Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thank You, LIFE! I LOVE YOU!

It's true what they say with the phrases "home sweet home" and "absence makes the heart grow fonder".  Returning home to our beautiful Portland, Oregon after a week away is such sweetness!  As much as I LOVED the city of San Francisco and was actually sad to say goodbye so soon, there is nothing quite like walking into your own home again.  And with sunshine, blue skies, green grass, and birds welcoming us with their happy song it is all just a little sweeter.  Some serious feelings of rebirth around here! We've had a long winter of grey and rain and this glorious golden sunshine is a much needed medicine for all of us in the pacific northwest.  Perfect time for our celebration of Easter tomorrow.  Even the houses in Portland seem to be smiling wide with this day of sunshine and a promise of hope for new growth and change!  I know our house is smiling.  The french doors are open, eggs boiling, Jack Johnson wailing on the radio, and kids running in and out of the house with dirt on their faces, grass stains on their clothes and grins a mile obvious is their JOY at being HOME and being together as a family in this house of ours...our house, our home, our slice of life buzzing with gratitude!

Still have a run to get in, laundry to do, unpacking, dying some easter eggs, and playing Easter bunny later on tonight so I'll end this post with a list of gratitude.  Listing my gratitude is one of my favorite ways to journal these days.  It is quick, easy, gives a snapshot of my life, and it just feels good to express all that their is to be thankful for in this beautiful life!

Thankful for:
*  A fun vacation in an AWESOME city.  San Francisco has got to be one of the best cities I've ever been to.  Such great vibes coursing through it.  So much to say for another day about San Fran!
*  Stopping by New Seasons Market on our way home from the airport and stocking up on all our favorite veggies and fruits.  
*  The protein Kale smoothie we all had as soon as we walked in the door.  Much needed nutrients after a week of living in a hotel, eating out (french fries, beer, bread, much tasty but not so healthy eating).  My body is buzzing with energy and gratitude at the a plant that is finally watered after a week of nothing!
*  The sound of music on one side of the house and my family playing outside in the back yard as I do laundry, boil eggs, and get important stuff done like typing my gratitude out on this blog. 
*  Our neighbors who had Easter eggs hidden all around our yard for us with a sidewalk chalk message welcoming us home.  
*  New Friends...even those of you I have not met yet but are more like a pen pal.  I never expected to make so many genuine genuine connections!  
*  My own bed to sleep in!
*  My small home that is under our means and that allows us to be cozy and close, live simply, and experience so many other things in life without having to worry about making ends meet!
*  My early morning run tomorrow at marathon pace...a run to let me see where I am at and hopefully help me grow in confidence as a runner.
*  The Joyful and gracious spirits I see in my children today.  I can tell they've had a wonderful vacation, are happy to be home and are so thankful for their little lives.  
*  Easter opportunity for reconnecting with my faith.  I know that every day can be a day for this but I am especially thankful that Easter is tomorrow.  Let's just say I need it and it couldn't come at a better time.  
*  Opportunities for NEWness in our life.  It is never too late to try something new or make some big changes in our life!  So much to learn, places to go, hobbies to try, relationships to build, new directions to take with our life.  The possibilities are endless and our life is short so now is the time! Thank God for fresh starts of every kind. 
*  And of course, DEEPLY Thankful for these precious people in my life.  The love of my life and my three beautiful children.  Love them with every fiber in my body.

Last night in San Francisco
1.  Thank you so very much for your heartfelt, open, and genuine comments and e-mails after my post Gentle Redirections...Hitting the Reset Button.  I had no idea that something so personal and off the cuff would resonate with so many of you.  Love the new connections I've made because of it and Love that it meant something to so many of you.  Thank you for your words!  They mean a lot and I'm also glad to know I'm not alone. 

2.  What are a few things in your life that you are most thankful for right now?



  1. Welcome home! My husband and I got engaged in SF, love that place!

  2. I am thankful for my family, for my health, for my home, for my job, for my freedom, for my faith, for my GOD, for my very breath. I am thankful I have a place to lay my head each night and that my children do too. I saw so many homeless people sleeping on the street last night and it broke my heart:(

  3. I can almost always count on your postings to make me think about how I am feeling and FEEL what I am THINKING. You have a great gift :)
    I, like you, am very thankful for friends…new and old. I am thankful my body works pretty well and is quite healthy. Add to that being ever-thankful for my soulmate husband who is kind, loving, funny, generous, hard-working and more as well as our 4 amazing kids. I will close with giving thanks for all the life experiences I have had over the years…'good' and 'bad'…for they have given me the benefits of infinite perspective, broadened my understanding of so many things, heightened my sense of compassion, and bestowed upon me an incredible faith in what I'll call The Process.

    Thank you for this post, Amanda. And many thanks for sharing your day and your family with me :)

  4. LOVE this post! What awesome things to be thankful for! :) Happy Easter!

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  6. I love San Francisco! I am thankful that my kids are healthy. I know 2 moms who have pretty sick little ones and it breaks my heart. I went to be tested for being a bone marrow donor for one of the kids. So I am thankful for healthy boys. Also because in a month I will go home! I have not been back in almost 3 years. Happy Easter!

  7. Welcome home, Amanda - glad you had a great time in SF - one of my favorite cities. Ran the SF Marathon there last July and LOVED ever second of it - you need to run it one year! I love your gratitude list, so happy for you that you are in such a good place in life! Happy Easter to you and your family!

  8. So glad you had a great time. Makes me want to go back to San Fran to visit! What a great gratitude list! What sweet neighbors you have to do that! how fun! I'm so grateful for the SUN, the ability to RUN, my healthy children, and a husband who loves me despite all my weaknesses!! Have a wonderful Easter Sunday, Amanda!!

  9. Great post. Went to Easter service tonight and one take away was "It's never too late to become the best you that you can become". So true and I think it's contagious.

  10. Fantastic post, Amanda! It always feels so good to come home--I always get a bit homesick after a few weeks away.

    What am I grateful for tonight? Well, that I have a great friend Regina to work with on a Saturday night, that I have a wonderful man in my life who leaves me Easter Candy on my bookshelves (even though he told me I didn't need it!), and a house I can call my own.

    And great blogging friends like you! Have a great day tomorrow with your family.

  11. Beautiful post.

    So thankful for my husband, who accepts me for who I am, and for our precious son, who makes me see life with fresh eyes every day.

    Happy Easter!

  12. I'm thankful that my friends and family weren't touched by the terrible storms and tornadoes that hit our area last night. We've had more than our share of severe weather lately, and I am incredibly grateful that our house has been passed over time and again.

  13. Happy EASTER to you , Amanda!

    Welcome home and So many many things to be thankful for.
    Sounds like your house is abuzz with all the special things you do to prepare for tomorrow.

    I hope you and yours have a great family holiday and that you really enjoy the reconnecting with your faith on Resurrection Sunday.

    love, R

  14. I love your neighbours' thoughtfulness. There should be more of that sort of stuff in our world

  15. What a lovely lovely post. I am thankful for your writing and your mind.

  16. I love that your neighbors welcomed you back in such a festive way! And I can relate to craving veggies after being on the road.

    I'm thankful for a beautiful sunny day for a 15 miler, a husband and doggy who are still asleep this morning, fruit in my oatmeal, and coffee.

  17. Morning sunshine:) Happy Easter!

    Sounds like the perfect evening to come home to!! So much for you to be thankful for Amanda! Gorgeous kids, amazing husband, strong healthy body, the many simple things...LOVE your list! DEFINITELY a beautiful life!!

    I'm thankful for my family obviously. Broken record but there is nothing in life that will ever bring me greater joy than Joe or my kids. I'm thankful for my aging but cooperative body, thankful for the passion I've found in running, thankful for the many friends I now have to share that passion with!! Thankful for the real contentment I feel in my life now....true peace on so many levels.

    So very thankful for you! Thankful for someone I now consider a close friend! Thankful for your insight, your influence, your awesome humor, your writing, the connection and freedom I feel with you. Thankful for your genuine interest....

    I'm thinking of you out on your MP long run this morning!!! Hoping your mind is clear and your feet are light and you're in the ZONE. Excited to hear how it goes. Hope you have an amazingly awesome day!!

  18. What a wonderful post to read on Easter Morning. Your posts always leave me thinking and leave me happy! I am thankful for my wonderful family who support me on whatever whim I am on. I am thankful for a sunny, beautiful morning after rain and storms last night and thankful for my ability to run and have fun with it. I might never be the fastest, but what a great feeling to finish a long run and to feel born again.

  19. This morning I am thankful for my morning 4 mile run that felt amazing. It seemed like the perfect way to begin and celebrate Easter.
    I am thankful for my little man who woke up at 6 and was so happy to have his momma come get him.
    I am thankful that I have my younger sister in my life despite all of her hardships (she is so much stronger than she knows).
    I am thankful for my growing relationship with my sister in law who is an incredible mother and an all around inspirational human being.
    I am thankful for all of the extended family that will surround us today and all the YUMMY food to eat (another reason to be thankful for that run this morning).
    I am thankful for my parents for just being who they are.
    I am thankful for my husband for his never ending support and that I met a person who truly gets and loves the insanity that is me :)
    I am thankful that you create such beautful posts that I look forward to reading every time.

  20. Welcome home Amanda - happy Easter!

  21. Great pictures! Looks like you all had fun in San Fran!:)

  22. I just read my comment on your reset button post and as usual, I was a smart a@@. Well, talking about "deep" stuff is a little out of my comfort zone, so I will just try to comment to put a smile on you face.

    Re: this post. I took a personal growth seminar once and the instructor said that the secret to being happy is being grateful. I never forgot that. That was a semi-deep comment, right?

  23. San Fran is my favorite city ever!! I used to live and grew up north of San Fran in the wine country of Sonoma. I love it here in Des MOines and I have so much here that I love but I long for the pacific and the lovely city. I hope to take my children there someday.

    I love your pictures :)
    I often find that I get so wrapped up in myself that I need to look outside of me for a while. The second I start taking care of someone else like my hubby or kids and I feel better instantly.

  24. HAPPY EASTER. I'm so thankful for a lot of things in my life too. Glad you had a great vacation.

  25. I have never been to San Fran but I hear it is excellent to visit. Yay for such a great trip and double yay for being home. The last picture of the kids and their Dad(?) is the best. Cheers!

  26. Love love love your posts - have miss, miss, missed them! Love this post - I too love SF but how wonderful that you are so happy at home and with what you've got - you're a wise woman indeed..

  27. You are amazing withyour words Amanda. SF is a glorious city, and it sounds like it made your all the more appreciate of your home and gorgeous family!!

    Hope you had a fantastic Easter Sunday!

  28. Vacations are great- but it is nice to go home too! Except maybe when home is a mess :) I love the bullet about living within your means and all -- a rare thing to hear I feel like! I never want a huge house-- too much to clean ;) (and furnish, heat/cool, and would certainly not need the space)

  29. OK, so last week when I saw your new header I thought: Wow, Portland looks just like San Francisco in that picture. Silly me. Your vacation sounds like it was perfect, especially since it gave you renewed appreciation for everything you have and hold dear.

  30. This is beautiful. I love the feelings that you express in this post. I can picture the pleasure of returning back home and enjoying a beautiful day with the kids running around in the yard.

    My husband and I eventually want to own a fairly small house. When he dreams about winning the lottery, he always talks about how most of the houses in his ideal neighborhoods are just too big for our tastes.