March 24

As if I would forget to post today! Of course on his 20-14th birthday, I am grateful, grateful, grateful for Mike. I could write you a dissertation on why (and maybe I will when I'm not posting at work...shhhhhh!) - but for now, I'll just say that he's wonderful. And I love him.


March 23

Today I am grateful for Los Gatitos. They are furry and snuggly and an endless source of entertainment. They know how to put you in your place when you need it (or even if you don't) - and they make the best napping partners in the world! (Mike excluded)

Plus - since Mike and I talk for our cats (hey - don't judge me!) - they say the funniest things!


March 22

Today I'm grateful for the spice store. Mike and I went out and about in Oak Park Sunday after mass and wound up at Penzey's.

Some spices we bought...

and others we decided to save for later.

Now that I've been promoted to sous chef, I'm hoping that we'll be spending a lot more time at the spice store. It's always fun to go and browse - and it smells SO GOOD in there!


March 21

Today is a gloomy, rainy day and it matches my mood. I'm missing my mom a lot - just because. So today I am grateful for her. For my mom who raised me to persevere and keep going even when I don't want to.

"Forgive me my sins, O Lord; forgive me the sins of my youth and the sins of my age, the sins of my soul and the sins of my body, my secret and my whispering sins, the sins I have done to please myself and the sins I have done to please others. Forgive those sins which I know, and the sins which I know not; forgive them, O Lord, forgive them all of Thy great goodness. Amen." -Beliefnet's prayer of the day


March 20

Today Mike is grateful for me. Or at least he should be. Our first attempt at making an Outback Bloomin' Onion at home almost = epic fail. Mike mixed the batter and cut the onion. A miscalculation while onion chopping meant that we were having onion petals rather than a real bloomin' onion. I assured him that this wasn't a problem. Then he had an issue getting the batter to stick to the onion.

He was cleaning the mixing bowls and expressing his frustration when I happened into the kitchen. I made him make up more milk/egg mixture so that I could try and coat them better. He wouldn't let me mix up the spices again (it would take too much time), but I got the onion to take a full coating of flour. It's not the Outback - but it looks pretty good on top of that steak, doesn't it?

And what's for dessert?! Fried ice cream. Yummo!

Today I am grateful that I have enough food each day.

"We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen."


March 17

Today I'm grateful for another birthday - my twenty-fourteenth. And for Mike, who sent me to work today with sugar cookies with shamrocks on the top...to share with the other kids. Even though he's taking his life in his hands by asking me how old am I - followed by asking how old he is. Sometimes it's hell being married to someone a week younger than you. Feh. I try to explain that what's cute when you're 22 does not translate when you're 20-14. One day he'll learn - I think.

"Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me" (from "The Breastplate of St. Patrick").


Back on the Gratefulness Wagon - March 14

So, it's been pretty hard to be grateful lately. It's been - pretty much - a big pityfest for myself. Losing my dad within a few years of my mom seemed to crush my spirit and, while I tried to hide it, I didn't much care about being grateful.

But, on the cusp of my 34th birthday, I've decided that I can only be as grateful as I try to be. So I'm back on the gratefulness wagon - trying to find the joy in the little things in life.

So - I thought that I'd tackle the source of my ungratefulness head-on and start there by finding something to be grateful about even in the things that have caused me so much unhappiness. So here it is.

I am grateful that God took my parents quickly and with minimal suffering. They were not in pain. They did not linger in comas or a vegetative state. They did not waste away in front of me. They are together again in Heaven. And I am grateful.

“O God, great and omnipotent judge of the living and the dead, we are to appear before you after this short life to render an account of our works. Give us the grace to prepare for our last hour by a devout and holy life. Let us remember our frailty and mortality, that we may always live in the ways of your commandments. Teach us to "watch and pray" (Lk 21:36), that when your summons comes for our departure from this world, we may go forth to meet you, experience a merciful judgment, and rejoice in everlasting happiness. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”