Sunday, January 31, 2021

Gratitude: January 31st

As silly as it may sound, today I am grateful that I took the time to focus on gratitude this month. I need to keep it a focus in my life. I need to work, every day, to not focus on the frustrations, the trials and the tribulations - but instead to keep my eyes open for the little things that bring me joy. It's just hard sometimes.

Sometimes the trials and tribulations just seem so overwhelming. They seem so much bigger than a hot shower, a purring cat, or a goofy horse. Forcing myself to consciously acknowledge the things I appreciate has helped improve my outlook, and January has seemed just a little bit brighter. And oh how I've needed that brightness. 

Yesterday, while I was cooking dinner one of my children commented on something silly I was doing, "Mom, you seem like you're in a good mood today."

For an instant I was upset; if a good mood was that noticeable, my kids haven't seen that part of me in quite a while. But then I made a conscious decision to not be upset. In that moment, I was in a good mood; I wasn't worried or upset - I was genuinely happy to be doing whatever it was I was doing. (I wish, for the life of me, that I could remember what it was!) I want to keep that feeling, and I believe focusing on all the little things I am grateful for has been a big help in lifting my mood. I may not post about it as often, but I will be working to be grateful each and every day...

Friday, January 29, 2021

Gratitude: January 29th


One of my favorite things in the world is a hot shower - emphasis on the hot part. I love it when he water temperature borders on scalding. I remember when my kids were little and we had to turn down the hot water heater so they wouldn't accidentally burn themselves, my showers felt lukewarm. Now that I have teenagers, the water heater's thermostat is once again turned up and I love it.

I'm also thankful for "safe search." I'm use to searching on my filtered school computer, so when I did a quick internet search for "hot shower" pictures on my unfiltered home laptop, I was not prepared for what Google thought I wanted to see! Lesson learned...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Gratitude: January 28th

My dear friend, Susan, gets my gratitude today. She retired from our school in June, after teaching for 35 years. This week, just to be nice, she delivered treats and four different jugs of  flavored coffee creamer to the teacher's lounge. Isn't that the sweetest thing!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Gratitude: January 27th

I know many people are anti pharmaceutical companies, but I can't imagine life without some of the modern drugs we take for granted. 

Today my lower back and I are grateful for drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. I even appreciate opioids (when taken in moderation.) Both of my children have taken them - my youngest when they got their tonsils  and adenoids out, and my oldest after after his wisdom teeth needed to be surgically removed from his lower jaw.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Gratitude: January 26th

I am very thankful I have a job that allows me to take sick days. I hurt my back yesterday; ironically when I was helping one of my students roll up their yoga mat. Since my school provides paid sick leave to its employees, I was able to spend today in bed, recuperating. I hate taking sick days, but I'm thankful they're there when I desperately need them.

I'm also grateful for Dr. Bozzio, my orthopedic doctor. He is the one who directed me to start doing yoga. I firmly believe this back injury is less severe than past injuries due to my much stronger core muscles.  Finally, I'm glad I was smart enough to heed his advice... 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Gratitude: January 24th

I adore my students - both of them*; they are joyful, positive and hardworking.  Every day I am grateful I get to work with them.

And now that it's after Christmas,  I can share what each of them made to give to their mother. These two hand-sewed each and every stitch in their project. They worked so hard, and were so proud of their finished snowmen.

* All of the elementary classrooms on Mackinac Island are splits. Usually, I have a combined fifth and sixth grade class of anywhere from four to 10 students. (My largest class ever was 19.) This year there are no sixth graders, so I have a class of two fifth graders. That will make for an interesting year, next year, on the high school end of our school. This year we will graduate 11 students, and with no new seventh grades entering that end of the school next year, our high school population will drop, significantly, for the next few years.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Gratitude: January 23rd

Earlier this week Mackinac Island had the perfect conditions for the creation of snow rollers (also known as snow bales, snow doughnuts and wind snowballs.) It was about 38 degrees F, windy, and we had a fresh layer of wet snow. I've lived in Michigan my entire life and I've never seen these before.

I'm grateful I'm a big enough nerd that I noticed them as I drove my snowmobile to work. When I asked some friends if they'd seen them, they thought it was just snow that had blown off the trees.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Gratitude: January 22nd


(Happy kids in homemade jammies - 2016.)

Today I am full of appreciation for my ability to sew; it's something I enjoy, I'm good at it, and it brings me joy. I've been doing it for a long time - I made my first dress in about 1990, unless you count the Barbie dresses I made when I was a little kid. (I remember making them out of old socks.) Recently, I've been branching out into more challenging projects - even attempting to make underwear. (Which isn't really that hard.)

Probably the thing I've sewn that I am most proud of, is the Pikachu jeans I made for my son in 2015. They were my first pair of jeans and my first fly.

And I just love the detail I put on the pocket. 

Hopefully, with the semester ending today, this weekend I'll get some time to myself up in my sewing room. What are you going to do to keep busy this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope it brings you joy.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Gratitude: January 21st

Tomorrow is the last day of our school's first semester - making this week finals week. Ugh. I think we can all agree, no one loves finals week. (My freshman and sophomore would argue it is the bane of their existance.)

Today, I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for my children's teachers. Teaching can be a thankless job, but I want these teachers to know how important they are in the lives of my children. (Well, important in my eyes.) Without their effort and dedication, the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year could've been a disaster. 

But it wasn't.

We were in person, then online, and then back in person, but the high school staff kept the learning going. As a teacher myself, I have high expectations; I know what good teaching looks like and I saw it this semester. I saw teachers go out of their way to help my kids, who were struggling with quarantine and learning at home; and those same teachers worked diligently to keep me informed about what was going on. Had they not, that possible disaster would have been a reality. I am grateful for the hours they put in to help ensure my children have a bright future. 

Mr. Neville, Ms. Ellithorpe, Miss May, Mr. Greenlee, Mrs. Niner, and Mr. Duncan, thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Gratitude: January 20th

Today I am feeling grateful that I was born into a democratic country; a country that has worked to live up to the ideals set fourth by the authors of our Constitution. I am hopeful that today  power will, once again, peacefully pass from one administration to the next. 

It is my hope that the Biden administration will begin the difficult task of bringing our nation together. Regardless of what side of the political debate we are on, I think we can all agree that finding a way to come together as a nation is in everyone's best interests.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Gratitude: January 19th


Today I am grateful for snow. Last week has been quite warm, so we lost most of our snow. On Mackinac, no snow means no snowmobiles. Luckily mother nature smiled on us last night and we awoke to a couple of inches of fresh snow. I budgeted enough time into my morning so I could walk to work, but luckily I was able to hop on my snowmobile and ride to town - it was a lovely surprise.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Gratitude: January 18th

Some days I'm just grateful that tomorrow is on its way. 

I love how Anne Shirley thought of tomorrow; she said, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it." And while I firmly believe making mistakes is an important part of the learning process, I like to think that we all get a fresh start each morning. 

I suppose I am also grateful to my Grandma Mary for introducing me to Anne of Green Gables. I even have the copy her mother gave to her in 1935 (either for her 15th birthday or as a Christmas present.)

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Gratitude: January 17th

I am incredibly grateful that my mother likes to travel. She believed it was important to experience the world and that by doing so, you became a more well-rounded person. Before my seventeenth birthday I'd visited more countries than some people visit in a lifetime. She has also worked to instill that belief in my children. So far, she has taken them on two week trips to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Reykjavik. They were supposed to go to Scotland this past summer, but the Corona virus had other plans.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Gratitude: January 16th

Today was a rough day; a day in which it was hard to be grateful. It was one of those days where nothing seemed to go right and all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed. But when you're a mom, that isn't an option. So I powered through it and tried to do my best. I suppose, I'm grateful that it's mostly over. Now, please excuse me while I crawl into bed to watch an episode of Bridgerton in an attempt to calm my mind so I can sleep.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Gratitude: January 15th

Do you have any personality traits that you appreciate? One trait I'm very thankful I have, is willpower. I tend to be pretty good at making myself do what I need to do, when I need to do it. It is a trait that has served me well in life. The only downside is, sometimes I struggle to have patience with people around me who don't have a lot of willpower. But I try...

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Gratitude: January 14th

I am grateful for my cat. To be fair, I am 100% a cat person. Dogs are fine, but there's nothing like having a purring cat snuggle down with you when you want to fall asleep (or have cold feet.)

This girl's name is Professor Minerva McGonagal, but we call her Minnie for short. She is such a good cat. My youngest even trained her to come when we call her and give high fives.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Gratitude: January 13th

Today I am filled with gratitude for the doctors and scientists at Pfizer who developed the vaccine,  the everyday people who tested it, the LMAS Health Department for bringing it to the Island, and the City of Mackinac Island for providing the space for today's Vaccination Clinic.


As an "essential worker" I was one of the 168 Island residents who got their Covid-19 vaccine today. My husband, my parents and I all got our shots. (Those over 65 were also included in this vaccination group.)  My family hasn't visited with my parents, other than socially distant outside visits, since March. Once we all have our second dose it's going to be wonderful to actually sit down for a meal together - inside. My mom is going to be thrilled - even if she has to cook!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Gratitude: January 12th

I am incredibly lucky in the friend department.  I have so many amazing friends - some close, others across the country. I can't possibly thank them all for their love and support, but I can do my best to be as good as friend to each of them as they have been to me.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Gratitude: January 11th

I am so incredibly grateful for my children. Even with the stress, the worry and the heartache that sometimes comes along with parenting, I can't begin imagine not seeing them every day. 

There was a long time that I didn't think I wanted children. Then, I wanted children but miscarried and wondered if I would even be able to have them. Now I have teenagers; teens who have changed so much over the years, but in some ways are still the same little people in that picture. (It's one of my all time favorites.)

I hope they know how much they are loved.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Gratitude: January 9th

Today is my husband's birthday, so today I am full of gratitude for him. (He's the one on the left.) There are so many wonderful things about him I could never list them all, but few things I appreciate about him are:

  • He goes out of his way to make sure I can watch all the Canadian and British television I want to. Three seasons of The Great British Sewing Bee? Mrs. Brown's Boys? Dr. Who?  This Hour Has 22 Minutes? No Problem. And then he goes and finds shows that I haven't heard of and gets them because I might like them. Speaking of which, I highly recommend The Goes Wrong Show.
  • Not only does he cook dinner five nights a week (and it's good), but he has taught our children how to follow a recipe and cook a meal. And we're not talking hotdogs and mac and cheese either - they make things like pork tenderloin and roast Brussels sprouts. Delicious. I 100% my husband for creating kids who both claim their favorite vegetable is Brussels sprouts!
  • He is actively involved in parenting our children. I truly feel like I have a partner.
  • When I go to bed before him he will come up to bed and snuggle with me -  just to help me fall asleep.
  • He never bats an eye when I head up to my sewing room to work on projects.
  • He supports my chicken-keeping, despite not being a big chicken fan himself.
  • Whenever he gets up before me on the weekend (which is 99% of the time) he makes sure there is hot coffee ready for me when I get up.
  • He's put up with me, and my craziness, for 24 years.  And that's something.

Happy birthday Allen. I love you and I can't imagine life without you.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Gratitude: January 8th

Today I am feeling incredibly grateful for my coworkers. My fellow elementary teachers have been just amazing as we have tried to navigate this crazy school year. I am truly thankful for the wonderful women I also have the privilege of calling my friends.

Thanks ladies - I don't what I'd do without you.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Gratitude: January 7th

Today I am thankful for my ability to learn. Learning new things and new skills has always brought me great joy. I'm not one of those people who focuses on my phone while I'm sitting on the ferry for the 40 minute trip to the mainland; I'm much more likely to have my nose in a book or a crafty project. (I'm currently reading The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England.) For the record, I am not a knitter. I've tried two or three times over the years, but each time I've been reminded that knitting just isn't for me. And I'm OK with that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Gratitude: January 6th

Both of my children got One-Minute Gratitude Journals in their Christmas Stockings this year. Since I'm asking them to take the time to write, I thought it would be a good thing if I lead by example. If I want them to try to see the positives in their lives, I should work to do that as well.

Today I am grateful that I get to live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Only about 500 of us get to say we live, year-round, on Mackinac Island. And while living on the Island can present some unique challenges, I am truly thankful I get to call this place home.