Thursday, November 27, 2008


A few of my favorite blogs have been posting about being thankful in everything vs. being thankful for everything. It's easy to be thankful when things go your way, when life is joyous, and you are surrounded by beauty and hope. Everything looks like one big blessing. It's easy to be thankful in situations even when things aren't going your way - you can find the silver lining, make the best of a tough situation. But can you be thankful for the bad situation to begin with? It's much harder to be thankful for something that hurts. Thankful for the negatives. Thankful for death. Thankful for hurt. Thankful for loss. Thankful for sickness, pain, and anguish.

No one says "boy! Am I ever thankful for this cancer diagnosis!"

And while this Thanksgiving finds me healthy, happily married, in a good job with a beautiful home, there are things in this life I am not thankful for. Things, to be perfectly honest, I wish would just disappear. This year has been hard and full of hurt. There are some days - especially in the last year - I have found myself lost in a reverie wishing I could give up, quit the life as I know it, travel someplace beautiful (literally and figuratively), and just spend the days laying on a tropical beach with no responsibilities.

No phones. No stress. No hurt, pain, loss, sadness, disappointment, despair, and worry.

What a picture of perfection that would be. But that's not the way it is.


This Thanksgiving I'm joining some of the other bloggers and sharing some things I am thankful for. But the catch is, they are things I don't feel thankful for, something I carry with me, each day, in this life. Something that was once painful and maybe still is. I encourage everyone to try this too.

I will start.

I am thankful for my completely dysfunctional life, for the emotional pain in 2000, for the loss of Grandparents and family, for the fork in the road of life that was 2004, for the financial difficulties I faced in 2006, for the tears I've shed over the last 11 months, for all the pain from my life that has made me who I am today.

All of these things, as painful and horrible as they have been, have given me strength, wisdom, determination...and hope.

For that, I am thankful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

50 in 50

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer

As Thanksgiving approaches this week I've been thinking about all that I have to be thankful for. This will be our first holiday season in our new house. I'm excited for all the memories we will make here. The stockings we will hang from the fireplace, trimming the tree, celebrating thanksgiving over a large feast at the table. Although this year has been heavy with heartache (those who know me well know what I am talking about), there is lots to be thankful for, we have truly been blessed this year.

This year I have chosen to cut back on my holiday spending and use what I save on charities. I was just starting to think about where I wanted to donate to when Angie posted about a project called Soles for Souls aiming at raising 50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days for those suffering in poverty. Five dollars ($5!) will buy two pairs of shoes! This is so exciting!

Feel free to click on the link if you want to read more about it. As soon as I post this I will be donating.

I want to leave you on this note:

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Monday, November 17, 2008


I write my blog on myspace and then I post the same entry on my site here at blogspot. When posting a blog on myspace you are prompted to select a category for each posting. At first I placed this under "travel" but I changed it to "life". Stay with me, there is a point to this.

I just returned from Hawaii a few days ago. It was gorgeous, beautiful, awesome, wonderful, and any other adjective that could fit a glorious description of what I lived and saw for 8 days on Oahu's North Shore. We planned on doing several excursions, and while I enjoyed those immensely, it was what I didn't plan that will stick with me for many years to come.

On our first morning on the island we were up at 530 to catch our boat for a shark dive that was at 630 in the morning. The shark dive was incredible. Being that close to such potentially dangerous animals is exciting and entertaining to say the least. I loved it. We were back at the harbor by 9am so we ate breakfast at Kono's (if you are ever in Oahu on the North Shore you HAVE to go here, the food is awesome!) and decided to spend the rest of the morning stopping at various beaches on the drive back to our hotel. We had some time to kill since it was so early.

As we were driving on Kamehameha Hwy (say that 6 times fast) we spotted an unmarked beach and pulled over. It's not easy to describe how beautiful a Hawaiian beach is when you have it all to yourself in the morning. It was a little cloudy, but in my opinion the weather was perfect. We walked along the beach together in silence. With each of us taking in the sites, the scent, the feel of the Hawaiian breeze on our skin with the pacific waters lapping at our feet.

As I look back on this day, I'm sure most would expect me to say the shark dive would be the most memorable, but for me, it wasn't. And while I enjoyed our boating adventures with such magnificent creatures it was the unplanned walk along that beach on a cloudy morning that I enjoyed more than anything else that trip.

As Adam held my hand we continued on along the shore. Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks and I said, "Do you see what it ahead of us?" He looked around and he said "No, what???"

I pointed straight ahead and we saw this

We can't always see what is ahead of us in this life. Sometimes we are diving headfirst into ache and sorrow. Other times we are walking through life in our own quiet peaceful existance. We can make plans and have expectations, have lists, goals, wants, and needs but sometimes it's the most unexpected occurrences that have the greatest impact on our souls.

And that's why I debated on what category to place this under. Yes, this was all part of my vacation. It was one day of my travels. However, I will never forget how randomly everything happened and how perfectly it turned out.

Life really is full of some wonderful Surprises.