A Happy and Thankful Life


I realized on Friday that I have my final cake class coming up. A class had been cancelled and the last class unexpectedly ended up on a week I had to travel for work. I’ve waited a few weeks and now, the final class is here. One of the catches is that I have to make my own butter cream icing. I’ve quickly learned that this is not something that can be made easily by hand. I have to use a mixer.

I bought a small hand mixer because we had to make it in class. It works fine but doesn’t quite cut it.

We were gifted with an amazing Kitchen Aid stand mixer for the wedding. Like many others, I love this thing more than I should for a kitchen appliance. But it is so wonderful. It continues to earn its space in my kitchen. I made two 8″ round cakes two double batches of butter cream icing. It’s a monster. And saved my hand from cramping. Thank you oh wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer.


nephews and niece and best friend.

Today was exactly what I needed. I was able to spend the day my youngest niece and nephews. I picked them up and we headed to lunch and a day at the museum. I love seeing their excitement and hearing them talk. With their ages, it is interesting to hear them talk and wait to hear what they will say next.

My favorite moment was when the oldest nephew said that he wanted to be a soldier, then the youngest nephew said “me too!” and the youngest niece said “and a princess!” Yes, you can all be what you want to be.

After a great day out, I was able to catch up with one of my best friends. There is a great perk to her living near my youngest niece and nephews. I normally get to see her after visiting with them. It was a much needed evening to catch up. And really, there is no one I would rather mock shows and jewelry with than her. Really.

It was a good Saturday. 4 of my favorite people in one day – that can’t ever be a bad thing.



No sick kitties allowed

I had the day off today from working a Saturday a few weeks ago. I figured this would be a great day to take Sassy to the vet for her check-up and update her vaccines.

The day’s ordeal made me thankful that Sassy is so feisty. I may call her neurotic but I love that she is so friendly and greets me at the door. She doesn’t run and hide. I’m thankful that the vet saw this at her visit because when I returned a few hours later, they had something to help compare her behavior.

It’s not confirmed but she did have a slight reaction to the vaccines. Amongst other issues, she was sluggish, wouldn’t talk and wanted to hide. She wouldn’t even respond to her laser point. When I brought her back to the vet they said that she was acting like a “normal cat” which obviously wasn’t normal for her. It did make me giggle. Of course she’s not normal. J picked her out.

They kept her a few hours for monitoring and to administer fluids and medicine. It was harder than I expected to leave her behind. However, it was all worth it when I came home with a cat that was feeling so much better. She is now back to her normal self.

So for today, I’m thankful for a cat that was only sick for a short time. That showed me that I wouldn’t trade her for a more “normal” cat. For a vet that took care of her and treated her without objection. For a vet that returned my Sassy.

support and kind words

I’m thankful for the kind words of friends today. Friends that knew me before 2008. Before my world was turned upside down.

I wish I could be the person I was in 2007 or even 2009. Unfortunately there isn’t a switch or button to push to make that happen. But knowing that I have friends that knew me before and still see that person in me somewhere, brings me a bit of comfort.

While I know that everything I’m going through is normal, others don’t get that. But hearing their perspective and knowing that I have their support has helped me. I appreciate their kind words, wisdom and support. They are pretty great friends.

Early to bed

I’m thankful that as an adult, I can decide to go to bed at any time I want. Whether I stay up late or go to bed early, that’s okay.

Some days it’s the little things that help me get through the day.

best friend wisdom

“There is nothing wrong with you.”

I needed to hear this. Simple words but something I desperately needed to hear. From someone who really knows me. That knows my life story and understands the meaning behind the words I use. I’m lucky to have three such friends. I’m thankful for their strength, their wisdom and their presence in my life.

Winnie the Pooh Quote

There are moments where I feel as though I’m being led to something I need. Something I may not realize yet, but is there. Tonight, I came across this. And as I read this quote, I started to cry.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

It was as though John was saying this to me. He always gave me more credit than I felt I deserved. There are many times that I wish I could see myself through his eyes. Thinking back through the last weeks and months with different challenges, he would have been my cheerleader. He would have reminded me that I know what I’m doing.

Seeing this came at just the right time. He believed in me. I need to believe in myself.

Swish swish goes the wipers

Tonight I’m thankful that I put on new windshield wipers on my car last weekend. It was something that I had put off for an embarasingly long time.

J would have been frustrated with me and just borrowed my car and replaced them himself. My car’s wipers are such an odd length and I’ve been too tired after work to pick them up. But I finally took care of them last Sunday.

I put my wipers to good use tonight. When I drove home from work, there was no snow or freezing rain.  An hour later and there is snow. Two hours later, freezing rain. And I had to unexpectedly drive 3 hours in it.

Thank you windshield wipers for keeping my vision clear. Now if I could only find the right size for the rear…

Simplest solution is sometimes the best

Today was a good reminder that sometimes the simplest solution is the best. I was having trouble with my phone after the system update. I tried turning it off and reinstalling apps but it still wouldn’t work. Thankfully a friend recommended taking out the battery. The simple solution that I overlooked worked wonders. Two days worth of frustration could have been avoided if I had gone simple first.

It’s a good reminder for me. Start at the simplest and easiest option. If that doesn’t work, then you can move to the bigger and harder solutions. What is the easiest solution that you’ve come across lately?

It’s there somewhere

There is nothing like stepping up to present a program and realizing that it’s been 8 months or even more than two years since I’ve last done the show. There’s no going back at that point. The students are ready, the adults are ready and all eyes are on me. Somehow all the stars align with my memory and I open my mouth and all the right words come out. That is the joy of performing educational programs.

I’ve presented numerous shows at the museum in a variety of settings and styles. I continue to be amazed and grateful that my memory holds on to these shows. Two years ago, I would have said that I wouldn’t need to remember certain programs. I would have been wrong. I’m okay with that.

I think my brain holds on to these shows and random bits of educational facts because I find joy in them. There is a remarkable connection that can be made with the audience when it is done well. I feel it. It energizes me. I reminds me of why I do what I do. To excite students and adults about science. That is what my team excels in: connections and inspiring others.

Today, I presented programs and was reminded that even though we may have memorized a script, the responses aren’t. The responses come from students that may be learning new content. Some classes may have had an introduction, others haven’t.  Fifth graders will respond differently than third graders. Amongst those differences, the constant is that the reactions and responses are genuine. I love being a witness to how elementary students make those connections. And often, I find myself learning and having my own “a-ha!” moments alongside the students.

I love that my brain can retain all these shows and random bits of information. I love that when we are younger, we have a strong desire to learn everything we can. As we get older, we decide if we want to continue to learn and be excited and inspired by the world around us. I don’t think we lose that desire as we get older. I think we tend to suppress it so we can focus more on our adult responsibilities.

I choose to be inspired. I want to help others, both kids and adults, get excited about learning. I believe that the reawakening the desire to learn can be an adult responsibility. What do you think?