Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #189

I am sitting on the couch next to the fire. It has been a busy day, full of activity. My son had his first trumpet concert tonight. I was a proud, proud momma sitting in the crowd filled with families. He's getting so much older - it's exciting and startling. I marveled at his composure, at his ability, at his interaction with the other kids. I bought shoes for him this week- in the men's section. I'm having trouble comprehending that. When did my little boy turn into a man-child. It's wonderful to see him becoming and growing.

I miss writing this post. In fact, most Thursdays, I still make a list. I just don't make time to post it. I suppose it's a shame. I don't really know about that. But, I know for me there is something powerful about typing up a thankful list. I am not sure why it makes me pause more to reflect on my thankfulness but it does.

So, here I sit, with a quiet house, a fire glowing, lights on the tree shining and a thankful heart.

Today, I am thankful for:

1. Realizing my limits.  I have not done everything that I did last year for the holidays.
I digress, I did not get around to shipping 2 packages until today- the last day of priority mail shipping guaranteed for Christmas delivery.  You know what I found? Nothing. Not one person in line. Did I get lucky or what? Blessed, I tell ya.

2. Sales. My mom is the queen of finding a good deal. She tops most in this regard. Today, she discovered our Disney store had everything in the store 50% off. That was incredible.

3. Confidence. I"m watching my nervous child bloom with confidence. It is a beautiful thing.

4. Being able to let go. I do not understand some people. I never will. I am thankful that I can let it go.

5. Music... specifically seeing my son play his trumpet.

6. Christmas Cards. I love getting cards. I just love them so much.

7. The uncertainty of the future. With all of the talk about the Mayan calendar, I have been reminded that we don't have any idea what each day holds. I am thankful for the surprises of the day- both good and bad. I am thankful I don't know what is coming next.

8. My husband's dedication. He works for Amazon. He's been putting in long hours. I mean, 6 days a week and the kind of days that start when the sun hasn't risen and end when the sun has been set. He works hard. I am thankful for his job and mostly, how hard he works.
By the way, I love this precious picture that was given to his Amazon building as a thank you:

There's more, so much more, to say but the warmth of the fire is making me very sleepy. I mean, I can't prop my eyes open while I type tired.
I'm headed to bed, with visions of Christmas morning dancing through my head.

Take time to be thankful. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Look at My Nails

There were a lot of hand motions during my daughter's Christmas program.
My daughter did a fantastic job.

None of the hand motions were as adorable as her show-off-my-nails moment.

Clearly, she was very excited to have her nails newly painted with red and glitter sparkles nail polish!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #188

 I started this list yesterday and then didn't get a chance to finish it. I thought I'd finish it last night but instead I spend time talking to my husband. My belated Thursday Thanks Tank ~with a few additions from this morning~

Today I am thankful for:

A new coffee pot
leaf piles, perfect for kids to jump in.
pictures drawn by my kids
my son's friend
music, especially the sounds of my son and his friend practicing their band instruments together.
Southern Living Magazine
New recipes, this week they were brought to our house by Southern Living, Paula Deen, and my friend,  Melissa
An email from a long distance friend
Productivity, especially on projects around the house
Family pictures
Allergy Kids, my son isn't the only one in his class with food allergies this year. It has been great for him to be around other allergy kids. One has a nut allergy. One has multiple food allergies.  Not only has this experience made him feel 'not alone' it has also brought up some good allergy discussions at home.
Veteran's Day celebrations, especially the luncheon at middle school where my son is proudly taking his dad
Chocolate. always chocolate
Talking, about anything and everything with my husband.

Time spent being thankful is time well-spent.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #187

I am thankful for: 

 Halloween fun with the kids
A reaction free Halloween for my peanut allergic son. 
Sweet family and friends that voted for my daughter in a photo contest 
The opportunity to vote 
 Flowers on my kitchen table 
 My kids' schools and their fantastic teachers 
 Noticing the little things that matter 
 A change in my routine 
 My family. Here we are on a hayride last week.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Helping Just One

If I could help one person with cancer, I would.


I stood beside her bed not knowing if she was aware of me.
People had been in and out of the room talking about her, talking about the coming days. 
It was as if she was not there.
She didn't look like herself. She couldn't move. She was there. 
I reached for her hand and held it gently.
Just loud enough to be audible, I said, “I love you, Paula.”
Her eyes flickered and locked on mine.
In that moment, the love was all that was important.
It was my last visit with my aunt.  
She died from a cancer that started as breast cancer and spread to the rest of her body.

Two years ago, a 9 year old lost his dad to cancer. 
This 9 year old was my 9 year old’s friend. I met his dad when he was healthy. A few short 6 months later, he was gone. I watched as chemo took his hair and ravaged his body. I walked around the block with his wife as she struggled with hope, pain, and impending loss. He couldn't answer the door when my son knocked on it. As light-heartedly as possible he said, “I don’t bite.” when my son looked apprehensively in his dark living room.  
We came and went as a strong man faded. 

The pictures were moving.  Riveting.
My friend, Becky, was fighting cancer. The emotions were transparent but not capable of being fully captured. Love and pain captured in a beautiful way: A father, holding his grown daughter, as she rested her bald head on his chest.
Her hair was red- a beautiful red- and long. Her gorgeous long hair ended halfway down her back. In her pictures on Facebook, the cut was documented in an album called, The Chemo Cut. The next album was Bald Becky and the Wigs. She looked vibrant in those wigs. My 7 year old looked at the pictures and said, “Well, she looks good.”
On January 30th, she celebrated her last cancer treatment.
She is Cancer free.

My best friend’s mom is fighting cancer. It began as breast cancer. Years later, it has spread to the rest of her body. She is fighting. The doctors have said it is a matter of time. We are all praying.

Today, I donated my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
Hair That Brings Hope "Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society, the largest non-profit health organization committed to saving lives from every cancer and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease. The role of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong,* beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 24,000 free real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks, which distribute wigs to cancer patients across the country."

If I could help one person with cancer, I would.

Today, I prayed for the person that will receive my hair. 
I hope that my hair helps them look and feel good.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's been a while. 

Can you take a vacation from something that's not work?
I guess I am on a blog vacation.

My daughter at Lake Tahoe on Sunday

I keep forgetting to make time to write on my blog.  In between the busyness of my daily activities, I am being present. I'm focusing on being present with those I am with. In many ways my family is busier than it's ever been. As a result, I've become more organized than I have ever been. At times I feel like a calm in the middle of the storm. At other times, I feel like a tornado.

When I have time to myself, I find myself unwinding in ways that don't involve writing on this blog.
I'm not sure when this blog vacation will be over or if you will still visit when I get back.

And, it's all okay. In fact, it's great. 

After all, the point of Gravity of Motion is to avoid being too busy to make time for what's important.
That's what I am doing.

Monday, August 06, 2012


39 and lovin' it...

"Only one more year until Momma is old." my 11 year old

"I don't think 40 is old. I think 11 is old." my 7 year old

"Happy Birthday, Momma! You are in charge." my 8 year old

"This is the best day of your entire life." my 4 year old

"Well... you are older than me again."
"Only 364 days until you are 40."
"When people ask you how old you are, they will think, '39? Oh sure..."
  my husband

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Awake, Active, and Aware TTT #186

I wake up slowly each day. It's difficult for me to explain the process. It is challenging for me to find words first thing in the morning. 

Over time, my husband has learned that I rev up slowly. Eyes open, body moving does not mean I am awake. 

My son has not learned this. He knows. I know he knows. He greets me each and every morning. Still, he bounds into my room or downstairs if I happen to be up before him with energy and enthusiasm. He peppers me with questions or shares his dreams and thoughts. 

This morning as I was trying to get my eyelids to work, he climbed into my bed and posed this question to me, 

"Momma, if there was an earthquake, and you couldn't hide under a chair, would you try to get under your bed?" 

~~ 'What? wait. Tornado? No. He said earthquake. How? Wait. Could I have time to seek shelter for an earthquake?' ~~

"No. I guess no one would do that because the bed might fall on you as you fall through the roof." 

He smiled triumphantly because he has figured out an appropriate answer. Still slightly confused, I offer a half smile at him. I love this precious man-child.  

An hour and a half later, none of his siblings are awake. A cup of coffee and few morning stretches have warmed me to the day. 

This morning, I am awake - alive - and thankful. 

I read this verse yesterday that spurred my desire to be more active in pursuit of knowing God.   

Romans 6:11 "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." 

I woke up slowly, with the knowledge of his grace slowly dawning on me. I am aware of God's presence. I am aware that I can both rest in him and seek him today. That is what I intend to do. 

Lamentations 3: 24-25 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Compelled to Move

I heard something last Sunday that I can't stop thinking about. The little quip has been rolling around in my head all week and I cannot stop wanting to apply it to my life.
If you are coasting through life, you are not going in the right direction. If you are coasting, you are going down hill.
I am pondering how this applies to me spiritually and physically. I can apply it to the effort I am putting into relationships and towards my goals and dreams.

I can apply this to most areas of my life. 

On Wednesday, it prompted me to ask the elderly man who was finishing putting his groceries away in his handicap space parked car, if I could take his cart back.

It was nothing for me to do it.
He smiled.

There are little things I can do each day. I am sure of it.

Some days this week, it has simply meant being more appreciative of those around me.
My world is shaded with goodness.

I am also aware that in my town, in my city, people are struggling.
I wonder how I can make a difference to others.

There are bigger things that I need to do.
Or maybe, the "bigger things" are simply a sum of all of the smaller things I can do.

My heart has been stirred.
I will read more.
I will pray more.
I will serve more.
I will share more.
I will act.

I am asking myself-  Am I coasting?

Are you coasting?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #185

Each Thursday I try to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Sometimes I jot it down on paper, sometimes I share that list here, and other times I just highlight one or two things that I am thankful for. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Today I am thankful for:

A warm cup of coffee
early morning sunshine before it is hot
my son getting the uniform he wanted with his favorite number
an open Bible next to the computer that was being ready by my son
fresh fruit waiting to be eaten
a family night planned for this evening
a family night planned for tomorrow night
a child that has become increasingly thankful
laughing with my husband
ice cold water
painted toe nails
growing desires to improve
getting work done early in the day
organized papers
17 years of marriage
steak grilled at home
sleeping in (not me- my 11 year old, went to bed at 9 and slept until 11:30- wowza- I'm thinking a growth spurt is on the way)
quiet kids (can't believe I kept 3 kids quiet enough to let the 11 year old keep sleeping)
good attitudes
air conditioning
being able to renew library books online
painted rocks
going to the pool

Monday, July 23, 2012


We celebrated our 17th Anniversary yesterday.

July 22, 1995, a little over four years after our first date
I spent hours getting ready. We had a professional photographer.

July 22, 2012, after a day at King's Beach, Lake Tahoe:
My hair had been in a ponytail all day, was badly wind blown and needed to be brushed. My 11 year old took this picture.

Things sure have changed!
I couldn't be happier.
Our story is still being written.
I love my husband. Deeply.
Days come and go and our love continues to grow.
I am thankful for my marriage and my man.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #184

I just got back from an 11 day vacation. When I say vacation, I don't mean the kind where one sits on a lounge chair on the beach. I mean the kind that revolves around visiting friends. My heart is full. I saw so many friends in OR and WA. I laughed. I hugged. I took oodles of pictures. I played hearts, rummy and cribbage until the wee hours of the morning. I went sight-seeing. I watched my kids rekindle friendships as if no time had passed. It was heart-warming.

We lived 4 years in OR and 4 years in WA. To say that people in those places have a special place in our heart is an understatement.

I am thankful that we were able to visit our friends.
I am thankful that my husband was able to get away long enough to separate himself from his work. It was great to see him relax.
I am thankful for stress free traveling. I cannot believe how well it went. (Suddenly driving to Disneyland doesn't seem like it will be that hard.)
I am thankful for the trip I took to the library right before we left.
I am thankful for the tub we stored the books in while we were traveling. (To my knowledge we didn't loose any books!)
I am thankful for my camera.
I am thankful for keeping up with friends on Facebook.
I am thankful for sunny Seattle weather.
I am thankful for the rain. (Seems like we haven't had any since we moved away from the NW.)
I am thankful for so many well-cooked, delightful meals that friends shared with us. (I was spoiled.)
I am thankful for the understanding and kindness from friends when our over-tired kids just couldn't handle anything anymore.
I am thankful for a double date with friends. (It was the best date ever. Think Kayaking, giving away $10 for fun, watching Improv theater... think roses, music, and starbucks... trust me it was a day to remember.)
I am thankful for friends.
I am thankful for friendship and the realization that I want and need to be a better friend.
I am thankful for our trip.
I am thankful to be home.

This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #183

Has it really been a week? This week went by way too fast! 

I am thankful for:

dinner on the patio
family walks around the block
out of town company
an unexpected card
a vacation on the horizon
playing board games with my kids
my kids' excitement about getting books at the library
the local water park
a familiar voice on the phone
fresh fruit
Sheldon Cooper
the sound of my husband's laugh
slow summer mornings

friendships - check out these happy faces...

Oh, to be a kid again...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Thanks Tank #182

Each Thursday I try to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Sometimes I jot it down on paper, sometimes I share that list here, and other times I just highlight one or two things that I am thankful for. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

Today I am thankful for:

swim lessons for the kids
camping as a family this past weekend
company on their way
camping trips being planned
vacations on the horizon
my husband's job and, most of all, how hard he works
flowers growing in the yard
my zoku popsicle maker
items being marked off the to do list
ice cold water on a hot day
hot coffee in the morning
my daughter snuggling in my lap and her sweet kisses
arriving on time
the sound of a friend's voice on the phone
my kids sharing
cherries from the cherry tree in our yard

Here are two of tonight's cherry pickers:

And the cherries...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Words: Overhead while Camping

"Momma, we could live here if we could make food." E, age 4

"Momma, how do you get smoke out of your eyes?" E, age 4

"Can we get a reservation here for life?" J, age 11

"WHERE are the big goggles?" E, age 4, referring to binoculars

"Sometimes I think the army ants are going to attack the tent." D, age 8, referring to some red ants

"Can I blow the fire out? It smells hilarious." T, age 7

"I think it is an amphitheater." Daddy
quietly to herself, "ant theater?"
"What about a lady bug theater?" E, age 4

2nd night of camping, just before dinner~
"This tent is so dirty, I can't sleep in it!"  E, age 4

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The kids are staying up a tad later.
My husband and I are going to bed a little earlier.
We wake slowly at different intervals throughout the morning.
Games are played.
Water balloons are thrown.
Bubbles blown.
Popsicles are delightful.
Flowers are adored.
Trees are for climbing.
Berries are for eating.
The house isn't clean but neither are the faces.
We swim and splash.
We soak up the sunshine -basking in the joys of summer.

Summer break started a week ago today for my kids. We are having a great time...