1. The knives that have been missing since we moved here? A nice bread knife, big sharp knife (like for melon), serrated short knife, and a pastry brush… Mark discovered them on Thanksgiving — in the roasting pan.

2. Knitting with a kitty on my lap.

3. Advent readings.

4. Oatmeal bath powder and various ointments, children’s Tylenol and nasal spray and a humidifier, and other things that are easily available.

5. The possibility of a free sofabed.

6. Hot showers, warm beds, cozy afghans.

7. People. Especially certain ones.

8. A God to whom I can pray honestly, even when I’m angry with him or afraid he’s out to get me or non-existent.

9. The Bible in my own language, in several different translations.

10. Art and music and dreams and other things that are more than words, more than linear, orderly thought.



1. Even though I am still super-sensitive to criticism, I no longer believe it unquestioningly and have much better tools for working through it now.

2. There are people out there who understand that you can love your children dearly, and even be a wonderful parent, and still be annoyed by them sometimes, and still be affected by your past issues.

3. I showed my friend how to knit the other day and we had a lovely time together.

4. My husband is an involved father.

5. My Redeemer lives.


When my DBT group ended, I got out of the habit of writing gratitude posts. Two of my blog friends do them, and it keeps reminding me that it’s a good practice to keep up.

1. I ate a fruit and a vegetable today. I also ate three pieces of dark chocolate. (And some eggs and toast and some whole-wheat and oatmeal scones.) No matter what the state of my willpower and my relationship with food, I am in the grace of Jesus.

2. My daughter is healthy, smart, beautiful, cuddly, playful, independent, interactive, and often joyful.

3. My kitty isn’t getting worse and might be getting better.

4. My husband cares about me and Amy, thinks, feels, and can communicate.

5. It’s quiet and peaceful here right now.

Annoyances and gratitude

Today I am finding the following things annoying.

1. Amy pulling my hair. If she would grab big enough chunks, it wouldn’t hurt, but single strands and small chunks get caught in her fists and she’s not very good at “gentle” or “let go.” Wearing my hair pulled back helps a little, but she can still grab a fistful and pull it out.

2. Blog balance. There some things I could write about. But sometimes I’m not willing to be that open. As much as I shout loud for realities of negative emotions and situations and such to be treated openly without shame, for people to be themselves without having to hide behind masks, there’s still the question of wisdom in setting boundaries and not being completely vulnerable to everyone in the universe.

3. Impatience. Amy gets tired of her toys. I get tired of thinking of new things to do with her. Her naps are shrinking — maybe an hour each, lately. And yet she makes tired noises and gestures well in advance of her naptimes.

4. I hate spam so much. And yet I really don’t want to change my business email address (which is the one that gets all the spam). Ugh. Yes, my email client filters out most of the spam, but still — to sit here while fifty emails download and then have one or two that are for real, is annoying.

And because all things must be carefully balanced (ha), I feel obligated to include a gratitude list as well.

1. I’ve found pretty much all the information I need to start my business here. Like in NY, it looks like all I really need to do is register to collect sales tax, and as a sole proprietor the business income tax is dealt with in our personal taxes. I just need to get a PO Box and then I can file for the sales tax. Oh, and I’ll need to get business cards eventually too.

2. Amy can eat more finger foods. This week is mozzarella, which she picks up and eats just fine. She’s also had some cut up banana, but it’s too slimy for her to handle easily on her tray, so I hold a piece for her to pick up from my hand. I’m thinking soon it will be time to buy her one of those suctioning or weighted dishes and see if she wants to start figuring out the spoon.

3. My dulcimer is in tune.

4. It’s nice and quiet right now.

Phone call

1. My friend Sara called me last night. It’s always nice to get a call from a friend.

2. Her daughter Alejandra was delivered yesterday morning; 8 lbs 13 oz, 20″. Mom, Dad, and baby are all doing well.

3. We put Amy in the church nursery yesterday, thinking it would be nice for her to be with some other kids. She didn’t last very long (wanted a nap) but it was sort of nice to have her calm down when I came in to get her. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t matter to her whether it’s me or someone else, and at least at that moment having her mom was a comfort to her.

4. It’s nice to be home again, where the kitty is.

5. I started a new sewing project yesterday. I found an online pattern for cloth balls with a baseball seam, and I’m doing three for Amy, each with an appliqued letter from her name.


1. We are officially under contract for a house not far out of Culver, Indiana. It’s a three bedroom, two bath ranch, fabulously well-kept, with a partially finished basement, and a GARAGE (!) and a fenced-in backyard. I’m not especially grateful for the barking dog next door… but perhaps he or she will get used to me and quiet down… one can hope…

2. Amy has rolled over from front to back about three times in the last week — all by herself.

3. She continues to develop new sounds in her babbling.

4. I had THE BEST FLAN EVER at lunch today.

5. Lyndsey Nicole, my third niece, was born yesterday and both mom and baby are doing well. (It is still difficult for me to think about birth and newborns, though.)