Sunday, November 30, 2008

Only two

Only two to go in the 30 days of thankfulness. Whew.

29 I am thankful for a good night's sleep. I find it amazing how much better I feel after having a full night's sleep. I am thankful for my king size bed, soft pillows, clean sheets, lavender vanilla pillow mist and down comforter. I am thankful for snuggly little boys who invade my space every morning and for a big dog to warm up my feet. I am thankful for my sweet husband who shares my bed most nights (work travel sometimes takes him away). I am thankful for a good night's sleep.

30 I am thankful for church. I attend the LDS church, but I am going to say that I am thankful for all churches that teach kindness and charity and general goodwill. I am thankful for all the people who give up their time to prepare lessons/sermons/talks to help those they are teaching. I am thankful to be able to believe what we choose to believe religiously and I pray that that won't change in the wonderful country we live in. I am thankful for church.

Friday, November 28, 2008

27 & 28

27 I am thankful for my husband. I know that I already said this fact it was the first of my 30 (his birthday is the first), but let me reiterate how much I love and need him. He calms me down when I need calming, he checks my attitude when it needs to be checked, he absolutely loves and adores me, he is a great dad, he is the hardest working person I know, he tries...I love that one. He is sweet and romantic and affectionate and helpful and patient and kind. I am thankful for Tim...again.

28 I am thankful for delicious food. I know that some people just need food for fuel, but not me. I need food for visual appeal, olfactory satisfaction and palate pleasure. I love to make beautiful, delicious and interesting dishes that compliment each other and please the senses. I love to sit down to a beautiful meal and enjoy every bite. I am so thankful for wonderful food.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


26 Cheap gas. I am thankful that gas prices have dropped so much in the last couple of weeks. We are officially below 2 bucks and that makes me SOOOOO happy. Thank you to all my good friends in the oil industry and keep up the good work of keeping down the price of gas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Long Lasting Marriages and a Maytag Dryer

24 I am thankful for marriage. Today is my parent's wedding anniversary. They have been married for......ever...and I am so proud to be able to say that. I am thankful that my parents have been strong, smart, and reasonable enough to stay together. They are amazing. Thank you mom and dad.

25 I am thankful for my dryer. It is broken, so it might seem like that would NOT be something I would be thankful for, but I am thankful for it now, more than ever. I washed all the pants and had to have Tim hang a line on the porch. Which I am fine doing, except there is no wind and the humidity is like 85% because it's going to rain. They refused to dry. So I washed up the other two loads and took my kids to their first experience at the Coin Wash. It was actually a pretty fun outing. The laundromat close to me has Pac Man video game, a soda machine, and the food network playing on a flat screen. Not to mention being mesmerized by the round-and-round of the washers and dryers as they do their duty. Anyways, the Maytag repairman comes today to fix my dryer. I am thankful for my dryer.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

21, 22, 23

21 I am thankful for my husband's job. He likes it. They appreciate him. Great benefits. Fun travel and fancy restaurants. Good projects. Good compensation. In a time when it seems all is uncertain, I am so thankful for my husband's job.

22 I am thankful for great movies. Movies that remove you from your own world and woes and transport you into their scenes. I am thankful for great movies. And great friends to enjoy them with.

23 I am thankful for children's voices. I love the honest questions posed each day. And humming little voices as they play in their rooms. Today, my little ones will sing in church. It always melts my heart to hear them sing out in voices loud and clear. I am thankful for their sweet voices, may they always bring forth kind words and sweet songs.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Double Thanks

Number 19 & 20 will be a complete thankfulness for play dates. All three boys went over to a friend's house on Wednesday and next Wednesday they'll all come my way (my three plus two). I am thankful for the time ALONE I have to grocery shop, clean house, or just get an ice cream cone....but....I am also thankful to have a house full of kids; laughing, screaming, playing, running, hiding, hungry kids. Play dates, I am thankful for play dates.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Number 18

My problem is not trying to find something to be thankful for, my problem is choosing which of all the millions and zillions of things would be noteworthy. Today is the 18th day of thankfulness and I am going to dedicate this day to Duke. Duke the dog. I am thankful for Duke. He is always happy to see me. He keeps my feet warm at night. He encourages me to exercise (so he can have a long walk). He doesn't complain about having the same thing for breakfast and dinner (in fact he is really excited about it). He barks at bad guys. He does what I say. He is such a great dog and such a wonderful friend. I am thankful for Duke.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Number 17

I am thankful for cleanliness. After the ash situation, I got my car washed. Ahh, clean. I took Duke to the groomer. Clean, silky, smooth dog. Sudsy, blueberry smelling shampoo on three sweet -but dirty- little boys at the end of the day. A hot bubble bath and a good book for me (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is what I'm currently reading and it is wonderful). A bleachy clean house. Lavender vanilla and Gain fresh laundry, folded nicely and placed in drawers. Vacuum lines on the carpet. The smell of Windex, Clorox and Pledge. Clean. I am thankful for cleanliness.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful Number 16

I am thankful for a roof over my head. Yesterday, as we went out to our car to go to church, here is what we found:
It's not a soft dusting of winter snowflakes, no, it's ash. I'm sure most of you know that there have been many wildfires around LA. Devastating fires that are taking the roofs away for many, many families. I think about 1000 homes have burned in the past week or so. As I saw this ash, covering my car, I said a quick prayer of thanks for my roof. Even if it is over 50 years old...I thank my lucky stars that I still have it, and I pray for those who have lost their roof. May they have another roof very soon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thankful Number 15

Help. Today, I am thankful for help.

Saturday is such an interesting day. It can be a day of play, when my family decides to take the whole day off of responsibilities or it can be a day of preparation for Sunday and the week to come, or it can be a day of work. Hopefully it morphs into a combination of all of those options.

Yesterday was no exception. I went "sailing" in the morning ("garage sailing"). But I had a little helper. Ewan decided that he needed to help me spot the good ones. (He was right, I ended up with some great finds! Pyrex glass pie dish -Thanksgiving, yippee!-, a set of five vintage trivets shaped like little owls, and a brand new mens pajama set that will be perfect for Christmas...thanks Ewan).

We came back after an hour and started on the garage. Tim had a show, up in Hollywood, the night before and didn't get home till the early hours of the morning, but he dragged himself from the bed and came out to help me.

We had two chores that needed tending to; yard and garage. As I started on the garage, I heard my neighbor's yard guys firing up the leaf blowers and I thought..."hmmm, I could use some help in the garage, and if I get Tim some help with the yard, then I'll have his help with the garage." So Tim went over and wooed the man in espanol, convincing him to do our yard for a minimal fee. Then he came and helped me. Yippee again!

We went through almost all the bins and boxes, labeled each bin, threw away a pile of stuff, assembled file boxes, started compiling our 72 hour kits, took inventory of food storage, compiled a donation pile, and discovered a few hidden treasures. Here are a few pics:

After all day in that garage, we were able to get out for a date. My good friend Melissa threw a small soiree and I was able to help her by baking a cheesecake (did that during my lunch break from garage work) for the event. It turned out well.
We were also helped by Peggy's daughter Cierra, who, at the last minute, was able to babysit for us after our scheduled sitter canceled. So, that's it, today, I am thankful for help.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thankful Number 14

Thankful Number 14 is all about freedom. We went out to eat last night. In West Hollywood. At an LDS-owned restaurant. Let me explain.

As many of you know, Prop 8 in California has been a tension-bearing issue (even now, after the people have spoken in favor of traditional marriage -twice actually (we already voted on this issue in 1998 and passed it, only to be overturned by 4 Supreme court judges)).

West Hollywood is the home to many people in the gay/lesbian community here in LA. This restaurant has been singled out and had people protesting in front of it, trying to discourage others from eating there because the owner, who is LDS, supported Yes on Prop 8.

Okay, back to why I am thankful. I am thankful that we have the right to vote. I am thankful that we passed Prop 8 to keep traditional marriage the way it has been for decades. I am thankful that we stand up for truth and righteousness, regardless of what may be happening in the world.

I wonder, if Prop 8 had not passed (legalizing same sex marriage), if there would have been a whole bunch of Christians boycotting gay/lesbian owned stores/restaurants. I highly doubt it. I wonder why this issue is so heated, when the "domestic partnership" law allows people (no matter their sexual orientation) rights, such as being able to file jointly on tax returns, medical/will authority, etc.

Is it just the principle of the thing? Is it like two children who are mad because one's ice cream cone seems bigger, even though they both have ice cream...that's not fair!? Is it a tantrum on fairness? And I wonder, if the gay/lesbian community would have acted as they are acting now (violent, fanatical, childish) prior to the election, if California would have seen that side, would the margin be dramatically different in favor of Prop 8? I don't know.

What I do know is that I love our dear Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, for encouraging us to stand for what we believe in (not telling us how to vote, mind you. And if you are interested or curious on what our church has told us here is the link to the LDS Newsroom.) I love those people in my ward and wards across California, Arizona and Florida who followed their conscience and not their fear and stood up for what they believed in. And, in truth, I love our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. I wish that they would open their hearts and minds in understanding that we ALL have the right to vote as our conscience dictates and we should not be persecuted for that. Because, that is freedom.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Number 13

I am thankful for big brothers. I grew up with a big brother, who loved, tortured and stood up for me. I got to see him on my AZ trip and stay at his house and cook him a birthday dinner (sibling servitude! Ha!) He is a great person, soooo funny, and a wonderful father. I love him so much. Other big brothers in my world: My sweet husband was, and still is, a great big brother to his two younger brothers. And now I have a few really fantastic big brothers residing under my roof. First there is Quin, who is a great big brother for Cole and Ewan. Cole also has the opportunity to be an amazing big brother to little Ewan. (Ewan seems to "big brother" the dog). Kudos to great big brothers, may you always have the strength and energy to lovingly annoy and antagonize your younger siblings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful Number 12

Today I am thankful for afternoon naps. While my vacation from home life was restful, it was also exhausting and I am so thankful for the opportunity to take an afternoon nap. I am so thankful that Ewan doesn't mind taking one with me. I am so thankful for a comfy bed, a fluffy pillow and the Backyardigans on the TV to lull my little one to sleep.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thankful Number 11

I am thankful for the opportunity to just sit. It is not often in our fast paced lives that we just sit. Today, I had a moment to just sit. In the warm sun. On a nice bench. While my children played happily on the swings. I caught some birds on the electrical wires copying me and I thought I would take their picture to share. Just sit.

Thankful Number 10

I am thankful for, what used to be, my immediate family. I had the opportunity this weekend to spend some time with my "old" immediates. We were a family of four. One mom, one dad, one son, one daughter. That was us. The Hitchcock family. It seems, now, like it was a story in a book that I once read, so long ago. It is strange to spend a meal with them around a table, as we did every evening. Dad still takes forever. John and I still rush through, and the conversation is still silly and joking. Looking back, though at the time I hated it, our dinners together were so important. I only hope that I can torture my children in the same loving way, as we sit down, a family of five, at our our very own dinner table.

Thankful Number 9

I am thankful for best friends and high mountains. Do you have a very best friend? It seems like such an elementary thing to ask, but the truth is, I do. Cabrena is my best friend. We grew up across the street from each other and played Barbie dolls and "revived dead grasshoppers," we helped each other through hard times in our youth and even shared clothes and Grapenuts in college. We are the best of friends. This is a priceless thing that we have and if you have it with someone too, I encourage you to let them know. I did...teary eyed and all, I did. And you know, if anything happens, she'll know how much she means to me, and that is most important. Happy 30th my dearest, nearest friend.

It is fitting, that on her 30th birthday we climbed Camelback mountain together. Climbing a mountain, no matter it's height, holds so many good analogies and metaphors for life. Cabrena, her sister Veronica, and I spent 3 hours on Saturday on that mountain. It was a beautiful fall day in Phoenix and we were ready for an adventure. The first part of the climb was easy. It got our blood moving and our hearts pumping. We stopped a couple times to look at the view, take some pics and rest. Things started getting a bit harder. Some places were hand over foot climbs, right on the edge of the mountain. Some places were tight squeezes. Each of us had a few slips and falls. Nearing the top, we almost decided to turn back and be done with our little adventure, but we were so close and we made the choice to finish it. The last bit was surprisingly simple and when we did reach the top, it was so worth the climb. A lot like life, isn't it.

Thankful Number 8

I am thankful for ingenious invention. Some of you may know that I am in love with my Dyson vacuum cleaner and I thank that handsome man with the accent on the commercials every time I use my cyclone-y suction-y piece of equipment. How excited was I to fly into Sky Harbor, use the restroom, and find this little piece of heaven?! Ingenious. You simply wash up, then place your hands facing fingertips down and slowly pull them upward. The dryer sucks all the water from your hands. It is so smart and I love it. Keep it up, inventors of the world, keep it up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful Number 8, 9, 10

Thankful Number 8, 9, & 10 will be added on Tuesday, November 11th as I will be out of town and will not being taking my good friend Mac with me. I am so THANKFUL to be going to Arizona to visit friends and family, eat at all my old favorite places, hike in the beautiful desert mountains and even get a short vacation from motherhood and housewife-dom. Ciao!

Thankful Number 7

I am thankful for a creative mind. I had to put together three centerpieces for a dinner party that is happening tomorrow night. I had a general idea about what I wanted. It is an autumn themed gala and the gathering room is huge, so I knew I needed height. I also knew that I could use these really cool pokey seed-pod things that fall from our giant maple tree in the front yard.

Thankfully, Michael's is having 70% off most of their fall decor and flowers (if you can call them that, they are more like sticks and straw). Thankfully, I had my dear friend, Susan to help me and be my second set of hands and eyes (she is *amazing* and doesn't know it). I had the vases in my stash and we arranged the stick/straw in those, filled the tops with acorn mix from Michael's, used 12 x 12 scrapbook paper, pokey seed-pods, gourds, bird nest floral decoration and of course, it doesn't hurt to have some fall-colored chocolate scattered about. I love to do most things creative, from centerpieces to sewing...from handmade cards to knit hats. I am so thankful for the little string of creativity that Heavenly Father has strung around my brain. Let it always remain unfrazzled!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Number 6

Today, I am thankful for children's birthday parties. Today it happened to be my sweet, little Ewan's fourth birthday party. It was a wonderful day of preschool treats (my own handmade sugar cookie stars...with way too many sprinkles!), Ewan's own adorable drawings as party decorations, Spongebob's crabby patties (hamburgers with all the fixings!), Pirate's Booty, Goldfish crackers, gummy crabby patties, fresh yellow, tart pineapple and a delicious, chocolate Spongebob birthday cake...huge Spongebob jumper and fun little kids thrown in makes the most wonderful kind of day that anyone might want to have! Deep sigh. Big smile. Do you remember your childhood birthday parties?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thankful Number 5

I am thankful for my MIL (mother-in-law). My MIL is one of those who you will never live up to in greatness, but always makes you feel like you exceed her in every way. She came to visit for this past week and it was really when I needed her the most. Tim has been in and out of LAX umpteen times in the past 6 weeks and I have been solo A LOT. That didn't change this week and lucky for me, my dear MIL was here to carry some of the load. What load? Kids homework, meals, party preparations (a zillion and one birthdays this week!), laundry...etc. I love her. I am thankful to have her. She is amazing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thankful Number 4

I am thankful for Tuesday Farmer's Market. Fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance. Nice vendors. Free samples. Beautiful flowers. Kettle Korn. Funny old Asian guys playing the guitar and the harmonica. Today I snagged some fresh tomatoes (four medium sized vine ripe and a basket of cherry),4 hungarian sweet peppers, 3 big red bell peppers, 4 onions, a big bunch of basil, 2 bunches of cilantro, 1 dikon radish, 1 Italian sweet pepper, 1 gorgeous head of red leaf lettuce, one bunch of green onions and a little mesh bag of red and yukon gold potatoes. All for about 14 bucks. If you have priced produce lately, you'd know that was a steal! And it is all fresh...still has the dirt on it...chemical free...and delicious. I am thankful for the Tuesday Farmer's Market. (BTW, if you live in LA, there are Farmer's Markets every day of the week in different towns, check the LA Times for days and locations! I go on Tuesday and Saturday in Torrance and on Thursday in Redondo Beach! I'm addicted to fresh food!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thankful Number 3

I am thankful for my mom. I was able to talk to her for an hour today and even though I didn't have the most interesting things to tell her, it was just nice to pass the time with nonsense. She has always been easy to talk to and that, right there, is a huge blessing. My mom is practical and kind, she is a hard worker and she is a spiritual rock. I am so thankful she is my mother.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thankful 30

I love this idea from my new friend at "a view on the hill" about doing 30 days of thankfulness in November, the month devoted to giving thanks. I'm going to follow her lead and take on the pleasure of finding something each day that I am very thankful for. So, today I will have two since it is November 2nd and yesterday I was off celebrating with my dear sweet husband...which leads me into my first thankful moment.

I am thankful for my husband. November 1st was his birthday and we had the most wonderful day/weekend in celebration. A summary: Thai food, TJ Maxx shopping, Pinkberry, Tim's mom in town, overnight in Anaheim, Disneyland, long dinners with engaging conversations, ice cream cones, holding hands...just us. I adore my husband. He is kind and understanding and funny and hard-working. He is all I ever wanted and all I need. I am thankful for my sweetie.

Thankful moment number two for November 2nd (today), is my children. I am so thankful for good respectful children. Children who make me smile every single day. They are amazing boys who are both tough and sensitive. They are good athletes and artists, they love music and school too. They are each their own person and are strong in morals and values. I am so thankful for my children.