Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

A Month of Gratitude

I failed at the Daily Gratitude Posts on Facebook this November, so I thought I’d attempt a wrap up of the month.  There is, indeed, so much to be thankful for!

Oh-So-Grateful

I am grateful for the arts – music, movies, theatre… 

  • Chris and I saw Madea at Saint Mary’s University in Winona – a translation from Seneca which was creative and interesting to see!
  • 10 years of Take Note! Amazing… 10 years ago we created a group with people who loved to sing showtunes. We moved on a few years ago to incorporate different genres, but we still have a great time!  We have put on 10 Christmas concerts (our final one with our current director is this Sunday!) and 9 spring concerts. We have performed at community events, nursing homes, and with college students.  It has been a touchstone in my life, keeping me connected with the community where I grew up and raised my daughter, with my friends, and provided me with great visits with my parents.  Let’s see what the next journey is!
  • Koni, Gracie and I saw the final installment of the Hunger Games series, The Mockingjay Part 2.  We went to a late show and sat holding hands through the entire movie! Just a little stressful, that final flick.  A war film with monsters. I watched some through my fingers and asked for spoilers (Gracie remembers the story better than I do!). Glad to see it through!
  • Chris and I saw Glen Hansard at the State Theatre in Minneapolis! I don’t know what it is about Glen, but his passion for his art moves me. I had tears in my eyes for the first four songs!  He started the concert unamplified with strings. Wow.  Chris appreciated the live music and got a handshake as he came up the aisle!  A fun night! Tickets were purchased in August – the anticipation was worth it!

 

I am grateful for family – 

  • We had a great weekend in Rushford during opening buck season. Many cuddles with baby August, Gracie’s first buck, Rees’s first hunt (with the big ones that got away!), and movies and relaxing together. Only thing that would have made it better would have been having Derek’s family and Chris there!
  • We had a delicious tuna casserole (made mostly by Chris) at Sierra’s house, with games and books and good times!  We also had Kaydee over to help decorate our Christmas tree – complete with hot cocoa and cookies!
  • I worked during Thanksgiving so I missed all of the family time in Rushford. But Dana and Koni invited us over (via an email from Rees!) for a Thanksgiving Feast on Saturday night! We had great food, great family time, and played some fun games (Suspend for the win!)!
  • Sunday we drove to the Cities for time with the Bendson Cousins! Kristyn, Andrew & Natalie  and Emily and Andrew were home and we joined them with Ruth and Steve and Marissa, Adam and August for snacks and chili. All was delicious and the company was fantastic. A great celebration of family!
  • The basketball season is underway, so we have made a few games with many more on the calendar!  I hope to make as many as possible!  Trajan, Gracie and Rees are all playing, so it’ll be a whirlwind!
  • It’s hard to get enough snuggles of that new little grandbaby. He’s giving us those precious smiles and it’s hard to stop looking at him. Love him so!  Marissa is counting down the days left at home, so send special wishes and prayers her way!
  • I’m looking forward to December and hoping for some quality family time, grandbaby snuggles, and Christmas cheer!

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I am grateful for friends – 

  • Cosmo Girls met at my house in November and the focus was gratitude. How appropriate, eh? We watched YouTube videos, TED Talks, discussed what we’re grateful for, and of course there were laughs.  We left everyone with a notebook to keep track of the things they’re thankful for and Thank You notes to send.  I’m going to start my daily journaling in December – so that’s tomorrow!  Looking forward to getting in to a habit of writing again!
  • The Satellite Sisters were in Minnesota for a book signing and us faithful followers drove up to be with them and get books signed by them!  They are amazing women/sisters, and it was fun to see Sheila and Liz in person and hear the stories they chose to share. There were many laughs and a few tears.  We had a great time and I’m so thankful that my Satellite Mister from NYC was able to  come to Minnesota and spend a little time with us.  He Periscoped from the Brooklyn signing and it was so fun to get that glimpse into the next-generation of women who wrote for the book, and it wasn’t too hard to convince him to trek to MN!  We had a great time with the Sisters as well as over dinner at Parma 8200.  It was such a fun day!
  • Work has been a little calmer than earlier in the fall.  I worked a lot of afternoons, evenings and overnights during November, so I am not used to getting up in the morning but I am working on it. 🙂  I’m thankful for my coworkers who work hard, are supportive and fun.  It makes the difficult stuff we do a joy.
  • I am looking forward to some intentional quality time with friends during this holiday season, as well!  I’m going to start making plans soon!  Time is precious!

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I am grateful for so much.

  • For the cookie dough I whipped up, which is in the refrigerator waiting to be rolled out into stars.
  • For Hulu and Netflix – I love commercial-free television.
  • For books – I’m hoping to spend more time reading and less time on Facebook in December.
  • For quotes and words and pictures.
  • For the wonderful autumn we have experienced so far – it has been amazing!
  • For Trader Joe’s.
  • And most of all for my daughter, the beautiful new momma, and my husband, my confidant and rock.

Life is good.

affirmation-gratitude-800x450

 

Eternity

William Blake, 17571827

He who binds to himself a joy 
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise

Where have I been? What have I been up to?

I’m overwhelmed.  I like to blog about the “goings-on” of life, but wow. There’s been a lot going on.  So, instead I’m going to give you lists of the good stuff with very little commentary – if you have questions, ask!

First, I got married in NYC.  I have hundreds of photos but instead I’ll just share with you my “check-ins” from the SWARM app on my phone.

NYC via SWARM app

MONDAY-

  • RST – our flight was cancelled Sunday morning, so we had to re-book with a different airline, avoiding O’Hare on the way to NYC.  Got in a few minutes earlier than we would have, so it was all good!  
  • MSP
  • LGA
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Office of the City Clerk – Marriage Bureau – Got dropped off at City Hall, which was not open, because it’s not where you get married!  I had the address, just not the correct name!
  • London Terrace Towers – Where Troy lives!  Love his hospitality!
  • Toshi’s Living Room – a Funky place; met everyone here and moved on… 
  • O’Reilly’s Irish Pub – good grub and quieter atmosphere!
  • 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge – beautiful place!

TUESDAY

  • London Terrace Towers – up and at ’em, heading out for a walking tour!
  • Staten Island Ferry – Whitehall Terminal
  • Battery Park
  • Bowling Green
  • Federal Hall National Memorial
  • Trinity Church
  • National September 11 Memorial and Museum
  • City Hall Park Gas Lite Bulbs Fountain
  • Wafels & Dinges – Pagadder Card
  • Wo Hop Restaurant
  • Chinatown
  • Becco – great Italian restaurant with a prix fixe meal before theatre!  Toasts, tears and laughter!
  • Lyric Theatre – ON THE TOWN! A great musical during preview week. Appropriate for a bunch of people experiencing NYC for a short time – and getting the most out of it!
  • Times Square – the Red Stairs
  • O’Lunney’s – birthday drinks! I almost forgot that my wedding day was actually my birthday, as well!  So after midnight we had a toast to the awesome day ahead! I still don’t remember that I turned a year older, so maybe I’ll remain 45 forever?  

WEDNESDAY – WEDDING DAY!

  • Office of the City Clerk – Marriage Bureau – #woohoowedo2014 ! A perfect ceremony!
  • Starbucks – a brief reception, due to drizzle!  Then on to our ROLLING RECEPTION!
  • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria
  • High Line
  • Central Park – Bethesda Fountain
  • LOVE Sculpture
  • Empire State Building – 86th Floor Observatory
  • Archer Hotel New York – checked in and met the crew at the rooftop bar, Spyglass!
  • Periyali – Greek dinner! 
  • Marie’s Crisis – singing along with every song!
  • Archer Hotel New York – what a beautiful day!  

THURSDAY 

  • Times Square
  • M&M’s World – met Rob here and also went to the Hershey store!
  • Pie Face
  • MSG Entertainment HQ
  • High Line – the newish part!
  • Joe the Art of Coffee
  • Archer Hotel New York – a disco nap!
  • Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar – dinner with Troy!
  • Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre – “It’s Only a Play” – a fun play with a star-studded cast!  
  • Junior’s Restaurant & Bakery – treats for morning
  • Shake Shack – treats for now! “Great White Way” 
  • Times Square at midnight

FRIDAY

  • Carnegie Deli
  • Bethesda Terrace
  • Heartland Brewery
  • Stephen Sondheim Theatre – “Beatiful – The Carole King Musical” SO GOOD!
  • Swing 46

SATURDAY 

  • Chelsea – leaving in a downpour!  
  • Queens – Midtown Tunnel
  • LGA
  • ORD
  • RST
  • Whistle Binkies on the Lake – with Tony and Tien!
  • The Doggery

SUNDAY

  • Willow Creek Golf Course – our wedding reception!  
  • Whistle Binkies on the Lake – with Kim and Eric, Maureen and Dennis!  Yay!

MONDAY – Chris back at work, Danette unpacking!  

That was a whirlwind of a week – and I know there were stops I didn’t “check in” but it is a fun way to keep track of a vacation!

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Design K_

And then life after the wedding …

  • There was FOOTBALL!  Gunnar’s senior year, filled with wonderful highlights and honors!
  • There were meals – at Burdey’s, at Panera, at Caribou, at Jessie Street Java, at Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery, at Victoria’s, at Chester’s, at The Thirsty Belgian, at Cowboy Jack’s Saloon, at Chipotle, at Brothers, at Pho Chau…
  • There were movies – GONE GIRL, ST. VINCENT, DUMB AND DUMBER TO, and HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART I.
  • Garrison Keillor came to Rochester and we enjoyed his live radio show
  • Basketball has begun and I look forward to watching TRAJAN and GRACIE and REES play during this season!
  • Thanksgiving was a blast – relaxing and fun.  Highlights were sledding with Kaydee, listening to what everyone was Thankful for this year, and playing HEADS UP.  Download it to your phone or iPad if you haven’t!  It’s a hit!
  • Notice: Not a SINGLE BOOK WAS READ!  Oh my.  I have been catching up with my Oprah magazine, and slowly reading a great book.  I am going to fail miserably at my Goodreads goal, but I’m really ok with that.  Life is SO good.

Now it’s December.  I am hoping that in December I can connect with many friends and family, enjoying TIME and conversations with everyone.  I tend to enjoy Thanksgiving more than Christmas because I get stressed about presents, but I hope that I can focus on relationships instead of receipts this December, so that Christmas can be celebrated as it is intended.

Ah, life is good!  I am blessed!

What’s Making Me Happy This Week 11/27/12

I’ve been trying to do one of these posts every other week, so here’s the third “in a row”!
Maybe I’ll get some format, but for now it remains random…

Things that were great about Thanksgiving week –

  • Getting a haircut!  Always feels great!

    Cheers
    Cheers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Choir – getting ready for some upcoming gigs!
  • FOUR days in a row without work!
  • Playing “Headbandz” with the kids – so many laughs!
  • Flying kites on Thanksgiving morning – amazing weather!
  • Watching the “Cheers” Thanksgiving episode – hilarious!
  • NOT shopping on Black Friday because I was working – still loving my great colleagues!
  • Working four short shifts (i.e. 8 hours v. 12 hours!) in these two weeks!
  • Getting my tree up effortlessly!

 

 

Things that I look forward to this week –

Cover of "Life of Pi"

  • Seeing “Life of Pi” on Thursday with a couple of book-lovin’ fools like me (although neither has read the book)!
  • Thursday off – and probably car shopping!
  • A short day of work on Friday and then a weekend off!
  • The Christmas Radio Show gigs in Winona and our annual concert with the Winona Brass Band on Sunday!
  • Organizing my Christmas list and starting to make purchases!
  • It will be December! Yay!  Because, why not?

 

 

 

Things that I will never tire of:

  • The movie “Once” – I just re-watched it tonight for the first time since I’ve seen the Broadway show twice, and it’s still just soooooooo good.  Such a nice story with great music and the lovely Glen.  Ah.

    Glen Hansard
    Glen Hansard (Photo credit: Irish Philadelphia Photo Essays)

40 Things (40!!!) Happy Birthday, Boof!

thank you note for every language
Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, DAY 40!  Happy birthday, Boof!

40) A favourite book about a celebration

I’m going to cheat.  I looked through my Goodreads list and couldn’t find anything with a holiday theme that I would call a favorite, so I simply thought about my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) and some great movies that were set around a Thanksgiving theme (and maybe one that isn’t set around Thanksgiving, but another holiday I’ve recently adopted).

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday.  I love thankfulness – thinking about what I’m thankful for, telling people what I’m thankful for, and writing what I’m thankful for.  That “attitude of gratitude” has been preached to us by Oprah and I really believe that it can change your outlook on life.  So, when I started thinking of movies that were centered around a Thanksgiving celebration, a few came to mind.

First, “What’s Cooking?(In LA’s Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children’s acculturation and immigrant parents’ fears collide. In the Avila family, Isabel’s son has invited her estranged husband to their family dinner. Audrey and Ron Williams want to keep their own family’s ruptures secret from Ron’s visiting mother. In the Seelig household, Herb and Ruth are unwilling to discuss openly their grown daughter’s living with her lover, Carla. Around each table, things come to a head. A gun, an affair, a boyfriend, and a pregnancy precipitate crises forcing each family to find its center. IMDB)  I should re-watch this, but I remember loving it.  Loving how it wrapped up and how cleverly the story was told.

Of course, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” is one of the greatest comedies ever, and just happens to be about getting home for Thanksgiving.  I don’t think I need a synopsis for it. My favorite scene is when they are driving down the highway and being told they are going the wrong way (“How do they know where we’re going?”).  Hilarious.

Home for the Holidays” is also a movie I haven’t seen in a while, but I remember loving it.  (After losing her job, making out with her soon to be ex-boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson has to face spending the holiday with her family. She wonders if she can survive their crazy antics. IMDB).  Ah, family holiday dinners.  🙂  I am thankful that our Thanksgiving dinners are not filled with lots of drama!

A few others that have a Thanksgiving theme that I have seen include “Pieces of April” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.”  Good movies.

The last movie about a holiday that has inspired me is the Italian film, “Mid-August Lunch,” a great movie about Ferragosto – the Italian tradition of getting out of the city for a few weeks during the hot weeks of mid-August.  It is a great movie and a great holiday that I have embraced in the last few years, having my own “lakeside” vacation with Italian flair, right in the middle of Minnesota.

And as to my list, as I admitted yesterday, it was incomplete.  Last night I did some thinking about how I wanted to move forward and here’s what I came up with:  You know I love the Satellite Sisters and I have written about their book “Uncommon Senses.”  I am going to create a list of things that I want to accomplish based upon the “senses” highlighted in their book.

The Sense of Connection
The Sense of Self
The Sense of Humor
The Sense of Adventure
The Sense of Direction.

As I’ve said about their book before, it applies as well today as it did ten years ago when it was written.  And I know that I can find things in all those “senses” that I would like to put out there as challenges for myself.  So as well as writing about books, I will be writing about these challenges.

Thank YOU for following along with these daily posts!

Off to read!