31 Thoughts on Gratitude

31 Thoughts on Gratitude

31 Thoughts on Gratitude
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If you are a new reader to my blog, first, welcome! I’m thrilled that you are here and so grateful that you are taking some precious time to spend with me. Second, I want to take a moment to explain this post.

Every year for my birthday, I challenge myself with a gratitude exercise. I have this fantastic planner that encourages me to practice gratitude, which I think is so important. I can feel my mentality shifting towards hope and positivity with more often I practice gratitude. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if every single person expressed gratitude on a daily basis?!

For my birthday, I make a list. Each year, I try to think of new things to add so it isn’t the same every year. Of course, some things will remain the same, however. Here is my list for this year:

Minnesota. I was born here and have lived here for about half of my life. I love it. Despite having the very real complaint of frigid winter, the lack of hurricanes and earthquakes makes up for it.

Smoothies. They are perfectly delicious, healthy, and if you make them right, can be a whole meal. Perfect.

Ken Burns. Who else is watching his new docu-series on the Vietnam War? It is so good. I have loved his documentary work for years and think that the work he is doing is so important. He is a national treasure!

PBS, for not making crap TV and instead airing things like Ken Burns documentaries.

Lin Manuel Miranda. For creating brilliant work-specifically Moana and Hamilton. Keeo up the good work, dude!

Rummage sales. Because let’s be real: babies grow SO fast. I feel like I am lucky if Eddie wears one outfit a handful of times before he grows out of it. If I bought all of his outfits brand new, I would go broke!

Freezer meals. YES. These were SO GOOD right after Eddie was born in May. They carried us through two weeks of recovery time.

I know, I know. This is a repeat from last year but it is just SO GOOD. The Passion Planner. If you like paper planners, check this one out. I have referred so many people and gotten tons of awesome feedback from family and friends. By far the best planner I have ever found. I’m on my third year of using it now and already one for 2018!

The internet and blogging. Who knew that it would be so easy to create your own online creative space 20 years ago?! I never would have guessed that I would be doing this now.

Camping. I grew up going camping and I have always loved it. Karl and I camped during our honeymoon and usually camp every summer. This year marks the first year we haven’t gone camping since we have been married. (Camping with a newborn? It just didn’t seem like the thing to do.)

Sperry Chalet. Unfortunately, this beautiful lodge up in the mountains of Glacier National Park that was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1913 has been burned by a wildfire. We stayed there for one night on our honeymoon and again last year. I wrote this post just about a year ago. A reporter in Montana heard about my story and interviewed me for this piece last month. Thanks for the memories, Sperry! I hope they rebuild.

Yoga. I did yoga throughout most of my pregnancy and it was so wonderful. Strength-building and so relaxing!

Swimming. While in the third trimester, this was by far my fave way to exercise!

The discovery of “nice-cream”. It is SO GOOD: Peel and freeze ripe bananas. Place in food processor with a little bit of almond milk, peanut butter, and some chocolate chips. Pulse until you have a soft serve consistency. YUM.

The windows in my apartment. Huge, beautiful, southern facing windows. Our apartment is so bright and cheery and I love it!

Grapefruit. People looooove to ask you about cravings during pregnancy. I didn’t have many, but grapefruits and grapefruit juice was one. I LOVED them. I had to have grapefruit juice every day. My in-laws even kept their fridge stocked for me when we stayed overnight at their place. <3

Rhubarb. I made two huge batches of rhubarb jam this spring (one right before Eddie was born and one right after!) and it is soooo yummy. My stash should take us through until next spring!

Rhubarb Pineapple Jam Rhubarb Strawberry Jam The Artful Appetite

New Zealand Chocolate. O. M. G. My older sister lived in NZ and she sent me THE BEST pregnancy care packages. One included many, many bars are this fantastic chocolate in a bunch of flavors. Pregnancy fuel doesn’t get any better than that!

Indian food. My husband and I have the perennial conversation about which cuisine we would choose if you could only eat that one for the rest of our lives. Time and time again, I come back to Indian food. I am never bored of it. In fact, I am so obsessed that I made samosas from scratch yesterday. Mmm!

Cabin weekends. Summer, fall, winter, and spring. They are all fun. (But yes, summer is my fave! Nothing beats a summer weekend in the lake at the cabin.)

Diaper service. All the benefits of cloth diapers and none of the clean-up?! SIGN ME UP! We have been using it since Eddie was born and it is fantastic.

Blooma. This is a fantastic yoga and birth education center (I think there are three in the twin cities area?) where we went to our birthing classes. They were amazing! I felt so empowered and educated about giving birth because of their knowledge, approach, and attitude.

Our doula, Julia of Little Hands and Little Feet. She was amaaaaazing! Karl and I both felt so supported by her before, during, and after our entire birth experience. If you are pregnant, consider hiring a doula. It’s like having someone there to think for you and guide you through labor.

The MN Birth Center and the mid-wives there. I went there on many recommendations and I recommend it to anyone who wants a birth center experience!

My birth experience. While not completely what I thought or hoped it would be, it was pretty darn close! I feel like giving birth was a metamorphosis into motherhood-an additional identity that I get to figure out and explore.

All of our friends and family who supported us through our pregnancy and birth. The two baby showers and all of the gifts and meals meant so much to us! New parenthood would be waaaaaaay more difficult without you all. <3

My in-laws. The support and love they give me and my little family is so amazing.

My siblings. They are built-in best friends!

My parents. It’s been such a joy seeing them as grandparents this year!

Eddie. I am so grateful for this cute little human who now takes up all of my time. He is the best.

Karl. My one and only. My best friend. I am so grateful for him everyday. <3

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