This Week in Gratitude Memes

Maybe you don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter. That’s perfectly okay.

But I don’t want you to miss out on my effort to come up with 365 ways to be grateful this year. In case you’re wondering what this is all about, check out this post.

Feeling a little out of sorts? Think life sucks big lemon grenades?

Let’s walk through the week:

Monday

If only cupcakes burned calories
If only cupcakes burned calories

Tuesday

Remember the anticipation of summer break? Teachers feel it every June.
Remember the anticipation of summer break? Teachers feel it every June.

Wednesday

Summer rain showers have a definite positive side
Summer rain showers have a definite positive side

Thursday

I've had fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries this week. Summer is delicious!
I’ve had fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries this week. Summer is delicious!

Friday

 

Although my friend reminded me I could use a compass to draw a circle.
Although my friend reminded me I could use a compass to draw a circle.

Count your blessings, my friends. Even if you have to dig deep to find them. (You are still breathing. The air isn’t toxic.)

(Coming up next week, I’m going to get a little tongue-in-cheek with my gratitude memes. If you see them and love them, feel free to share them.)

What are you thankful for today?

 

On Vacation Again

Reason number ONE for attending a class reunion: it might lead to a vacation with your best friend.

Yep. This is what happened at my some-number year class reunion.

My BFF and I are both owners (with our loving husbands, of course) of the Worldmark by Wyndym Vacation Club.

For several years, we’ve been talking about taking a vacation together. Each time we get together to catch up on life, we say we’ll have to book at the same resort. Some day.

In July 2015, at the reunion, my friend’s husband said, “Where do you want to go?”

My husband and I have been checking out the resort in Indio, California for a few years. Him because it’s on a golf course. Me because and there is a HUGE pool and guaranteed sunshine.

Then her husband said, “We’ve been there. It’s nice. Pick a week.”

And so we decided to go on his Spring Break (he’s the principal of a school district in Idaho).

I made the reservations and texted her. She texted back that they reserved their condo. We were really going to do this thing.

Spring Break is here.

I’m sure I’ll have updates about the trip when I get back, but in honor of me being on vacation, I thought I’d share a few snapshots of me enjoying former vacations in sunny locations.

You know, to get you in the mood for your next trip.

The water really is that color off the coast of the West Indies
The water really is that color off the coast of the West Indies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because everyone's birthday should be like this
Because everyone’s birthday should be like this

Some things are worth losing sleep over

Some things are worth losing sleep over

 

 

Maui View
Talk about a room with a view. Find me on the lanai

 

The last time we were in Palm Springs
The last time we were in Palm Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man, I’m so ready for vacation now.

Wait! I’m already there. See you next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in your One Note Wallet

Here’s a sampling of the research I’m doing on my current work in progress. What do volcanoes, China, surfing and horse anatomy have in common? They make an appearance in my book.

A Shire Draft Horse from Wikipedia
A Shire Draft Horse from Wikipedia
Talk about FIREWorks !Photo from Wikipedia
Talk about FIREWorks !Photo from Wikipedia
From Wikipedia
From Wikipedia

 

Now the question of the hour: What’s in your One Note (or Evernote or Scrivener or whatever you use to keep your current research information) wallet?

What Makes a Mother Proud

In accordance with my monthly hobby goal, I’ve spent several hours with pictures, paper and glue since February 1. Leafing through the photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia, I did more than walk down memory lane. I renewed my sense of motherly pride.

When I was growing up, I wanted both of my parents to be pleased with me. I spent years following instructions, doing chores diligently, and conforming to their will. Then my dad left. The sky crashed down. Rather than be a casualty, I put up a shell and pushed my mom away.

How many times did I get straight As in school only to hear something like, “But what’s this A- in Geometry”? I could always be pushed harder. Whatever I achieved, it wasn’t the top. There was no basking in one moment before looking for the next mountain to climb.

Mountaindream

I promised I would never do that to my kids.

You know what happens when you say you will never do something? Yep. That despicable thing is the first thing you do. (Never say never is a good policy. Of course, you said never…so)

My oldest son could read in kindergarten. He learned all of his multiplication tables in 2nd grade. He tested in the 97th percentile in math in third grade.  He was an intellectual superstar and he wasn’t too bad at basketball either.

I had high expectations for him. He always met them. I praised him and let him bask in his accomplishments. Of course, I bragged about him until I’m positive people dodged me because they wanted to gag over my motherly enthusiasm.

Life was grand. And then…

My youngest son needed speech therapy in kindergarten. He needed occupational therapy because his handwriting was terrible and he held his pencil wrong (still does, BTW). His fantastic imagination and memory held academic shortfalls at bay in first grade. He didn’t learn how to read until late in his second grade year.

I was no less proud of him than my older son, but I despaired of helping him succeed. Suddenly, I was at the bottom of a steep learning curve.

All of this came back to me as I finished that same boy’s high school scrapbook. Seeing pages upon pages of accomplishments and awards filled my heart to bursting. He came so far. I always knew he would. He exceeded all my expectations.

The older got straight As and the younger carried a B average. “Still above average,” I told my straight-A-over-achieving self. The older was valedictorian of his high school class while the younger was a National Honor Thespian. Scholar athlete versus most improved band member.

What's not to be proud of?
What’s not to be proud of?

Thankfully, I learned not to compare them early on in their lives. They are both extraordinary in their individualism. If they dream it, I believe they will achieve it. That’s not the mother in me talking either.

What makes me proud? Watching my sons grow into men who have convictions and live by them. Seeing them follow their dreams – whether big or small.

Am I proud that the oldest is a college graduate and the youngest made the Dean’s list last term? I’m not going to dignify that with an answer.

Seeing how far they have come gives me hope that they will continue on, surpassing their dad and me.

Isn’t that what all parents dream for their children?

Wild Cat Photo Gallery

Leopard
Leopard
Tiger
Tiger
Lion- I'm happy he's inside a fence
Lion- I’m happy he’s inside a fence
Panther (Just a black leopard, really)
Panther (Just a black leopard, really)