Thankful Thursday

Things I’m loving this week:

  • Breakfast in bed – Arturo brought me breakfast in bed a week and a half ago to celebrate my birthday, which was lovely, but yesterday he surprised me by doing it again for no reason at all, and on a work day to boot! Gotta love that man. :)
     
  • Smoothies – In an effort to maintain a healthier lifestyle, Arturo and I have drastically changed our eating habits over the past few years. A fairly recent addition to this ongoing journey has been smoothies, and we enjoyed a particularly yummy fruit smoothie creation with dinner Tuesday night. Raspberries + mandarin oranges + strawberries + a banana + homemade yogurt + ice = AMAZING. No sugar added or needed. (Those who know my hatred for bananas know how much of an leap of faith this recipe was for me. Tuesday was literally the first time I ever bought bananas, and it was done with much trepidation. But the smoothie was amazing, and I couldn’t really taste the banana. Yay for getting more potassium in my diet!)

  • Sunshine’s “grouchy face” – It’s spring, meaning hormones are raging among our house’s feathered residents. As a result, we’ve been getting the “grouchy face” (aka puffed up head and facial feathers to make her appear bigger) from Sunshine a lot recently. However, I must say it’s rather hard to appear grouchy with a feather stuck in your beak! This made me laugh.

  • The way Pepper puts her beak on my cheek when she wants a scratch – The photo says it all.

  • Birthday cake with lots of sprinkles – I like sprinkles. A lot.

Note the beautiful purple flowers in the photo above: another “no reason gift” from Arturo, and yet another reason I gotta love that man. :)

I wish you a wonderful Thursday, full of reasons to be thankful.

Thankful Thursday … one day late

Yesterday turned into a crazy busy day of filling orders, so I didn’t actually get a chance to publish my “Thankful Thursday” list. Here’s that post, and I’ll publish my “Project of the Week” post on Monday. Have a great weekend, all!

  • Safety – This week I am incredibly thankful for my safety and for the safety of my friends and family. Last Friday evening, the southern portion of the greater Cincinnati area was torn apart by tornadoes. The news has been full of photos of the destruction and tales of lives torn apart in the wind. Sarah at This Crazy Blessed Life lives very close to the affected area and wrote a touching post about it here. On his way home from work Friday, Arturo said he could see the debris swirling above him in the air, but thankfully none of it came down near us, and the tornadoes didn’t directly affect us or anyone we know. It’s times like this that remind us both how blessed we are.
     
  • Great concerts – In the next few weeks, Arturo and I are going to attend some amazing concerts, and I’m so thankful for the amazing arts organizations that call Cincinnati home. Tonight, we’ll be at the Cincinnati Symphony to hear Tim Lees, the concertmaster, and Ilya Finkelshteyn, the principal cellist, perform Rózsa’s Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra (here is more info about the concert). Next Tuesday, we’re going to see Merrily We Roll Along at Playhouse in the Park. (I love Sondheim’s musicals!) And next Friday, we’re going to see the Cincinnati Ballet perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with the Cincinnati Symphony in the pit. I couldn’t be more excited! Access to amazing performances like these at affordable prices is a big part of why I love living in Cincinnati so much.
     
  • Small reminders of winter – This winter has been so mild that it almost hasn’t felt like one. I commented to Arturo this week that I only wore my snow boots one time all season! However, on Monday morning, we awoke to a beautiful dusting of snow. It didn’t last long – the snow had all melted by 10:00 – but it was a perfect start to the week and a gentle reminder of the winter beauty I love.
     
  • Strawberries – This week, our local grocery store had all of their strawberries on sale for only $1 a carton. I couldn’t resist and stocked up. As a result, all week I’ve been eating strawberries with my morning bowl of cereal. Strawberries and cereal are my favorite, and it’s helped start every day on the right note.
     
  • Neosporin – As a cellist, the callouses on the tips of my left-hand fingers are very important. The hours of practicing, rehearsing, and performing can become quite painful if my callouses aren’t robust enough to take the constant irritation of the metal strings. Unfortunately, my callouses don’t like to stay nice and robust. Despite the creams and lotions I use every night, they often split open, creating sore and bleeding cuts that slice across the tips of my fingers. I have one such cut at the moment on my index finger. However, thanks to a healthy dose of Neosporin and lots of Band-Aids (which I wear while playing when my fingers are split open), I’m managing pretty well and should have no problem playing this weekend’s concerts. Thank you, modern medicine! :)

I hope you took some time this week to count your blessings and to show gratitude to those you love. I wish you a great weekend, full of life’s little joys!

I found this photo while organizing some computer files this week. This photo, taken in January of 2009 in Cincinnati's Eden Park, shows what winter in Cincinnati is usually like. No such cold weather this year, though!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I had planned for today a post about a new necklace design, but my camera has decided to not cooperate. So, you’ll get my Thanksgiving Day post one day early. :) I’ll be back Monday, hopefully with the necklace design I’d had scheduled for today. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, all, and be safe and merry this holiday weekend!

Since this is the week of Thanksgiving, a “Thankful Thursday” post is most definitely in order. I hope you’ll take time today to count your blessings and to remember the many reasons we all have to be thankful. In the meantime, here’s my “thankful list” for this week.

  • The coming of Christmas movies on TV – I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Christmas movies, especially the animated ones like the Charlie Brown specials, Rudolf, Frosty the Snowman, or Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (or, really, anything by Rankin & Bass). Arturo and I have already watched A Charlie Brown Christmas once this season, and I’m super excited about all the Christmas specials that will be showing up in the TV lineup over the next month.
     
  • The start of Christmas orders – I’ve already had quite a few orders for Christmas ornaments, and this makes me very happy. (I can only hope and expect they’ll continue to roll in as Christmas approaches!) When I first started working with polymer clay over a decade ago, ornaments were my favorite things to make, and long before JennJill Designs was so much as an idea in the back of my head, my family members would all get Christmas ornaments as gifts each year. I love making ornaments, and the thought that an ornament I’ve made will bless someone else’s Christmas tree for years to come makes me feel incredibly lucky and fills me with joy.
     
  • A roof over my head and money to pay the bills – This week, the city of Cincinnati announced information about their homeless shelters for the coming winter season. Listening to those news reports made me incredibly grateful that Arturo and I are not in that situation. So many families right now are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, and I daily thank the Lord that He’s blessed us both with good jobs and a secure financial situation.
     
  • A wonderful family and time to see them – Tomorrow, Arturo and I will be venturing east to my hometown in WV, where we’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with my grandmother, my parents, my younger brother and his wife, and my older sister and her family (including her darling little girl! So excited to see my niece again :) ). I’m thankful that not only do I have a wonderful family, but I also have the time and ability to visit them, and perhaps best of all, they’re within driving distance! (Fighting holiday airport traffic is not high on my list of desired activities.)
     
  • An incredible husband – With all the auditions I mentioned on Monday, leisure time has been in short supply around our house, meaning stress levels have been high. Despite the madness, Arturo has been supportive and coolheaded. I’m so blessed to have an understanding husband who will calm me down when I’m anxious and give me big bear hugs when I’m tense.
     
  • And finally, this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for a Lord who watches over me, who cares for me, and who loved me enough to pay the price for my salvation.

I have so much for which to be thankful. I am truly blessed.

What’s on your “Thankful List” this Thanksgiving?

Count Your Blessings

Even when it’s not the week of Thanksgiving, taking time away to be thankful and to remember one’s blessings is incredibly important. For me, the process of consciously being thankful helps me focus me on the things in life – family, friends, faith – that truly make life worth living. (See some of my Thankful Thursday posts here, here, and here.) This time of year, however, has a tendency to bring “thankfulness” to the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you a lovely collection of thankful-themed items.

View the full treasury here

What are your plans for the Thanksgiving holiday?