Thursday Thanks. Helping #8.

It’s Thursday. And I’m happy to settle into my Thanksgiving Chair tonight.

Thanksgiving Chair

I’m thankful for quite a lot–especially for being back home this Thursday. But I’m also grateful for the new things I see on the road. Like growing things.

Okay–my thumb is not green. The only house plants that have survived our home are the lucky bamboo. I’m pretty sure they’re only alive because of their fortunate name. And even though I love to eat local, fresh goodies, the idea of me tending to my own garden is quite contrary.

Still. I’ve always been a bit smitten with growing things. The needles of green that shove through cracks in concrete. The way wildflower seeds sprout from a cup of wet dirt on the kitchen counter, wispy as wrist hairs. Kudzu, dense as the ocean, climbing, choking anything in its way.

Growing things are easy to miss—just a blur as our hours scurry on.

I mean, who makes you stop to stare at trees? A shaman in Peru made me once. And my elementary school ALERT teacher, Dr. M., taught an entire unit on trees. We even had to hug one and sing to it. I’m so not kidding.

I’m not a tree hugger (that was a one-time thing), but I love the plants, the free, uncultivated, wild plants, that bloom with Fibonacci perfection.

And I love when nature—in the hands of imaginative humans—becomes arboreal art. So, I wanted to share a parade of pretty growing things I’m grateful I got to see in California last week. And it starts with these unruly beauties.

gnarly trunk

Oceana Beach Club Hotel
Oceana Beach Club Hotel
Santa Monica sunset
Santa Monica sunset
Tree swing
Tree swing
Rose garden
Rose garden
The Getty Center
The Getty Center
The Getty Center waterfall
The Getty Center waterfall
Hey. How'd he get in here? (Disney Digression)
Hey. How’d he get in here? (Disney Digression)

What about you? What are you thankful for today? Did you notice anything you usually don’t?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #7.

Happy Thursday. It is still Thursday in California where I’m curled up in my Thanksgiving Chair tonight.

Thanksgiving Chair

It’s already August 1st, but it’s still summer. And it’s still pro baseball season. Thank goodness.

I never thought I’d say that I’m thankful for baseball. I grew up dancing and cheering and singing Broadway. Each Saturday morning, there was a melody for my mood–from “The Music of the Night” to “Don’t Rain on my Parade.” There were buns and bobby pins and pom poms. And now? Now there are cleats and cups and coolers.

I’d never touched a pair of cleats. Then, just like that, I was responsible for making sure they were laced and velcroed. And fast. Just like that, I was sitting in the stands cheering Slugger Tucker on.

T Wade

Case shared a spot in the shade with me while Jeff helped coach on the field. But games are long for a baby brother who just wants a team of his own. So, sometimes he would sneak beneath the bleachers and watch from the fence.

biggest fan

Maybe it’s because Jeff has brainwashed encouraged us to pull for our hometown team. Maybe it’s the silly songs & snacks & stats. We’ve all caught the baseball bug. I mean, how can you not be smitten with a sport that’s not timed? Anything can happen.

yay Rays

And our team, the Rays, hosts family fun days with giveaways for kids. Growing loyal fans, one freebie at a time.


The Rays even celebrate the ultimate fan combinations.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

And, when they win, they’re proud to let the world (at least the city) know.


It’s always fun to cheer on the Rays live at the Trop (where it’s always a balmy 72 degrees). But we usually watch them at home. Home is where I love baseball because we’re in a baseball state of mind. We catch a few bits of the game but, because there are so many, it’s really okay if we don’t see the entire thing. A game is always on, but our weekend doesn’t revolve around one. Instead of “5 more minutes” bedtime is “at the end of this inning.”

This week, we sign the boys up–both of them–for fall ball. Two teams. Two practices. Two games on Saturdays. The new season and school year will be in full swing. Not yet though.

For now, it’s still summer. Like baseball, this summer season is play-paced. It’s that unhurried moment, sandwiched between the chaos of school years, when we’re not timed. It’s a pseudo pause button that means Tucker isn’t in second grade yet, Case isn’t in VPK yet and we can snuggle on the couch for just one more out.

watching ball

Thursday Thanks. Helping #5.

Happy Thursday, folks. I’m sitting in my Thanksgiving Chair now and my cup runneth over.

Thanksgiving Chair

This will be quick (I’ll explain why next week). But I couldn’t let a Thursday roll by without saying thanks to these two.


Meet my parentals: Cindy & Jim.

Mom is the kind of mom who, when you have your first baby, welcomes you home with a full-on Thanksgiving meal that’s months early and right on time. She’s the kind of mom who packs you, for your trip–not hers, arranging every article of clothing between tissue paper like a Tetris maestro. She’s a doer and a mover and a shaker. More than anything, she is my oldest, truest, biggest fan.

Dad is the kind of dad who writes your family’s lexicon. He knows the book is always, always better. He doesn’t talk about character. He lives it. And he introduces you to magic.

Disney Digression
Disney Digression

Today, every day, I’m grateful to be a fusion of these two unreal people.

Who are you thankful for today?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #4.

Oh, hi.

Coming to you live from my Thanksgiving chair.

Thanksgiving Chair

This week has been a stress swarm. Don’t you love how these come at you? Like a fastball screaming towards your face. No time to duck.

C’est la vie? Oui.

So, this week, I’m thankful that I get to hug my parents soon. I’m thankful that a Disney fix is so close I can taste it (Disney Digression).

And, let’s be real, I’m grateful for caffeine. I’m a full-blown addict and I’ll take it any way I can get it. Hot. Iced. Chocolate-covered (beans, of course). At home, we brew whatever is BOGO at Publix. My just-right cup is strong with a generous swirl of half & half.

I really appreciate the mom & pop coffee shops, too. Now I like Starbucks just as much as the next hipster, but there’s something so comfy about a small joe space. A café latte is my pretty sip of choice. Oh, I love the pretty.

Birch Coffee, NYC
Birch Coffee, NYC

Work is hard. Parenting is harder. Life? Hardest.

In the middle of weeks like this, I’m thankful for my job. I play with words, for a brand that I love, and I get to wear jeans and tennies while I do it. It’s a pretty rad gig.


What are y’all thankful for today? Let me know!

Thursday Thanks. Helping #3.

I’m happy to curl up in my Thanksgiving chair today.

Thanksgiving Chair

So much to be thankful for. Like our family’s Friday movie night. I’m way outnumbered in this house and we watch a lot of Star Wars. But last Friday we settled on The Lion King. Woot! For a skinny minute (the boys can’t sit for long because they like to act out the scenes) we were all snuggled and still on the couch. Whole.

We talked Jeff into replaying this epic beginning a few times on full blast. Movie magic.

Lion King
Disney Digression

Any takers on the lyrics? (No Googling!).

This is my favorite way to sing it is:

NAhhhhh, Savannah. Motorola! Mitsubishi, Honda! You’re singing now aren’t you?

And, speaking of magic, I snapped this pretty shot of our street this week.


I’m guilty of slipping into house envy and saying,  too often, “We need new carpet. We need a new dishwasher. We need a pantry that was not designed by a man!” No we don’t.

We have this.


1491 square feet of messy, crazy, love-worn fun. It’s home. A home where we’re free to learn and play and worship any way we please. Thank goodness.

Here’s to sweet freedom and the greatest home on earth.

What are you thankful for this July 4th Thursday?

Thursday Thanks. Helping #2.

From my Thanksgiving Chair :

Thanksgiving Chair

This week (and every week) I’m grateful for pizza night. Every single Wednesday, we have pizza. This means no cooking, no dishes and no one making a decision about dinner. Yay!


We’ve had angry weather this week–tornado warnings, “excessive lightning” and delicious humidity. But I’m grateful for summer storms. They cool the day, green the grass and give me a chance to share this cute Disney Digression.


Mostly, though, I’m thankful we have boys. Boys mean you find rubber frogs in the dishwasher. Legos in the utensil drawer. And you say things like: “please watch where you’re peeing!”

With boys, there’s always a brotherly brouhaha. A round-the-clock ruckus. And they say things like: “you’re the most beautiful mommy ever” (even if you’ve just peeled yourself off your pillowcase, no proof of beauty sleep in sight).

Then, boys have summer camp and dress-up-like-a-bug day. With boys, you don’t have any buggy headbands or glittery wings. Nope. With boys, you have these:

Light Sabers

(P.S.: We did not buy all of these sabers. My sweet cousin Alaura, our rockstar babysitter–and another reason I’m thankful this week–brought a bag full of The Force with her last weekend.)

So, for a bug day with boys, you get some long, black socks and rifle through the closet for a cool shirt. Dad digs his beanie out of the winter drawer. And you make a spider.


Or, Case says, “a tarantula.”  Dun Dun Dah:


(Filtered for more drama)

And boys? They think this feeble attempt is picture-worthy. Thank goodness.


Then you tuck that boy tarantula into class with a squeeze and a smooch.

And boys, my boy, says: “Momma? You’re my happy thought.”

How about you? What are you thankful for this Thursday?