as long as you smile, slap some lip-gloss on, and ask them how they are? No…no they don’t. And quite frankly sometimes I’m grateful for cluelessness.
Calling Home–I talked to Rachel tonight for a couple hours. It is her birthday and I wish I was with her. But talking to her helped. I’m grateful for my sweet friend and her amazing commitment to her family and God.
Red Chile–The special hot cocoa ingredient arrived today. It is so yummy and I’m grateful for the plan to put gifts together for my team. photo (6)
The start of a collection–I wore my new purple fingerless gloves today. I love them. I’m grateful for warm hands and cool gloves.
Kitty Paws–I laid down on the floor tonight with the door shut between me and the kits (not on purpose). I was praying and having quite the wrestling match with God aloud. Soon there were paws…both gray and orange…shooting under the door and reaching for me. Then there were paws and two cries…one raspy and one whiny  Then there were paws, cries, and thumps on the door as they began to knock against it trying to open it. Then there were paws, cries, thumbs, and a big kitty rattling the doorknob trying to turn it. I guess I was stressing them out. I let them in and they each took up their space next to me on the floor and laid with me as I finished my prayer. All of that to say that I am so grateful that God has given me the two angel kitties as my friends and comforters. I love them…and they obviously love me too.

Reminders–Today a couple old lessons came back around. I’m grateful for the second (or third or fourth or fifth) chance to learn the lesson.
(1) Wise people keep their own counsel. For me this means that there are some seasons and circumstances in which I need to think longer on the words I say and the actions I take. Don’t get me wrong…I have excellent judgement and even when my filter is off I tend to be honest and tactful. MOST OF THE TIME. But there are times when my own frustration, pain, or angst are so strong that I need to weigh things longer rather than speaking from my gut. The next few weeks need to be one of those times.
(2) Keep the message simple.
(3) Assume the best intent. I know I’ve been hyper-sensitive to a couple things these last few weeks. And today it occurred to me that I need to return to the assumption that people always mean well even when they are being jerks. If they don’t, it will come out. In the meantime assuming the best intent will free me to build relationships and offer grace.
Clementine Oranges–Those little yummy oranges taste like candy. Delicious!!!
Mailing gifts–It’s a silly thing to be so excited about but I have LOVED prepping gifts this year. And today I mailed MOST of the packages I’m sending. I have a few more tomorrow and am waiting for one more gift to arrive so I can finish everything. 🙂 I’m grateful to be able to afford gifts this year for some very special people.

Chad–I am so grateful for Chad making me laugh tonight and knowing me as well as he does. I’m always glad when RHOBH is back on so that he and I can talk smack about them! 🙂
Fender Bender–I am very grateful that my friend Geno’s wife was not harmed…nor was anyone else involved…in the fender bender she had this morning.
Picking Battles–Today I was pushed hard by one of the “leaders” on our team to go along with something she feels strongly about but that i don’t agree with. I held my ground, calmly made my point and then said “I don’t intend to argue about this.” I could see her shut down as soon as she registered that I was serious about my intention. I am grateful for a peaceful heart and mind that allowed me to reply with honesty, consistency, but without judgement, distance, or defensiveness. I’m TRYING!!
Ribbon–Spare pieces of cut up ribbon have become all the rage at my house. The kits LOVE it and I love playing with them. My favorite thing is to wrap a piece of ribbon around Rose’s body and watching her contort to get it off of her. She doesn’t like ANYTHING covering her or wrapped around her and it is fun to watch her play and roll and move to get at it. She comes back for more so I don’t suppose it’s real torturous  🙂 I’m grateful that they give me so much joy. 🙂

Lunch–Today I snuck downstairs and sat on a couch and ate my lunch while reading a little bit of industry news. It was nice to be alone, away from my desk, and sitting somewhere comfy. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often but it was a nice change of pace. I’m grateful for a change of scenery.
Mailing Birthday & Christmas Gifts–I’ve begun the mailing of presents today and I’m so eager for so many of my loved ones to get a box full of surprises. I’m grateful for the opportunity to give.
Laughter–Our leader at BSF gave us the oddest instructions tonight. None of entirely understood them but since we all like her so much we went along with it. Only when one of the girls finally asked for clarification an hour later did we all get that we’d misunderstood her. We laughed so hard. We were so confused about what she was asking us to do…which was also very much out of character for her…that we all giggled all the way into the lecture. I’m grateful for laughter.

Pumpkin Latte at Cafe Ladro–There are pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. And then there are Pumpkin lattes (made with soy) at REAL coffee shops that taste like pumpkin pie and make me want to sing! I’m grateful for the one I had today.
Urban Craft Uprising–Over 100 vendors, selling their creative wares and handmade goodies. And I didn’t need any more Christmas gifts so I bought things for ME! Including some cashmere arm warmers, specialty popcorn, a new hair accessory, and a beautiful new necklace. Yup…I’m grateful for unusual things made by super cool people!
Hanging with Marilyn–Just continues to be one of the things I’m grateful for as we hang out more and more. She makes me laugh and is so creative and smart. It’s good to have a new friend who feels like an old friend.
Presents wrapped and ready for shipping–I wrapped presents tonight. The kits thought I’d lost my mind with the mess I made while doing it. But everything is wrapped and almost everything is ready to be shipped! I am grateful for the time and patience to get it all done. I’m eager to start mailing gifts and having my friends be surprised by their lovely items on Christmas day! Only 3 more things need to arrive this week and hopefully I can start doing some mailing via the Amazon mail room this week!
Seattle clothes–I’ve been having a rough few days of adjusting to Seattle due to all the rain. But then today as I drove home I realized that the women in Seattle make people watching fun because of all the weather fashion. Coats, hats, scarves, boots, etc. have a different feel in a rainy city versus a snowy city or a mostly dry city. This is something I appreciate about Seattle. I’m grateful.

Tea and Coffee with Tanya
It was nice to sit with Tanya and talk this morning. I didn’t feed her or take her anywhere lovely in Seattle for breakfast or to sight see. But it was a great conversation and we were able to do more deep sharing. What a blessing of friendship and I’m grateful!
My bed–I had a migraine yesterday that nearly knocked me out. I am so grateful for my bed and for warmth, comfort, and nearness to the bathroom when I’m feeling nauseous and sick.
Pals--I’m grateful for my pals, Mal and Rose, who stuck very close by me all day as I tried to sleep off my migraine. What a couple of darling sweeties and good friends!
H2O–I’ve said it before but I continue to be so very grateful that I can walk to the tap in my house any time…and a number of times a day…and fill up a glass and drink it without fear of parasites or other deadly disease. So many in the world do not have this opportunity and I’m so very grateful.

Tanya–My friend came to town for the night just when I most needed to be heard and to listen. I think sometimes divine appointments are the most interesting of all. It was nice to share stories with one another and spend time unpacking some of our history so that we each know the other better. Who knew there was another curly-haired, right brain/left brain split, Jesus loving person in the world!?! 🙂 Good to have friends with similarities and differences and to share ideas, wonders, and journeys that may someday converse.
Christmas Concert at The Well–Tonight we went to a lovely Christmas concert at The Well and heard Jennifer Knapp and Margaret Becker sing some of their own standards and songs from their new Christmas Hymns album. It was the perfect ending to a strange week and the perfect start to a beautiful holiday season. Jen Knapp said it perfectly “As a Christian it is easy to love Christmas because it is a simple story of hope.” YES!
Jennifer Knapp–Her voice is still beautiful. Hearing her makes me reminisce about year gone by. I think about her bravery to come out and I heard the pain in her voice as she briefly mentioned that she “gave up Christian music”. While she was going through a struggle with her faith and authenticity, many of us were relying on her to write the songs of our faith and angst. I am grateful for how her music has propped me up through the years and I am grateful that she has friends like Margaret Becker and others who prop her up in return.
My Dad–He called tonight and left me a voice-mail that said “I’m still alive” He didn’t have many of the details and sounded tired. I don’t think I realized how nervous I was or that I was “holding my breath” until I felt my own relief tangibly when I heard his voice. I am grateful that he is well.
Good Diagnosis–My coworker found out today that his scary illness was actually an auto immune reaction to a vaccination. He sounded so happy to hear it and I am so happy he is going to be well. I’m also grateful to have gotten to walk beside him through this…even if only for 24 hours.
November–I’m so grateful for November. It was my best month in Seattle so far and I’m so grateful for the joy, gratitude, and laughter of my friends and family. God has smiled on me.

My Dad--While I was on a business call this morning my dad called. This will sound horrible but I get nervous every time one of my parents call. Since we don’t talk often, I’m always afraid it’s bad news. When I called him back the news wasn’t great. He is having an angiogram tomorrow so that the doctors can figure out what is going on with his heart lately. Today is also his 76th birthday. I’m not close to my family and I know that I’ve disappointed my parents in a lot of ways…but I am not ready for them to be old and sick. And thus far they’ve only had a few health problems and have beaten everything they’ve faced. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that things between my parents and I have been better…warmer…these past two or three months. I’d be very grateful for more time and maybe even a chance to bring them to visit me in Seattle.
Being a Friendly Ear–Today I asked a coworker how he was doing. I watched him mentally try to decide if I really wanted to know and when I didn’t move waiting for an answer, he unpacked a pretty serious health concern. This guy is the same age as me and I think really needed to just  say it all out-loud to a friendly face. We aren’t particularly close…well before today…but I am grateful that I took the time to listen and to tell him I’d be praying and hoping that his results from a specialist visit tomorrow are the best case scenario. Then I said “Let me know if I can do anything.” He just chuckled so I followed with “Not that I can. Because really…what would that be? But if you think of some way I can help, I’m here.” He laughed and said “You just did” as he walked away. 🙂
Lunch--Another good lunch outside of the office. I’m grateful for the invitation from Marilyn to go for a walk and find some lunch. I’m finding the need to get non-Amazon air each day is so important!
Ladies Happy Hour & a Moscow Mule–I met a couple new Amazon ladies tonight and was able to get to know a couple others even better. What a great way to end a difficult day! So grateful to Marilyn and Becky for planning it, for a delicious drink and snacks, and for perfect timing. 🙂

Best Fortune Cookies–The Vegan Asian delivery place always gives me the BEST fortune cookies. Tonight’s made me laugh so hard. I am grateful for being a direct communicator…even when other people aren’t grateful. 🙂
Lunch with the girls–Two of the girls from work asked me if I wanted to get some lunch. So we went to a little Italian place around the corner and enjoyed an amazing meal. I am grateful that I’m starting to make connections and that I get invited to lunch. 🙂
Charlie Brown Christmas–I love this movie. I love when Lucy gives Frieda her role in the play and Frieda bounces her curls and says “Do Inn Keeper’s wives have naturally curly hair?” But my favorite scene…and the one I’m most grateful for is this one:

Engine Starter of my Jeep–The last 2 days I’ve needed to leave the house while there was still frost on my windshield. Let me just take a moment to sing the praises of the person who invented the ability for me to start my engine from inside my apartment with my remote so that the windows are defrosted and the insides are toasty warm when I get in. So grateful!
Gloves–I have new gloves that have tips on the fingers that allow me to text and use my touch screen in the Jeep when it’s cold. Grateful for warm hands and the ability to still change the radio to NPR without having to take my gloves off. Yup…I’m THAT lazy when it’s cold!
2 Hours--Today my boss and I talked for 2 hours. We had 1 hour scheduled but at the end of the first hour we just kept talking and I felt like I had his undivided attention for the first time in a while. Grateful that he sees my value, continues to give me room to do what I’m good at, and is looking out for my best interests.
Meditation–I’ve been spending 15 minutes meditating to a single prayer phrase each morning. It has so calmed me to start my day and I feel it helping me to get focused before I walk out the door on offering more love and patience to those I encounter. I’m grateful for Dr. Chopra for his 21 Day Meditation Challenge and I’m grateful for finding ways to incorporate this into my quiet time. Thanks Holy Spirit for showing up!

Morning Time--This morning I was back to a routine I’d dropped at least 10 days ago and I could feel my body, mind, and spirit breath a sigh of relief at the nourishment of early mornings that I need to have. A workout, some reading, prayer & meditation, and breakfast. So grateful for getting up when the alarm goes off and making time to prepare for the day.
Honest Work--I am grateful for a job to return to after a few days off relaxing. I’m grateful that I feel good about the work I’m doing, the product we are creating, and my part in what is going down.
Planning for the Weekend–A friend is coming to stay with me for the night this weekend. We’ve never spent much time together and I’m so eager to catch up, really talk, and share some war stories and blessings. I’m grateful for her asking to come visit and for her friendship. Excited!! I have been blessed by friends from all walks of life and I need some time with Tanya sharing our stories and working out some of the crazy. 🙂 haha!
Getting the Mail–Several of the the gifts I ordered for others came in today and I was SO happy. Two of the packages were from Etsy merchants in Canada so I was concerned about the timeliness of the shipping. I’m so grateful that the presents have arrived and I can start organizing, packing, and planning shipments!
BSF–Great discussion on Abraham in Genesis 12 and Hebrews 11. I’m grateful for the perspective of others when I’ve lost my own.

Hot Steamy Showers–I steamed up the windows on the entire third floor of the house this morning with a long, hot shower. I shower daily but sometimes I just need the luxury of a shower that is not time bound by my need to be somewhere. So today was the first in a while. I sang a few hymns…and a little Aretha for good measure. I asked God what he would have me to do with my day. And I washed my hair…twice. I am grateful for hot showers and I am aware of the luxury that it is and of the millions who would love clean water…much less a hot shower. Thank you Jesus!
Christmas Tree Lights–I may make my readers weary with this one of the next 5 or 6 weeks…but I LOVE the way a lit tree looks while I’m spending a cozy day at home. Grateful for the simple beauty of mini lights. 🙂
Fog and Sunshine–I woke up to a foggy world outside…and I love fog. As the day went on the sun burned the fog off and we had a dry and sunny day. I went for a walk without getting wet and was able to sit in the just-dry-enough grass at the park at the bottom of the hill and soak up my Vitamin D for the day. So grateful for the metaphor of fog and the actuality of sun.
Blood Pumping–Today I spent 45 minutes in meditation after a 20 minutes of sun salutations and a few balancing poses. That’s a LONG time in meditation for me..or anyone with my condition (aka CRAZY BRAIN). As I neared the end and was lost in the deep quiet, I began to visualize the blood pumping through my veins taking oxygen and nutrients to every cell. My mind was so still and quiet that it felt as though I could practically hear the blood flowing and my heart pumping. I am so grateful for the blessing of these bodies that we’ve been given. Sure they are always growing older but what a marvelous gift.
Sunday Wanderings–As you know if you read my gratitude journal with any frequency…I LOVE SUNDAYS. They are generally the day when I get to wander and follow my bliss. Today I meditated, did some yoga, read the Bible (see my main page of this blog for more on that), read some Anne Lamott, watched Super Soul Sunday, went for a walk, made pancakes for lunch, and sat in quiet contemplation. This may seem like a lot of activity but these are the battery charging activities that keep me moving in life and compel me to be a positive force each week. I am so grateful for this day of restoration and for the God who granted one more.
Comment–Tonight I received the sweetest comment on my blog from a stranger. I adore my friends and so appreciate their following my oddball musings via this blog…and yet sometimes I wonder if anyone who doesn’t know me or feel a sense of obligation to me reads my blog. And along comes a dear, open, and vulnerable comment to bless my heart. I’m grateful for Mark and I’m grateful for what the Divine is about to do in his life.

Etsy Fair-Today I went to a craft fair where it was two floors of booths in Seattle Center of Etsy sellers. I was proud to buy a few things from these lovely and creative people rather than spend any money at a big box store on boring stuff.
Wrapping Gifts–I wrapped a few of the gifts that were ready today and as I did I thought about each person, what they mean to me, and said a prayer of thanks over their lives. I’m very grateful for these lovely friends.
Nap–I laid down on the bed to talk to Rose for a few minutes and rub her belly. Before I knew it I was sound asleep with my head on Mal and my cheek on Rose. The three of us slept hard for about 30 minutes and I woke up feeling refreshed!
Jameson & Ginger Ale–Yum…and I’m grateful for the Irish who make Jameson. That is all. 🙂
Another day–I’m so grateful that I have another entire day to myself before returning to work on Monday. 4 days off during a hectic and stressful product release is a blessing and gift!

Shopping with Marilyn–Went shopping with Marilyn and enjoyed the laughter and fun of spending time with another girl wandering around a couple of local stores. I also got to sample her yummy homemade liquores. Mmmm
Keeping my hand–Marilyn has a giant and gorgeous husky who is my friend when we are at the office. However, I stepped into his gated yard not knowing he was outside and when stupidly offered him my hand to smell he snarled at me. This is a dog that could take off a finger with one quick move of his giant mouth. He calmed at the sound of Patrick’s voice but stayed on high alert as I entered the house. Later we made friends again. I’m grateful for keeping my fingers and for a dog who does his job…defending his home and people.
Tree--Bought a Christmas tree today and put it up. It is beautiful and I’m so glad to have it to cheer me through the holiday season. I love all the lights and candles in my home and am enjoying this time of year far more than I did last year.

Feeding People-
There are few things I love more than feeding people and seeing them satiated. Today I went to a local food bank in hopes of their still needing volunteers. They asked me to help by wandering about serving coffee and juice. Pouring beverages from pitchers and having conversations is something I can definitely do. I find it interesting that though I despise most crows and social occasions where I don’t know anyone, I am always at home when serving ensuring mugs are full and smiles are to be shared with those who are often under-served and invisible. I am grateful for this lovely food bank and their plan to serve 3 meals today! Blessing!!
President Lincoln–The new movie “Lincoln” reminded me how difficult his presidency was and how responsible he felt for the war and for pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. I was also struck by the fact
that only 147 years have passed since an entire group of people were considered animals, property, and inhuman. 147 years is not long on the scale of history. We would be wise to remember that when we are talking about the “47%” so disdainfully.
President Obama–Many will disagree but I believe our president is a man of values and a man who cares about the people. I thought of him a lot during this movie and wondered how many of the abolitionists who believe in equal rights would feel knowing that he is our president and is fully qualified, respectable, and God-fearing (as they were). I continue to be grateful for the man in the White House.
Bond, James Bond–Grateful for 2 1/2 hours of a good time. I’m grateful for Ralph Finnes having a nose so that I didn’t think of Lord Voldemort the entire time. And I’m grateful for Daniel Craig’s parents and their glorious genes combining to make him. 😉
Solitude--I’m grateful for a quiet and peaceful day alone while many are stressed out from being with their difficult relatives and others are alone in every way. I may be physically alone but I believe I am connected to the collective consciousness and that today it was particularly positive, energetic, and upbeat. Thanks people!
Vegan stuffing–I found a good recipe that I love! And I’m grateful for it…along with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a dinner role. Yummmm! 🙂

7-11 Walks–Today after a particularly difficult meeting, Marilyn said “Do you want to walk with me to 7-11 for some booze?” So we did. We didn’t buy any booze because they only had wine and beer and we were looking for Rum. But a slurpee and a strong cup of coffee later we hit the streets to get back to work. It was nice to get some fresh….very cold but fresh…air.
Standing With–In the difficult meeting above I was there to support decision making on my part of the product. I stood with a friend…who I also agreed with…because it was the right thing to do. I’m grateful for my values. 🙂
Decorating–Tonight I hung all the lights around the house, put things on timers, and am now ready to wrap the paintings and put up a tree. I am so blessed to not only have a warm safe place to live this Holiday season but to be able to make it cozy and pretty and enjoy it even more. So grateful. 🙂
Sunshine–Seattle has had some serious rain the last few days. I thought we were going to wash away between Sunday night and Monday night. The city proper got about 2.5 inches in 24 hours. For Seattle…the land of the drizzle…that was a stinkin’ lot of rain. But today…the sun has been out…a LOT. I even walked to Target again just to have somewhere to go. 🙂

Strength--I lugged a bunch of decoration boxes up the stairs and started getting organized. Before long I was putting things away even though my intention was to wait until Thursday to start and Friday to finish. I just couldn’t help myself. 🙂 I’m grateful for strong arms and a strong back that allow me to move things on my own a lot. I’m far to independent to ask for help very often and fortunately I’m strong…and with Jillian getting stronger every day. 🙂
Target Downtown–How awesome is it to have a Target downtown that I can walk to from work on my lunch break? Pretty stinking awesome. And even better…since it is 3 stories they have escalators for people and escalators for carts. I LOVE the cart escalators. It is so much fun to watch my stuff ride up next to me. Just curious…if you have a baby do you just leave it in the cart? I’m grateful for innovation.
Mushroom Fajitas–Made myself one of my favorite meals for dinner. People who think Vegans don’t eat well haven’t had my mushroom fajitas. Just sayin’. I’m so grateful that I have a house full of fresh veggies!

Potluck Success–About 50 of the 100 people on our floor participated in our Holiday Kick Off Potluck. We had about half veg dishes and half meat. People brought their favorite comfort foods and we had Mexican,  Indian,  Pakistani,  Ethiopian,  American, soul, and Eastern European foods. It was delicious and fun. I talked to folks I don’t often get to talk to and heard people laughing and talking that probably don’t often even see each other much less chat. One of my favorite things is bringing people together over a meal and this was the ultimate feast of fun!! 🙂 I’m grateful for people who participated and for the people who just showed up to eat. 🙂
Honest Conversations–My boss, a coworker and I had some very honest conversations today. I felt like I was heard about some issues and for that I’m grateful!
BSF–I really enjoyed BSF discussion group tonight. The mean girl from last week was not mean this week and didn’t even attack anything I said. Instead it was a nice group of ladies having a conversation.
Short Week–I’m so grateful that this is a short week. I’m eager to spend a few days reading, decorating and cleaning.
Gifts–I’m enjoying the gifts I’ve purchased for others trickling in. It’s almost like Christmas for ME as I get gifts and start to wrap them. I’m looking forward to wrapping and packaging gifts to send. 🙂 I’m grateful that I have so many friends to bless and I’m grateful for the opportunity

6 Months–6 months ago today was my first full day in Seattle. Today as I walked down 6th Ave in Downtown Seattle dressed in a raincoat and a hat to guard against the rain, all I could do was smile and think “Yup…I live in a city I never even thought about living in, have a job I never even thought about wanting, and have another chance at a fresh start that I wasn’t expecting. Everything may not be perfect, but everything is fine. And fine is better than bad.”
Meditation–Today I finished the 2nd week of the 21 Day Meditation challenge with the Chopra Institute. I have really enjoyed my mornings with Deepak. 🙂
Movie & Lunch dates–I met Nicole and her friend Renee to see the last Twilight Movie and have some lunch. It was so fun to have plans with some great ladies and just know that I had something to do with PEOPLE on a weekend. 🙂 I know that sounds a little pathetic…and I do like my solitude…but being alone can wear on me at times. I miss my girlfriends and am so grateful to have new people in my life who invite me along. Or in this case let me invite myself.
Potluck Prep–A couple weeks ago I got this genius idea that our floor at work should have a Holiday Kick Off potluck. I put up silly signs and invited everyone on the floor (a LOT of people) to participate. I have no idea how it will work out or if people will participate. But today I spent my day baking a cake, making appetizers, and putting together my favorite pasta dish. We’ll see tomorrow if the brains behind Amazon also have social skills. 🙂 haha!
Quiet Mind–I’m so grateful that lately my mind has been quiet. I have been working towards this sort of peace for about a year. I have had some crazy moments where I’ve been sad or upset about something but for the most part my mind is clear and calm. This is a huge gift for someone with PTSD who had regular flare ups for a year or so due to stress and uncertainty. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to use prayer, meditation, exercise, and other de-stressing options over this past year instead of having to go on meds.

Christmas Shopping–Had so much fun today getting some of my last gifts locally. I’m down to only a few items. I’m even more grateful that I fought a SMALL crowd today instead of even leaving the house next Friday 🙂
Hobby Lobby–To my complete shock, Hobby Lobby in Seattle is clean, staffed with multiple registers open, and have working credit card machines. I am grateful to have my opinion of an entire corporation changed
Early Morning-I woke up very early this morning…like 5…and while I probably could have dozed back off, instead I just go some paperwork and planning done while catching up on the last couple episodes of Call the Midwife and Upstairs, Downstairs
Call the Midwife–If you aren’t watching this PBS show, you are missing out. On the surface it looks like a sweet period piece about some lovely young midwives and nuns. Instead it is funny, dramatic, etc. In their first season they’ve covered topics such as interracial love (1950’s), mental illness, class systems, and incest. Amazing show!!
Working on the Weekend–I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful that I was able to help a coworker today. And I’m grateful that I don’t work every weekend…I’ve had that job before and I’m glad to not have it. 🙂
Dash Light–Today one of my dash lights came on after my Jeep seemed to “lose it’s footing” on a steep hill. I wasn’t in danger but I certainly didn’t know what was wrong. I’m grateful that the problem didn’t continue and that when i called the service center and described the issue they told me not to be concerned that the Jeep had done it’s job (but to call or come in if I have any concerns).

Finishing To-Do–I finished all the “mission critical” items on my to-do list today.
Drinks with Ladies–Marilyn invited me out with her and two of her friends tonight. One of the friends is a payments geek like me. It was good to talk to her. A great networking opportunity.
Asking the Question–Tonight at Dinner I asked the chef (a) if I could have a plate of a couple side items for dinner and (b) if the chef would mind making my mashed potatoes without any butter or cream. He agreed and said it would be no problem.  Soooooo cool! 🙂

Testing–I spent the morning with the team doing testing on our product. It was fun and counteracted some of the other parts of the week that had gotten several of us down.
Vegan Doughnuts–Today I had a Mighty O’ doughnut and it made me happy.
2 for one day at Starbucks–Two for one from 2 to 5 in our lobby today on holiday drinks. It was a good reason to get your favorite person and go for coffee. It was ALMOST as good as BoGo with my boys (Mark and Chris in particular) last Christmas.
Planning Christmas–I am having so much fun planning Christmas. I am enjoying figuring out how to make some gifts for coworkers and loving as the gifts I’ve purchased slowly trickle to my doorstep from Amazon Marketplace merchants and Etsy sellers. I am excited to spend my weekend picking up wrapping paper, finding a few little gifts or supplies locally, and maybe I’ll even get the tree early. 🙂 Woot woot!
Talking Veganism–It’s been fun today to talk veganism with my friends Cara and Rachel. Rachel has a lot of questions as she starts a month trial of being a vegan. When someone comes along who is interested in this part of my life, it always stirs the passion in me again about why I do this.

“I blame Dennis”–Today in a difficult meeting with much contention, I explained my position, laid out the facts, and closed by saying (without changing my voice or facial expression) “And finally, I blame Dennis.” Dennis, who hadn’t been paying a ton of attention because he knew I had the issue well in hand, quickly looked up, say the twinkle in my eye, and said “Job security Leah. As long as I’m here to mess things up, I’ll need you to fix them.” Everyone cracked up. I’m very lucky to work for a guy who just rolls with my crazy, helps me dig out of issues, and leaves me alone (aka trusts me) to do my work.
Laughter until you cry–Today my coworker Becky told Marilyn and I a story about how she’d cleaned a wound with Whiskey once. As she went further and further into how she’d scratched up her chin while demonstrating the worm on a sidewalk in Queen Anne, we laughed more and more. When she got to the part where she said in all seriousness “I’m super good at the worm, but it was asphalt and on an incline. I misjudged” I was doubled over laughing so hard that I was crying. I am so grateful for laughter. Especially on days like today where the other news is mostly disappointing.
SME-I have almost been at Amazon for 6 months. At least once a week I say the words “What the hell am I doing here?” out loud as I sit at my desk. This morning was one of those mornings. Then later I was meeting with our compliance and risk officers to discuss some audit requirements for our product and I found that I was able to easily answer all of their questions. I drew them diagrams and gave them details that others couldn’t or hadn’t. And for one moment I felt that zing of pride that comes with being the subject matter expert. It fades quickly because there is still so much to learn about Amazon systems…but I’m adding value. Even when I’m not sure what the hell I’m doing here…and for that I’m grateful.
Coconut Dark Chocolate cookie–This is pretty self explanatory right?
No Plastic Bags–The city of Seattle has banned the use of plastic bags in stores. This means that I often go into Walgreen’s without a bag and have to either pay for a paper bag or carry a bunch of stuff in my hands to my car. I’m starting to remember to take one of the myriad canvas tote bags from the back of my car into stores. I am SO grateful that Seattle takes this seriously enough to disallow the use of bags that won’t biodegrade and will sit in landfills for years to come.

Anne Lamott–I will post the few notes I took via my blog shortly. Overall I was just so blessed to sit and listen to her speak. She is a hippie…a REAL hippie…and she reminds me that loving and following Jesus is not some cookie cutter, mega-church owned, republican experience. Jesus calls each of us to be…well…each of us. Anne reminds me that there have always been and will always be different ways to show stand before the world as a Christian. I am so grateful at the way she makes me laugh…something she has done via the written word for many years and now has done in person. And I’m grateful for her wisdom and the fact that the voice she shares matches the voice I’ve been reading all these years. Thank you Anne and thank you Jesus.
Miracle iPhone–Tonight Anne asked if someone could pull up the prayer of Thomas Merton for her to share with the crowd. I did and she took my phone to read from. I knew when I handed her the phone that it had only a tiny bit of power left. As she read the prayer I kept praying “Help Lord…help the phone to not power down until she’s done!” When she’d finished we met in the aisle again. She handed me my phone and as my butt hit the seat to sit back down, the phone powered down. Thank you Jesus!
The Prayer–The beautiful prayer of Thomas Merton blesses my heart. I will share it in my blog. So grateful!
Lessons–Last night (see below) I passed a test in silence in the face of meanness. Today I used that lesson 3 different times. It was a tough day full of chances to feel defensive or challenged. Silence served me well today. Thank you Wisdom for that lesson! You are a kind lady to offer my your help and guidance!

Sunday recharge--My Sunday (see below) gave me all that I needed to show up to work today and give all I had to give. So grateful for rest and what it does to charge my batteries.
Sit down--Monday nights are usually so fast between work and BSF that I don’t have time to sit down. Tonight I was able to get home, sit down for a bit, and then go to BSF. It was such a HUGE blessing to have the break between the two activities.
Genesis–I am enjoying the study of Genesis so much with my sweet group. Emma is an elderly lady in the group and she blesses me every time she opens her mouth. She loves Jesus and the Bible so much and it is evident. I love her honesty, humility, and her fire.
My People–One of the questions in this week’s BSF lesson was about how God works in our governments today. Patrice spoke up and said “This last election was an example.” I started holding my breath in preparation for a Right Rant. Instead she said “I mean God set up a man in spite of the enormous about of bigotry, racism, and sexism on the other side. God won the day and put his man in power.” After I took a breath, I was stunned into silence. Sometimes I think it is easy for any of us (either side of the political spectrum) to feel alone in the world and to expect to be the only one with our opinion. And then someone says something that makes you feel a sense of belonging.
Silence as a Response–A woman in Bible study lit me up for using the words “moral compass” because those are words the World uses and the Church shouldn’t look like the world. She also said that my using those words made her…and would make others…question my loyalty to Jesus. In response I was silent. I was so silent and still that everyone else great restless and the leader had to just move the conversation on. It was a miraculous use of silence and not a skill I have used often. But now that it’s in my repertoire of responses I’ll do some experimenting. The thing I am most grateful for was the voice of the Holy Spirit silencing me in that moment. As soon as the lady turned her body towards me I knew I was in for it (She’s gone after me a few other times). In that moment the Holy Spirit spoke. She quietly whispered the words “Remember…Keep a guard over my mouth, and keep my lips sealed.” I was so grateful for her reminder from Psalm 141:3

Sunday–I am so grateful for Sundays because they are usually a day that I do all the things I most love to do. It is also a day to worship, reset my intention, and get centered so that I go into the week with the right Spirit. Today I did so many of my favorite things. I am grateful for:
**Drinking strong coffee until the pot was empty
**Watching Super Soul Sunday
**Reading my Bible
** Meditation
**Catching up on my favorite blogs
**Reading half of a new book
**Cuddling with Malcolm whenever he wants
**My Pajamas-Yoga Clothes-Pajama cloths choices
**Dancing and worshiping with some good gospel
**Candles, Fireplace, and Incense
**LONG shower…the kind of shower I never have time for during the week
**Laying on the bed flipping through magazines
**Answered emails from friends and loved ones

The Conference–Today I went to see Dr. Wayne Dyer speak. I have read several of Dr. Dyer’s books, listened to him on road trips via audio book, and listened to his radio show on Hay House. I find him comforting, real, and insightful. I was so grateful to sit and listen to him speak. The other speaker, Bruce Lipton, was also very interesting. I will blog more about what they shared as I process it in the coming days. I was blessed by the simplicity AND complexity of the messages shared. I am grateful for today.
Being Seen–During a break I was sitting in my chair checking email and looked up to see a crowd of people around Dr. Dyer. Without thinking I moved towards the circle just to get a closer look. I realized once I was close that he had prayed over a sick elderly woman. Then he started signing books and posing for pictures. He was warm and kind with each person. I reached into my bag and pulled out a book of his I’d brought with me. I didn’t have any clear intention to move to the front, but if the opportunity presented it self I figured I’d be ready. An older woman said “Honey, now’s your chance” and gave me a little poke to move me forward. I asked if she’d take a picture and she agreed. As Dr. Dyer turned to me I walked near him and stood side by side with him. He stopped, turned me to face him by my shoulders and said “Hello darling. Has it been a good day?” I smiled up at him (he’s very tall) and said “Very.” He then took my book and signed it. As he handed it back he looked down at me and said “You will need sunshine. If you can, please come to Maui in January for the Divine Love conference.” I nodded…like a dodo. We took a quick picture and then he hugged me tightly , touched my shoulders and said “God bless you.”  I thanked him and when I turned to get my phone from the lady she said “Wow. He really took notice of you.” All I could do was smile back. I realized that he had given me more attention than many without my saying anything to tug at him. I was seen. He saw me. Earlier in the day I was feeling invisible being jostled at the book table and Dr. Dyer gave me the conciliatory gift of SEEING me.
Seeing another–After being seen, I felt myself SEEING others more acutely  I saw a homeless man on my way to the car and when I looked him in his eyes (something I always try to do) he smiled a genuine smile. I reached into my pocket and pulled out all the cash I had stuffed in there after buying coffee and handed it to him. He said “Are you certain?” And I said “Oh yes.” 🙂 He replied “God bless you” and I said “And you too.” And all I could think as I walked away was that both “God Bless Yous” that I received today seemed to come from the same voice.
Coffee with a Stranger–Months ago I bought 1 ticket to see Dr. Dyer and Bruce Lipton speak for the day at the Seattle Convention Center. I’d hoped that by the time it came around I’d have made a friend who might want to go with me. If I’m honest I’ve met a couple potential friends since moving here but I don’t have any local friends that I can really ask to go with me to something like this. Not something that is so personal and spiritual. Instead the Divine brought me Candy…a lady in her 50’s who sat next to me during the morning session and asked if I wanted to walk to coffee with her while we waited for the session to begin. She chattered and asked me a million questions and answered all of mine in return. I’m not great when I’m alone with strangers…but Candy is. And I was grateful that I was alone so that I could hear this woman’s story, offer her my attention, and talk to someone I might never have spoken to in this world.
A Clean Kitchen–And in other news….I came home to my damn dirty kitchen. It was just cluttery and the counters needed cleaning. The dishwasher needed unloading and reloading and it had just gotten away from me this week. So I cleaned it. And I’m grateful for my clean kitchen, the coffee pot that is ready to greet me in the morning, and the blessing of not wondering if I will have breakfast but WHAT I will have. I am wealthy. I am blessed.

Drinks with Marilyn–My coworker invited me to go get drinks tonight after work. It was fun to sit and talk to another woman about work and our careers without fear of being overheard. She introduced me to her husband by saying “This is Leah. She’s my favorite co worker.” I thought that was sweet and the feeling is mutual. 🙂
Sushi–Marilyn, her husband and I walked over to get another drink and got some sushi. The restaurant, Pink, had about 8 different veggie rolls. It is unusual to have so many options and it was delicious!
Talking to Wil-I spent about 3 hours on the phone with my friend Wil tonight. It’s always a good conversation. Sometimes I just laugh to think that this guy I went on 2 dates with a million years ago has become such a great friend!

Etsy–Today I did a ton of holiday shopping on Etsy. I love that I can support a small artisan and get each of my dear friends something unique. I am grateful for the creativity of others!
Advil–I woke up with a fever and a headache today. I stayed home to work and took some Advil  I am grateful for it’s healing powers and it’s ability to send the pain away so that I could still be productive.
Sleep–In the late afternoon I could no longer keep my eyes open. Having a fever is always exhausting to my body. I laid down for a few minutes and my two favorite cuddlers warmed me up enough to nap. I am grateful for a job that allows me self care when I’m not feeling 100%.
Technology–I am again so grateful for all the various elements of technology in my life. Kindle Fire, iPhone, laptops, etc. All of these things help me to manage to work from home, shop online, talk to my friends on a cold autumn evenings, and play a game that hopefully will keep senility at bay. 😉 I am grateful for technology and for being a technologist. 🙂
Diet Coke-It has been a LONG time since I had a diet coke. I don’t drink them much anymore. And the best thing about NOT drinking them to me is that when i do have one, I enjoy it like it’s fine wine! Haha! I had THE BEST diet coke tonight…brought to me by one of my sweet neighbors.
Dinner–The same neighbor who brought me a diet coke, brought me some pasta from his and his partner’s meal. He stopped to speak to me while walking his dog when I bundled up like a crazy old lady to go get the mail. he asked what i was doing home (he works from home and is used to seeing me leave and go) and I told him I’d woken up with a fever and headache, and he said “Well..I will bring you some dinner later.” And he did. And he left the meat out because he remembered my saying I was a veg when we met a million…or 6…months ago. I’ve apparently always relied on the kindness of strangers…or at least I’m learning to. I’m grateful for my sweet neighbors and my yummy dinner. 🙂

Quiet–Today was a mostly quiet day. I’m grateful for the silence.
Bad coffee–I had a REALLY bad cup of coffee this morning. Later one of the guys at work brought me a great cup of coffee…that I hadn’t asked for and without any prompting. I was grateful for his sweetness and SUPER grateful for a good cup of coffee. Sometimes you have to go through the bad to appreciate the good.
Rose–Last night Rose…all nearly 7 lbs of her…ruled my Queen size bed. She slept in the middle. I mean DEAD CENTER. And she was out cold. Earlier in the evening she’d been trying really hard to get my attention…so I think sleeping in the middle of the bed with her body curled into mine was her way of getting what she wanted. I am grateful for two cats who are not ashamed to ask for what they need…food, a game, a snack, and especially love. They make me laugh and bring me joy.
Almond Cookie with Dark Chocolate Candy Thumbprint–I am grateful for this cookie that Deb bought for just me today. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

The Democratic Process–I am grateful for the right to vote. I am grateful that we each get to vote our conscience. I am grateful that there is healthy disagreement and that we live in a place with a Legislative, Executive, and Judicial balance of power.
The President–I am grateful for this guy –>
The Diversity of Friendship–I am more grateful than ever for the diversity of friends in my life. Democrats, Republicans, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Straights, Gays, Parents, Childless by Circumstances, Childless by Choice, Vegan, Vegetarian, Ominvore, Baconators, and all the others. I am grateful for their passion and for their right to speak that passion and to vote their principles. I am grateful for those who have shared their lives with me and helped me to shape my views and I am especially grateful to those who have watched me change my views on some things…and in some cases things they find basic to THEIR belief systems…and have still loved me. I am grateful that over the past 10 years the circle of friends and types of friends I have has continued to grow. And I’m so grateful that through this I have learned so much about myself, about others, and about love.
My Toaster–I am grateful that I saved tonight for my first piece of celebratory toast form my Obama Toaster (Birthday present from Zach!) 
The Humility of an Apology–I was a jerk today at work and lost my temper for a moment. In a brief flash I said something in anger and walked away. Within minutes I knew that the right thing to do was apologize for my reaction. I went looking for the two guys who’d been on the receiving end of my anger but couldn’t find them. So I wrote them an apology email and sent it…quickly. I continue at 36 to HATE having to apologize but not nearly as much as I HATE being a jerk when I know how to express myself calmly and intelligently so well. But I am grateful for the acceptance of my apology and I am grateful that I know how to apologize and that I do it quickly in most cases. 🙂

Gentle yet Firm–I am grateful for the gift of tactful but firm communication. I am grateful for the ability to know when to just push back…albeit professionally…and remove myself from difficult situations.
Honesty–Had a very important and honest conversation with a couple of my coworkers today about the state of our Product launch. I was grateful for the discussion and was glad to know I’m not the only one seeing what I’m seeing.
Cereal–I packed myself some cereal for lunch today. I love to eat cereal at almost any meal. I am so grateful for the little things in life that make me happy.
21 Day Meditation Challenge–Started the meditation challenge along with some coworkers today. I am grateful for an opportunity to discuss beliefs and spirituality with these folks.
A good metaphor–Grateful for this blog that came to me in a moment between meetings today: https://hippychristiangirl.com/2012/11/05/the-presidents-closet/

Phone Calls Full of Dreams--Tonight I talked to my sweet friend Linda KS on the phone. I shared what I was struggling with and she listened and offered council. It felt good to just unpack some of my hurt and fear with a dear friend. I am grateful for her friendship.
Walk–I went for a walk today in the park near my house. I sat under pink trees and read a book. I watched puppies play. I am grateful for enough sunshine…and the rain holding off…for me to wander and wonder for a little while.

Blue Fingers–I am grateful for my blue fingers and toes. I am grateful for the kind, sweet ladies who treat me like a princess every few weeks. I am grateful at their faces lighting up when I compliment them on something they are wearing and the way they laugh at me when I misunderstand something that they are telling me to do. I appreciate how they rub my feet and my hands and even my shoulders. I am grateful that I can scrimp in other places in order to afford manicures and pedicures every few weeks. And I am grateful that I am able to tip these ladies for all they do to make me feel beautiful. 
Vegan Bakery–I could write poetry about Flying Apron bakery with it’s entirely Vegan menu of goodness. I appreciate their mission and I appreciate the yummy goodness of their cookies, cupcakes, brownies, croissants, muffins, etc. I am grateful for someone else’s amazing skill.
Laughter–I am grateful once again for laughter. I went to the Campher’s tonight for a dinner party and I laughed so hard throughout the course of the evening that I believe I literally felt my spirits lift.
Heidi–I’m grateful for Heidi and her amazing ability to host people in her home and make them feel welcome. I am grateful for her sense of humor and her beauty. She is witty  brilliant, and beautiful. She is a wonderful wife, a devoted mother, and she is the alpha dog/cat to her bevy of furry friends. So glad to know her and to be invited into her home. Plus she is just silly enough to share a whispered vulgar joke or two with me and know that I will laugh without condition! 🙂 I am grateful for her friendship.
Henk–The man is a source of entertainment and information like no other. He keeps me laughing with his humor and yet I know that under the surface is a man who has fought hard on behalf of others through the years with his words, his money, and his time. I appreciate his devotion to freedom and equality and am grateful for his friendship.
Emma–She is the kind of 15 year old girl…brains, a voice of her own, talent, and beauty…that I wish I’d been at 15. It will be fun to watch this young lady become a woman and see where her road takes her!
Lily–I call her the Kitty Whisperer. This cherub of a child can get the most feral cat in the house to allow her a cuddle and a carry. She is a quiet little thing but the moment she opens her mouth you hear that she has been processing information in order to create her own thought. She is beautiful and talented like the rest of the family and her smile is infectious. I love a girl who knows she wants a Red Convertible Jeep…and I’d kill for that precious dimple on her cheek!

New Hair Stylist–I’ve met the lady I am now calling my hair soul-mate  Her name is Erin. She is funny, beautiful, and she did my hair well. And when I got ready to leave she hugged me and told me to friend her on Facebook. YAY! 🙂
New Hair Cut–I got this short bobish wedgy haircut like Halle’s in this picture. Now if I could just get all my other parts to look like her. I’m super grateful for my new haircut!
Working with the Engineering Team–I love spending time with the architects and engineers on my team. They are so willing to teach me stuff now that they know I listen the first time. I’m grateful for them!!
Oatmeal–There is nothing to say here. I just love oatmeal. I ate it for breakfast AND lunch today. That’s how much I love it! I’m grateful for the Oatmeal people!

Gratitude Explosion
I’m super grateful that there are so many people doing 30 Days of Thankfulness on Facebook in November. After these last few months of politics and religion, I’m ready to look forward to positivity through this holiday season.
Warm House & Warm Bed–I am very grateful that I have a home to live in. I’m grateful that I wake up in a warm home in a warm bed. So many people are going to have to survive the cold as the winter approaches. My hope is that I’m able to help some of those folks with clothes, money, and by supporting the folks at Bridgetown.
Soy Peppermint Mocha no Whip–This drink is a tasty dream and is vegan. Halle-freakin-llujah. Gratitude dance can be seen every afternoon in the lobby of my building around 2PM from now until Christmas. 😉
The Joy of Making Appointments–I made a hair appointment today and it made me feel so happy and light for a moment in the middle of a crazy day. Ahhhhh….

Bonsai–My long time best friend Jelisa sent me a beautiful Bonsai tree to cheer me up after a tough weekend. The tree is beautiful and I continue to be so grateful for having such an amazing friend. I love that time and distance hasn’t torn us apart. She is one of the most consistent people in my life and is the one person who always makes an effort with me…no matter what. Sometimes I look back over the last 2 years and take inventory of the pain, loss, hurt, and change…and Jelisa is one of the first things on the list of beautiful things that have gotten me through it all. This tree is a testimony to that! I’ll be grateful each morning when I look at it.
Along Came a Spider–Today employees of Amazon brought their kids Trick-or-Treating. While I was working a spider crawled up to my desk and stared up at me. He was actually my friend Jim’s 18 month old Sebastian. I’m so grateful for kids who get to have fun on Halloween. I’m also very grateful that all those hopped up candy junkies go home with their parents and not me. 🙂
The President--Tonight I saw a clip of the president and I got choked up. I’m going to write a longer blog about this but I just wanted to say here that I am grateful for the President. I’m grateful for the man, husband, father, and leader he is. I am grateful for the job he has done and really hope that he gets to keep his job come Tuesday. 🙂
Michael J Fox–I saw Michael J Fox on an old episode of The View today. Every time I see him I’m reminded of how much I loved Alex P Keaton, Marty McFly, and Spin City (pre-Charlie Sheen). I’m grateful that he’s been married 22 years and loves his family. And as I watch him speak about his Parkinson’s disease I am reminded that he and so many others deal with frustrating, exhausting  and painful illnesses from which they never get reprieve. I am grateful for his cheerful and honest example and for what his life has meant to all of us who admire him and loved being entertained by him over the years.
Raised by Conservative Wolves--Yesterday in the office there were Footloose references to my upbringing (see 10/30 entry). Today I mentioned that my family doesn’t drink and said something in passing about how I have a lot of conservative friends who think it is wrong to celebrate Halloween (I respect it while not having a single problem with Halloween). Later in the day I was giving Julia hell about using too much scotch tape and Marilyn in a loud, comic, exasperated voice said “WHO RAISED YOU??? First no dancing. Then no booze. No Halloween. And now you are uptight about conserving scotch tape! Next you’ll be saying Christmas is Cancelled!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we didn’t celebrate that as kids either! I am grateful for the girls at work who laugh at my jokes and make me laugh in return.

DUI–This week I’ve been driving-under-the-influence of Caitlin Moran’s “How to be a Woman” via audio book  I have laughed like a lunatic alone in my car coming and going to work every day this week. Every woman should read this book. It’s irreverent. You won’t agree with everything. But it is a must read if you want a great laugh AND an understanding of feminism today. I am so grateful for something funny to get me to and from work. 🙂
Being a Feminist–One thing Caitlin Moran says in her book is that we must decide once and for all if we are a feminist. She also says that if we have a vagina we are by default a feminist. I agree with her that in 2012 it is easy for women to say that they AREN’T feminists because women and men fought for their rights over the last 80 years and they feel like it isn’t their issue. Being a feminist comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles. It’s just like being a vegan. Everyone comes to it differently and each of us does it differently…but make no mistake if you are a woman who has the right to vote, says no to her husband, doesn’t consider herself or her daughters as property, and has told her daughter she can be anything she wants (including housewife, nurse, teacher, CEO, etc.). I am grateful for all the women who came before me.
Muffins–I made my favorite fall recipe tonight…Pumpkin Muffins. I am grateful for fall, and pumpkins, and the fact that these muffins don’t need eggs and dairy to be yummy!
More Muffins–When my Pumpkin Muffins were done I whipped up some Banana Struesel Muffins too. I’m grateful for the abundance of goods in my pantries that give me that freedom. I know so many people who do not have this wealth and I wish I could feed each of them a muffin.
Footloose–The girls at work and I were watching the video below today and started talking about our own dance moves. When I told them I’d grown up in a house where we weren’t allowed to dance, these 3 girls were dumbfounded. One of them said “Are you the girl they based Footloose on?” I laughed and said “Almost.” The Kevin Bacon jokes were instant and funny! I am grateful that I can laugh about the oddness of my childhood as compared to others. 🙂

Loss of a Good Man–My former coworker and friend Rusty Shaeffer passed away late last week. Rusty knew a lot of people in the payments industry, was fun to travel with, and knew how to break a tense moment with a joke. Sadly he leaves behind 2 very young children and 2 grown children. I am grateful for the time that Rusty and I worked together. We talked on the phone a lot as both of us worked from our home offices and we often planned our trips to Santa Clara together so that we could have good face to face conversations with our teams. He was a good guy who loved his mother, wife, and kids openly and sweetly. He will be missed and I will always be grateful for his friendship.
All Hands–Our team all hands meeting today was my first Payments only meeting. It was funny and fun. The snacks were good and the costume contest was excellent. I am grateful for moments of humor in the middle of a few difficult weeks.
Cookies--One of my coworkers and I have an ongoing exchange of Tupperware  We bring each other tastes of things  in Tupperware and our rule is that we clean the Tupperware and then fill it up with something. Today I received some yummy oatmeal cookies and was VERY happy to give up any need for Halloween candy because I had vegan cookie goodness! 🙂

Wedding Dress–My friend Linda has been commissioned to design and sew a wedding dress. I am so grateful that the dream she had and the dream I was so sure of is coming true.
Rest–I appreciate a restful day. Sleeping late, reading, watching movies, and napping. I am grateful for days like today.
Oprah–I’m grateful for OWN Network. There is such better quality programming than a lot of tv. I’m grateful for the positivity.
Sweep–I’m grateful that the SF Giants swept the World Series. 🙂

New Toy–I received the new Kindle Fire today. I am enjoying it and I’m grateful for material blessings that allow me to have a few things here and there for fun.
Silence–I was in a line late yesterday and I was furious at the service all of us were receiving and at another customer. I could feel myself getting angry…and knew that I was going to say something. Instead I put my things on the counter and walked out of the store. I am grateful that the people in that line and the worker who was being a jerk were more important to me in that moment than speaking my mind. I am grateful for knowing my own anger well enough to choose silence and walk away.

Odd Day–Worked from home on some research. Had a weird interaction with a spirit in my house. Then spent some time feeling deeply sorrowful. Despite it all…one thing is for sure…I have amazing friends to turn to. Tonight it was Tyler, Cheryl, and (strangely) Jerod. What more could I ask for in friends than people who see me and understand.
Wrestling–There are so many other things from today that I am grateful for…but I’m grateful right now for the right to lay down and sleep. Knowing that those who read this blog know me well enough to understand when a rare day comes along where words escape me. These days usually mean a spiritual wrestling match has occurred and that all I can utter when I close my eyes is “Thank you”.

Intuition–For 3 days I was spiritually stirred up and kept thinking about a particular friend. Then 2 days ago she texted me to tell me she needed a medical procedure. I assumed that was why I’d been so stirred. Then I told her I thought we should talk on the phone after her procedure just so I could check in. We spoke this evening and as I listened to her talk about things in her life, I felt compelled to say something to her that I never had before. I’d never intentionally held back what I had to say…but today I had to say it. As we spoke I literally felt my spirit relax. I realized that there was something she needed to hear and apparently I carried the message. Once I spoke the words she and I both felt comforted. I am grateful for the willingness to follow my intuition.
Ouch–I hit my head so hard tonight I nearly passed out. I am grateful that I didn’t actually pass out. And I’m more grateful for the fact that every time i think about it I giggle.
Looking Good–Today I put an outfit together that I’d never worn before. I’d worn the various pieces but not together. I felt beautiful and confident. And I was really grateful to be able to ‘shop’ in my closet because some things are fitting better. 🙂

Competition–I don’t watch a TON of baseball anymore. A game every now and then and I check the stats each morning when I read the paper. But I do love the feelings of competitiveness and old memories that come with watching the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. I’m grateful for the relationship with my Dad that included our love of watching sports.
Fall–I consider myself a summer girl. But I think I was ready for the season’s to change this year. I am enjoying the fall. I am enjoying the change of pace that comes with the movement into the dying season as we slide into the holidays. I am grateful for the way the world is designed to go through changes…and that all of them are beautiful.
Quiet Spot–Today I took a later lunch and found a quiet spot in the building and read for an hour. I am grateful for a good book and a free hour. 🙂

Passion in Practice–Watching Marianne Williamson speak about politics and religion reminded me that we are a multi-faceted people. We are brains and bodies and souls on a spiritual journey. I am grateful that we are made in the likeness of God and are therefore complex and deep. See video here: https://hippychristiangirl.com/2012/10/23/will-you-be-an-outrageous-radical-with-me-and-jesus/

A Beautiful Mind–I must have held a dry erase marker more today than I have in two years. I drew and wrote stuff for myself while trying to figure out something (an old habit that has returned) and I drew a diagram for a colleague to use in a paper for the executive team. I forgot how well I think with a marker in my hand. I guess that’s not just a DJ thing. 🙂
The Expletive heard around the Office–I dropped an F-bomb in our daily business stand up. Normally my role is to make jokes and lighten the mood. But I was pissed off today and tired of getting jerked around by a couple people in the room both privately and publicly  So I let fly. I did so quietly and calmly. Something an ex once described as “ice in my eyes and steel in my voice”. The entire room reacted. Much needed apologies were offered. And when it was all over I smiled and said “Next?” to the person standing next to me. The entire room chuckled and Geno mumbled “I don’t think that is tea in her mug.” I’m grateful for a couple things related to this. I’m grateful that for me my potty mouth is social and not professional (with the exception of IPC where lines were VERY blurry between the two). I’m grateful that I rarely rarely rarely have to be THAT serious because it takes a toll on my physically and mentally. I’m grateful that I work with a team of people who have come to respect me enough that they knew I wasn’t playing and took me seriously. I am grateful that I could let the moment pass and move on in the conversation and let calm wash back over the room. I’m grateful that I don’t shy away from tough conversations and that I know how to wait out mean people for the moment of greatest impact. And I’m grateful that I know that my first impulses are often wrong and that instead of being a jerk the first time something happens, I’ve learned to wait until the situations is irrefutable to speak so that there is little to do but move in the direction of integrity and truth. And mostly I’m grateful that I didn’t blow it today, take it too far, or walk out of that conversation without extending grace, forgiveness, and a fresh start (I’ve done that poorly in the past).
Second Chances and then some–I am grateful for all the people in my career life…mentors, bosses, peers, and employees…who have taught me lessons the hard way and with ease. I am grateful for every misstep I’ve made that has made me and IS making me a better person, employee, and manager.

Michelle–I’m really enjoying getting to know one of the girls in my BSF group. She is smart and funky. I’m hoping maybe we’ll become friends. I’m grateful for hope for new friends.
BSF–After the day I had I didn’t feel like going to Bible study. I’m so glad I did. I’m grateful for the pause it is in my week.
Rooibos–Grateful for great tasting tea from my sweet friend.
New Days–I’m grateful that tomorrow is a new day.

3 Workouts–I worked out this morning because I was up early and ready to get the day started. But this evening I was feeling wound up. I’m grateful that instead of food, tv, or a glass of wine (none of which are inherently bad) that I turned to another workout. I’m glad that what my body craves for stress is becoming physical exertion instead of numbing.
Muffins with Cara–I’m grateful that I woke up before my house-guest and was able to whip together some muffins. And I’m grateful we were able to take our time over a cup of coffee and a muffin this morning before she left for Nashville. I’m also super grateful that I have 3 muffins left for this week. 🙂 I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s muffin.
The Movies–I love movies. And I love to go to the movies. And I know that some people don’t like it, but I like to go to the movies alone. I really enjoyed Alex Cross today and enjoyed eating the healthy snacks I bought at Walgreen’s like Nancee taught me to do. 🙂
The Journey–I’ve been thinking a lot about my own spiritual journey. It is lonely because there are so few people I can talk to about it. I am so grateful for the few people who get where I’m coming from or are good listeners. And I am very grateful that the Holy Spirit has taught me how to keep my own council and turn inward when there is no one to share with. Many of my friends have turned away from me or at least have pulled away from me as I’ve walked this road…but I’m grateful for those who have not left me out of their own discomfort and I’m grateful that I’ve not given up on myself and have learned to be my own friend.
Imagination and Hope–I’m grateful for the life I believe I can have, the imagination to dream it up, and the hope that there is more life in front of me than behind me.

Doors Open–Today I was able to spend some time with the doors open. It’s been cold and rainy for the last week or so. The kits and I were all very grateful to have another day with the doors open and the breeze coming in.
Dancing to Tina on Pandora–I listened to Motown on Pandora today and was getting ready to go upstairs when Ike & Tina started singing Proud Mary. I started dancing around the living room. I am grateful for moments of spontaneity and movement.
The Kits Watching me Dance to Tina–While I was dancing Mal and Rose laid down and watched me like perhaps I’d lost my mind. I’m grateful for their sweet and confused faces that made me laugh hysterically.
Green Chile Sauce–Made the most delicious Green Chile Sauce to put on EVERYTHING for the next few days/weeks. I MAY share with my friend Jim at work. Or I may eat it all my self. I’m grateful for my friend Linda and the gift of Green Chile that she brought me.
Plum Bistro with Cara–We had delicious meals at Plum Bistro. It is becoming my go-to restaurant for when anyone open to vegan food is in town. I’m working my way through the menu and so far am still very happy with everything I’ve tried. I’m grateful for the meal and for the sweet friend to eat and catch up with.

Walking around in my Bra–I work out in just a sports bra and yoga pants and when I come back upstairs sometimes I forget that my neighbors windows look into my kitchen. I’m grateful for neighbors who don’t stare and for the confidence I feel to move around my own home however I wish.
Business Analytics -Today I took a complicated problem to explain and created some charts and graphs that make it simple to talk about. I did this while the person who needed to explain the problem was in another meeting making his life instantly easier. I’m grateful for this brain that thinks the way it does and I’m grateful for the chance t help.
Rory–I’m grateful for my friend Rory who says “Hey Judge, how’s it going?” every time he sees me. He is sweet and funny and I’m grateful for my friends at work
Pushing Through–Last night when I got home from work, the last thing I wanted was to work out. But before I sat down I put on my workout clothes and went downstairs. An hour later I had done a double and was feeling MUCH better. I’m grateful that I am learning to listen to my spirit which knows what I need more than my head.

Waking Grateful–Today I woke up and in my early morning (before I leave bed) prayers I thought the words “Seriously God…I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now.” Oddly I woke up with feelings of homesickness for my friends and family and yet I know that even those feelings are just part of the journey. I’m grateful for my journey…the path…and all I’ve learned along the way. (Shared a clip of the old gospel song here) 
Hysterical Laughter–Today when Heidi’s dog Sir Reginald humped my leg in a meeting, Marilyn and I laughed so hard we couldn’t catch our breath. I honestly can not remember the last time I laughed that hard. I LOVE to laugh and it felt so great! I am grateful for the relief that comes with laughter.
Long Distance Friends–Exchanged texts with a friend today. I hope I was and will be able to help him meet a goal. I am grateful for all the technology that lets friends stay connected.
Privilege of Voting–I cast my ballot today for the President and for Washington specific decisions. It felt odd to cast a vote for Washington issues after only being here for 5 months (today). I have only ever voted absentee in California and as a resident in New Mexico. I am so grateful for the right to weigh in on issues in my current home state and for the right as a woman to vote. So many woman all over the world are fighting or dreaming to have this right. I am grateful for the right to cast a vote for who I want…with no fear of retribution for my choice.
The Sound of Rain--After living in NM and CO for so many years, the sound of rain is still so soothing. Talk to me in 9 months and see if I feel the same way…but right now it is still a lovely sound. I remember loving the SOUND of falling snow in Colorado. I miss that sound and am grateful for rain to replace it. 
Texts with my Sister–I haven’t talked much to my sister in the last 18 months. But every now and then one of us texts the other something we see or want to share with the other. It is a small tie that holds us together. Somewhere in our hearts we are still sisters who have shared a lot of our lifetimes together. And I am grateful for little things that draw us to each other.

A Full Nights Sleep–Last night instead of burning the midnight oil reading or writing, I went to sleep. EARLY. I am grateful for the energy it gave me in my day today!
New Rain Coat(s)–I finally broke down and got a couple rain coats from Lands End. I love both of them. One is a Green short pea coat and one is a Navy belted trench. I’d say that I can’t wait to wear them…but I can totally wait. 🙂 hahaha! But I am super grateful for new coats…and it reminds me of how many people do not have coats. I need to do a run through of my clothes and give them to Bridgetown right away!
Kelly Jo–Today a VP from Amazon legal met with us to tell us her story. She was interesting. Very different than the other two female VPs we’ve met but super interesting. She made me think long and hard tonight about her comments about taking a job that she didn’t really want. I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet with these executive women and be given this opportunity.
Trust–I continue to build trust with my engineering teams. I am proud of that and grateful for it. Sometimes it means that the other PMs who are more business oriented don’t understand my priorities, but I’m learning to deal with the split between me and them. I’m grateful for such smart technologists to work with.
Space–I haven’t said it lately but I am grateful for my own personal space. I’m grateful that I don’t need a roommate and that I can come home to just me and the kits. I am grateful for the freedom that gives me to use the rooms in my home as I wish.
Loose Jeans–Today I put on my Old Navy jeans that I don’t wear very often. They were SO loose it was almost funny. I still wore them but I probably won’t be able to wear them much longer. Oh no…I’ll have to shop!  🙂

Headache–I had the worst headache today that I’ve had in nearly 2 years. I’m not specifically grateful for the headache but I am grateful that having one is so very rare. Before I stopped eating animal products, I had a headache (and regularly migraines) all the time. After stopping dairy and meat products I woke up one day feeling really good and said “Oh…I think I’ve had a headache for 35 years because this feels wonderful.” I’m grateful to have discovered my migraine triggers and have serious and significant relief from my regular headaches.
Boss’ Day–I bought Dennis (my boss) and Brad (my “other” boss) each a bottle of Jameson and a card. They were both surprised and Brad (a Canadian) wasn’t even aware of the holiday. It was fun to surprise them and to honor them for being good guys to me these last few months.
Right to Vote–In my heart of hearts I have a strong desire to not vote in US elections because I believe whole-heartedly that my first loyalty is to God. And since God is not an American I’d prefer to just be grateful for my rights and follow the path of being a child of the world. However…I also know that all over the world woman wish, fight, and die for the right to vote and change the course of their country and cultural path. Because of these women, my sisters, I choose to vote. I also choose to take position on critical issues that I feel are important to women–Fairness in salary, reproductive/healthcare rights, war, economics, educations, etc.–so basically ALL the issues. I am grateful for the suffragists including Susan B who fought for my right to vote.
Skinny Girl Cocktails--I don’t often drink at home these days. I did more so when I had people over to my home for book clubs and evening Bible studies. But now it’s rare though there is always beer and wine in my house. Yesterday when I bought the Jameson for the Bosses, I picked up a bottle of Skinny Girl Pina Colada…a flavor of Skinny Girl I hadn’t had before. It was yummy…though I do still prefer the original margarita and the sangria. Mostly I am grateful for Bethenney Frankel’s brain child and I’m grateful that the corporation who bought her out kept the look, feel, and flavor that those of us who loved the originals loved. I am also grateful for the example of a tenacious woman entrepreneur like BF.

Do the Right Thing--Sometimes we all have to do tasks that we don’t want to do and/or are really someone else’s job. Today I didn’t have the best attitude about it but I didn’t let it show and I did the right thing. I am grateful for the discernment to just do what needed to be done. I am grateful for humility to balance out my own pride. Team player Leah trumped Individual Leah today.
Birthdays–I am grateful that some last minute gifts brought joy to our team members whose birthdays were forgotten last week. Mostly I am grateful for all the hard work that Amber and Geno do daily to make our product launch run smoothly.
Laughter–Today we crammed into an elevator like a bunch of sardines and I kicked Rory’s foot (on purpose) and when he looked at me I said “It was Marilyn”. She of course was on the other side of the elevator and looked shocked when I blamed her. I’ve never been on an elevator full of people laughing hysterically and it was a huge blessing to a down day. Grateful!
Cereal for Dinner--This one is self explanatory.

New Friend–I had lunch today with Nicole. My dear friend Tyler introduced us when he knew I was moving to Seattle because he felt we would connect. It was so good to talk to someone who gets it. Tyler was my “gets it” friend in Denver and I’m so grateful that he shared his friend with me. I’m grateful for our conversation today which was instantly deep because of who we both our and the time we’ve spent “getting to know each other” on Facebook. I’m grateful for my new friend’s journey, her spirit, and her openness. What a blessing!

Bang Bang–Nicole and I ate at a place called Bang Bang Cafe. It’s sort of comical that my corporate housing was right up the block from this place and I never ate there those first few weeks in Seattle. The Vegan Burrito (roasted seasonal veggies, beans, and potato  topped Christmas style with NM red and green chile sauce! I mean seriously???
Sunday Prep Work–I love Sundays when I can spend time prepping fruits, veggies, and other foods for my lunches. I consider this an act of self-love because for a very long time I didn’t take the time to make myself healthy things. I ate processed or prepared foods…even as a Vegan. For the last several months I’ve been back on track prepping my own foods and taking care of my nutrition. I’m reminded of the years I did this and how healthy I was and how great I felt. I’m getting back to that head-space  Mostly I’m grateful that my body is starting to feel healthy like my mind and my spirit. Soon I will have full 3 fold health. 🙂
Long Distance Workout--Today my sweet cousin (I’d say favorite but the other 50+ cousins would get jealous) and I did the same workout. We did the 50 minute Diamond Cutter DDP Yoga DVD. It’s tough and it was so cool knowing as it got tough that Sarah had just finished doing the same workout and that we were partners in health. 🙂 Love you Sarah!
Rain–I loved this gorgeous rainy day!! The clouds were beautiful and the fall colors looked amazing.

Coffee at the Crack–Having coffee very early on a Saturday morning is totally worth while when the person I am drinking it with is my very favorite Zachary.
Going Back to Bed–I also love going back to bed when I have the time. I am grateful that this morning I could sleep another hour and be lazy.
Fall in Phoenix–I love when my friends in Arizona talk about needing a sweatshirt for the chilly weather…and it’s 90 degrees. I am grateful that they love the weather in Phoenix and I am grateful I don’t live there because I’d spend my life sweaty. 🙂
Pedicures–Went for a pedicure with Angelina. The ladies at the salon thought it was funny that I came on Monday for manicures with one friend and pedicures on Saturday with another friend. I am grateful that they do good work, give good massages, and that I have the great fortune to be able to have this luxury in my life.
Dinner with my friend–I really enjoyed dinner at Cafe Flora with Angelina. I have enjoyed having her friendship since moving to Seattle and the more we get to know one another the more fun we have. I admit that since moving to Seattle I have felt cautious in the making of friends for several reasons. But with Angelina there is no room for caution and just being ourselves is so much more fun. She is very good about speaking her truth, sharing her life, and being open about her heart. It is such a blessing to have friends like that…and to have one nearby is even better.
Necklace–Tonight I wore the beautiful new necklace that my sweet friend Linda G ordered me from Nova Scotia. It is the perfect combination of two of my tattoos and I am in love with it. I think I’ll wear it again tomorrow! 🙂

Zachary–Tonight I had dinner with Zachary and his coworker Ben. Listening to Zachary talk about his job and how much he loves it made my heart happy. He is doing great work and being challenged. He is using his abundant gifts as a blessing. Through it all, he is himself…funny, sweet, honest, and open. I am so grateful for the man that he is. I am so grateful that he is doing something that he loves. The years that he made cereal and wondered what God was doing were only preparing him for the responsibility he has now.
3 Little Hours–Did I mention how grateful I am to only live 3 little hours from Sara and Zach. After feeling like I was on a lonely island in Denver for 10 months it is so nice to know that they are so near by. Even if we don’t see each other a lot it is the fact that we CAN. I don’t think I’ll ever forget when I saw Zachary in June after moving up here and I realized I hadn’t hugged him in over a year. I didn’t like that thought one bit…and I’m grateful for just knowing that it doesn’t have to be that long again. Now if I could just hug his brother a little more often. 🙂
Nibs–I am so grateful that my nibs are happy and healthy. Zachary as I mention above. Jake, Ben, and Luke are all happily learning what they need to know to serve the country and loving it. Buddy is learning a great deal about the art that he loves. And the younger ones are all happy and healthy and growing. My prayer is that the younger 5 nibs would find a path and happiness like the older 5.
Training–This week I worked out fewer times and had a different schedule than a normal week. I have been so glad to have the company and the joy of friendship in my home. My meal schedule was a little different as well and I ate out more last weekend and this week than I have in a while. And still…I managed to get a few work outs in and I managed to still drop weight this week. So very grateful that my body is being trained and responds to clean eating even when the exercise isn’t perfect.
Julia–I spent some time today talking to one of the girls at work that I haven’t talked to much. She is super interesting and I was glad to have a conversation with someone new. I’m grateful for meeting new and interesting people.
Advice–Today a former coworker sought me out to ask me career advice. I wouldn’t have imagined this person seeking me out and didn’t even think that I’d had any impact on this person. I am grateful that even when I don’t realize it I am influencing someone for good.
Knowing the Bible–I told Zach that I was going to an Open House on Monday night at Fuller Theological Seminary just to look into their programs. I knew he would be excited for me and he was. Even more touching was that he said “She could school some theologians with what she knows about the Bible.” It was touching to hear him describe me that way to his friend. Hearing him say that it would be cool for me to get the paper (degree) since that is how I study the Bible already touched my heart.

Date–I loved that today is 10…11…12!  I think dates the dates since 2000 have been so much fun. I’m grateful for simple things that make me smile.
Being a Girl–Today on International Day of the Girl Child, I am grateful for being a girl. I love being a woman. Though it can be a challenge…particularly as a woman in a man’s world/industry/religion…I am grateful for the strength my life, my career, and my spirituality has given me by forcing me to know my own heart and mind. I am grateful for the women who have gone before me and paved the way. And I am grateful for the girls coming along behind me who will benefit from my efforts. I am also grateful that the world is becoming more aware of the plight of girls all over the world in need of education, safety, and the right to choose who they will have sex with, when they will have sex, and what is acceptable treatment for their minds, hearts, and bodies.
Malala Yousafzai--I am grateful that the doctors were able to remove the bullets from this sweet young woman. I am grateful for her strength and spirit and am praying for her full recovery.
The Junkman–I saw this story online today and it made me smile. I’m grateful for good people! http://www.happynews.com/news/10102012/.htm

Good news for News–Robin Roberts is home from her bone marrow transplant. So grateful for her safe transplant and will be prayerful for her full recovery.
Boots and Sweaters–I’m not gonna lie. I love warm weather and would wear sandals all year if I could. However, as the weather gets cooler here I am choosing to be grateful for change and for the chance to wear boots and sweaters and scarves.
Mark’s Chemo–I’m not grateful that my sweet friend Mark is sick. I am grateful that he is getting treatment and will make a full recovery. I am grateful that he is a strong man with an equally strong wife and supporting family and friends. I am grateful for is tender heart and his desire to stand in the strength that God gives him.
Fried Rice–All day I wanted fried rice from my favorite vegan delivery so that is what I ordered for dinner…and it made me happy.
Sharing Kale Chips–I made Kale and Chard chips tonight for Linda. I always think it is fun to share something that you really like. I’m grateful that my friend…who is usually 1000s of miles away…has been close enough this week to share life with. 🙂

Yoga Moves–This morning was a new Jillian workout. She uses a lot of yoga moves in this DVD and that is both hard work and comfortingly familiar. I continue to be grateful to my body responding to working out daily.
Gift of Laughter–Since starting at Amazon I’ve decided to bring the gift of laughter to as many days and situations as I can. I do love to make people laugh and always have. Today I made two of the girls on my team laugh during a tense situation and it occurred to me that I really do have pretty good comedic timing and can use facial expressions and words for a laugh. I am grateful for that gift and I am grateful for what it can do during a difficult time to comfort me and others.
Leggings–I’d like to hug the inventor of leggings. I love how they feel and how they look. I am grateful for the little things…including some of the most affordable items of my closet.
Raspberry Rose Jam–I bought Jam at the Issaquah Salmon Days from a local maker. I had it for breakfast this morning and it was DELICIOUS!! So grateful for the amazing yummy food offerings available in my new hometown.

Delete Buttons–I received some pretty hateful and profane Facebook messages and emails from a former friend today. My initial response was to fire back with a stinging rebuttal. My response wasn’t so much gunfire as dropping an atom bomb of words on him to ensure he never tried to get out his little switchblade to cut me again. And then I deleted everything I’d written, thanked him for his opinions  and wished him well in life. I could have kept arguing…instead I let him “put me in my place” and I then walked away. I am grateful for a delete button and the wisdom to use it and move on.
Fellas--Instead of just brushing off his criticism I passed it to three trusted men…Tracy, Chad, and Tyler…to have them weigh in on the truth or fiction of his statement. I so appreciate having these men in my life to give me a man’s perspective on things. I appreciate having men I trust in my life and who want me to live my best life and truth. These three are special but they are only 3 of an army of men who I love and appreciate on many levels. I am blessed.
Nails–Linda and I hit the nail salon and got manicures. I always feel so much better when my nails look nice. It was the perfect act of self-care to end a strange day.
Cheryl–My dear friend Cheryl has my back. We’ve decided that we are so glad to be learning what that phrase truly means. I am grateful that I have a friend who would do battle for me if I needed it and I’m grateful to love someone the way I love her. She is a dear soul-sister and has terrific friend timing.
House-guest–Linda continues to be the most delightful house-guest  I enjoy her stories and our conversation. She is tough and kind and tender-hearted. She has overcome adversity and is a strong, intelligent and independent woman who knows her own head and heart. I am grateful for a friend like that and I’m grateful for a great house-guest. 🙂

My Mom–My mom turned 72 years old today. I am grateful that she has lived long enough to be around after I’ve forgiven her and  I am grateful that there is still time…today and any day after…for me to have whatever type of relationship we can have on our own terms without expecting more from the other than is fair or possible. I am also glad that she had a fun birthday including a cake, a meal with her friends and family, and going to the movies. I love that she said “Hey…you are only 72 once so I think it’s great that I get the kind of cake I want and I get to pick the movie.” Amen Mama…amen!
Salmon Days in Issaquah–Had a really fun time today wandering through the arts and crafts booths, watching the dog diving contest, and having a beer with my friend Linda in Issaquah. The weather was complete perfection and I really enjoyed the ease of a walk and talk and admire the goods kind of day. 🙂
Plum Bistro–Every time I eat a meal at Plum Bistro it makes me gratitude list for the day. It is always nice to walk into anywhere that you know you can eat anything on the menu without giving it a second thought. It is what omnis take for granted daily because of the acceptability of their diet choices…which I don’t begrudge them. But I am so grateful to live somewhere that being a vegetarian or a vegan is so much easier.
Stewart & O’Reilly Rumble 2012–I got to watch this debate for the first time tonight and I’m so grateful that Jon Stewart is the NON-News Man who represents my generation and the ones behind me. He may be a comedian but he is able to bring laughter and heart…and a whole lot of common sense…to the political discourse that is much needed.
A great weekend–This has been one of my favorite weekends so far since moving to Seattle. Friday I was able to chill at my own pace. Saturday was a movie with a new friend and making a meal for a long time friend coming to visit. Then today was filled with sunshine, trinkets, laughter, and friendship. I am so grateful for the job and life that affords me the luxury of weekends when others all over the world don’t have the ability to do what i did today because to not work is to not eat. May I never forget these blessings and may I never tread on that other person. Instead I pray my gratitude will move to action on their behalf as often as possible.

Movies with New Friend–I went to the movies today WITH someone. Something that hasn’t happened in a while. I went with Carol who I met through my Albuquerque friend Nancee. It was fun to have company for something that has become a solo endeavor this last year. I’m grateful for the new contact in Seattle
Linda–My friend Linda arrived tonight and I’m so happy that she’s here. She has always had an ease about her that others immediately pick up on. I’m so grateful to have her here and to be able to host her while she visits family. I’m grateful for the company and the friendship.
New Mexico–With Linda came some treats from New Mexico that I’m grateful for including Green Chile and Pinon Insence. So grateful for little tastes/smells of home anytime I can get them.
Someone to Cook For–I love to cook and I love to have people in my home. After YEARS of having people over once or twice a week nearly every single week…it has become a much rarer thing in Denver and Seattle. Hopefully as I make friends that will change because I love to cook and try out new recipes. Tonight I made Green Chile and Mushroom Veg Pot Pie and Lemon Blueberry Lavender Muffins. Both were good and I was grateful to have someone to share with. 🙂

Friday–Don’t get me wrong…I like and am SO grateful for my job…but I really really love Fridays. I love being able to see a couple days ahead of me that are totally mine to do with as I please. So grateful for the freedom that my schedule has that allows me some days off when some people must work 7 days a week just to survive and put food in their own and their children’s mouths.
Clean House–I’ve said it before…I’m not dirty. But I can be cluttered and of course my house is a battle with cat hair on a constant basis. I am so glad when people come over so that I put up a better fight. I love when ALL of the laundry is done and all the beds have clean sheets and comforters. Ahhhhhhh….
Closet Full–I have a closet full of clothes. So many others do not. I don’t need a closet full of clothes. But I am grateful for the blessing of clothing and shoes and style. I’ve accumulated these clothes over years and over the coming months most of it will be donated as I begin to move into smaller sizes…but I’m so grateful for my clothing and for being fortunate enough to have a closet full.

Stamina–As I continue to work out my body continues to have little tweaks and creaks. But overall I can tell I’m building stamina and strength. The weight isn’t dropping as fast as I’d like but I’m not down about it. Bodies do what bodies do. I know I’m eating healthy and I know I’m working out so it’ll happen. I am grateful that my body is able to do what I need it to do and that it also warns me when I’m doing something that it cannot yet do.
Genesis–I am enjoying the book of Genesis more than I have in a long time. I’m seeing it with fresh eyes and less dogma which enables me to enjoy it more. I’m grateful for the reason to study.
Toothpaste–I don’t think I am grateful for the lovely little things I have in my life that make it better. I am grateful to have toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash. And I am grateful that you have it as well. 🙂 
–The lady who lives in my house is late with her rent payment and since I handle all of that through the property manager, I don’t know a lot about the reasons. I am however SO grateful for the fact that up until now she has never been late and has always paid the full amount. I am grateful for however she supports herself so that she has been able to cover my mortgage. And I’m praying for relief for whatever the problem is that she is facing that has made it hard for her to pay this month. I am also hoping that she will renew her lease and stay on another year so that I don’t have to begin the process of looking for another tenant. I am grateful for how easy the process has been most of the time since I left Albuquerque for Denver with relation to my home.
Sunshine–I continue to be grateful for the sunshine and the fact that the sun just keeps bringing beautiful days to Seattle.
Cute Delivery Guys–That doesn’t need an explanation right?

Slow Morning--I went into work late this morning. I was able to slow down a bit and not feel quite so hurried. What is comical about that statement is that I am rarely truly HURRIED as I don’t have a set start time and have the benefit of flexibility. I am grateful for today and I’m grateful for the regular flexibility.
Clean Closet–I have been avoiding the closet in my bedroom for 4 months. It was a bit of a dumping ground when I first moved in for some bags and boxes. Tonight I managed to clear it out and get everything put away. I am grateful for the organization and I’m grateful that I didn’t just ignore it another day. 🙂
Big Bird–I’m grateful for the support for Big Bird on twitter and Facebook tonight after the Republican nominee said he’d cut funding to PBS and specifically named Big Bird. I’m grateful for what Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, 3-2-1 Contact, and The Electric Company meant to me and so many others as children. And what those and Arthur, Clifford, and Between the Lions means to children today.
Debates–I’m grateful to live in a country where two people can disagree strongly about the direction of our political environment. I’m also grateful that despite what feels like a lack of substance to pundents, is still a very good process for the rest of the world to watch and see that discourse is possible.

Fall decorations!!–My friends from Albuquerque know that I LOVE to decorate for fall and then just slide right into Christmas decorations. My house doesn’t get back to “normal” until January. In 2011 I was in Denver living in an apartment I never invited anyone into. I didn’t unpack ANY of my fall or Christmas decorations. Tonight I unpacked my fall decorations and got them up around the kitchen, dining area, and living room. I admit that seeing these decorations made me really miss my house in Albuquerque. But I am grateful that there will be people in my home this fall to see the decorations. And I’m grateful that these fun decorations that I’ve collected over the years are now gracing my new dwelling.
“Fireplace”–I miss my sweet little Kiva fireplace in my Albuquerque house tremendously. Tonight I was chilly enough to turn on my little fake gas fireplace. While it isn’t nearly as homey as a real wood burning fire place, it is a cozy touch and it was nice to warm the living room and read a book by the “fire”.
Clown Noses and Balloon Animals–One of the leads on our team didn’t tell anyone it was his birthday. So to “punish” him we got a clown and a cake and busted in as a team into a staff meeting. We wore clown noses, made nose with duck whistles, and got balloon animals from the clown…GlitterElla. So fun! I’m grateful for the distraction that this little even created in an otherwise crazy day and for the way it made Iain feel special and loved. (My balloon animal was a ladybug which I didn’t ask for and was just given…and ladybugs are one of my symbolic animals!)
Credit–One of my sweet coworkers gave me tons of credit for helping him with something today. He was over the top and very public about ensuring that everyone knew I’d helped him. I didn’t have ANY expectation of this and was really just trying to relieve him of some of the pressure he’s under while we launch a product because I had the time. Despite not expecting it, I am so grateful for his generous words and kindness. (That’s him in the clown nose!) 🙂
Traffic–I’m grateful that I was home before the traffic craziness got started tonight in Seattle. The 3 M’s…Mariners, Madonna, and Michelle (Obama) were all having events tonight. I was really grateful to be home before things were completely locked up. It is good to live close to work and to not have to travel on the highways to get home. 🙂

Working Out–Today I didn’t get up in time to workout before work. I didn’t sleep well and didn’t push myself to get up. So I knew that I would either have to miss my workout or do it AFTER I got home from BSF…which is usually about 9:00 PM. When I got home, I immediately changed into workout clothes and went downstairs before I could change my mind or sit down. I am grateful that I did because I always feel better afterwards and I have more self-respect when I do the things I’ve promised myself I will do. I honor myself when I honor my commitment to myself. I am grateful that I am important to me. 🙂
Sharing Truth–I am outspoken. I know…stop the presses…right? But everyone has things that they say aloud or in public forums that are risky. Things that they know will not sit well with others and that could cost them. I have those things. Everyone does. But some times things must be said. I am grateful that through the years I’ve learned when to keep my thoughts private and when to share them. And I’m grateful for those who disagree with me who can challenge me without being hateful or dismissive. And I’m grateful that those who disagree and find what I think distasteful can just walk away…and I am grateful that nothing in me clings to them, to their approval, or to their friendship.
Rose–Today is the 2 year anniversary of the day the Wolffs dropped Rose off at my house. She had bitten one of their foster kids and we weren’t sure at the time if it was a permanent or temporary situation. Rose was born to a feral barn cat and sometimes she is so much like her mother. haha! When she first moved in I could barely get close to her. During her first week she stayed as far away from me as possible and only got close enough to Mal for him to smell her. By week two she decided she liked him and that I was the person with thumbs who opened the food. Over the 2 years I’ve had her she has become my shadow and is almost always in the same room or close enough to watch me at all times. She still does not want to be held for long, does not sit on my lap, and is very noisy about her meal times. She is a sweet little companion to both Mal and I. We are very grateful for her! 🙂

Healing–I am grateful for healing…body, mind, spirit, emotions. What a wonderful gift to be given the ability to heal by a designer of our bodies and souls.
Peace–I am grateful for peace in my home. Things have not always been this way. And I’m so grateful for the gift.
Things–I am grateful for my things. Things that make me feel like I am at home. Things that make me feel pretty when I put them on. Things that start when I turn the ignition and take me places I want to go. Things in my wallet that allow me to purchase other things. Things that can mark my place in the thing I’m reading. All religions remind us to not cling to things…and yet things are what make up the simplest beauties of our lives. I don’t cling to them…but I am grateful.
Wealth–Even my “poorest” friends are not poor by comparison to the rest of the world. Even those in precarious life positions who are in danger of not having a home can read and write…which is more than can be said for most of the world. I am grateful for what I do have…will be less concerned about what I do not…and will give away what I can.

Great Authors–It’ll come as no surprise to my friends that one of the things in life that I am most grateful for are well-written books. I do not pretend to be a person with a slight love of the written word. I am honest in my desire to devour every book I lay my eyes on. I am so grateful for the minds of writers who put their words into sentences and captivate me completely. Last Saturday I read half of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and then tonight I finished it. I found myself finding little distractions to keep me from finishing the last 50 pages because I couldn’t stand the idea that the story could be over. It is. And I am, like so many hundreds of other times in my 36 years, better for having read the words of this story.
Self-Care–Today I had intended to run errands and had quite a list of things I “needed” to do. And yet after working out this morning all I could think of was how much I needed a day to sit with my own thoughts. I have some things rolling around in my head that I am not yet ready to write about but also not ready to just push through and leave behind by staying busy. Instead I gave myself some room for sitting, for napping, for writing, for erasing what was written, and for prayer. I am grateful that I am my own friend. That I treat myself more and more often with genuine affection. I did not learn this from my family…but I’ll do everything I know to live in this space and teach it to my tribe.
Phone call from Dad–My dad called today. Normally when his # pops up on my phone I have to think about whether or not I’m in the right frame of mind to talk to him or my mom. Today I just answered. I took the risk. And I was rewarded with my chatty, funny, interesting Dad on the other side of the line and my Mom giving him instructions from her chair next to him of things to tell me. I was met with his gratitude, touched by his desire to teach me something about the Bible, and humored at the dismissive tone he took at the idea I shared with him. I am learning to navigate them both while they try to learn to navigate me. I no longer need their approval. I no longer need for them to believe my truth. I have no expectation and my heart cannot be broken again. But I can offer these two people who desperately wish I was their child again my love, compassion, and attention. I am grateful for the opportunity to do whatever rebuilding I can…on my own terms…in these twilight years of their lives. Nearly two years ago when my heart was so broken that all I could pray was that if God wanted things better he’d have to do it himself, I held no hope that it was possible. And yet here we sit…establishing a calm and kind detente …because with God all things are possible. It may never be the grand story of reconciliation the abused little girl wants…but it can be a story of compassion and history that the woman can appreciate.
The Challenge–I continue to sit in angry thoughts about the public meanness of a former friend. And tonight as I prepare for bed I choose to be grateful for the lesson I’m being taught in extending grace to one who is undeserving. I am grateful because I know that there are those who have done the same for me…extended grace when I was undeserving. Just remember my favorite quote by Max Lucado “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars.” I’m driving away and that dog’s barking! 🙂

Study Time–This morning as I worked on my BSF lesson for next Monday I was drawn to the idea that perhaps Adam and Eve were clothed by the glory/light of God. And then drawn to the words that are used to describe the glory of God. There is more to write and it belongs as it’s own blog by this Hippy Christian. For now I am grateful that the study of old texts and old languages is so interesting to me. I am grateful for an open mind and heart to hear from the Holy Spirit and not be stuck in old thoughts and old beliefs. I am grateful that it is my right to dearly love God without carrying around the weight of my upbringing or what others (old school coCers/Baptists or my new-age friends) expect of me.
Jon & Stephen–So grateful for the laughs that the men of Comedy Central bring me every day!
Rights–I am so grateful for my right to vote…and to vote for whoever I want. I am also grateful for the right to choose to NOT vote if I want. I vote because I believe it is a simple way that I can stand with women all over the world who want the right to vote.
NPR–I am grateful for my morning ride with NPR and for the ability to plug in and tune out the noise of the office while I work.
Payday–I probably say something like this each month…but I never cease to be grateful for my paycheck. Thanks for the job Amazon.

Laughter–I spent time with my favorite Amazon SDEs today and they made me laugh. I am so grateful for their sense of humor and their appreciation of my sense of humor.
Organization–Today I FINALLY got my features of our Product launch outlined in a logical way and in a way that I can very easily report the progress of the SDEs. I am so grateful that it came together…better late than never.
Cool Kids--My boss and I were talking today and I made a joke about wanting to be one of the “cool kids” and he laughed. Then he stopped laughing looked up and said “You get that you ARE the cool kid right? Everyone on this team adores you and if I have to hear one more time how smart, funny, and helpful you are, I might jump off a bridge.” That made ME laugh. He’s known for being a bit of a crank…in a lovable way…and he cracks me up talking about how annoying he finds my likability. I’m grateful that he found something to laugh about given how hard a week he’s had.
Mean Girls–I choose to be grateful for mean girls and the lessons they teach. That is all.
Jesus–Just in case I haven’t said how grateful I am for Jesus lately…I am. The man he was and is. The sacrificial life and death. And the way that he loves me even when I want to kick Mean Girls right in the teeth. The way he is proud of me when I don’t. 🙂

Boundaries–Today was the 3rd in a string of tough days. In the middle of the day one of my coworkers put the “full court press” on me to do something with a crowd of people that (a) I didn’t want to do and (b) I KNEW I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do. Initially I was hesitant to be direct about how I was feeling because I knew that I ran the risk of eliciting criticism and judgement. In past years I would have hesitated and done the thing I didn’t want to do out of guilt or fear. Today I took a deep breath and told the coworker that I couldn’t do what she was asking me because I wasn’t in the right “head space” to benefit others and I had to do what was best for me today. She was disappointed but said she understood and was grateful for my honesty. I am SO glad that I am a woman who knows her own limitations and knows how to speak what she needs for herself directly. I am so grateful that I have learned to take care of myself…thereby enabling me to care more for others.
Old Ghosts–Today I read some comments about me that a “friend” posted on another friends Facebook page several weeks ago.  Given my mood today I wrote a fairly direct comment and ALMOST hit send…and then I remembered that this person is not in my life. I spent a lot of years giving my power to people who are not a part of my life and I won’t do it anymore. Passive aggressive mean girls have no place in my life. I am grateful for the ability to keep my own power and fight off old ghosts.
Freezer Surprise–Today when I was putting away groceries, I moved something in the freezer and found some dark chocolate treats that I’d stuck in there when I first moved in. Talk about gratitude! The perfect find on a day like today!!! 🙂 (Went really well with my fortune cookie today!)
A Thank You–My dad left me a voice-mail today just to thank me for the books I ordered he and my mom last week. I am really trying to put aside the past and have whatever kind of relationship with my parents that is possible now. This means that when angry thoughts rush in, I acknowledge them and let them go. Doing this enables me to accept what my parents have to give today. I am grateful for a spirit of forgiveness that is pressing through even when it doesn’t come naturally.

Healing–After praying for a miracle yesterday, icing and massaging my leg, and just letting go…I woke up pain-free. No issue with my leg. Not even residual soreness. Probably sounds minor and to some may seem that I was just over reacting to some muscle soreness…but I was in excruciating pain, my body would not bear weight, and I honestly thought it might be a stress fracture. Am so grateful for God’s healing hands and for the prayers and positive energy of my friends and family.
Moments of Grace–Today I got angry…really angry…for the first time at my new job. I have had the occasional annoyance and have found people frustrating…but I had a moment where I could not look one of my coworkers in the face because I was so angry with her that I knew I couldn’t hide it. She felt it rolling off of me and stood by my desk saying insipid things that only made it worse. And as she walked away…I knew two things…she was going to tattle to my boss and the moment would pass. The former I don’t care a bit about and the latter is always true. As I closed my eyes and went to my seat of consciousness, I was able to release the angry and let it go out of me. I was able them to formulate my response and also to deal with her without carrying the weight of my former anger into our next conversation. I am grateful for challenges and grateful for the times I meet them. And I’m grateful for moments that I don’t meet the challenge and instead offer myself grace to be me and move on.
Geno–My pal at work is always able to make me smile. While he is very serious about his work, he is learning to laugh more and to take moments to join in the humor. Today as he leaned across me trying to type something I said “Would you be more comfortable in my chair?” He said “No. This will only take a minute.” So I said in the same serious tone “Would it be okay if I tickled you?” And he very professionally replied “I’d really rather you didn’t…at least not right this second.” Everyone else in the room stopped their conversation and looked at us…and then burst into laughter. I’m so grateful when presented with the gift of someone who gets my sense of humor. 🙂
Sharing Green Chile–I took some Green Chile stew to my co-worker who is also a New Mexican. He ate it today and went on and on about how much he’d missed that flavor. I   am so grateful for the opportunity to share some of what I love with someone else who loved it. :)</p>

Lucid Thought–I have often tended to over analyze any bit of pain, looking up every symptom online, and making a hasty judgement about what could be wrong. Yesterday I had a lot of pain in my right leg that was making normal walking difficult. Instead of making assumptions or spending a ton of energy on looking up possible symptoms, I determined to breath through the pain for the day, rest it that night and make a more lucid decision on Tuesday morning about whether or not to go to the doctor. I am grateful that my more clam nature is flowing over into every aspect of my life.
Asking for a Miracle–I have often been told by other Christians that we should be very purposeful in the things we ask God for on our own behalf. I have more of an open and friendly relationship with God and have a tendency to talk through the issues of the day with him as often as possible. Last night as I left BSF my leg pain was excrucitating. I sat in my Jeep and prayed for a miracle. I begged for healing because I so desperately wanted to be able to continue working out and not lose my momentum. I am grateful that even in my foxhole moment, God surrounded my with her warmth and showered me with love and affection. I was able to feel confident that it would work out either way, drive myself home, and go to bed peacefully.
Cat Nap–I had about 30 minutes between work and BSF last night. I didn’t eat. I wasn’t hungry. All I wanted was to lay down for a few minutes and nap. So that’s what I did. I slept for 20 minutes. As soon as I lay down, both the kits climbed up on me in different spots and went right to sleep like they’d been waiting for me to take a nap all day long. It was a sweet cat nap and kit nap. I am grateful for my internal clock that never lets me down and for the blessing of a few minutes of sleep.
NegativeGirl--One of the ladies in my BSF group is potentially the most negative person I’ve talked to in a very long time. As I sat stunned by her angst, anxiety, and anger…I was so grateful for how my own view of the world is much more full of positivity and gratitude. And then I chuckled…out loud. I had a thought…a thought that she was so angry that she’s become a cartoon character instead of a real life person. And while I’m sorry she has to live in that spot…I’m so grateful that I don’t. My prayer is that BSF will help her see beyond her own misery and help her dig out of whatever pit she’s climbed into…or been pushed into by life….and that she’ll find peace and joy and gratitude.

Vancouver–Drove up to Vancouver today. It is still one of my favorite cities. Maybe I could get a transfer to Amazon.ca 🙂
Unplugged--I left my phone at home. And initially I had that moment of panic I always feel without my phone. And then I realized it has been a LONG time since I fully unplugged for a day. It was really nice to just stay in the moment.
Green Chile Stew–Came home today from the most amazing crock pot smells in the house. And in the crockpot was the most delicious Green Chile Stew. One bowl was filling but low calorie while cleaning my sinuses and giving me the amazing combo of hot soup and fresh tomatoes and cilantro. So amazing! I miss fall in New Mexico…but this soup helps. So grateful for these amazing ingredients.
Support–I hurt my ankle today…well…the muscles near my ankle…and asked my friends for prayers and they came though. They are showering me with support on Facebook and I need the help. So grateful for amazing friends.
Yoga with Rose–When I did Yoga this morning Rose was on the mat the entire time. She is totally in my way but it cracks me up because she is totally lovey dovey…which is not her normal personality. She rolls around and stretches and sometimes it’s as if she’s mimicking me. It’s adorable and makes doing Yoga so much fun! She is excellent at Downward Kitty and I’m grateful for her!

New book–I love starting a new book and just being captivated from the first word. I started a book yesterday and within a paragraph I knew I wasn’t going to be able to put it down….and within a couple hours I was halfway through the book. So fun to find a great read!
Laughing with Jake–Jacob called me today and that literally calmed my heart. I needed to hear his sweet voice and know that he is okay and happy. Hearing him say “I love you” is still one of my favorite things in the world. He and his brother and little sister own pieces of my heart in a way that no one else in the world does. I’m grateful for them.
Hour with Jillian–I did circuit and cardio with Jillian today. A month ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that…or it would have been really rough. Now it is a workout but it is do-able. So grateful for a body that responds
No fighting–My kits have been fighting a lot without a lot of cuddling between them. But today they were very cuddly with each other. Sharing a chair…laying close in bed…sitting on the couch together. I’m hopeful that they are moving back to their original close relationship instead of being jealous of me. So grateful for moments of love between them.

New Window–I am grateful that the window that fell out of my house (I just LOVE saying that) has been repaired and that the kits and I won’t get wet when the rains start….which is supposed to happen tonight. 🙂
Voicemail–I received a call yesterday from my friend Jerry who I mentioned in an earlier post. He got the letter I wrote him last weekend and he was so excited to get back in touch. I’m so looking forward to talking to him sometime this week. He is like some sort of mystical mentor that shows up just when I need him.
Cooking–The first few months I was in Seattle I ate out or ordered in a lot. As a Veg head there are some options but it gets boring. More importantly it gets expensive. And while I can afford it…WHY? So I’ve been cooking myself 3 meals a day (taking my lunch to work) and have not only saved a ton of money but it has kept me from making poor eating choices, kept me away from junk, and helped me to be sure that I’m getting all the right nutrition while on this workout path.
Shot of Jameson–Last night was our first Friday night happy hour at work in a while. This “event” is called Shot & Beer and is a ton of fun…especially after a hard week. I switched to shot and a diet coke. I haven’t had any hard liquor or for that matter any soda in several weeks. 1 shot of Jameson and I was FLOATING. And the diet coke with a nice big lime in it, was like the best treat ever. It’s it funny how when you rid your diet of certain things they become so much more exciting when you treat yourself. I am thankful for the enjoyable company and the yummy shot and diet coke. 🙂

To Do Lists–I LOVE marking things off my to do list. This week I have been super productive and am trying really hard to close out as many issues each day as possible. I am really eager to go into this weekend without any work to do from home. I used EVERY free or spare moment today and by tomorrow’s Shot & a Beer I should be able to comfortably be able to leave my laptop at work and not bring anything home.
Dinner with a friend–I met Angelina for dinner tonight at Wild Ginger in Bellevue. They have a small vegan menu and the food was DELICIOUS. It was so nice to just sit and talk and enjoy the company of a friend.
Friends–Hardly a day goes by that one of my friends from all over the world doesn’t message me in some way to tell me how much they love me. I am so grateful for their words and the way that their communication encourages me.
Knee–I have been having some problems with my knee swelling due to all the working out I’ve been doing. This is troublesome because I don’t want to lose the habit and momentum I’ve built up. But I am so grateful for ice packs in my fridge from my Amazon Fresh deliveries. The cold has helped drive the swelling down so that I’m able to sleep and able to keep working out.
Clean House–I’m not terribly messy but now and then things just get cluttered. Because I thought my nephew and his wife were coming this weekend I did some cleaning of each room over the last few nights. I finished this morning and it was SO NICE to come home to a perfectly clean house and know that I don’t have to spend ANY of my free time this weekend on cleaning. 🙂

Customer Support–Today my parents called me in the middle of the day. I answered the phone assuming the worst…that somebody was ill or hurt. This is what happens when your parents are elderly and you never talk to them on the phone. My dad was actually looking for an out of print commentary on the Book of Daniel. He called to ask me to “do some research” for him and while he talked to me I found his book. He was so impressed by the speed at which I was able to help him and in the background I heard my Mom say “I told you that you should have called her first. She just knows this stuff.” My mom then asked me if there was any way I could tell her if the singer Charley Pride was dead. So while she chatted at me I looked up information, found him on tour in Nevada, and also found his autobiography that is out of print for her. My parents were so impressed with my “skills” and all I could do was smile. I am grateful that I could help them in some small way. And I am grateful that instead of resenting that they are proud of me for something so “trivial” for me, that instead I’m just willing to take the pleasure of it at face value and enjoy.
Chatting–One of my bosses (a man) set up a series of conversations for the women on his team to meet with 6 of the higher ranking women at Amazon (there aren’t many) one at a time over the course of the next few months. It is an opportunity for us to talk to them about how to navigate Amazon culture as a woman and how to plan a successful career path. It was really sweet of our boss to set that up and it was a really good conversation today. Plus there was wine and good snacks. Can’t go wrong with that!
Phone Date–One of my favorite people and I planned a phone date so that we could catch up. Some people just get you in a way that no one else does. My friend and former co-worker Greg Belfor understands how I communicate….because he worked so closely with me while I was becoming a good product manager…and because he has remained a dear friend over the years. I am so blessed to have left every company I’ve ever worked for as an adult with a friend or two to turn too.
Dark Chocolate–For about 3 days I have been craving dark chocolate. So today on my way to a meeting I looked in our vending machines assuming there wouldn’t be a good choice. But there….inside our high end vending machine…was a dark chocolate bar that I didn’t mind paying a ridiculous amount for. I broke off about a 3rd of the bar and ate it during a meeting and offered the rest to the folks at the table. I love what choosing the highest quality treat for yourself does…it keeps you from feeling guilty and it allows you to taste the very best product offered!

Team Player–I work in an environment where being part of team is important but where each individual is very concerned about their own tasks. I love that I have the flexibility in my particular role to offer to assist with elements of a product launch that are not necessarily mine to own. I love being able to say “Can I help with that?” or “Do you need me to help you?” Offering my help is one of my favorite things to do both professionally and personally and right now I have the ability to do that and serve others.
Experiences--Today as I listened to several of my female coworkers talk, I realized how fortunate I have been over the years to work in start up environments among men who respected me and gave me the freedom to be myself. I find myself censoring so much of what I want to say or what I need to say at Amazon because I don’t yet feel like it’s safe to be myself. And I’m reminded of how very lucky I have been to be among so many talented and bright men AND woman during my career who helped me to see that just being myself was offering the best of what I had. I know I will find my voice at Amazon as well…and probably sooner than others are ready for.
Laundry–I haven’t yet mentioned how exceedingly grateful I am for the fact that I have a washer and dryer in my house in Seattle. After 11 months of lugging everything to the basement and always having to have quarters….something I haven’t done since college…I am so grateful for the blessing of those two simple appliances. I think we often forget that MOST of the world does not have this convenience. I am so grateful! 🙂

Breakfast–I’ve been making sure I eat a filling breakfast every morning and NOT in my car. I eat either at the table before I leave or at my desk while I look at email and get settled for the morning. I’m also down to one, albeit large (grande), cup of dark roast coffee instead of fueling non stop through my day. I am so grateful for the food I am able to buy because I know there are those who cannot. I am so grateful that I’m able to buy healthy food because I know there are others who cannot afford the quality I have. And I am grateful for opportunities to serve those who have less or those who are hungry…like the lady I gave my breakfast to on the way into work this morning. She was hungry and I could buy a replacement. So grateful I had something in my hand to offer her!
Morning with the Cranks–My office was full of cranky folks today. No smiles. Abrupt conversations. Rudeness. And just when I could feel myself going cold in response (safety mechanism)…I took a moment in one of the small conference rooms and talked to God. I asked to be given grace that I might give some. God said yes and I was able to turn on a light, bring a smile, and not fall into the trappings of other people’s moods. So very grateful for Divine intervention!
Shoulders and Back–I can FEEL the muscles in my back and shoulders getting stronger. I can feel the knots and tension releasing and giving way to a different kind of soreness. And I can feel the weight of the universe that I carry right between my shoulder blades slowly giving way to a more powerful support structure for my head, brain, spine, neck, and of course my super heavy afro. 🙂 So grateful to FEEL change even if  I don’t SEE change yet! I asked God to make me strong…and I can feel strong coming on! Thank you Thank you Thank you!
Diversity–I am in a BSF class that is full of the most beautifully diverse women I’ve been among in a very long time. Caucasians are the minority, the leader is an African American, and we meet in a Chinese Baptist church. Culterally the group is overflowing with people from all walks of life, all age groups, all socio-economic groups, sizes, colors, and denominations. I am where I am supposed to be. Surrounded by the “mmm hmms” and “amens” of the lovely older African American ladies, the soft translations of the younger Hispanic girl to her older mother and grandmother, and the sounds of beautiful Asian accents singing hymns in both English and Chinese. Ahhh…room to be me. Breathing into this new part of my path. I am grateful! My cup runneth over…

She, the Holy Spirit–As I was studying Genesis for BSF today I felt compelled to pull out my interlinear Hebrew text because I wanted to confirm the noun used for Gen 1:2 “…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” As I suspected the word was the Hebrew word ruach which is a feminine noun. So the Hebrew would actually be “and the Spirit of God, she was hovering over the waters” if translated with its descriptive pronouns. This is one of MANY uses of the feminine word for the Spirit of God. She is part of the creative force of the Godhead and is the physically active participant in the creation of the world. (How shocking…feminine nature taking the most physically active role in creating life! hahah!) Anyway…just reading through these texts again made me smile and reminded me that there is so much more to God and his/her 3-fold nature. I am so grateful for the reassurance of the text and the peace it brings my heart. (I’ll write a more detailed blog on this sometime soon. I promise!)
Jen–I am grateful for my encouraging friend Jen in Chicago. She makes me laugh, touches my heart with her honesty, and cheers me on when I’m trying to do something new. I’m very grateful for our friendship.
Stamps–I wrote some a letter and some notes to 6 friends today. I had 6 stamps. So grateful that none of the letters have to wait until I can get to the post office. 🙂
Dr. Jerry–Several years ago I met an older man at my favorite Borders (now closed of course) on the westside of Albuquerque. He struck up a conversation with me and we proceeded to meet there once a month or so for quite some time. He came out of nowhere and I call him my “noble friend” because he came along for a purpose. We lost touch (my fault) when I moved to Denver and I haven’t spoken to him or seen him in probably close to 2 years. Today I wrote him a letter catching him up on my life and telling him how important his friendship has been to me. I pray it blesses him the way that his love and friendship has blessed me. He was like having the most perfect father or grandfather for a girl who has parents who want so little to do with her. I am so grateful for all of our amazing conversations and am hopeful that my letter will open the door to more.
BSF Group–When I went to BSF last week I was on a 50 woman waiting list for a group. The leader said that some of us would probably have to wait several weeks or a couple months to get into a group. But I got a call yesterday and am in a group. I am so grateful for this. In Denver I made a few friends in BSF so I’m hoping maybe there is a friend in my group that I’m just waiting to meet. 🙂

Minus 13–In 2011 I lost 50 lbs. Then earlier this year I gained about 18 of that back. Now I’m back down 13 lbs and feeling great as I head back to that weight and keep going.
India & Bali–My boss thinks that we’ll probably need to make a trip to India in January/February. I have been avoiding this discussion since I joined Amazon because the idea of my first seriously international trip being with work people makes me feel anxious. (I’m not sure why.) But today I started looking at maps and thinking about how I might be able to tack a vacation in Bali onto the trip and suddenly it seemed like a good idea. I don’t know if it’ll work out…but it is nice to think about. 🙂
HUGE salad–I think people assume that Vegetarians and Vegans eat salads every single day. And sure….I probably eat more of them than the average American (which isn’t saying much!) but I don’t ONLY eat salads. So when I make a GREAT salad I feel so good about it and enjoy the indulgence. Today’s dinner was a huge salad of local veggies from my CSA and some NM Green Chile and a little bit of Soy Chorizo for flavor. Amazing! I’m grateful for my CSA, the speciality groceries from Amazon Fresh and Trader Joes, and for the money from my job that makes me able to eat this well.
Glass of wine–I’m not strictly counting calories or anything…but I’m just paying attention (rounding up conservatively) when I’m eating each day. So today I shaved a little off each meal so that I could have a lovely glass of Washington Cab. It hit the spot. This bottle of wine is the first I’ve ever opened since moving to Seattle and the first alcohol I’ve had in my home. I drink socially with work folks but haven’t been drinking much at home. It’s AMAZING how good a glass of wine tastes when you haven’t been drinking very often. The same is true of the shot of Jameson and/or the beer I drink with my coworkers every few weeks. I’m grateful for these beverages and grateful that they have no hold on me except as something to enjoy from time to time.

Trades–Today I traded one baggie of my green chile for homemade Zuni res taco shells. I love that I have another New Mexican to talk about this stuff with and that both of us “just know” how the other feels about NM without having to explain it. Grateful for Jim!
Doctor–My boss (his last name is Doctor) came back into the office today after being in Brazil all week and China the week before. He was tired but the few minutes we spent talking was just good for us both. I can tell that he sees me as a peer and I am so grateful for that since we are the same age and have very similar experience.
Santa Cruz–I also had a conversation with one of the girls from work about Santa Cruz. We both just named places we loved from beaches to coffee shops to stores without having to explain anything to the other. It was a bonding moment and I’m grateful!
1 hour-I worked out for an hour tonight. Feel so badass after these workouts. Love that my headband is a measure of how hard I’ve been sweating when I’m done and it is soaked. Grateful for my body.
Craig–Tonight I am watching old episodes on the DVR of The Late Late Show. I love Craig and can’t for the life of me figure out how or why I’ve gotten so far behind. This needs to be my go-to chill show since I have all these episodes to catch up on. I’m grateful for how he makes me laugh and how I believe he is a genuinely good guy.

Complaint Free Amazon–Today was a rough day. And yet several times as I started to complain or confront a situation I stopped, thought about it, and decided that everything I was annoyed about could wait one more hour. As the hours past the things that I found troubling began to lose their grip on me. Ultimately I didn’t say anything I would regret later, I didn’t confront things that don’t matter and were just a distraction, and I didn’t waste even a single breath complaining. Grateful for an uncomplaining spirit.
Surprising Myself–At about 4 PM I was wearing down after a rough day and I thought “Oh man…I can’t wait to get home and do some cardio and work out this frustration.” As soon as the thought was complete I sat back, slightly stunned…then laughed and thought “Yup…it’s happening. I’m the best version of me again.” So grateful for those moments.
Suicides–Body Revolution Phase 1’s cardio workout included 3 intervals of suicides. These are basically running sprints done in your living room for a solid minute each time. This is how Jillian completed each circuit of 8 exercises. The super duper fit people in her video (including Jillian herself) were huffing and puffing doing this exercise. And I did it at full steam (for my body) each circuit. I finished strong and sweaty and felt that little twinge of pride that comes from deep inside when you do something you couldn’t have done even a few weeks before. So grateful for perseverance and growing strength!
GREEN CHILE!–On the way home I almost stopped to just pick up some pho so that I didn’t have to think about cooking. Instead I decided to just find something simple to make at home. As I walked to my door I passed the UPS man bringing me a box from my sweet friend Adrienne. As soon as I cut a single piece of tape on the box I KNEW it was a box full of green chile because I could SMELL it! I literally got choked up and started to cry as I opened the box and unpacked a TON of processed fresh green chile. I knew immediately that whatever I was eating for dinner would include some Chile. After I worked out I sauteed some green chile, onions, and a small jalapeno, added some homemade tomato basil pasta sauce and ate it over some gluten free rice fettuccine noodles. Spicy spaghetti. DELICIOUS!!! I am SO grateful for my sweet friend Adrienne! I miss her every single day and today I wept wishing I could make her some dinner with the chile she KNEW I needed! 🙂

Perspective–Something a friend said on Facebook this morning made me angry. I was headed out the door feeling those emotions and I stopped at the front door, turned around and sat down at the kitchen table. I wrote down what I was angry about and then tore up the emotion. I closed my eyes, reset my mood and intention for the day. As I walked outside, I had a smile on my face and was able to turn things around. I didn’t think about the other issue from this morning again until right now. I’m no longer angry…and I didn’t allow it to ruin my day. I am so grateful for the ability to set my own intention and not get sidetracked by other people’s negativity.
Watermelon–OH MY GOODNESS!!! I ordered a little watermelon from Amazon Fresh on Sunday and then sort of forgot about it in the back of the fridge. I cut it open tonight, divided most of it into two containers for work tomorrow and Friday and then dove into the final piece. It was so sweet and amazing. Complete summer perfection! A dessert to be grateful for!
Laughing–I called my friend Becca in New York. She always makes me laugh. We don’t talk very often but I needed a laugh and she’d been bugging me to call and catch her up. I am so grateful for all the ways that I can keep in touch with my friends.
Questions-I was looking for some industry info and emailed my sweet friend Tyler. He emailed me back with some info and his thoughts. Again…so very grateful for the easy ways that I am able to communicate with those dearest to me.
Recovery–Day 2 of Jillian in the AM…Bootcamp with Bob this PM. I feel a tiny bit sore but not as sore as I expected. I’ve been sweating and building muscle. I feel amazing! 🙂
Communication–One of my coworkers told me tonight over drinks that she admires my communication style in both written and verbal scenarios. She said she is trying to learn to be concise and direct in the way that I am…and with the speed in which I’m able to do so. She’s the 2nd of my coworkers to comment on my communication style. Totally makes me feel grateful to be recognized by my coworkers for something that I’ve worked hard to master over the years and that I’m very proud of already! 🙂
Sunshine & a Walk–After a brief rainstorm Monday that made us miss our chance at a new Sunny Days record, we are back to beautiful sunny days. I went for a quick walk around the block this afternoon to clear my head and get some air and I’m so very grateful for every day of sunshine while it lasts!

Sweat–Did Day 1 of Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution–and lived to tell about it. Also did a DDPYoga workout tonight. One thing I love about working out is that your body just starts to feel stronger and cleaner. I love that the chemical and physical response is so quick. I’ve been working out again regularly for 10 days and I’m grateful that despite a little bit of soreness here and there, I have no injuries and my body is responding.
Bedtime Yoga–I’ve been doing 7 poses IN BED each night that are not only helping me to sleep but they are also keeping me from having any muscle soreness from working out and from having any back or shoulder pain when I wake up. I’m grateful for whoever posted it on Pinterest and I’m grateful that I saw the list of poses! Amazing! 🙂
Perfect Salad–I bought the most delicious salad from our cafeteria today. I eat a lot of salads but this tasted like heaven. It might have been the orange vinaigrette and the fresh veggies but it was so amazing.
Sense of Humor–I had a meeting today that frustrated me. But I knew that the engineers weren’t trying to make me feel crazy and just needed to talk through a few things for us to make progress. Another co worker…who I am very friendly with…then pulled a “Oh you should take this work because you are so much smarter than me” moment. I called her on it and told the Dev team they were making me nuts. But I did it all calmly with humor and with a spirit that let them know that I was being honest but that I was being mean or accusatory. They all got on track and we were able to move forward. I love moments when I use my gifts of communication instead of shutting down in all the ways I was trained growing up. I am grateful for nature versus nurture! 🙂

Sleep–I so appreciate that working out helps me sleep so much better. I love how my body just melts as I hit the bed after working out and then working all day. Brain and body ready for rest. No time for anxiety or fear to do their best work because I must fall asleep to reenergize.
Fill In–I was invited to a senior meeting to fill in for my boss who is in Brazil. I didn’t expect it and I think it slightly unnerved a couple of the other senior people in the room. One even asked if I was in the wrong meeting. Let’s just say that I’m grateful that I’m quickly establishing myself as someone who can play at the next level. And I’m grateful that the TPM (aka my new work boyfriend) invited me.
BSF–I went to BSF in Seattle tonight. It was so weird to go to something so familiar in a 3rd city. I love the diversity in this class of mostly asian and african american women. So grateful that I get to be part of this study and I’m looking forward to reading Genesis though my current filter.
Rose–Sometimes Mal is so rough with Rose…not on purpose…he’s just so much bigger than her that he sometimes over powers her without meaning to hurt her. She gets to mad and huff off…much to his surprise. But one of the things that she does that always makes me laugh is that she can stare him down. He will be thinking of chasing her and she can look him in the eye with a certain look that says “You don’t want a piece of this.” And he generally flops over and quits. I love that he knows her limits. I love that she stands her own territory. She reminds me all the time that it is okay to have boundaries and be sassy.

H2O--I’ve been drinking more water for the last few weeks. I am so grateful for what it does for our bodies. I’m reminded of the image Max Lucado used when talking about the thirsty coming to drink from the everlasting water of Jesus. He talks about how when we are thirsty and take a drink we don’t tell the water where to go…instead it goes to the places in our body where it is needed. In the same way the Spirit knows what we need and fills the places where it is needed. Drinking the right amount of water reminds me that I don’t have to control where the water goes…it goes where it is needed. And I don’t have to control where the peace goes that receive in prayer, meditation, or quiet time…it goes where it is needed.
Downward Facing Dog–Sometimes when I’m doing yoga a specific pose just makes me FEEL every muscle and bone in my body. Today I went into my first down-dog and my body felt like it sighed with relief. I am so grateful for what yoga does for my mind and body.
Watermelon–My grocery delivery came today and I had forgotten that I’d included a watermelon (I created my order late last week). I was so happy to receive a nice small watermelon. When I cut it open my mouth actually watered. I don’t remember when I had watermelon last and it was delicious. I’m so grateful for how certain food tastes when you haven’t had it in a while.
Knowledge–Sometimes I start to learn something that I think “Oh man…I do not want to know this!” I feel that way about the book “Wheat Belly” that my cousin Sarah recommended. Mostly I feel that way because as a Vegan/Vegetarian, I can’t imagine cutting anything else out of my diet. But as I keep reading…slowly because I don’t want to overload my mind just yet…I find myself making slightly different decisions. I am grateful to those who do research and are striving to make American’s healthier. And I am grateful for my cousin Sarah…for recommending the book, for being something to share things with, and for being my friend. 🙂

Sky–Whew…Day 49 of sunshine in Seattle was full of the MOST beautiful sky. There were these precious little clouds that reminded me of pictures of fake clouds on some winter pajamas that I love! 
Talking to an Old Dear Friend–I spent more than two hours on the phone with my friend Deanna last night. Many of my friends know that I do not like to talk on the phone but sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. It is nice to talk and share and catch up. We hadn’t done that in many years. It was good to just reconnect with an old friend and be reminded that it is possible.
Buying a Belt–I needed to buy a couple new belts (which in itself is something to be grateful for!) so I drove to a store that I like in Issaquah. Then without thinking I drove over to Target and parked to go in. As I turned off the Jeep I thought “Wait…do I NEED anything in there?” Here’s the thing…if I go into Target I am leaving with something even if I don’t need it. Instead I stopped and thought about it, turned the car back on, and went home. I am not a person with a major spending problem but I am grateful for moments of clarity and living mindfully enough to stop myself and do the right thing.
Sore Muscles–I woke up with sore quads. I am so grateful that my body is responding to what I am doing with it. Keep working!!!

Slow Mornings–I love that I am a good sleeper and I love that I have the priveledge to work without punching a time clock. This allows me to sometimes have slow mornings…like today. My mornings are almost never rushed and I can move at my own natural pace. What this means for me and those around me is that I arrive at work ready to start. For years I spent the first 2 hours of my workday hammering out things I could do alone because I wasn’t mentally ready to deal with people. My joke was that no one could talk to me before at least 9:30 and 10 was safer. Now because my pace is my own, I still get to work at an decent start time but I’m ready to be on a team when I walk in the door. What an amazing blessing and I’m so grateful!
Listen & Lead–My leadership gifting comes from a deep place and always starts with good listening. Today at work I was in 2 distinct situations where I was able to listen and learn…and then push folks to movement. I love that moment from decision to next step. THAT is what I’m good at…crystalizing the facts and creating momentum about the next step. I am SO grateful for that gift showing up today. I am so grateful for that gift…full stop. 🙂

My Voice–Today I found my voice in a meeting and was able to very professionally and kindly express how something was going to happen. The person in the discussion is charming and generally runs discussions with his charm. And I managed to disagree with him and win over the crowd. The slightly disdainful smile on his face was met with a smile from me. I am grateful to realize that my voice is still there. I haven’t used it in months and it was refreshing to be reminded that natural leadership skills don’t just disappear. 
Break–Today I snuck to the balcony on the 4th floor for an hour after the lunch rush went away. I drank a glass of water and read my Firestarter book. I was grateful for the beautiful sunshine and the amazing quiet on the balcony.
The President--I’m grateful for our President. For his spirit, his faith, and his perseverance. I respect him as a leader, a man, and a husband. I am grateful that we live in a country where other people can like the other party and the other candidate. And I am grateful for people who are able to be kind and respectful of the President even if they don’t like his politics.
Introductions–My boss introduced me to someone today and referred to me as “My ringer on the platform team.” He went on to describe how nice it was to not worry anymore about someone having his back on the platform because he knows I know my stuff. I’m grateful that I was there to hear him say that. He’s not very verbal or demonstrative and that was an encouraging endorsement.
Saying No–I asked a question to my friends on Facebook about what they need to say no to in order to make more time, have more peace, etc It was fun to read everyone answers. I am grateful for opportunities to be in community with my friends on a deeper and more introspective level. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear their thoughts and take stock of my own choices.
Dreams–During lunch I spent some time working through an exercise about what I really love. It confirmed what I know…I’m good at my job, I like my job, but I don’t LOVE what I do. But as I’m fortunate to have a great job and some security while I decide what I want to do next and get a plan together. I am SO grateful for a fresh start and the ability to buy some time to figure out my next move.

Disappointment--A friend disappointed me last night and this morning I woke up sad about the situation again. But then I got up, worked out, meditated, prayed, and carried on with my day. I also talked to my good friend Tyler. And all of this has made me stop and realize that I chose to handle the disappointment the best way possible and I am fortunate to have Tyler and others who will just listen to me and tell me that my feelings are valid and that I am valuable. So grateful for my friends!
Mark--My friend Mark had surgery to remove cancer yesterday. Today he was up moving around and I am so grateful for what looks like a successful surgery and the start of a great recovery.
Unexpected Phone Calls--Mattias…aka The Viking…called me today to chat. He was pissed about something initially and wanted to get some info from me. But as we talked he calmed and I heard him become himself. I miss my Denver friends but I’m so grateful that I met such darling people!
Honest Conversation–Today I had finally reach my limit on keeping my mouth shut about where we have issues in our Product launch. Really I was getting angry over how people on our team were being treated by someone else and I’d just had it! So I got up with the intention of having a very short conversation with one of my bosses and after I said a little bit he said “How about you stop holding back and do what we hired you for…speak your mind?”
45 Days of Sunshine

AJ–I’m so grateful for the chance to watch the courage and bravery of my friend AJ as she stands up for what she wants and speaks truth over her own life. What a huge blessing to get to participate and watch!
Baby Lex–Grateful that my friend Jeff and his wife had a healthy little guy and that mama is doing well too.
Fear–I’ve been dealing with some old fear and doubt and each day instead of dwelling on it, each time it comes up I CRUSH it with gratitude and good attitude!
44 Days of Sunshine–Enough said.
Healthcare–I know I’ve said this before but I am so grateful that I have excellent healthcare. I am grateful that so many people have access to good healthcare in our country and I’m grateful for a President who wants to give this access to more people.

Breakfast & Conversation–I’m grateful for a good meal and great conversation with friends! It’s good to have moved closer to my friend Cara and her hubby Stephen. I don’t know where life will lead but for this season it is nice to be near these sweet friends. 🙂
Sweat–I am grateful for 3 days of working out hard…sweating…heart rate up. I’m grateful for the ability to move when there are so many who can not.
Fresh Veggies–I took the remaining veggies from my CSA box and made myself a killer couscous salad that I can nibble on all week. I am so grateful for the hands that planted these veggies and the hands that harvested them. I am full and satisfied tonight by delicious veggies!
Quiet Time with God–Loved spending some quiet time meditating quietly, dwelling in John 8, and praying for my friends today. What a blessing to have a little extra space and time for that today!

Nap–I took a nap today with my pals Mal and Rose. I rarely take naps though they are becoming more of a part of showing kindness to myself. I am grateful for the warm of a blanket on my legs and two cats cuddled up against me snoring as we rest in a warm ray of sunshine that hits the bed just right in the afternoons.
Sore Muscles–I am thankful for my sore muscles this morning. They remind me that I worked out yesterday and that my body is a real thing…needing my attention and love!
Invitations–I was invited to eat dinner at a coworkers house. Since leaving New Mexico…I am always grateful for an invitation. I used to invite people to my home all the time and in return was invited to lots of things, events, homes, parties, etc. These invitations have been rarer since leaving NM…from both me and from others…simply because I don’t know people. But today’s invitation made me grateful. It is good to be wanted and seen.
Anne Lamott–I spent the morning hours and the evening hours reading “Grace (Eventually)” by Anne Lamott. I’d forgotten how much her rebellious feminist Jesus-loving voice makes me laugh and feel like I’m not the only crazy person in the world. So grateful for her writings…even when they are angry ramblings.
Old Friends–My friend Laura got another tattoo. And she wanted to share that with me because she knows I get it unlike any other. Her tattoo is beautiful. And her heart is as beautiful as it has always been. As I thought of how I miss our long talks and laughs in dorm rooms, my mind wandered to old friends. I am grateful for old friends who I have had to let go of because the relationship no longer serves either party…and I’m grateful for old friends (like Laura) who bless me by loving me…quirky, independent, rebellious me. 🙂

Ewan–My friend Holly had a baby this morning. He is healthy and gorgeous and she is healthy and gorgeous. I am grateful that what has been a difficult season for my friend has also been a blessed season. Joy comes in the morning…make that…Ewan comes in the morning! 🙂
Oatmeal–Have I expounded upon the virtues of Oatmeal yet? I love it. I always have. And I really really am thankful for how filling it is! I am trying to be more diligent about ensuring that I eat breakfast every morning and Oatmeal is a godsend when I’m in a hurry and when I don’t want to think about anything else. In case you were wonderful…cinnamon and walnuts are my favorite toppings. I am grateful for the steady gaze of the Quaker Oatmeal guy, for all the mornings that my mother made us oatmeal when it was cold, and for the speed at which I can cook oatmeal either at home or at work. 🙂
Diligence–I got a manicure today. The lovely lady…Lisa…doing my nails was not satisfied with her own work and redid 4 of my nails (shellac makes this much more complicated). It is likely I would not have noticed the imperfections that were bothering her but she did and was diligent enough to keep at it until I’d gotten my money’s worth!
Strangers Who Offer Me Popcorn–A lady at the movies asked me today if I’d like some popcorn. We were both at the movies alone and she leaned over the 3 seats between us and offered. (BTW–I love to go to the movies by myself so don’t waste a single second worrying about me going alone!) It was an amazingly kind gesture but an odd one. Odd for me particularly because the idea of sharing food that is eaten with your hands from a bag you put your dirty hands back into with a stranger is completely odd. But I am still grateful that she was sweet enough to ask.
Perfect Timing–Today was a perfect temperature day in Seattle. As I drove home from the movies tonight I realized that I should have my windows down on the Jeep. Just as I rolled all the windows down, the first guitar riff from Interstate Love-song by STP started playing. I laughed at the perfect timing of this perfect song when I wanted nothing more than wind in my hair and a loud song on the radio. Love that!!!
Road Closed??–I think every sign that says “Road Closed” is really just daring me to drive my Jeep onto that road. Today I did and as I turned the last corner of pavement, I drove into a lovely magical wooded area. The light was amazing and I was so glad that I like to ignore road warnings!

Productivity at Home–I worked from home today and it was glorious! I finished a doc that I’d been trying to find some solid hours to work on at the office for the last 2 weeks and I finished it in about 3 hours. I answered ALL my emails, scheduled a couple meetings, and finished a project. All from the comfort of my kitchen table in yoga pants with a cat on my lap most of the day. I miss working from home but today I realized that one of my visions that needs fulfilling with my mid-life career change (that I’m working on figuring out) is that I need flexibility in my schedule and want to have a home office again. So…this is is a three-fold gratitude:
(1) I’m grateful for a productive day
(2) I’m grateful for a day away from the “noise” of the office
(3) I’m grateful for clarity of vision that reminds me that I NEED to plan a life in the future that allows for more freedom and flexibility because it is when I am my most productive and creative
Cousins–I love my cousins. I’m sure lots of people feel that way. Unlike a lot of folks I don’t know most of my cousins. I literally met one of them this summer (I’m sure we’ve MET before but we don’t remember) and others I haven’t seen in YEARS. I didn’t grow up with them and there are about 50 of us (yes…first cousins and that’s only on my dad’s side) so we vary in age, marital status, and life choices a lot. Facebook has been a really amazing way to build relationships with people who have similar genetics…that I can see in smiles, eyes, curls, skin tone, etc…and also just loving and generous hearts. Today I talked to three of my cousins via messages and received so much encouragement that it made me realize that even if my own immediate family wants nothing to do with me (not including the kids of course), at least there are still some people that are my FAMILY. I’m grateful for a slightly less-lonely world. 🙂
Parenthetical Writing–Today I’ve read almost all of Jenny Lawson’s book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” and I’m so grateful to find out that there is someone in the world who writes like they think. Because I do that and I’ve always assumed it would make everyone crazy. Don’t get me wrong…sometimes her crazy rants make me crazy…but I can follow it and have heard myself laughing out loud (FOR REAL) many times today! 🙂 Grateful for her blazing a trail that I can follow.
Working Out–I’m excited to start working out again tomorrow! I’m grateful to have a plan and am eager to get started. I know I’ll have days of being sore…especially once Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution arrives (EEK!) But I’m looking forward to the extra energy!!!
Health–I’m super grateful to have a healthy mind and spirit and to work again on a healthy body. And I’m super duper grateful for my already healthy body. Looking at me others may not think I’m the picture of health but…I’m hardly ever sick, have amazing blood pressure, decent cholesterol, a nice resting heart rate, and haven’t been to the doctor for anything more than a check up since having my gall bladder removed 7 years ago. I intend to just continue to improve on good genes with clean living! 🙂

Summer Party–The division of Amazon I work for had an end of summer block party from Noon to 3 PM today. I LOVE that this company knows how to stop for a minute and celebrate. I am grateful for things to celebrate.
Hot Days 🙂 –At the block party many of the Seattle folk were like “OH MAN…IT’S SO HOTTTT!” The first couple times I heard them I though it was a joke and laughed. Then I realized they weren’t kidding. It was 71 degrees outside. 🙂 All I could do was smile. I am so grateful for sunny days of 71! I know they are too…but it’s just cute to hear them complain about the heat. I am grateful that it was COOL when I walked in the house tonight and that I wasn’t sweating like I was in my Denver apartment this time last year. 🙂
Technology–Today I exchanged texts with my sweet girl AJ in Alabama. I am so grateful that technology exists that allows me to stay current on the lives of people I love. I know that we often think about how social media and technology has distracted us…but I am grateful for a quick and immediate option.
Fortune Cookie Repeat–I got the same fortune cookie tonight (from a different restaurant no less) that I got last month. It says “Be patient. Good things come to those who wait.” I have been feeling a little bored and letting the boredom lead me to doubt the path. I am grateful for the reminder form the universe to hold out for the next thing.

Feedback–Yesterday I had a moment where I wanted to have a VERY honest conversation with the MeanGirl at work. Then I remembered what Tyler said to me in my Firestarter Friend Feedback. I’m paraphrasing but he basically told me I could get too caught up in the drama of the moment and miss the bigger picture sometimes. In that moment I stopped, quieted my mind, and walked away. I am grateful for the honesty of a good friend.
CSA–Yup…I’ll probably be grateful for this every 2 weeks when it arrives. I can’t help it.
Gratitude Ring–My new gratitude ring is awesome. I love that each time I turn the “I’m grateful for…” part of the ring it focuses my thoughts back to things I’m grateful about.
Super Sweet Clerk–I had to run to Walgreens for a couple things on my way home last night and the clerk was soooo sweet. She complimented me, worked quickly and still manged to smile and show me kindness despite how busy she was. I appreciate niceness in people.

Clouds for Rainbows–I love the sunshine we’ve been having in Seattle and I continue to be nervous about the dreary winter coming my way…but today I am grateful for the late evening clouds that brought me a rainbow. This is something I have not seen at all since moving to Washington. After years of daily Rainbows through monsoon season in NM and CO, it was good to see that it isn’t unheard of to see one here in my new state.
Books–I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again…I LOVE BOOKS! I am grateful for all the wonderful people through the ages who have written books and have given me so much to read. So many books…so little time! 🙂
Products That Do What They Say–I am in loving with Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner and 24 Hour Color Tattoo Eye Shadow. I am very hard on eye makeup throughout the day but since switching to these options, my makeup is in place all day. Let the drama continue!
Good Memories–Life is full of memories. We can focus on bad memories or we can choose to focus on good memories. I went down memory lane for a few moments today and it was so good to find that the bad memories of a certain season of my life (in this case 4 years at FHU) had faded behind the good ones. I’m so grateful I don’t have to be that girl ever again or live in such a controlled and controlling environment…but I am so glad I was her for that time of my life! 🙂

Quiet Mind–My brain has been quiet-er for the past few days. I’ve been on a steady emotional baseline. No big swings up or down. And that is a blessing…particularly given the fact that I can have big swings in either direction when people visit and/or leave.
A Hopeful Diagnosis–My sweet friend Mark was diagnosed with cancer late last week. Fortunately it looks like it is restricted to his colon and not spread elsewhere which means surgery and possibly chemo. He is one of the best guys I know. He is caring and kind. He is funny and smart. His love for his wife and daughters is so deep and obvious. And he so deeply loves God. Mark and his ladies are one of my favorite things that I received (as a gift from God) out of my move to Denver. I am grateful for Mark’s amazing positive attitude, his faith in God, his wonderful support system, and that he has taken good care of himself and will bounce back from this surgery quickly. The world needs him. Jolene, Ashlee, and Lindsey need him. His friends need him. I’m so very grateful he is not going anywhere. Love you friend!!!
Boy Bands–Tonight I exchanged a flurry of Tweets with my beloved friends Tyler and Cuyler (my other favorite gifts from Denver) about Boy Bands. They crack me up and I’m so glad that they love me and let me into their friendship. We’ve all been burned a time or two but finding friends that we respect, care about, and enjoy is a gift!! Thanks fellas! I’ll never break your heart and will always be Hangin Tough!
Vegan Cupcake–My coworkers bought cupcakes to celebrate another coworkers birthday…and they specifically got me a Vegan cupcake all my own. How completely sweet is that??? I’m grateful for their kind hearts!

No Alarm–I never cease to be grateful for days when I don’t need an alarm to wake up.
Sunday mornings–I love Sunday mornings because I’m able to spend extra time Dwelling in the Word, reading, drinking coffee, meditating, and just generally focused on my relationship with God and with my spirit. I appreciate those extra few hours a week that solidify my spiritual practices the rest of the week.
Vain–I went to a new hair salon today for a cut and color (Thanks Nicole Walters for the tip). I always feel so much better when the grey is covered up and in Seattle I feel better when my hair is short and bouncy. The salon was edgy and the two ladies who worked on me were very open and helpful. I think I’ve found a new hair home…though I’ll never quite get over leaving Rob. 🙂
Becky’s Surprise–I work with a girl who had a birthday while she was on vacation last week. She is very out-doorsy and hates her new cubicle. So we’ve decorated her cubicle for her return from vacation tomorrow. While I was out on Friday they hung a tent over the top, put up some bamboo walls, removed her chair and put in a camp chair. Today I added the stuff for Smores, 6 plants, and some fake leaves. It’s adorable!! 🙂 I’m grateful for FUN at work. 🙂

Seattle–Showing Seattle to someone else made me proud of this quirky city. It is pretty and odd and community driven. I love that it is surrounded by water, has amazing shopping, so much green, and is full of neighborhoods instead of swallowed by suburbs. It isn’t Portland. And it isn’t Denver. And it isn’t Vancouver. And that is GLORIOUS! 🙂
Exploring New Restaurants–I love that I’ve made my way through only about a quarter of the Vegan/Veg restaurants in Seattle. Had a yummy omelet at the Wayward Vegan and am grateful for the hard work of others to make vegan food available to us. I love to cook but it’s nice to have someone else cook for you now and then. 🙂
Plants--I love that the temperature and environment here makes growing plants so much easier than the high desert. That also means that houseplants and flowers are more affordable! Love that!
WNTW–I spent the evening watching old “What Not to Wear” episodes that I’d DVRd. Love that show. Love the tips. Love Clinton and Stacey! A calming and fun way to end a day.

Breakfast–Had breakfast with Sara, Zach, and Jordan. I was glad to see Sara and get to catch up with her. It was a fun breakfast and I love just talking about the night before and life in general with all of them.
Powell’s–Ahhhhhh….6 floors of books. What more do I have to say?
Traffic Ease–Leaving Portland was a traffic nightmare and I imagined that it would be bad all the way. But outside of Vancouver things loosened up and we didn’t have too much trouble on the drive. It still took close to 4 hours…but that’s okay. We were safe and listened to some TED talks to pass the time. 🙂
Plum Bistro–Yummy Vegan goodness. This is becoming my go-to place! I think if you don’t have a food allergy or other limitation in your diet (by choice or not), that you can’t understand how amazing it is to read a menu of food that you KNOW you can choose from instead of immediately looking for the few items that you can have or ask to be modified. It’s amazing!
Youth–It was fun today to listen to Jordan talk about her life and her friends. I remembered being that age and how much fun everything is as you experience it. First loves. Friends who are like sisters. New adventures. Uncertainty about the future. So wonderful to be around her as she moves into a new season…and to remember my life at that stage. But even more I am grateful for the reminder that we can have a young heart and seek adventure at any age.
 Jimmy the Valet–Our valet at Plum was strange. First he was VERY concerned about safety as I got in and out of my car as though I’d never done this before. Then he was VERY specific with me about what would happen if I didn’t come back for the car by 11:30. Next when we claimed the car he took my from the box and said “I will be back in approximately 4 minutes.” He then took off at a full sprint up the street to get my car. I don’t mean that he jogged up the street. I mean he took off at a full on sprint! Finally after he let us both into the Jeep he stood outside staring in until I rolled down the window. Then he said “Did you already hit me with the payment at the valet stand?” I said yes and after staring at us a few more minutes he decided I was being honest and bid us goodnight. I am grateful for Jimmy because he made Jordan and I laugh for the next 12 hours! 🙂

Visitors–I’ve been really lucky to have a few good visits from my friends since moving to Seattle. Jordan came today and I’m grateful for her arrival. She is young and fun to talk to. I’m glad she got here safely and will be here for a couple days to see Portland (which she already loves) and Seattle (which she hasn’t seen yet).
Big Company Fun–I went to my first “All Hands” meeting at Amazon. It was held at Century Link Field where the Seahawks play football. I’ve never worked for anywhere big enough for that sort of meeting space. It was really interesting to listen to Jeff B and others talk. I think this is a decent company to work for and that I can be proud of what we are doing and trying to do in the coming months and year.
Family Style–Ate authentic Chinese today with Zach and Jordan. It was fun to eat a Family Style dinner where we shared our selections and just catch up.
Nightstrike–Spent this evening doing Prep for Nightstrike. Followed by some time of worship and orientation before heading down to Burnside Bridge to offer some blessings to others and be blessed in return. I’ll blog a bit more about my experiences at the Dignity Station but I will say that it was fun for me to watch some junior high girls sort out how to offer love and relationship to some under-served homeless people under the bridge.

Formal Education–I do not think my education makes me better than anyone. I don’t think you need a higher education to make a difference in the world or to be successful. With all that said…I am so very grateful for my education. For the fact that I had the opportunity to go to an excellent public school system growing up that really took excellent care of me (allowing me to skip a grade, putting me in gifted programs a year before other kids, providing advanced courses and college credit at no cost to my middle class family). All over the world little girls wish they could learn to read and write or wish they could go on to higher education. To this day the check (okay it’s an ACH) that I write for my student loans (undergraduate and MBA work) is a payment I don’t mind making. It is payment for opportunity and I am so grateful and blessed!
Emotional Education–Continuing to be a person who grows emotionally and spiritually is the education I’m most interested in continuing for the next season of my life. I’m learning to slow my brain down and give myself room to think through decisions, motives, and to hone in on my intuition. I’m grateful for the teachers I’ve had along the way…mostly authors and thought leaders. And I’m grateful for the way that life has offered me so many opportunities to learn tough lessons.
Lotion–One of the girls at work said she thinks I’m addicted to lotion. I replied “You might be right. I can’t stand for my skin to feel dry. As I type this my feet are slathered in lotion and tucked into moisture therapy socks. My hands, knees, elbows have all been moisterized…mostly because I will wake up in the middle of the night if my skin feels to tight or dry. To that end…I am so grateful to companies that make lotion and the fact that this little joy is affordable.
Making a Hair Appointment–My gray hair is starting to get to me. When I had to cancel my Saturday appointment at The Beehive for this weekend (because I have a guest and prefer to spend time with her to sitting in the chair) I was a little bummed. They couldn’t get me in for 2 weeks and fit my schedule. So I called Vain…and they got me in for Sunday! SOOO excited! 🙂 Pictures to come!
Jordan–My friend Jordan flies in tomorrow! I couldn’t be more excited to have her here and to spend a couple days (only about 48 hours) just catching up with her!
31 Days of No Rain–If you ever lived in the PacNW, you know there is no need to say more about that! 🙂

Lunch–One of my co-workers invited me to lunch today. We were both having a hard day at work and by the time we got back we had smiles on our faces and were happier. It’s good to have someone to talk to…not for venting purposes…but to work through issues with or decide that an issue is not ours to resolve. It’s good to be invited out and to have someone to talk to.
Perseverance–Late yesterday the person who owns the product that I’m consulting on dumped her work in my lap…again. I was annoyed to have to do her work but quickly discovered that she hadn’t done ANY of the work and that ultimately I was more successful at moving things along than she could have been. In the end, it was evident to all that I was doing her job and doing it with politeness and a smile on my face. I am grateful for my perseverance and my dedication to the team as a whole even in the face of someone else’s rudeness.
Instant Oatmeal--I have been making myself a very yummy and filling breakfast each morning and I’m so grateful because breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!
Mani/Pedi--I never cease to be grateful for trips to the salon to get my nails done. I chose a teal blue color this week and I LOVE it. Makes me grateful for the $ to do this thing for myself every few weeks.
Clothing Expression–I love the fact that I get to wear what I want to work. I’ve had this pleasure most of my career (except when I was in banking) and am so glad to continue to have this freedom. I am very grateful that on days like yesterday and today I can wear things that fit my mood and make me happy when I put them on. It is a blessing that I know not everyone has. I am blessed that my tendency is still to out-dress most of the folks at work which is able to make an impact while still giving me great freedom.

I am so grateful that Steve Miller was my friend and was in my life. Even though he has left this world, I am peaceful knowing that he is no longer suffering and is fully of energy with Jesus. Steve was a man who helped me to see that there are good hearted men in the world who want knowing from me than to be my friend. He had the sweet ability to communicate the things he appreciated about me and to tell me he loved me with ease. To that point I hadn’t had a lot of that in my life at all…and certainly not from a man. Steve would call or email me or IM me at just the right time. He knew how to reach out…without having to know every detail..and gently soothe my heart. He was a wonderful friend and I am so grateful to hand him over to Jesus.

**There are many many more things that I am grateful for…but Steve gets a post all to himself today. **

Cool Breezes–I love days like today that start out cool and move to warm without getting all the way to hot. 🙂 I am loving these 75 to 80 degree days of cloudy mornings and afternoon sunshine. Perfect for sitting on the patio with my feet up, a book in my lap, and a glass of water.
Clean Drinking Water–As I strive to drink more water daily, I am reminded of what a blessing it is to be able to go to any of the 3 taps or 2 showers in my home and always expect to get clean drinkable water. I am grateful for that gift when so many all over the world could not even imagine such a luxery. May I never forget!
Honest Dialogue–A friend and I had an honest dialogue today about something where I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and she didn’t want to make me feel unwelcome. It was good to be direct and honest and have that met with the same. I am always grateful for those who just take me as I am. Quirks and all.
Good Health--Today I woke up with a headache. Until I stopped eating meat and cut out dairy, I think I lived my life with a headache almost all of the time. And more severe ones, like the one I woke up with today, were very commonplace. It has been a LONG time since I had a headache. And while I was not thrilled with the pain, I instantly felt so very grateful that it is a rare occasion and that I haven’t had a severe headache in a long time and I haven’t had a migraine (which also used to be VERY frequent) in at least 18 months. I can honestly shout praises to God for the relief in my head. 🙂 Also–My headache was gone by Noon because after-all…I am well. I am perfect health! 🙂
Video Diary–I started a Video Diary tonight. For now it is private but what an amazing way to not only chronicle my reconstruction, but also to be able to talk directly to myself . TOnight I made myself some promises and one of them was: “I will let those who would judge me, both family and friend, walk out of my life. And more importantly, I will stop passing judgement on myself every damn day. The space, the encouragement, and the love that I give others to be exactly who they are supposed to be, I will also give to myself. I will be my own best supporter and will show up as my own hero day after day.” As I played the video back and watched myself speak these words, I felt the breath of God wash over me and say “Yes Child….Yes.” And all is well….and I am so grateful. 🙂

3 Months–Today is the 3 month anniversary of my first day in Seattle. I am glad to be here. I am glad to be near water. I am glad to be close to some people I love. I am glad to be living somewhere that doesn’t BELONG to anyone else in my family or any of my friends. Slowly I am beginning to own Seattle more deeply than my friends who have visited here. I even find the cliquishness of the people of Seattle endearing. They are known for saying things like “We should totally get together soon” and then never calling. The city and it’s quirks are fun to get to know. I am grateful for the change of pace and place. Who knows how long I will live here…but it is a delightful place “for now”. 🙂
The Lion–Mal now likes to stand on the table and pace back and forth when I am doing things in the house that have me roaming from room to room. I call it “Zoo Training”. He stalks me from one side of the living room to another, then turns and does it again. It is adorable. I often catch him just staring at me and the way he loves me is precious. We’ve lived together for 3 years now and we know each other’s habits and movements so well that little surprises either of us. He has been the steadiest thing in my life over the last 3 years of tumult. He is one of my favorite blessings!
A Good Book–Many of you know that for most of my adult life I’ve read one to two books a week. Over the last year my concentration when reading has gotten difficult. I chalk it up to a life full of change and the lack of emotional head space it takes to read the words of another. Over the past few weeks I’ve felt a shift back to books. And today I spent the entire day engrossed in “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. I chose not to go anywhere just so that I could stay the course with her story and finish this afternoon. I needed that sort of story…one that would remind me why I love books so much. One that would help me move right into the next book…ever on the journey for the next favorite. Thank you Cheryl!
Gathering Me–One quote in particular from “Wild” stuck with me and I found myself reading the paragraph over and over today. Strayed says “”I felt fierce and humble and gathered up inside, like I was safe in this world too.” She uses the phrase “gathered up” a few times in the book and it rang true for me. Those words…gathered up…mean something to those of us who have been scattered. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. I am not yet fully gathered up…but I am certainly in the process of gathering. And for that I am so very grateful
Prayer–I love the blessing and solitude of prayer. It’s funny that in this midst of solitude there is room for deeper solitude and intimacy in the act of saying “Thank You” and “Help me” to the Divine Creator of the Universe.
–I know I know…how can I be grateful for Nightmares? I have them only rarely anymore after a childhood of night terrors and night anxiety. However this morning I woke up from a horrible nightmare. I was so grateful that it wasn’t reality and that it would NEVER be reality. I was also grateful for the reminder that I am not a vulnerable child at the mercy of terrifying circumstances. I am strong. I am powerful. I am an adult. And I am grateful for the reminder that this nightmare brought.
Sharing Truths–I am grateful for a group girlfriends with whom I can share truths. I did some of that today with my sweet friend in Chicago and two of my best friends in Albuquerque. I am grateful the depth and for being understood even when I am different. Friendships are a beautiful thing…no matter the distance.

Ladybug–I recently chose the Ladybug as one of my symbols of gratitude (along with 2 others). This means that any time I see a ladybug in any form (real, cartoon, tattoo, etc.) I will stop to remember how amazing life is and be grateful. I chose ladybugs because I loved them as a child and still find them beautiful and delicate. Plus they are my favorite color…RED! Until tonight I hadn’t seen one since choosing it as a symbol. Then tonight one landed on my book as I was reading. I stopped and said a quick prayer of thanks for all my blessings…followed by taking this picture. 🙂 
Be My Own Mother–I was listening to a pod cast today and Jillian told a caller that in order to move forward with her life she would have to accept that her mother wasn’t kind to her and that she couldn’t control if the mother would ever change. Then she said “What you can do is treat yourself with dignity and respect and love. You can be a mother to yourself and give yourself what your mother cannot.” I was so grateful for Jillian’s words because she validated a decision I made two years ago to have no expectations of my parents and to give myself what most people get from their parents or grandparents in terms of validation and encouragement. What a blessing it has been to turn that corner and to be so very kind to myself.
An Example–Following a meeting today where I had to very clearly ask another team (notoriously difficult) to tell me how to move the ball forward on their part of our project, one of my coworkers told me that my communication style inspires her. She said “You are so good at stopping the churn and asking a very direct and fair question to get clarity. And you can do it without seeming to be bitchy or rude. I am learning a lot from watching how you interact with people in all kinds of situations and find you inspiring.” I was so grateful that she caught me on a good day and that I can be a good example to a woman that I respect. I am also grateful for people who speak that sort of honesty and encouragement into my life.
Ragu Commercial–The commercial where the kid walks in on his parents having sex and the theme song is about giving him Ragu because he’s been through a lot! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that commercial!
New Earrings–I wore the earrings that my BFF Jelisa recently bought me for the first time today. I loved thinking about the woman in Central America who received money for her skilled handiwork on my earrings. And I loved thinking about my very brave best friend Jelisa.
“Wild” Lesson 1–I’m reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and in it at one point she says “I had silently lambasted myself for not hiking more quickly but now…I was only thankful that I’d made it this far.” I read this line several times before I realized why I love it so much. I have spent a lot of time in my 36 years lambasting myself for not hiking quickly enough. But now I am only thankful that I’ve made it this far. So very thankful!!

Cancelled Meeting–I love when a busy day full of meetings ends up with fewer meetings and more time to get stuff done…which leads to
Productivity!–I’ve been working on something specific all week and today I finally got enough solitude to make progress on the docs! Which means hopefully I can finish tomorrow and don’t have to bring it home to work on this weekend! Woot Woot! For that I would be VERY grateful! 🙂
Team-Work--I was invited to join a planning session with Brad’s team. It’s sweet that he never leaves me out even though I work for someone else. It was good to be in the room and hear confirmation of some of the things that I think are problems and also things that are going well. 🙂 I’m grateful for this bunch of PMs…even though I still wonder most of the time if I’m enough like them to be one of them. 🙂 I’m grateful for Brad…who obviously thinks I am one of them. 🙂
Composure–I was in a very contentious and difficult meeting today. One of the people in the room took every chance she could to point out that my coworkers and I had not done our jobs. I knew this was my first test at Amazon (in front of my boss no less) of showing the cool, yet direct way I communicate. I did that…and I’m grateful. Ultimately we made progress and she seemed to react well to my boundaries and balance. 🙂 Which leads me too…
Being Fair–The rude girl in the meeting I mention above is a very similar person (in looks and personality) to a “boss” (and I use that work loosly) I had a couple years ago who had a very dark soul and was at her core a dishonest person. I could feel myself sizing the girl up and starting to react to her as if she WAS that other person. Before the thoughts got far at all, I recognized them and turned them off. I will not hold her accountable for another person’s misdeeds. Even in her snottiness this past couple of weeks and her actions today…she deserves another chance. And I will continue to try to bring out the best in her rather than seeing the worst or judging her by actions that are not her own. I am grateful for an opportunity to react to my own judgement and choose better attitudes!
Drinks with the Girls–Heidi and Marilyn invited me to go with them for drinks, dinner, and a book signing! I was so grateful to be invited and we had fun. We did a really good job not only talking about work and I feel like I was able to make a personal connection with each of them.
The Bloggess-I’ve heard folks talk about this blogger and say she is funny…but it has never occurred to me to read any of her stuff. So it was fun to hear her read and see how much the crowd adored her. She really seems like a regular lady with a ton of hangup and a handful of Xanex. 🙂

eos Lip Balm–MMM MMM good 
Falling Windows–Today a window fell out of my home. It gives me several wonderful things to be grateful for including:
(a) The window fell OUT instead of IN so we didn’t get hurt
(b) Mal didn’t fall out with the window
(c) The glass didn’t shatter and throw pieces out into the parking area for others to drive over
(d) I was calm even though I was going to be late for work
(e) It’s a bright sunny day (and should be for the next two weeks) so not having a perfectly fitted window is not nearly as big a deal as it would be in this very rainy city
(f) Since I knew I’d have workers over and in the house to look at the window I spent the first part of the morning clean my room and the kitchen. So now I don’t have to do nearly as much this weekend!! Woot Woot! BONUS!!!
Blue Dress–I have this blue summer dress that I bought to ensure I wowed an ex boyfriend when I saw him again for the first time. And it worked. But I haven’t really worn the dress since. I thought maybe I’d ruined it by attaching him to the dress. But I put it on today and rocked it! I LOVE this dress!!!
Keebler Elfin Crackers–This are really just animal crackers shaped like Keebler Elves. But I feel better about them because it always feels weird as a Veg to eat ANIMAL crackers! Plus they are low fat and DELICIOUS!!!! Excellent treat!
The Geeks–I LOVE LOVE LOVE my dev team! I continue to build relationships with them and I find them funny, reliable, honest, and endearing. I can tell they like me and respect my direct communication style. Makes me HAPPY!! 🙂 I’ve always said…”You win over engineers and architects, and you’ve earned your place on the team!”
Repairs–The “MAJOR” leak at my house in Albuquerque turned out to be minor. The Electrical problem was a short. All in all repairs that I was worried I would need a loan to pay for these repairs…but they actually came in for under $300 total. I am so grateful that I chose to trust that the situation would work out…whether it was costly or cheap.
My Faith–My faith is VERY personal to me. And while I am very open about it and talk about it with those I trust and have relationships with…it is not up for debate, open to reinvention by others, and cannot be shaken by what anyone else says. I am an open spirit. I have strong gifts of intuition and a deep relationship with God. I love Jesus and am grateful for him. And I’m able to do all of that without being hurtful to those who believe differently. And for that I am grateful. Grateful to the Divine Creator for what has been done for me and grateful for how I’ve used the path I’ve walked to create this life. I look forward to more years of learning, growing, and having my faith transformed.
Happy–I’m so very grateful for happiness. And I’m happy to be happy! 🙂

Sunshine–I am so grateful for warm glorious days of sunshine. I now know why people live for these few weeks of PERFECT weather in Seattle. I still believe that nothing beats the weather in NM all year around…but nothing beats the weather in Seattle in the summer! 🙂 
Health Care
–So very grateful for good health care. I know so many people do not have this blessing and I do NOT take it for granted. It is such a gift to know that I have never gone without health care in my entire life. I am hopeful that we will come to a place as a nation where we will be more willing to offer care to people of all ages, backgrounds, etc. than build more weapons.
Walgreens Auto Fill–I admit it. I love Walgreens. I love makeup and haircare products and I love a whole aisle of magazines. I also love the seasonal selection even though almost everything is junk of one kind or another. But what I love the most is that I can auto fill my prescriptions. I walk in…they ring me up…I leave. It’s GLORIOUS!
Dennis & Brad–My boss and the boss of the rest of our project team at work…genuinely wonderful guys. I can’t say it enough and continue to be so grateful! I trust them and feel appreciated. I couldn’t ask for more!
Good Doctors–A sweet friend of mine had to go to urgent care last night and then to a GP to get a referral today. I am so grateful for good doctors who take our need to know what is going on with our bodies and to get answers very seriously. Praying that soon I will be sharing gratitude for this friend’s complete healing or that the issue is simply managed!
Mango Sorbet–Delicious. Low calorie. Perfect treat on a summer night!

New Starts–Today was a rough day. I didn’t feel super good and my brain felt foggy. I wasn’t unhappy and I continuously pushed my mind back to a joyful place…but it was certainly more challenging today than it’s been for a while. I am grateful that I didn’t fall into a bad attitude or say some of the things that slid through my brain. I am grateful that tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities and different interactions.
ThermaCare Heat Wraps–I had never tried these things before yesterday but let me just say that this is a product that I now LOVE! Not only was I able to wear one on my lower back most of the day, it also kept me warm in our chilly freezy office. If you haven’t tried this product and need any kind of constant heat, these things are amazing! It made me grateful, happy, and comforted.
Quote Board–The girls at work keep a “quote board” and whenever someone says something really funny the add the line to the quote board. Well…as a smart ass who has a one-liner for everything, I’ve now made the quote board almost once a week since joining the company. I didn’t know that until today when they added me to the new board and said they’d hated having to erase the one from our old building because I was taking it over and the girls were out quoting the boys! 🙂
The Joy of a Projector–The coldest room in the building is where we host our top secret staff meeting each Monday. We all literally put on jackets and scarves to go in the room. It’s nuts! But today I got the primo seat…the seat beside the projector. We turn it on…even if we aren’t using it…for heat and that seat is highly fought over! And I got it! Woot Woot! My fingers were grateful for my good fortune! 🙂
Releasing Control–I have moments when I want to take action on some things in my life that I feel need resolution. I am grateful that my need for peace and desire to let things just happen are keeping me from forcing conversations with friends and loved ones and letting things play out in their own timing. Not what I’m best at…but getting better every day.

Slow Morning–I managed to not fall asleep until about 4:45 AM for a variety of reasons. I then got up at 6 and fed the kits (though they weren’t bothering me…I just felt like I’d sleep better if I fed them). For these reasons I am so grateful for not having any plans this weekend or anyone with expectations on my time. I was able to sleep another few hours into the late morning to make up for the hours I’d missed overnight. 🙂
Health–I continue to have more and more energy and I’m so grateful for my healthy body that is moving towards even more health.
Movies–I love to go to the movies. And going to the movies alone has always been one of my few guilty pleasures. Of course I’ve been going to the movies alone A LOT for the last year…hahaha…but I continue to be grateful for it. The movie wasn’t good today but I sat in Air Conditioning during the heat of the day, watching Meryl Streep do her thing, eating a banana and indulging in a diet coke. 🙂 PERFECTION! Next weekend I’m going to try to see Timothy Green…maybe the late show to avoid small children at a Disney movie!
Encouragement–I feel like today so many of my friends were hurting and reached out via texts, calls, or messages. I am grateful for being in a healthy grateful space right now myself so that I had love and encouragement to offer to my friends. They bless me and I’m grateful to offer a blessing in return!
Daisy–I still smile almost every time I see that beautiful Jeep waiting for me in my parking space or in a parking lot. She is a beauty and she makes me feel safe and secure!
Ghosts–Malcolm saw ‘something’ in the house last night that freaked him out. He’s been known to see ghosts since he was a little guy. I trust his instincts when something is interesting to him instead of scary. His reaction last night was enough to freak me out a little. I’m glad that there wasn’t a live human in the house and I’m glad that the fear passed. I am also grateful for a cat with sensitivity that gives me a heads up to stuff beyond the veil.
Safety–On my way home today there was a big traffic back up. When I finally got into the tunnel there had been a 6 car wreck. Fortunately no one had to be taken away in an ambulance. Metal was banged up but that is all. I am so grateful for the health and safety of all involved and for the hard work of the firefighters and paramedics who were so quick to get on the scene and take care of everything! I’m also so grateful for my own safety as well!

Rose–This morning while laying in bed reading Rose curled up close to me. She proceeded to unwrap her tail and use it to pet my arm. She normally is so very still. But she did this while watching me read. And then when she settled in to sleep she wraped her tail around my wrist and went to sleep. Precious!
Not Clinging–I won’t say much…but I am practicing the art of not clinging to things in this world. Not hurts. Not fears. Just letting disturbances flow through me…or past me. It is creating peace where once there was none.
The Unknown–I am enjoying the idea that I have no idea what will happen next! I can maybe tell you what I’ll do tomorrow…maybe. But I certainly can’t plan much past that. Not knowing where my next laugh or smile or love will come from…I’m living in that space and loving it!
Almonds–I love them and am grateful for them. 🙂
Gratitude of Others–Lately several of my dear friends have told me that they are finding my gratitude helpful, encouraging, inspiring. I won’t take ‘credit” for their joy but I can say with pure honesty that it brings me joy and increases me own gratitude! 🙂 It’s a cycle and it’s beautiful!

A good movie
Sometimes a good movie just lifts my spirits and gives me a chance to turn my mind off for a bit and let the noise subside. I’ve been working hard to quiet my mind myself but the movies helped me to drop the noise level all the way down. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted. It had funny and touching moments.
Unexpected Party-One of the managers on our project called a mandatory 4:30 meeting about 2013 planning. We were all terribly bummed to have such a meeting late on a Friday afternoon. When we arrived it turned out that he’d tricked us into meeting in his office to share a bottle of whiskey and some beers. From there a party just broke out. There was dancing, singing, and lots of laughing. Other people on the floor came to see what we were doing and to say that they wished they were on our team. I felt myself fill with pride and gratitude to be part of a team that knows how to celebrate small victories and to work for men that honor hard work!
Painting–One of the ladies on my team had a painting made of her dog. It was painted by a famous local artist who normally does murals and who has a very interesting perspective and voice. Initially we all laughed at the oddness of the painting but ultimately it was beautiful to see her bride and her ability to see the oddness and still be thrilled. I love to see joy in others!
Peace2U–I saw this license plate today! It made me smile! There are many wonderful people in the world. Let’s celebrate!

Good News–Found out that the repairs to my house will not completely break the bank. Thank you thank you thank you…that is all I can say when I think about this. Also I want to note that when I first found out about the problem I felt panic…then I put it in check by letting go of the fear and deciding to deal with the situation as facts presented themselves. I would have moments where I’d start to get nervous and I would just detach from the thought and choose to believe in the power of gratitude to calm me. And it worked. Every time. I feel grateful that I didn’t hang on to the panic and feel anxious for a solid week worrying about the outcome. Instead I was able to just breath through it and trust.
Breath–Today I was feeling very much like several people at work were pulling me in multiple directions. I had a moment where the stress elevated and I started to feel upset. I stopped. Took some deep breaths. Asked myself “Why is this upsetting?” as layer upon layer of the feeling came up until I got to the root of the emotion. Then I asked myself the all important questions “Is that true?” Once I knew it wasn’t true I was able to release the feeling and move back to a calm state. I am grateful for the ability to stop and process thoughts instead of following base instincts. I’ve been working on this for several years but it just feels like it is finally becoming my default instead of an after thought. Thanks God. 🙂
Special Fries–When Z & J were little we had a very simple summer weekday routine. Breakfast, cartoons, lunch, swimming pool. Their favorite lunch was usually some sort of frozen pizza and fries. I made what they called “special fries” which were frozen french fries and all kinds of different spices from my sister’s cupboard. The recipe was never the same but the boys LOVED it. Long after I had forgotten about this, they would bring it up and mention how good my fries were. Last night I wanted a simple meal of just veggies…so I made special fries. I didn’t use frozen potatoes but the organics that came in my CSA box. I added yellow curry, garlic, sea salt, pepper, and some sage. Every bite made me wish the boys were here so I could feed them these delicious fries and laugh with them. But more importantly I am grateful for FRESH FOOD and for AMAZING MEMORIES with my sweet boys. I wouldn’t trade either of the two summers we spent together for any memory!
Amazon Fresh–I know I’ve said it before…but I LOVE grocery delivery. I have always hated going to the grocery store. I spent too much money and have a hard time making good choices when I’m faced with too many. Having stuff delivered keeps me on budget and on target with good choices. I ordered yesterday at around Noon and it was delivered before I got home from work. AMAZING! 🙂
Strong Heart–I have often forgotten to be grateful for my health in a specific way. Oh sure…I’m grateful for health in general but what about the specifics of how my body handles things. I haven’t always been kind to my body and though I am trying to rectify that, I am becoming more and more thankful for my bodies willingness and ability to keep me healthy. So today I am grateful for my strong heart. I love that it beats so strongly and smoothly. I appreciate that it pumps blood at a healthy pressure throughout my body and that it does the job it is supposed to do each day. I am grateful for it’s hard work and am offering it more health through better food and exercise. I hope to rectify anything I’ve done to make my heart have to work harder than it should have to. So grateful for a healthy heart!

1 year ago–One year ago today would have been the first time I came home to my new apartment from work at IPC. And while that alone would have been refreshing after the hotel from hell…the most amazing thing was coming home to Mal and Rose! What a blessing it was to have them with me after 5 weeks without them. What a beautiful memory! Sitting in the floor of that apartment playing with them and holding each of them. It was a year ago and I still feel the joy from all three of us of being together!
The Part in my Hair–I’ve worn my hair straight this week and today I parted it down the middle and wore it in a sleek low ponytail. One girl said I looked intense. Another said my eyes looked exotic. And one of the bosses asked me if I was really 36 because I didn’t look like it. If I’d known I could get this much good press, I’d have parted my hair down the middle more often. It’s funny because all I notice is the gray…I guess it’s seeing with the right eyes! 🙂
Lemon Chiller at Starbucks–Amazing drink to get with my treat receipt!
Free Gym–My coworkers and I turned in our forms for access to the free gym in our building and the free yoga studio. I can’t wait!
Lunch–I went for Pho with the folks on my project team. I’d never been asked before so that was nice! I was also invited to go to a book signing with three of the girls. I might just make a friend or two.
Peppermint Tea–I love Peppermint Tea at night. It is soothing and makes me feel calm. It makes me happy!

Bicycle Cat–My very favorite thing I’ve seen since moving to Seattle happened today! I saw a man riding his bike in heavy traffic with a cat around his neck. I smile every single time I think of that! So totally awesome!! 🙂
Vegan Refried Beans–Yummm
The Hall of Justice–We are all picking super hero names on my row in the office. I, of course, am Wonder Woman. As a matter of fact my being wonder women is the reason we started this. 🙂
Affluence–I’m grateful that something as simple as filling my tank up with gas on the Jeep is actually SIMPLE. So many folks are struggling with that and I have been in that spot before several times in my life. I am grateful for financial means that make it possible and I pray that those who are struggling will be blessed.
Bed–Tonight I was tired long before the sun went down…so I’m going to bed! 🙂 What a blessing to just be able to go to bed when I’m tired. I’m grateful that I do not suffer with insomnia and am such a good sleeper! I may not sleep a lot of hours each night but when I sleep…I sleep! 🙂
Change–I realized today that it has been 1 year today since I moved into my apartment in Denver. This has been a very life altering 365 days…and the 365 before that weren’t easy either. 🙂 I’m so grateful for provision from the Divine and for distance from the time in my life that I was without work. And I’m so grateful that I got to spend almost a year in Denver, building my confidence, and working with some amazing folks

Resilience–Received a little discouraging news yesterday. In the past I would have responded with discouragement…instead I leaned into joy and felt resilience wash over me. It didn’t get me down. Instead it actually helped me gain further resolve.
Focus–I have days of lots to do followed by days with very little to do at work. I find myself “saving” work so that I have more to do on a slow day. But I also need to meet certain deadlines and provide feedback at a regular cadence. All of this affects my ability to remain very focused. The last week or so I’ve been able to find the focus I need whether the day is slow or busy. I’m grateful for focus and a busy mind…and for more and more to do at work. 🙂
Drop in Temp--I never thought I’d say this but I’m grateful for the temperature dropping in Seattle a little. Sunday was so very hot given the lack of AC in my home. The kits and I were very grateful for the decrease in temperature so that we could sleep cuddly last night! 🙂
Blueberries–Love them…’nuf said!

Discussion–Listening to Michael Singer and Oprah discuss his book “The Untethered Soul” and having it (along with the first 1/3rd that I’ve read) resonates with me! I want freedom from my crazy brain! 🙂
Old Ladies–I went to a movie along today (which I am grateful for) and three sets of older ladies came in while I waited for the movie to start. Just seeing them brought me great joy. I imagine myself with any of my close girlfriends in 30 or so years just loving an afternoon in a cool movie theatre on a hot summer day. The ladies directly in front of me giggled their way through the previews and I smiles right along with them with joy!
Good Memories–The movie I saw has a scene that takes place at Neptune’s Net on the PCH. I smiled and gave a two thumbs up (to anyone who happened to be looking in my direction since I was alone…hahaha!) because I have some amazing memories from Neptune’s Net including meeting Ryan Reynolds, an amazing date, and fish tacos with friends!
Leaning–After the movie (such a sweet story that including laughter and tears) I had a brief moment when I first got back into my car of a rush of loneliness. But I didn’t lose my consciousness and instead leaned back to let the feeling wash on by only passing close for a moment.
Fresh Starts–At 4:28 PM on 8/5/12 I offered myself a new start
Rockin‘–A good song was on the radio when I pulled up in front of my house. My parking space is very visible but I obviously didn’t care as I sat in the car soaking up Air Conditioning, singing at the top of my lungs, and dancing. Even after a couple my neighbors smiled and waved…I finished the song! 🙂
Lyrics–Have you ever heard a song that you haven’t heard in years and maybe didn’t have any particular connection to even when it was popular, and yet you know every single word and can sing along perfectly? Yeah…me too! And today it made me smile to sing harmony to an old country song I didn’t even know I knew.
Sunday Night Light–No Sunday Night Blues. Instead I’m looking forward to waking up tomorrow and starting a fresh week!

Heat–It was nearly 90 degrees in Seattle today. It was hot I was sweaty. And I am grateful for it! The warmth on my skin reminds me that I am a sun worshiper at my core.
Fans--I don’t have Air Conditioner which means that with the heat my house was a bit uncomfortable. But I have fans. And this heat is well fought with a few properly places fans. I’m happy to sleep with air blowing on me to cool me. Thank God for the ability of our body to regulate temperature
Cold Shower–I haven’t taken a cold shower in a LONG time. I took one right before bed to cool down for sleep and it was amazing, refreshing, and helping me to calm down for sleep tonight.
Thai Curry with Tofu–Dinner tonight was delicious. I can never get enough curry!! 🙂
Learning Consciousness–Leaning into being a more self-aware human and learning how to tie that to the will of God. Amazing!
Laughter–Oh how I am grateful for laughter! What an amazing gift!
Good Pajamas–“‘nuf said!
Air Show –Watching the Seafair air show from my patio for free and not having to be among the crowds (something I’m not ready for again just yet at this stage in my journey!). Beautiful!
My Faithful Friends–I have wonderful friends. And beyond that I have a wonderful little group of DEEP friends. I call them the Faithful Friends! I love them and am so grateful that distance does not dictate our soul to soul moments! So much gratitude and love flowing out to them today!!

Peaceful Response
–Before I even got out of bed this morning I’d had an email from my Property Manager telling me we needed to talk. In the past this would have gotten me all worked up. Instead I calmly called him and we discussed the situation with the house in NM and I didn’t freak out about the money or panic. I’m grateful for a peaceful heart even when he said I needed a plumber and an electrician.
Marilyn–My coworker Marilyn is back from vacation and I’m grateful. She is very sweet and fun, as well as easy to work with.
Ben–One of my other coworkers has a new baby that his wife gave birth to yesterday. I’m grateful for a healthy delivery and baby.
Confidence–I continue to be grateful for confidence. Today I am grateful for knowing when to defend myself and when to protect my own feelings when others are being mean or condescending.
Treat Receipt–I’m so grateful for a Starbucks treat receipt!
Individuality–One thing I notice in Seattle is the very quirky style of so many of the citizens. I am so glad to live somewhere that individuality is so embraced.


Breath–I’m very grateful for the ability to breath (DUH!) and the ability to use breath as a way to calm my heart and mind. It is so wonderful to have breath that enables us to stop and think straight!
How I WILL feel–Learning to focus on how I will feel in the future instead of just goals. This is a really interesting way to think and is helping me to really focus on what I want. This method is also really helpful in decision making. I’m already a pretty good decision maker but enabling myself to narrow down what my key feelings are should help me to ensure something fits my goals or not pretty simply. (Loving the Fire Starter Sessions)
Green Goddess Dressing--Love the name. Love the taste. Love that it is Vegan.
The Blue Angels–Listening to them practice yesterday was super fun. Made for great conversation with some of the developers from India who’d never seen our air crafts before.
Seagulls–One of my favorite thing to see 20 floors up is Seagulls coasting up near our windows. They love to catch various ribbons of air between the various high rises. Most importantly it reminds me how close I am to the water…which is so important to me!
New Books--I came home last night to a new order of books from Amazon. That never ceases to make me happy. I’m grateful for some my book budget and for my discount that extends my book budget. 🙂
Learning--I continue to be humbled by what I don’t know. About the world, about my job, about my spirit, about relating to others. What an amazing world we live in where we are able to keep learning and growing. And where we can change things here and there to rework things that aren’t working. It’s amazing to be created in such a way that we can create as well.

Time & Change–I’m grateful that in an instant the world can be a better place. That sometimes something happens that can bring you so much joy…short term and long term. And that every time we get wrapped up in a difficult moment, we can believe that the possiblity for the change to occur is in the next instant.
Travel–So many of my friends travel a ton all over the country and world. I have had periods of time in my past where that has been my reality as well. I am so grateful for how safe most travel is…particularly air travel. What a huge blessing to be able to make the world smaller with the help of a safe option.
Jobs--I continue to be grateful for my job and am so very grateful for some of my dear friends who have new jobs or promising options on the horizon. What a huge blessing this is….particularly after any period of unemployment. Rock on Cuyler Jones!!!
Disagreements–In the past a disagreement is not something I would have ever been grateful for. I am a person who does NOT enjoy fighting and who avoids debate if possible….though I’m not afraid to defend my ground if needed. But I’m learning that disagreement is something to be grateful for. It often is the catalyst that helps me to solidify what I believe. I am also learning that to disagree does not mean to wreck a relationship. In my family it often has…but it does not have to be this way. I am thankful for disagreements teaching me what I MUST defend and where I must remain silent to benefit another.
Gifts--First thing today I received a package of things from my best friend Jelisa in NM…just because. She wanted me to know that I am loved, and missed, and thought of often. The gifts were beautiful and even more important was the love and sentiment behind the gifts. I am reminded at these moments…that I am not alone. No matter what. There is a home…in the hearts of our loved ones.
CSA--I got my first CSA box yesterday and it was filled with beautiful things. Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Green Beans, Carrots, Beets, Blueberries, Apricots, Nectarines and Tomatoes. Oh my word….the most delicious salad for dinner and the best dessert of fresh local fruit including my first taste of a pluot.


Coffee Alarm Clock–I forgot to set my alarm on Monday night but the smell of coffee woke me up…because I NEVER forget to set the coffee pot. I have my priorities after all! I am grateful that I wasn’t late for work and I am grateful for the easy wake up.
Intention–I am so grateful for the power of intention that allows me to DECIDE to have a great day even when I’m feeling a little doubt when I first wake up. The ability to make that determination and watch my whole attitude change is amazing!
Pay Day–Who isn’t grateful on PAY DAY!!! Even more so I am so grateful to be able to pay my bills, donate some extra money, give a little to a friend, and then put some in Savings. That makes me feel very good! 🙂
Blackberries–If you still carry a blackberry…please skip to the next gratitude. I had a lovely laugh at the fact that Jeff B still uses a Blackberry. I mean for heavens sake…you run the largest online retailer in the world and want to innovate in space exploration and you carry a blackberry? Because you like the keypad? So cute!
Gymnastics–I love that the ladies US gymnastics team won gold. Mostly I am just glad they won because I felt like they were taken advantage of by the media for ratings earlier this week and I am grateful that they EARNED their dignity back rather than waiting for those who have none to give it to them.
Linda’s birthday–My friend Linda had a birthday today. I am exceedingly grateful that she was born. She has style and wit that don’t quit. And most of all she has a beautiful heart and soul that give me joy and make me glad to call her one of my best friends.
Lunch break!!–I took a real lunch break and left my desk today. I normally eat at my desk and read or just keep working. I do this because I don’t really know anyone to go eat lunch with. But today I decided to just go sit in a different part of the building and read while I ate. It was refreshing to get away from my desk. Now I know why I’m such a stickler for my employees (when I had some) taking a lunch! 🙂 haha
Planning the Future–Each day I try to write a statement that is set in the future after a specific one of my 5 major goals is complete. Some days I miss this opportunity but yesterday I wrote one that was SO good that I smiled while writing it and laughed aloud as I walked back to my desk after lunch. You know something needs to happen when it makes you THAT happy just imagining it! 🙂

Curmudgeons–I won over the grumpiest guy on my dev team today! Mission accomplished!
Reaction--I got an email tonight that a few weeks ago would have gotten a reaction out of me. Instead I calmly read it and let any anxiety that it could elicit slide on by me. I will be able to reply later when the time is right for ME.
Lunch–Homemade tomato soup at my desk…so yummy. Smelled so good that two guys on my row came to see what I was eating.
Bananas–I never get tired of how well made and great tasting a banana is! Thanks for that Creator of the Universe! 🙂
Eyes–I love that I have healthy eyes and vision. So glad to see clouds, colors, and beautiful things and humanity all around
Perspective–I am so grateful for a quiet weekend so that I can start the the week with fresh perspective. I like what I’m doing. I’ll like the next thing I’ll be doing.

Being Held–My girl kitty Rose does not sit on laps and has never been fond of being held. But the longer we share our home the more often she lets me pick her up and hug her. Today she followed me around the house for about an hour. When I finally stopped and looked at her I said “Do you want mama to hold you?” She turned, looked me right in the eye, and meowed. I took that as a yes, scooped her up, and hugged her for a few minutes. When I put her down she was free to go about her business and stopped following me. I learn so much from my animals. I want to learn this gift…to ask for what I need.
Marianne Williamson–I love her voice. Her ability to love God, pray, and moving others to the other side of their pain.
Quiet Days
Letters–Today I wrote my parents a note that I will put in the mail tomorrow. I have great doubt that they will ever be able to love me and offer me what I need as parents…but that doesn’t mean that I can’t build a bridge and offer forgivness via communication.
Exchanges of the Heart–A friend of mine is suffering in a family situation and today we exchanged emails talking it through. Our conversation didn’t change the circumstances but just discussing it is a blessing because it is a heart exchange on the important things.
Feedback–I’m working on some goal setting exercises and followed a recommendation to ask some friends for their feedback on a few questions. My friend Tyler answered first and his answered were so in tune with who I think I am. He used the words “Forthright, Compassionate, and Powerful” to describe my style. These are the words I’ve so wanted my life to reflect and his saying them made me weep because he couldn’t have known that this is what I WANT to be. I am so grateful for friends who see the real me! What a blessing!!!

Sleep–It has been too long since I just slept until I was ready to get up. A full night sleep without an alarm was desperately needed. I think I needed it so much that I had a sleep hangover because I woke up with a headache and had to take another nap mid morning. Something I don’t do often since napping is not easy for me and my crazy brain.
Sleep Walking–I know at some point early this morning I got up and fed the kits. But I don’t remember it. I only know I did it because when I got up there was an empty can and half full bowls. 🙂 I’m grateful that when I do this I don’t walk out the front door and go for a drive in my pajamas…which are NOT appropriate for the outdoors. 🙂
Lazy Cuddles–Most people know that cats sleep about 80% of any day. My cats are NEVER happier than if I laze away the morning in bed with them. And I love very few things in life more than reading and napping the morning away with them tucked in close…usually one on each side…sleeping and keeping me warm. We all end up with JOY HANGOVERS on mornings like this!
Coffee–Once I finally did wander downstairs I made coffee and then stood next to the pot waiting for it. I love coffee made at home. I make it strong with excellent freshly ground quality beans and then I drink the entire pot. Gloriously selfish coffee drinking! 🙂
Cool mornings-I love that the mornings on warm Seattle days (uh…warm is realitive…80 degrees at full heat!) are cool. Cool enough to throw on some socks and a sweatshirt and pull a blanket up over me while I laze away the morning or check out what’s happening in the world on my laptop. 🙂
Lynn–I am thankful for my friend Lynn. She moved to Seattle to do an internship and our mutual friend Cheryl introduced us. I’m grateful that she and I met for coffee and then continued our friendship. I’m grateful that she was my first overnight house guest. That she is both a good talker and a good listener. I’m grateful for her laugh and her sweet sense of humor. I’m grateful that I got to spend her 21st birthday with her at The Pink Door even though she’d rather have been at home with her family and friends celebrating. I’m grateful for her heart that loves Jesus. I’m going to miss her but I’m glad that we crossed paths for this short time and hope someday we do again.
Vegan Wonderland–I love that Seattle has so many amazing Vegan places to eat. Lynn and I went to Chaco Canyon tonight. I love the name because it is New Mexican of course. Listen…as a vegan it is always wonderful to walk into a vegan restaurant and know that you can have ANYTHING on the menu or in the pastry case. It is a freeing feeling since we vegans generally immediately prowl a menu for something we can eat. 🙂 Good going Chaco Canyon! 
Lemon Lavender Cupcake–This is my all time favorite cupcake flavor since going to Cupcake Wars in Albuquerque at the chef competition. A vegan one is even better…especially when I don’t have to bake it! 🙂
Balloons–Tonight as I was explaining to Lynn about my new attempt to find many things to be grateful for a lady walked by behind her with balloons in all my favorite colors…Red, Hot Pink, Purple. I mean COME ON! Serendipity is just showing off! 🙂
Red Cardigans and Tutus–I’m finding that as I begin to notice things with a grateful heart, I am more often delighted by things that other people are wearing. For instance tonight I told a lady that I loved her beautiful Cherry Red cardigan and then smiled at a grown woman in a black tutu. AMAZING! 🙂
Texting with Cara–It is rare that a day goes by without texts with Cara. And the range of topics…even in a single conversation…is so much fun It is good to have a friend who you can just SAY whatever to and trust that what will come back will be encouragement and acceptance. I find I have fewer and fewer deep friendships as I get older and that even some of the friends that I’ve counted as my closest are less interested in me the more our lives/beliefs/interests diverge. This has saddened me even in recent weeks…but I know that The Divine will continue to provide good, lasting friendships.
Bird Poop–This is by far the MEANEST thing I’ve ever been grateful for. I took a picture of the Mars Hill Church sign with the idea of saying something snarky. When I pulled it up to post it on Instagram I realized that the sign had poop on it…’nuf said! 🙂

Sunshine–Sunshine, blessed sunshine! Yup…I’m going old school coC hymn to tell you how happy I am when the sun shines. Seattle is beautiful and is a great place to learn to appreciate sunshine and rain! 🙂
ATMs–The guys who invented ATMs are amazing. I know some of them. And I wonder how many of us remember what it was like BEFORE ATMs. I am grateful that my Credit union participates in a shared network and that I can deposit checks right down the street instead of having to find parking in SLU now that I don’t work across the street from my branch!
Long Hot Showers–I’m usually a person who gets in and out in the morning but today I took my time and really soaked in the heat and let the water wash away any moments of doubt I was feeling.
Access to clean drinking water–780 million people lack access to clean drinking water. So all that water I just used for my long hot shower wouldn’t compute for many all over this globe. So…I gave a little something at water.org 
Good Hair–I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…My curls LOVE Seattle! Less product, more bounce, GORGEOUS! My dry hair is sucking up every bit of moisture and LOVING it! 🙂
Productive Mornings–I busted through a full days work in half a day. I was trying to finish my work “To Do” list and by about 12:30 realized that I had! The rest of the day was meetings and I felt really good about closing my computer and walking away. (Although…I don’t often NOT feel good about that. I’m a hard girl to guilt into working more!)
Quiet Weekend--All day today I kept thinking of the quiet weekend I have ahead of me. This is my first weekend alone in 6 weeks and while I LOVE my friends and want EVERYONE to visit me…it is nice now and then to sit around in your pajamas, drink coffee, read, and eat cereal. 🙂
Diane Rehm–Love her show on NPR each day. She asks tough questions…no softball for her. She is funny and smart. And she is compassionate and kind. Love her!
Another Weather Thanks–Can I just say how nice it is for it to be the middle of the summer and I go outside without SWEATING. Love that! 🙂
Fancy Friday--Nothing shocks me like the guys at work who wear full suits and ties for Fancy Friday. It never fails to make me chuckle…and heck…a man in a well cut suit is nice to look at! My friend Jim wore a suit yesterday for Fancy Friday and when he came in one of the other guys said “Dude…are you going to a wedding?” and he said “I did buy this suit for a wedding.” So funny!
Shot & a Beer…or two–My boss and some of the other managers never fail to go to Friday Happy Hour with the team for a Shot & a Beer. I earned a prestigious spot on the team by order a shot of Jameson and an IPA my first Friday with the company. Now they wait for me to arrive before they drink their shots…something that is only done for a small group of the men. My boss still shakes his head when I cheers and down my shot and last week he said “I love that you drink with us like one of the guys…especially since there is NO mistaking that you are a lady!” hahaha! 🙂
Talking strategy with Dennis–My boss and I were the last two at Shot and a Beer last night and we talked about strategy and place in the org and surprising the market. It was good to hear his perspective and to share mine on a level we don’t have time to do in the office much. I’m glad to have his support and to be his support. Great boss who says weekly “You can’t make a mistake so big you’ll fail…because I won’t let you fail. Ever”

Fog–I missed fog that burns off living in the desert and the Rockies
Flowers–They just GROW …another thing I didn’t see so much of in the desert
Short Lines–This morning I got off the elevator and did my normal check to see if it was worth getting in the coffee line…and there was NO line! 🙂 woot woot!
Lilly–I wore my Lilly Barrack ring today and every time I looked at it, I just had to smile!
Quiet Time–I’ve been spending some time each morning writing gratitude for goals as though they are already realized. It has been blessing me tremendously to imagine the goals as though they are already met and starting to see the dreams to completion.
Tres Chic–I saw an elderly lady today with a shock of spiky silver hair and these amazing black and white thick framed glasses. I was taken aback by her beauty and style. So very cool!
Zoom Zoom--On the opposite side of the street from the elderly lady I saw a younger woman in a wheelchair. She was stylish and beautiful and driving her wheel chair full speed down one of these Seattle hills. Her smile made me laugh because I could see her joy!
To Go--I think a single cupcake to go box is about the coolest thing in the universe and I LOVE it!
Groceries–Two words…AMAZON FRESH!
CSA--I found a new CSA today and am super excited to get my locally sourced fruits and veggies starting next week. Yippee!
Success–It is so amazing to see and hear about the success of my friends on Facebook and twitter. My friend Tricia talked about buying “Skinny clothes” and I wanted to jump up and down for her. 🙂 So happy when my friends are happy!
Hand lotion–I am a hand lotion junky! The Energy Aromatherapy lotion on my desk at work brightens my day and energizes me with the citrus smell!!
Dads–I’m grateful for the two dads whose son is not being allowed into Hope Christian School in Albuquerque. I’m grateful that they love their son enough to want him to have a faith-based upbringing and I’m grateful that they are responding with grace and protecting their child through this situation.
Giving Back--I love that I’m in a place where I can give financially to a friend who needs some breathing room. When I consider where I was 18 months ago, it is amazing to believe I can help pay someone else’s bills from time to time 🙂


Royal Mal–Waking up to find Mal lounging in the sunshine waiting for me to wake up
Cats and Stairs–When I go downstairs each morning to get breakfast for the Kits, Rose hops down each step. She goes down a step and then both back legs hop to follow her. Mal also goes down in front of me but he waddles step to step. I love this race between the three of us and it never ceases to make me laugh.
Pregnant Mama–My sweet friend Kristen posted pictures of her, her sweet hubby, and her baby bump yesterday. I loved the pics so much and I’ve smiled every time I’ve thought of my young friends who are about to become parents. What a blessing!
Conversation–I’ve been having several Facebook conversations with both friends and strangers about everything from faith to gun control to peaceful resistance. What a blessing to be able to calmly discuss my views and hear the views of others. I wish this sort of patient discourse on all my friends and family.
Serendipity–I found out today that a dear friend got a job I interviewed for this past spring. I know that she will love the position so much more than I would have and be so much better at it. I’m so grateful for Divine intervention on both our behaves to put us each right where we belong.
Parking–Anyone who has lived or visited Seattle knows that parking becomes an obsession. (I almost can’t pass up a good spot when I see it even if I’m not stopping!) Since starting at Amazon I’ve been paying almost $20 a day for parking near the office and driving all over creation just trying to find a lot that is $5 cheaper while waiting/praying/hoping for to get off the waiting list and get a spot. Then the heavens opened and I was given a parking spot in our new building. It is less than 1/4th of what I’ve been paying…for the entire MONTH! I love using my key card to get into the building and I love that I don’t have to get my card out to pay each day! I think I’ll especially love the money back in my pocket each week! 🙂
Doubters–Someone said “How long are you going to keep up this gratitude stuff and the cheery attitude?” I have to say that instead of getting mad it just made me smile. I love a doubter! I never claimed that my life was sunshine and roses. Very little of the crap from the past few weeks has changed…in fact some of it is worse. But what I can control is my attitude. I sleep better at night by concentrating on the positive and replacing each negative thought with something I love. If it helps me…and doesn’t hurt you…Doubt your heart out. Works for me! 🙂
Watching Joy Show Up–Today I watched a friend wish for something via a Facebook status and another of her friends showed up with the answer. Then I opened the lid to my lemonade and looked at the inside. I never do that. But when I did there was a message of joy!
Confidence–I ran a meeting with a team of devs today. I was able to confidently answer most of their questions and didn’t have any other business team member with me. I didn’t deflect or defer. I did what I do best. I took charge and made decisions!
Strong Opinions–Today I was caught having a strong opinion about something merely by the look on my face. All I could do was laugh at having my gift of transparency discovered! 🙂
Giant Blue Roller Skate!!–On my drive home a truck hauling a flat-bed trailer with a GIANT blue roller skate went by me. I literally laughed out loud! I didn’t get a picture but I really hope to see it again!
Full Tilt Ice Cream–Chocolate Chocolate Chip Vegan Ice Cream!
Being Baited–Lately no one can bait me on Facebook. I will not get into an argument I don’t want to fight. Not even on my own page. In the words of my favorite LA hooker “I say who…I say when.” 🙂
Pretty Things–I wore my 2 dollar hair flower today. I ROCKED it!!!

Neighbors–I have a neighbor who says “Hello Kitty” to Malcolm every morning as he heads out to walk his sweet dog. This never fails to make me smile
Hope–Just knowing that anything is possible right now brings me hope
Sunshine–Knowing it was going to be warm and sunny even before I looked out the window this morning made me smile first thing
Little Dogs–I saw an elderly lady walking a little dog this morning and he was SO excited. He was doing a little trot, looking around, then stopping to look over his shoulder up at her. He was a dog in love with his person and just happy to be outside.
Confidence–Today one of my co-workers peppered me with industry questions and for each one that I answered he asked me two more. He can sometime drive folks crazy but I loved every minute of it and saw in his eyes that my lack of hesitation or annoyance was a bridge builder for us
Dennis–I had a great 1 on 1 meeting with my boss today. We discussed my old company a bit and the transition process that has been difficult. It wasn’t an EMOTIONAL discussion for me and I realized that I’ve accepted that I’m here now even if I don’t love it yet. I also discussed with him how hard it is to be a woman in this industry and he took extra care (but not in a lame way) to ensure me that I have all the room in the world to do anything I want at Amazon (except Jeff’s job!). He said at least 3 times that he wishes he could clone me…which is never a bad thing!
Cloning–Dennis saying he wanted to clone me immediately reminded me of “Multiplicity” and all day I giggled thinking about the moron version of me!
Bosses–I did a mental inventory of each of my bosses today and realized with 2 exceptions I have had amazing bosses for my entire career. Mentors, mamas, friends, peers…what an amazing cast!
Friends–I love getting texts and emails from my sweet friends encouraging me and thanking me for demonstrating gratitude. Such a blessing to bless my beautifully blessed friends!
Gratitude–I’m watching gratitude spread and loving the wildfire it can create. I know it has nothing to do with me and that makes me so grateful! Love watching this unfold!
Yoga Pants
Healthy Plants (Hey those two rhyme!)
Batman–I have to show some gratitude for Christian Bale and his wife going to Colorado today to mourn with those who are mourning, weep with those who are weeping, and hope with those who are hoping
Captain Integrity–Two words…Anderson Cooper
“No No…You go ahead“–I did the wave all the way home today allowing other driver in front of me. It was so much fun to watch people smile and offer thanks as they were SEEN and given a chance to get closer to home. I’m sure the people behind me wanted to kill me but I was having fun! 🙂

Vines–I love the ways that vines grow and wind around other things as they grow, hugging them close and molding their shape to their closest contact
Goodbyes from Malcolm–It warms my heart to see Malcolm in the window when I’m leaving. He loves to get one last glance at me as I leave for the day
Our New Office on the 20th Floor
My New Desk Near Coworkers
Free Pastry–The cafe in our new building provided us with a free breakfast this morning. I had a vegan dark chocolate filled croissant. HELLO THANKFUL!
A Great CEO–Today Jeff B and Amazon announced that they are starting a program to put fulfillment center workers through college even when they want careers in other industries that don’t directly benefit the future of Amazon
My Boss–I love Dennis’ sense of humor. He is a very compact athletic guy and today he “threatened the life” of a much larger guy because the guy set of the alarm outside his new office for the 3rd time. It was awesome
My New Mexican Co-worker–Jim just gets my New Mexico quirkiness
My Long Lost Pink Pen
Geno’s White Shoes and Belt
Ruthie Dancing for Stale Popcorn
Tutus–After watching Ruthie dancing I went online and found her a Pink Kitty Tutu!
Flowers in the PacNW–They grow everywhere and are the most amazing colors. I never get tired of it
Green Fingernails
The Kindness of Strangers–Today I got a manicure from a very kind lady. She carefully painted my nails and gave me a neck rub. She didn’t say much the entire time but I know she took extra care to give me more massage time than she normally would. I don’t know why she was so generous and tender as we didn’t speak more than a few words. I tipped generously and thanked her verbally even more generously
Manicures–It’s been a long time since I’ve really thought about what a blessing it is to have the money to pay for someone to paint my nails. It’s a vanity and a luxury and it brings me happiness and helps me feel better about myself. What a blessing packed into a small thing.
Getting Around in Seattle Without my GPS
Elevator Etiquette–Nothing impresses me like a man who knows how to practice elevator etiquette. It is a lost act of chivalry and I adore it when I experience it
People Who Smile Back When I Smile at Them in Their Car at a Stop Light

Giggles with Sierra–One of my favorite memories is sitting on the floor with her  before she could walk or talk and giggling until we couldn’t catch our breath. Neither of us knew why…we were just HAPPY. We still always giggle when we are together
Hugs from Zachary–No one can say “It’s all going to be okay” with a hug better than Zachary
Daisy–What a blessing my Jeep is to me. She runs well, has an amazing entertainment system, feels safe & secure, and is beautiful
Books That Help When I’m Stuck–The ability to change everything you are thinking and think a new way because of the words written down by another person. Thank you Ms. Byrne for shaking me out of a deadly tailspin today
Vegan Ready-Bake Cookies–I’m baking cookies as I type this and looking forward to the treat while I watch OWN and finish my weekend


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