Thursday Thanks. Helping #21.

My teensy Thanksgiving chair is in serious need of a warm up. I can’t remember the last time I sat still in gratitude. So, today’s the day. I’m settling in my chair, thankful for all of the friends who keep my heart cozy.


My husband Jeff wasn’t a runner when he registered for a marathon. I’m thankful for the friend who bet him to do it–and then coached him through the training and doubt and nipple stickers.

I’m thankful for my friend who followed Jeff’s race progress from across the country, grounded me in goodness and then video-chatted with a Texas-sized toast after he crossed the finish line.


I’m grateful for the friends who believe in starting bus sing-a-longs, post-midnight pajama dance parties and sangria breakfasts.

Disney Springs Digression

And what about the friends who notice things and, in a single snapshot, capture the best bits of your kiddos? Your favorite little pieces of life: boy fingernails, fresh freckles, untamed hair, airborne feet.


Photos by the incomparable Erika B.

There are friends who are fountains, not drains. Friends who put your furniture in their truck and drive all the way out to the burbs for you. Friends who know what to say and when to pray. I’m so grateful for them today.

Are you thankful for a friend?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #18.

Curling up in my Thanksgiving Chair today. 60ish degrees is scarf weather, right?

Thanksgiving Chair

This week, I’m thankful for holiday shopping trips with my sister, steak dinners and pink Starbursts. Why isn’t there a pack of pink-only Starbursts? Why haven’t we even made a dent in the Halloween candy? (How long is it acceptable to keep it lying around?)

I’m grateful for catch-up calls with my best good friend—who has been my friend since the second grade—which is exactly how old Tucker is now, which makes me happy and nostalgic and old.


And it means my kids are older. There are a lot of brand new bobbins in my newsfeed lately. Beautiful babies, with teeny toes and noses, that curl up so small. Makes my ovaries quiver a little. I miss the baby socks, the baby giggles, the baby-fine hair.

Throwback Disney Digression
Throwback Disney Digression

But it means that my kids dress themselves now—if you give Case credit for backward shirts and inside-out pants, which I absolutely do. It means they wipe their own hineys. They tell their own jokes. Doozies.

They’re also old enough to say what they’re thankful for. I asked them in the car rider line this morning.

Tucker is thankful for trees “because they give us air.” He’s also thankful for his family and Cheerios—which he was munching on in the car. Any other mediocre moms make breakfast a movable feast some most mornings?

Case is thankful for his family and his friends at school. I hope they’ll both be lucky enough to have a friend like mine—one who’s been an unfading sunshine across years and decades and life.

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #17.

It’s a Halloween episode of Thursday Thanks–coming to you live from my Thanksgiving Chair.

Thanksgiving Chair

Today, I’m thankful for the plumpest, perfectest gourd on earth and all of the gems in its glorious guts (I ate my weight in roasted pumpkin seeds last night–anybody with me?).

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

I’m thankful for chocolate candy, hard candy and any candy that’s not candy corn.

And I’m beyond grateful that I work for a company that lets me be a mom–especially on holidays. Like most good companies, mine encourages a healthy “work/life balance”.

That said, I think the phrase “work/life balance” is bunk–harder to grab and hold than a fistful of slinky pumpkin guts. Work is part of life. And balance is only real in math and budgets and beams, of course.

I worked at a magazine for a skinny minute where I went from a senior writer to managing editor overnight. The business manager offered up some advice. “This is a lot more responsibility, obviously, and probably a lot more stressful. I just want you to remember that this is a magazine. It’s not brain surgery. No one is going to die.”

I’m still thankful for that perspective–and never more than today. In (superficially) crazy times, I’ve always used his line: “it’s not brain surgery.” Until it is. Like this last week, when someone I love more than my life had a second brain surgery. That will wake your perspective. Shake your core. Make you feel anything but balance.

Then you find footing in gratitude, and new sweetness in every breath.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #16.

Happy Thursday, y’all, from my Thanksgiving Chair. 

Thanksgiving Chair

Today, the spotlight’s on the little things. Cause, you know, I’m sensitive to little things.

And, sometimes, success is getting to baseball practice on time and remembering sunscreen.

Sometimes happiness is asking the big boy if he’d rather go through the car line or if he’d like you to walk him in. And he picks you.

Sometimes pretty is mascara-free.

Sometimes freedom is a bare-footed bike ride to the mailbox.

Sometimes a peace offering is pumpkin pie ice cream.

Sometimes a worship service is a solitary conversation with God in your driver’s seat, in the middle of rush hour, in the middle of the highway, in the middle of a song.

Sometimes medicine is a Disney movie.

Sometimes you have to remind yourself to be thankful for the sometimes. All the time.

Any little somethings you’re thankful for today?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #14.

Thursday was tip-toeing away from me and I was going to skip this post.

But I can’t ditch my Thanksgiving Chair. Not this week.

Thanksgiving Chair

This week, I’m thankful for good news.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

And for The Good News.

I’m grateful for a handy hubby, who can fix an oven all by himself (although, not gonna lie, I was kinda hoping for a new one. Oven, not hubby).

I’m thankful for truffle popcorn, gingerbread cookies and American honey.

I’m grateful that Tucker and I can finally be civil/laugh a little/almost enjoy getting through his spelling word sentences.

And, this week, I’m grateful for the skinny minutes that right-size you, when the universe puts you in your place. Have you ever been still in a moment where you felt appropriately small and, even so, you knew you were a worthy piece of the puzzle? A stitch in the pattern? I felt like that today.

Insta cliche, I know, but I couldn't resist the cloud carpet.
Insta cliche, I know, but I couldn’t resist the cloud carpet.

And how could I not be uber grateful for a sunrise on freedom?


Your turn. What are you thankful for today?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #13.

Happy Thursday, y’all, from my Thanksgiving Chair.

Thanksgiving Chair

Since it’s the last Thursday of the summer, I have to say that I’m thankful for this season in the sunshine state. We filled summer to the seams with fun: supper clubs, celebrations, sleepovers.

Now, we’re all in for baseball season–two boys, two sets of practices, two game schedules. It sqwunches those precious post-work to pre-bedtime hours even more. But I’m so grateful that Case isn’t stuck on the bleachers anymore. He finally has his own team, his own chance and real permission to enter the hallowed DUGOUT (boys are so weird).


This week, I’m also thankful that when there are no words–or words just won’t work–a hug or a smooch can say quite a lot.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

What are you thankful for on this last Thursday of summer?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #12.

Today, before I hop into my Thanksgiving Chair, I have a confession.

I’ve been cheating on summer.

I know fall is not officially here until 9/22, but he smells so, so good. I was seduced by Pumpkin Spice. And, for weeks, I’ve been burning fall candles like it’s my J.O.B. As if I could pump enough pumpkin into the world to will cooler breezes and scarves to flutter. We already have Halloween costumes, weekend plans and a candle supply that’ll last to Thanksgiving and beyond. And I’m grateful for the fun ahead.

Thanksgiving Chair

I’m also grateful for a cut-from-the-same-cloth sister and friends—women who are in touch with their inner silly, ladies who lunch wearing feathers, six grown goobers who will cram into a red telephone booth with you just to see if you can (p.s. You Can. In 13 seconds flat).

phone booth

I hope everyone has a friend who knows you’re a weird, hot mess and loves you more for it. Here’s an honorable mention for Norwegian pastries, Italian waiters, British Rock cover bands (and their choreography).


I am always thankful for bedtime with the boys. Tucker’s prayers are long, mostly because he’s a stealthy staller. But just when I’m nudging him to wrap it up, he’ll say something to make me laugh. “Thank you for my Daddy who thinks Mommy’s potatoes are awesome.”

And Case, who is so attached to his thumb, after years of us encouraging him to lose it, says, while I’m singing Baby Mine off-key, “I have to suck my thumb when you sing that song to me.”

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

What can I say to that? Nothing but thanks.


What are you thankful for today?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #11.

Happy Thursday from my Thanksgiving Chair.

Thanksgiving Chair

This week, I’m thankful for football season–the season of sausage balls, 7-layer dip and orange-on-purpose.

I’ve relinquished the remote, surrendered Saturdays (and Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays) and put in picks for the office pool. One of our college teams is winning. Our pro slate is clean. And I’m still drinking the Kool-Aid that is the collective hope of a brand new season. If this feeling were a flavor, it would be grape. Err. Orange.

big orange

I’m grateful for last-minute, late-afternoon drives over to Disney–just to catch Fantasmic. It’s always great to get there because the kids still squeal when they see the sign. But the car ride over is half the fun. Checking off landmarks, lobbying for the song you have to hear next, refereeing the two goobers in the backseat. And, just after you’re sure they’re going to maim each other, you bust them.


PSA: Disney is empty on Labor Day weekend. We had dinner at the Prime Time, which is usually impossible, we walked right on Star Tours twice. And we had front row seats for the show. PSA 2: With front row seats, you will get wet.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression


Today, I’m also thankful for a poem one of my best friends shared with me a couple decades ago. She knew my soul’s cargo then. So many times, when I’m lacking the words, I go back to these.


If you have to be sure, don’t write.

You’re up. What are you thankful for today? Nothing is too simple or small or obvious.

Thursday Thanks. Helping #10.

Happy Thursday, from my Thanksgiving Chair.

Thanksgiving Chair

I always have a lot to be thankful for. But, this week, toothbrushes get an honorable mention. Hang with me. How many toothbrushes do you have in your house? We have 11, at least. And 3 of those are mine. I have my spinny, for the twice-a-day routine, a pink travel toothbrush with soft bristles. And I have a new one, still in the package, on standby. Jeff has at least two. The boys have two a piece in the downstairs bathroom so we can do a quick scrub before we dash out the door in the mornings (light sabers and Angry Birds). And they each have another upstairs for bedtime (Captain Rex and Darth Vader). It’s, like, an embarrassment of toothbrush riches.

I never thought twice about our household toothbrush count until I heard Pastor Juan Carlos Serrano share a message with our church on Saturday night. Pastor Juan lives and leads in Cuba and it took 4 years to arrange his visit here. He only speaks Spanish, so there was a translator with him. Their words, overlapping, overlaying, together delivering The Word? Nothing was lost in translation. He spoke so rich in stature and spirit that the entire room held a collective breath.

After the sermon, our Pastor Matthew told all of us that he’d taken Pastor Juan and his wife to Target. “For fun,” he said. They’d never experienced aisles of options. Pastor Matthew told us that the Serranos just get one toothbrush. So, the toothbrush aisle was overwhelming. I mean, you get to pick your brand and your bristle. You can go single or multi-pack. Manual or battery. Pink or blue. Or orange, red, purple, green, chartreuse. So many possibilities for dinky teeth scrubbers. And we have that many options for almost everything we touch.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

I know hope you’ll all be brushing your teeth soon. Maybe you’ll notice your toothbrush when you do? And while I’m counting my toothbrush blessings tonight, all 3 of them, I’m also grateful for the 2 bottles of wine that I shared with my amazing parentals last night.


And for the 1 dreamy forkful of cronut I tasted this morning. Y’all. This fad is legit.

the mighty cronut
the mighty cronut

So, how about you? What indulgence are you thankful for this week?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #9.

Thursday snuck up on me, but it’s never too soon to climb up in my Thanksgiving Chair.

Thanksgiving Chair

Here’s a quick dish of things I’m thankful for this week:

* Doc McStuffins No-Bake Muffins. Full disclosure. I saw the segment on Disney Junior. I thought they sounded ahhh-mazing. So, I spun it this way: the boys could help me make them and we’d share a fun snack. Case did help me put them together, but guess who’s eating her way through the entire tray solo? Anywho. Make them. (I used raspberry preserves. Walnuts instead of raisins. And I was a tad heavy-handed with the coconut.)

* A hubs who fills the second grader’s lunchbox–napkin to nummies to note. Because he’s much better at being on time than me. And because he loves doing it.

* Solid ear buds when there’s office construction. Worn-out playlists that never wear on me.

* Friends who leave surprise bananas on my desk.

* The man in our office building’s lobby store who had pistachios on the shelf at 3:04 pm yesterday.

* The car radio, with DJs and commercials, the soundtrack of my commute. Does anyone besides me still love driving old-school style?

So, in a nutshell, I’m grateful for food & music.

And these Disney Digression bits.

Disney quotes

What about you? What are you thankful for today?