The Dress part 2

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about getting rid of the dress I wore to my 10th grade winter formal. I was afraid that by letting the dress go I would forget a magical evening. I’m once again faced with saying a farewell.

How do you say goodbye to your wedding dress?

My wedding dress

I haven’t written on this blog about my divorce. The reasons are private. I wish nothing but happiness for my former spouse. There is still the subject of the dress though. It really is not good for one’s mental health to see your wedding dress hanging in the closet every day.

I must admit that there was a time when I thought the best thing to do was to go to the desert and have a large bonfire.  I even imagined myself inviting my favorite friends to a wedding dress burning party. We would all roast marshmallows and dance around the  embers of my marriage.  Although it was a fun daydream, I knew I couldn’t do that.

At the end of the day, I still believe in the goodness of people and the power of God to make everything right in the end. It’s like that scripture from Isaiah about turning ashes into something beautiful. I couldn’t burn my wedding dress for the same reason that I always stop and blow dandelions whenever I see one. They are symbols. Dandelions. Wedding dresses. Cute kids dressed up in their Sunday best at Church. Beautiful sunsets. Elderly couples holding hands. People having fun together. Making cookies for your friends. These are some of the little things in life that symbolize friendship, love and hope to me. Symbols are powerful. You just can’t burn a symbol.


I did find a new home for my wedding dress. I donated it to a charity’s thrift store. I also made a financial donation to an organization that helps children in memory of my marriage. Beauty from ashes and many more years of dandelion blowing.  That’s the goal. For all of us.

With Love,


Happy Me

(It’s August, 2019.  It’s been 16 years and a few months since I wore my wedding dress. I’m still myself. That’s a major accomplishment.  I’ve always wanted to be Amee when I grew up.)

The rest of my thankful month (2 months late)

Life happens. Blogs get forgotten.

That’s what happened to this little blog. I did my thankful challenge during November for the entire month. I wrote down my thankful item each day. I just forgot to post it on this blog. Here are the rest of my thankful challenge days.

Day 12: I’m thankful for veterans and their families.

Day 13: My parents
Day 14: Ibuprofen
Day 15: Music. I adore listening to music. It’s a great blessing.
Day 16: Cousins are the best.

Thankful Day #17: I’ve been eating really well the last two days. Food tastes better with your parents and sister.

family at dinner

Day #18: I’m thankful for my siblings. I’m thankful for the Accountant and my in-laws. (Don’t know who the Accountant is—go look at the About section.)

Day #19: Cottage cheese. It’s so delicious.
Day #20: I’m thankful for prayer.
Day #21: I’m grateful for a working car.
Day #22: I’m thankful I’m not a turkey today. On a serious note, l feel grateful for so many things. I’m thankful for family ,friends, God, scriptures and music.

Day 23: Clean water.
Day 24: I’m thankful for Nathan’s help today. He came down to the school and helped me move furniture. It meant a lot to me.
Day 25: I’m thankful for long weekends. Thanksgiving break was fun this year.

Day 26: I’m thankful for my senses. It’s good to be able to see, hear, taste and smell things.

Days 26-30 I was tired and really busy at work. I forgot that I am trying to be grateful all November. I’m thankful we get new starts each day.



Omelets, Moms, my toothbrush and other things to be thankful for today

Every November, I have a tradition. I write down one thing I’m thankful for every day. It helps me remember my many privileges and blessings.  It’s a chance to pause and show gratitude to God and the people around me.  It helps me reflect on how I can help those who are not as fortunate. It’s a good tradition that has brought a lot of joy into my life. Here’s my list so far.

Day 1: Recess (It is a huge blessing the day after Halloween.)
Day 2: Indoor plumbing
Day 3: I’m grateful I was able to spend time with my friend Sara. We went shopping this morning. Shopping with friends is the best type of shopping. I’m also thankful for my breakfast omelet. Omelets are delicious.


Day 4: Sunsets
Day 5: I’m grateful for music.

Day 6: I am thankful I can vote. I honor the many brave woman who marched, went to jail and stood up to oppression.

I’m also thankful for my voting sticker. I absolutely loved stickers as a kid. I still think stickers are fun. It makes me smile to get my sticker. In fact, I have saved every voting sticker I’ve ever gotten and put it in my journal.

I voted sticker

Day 7: My Mom is incredible. I love her so much. I’m grateful for all she has done for me. We talked on the phone yesterday. It’s a blessing to have a Mom.

Day 8: My car runs.

Day 9: I love my toothbrush.  It makes the most delightful sound. Sometimes, I dance a little jig when it starts to buzz. There are so many simple things that brighten my day.  I’m thankful for my toothbrush.

Toothbrush picture

Day 10: Hugs. I’m thankful for hugs.  I had a rough day. It was the kind of day that I just sat on my bed and cried. It was the kind of day that I told God that life is incredibly unfair. It was painful. It hurt. I’m thankful for the friend who gave me a hug. Hugs are a blessing. Friends are a blessing.

Day 11: I’m thankful to be alive. Life is not perfect. It’s good to be alive though. I’m thankful to learn, love and survive another day. I believe in happy endings. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but there’s always tomorrow. God be thanked for a new day.

It’s a good day to be thankful.  That is why I do the Thankful Challenge every year. It helps me remember. What are you thankful for today?

“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”  — Maya Angelou



My Parents Love Me

I’ve written before about my incredible parents. I had another experience today that confirmed again how much these two human beings are good people who love me.

Today was a hard day and I was feeling a bit emotional.  In the middle of this day, I was accidently forgotten and not given Skittles like everyone else in a Church class.  I felt left out. I knew it was an accident. It wasn’t anybody’s fault and I wasn’t angry at the person who forgot me. It just happened in the craziness of the moment. My logical side knew it wasn’t on purpose. My emotional side started remembering every other time in my life that I have been left-out or not gotten what I wanted.

I try to visit my parents a few times a month. Today was one of those planned visits. I ended up telling them how I felt.  Yes, I’m a 40 year-old who sat on my parent’s couch this afternoon and cried that I didn’t get candy. It’s not about the candy though. Even though it was completly an accident, my feelings of being left-out were real. We talked for a bit. I felt lighter when I drove home. It helped to talk about my feelings.

Then my Dad did something so incredibly loving and kind. He came and gave me a bag of Skittles.


Let me tell you something about my folks. They are true believers in keeping all of the 10 Commandments. They don’t lie, cheat, covet or do any of those other don’ts. Mom and Dad go to Church every Sunday and growing up my siblings and I would never even think about asking to go to the movies or the mall on a Sunday. It wasn’t keeping the Sabbath day holy. My parents also hate Skittles. They don’t keep them at the house which means that my father made a special trip to the store just to buy them.

He went to the store for me.   I felt so incredibly loved. As I held the bag of candy, I remembered a scripture written by the Apostle John.

“We love Him because He first loved us”. (1 John 4: 18-19)

The scripture is speaking about my Savior Jesus Christ and his great love for all mankind. Today it was also talking about my parents and their example of true love for me–their daughter.

I love you, Mom and Dad. You will always be my favorite people.  I am who I am today because of your goodness and light. I will remember your example of Christian  discipleship for the rest of my life. I hope to be like you when I grow up.

My parents

With love forever,





Gratitude Days #1-16

It’s November so it’s time to start my annual tradition of finding something I’m thankful for every day this month. Here’s what I wrote down for days 1-16.

Thankful day #1: Today I’m thankful for bowling and my bowling buddies. I’m also thankful l can watch the World Series and bowl at the same time. It’s a happy evening.

Thankful day #2: I have a working car. That’s a blessing.

Thankful day #3: I am thankful for a job. I think every job has its moments. My job can be crazy at times,but the benefits of employment outweigh the drawbacks. What are you grateful for today?

Thankful day#4: I’m glad l have a library card. I love the library. They have many great resources there. I just got two free Phoenix Symphony tickets during my little library trip today.

Thankful day #5: Clouds
Thankful day #6: My parents are wonderful people. I love them and I’m glad they are in my life.

Thankful day#7: I’m thankful for shoes.It’s nice to have a way to protect my feet. What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Challenge Day 8: I’m thankful for Jesus and all that he has done for me.

Thankful day #9: Soup
Thankful day #10: I’m thankful I got to go to lunch with some friends today.
Thankful day #11: Veterans and their families for sacrificing for my liberties.

Thankful day #12: Music
Thankful day #13: The ability to walk is a blessing.

Thankful day #14: Eggplant paramesian is delicious. I ate it for the first time this week. It’s wonderful and I’m thankful to try something new.

Thankful day #15 Clouds

Arizona the beautiful state
Thankful day #16 Arizona is beautiful. I just love the desert landscape. (And thanks to the person who owns this house. I’m sure you wondered why a stranger was taking a picture. The view was just too pretty not to take a picture of it.)

Pizza and Prayers


Pizza picture

I had an interesting experience tonight. The Accountant and l went to a pizza buffet for dinner. We don’t normally go there due to the cost, but we had flyer from our insurance guy stating that buffet was only $3 for a customer appreciation special. When we got to the buffet, the cashier told us we had to get the discount meal ticket from the folks at the table in the back of the restaurant. I should have asked which table, but l didn’t. Instead l marched to the back of the restaurant and said hello to the people at a table. They turned out to be a group of preachers not the insurance company.
Me: I’m here.
Preacher: That’s great. I’m sure God has brought you here today.

Accountant: Amee, you’re at the wrong table.
Preacher: We are a group of ministers and we’d love to pray with you.
Me: Okay. I’m not going to turn down a free prayer.
Preacher: Do you believe Jesus is your personal Savior?
Me: Yes. I do.
Then the table of ministers reached out their hands and all said a little prayer for me. I’ve never been prayed over by total strangers at a pizza buffet before. I liked it. It made me feel really loved and important. It was a sweet experience.

Why I do the Gratitude Challenge Every Year

I’ve never liked the movie Pollyanna. She was always so glad and happy about everything. I don’t think it is humanly possible for a normal person to always be happy.

Despite my dislike of Pollyanna, I do a gratitude challenge every year.  During the month of November, I think of one thing I’m thankful for each day and write it down. I’ve learned two key lessons about gratitude by doing this challenge year after year.

#1    I don’t have to be Pollyanna.

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes life is Really hard. If my dog dies and my car gets stolen on the same day, I am not going to be happy about it. If a well-meaning friend tells me to be happy about it and to write a list of everything I’m thankful for,  I might just yell at them. Bad stuff happens. That’s life. Gratitude is not pretending that life isn’t really hard sometimes. It’s not sweeping the pain and real grievances under the rug. It’s acknowledging and feeling the pain. Sometimes you have to feel the pain before you can start to heal.  When I realized that I didn’t have to be “happy and grateful” all the time it opened up the possibility that I could be happy and feel gratitude some of the time. That made a huge difference and helped me to learn a second lesson on gratitude.

#2 Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness

There is goodness in the world. There are good people who are doing good things to make the world a better place for all of us. Gratitude is believing in that goodness. Yes, there is also badness and bad people in the world. We’ve seen a lot of that badness in the world the last few months. Gratitude is taking a minute to stop and see the good. You might see the good for a minute, for an hour or for a day. The important thing is that you stop and look for it. There is something magical that happens when you start hunting for the goodness. You will find it.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1)

What will you be grateful for today?

Me picture




Not Grateful Day


I’ve been doing the thankful challenge for 30 days now. Yesterday,  I had a bad day. I wasn’t feeling grateful for anything. So, I decided to honor my feelings and write an ungrateful list.


  1. Scorpions
  2. Scorpions that don’t die when you try to kill them.
  3. Students that turn in all their overdue work and then expect me to have everything graded by the end of the hour.
  4. Dropped cell phone calls
  5. A cold   Achoo!
  6. The bill from the dental office
  7. Ants who decide to bite you when you are mowing the lawn.
  8. Lawns that don’t mow themselves.
  9. The blender decided to break when I was trying to make a smoothie.
  10. Bad dreams
  11.  Good dreams that you wake up from and realize that it was just a dream. I really wanted the ability to fly.

The list goes on and on.  I made a list of 50 things.  It was super easy to think of things. The more I thought about being ungrateful the more stuff popped into my head that was wrong with my life. Here’s are a few of my favorite ones from the list.

22. I’m not a millionaire.

37. French fries have calories in them.

48.  All the bad stuff that I see on the news

I learned that it was a lot easier to be ungrateful than grateful. It takes work to be grateful. That was actually ungrateful item #50 from the list.

50. Being grateful takes too much work.

After I wrote out all 50 items, I read them out loud in my most annoyed voice in front of the mirror.   I felt like a little girl who had been caught doing something naughty. It was so much fun to be unthankful. I gave myself permission to  get upset about all  the little annoyances and big grievances in my life. It was fun. You should try it sometime.

Today I’m grateful that I can be ungrateful and still laugh about it. 


Thankful Day #26: Water


I take it for granted. It’s always there when I need it. I don’t have to walk five miles a day to get water for my family from a well or river. I’ve never had to worry about clean water. I just turn on the facet and out it comes. It’s there for drinking, bathing and watering my little herb garden. I know I’m privileged. There are  many people in the world who don’t have access to clean water.


I’m not a politician, but it makes sense to me to support policies that will keep water clean. I’m not a great philanthropist, but it makes sense to me to support organizations and programs that help individuals and nations have access to clean water.
Without clean water, we are all in trouble.


Grateful Days 1-24

It’s time to start my November tradition. I write something I’m grateful for every day for the entire month in my journal. Here’s my list for the first 25 days of November.

Day 1: I’m grateful for music.

Thankful Day #2: I’m grateful for bowling with my friends after a long day at work.

Thankful Day #3. Windshield wipers that work

Thankful Day #4: The weekend is here!

Thankful Day #5: Walking. It’s a gift.

Day #6: I’m grateful for all the rights in the Bill of Rights. It’s a blessing to be able to assemble with other people, pick my own church and express ideas in written form with others. It’s a blessing that you have that same right too. I may not always like how other people exercise their rights, but l will defend and respect their right to do so. The day we only look after our own civil liberties at the expense of others rights is the day that we all start to lose.

Day 7: Family and Friends
Day 8: The ability to vote

Gratitude Day #10: I’m grateful for puffy white clouds. I love clouds. They are so pretty. I saw a beautiful cloud driving home from work today. It made me just smile. Clouds are cool. I bet you are wondering what happened to yesterday’s gratitude post. Well, I wasn’t feeling very thankful on November 9th so I took a day off from the challenge. I’m back though today and will try to be thankful for something every day for the rest of this month.

Day 11:  I’m grateful for all veterans and their families. Thank you for your service.

Day 12: Grateful for my legs and feet

Day #13:  I’m  grateful for books.

Day 14: I’m thankful for a working car.

Day 15: I’m thankful for my free pen. Some one gave me a free pen today and I was very happy to get it.

Day 16: I’m grateful for my bed. It’s good to have a bed to sleep in . l would be a very grouchy person if l had to sleep in a tent every night.

Day 17: I’m grateful for my siblings.


Day 18: I’m grateful to have a job. (And now I’m off to that job.)

Day 19-20: I’m grateful my Grandma got me a cookbook for my graduation gift many years ago. I love this book and use it all the time. In fact, l used it tonight. I felt like eating some deviled eggs but l couldn’t remember how much mayo to put in. This book has everything in it. It’s amazing. Thanks Grandma. I’m still enjoying the gift. (By the way, Nathan said he loves this book too. He likes to eat.)


Day 21: I’m grateful that I’m not a Pilgrim and that I don’t have to cook over an open flame every night. The 6th graders went on a virtual field trip to Plimouth Plantation this week. The students enjoyed it and it made me remember to be grateful for things like a modern kitchen and indoor plumbing. I would have made a terrible Pilgrim.

Day 22: I’m grateful for my parents and how they have put up with all these years.

Day 23: I’m thankful for good people who are trying to make the world a better place. Last night, Nate and l participated in a choir that sang for an interfaith Thanksgiving service in Tempe. It was a sweet experience and l felt God’s love as we came together with songs and messages. I’m glad l was a part of it. I even ran into my dear coworker Diane which made it a special treat. We took a selfie.

singing-in-the-choir  selfie

Day 24: I’m grateful for my Mom and the joy she brings to the world.

Thankful Day 25: I’m grateful for Jesus, for my family and for the ability to turn off my alarm clock and sleep in until 7:30 a.m. I normally start my day at 5:00 a.m. so sleeping until 7:30 is a wonderful treat. I’m also thankful for cousin Carrie. I got to see her today and she is one of the coolest people I know on planet Earth. She’s intelligent, fun, beautiful, creative and just an interesting person. I love hanging out with her. I’ve got to find her job in Arizona so I can see her more. (Or maybe we can both find jobs somewhere exciting like London)