On Gratitude {and another great Etsy giveaway}

So last week I marked one year of blogging with a little look back at my favorite posts and a few highlights.  I mentioned that I wrote one entry that totally changed blogging for me.

When I started this site, I had been immersed in a million different awesome mommy blogs that give you ideas and inspiration and little tips for fun things to do with your kids and ways to enhance your family.  I was itching for a space to write as I embarked on a new journey for my own life, and I envisioned that one day my blog would grow to be that handy-mommy-blog prototype.  I’d be so awesome sharing my oh-so-valuable recipes and tips about home and baby and whatnot. (Ha!)  I started participating in the occasional linky lists and gaining a few readers, but somehow I just wasn’t always feeling it.  I’d record what happened here or there, link to a new recipe, post a photo, and hit publish and only sometimes like what was on the screen in front of me.

Then one night last August, I got the baby in bed and sat down at the computer with an overwhelming urge to write down the details of the day, knowing they were probably only interesting to me but not caring so much about what made it publication-worthy.  I just wanted to write, and I did.  And this post felt so good to me that I continued a trend.  Soon came this one. And this one. And this one. And somehow gratitude kind of began to multiply and the funniest thing happened: I began to notice these tiny moments in my day that were aching to be recorded.  And although I still sometimes share a tip or recipe every now and then, it is these entries of thankfulness that feel the most real to me and leave me feeling like this little journal is worthwhile.  Sometimes it’s such a great day that I won’t let myself finish without recording the details, and sometimes it’s just that I write about gratitude so that I can remember the good over the bad, no matter how much the bad was screaming to be noticed.   Other times still, I honestly have no main idea to write about, but there are tiny details asking to be remembered.

Gratitude is valuable for lots of reasons.  The most significant of which is that it leaves you feeling more and more grace and finding a million things to be thankful for.  If it weren’t for this journal and what I write here, I know I would sometimes finish the day feeling exhausted and defeated, but by actually looking at this space as a log of my days, I ask myself,  what do I really want to remember?  Recognizing the beauty in the everyday is a spiritual exercise, and I think months ago, I didn’t fully predict how that would affect my perspective.  When I take out all the whining and complaining, the good always outweighs the bad. Always.

So in many ways, that’s what this space has become for me: a place to be thankful, to record the happy, however simple that might be. It makes the day take on a brighter hue and tomorrow seem a little more full of possibilities.

Speaking of bright and beautiful, how lovely is this?

It’s a gift sponsored by The Shady Hollow, and it could be yours if you do something simple.

Tell me what you are grateful for today. One thing.  No matter how small.  Just one little note of gratitude.

For an additional entry, you can do the following and leave me an additional comment saying you did:

  1. Visit The Shady Hollow and take a look around, tell me what your favorite item is.  There are so many beautiful choices; it’s hard to pick!  They have a number of different colors of the bird’s nest jewelry and some lovely natural glass earrings as well as wonderful sculptures.
  2. Spread the word about this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, or blog, and leave me a comment telling me so.

So there you have it.  One moment of gratitude for your day and two more ways to get extra entries for a sweet little handcrafted sterling silver set.  Easy-peasy!  [And seriously lovely jewelry!  Thank you, Shady Hollow!]

** Winner will be chosen by comment number with random.org this Friday (the 25th) at noon.


“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”- John Milton