Final Lenten Thankfulness Journal

This was the last partial week of keeping my thankfulness journal for Lent.  For someone who is a cusp practicing Catholic, I am amazed I completed this exercise. I learned a few things,  became more aware of the small moments that make up my life.

4/4/12             I am thankful for           

making it to the track meet after Devon’s first MSN soccer game and victory.

Workday Panera meetings.  Truly productive.

Not having to clean my house this week.

4/5/12 I am thankful for

Marie and Jeff arriving from MI!  (instead of continuing their wrong-way drive to Cincinnati)

Homemade chips & salsa. YUM!!

Finally seeing the documentary “Buck.”  Inspiring story, heartbreaking background.

4/6/12 I am thankful for

Devon finally got her braces.


adding a slew of new vacation pictures to the digital frame.

4/7/12 I am thankful for

first yoga class since surgery.  Felt great!

sunny start to ELA soccer for Devon.

Dinner out with Jeff and Marie while cousins decorated eggs.

4/8/12 Happy Easter!  Lent is over.  C


Thankfulness Journal, Week 6 Lent

Almost finished with my thankfulness journal, for Lent.  This has been an interesting experience, some days far easier than others to come up with three things to be thankful for, some routine work days a stretch.  A couple friends have told me that me sharing this has helped them to become a little more aware of their lives.  I feel like that pays it forward a little bit.

3/28/12 I am thankful for

sea turtles.

Devon trying parasailing the first time, Tara going on an ATV expedition.

Parasailing in Riviera Maya

Boys making up games wherever they go.

3/29/12 I am thankful for

safe travels home with kids old enough to keep themselves occupied on two flights.

Unexpectedly running into friends in the Charlotte airport.

Fun friends, great memories made on the beach.

3/30/12 I am thankful

for how many errands we can get done in one day, with no work, school, or kid activities.

Most of our family really wanted to see—and enjoyed—“Hunger Games.”  Lots of discussion.

Sometimes popcorn for dinner is enough.

3/31/12 I am thankful

we FINALLY bought Tara new furniture.

For dinner out with Pam and Steve—no kids!—then catching up with Patti and Jason.

All the kids found a friend to hang with, to finish off break.

4/1/12 I am thankful

all three kids decided to clean up/throw out old junk and papers. Overflowing garbage bin.

Tara’s furniture fits great in Ronan’s room, transforming it to a teen room.

Devon finally gets to use the restored makeup table she has wanted in her room.

4/2/12 I am thankful for

Erin A. inviting Tara and I to hear her read her Irish dance memoir aloud at her school.  Such a sweet tale about these two friends that brought Tara to tears.

finding one final container of homemade tortilla soup made with last year’s tomatoes.  I could taste summer in each bite.

Plowing through most of my emails from vacation.

4/3/12 I am thankful for

dog kisses.

sharing my vacation photos.

Ronan’s frigid, windy first track meet actually ended before dark.


Lenten Journal, Week 5

Week 5 with the Thankfulness Journal for Lent is easier, throwing a vacation into the mix.  I am behind posting, just returning from Mexico.

3/21/12 I am thankful for

bringing all needed documents to the accountant, and hearing the taxes will be finished in time.

Welcoming book club after frustrating clothes shopping.  Wine and Rob Lowe much enjoyed.

Winning the “quintessential 80’s hair cut” photo at book club.  What fun I had looking through my old photo albums to choose a photo.

True 80's hair, while in England.

3/22/12 I am thankful for

DEVON!!  Happy 14th birthday!

A meeting postponed results in outdoor lunch with Colette on a gorgeous day.

Birthday dinner at Cheesecake Factory.  Yum!

3/23/12  I am thankful for

completing all vacation prep shopping, packing, errands, bank runs, work with a few hours to spare.

Theresa, for inviting us for dinner the last night in town.

Kerry’s spirit.

3/24/12 I am thankful for

leaving the country.

The smell of salty air.

Soft, white sand beneath my toes.

3/25/12 I am thankful for

no alarms for several days, no dogs jumping on the bed to awaken us.

Fresh sliced fruit and chocolate croissants.

Sky color = water color.  Amazing.

 3/26/12  I am thankful for

friends arriving, finding us on the beach.

Unending cocktails.

Watching my girls get massages on the beach.

3/27/12 I am thankful for

early morning walk on the beach, camera in hand.

finally, a drink at the poolside bar.

Group dinner, on the outdoor patio, divine.


Thankfulness Journal, Week 4

This Lenten Journal of finding three things to be thankful for each day is becoming more difficult, when the weeks are filled with routine, seemingly mundane activities. Especially since my goal is to not repeat the same item more than once.  It’s made me become more aware of what is around me.  At least we will soon have a vacation to break it up!

3/14/12 I am thankful for 

the cacophony of  frogs. 

Devon voted “Team Wolf Pack” award by her volleyball teammates. 

Escaping the pool party with Mary for an hour of successful shopping in Lake Geneva.

 3/15/12  I am thankful for

Heavenly cloud sculptures.

Middle school choir voices—especially boys with changing voices.

 Managing work projects.

 3/16/12 I am thankful for

all-clear to exercise, post-op!

 things running on schedule. 

Tara dancing with the Shannon Rovers.

 3/17/12 I am thankful for

 flash mob Irish dance teens, having fun between shows, making others smile.

Dancer moms I enjoy spending time with. 

an incredible dance with original choreography at the Genesee Theatre! 

3/18/12 I am thankful for

One more year of Irish dancing around St. Patrick’s Day.

 A glass of wine on the porch, after dark, no coat on. 

 Coyotes talking to each other.

3/19/12 I am thankful for 

Tracy and Theresa stopping by unexpectedly, then joining them for a walk.

 Shrimp tacos.

 A quiet night at home after an extremely busy weekend.

3/20/12 I am thankful for

a well-needed massage, to ease a pinched nerve.

The whimsy and selection of Trader Joe’s food.

Blossoming forsythias and dogwood.


Thankfulness Journal, Week 3

Week 3, for my Lenten Thankfulness Journal.

3/7/12            Today I am grateful for 

my “baby” brother Dave.  Happy birthday bro!  Ain’t nuthin’ “little” about you!!

My friend Patti.  Long walk with both dogs (thanks for taking one!) was a great way to catch up.

leftovers on a crazy night.

3/8/12 I am thankful

a song like “Low” can make me giggle, transporting me back to a great girls’ cruise.  Walked a bit faster on that boring treadmill.

an incredible, touchable full moon hanging low in the winter sky.

for being the big $20 winner in bunco.

3/9/12 I am thankful

my dad can text!  Sometimes it comes in handy.

a car repair place that actually replaces an under-warranty for free, without finding 20 more problems with the car.

For date night—and dinner out.

3/10/12 I am thankful for

an fun, engaging St. Patrick’s day party.  Bagpipe welcome!

meeting new people at a party.

reconnecting with old friends at the same party.

3/11/12 I am thankful for

Ronan’s basketball season is finally over (is that bad?).

the annual Mickey Finn’s McNulty dance show.  Intimate, energetic, fun.

vacation planning “meetings” that involve dinner, cocktails, and riotous laughter.  Can’t wait!

3/12/12 I am thankful for

Tara’s induction into the LZHS National Honor Society—along with several of her friends.  Huge honor for lots of hard work .

Pam’s unexpected phone call.  She made me laugh!

The extremely full grocery cart.

3/13/12 I am thankful

Theresa and I can catch up and work on a weekly basis.  Change of pace from the home office motivates.

For summertime weather in March, in Chicago. Everyone is outside.

Walking both dogs together  for the first time since surgery!


Week 2, Gratefulness Journal

Here is my Lenten Week 2 offering, three things I am thankful for each day.  Some days this is more challenging than others, but it’s making me notice the small things around me.  Here goes…

2/29/12 .  I am thankful

for iPhones. 4/5 of us now have them!

I saved that Snickers bar from the other day to finish today.

When I make a new healthy recipe and the pan is empty at the end of dinner!

3/1/12 I am thankful

Tara made varsity soccer at LZHS!!

Devon loved her volleyball season, despite their win record.

A family looks to be moving into the house next door, empty since last summer.

3/2/12 I am thankful

I had a few hours to start on the tax prep for the accountant.

For two hours home by myself, to watch whatever movie I choose.

Work colleagues have become friends.

3/3/12 I am thankful

Tara got accepted into National Honor Society!

For the beauty of snow.

Snow melts.

 3/4/12 I am thankful for

family dinners.

An evening with a fire, no tv, catching up.

Bob’s coaching season is over.  And Ronan got to play one game with Bob’s team this morning, before his own game.

 3/5/12  I am thankful

Bob got his 10 year all-clear from cancer!

For the first fat robin,  sitting outside my office window.

For the smell and taste of freshly-baked chocolate chip banana bread.

3/6/12 I am thankful

for 67 ° blue sky days in Chicago, the first week in March.  Sublime.

I live in a school district that shows the film “Race to Nowhere” to open dialogue with people in the community about our education system.

For homemade Asian spring rolls (by us).  Yum!


Lent, Week 1 Thankful Journal

For this Lent, this not-really practicing Catholic creating a Gratefulness Journal.  I am going to record three things each day that I am thankful for and post them on my blog about once a week.

I thought it would be fairly easy to come up with two items each day to post.  But three—on some days—would challenge me a little more. No repeats allowed! So, here is week 1:

2/22/12 I am thankful … 

that my kids and I can still play a long game of Sorry!  on our well-loved board when they are home sick, neither one complaining it’s too babyish.

for February days in Chicago when I can walk the dog with no gloves or hat.

For artichokes—the one veggie that all my kids love to eat.

2/23/12 I am thankful for

  amazing, silent snowfalls.

 a great book club discussion about “Night Road.”

 completing not one, but two, big work projects in one afternoon.

 2/24/12 I am thankful for

a 5+ hour drive with my daughter where we talked, talked ,talked.

Fun parents to share a cold, wet  bleacher seat with on a chilly night.  And sleeping bags and blankets to wrap ourselves in.

An impressive soccer victory, after making that 5+ hour drive.

2/25/12 I am thankful

I don’t snore.

For the laughing tears and hugs shared by girls who played soccer together for 2 years, as they finished their last game.  

I ate the apple instead of the Snicker’s bar.

2/26/12.  I am thankful for

Irish dance being a part of our family for over twelve years.

The McNulty family dance mass, the one mass no one actually complains about attending each year.

Our family of 5 to be together again.

2/27/12.  I am thankful for

Ronan wanting to help make his “cookie cake” for his birthday celebration.

Plentiful food selections in our local grocer.

 Fresh-cut flowers, especially in winter.

2/28/12.  I am thankful for

RONAN!! Happy 12th birthday today, “baby boy.”

MTV and VH1 actually showing music videos in the am, when I am walking the treadmill.  Lessen the boredom of indoor walking.

Thunderstorms in February.