Joyful Moment #612

I collect joyful moments like some people collect stamps. I put most joyful moments in a small book. Some of my joyful moments are also written on this blog. I had another joyful moment today. It was #612. It happened as I wrote in my journal.

I have been a journal writer since I was a child.  I’m not perfect at it, but I try to write once a month. As I was writing today, I felt joy on reflecting  why 7-year-old me set the goal to record the events of my life once a month.  I set the goal, because of a conversation I had with my father’s step-dad.

Grandpa Adams picture

Grandpa Adams was sick and his health was deteriorating.  This is how most visits to the grandparents worked at that age. I would say hi and then run as fast as I could past Grandma and Grandpa to play outside. This time was different though.  Grandpa asked me to sit by him for a minute. He shared that he kept a journal. He asked me if I kept a journal. I told him no. Grandpa looked at me and then solemnly gave me two promises. He told me that if I kept a journal I would remember my childhood. Grandpa also said that if I kept a journal that I would have a happy life even if sometimes I had bad experiences.

It was a deep conversation to have with a little kid. It made an impact on me. That night I asked my parents to get me a journal from the store. The brown book with the brown flowers is the journal my parents bought me.

My journals

As I was writing in my journal today, I felt joy that I can record my ordinary life. The act of writing it down somehow makes the ordinary turn into “extraordinary”. I get to be the hero (and sometimes the accidental villain) in the great story called my life.

Grandpa Adams’ words came true. I remember many things from my childhood. I also believe that I can have a happy life even if sometimes I have bad experiences.

 

Joyful Moment

When I was nine, I decided I wanted to be smart. I didn’t know how to be smart, so I asked the smartest person I knew for advice.  Grandmas know everything when you’re a kid.

Grandma told me to get a library card and read one book a month.

My library card

I’m happy to report that I’ve followed her advice with a monthly trip to the library. My library card has brought me a lot of joy over the years.

Thanks, Grandma.

Grandma Adams

My life has been blessed by listening to you. What advice have you been given that has blessed your life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The End of Gratitude

My gratitude 2019 challenge has ended. I don’t have be thankful for another year. That’s a joke and to prove it I did a bonus thankful day.

Thankful day#29: I’m thankful for my apartment. It’s good to have a place to live.

Race picture

Thankful day #30: I’m thankful for my sister Jenny and her willingness to have fun with me. We froze but we finished the Thanksgiving Leftovers 5k  this morning. Don’t we look cold? I have no idea how people were racing in shorts.

Bonus Thankful Day–December 1

TP

I am so thankful for toilet paper. It’s one of the best inventions ever created. It also makes a great present.  I once had a friend give me  24 rolls of toilet paper as a Christmas gift.  I was so excited when I opened my box and realized I wouldn’t have to add toilet paper to my grocery list for weeks.   I gave my friend a BIG HUG.  So thoughtful!

I guess you could say I’m pretty easy to please in terms of Christmas presents.

 

 

 

Gratitude Days 10-28

Reno

Thankful day #10: l am thankful for my legs and the ability to walk.

Thankful day #11: l am thankful for veterans and their families for sacrificing so much for me.

Thankful day #12: l am grateful for my legs. I took a walk around a park today. I’m glad l have legs that can take me places.
Thankful day :13: l am grateful for music.

Thankful day #14: I’m thankful l can laugh. Yesterday, l had a bird drop a present on me. I looked at my arm covered in bird droppings and then at the culprit sitting in the tree. I pointed at him and told him he was a very naughty bird. The little bird looked at me, started loudly chirping, spread out its wings and strutted back and forth on the tree limb. At that point, l started laughing. Well played little bird. You win.

Thankful day #15: I’m thankful for cars, airplanes, trains and buses. Modern transportation makes it possible for me to see my siblings who live far away from me. I’m grateful and so excited to see my brother David and his family. Hello Nevada! I’ll be there soon.

Thankful day #16: I’m thankful l was able to attend Jonah’s baptism. It was a special day for my nephew and his family.
Thankful day #17: I’m thankful for the Earth. I saw some beautiful views this weekend. This one made me want to sing All Creatures of our God and King. Nevada is quite lovely.

Thankful Days #16-24 It’s been a crazy week at work. The students really need a vacation. I got a little behind on posting something I’m grateful for each day. I’m thankful there is no perfect way to do this thankful challenge. You’ll notice that I made this one count for tomorrow and Saturday as well. I’m very thankful there is no right way to do this challenge.

Thankful day #25: Last week we got a lot rain. I don’t like driving in rain, but l was thankful we got some. It was needed.

Thankful day #26: I’m thankful for my coworkers. They brighten my day!

Thankful Day #27: I’m thankful for audiobooks. It’s so much fun to listen to books while l drive, exercise and go about my life. I love it.

Thankful Day #28: I’m thankful for parents, siblings, my cousins and dear friends who are like family to me. I’m thankful to God and his Son Jesus. I’m also thankful for the delicious meal I’m going to eat soon.

Gratitude Challenge Days 1-9

During November, I have a tradition. I think of one thing I’m thankful for every day. I then post my thankful messages on social media. It’s a good tradition. I’ve done it for  6 years now.  Here’s what I’ve written so far this year.

Thankful day#1: Clean water.

Thankful Day #2: My family and friends.

Thankful day #3: Employment. It’s good to have a job.

Thankful #4: I’m grateful for my parents for encouraging me to keep working on my goals.

Thankful day #5: I’m thankful for delicious food like salmon.

Dinner

 

Thankful Day #6: I’m thankful for my Ricks family. (Yes, that also includes my former spouse.) I’m never going to be one of those people who stand up at Church and announce to everybody that they are grateful for their trials and it was the best thing that ever happened to them. Nope. It really  hurts to get divorced and anyone who says otherwise is selling you some thing. (Can you name that movie line?) I did wake up today though with a thankful thought. I am thankful that when I go grocery shopping and run into a Ricks that I can say hello and feel peace in my heart. That is a heaven sent blessing. I can praise God for peace.

Thankful day #7: Bowling was fun last night. I’m thankful for my bowling family. I’ve seen some league friends every Wednesday for 6 years. They’ve become adopted cousins to me.

Thankful day #8: Sunsets are beautiful. I took this photo a few days ago.

Thankful day #9: I’m thankful for flowers. I buy flowers for myself a couple of times a year and put them on my dresser.  Flowers brighten up a room. It’s fun to wake up and see beautiful flowers smiling at me.

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What are you grateful for today?

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.

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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,

Amee

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.

omelet

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 an over 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 completely 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.

skiddles-candy.jpg

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. For me. On a Sunday.

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,

Amee

 

 

 

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.)