Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 30: Me

November 30th, 2013
Today is my last post.  I'm a little sad that is over.  It is fun going through my day, each day, looking for what I am MOST grateful for that day.  Today I decided I am most grateful for me.  I am pretty great.  It took me many many years to think that, to believe it, and now to profess it.  I love confidence in other women.  I think there is hardly anything better than a woman who knows who she is, what she is capable of and what she wants in this world.  This is how I aim to be.  I have come a long long way this year.  This blog has really helped me explore many ideas, thoughts and feelings.  I have an audience now that I couldn't be more grateful for or more appreciative of.  I have people who enjoy reading what I write and have a genuine interest in my life.  I am in the last week of my 32nd year and I am looking forward at what my goals for next year are going to be.  I am grateful for me and the wonderful woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister and nurse that I am.  Thank you all for your positive comments, blessings, and feedback.  Thank you for going on this month long adventure with me!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 29: Black Friday

November 29th, 2013
Today I am glad not to be a holiday widow.  For years I would barely see Heath from late Thanksgiving night until Christmas.  It was the biggest part of why I hated retail.  This year, it never escaped my attention that he was able to have the entire Thanksgiving meal with us, and we were able to spend all of Black Friday together!  I would have especially hated this year because he would have had to be in the store late Thanksgiving afternoon and would have had to squeeze in a nap, so he would have missed the whole day.  I am grateful that our lives are taking us in a different direction and I do not have to be that holiday widow ever again!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 28: Thanksgiving

November 28th, 2013
Today I am grateful for today!  I love Thanksgiving.  It is my single favorite holiday.  It is the only holiday, in my opinion, that are based on facts that nobody can argue whether really happened (no matter how grusem the real story).  There are no consumer requirements for Thanksgiving (see tomorrow's post about consumerism), and the holiday is truly about coming together with the ones you love, friends and family, having a nice meal, and being thankful for it all.  I love all the fall decorations, the sound of the crunching leaves as you walk through doorways with arms full of delicious dishes, the best kind of pot lucking.  
Since I can remember we have had one very stable and traditional Thanksgiving.  I know that my aunt won't always be able to host, we won't always have the same rosebud dishes to eat off of, the familar clink of the china glasses as the ice hits them, but every year we are still here I revel in knowing that this is Thanksgiving and I am so grateful for my life, the sense of stability and consistancy and the tradition of it all. I am so grateful both of my children get to experience it, and the tradition gets to be past down.  

Gratitude Journal Day 27: Mom

November 27th, 2013
Today I am grateful for the opportunity and job I have as Mom.  I am grateful that a life's dream is realized in my two little cherubs.  I have always known I was going to be a mom.  My mom would insert the story here of when I was little, 5 maybe, I didn't have make believe friends, I had make believe kids, 4 to be exact.
It hasn't always been easy, which has been hard for me to question something that I felt so concreat about.  I am looking forward to the days when they are a little older, I think I will enjoy every aspect a bit more. Nevertheless, I am grateful for my role as mother and to have two such blessings that call me that.
I surprisedyself the other day. I overheard, walked by a conversation of two young women that were discussing all the draw backs of being a mom.  They were seriously considering not having children because of saggy boobs, untoned abs, and other such body characteristics after having children (you know what I mean).  I immediately leapt to the defense of "but when they look at you in the middle of the night while feeding them and they give you that ' you are my whole world look" or when they first utter mamma, or when nothing else comforts them but the simple tone of your voice or a stroke of your hand you forget and forgive all that other stuff.  Doesn't even count.  Surprised even myself.  So today, I am grateful for all of it, the good, the bad, the painful, the hard and the great, all of it!

Gratitude Journal Day 26: Lisa

November 26th, 2013
I discovered awhile ago that more people had housekeepers than I would have ever imagined.  In the state of life we are in right now, with as much as Heath and I have on our plate, a few things we were doing had to give.  Several months ago I asked Heath if I could hire a housekeeper.  It is the best money I spend every week!  Not only for vacuumed carpet, scrubbed kitchen floors, but for the peace of mind that the bathtub my children are sitting in is in fact sanitary, and when Logan is rolling around on the floor he doesn't stand up wearing enough dog hair to build another dog.  We keep up with the day to day clutter, but the stuff I wasn't getting to each week, and the stuff I was never getting to, is clean and I am never ashamed to have surprise company.   
It is a luxery, and one I imagine we won't always feel we need, but for now I am grateful that a sweet grandma type women came into my life, doesn't charge me a fortune, loves my kids, does little extra things each week that I have to tell her that's not what we expect but she does because she sees the relief she brings me and how much stress she lets me let go of. Thank you Lisa, today I am grateful for you!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 22: Logan

November 22nd, 2013
Today I am grateful for Logan.  I knew the minute I found out I was pregnant that it was a boy and that he was going to be completely different than Annabelle.  He was from the start.  I don't care what experts say about children, boys and girls are just made differently.  I am grateful to have a son, such a sweet boy, who shows me everyday how to love more and have more grace (with myself and others).  Logan does everything in his own time, loves to love on you, gives the biggest and best hugs, open mouth wet kisses and has no fear. He feels with every part of himself and has no shame.  He is a wonderful person and I feel so fortunate to have been chosen to be his mom and that I get to be part of his life.

Gratitude Journal Day 23: Beautiful Colorado

November 23rd, 2013
I was unable to get a picture today that captured the beauty of what I saw.  We live in a beautiful state, and I think Longmont has some of the best views on the entire front range.  This morning I was treated to a sunrise over snow covered mountains that was literally breath taking. I gasped.  These are the kind of moments that you are grateful just to be alive so that you can see this kind of beauty.  I feel so fortunate that I am home in a place with this kind of gift!

Gratitude Journal Day 24: Sleep

November 24th, 2013
I don't think anyone appreciates sleep enough until there is a lack of it.  Parents with young children and night shifters are the best, constant attestant to this fact.  Unfortunately I am a double strike. I think Heath and I can count on two hands how many times we have slept the whole way through the night since Annabelle has been born.  We look forward to times in our future that these days will be foggy memories.
I am grateful today for the days, and nights when I get great sleep.  I am grateful for sleeps restorative power and ability to change entire situations.  I look forward to one day again being well rested all of the time!

Gratitude Journal Day 25: Sister

November 25th, 2013
Today I am grateful for my sister.  We were never close growing up, but in the past 8 years or so we have become more than related.  Today I am proud to say she is truly one of my dearest friends.  She gives me so much love and support and even though she is several states away, it feels as though she is right down the block.  I love you Kelly!  I am grateful for you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 21: Snow Day

November 21st, 2013
Today I am grateful for snow days.  We had several plans today but were oblivious of mother natures plans to snow and be FRIDGID.  We rethought our day when I got out of bed and saw that it had snowed.  Our errands weren't worth taking the kids out in.  So, instead, we had a snow day.  It was great! We baked, pulled together some new projects and did a little furnature rearrange/repurpose.  It was just me and the kids for 12+ hours at home and we didn't put the tv on once. We had a great day, did some intense potty training, stayed in our PJs, and truly enjoyed it just being us.  I have great kids, who are becoming more and more fun. I look forward to many more days like this in our future. Hope they can all be as fun as today was!

Gratitude Journal Day 20: Lucky's

November 20th, 2013
It may seem like a strange thing but I am grateful for our newest grocery store in town, Lucky's.  It is a independently owned grocery store that started in Boulder.  I was very skeptical when they started building it, thinking, we already have 5 other kinds of grocery stores, what is this all about?  Well, I went to the grand opening out of curiosity and was blown away!  Awesome market type of little grocer, not so big that it is intimidating, and since they have been open (Labor Day) they have knock your socks off deals each week.  I make a (almost) weekly trip to Lucky's because of these deals.  This week I FILLED a cart (and they are deep carts) with fruits and veggies and walked out for $50.  This is a type of Boulder, hippie, organic, grass fed kind of grocery store. I don't think I have ever gotten my dollar to stretch further.
I'm sure someday they will have such a loyal following that they will have weekly "good" deals, and that the knock your socks off variety will be gone, but for now I will plan my week around weekely double ad Wednesdays and figuring out how to store 30 lbs of russet potatoes because they were only $0.88 per 5 lbs bag.  Anybody want a baked potato? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 19: Being Alone

November 19th, 2013
Today I am grateful for time alone. It may come at weird times, I sometimes have to steal it, but I am always grateful for it.  I realized when I got married just how much I did appreciate time to myself and being alone. It became amplified when I had kids.  I love being a wife and a mom.  I do love the times when it's just me.  I often stay up late to have some "me" time.  Tonight, I fell asleep on the couch and instead of waking up and going to bed, I chose to take my time as my family sleeps.  I did some chores, filed some papers, and took out the trash.  All of those mundane tasks are somehow GLORIOUS when I can just take out the trash and not look behind me to make sure that Logan didn't climb out the dog door , or come back in and wonder why Annabelle is crying.
 I am now catching up on my gratitude posts, while taking a bath.  Yes it's 3 am, but hey I will take it where I can get it!

Gratitude Journal Day 18: Friends

November 18th, 2013
Today I am grateful for friends.  Especially friends that do not hold grudges, keep score and are able to pick up right where you left off. I got some time to catch up with a dear friend today.  It has been months since we have seen each other, but this amazing strong bond we have it was like time hadn't passed.  
I have collected a wide variety of friends from my many walks of life and feel so incredibly grateful that all parts of my self are feed and nurtured by this beautiful mosaics of people.

Gratitude Journal Day 17: My Parents

November 17th, 2013
Today I am grateful for my parents.  I was able to spend some time with both of them today, which sadly is a rarity these days.    It was a fun time to have them in my home and love on my kids. They have such an amazing bond with my kids.  They are great grandparents!  I am grateful to my parents for all of the lessons they have taught me. They are directly responsible for where I am in my life and who I am. They have influenced every choice and decision I have made in this life.  They have been great living examples of both good and poor life choices. They have shown me how to have faith and how to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  They are amazing people and I am so grateful that I am able to call them mine!

Gratitude Journal Day 16: In Laws

November 16th, 2013
Today I am grateful for my In-Laws.  I couldn't have asked for a better gift than these strange and amazing people!  I hate the connetation of "in-law".  I call my mother in law my other mother. She is a great mom who has nothing but my best interest at heart.  They wanted daughters, but instead got three wonderul boys, and got their daughters as adults.  They treat me as the long lost daughter they never had.  I always wanted brothers, and God blessed me with two wonderful men that I am proud to call family.  
We had a family dinner tonight and it was so fun to be amongst so much love.  I don't think if a stranger walked in could tell who was blood and who was married in.  They are some of the greatest, most loving, wonderful people in this world. I am so grateful to be able to be part of it!

Gratitude Journal Day 15: Husband

ONovember 15, 2013
Today I am grateful for my husband.  Heath is my best friend.  He has been my best friend for 14 and a half years.  He is a fabulous husband, an amazing father and a great partner.  He takes me for me, never wants or expects me to change or become a different person, accepts me with all my nuances and picadillos.  He turns my annoying habits into jokes and songs.  I have never felt truly loved or accepted until I became his wife.  He and our marriage is like a fine wine that just keeps getting better with time.  I only hope that I can return the great gift of love and true sense of belonging he gives me everyday. I love you Heath, to the moon and back.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 14: M&Y

November 14h, 2013
Today I am grateful for my Meditation and Yoga practices.  On m journey this year these are two things I have fought hard to develop. They aren't hard wired yet but are getting close. If you opened my eyes and plopped me in the middle of my day, some day in the future, I could tell you if I had started that day with a little yoga and meditation just by how I felt and my control over my thoughts.
It is really hard to sit sill and be silent without having racing thoughts for a whole 10 minutes.  Really hard.  But even if I try, I feel different the rest of my day.  If I start my day by giving myself time, putting me first, filling my cup, putting on my oxygen mask, then the rest of the day I am not looking to anything or anybody to fill that space, and I can more freely serve my mission: to serve others with my WHOLE heart.  ALL of my roles in my life are about serving: woman, wife, mother, nurse...but I must first be whole and full to then serve others, otherwise what I serve is empty and undesirable.  Mediation and Yoga are two of the things that helps me fill and I am so grateful I discovered these practices.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 13: Happy Kids

November 14th, 2013
Today I am grateful for happy kids.

We have two adorible children who are truly happy.  They have joyful souls. They are so fun to be around and to hang out with. One of my favorite parts of my day is when I am sleeping in the middle of the day (when working nights) and waking up just a little and hearing them playing/laughing/talking. It is such a glorious sound and I love to sit with that sound and let it resonate in my soul.  I am so grateful for my happy children.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 12: Free Kids Activities

Today I am grateful for free kids activities. We needed to run off some steam today.  It was a bit cooler earlier in the day so we headed it McDonalds.  Annabelle calls it "Old McDonalds".  They have nice, well maintained equipment that is most of the time very clean.  For the cost of a large drink ($1.06) we can play all day.  They have free wifi and it is indoors. A great reprieve. After some more time in the car, we needed to run some more. It got a bit nicer later in the day so we went to the park.  We had a great time playing on the "bumpy slide" and the "curly" slide.  I love that with a little imagination and a picnic lunch we can have a wonderful day, and have lots of activity and spend close to no money. It is very refreshing!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 11: Freedom

November 11th, 2013 Veterans Day 
Today I am grateful for freedom.  I am grateful for a country that gives me so many rights and abilities.  I am free to choose what career I want to have, where and how I want to live, who to
marry, how many children to have, and so many other choices. I am grateful for so many that have gone before us affording us these rights. 
The kids and I went out to the Veterans Day parade today to honor those who are in our community that have served.  It was a special moment and a special day to share with the next generation.  I am grateful we were able to go.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 10: No Excuses

November 10th, 2013 

Today I am grateful for the beautiful day, amazing weather and our double BOB stroller.  I was full of reasons why I didn't want to go for a run today but had no excuse.  I love the double BOB. It allows me to easily carry both kids, keep them well shaded and entertained for as long as I want to be out.  Luke loves going for a jog and after a couple of correction usually stays behind the stroller and heels well.
The weather was amazing today.  Perfect weather for running, not to hot not to cold.  The fall colors are beautiful and I love hearing my footsteps crunch through the leaves.  
It doesn't happen everyday, most of the time I struggle, but I am so grateful for the days that all of the excuses melt away and I am able to get out and get in a good run.
Thank you Maria Kang, No Excuses Today!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 9: Couch Date

Today I am grateful for date night.  Our lives have change a bit in the past few years  so date night looks a bit different now.  We call it a couch date, but frankly, it's pretty great (because they are so rare).  Tonight Heath and I put the heathens to bed and cuddled under a blanket on the couch with a redbox (Channing Tatum on 55", yes please!).  Can't imagine how I would better like to spend 2 hours of my time.  I love you Heath Kahler and love spending quality time with you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 8: LUH

Today I am grateful for my new(ish) job.  I am very thankful to live and work in the same city again.  It breads a certain sense of grounding or community.  I love the beauty of this hospital.  Getting a cup of coffee for a patient and this is the view I see 

Seeing such beauty helps remind me why I choose to live and work here.  
It was a big change for me to switch systems at this point in my career.  Now that I feel the learning curve has lessened in steapness I am beginning to be able to enjoy the refreshing changes that a small community hospital has to offer.  Longmont United Hospital (LUH) is a great facility with wonderful staff and leadership.
I can see my career developing here and having longevity.  I am grateful that all the pieces fell into place as needed to put me here at this time in this place.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 7: Annabelle

November 7th, 2013
Today I am grateful for my sweet daughter Annabelle.  She is such a joy to be part of her life. She is kind, thoughtful, hilarious, smart and generous. It is so much fun to watch her grow, learn and develop. We have been working on potty training for two years. I am not one to draw a line in the sand, and I truly believed that we just had to wait until she got it. Well, she's getting it. We have had many successful potty trips this week and even one overnight wake up because she had to pee.  Her physical development has always been slower than her mental, but I think we are finally on the right road.
Today she walked up to me out of the blue a dawned "Mom are you proud of me when I go in the potty"? Yes babe, I am so proud of you, and for so many things.  I am so grateful to have you in my life!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 6: My Home

November 6th, 2013
Today I am thankful for my home.  We bought this house five and a half years ago and knew it was the place for us to start a family. Our angles led us to this house and have kept us well protected here.  We bought a house and turned it into a home. It is a constant source of contentment and comfort. Every time I am away, I look forward to coming home. My home extends it's arms and wraps me in a hug every time I come home from work.  It keeps us warm and dry and kept us safe during the flood.  I am grateful for my home.

Gratitude Journal Day 5: My Mom

November 5th, 2013
Today I am thankful for my mom.  They say it takes a village to raise a family and she is definetly a big part of my villiage.  She is always willing to come help with the kids when I have meetings, need to sleep after an extra shift, need to work a weird day, etc.  She takes awesome care of my kids, helps me with household chores and there is usually something freshly baked on the counter. I don't know how she does it but I am extremely blessed to have been born to such an unselfless person. Thank you mom for making my life possible and a little bit easier.  We appreciate you and are grateful for you.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 4: Job

November 4th, 2013

Today I am grateful for my job.  I am grateful to have a job.  Two at that!  God has positioned me well and keeps me out of harms way.  In this economy, with so much unknown and uncertainty, I feel fairly secure that I can provide an income for my family.  It may not be the days I want, the location or the hours, but I can find a job.  I imagine things are going to get even tighter and more difficult in healthcare in the coming years, but I feel well positioned to be in demand.  
I am grateful it is a job that means something and even my worst day couldn't be as bad as some of my patients.  I am grateful for the times I get to see how my small contributions are appreciated.
Tonight when I got to work I received a letter in my mailbox that gave me goosebumps.  Earlier this year I had the opportunity to partake in a horrific case that ended up in a organ donation.  The letter gave us follow up information on where the organs ended up and how those patients are doing. It gave me a great sense of gratitude that our work directly positively affected so many.  This is probably only a small representation of all the times that my work doesn't get recognized, but has the same outcome.  Makes me feel really good inside!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 3: Healthy Family

November 3rd, 2013
Today I am grateful for two amazing and healthy children.  I try not to let a day go by that I don't remember how blessed we are to be healthy.  Yesterday was a reminder of exactly how blessed.  A friend of mine found out yesterday that her 5 year old son has cancer. I cannot even imagine how you would go through something like that.  So today I will pray for sweet little Patrick and be extremely grateful for my healthy family.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 2: Health

Today I am grateful for my health. I appreciate that I can get out of bed independently and carry about my day how I chose. I can do whatever I want within my bodies capabilities. One of the things that sent me down this health and fitness path this year was a patient I encountered last winter. Outwardly she looked very healthy. No grave disability, but she just kept complaining about how hard it was to be her and what "pain" she felt. I was touched very deeply by her. She couldn't do anything because of her perception and attitude. What was my excuse? Because I didn't "feel" like it? That is not a good reason. There are plenty of people in this world that truly cannot do because of physical limitations, then there are that will not do because of mental limitations. I was somewhere in between. Today, I am grateful that I can and feel like getting out of bed early, doing my wonderful sun salutations, meditating then working out before I go to work. I am very grateful for my "can do" spirit that has overtaken me this year, and that I give myself this time each day before I serve everyone else. I am grateful I am whole, healthy and able bodied.

... and I got nothin

I had a wonderful opportunity to get together with some of my dear girlfriends tonight.  Our lavish "Happy Hours" at happening Boulder hot spots have now been downgraded to meeting at someone's house and a sharing a bottle of wine (on sale of course!) after we and the hostess puts our kids to bed.  I almost prefer these get togethers as I feel like we can pull back the BS and discuss some real topics, and we don't have to fight crowd noise, waiters and there's no tab to settle up at the end of the night. (Thanks for hosting E! You are always the impecable hostess!). I guess this is what mid thirties, married, mortgaged and a mother of two looks like.
Tonight we discussed our husbands and frustrations around the share of parenting/contributing/responsibilities.  It always blows me away how personally we all struggle but with all the same things.  It is some curtain of pride we all hide behind, but once opened, we all have felt the same way and have had the same fights/thoughts/frustrations!  We all laugh at that slightly dramatized story of what happened because we have all lived it, been there, felt that.  Well, except...
Me! I got nothin!  I can sympathize, extrapolate that I would feel that way in that situation.  I sat quiet through most of the stories, laughing, but quiet because I didn't have anything to add.  Nobody wanted to hear how I got flowers at work this week, with a homemade card telling me how much I am love and appreciated.  Nobody wanted to hear how I just was able to get away for a weekend to ... Meditate ... I had absolutely zero to add of why my husband sucked!  I had nothin!
Thank you Heath Ryan Kahler for loving me , spoiling me, taking great emotional care of me.  For being my partner, co-parent, best friend, confidont, lover, cheerleader, manager, and above all Husband.  You are amazing and I love you more and more each day and every year.  I don't even care that you don't know how to wipe down the sink after you shave and there is little hair fragments everywhere, or that you can't quiet get your sock ALL the way into the laundry basket.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Gratitude Journal Day 1: Alive

November 1st, 2013
Today I am grateful to be alive.  I am grateful to awaken everyday and be given the opportunity to learn, grow, share, and struggle.  Even if the day is a challenge, I try to keep the perspective of how fortunate I am to even be here!