list lovin’

I‘m grateful for our two-car garage, even in summer, when we don’t use it and birds shit all over my car.
I’m grateful that I have the ability to clear out the garage and make room for my car. I’m grateful for two beautiful, working cars, with glorious air-conditioners come summer and heated seats and steering wheels and Sirius Oprah radio any time at all. Oh, I’m forever thankful for the clever GPS, even when it’s imperfect. It gives me the freedom to explore without fear. I’m thankful for a large glove compartment and leather wipes and a secured garbage “can” for the back seat, so my car is always clean and organized, despite two snacking kids.

I’m grateful for my Girl Scout co-leader who endures my text messages of panic, when we have no set plan for our next meeting… later that same day. ALWAYS BE PREPARED might be the Girl Scout motto, but it’s not mine.

I am grateful for blueberry pie and aprons with lace and faded black dresses and fields of lavender (despite the fact that I don’t like the smell of lavender). For roadside farm stands and rocking chairs. I’m thankful for butchers who remove parts you don’t want to touch, for fishmongers, for the people who can explain science answers to your children.

I am so grateful for mint. In tea, on the side of a plate, sliced into barely there ribbons, littered over fruit. You dazzle me in spanakopita, you minx.

I am thankful for concealer, especially this one (I’m color #2), and for mood-altering scents that make us feel cozy and loved.

I am so thankful for the friends I’ve made, dear friends I’ve kept and newer friends I’m still getting to know. I’m thankful that they let me learn them, that they’re open, that they reach out.

I will be thankful for a second Kitchen-Aid mixing bowl, a glass one that may go into a microwave−good for melting butter. Yes, ideally you really do want two of these. I will be grateful because it’s on my wishlist this year, and if no one gets it for me, I will take matters into my own fat hands.

I am thankful, of course, for the health and happiness of loved ones. No one ever omits this bit on a grateful list–it’s like asking for bad health to omit it–but I mean it especially now. Now, not NOW that health issues are cropping up on Phil, but NOW because with perspective and the whole ordeal of emergency brain surgery for my son, and NICU babies for months, and the fear that there will be an episode, of a shunt malfunction, that very heavy fear, it is still there, but also a great distance away, and I’m so thankful that my children are in a position where I’m able to lecture them, where they’re HERE, where they’re living a life full of mistakes, where they have that beautiful chance, this spectacular life. I’m so deeply grateful.

I’m so thankful that I don’t sweat the small stuff because of all the big stuff that’s been thrown at me. So, in a weird way, I’m grateful for the things I was able to learn from all the shit no one ever wants to have happen in their lives. I’m thankful for the muck and my ability to use it.

I’m grateful for watercolors, little jewels that bleed. They bring me such joy. So do all colors. Oh, how I want to get my hands on a set of Copic Markers! Sets A (72 markers) and Set B (another 72 markers) of Copic double-ended markers, one day I’ll have my way with you! Yes, that’s about $482 in magic markers, and it’s such a luxury. But for me, it’s something I want more than any piece of jewelry. They’re a daily vacation, indeed they’re magic. Why am I willing to spend so much money on a handbag but not markers that will bring me joy daily? This makes no sense. I should just bite the bullet and get these already! I want them desperately!

I am thankful for my red curly hair. I love my curls, and I’m thankful for all the products that go into making them soft, defined, and bouncy.

I am thankful for movies and books and bedtime rituals, for the way we share and cuddle and laugh. I’m thankful for the way Abigail looks out the window and waves to me from the school bus as it pulls away, and the way they bound off the bus at the end of the day with open arms, so eager to spill their stories. I’m thankful that I somehow managed to get a kid like Lucas, the kindest soul in the world. Amazing that I’ve called him “Kind Sir” since he was an infant. No one who meets him can argue it, he’s just the happiest, kindest person.

I’m thankful for Phil, for his wildly strong sense of character, his fierce loyalty, and for his arms. I’ve always loved those arms.

I’m just incredibly thankful all around, and I want to thank those of you who’ve stuck around to… to do just that… stick with me, my friends, through it all. I appreciate you for reading, even when my posts include affiliate links, like this one does. xo





  1. I once got handed down a box of $500 Copic markers from a rich kid I knew. Then I had 2 kids and was panicking that the markers were dying a slow death and not being used. So I put an ad on Craigslist offering them free to a starving art student. I had dozens of replies in minutes, people sending their school IDs, their portfolios. I ended up breaking it up into 4 sets and giving them to the most desperate kids. They’re like the holy grail of the art student world. They are really nice though, because they don’t leave streaks, it’s just beautiful solid color.

  2. I’m a long time reader and rarely (if ever?) comment on any of the blogs I read… shame on me. But I just had to take a moment to tell you this was truly beautiful. We should all take the time to write down such a list… although few would be as eloquent and keenly observed as yours.

  3. That was lovely Stephanie. You are truly grateful for so many things, with family coming out on top. Family, friends & health are the big ones for sure.

  4. Beautiful.

    I am thankful, seriously, for you. For being here all of these years, allowing a place for us all to comment and opine – to dare and share – to grow and show. I know I’ve grown tremendously in the time I’ve known you…both as a writer and as a human.

    I’ve gone from a spooked, newly divorced mom of 3 little ones to a joyfully strong mom of beautifully strong adults. You’ve given me a voice, and validation that writing is one of my strengths, and a huge outlet.

    Every day I pour my coffee and look for an update from you. When you haven’t written, I worry for a second – send courage and strength your way, and turn to my own musings.

    Thanks for being there and being brave. You’ve pioneered the way for many writers and bloggers, me included. You are strong and awesome. You have let us get to know and love you and your family, and you’ve let us disagree with you without recrimination. You’re amazing.

    Happy day to you.


  5. I’ve always loved your drawings… you’re very good at it! And, the watercolor is just beautiful. You really do deserve those markers so you can continue to nurture and cultivate your artistic talents. Do it already!!! ;) I’d love love love to see more of your drawings and watercolors featured here.

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