November

blog-4341November.  Oh, November.  I committed to posting about something I’m grateful for on my blog daily.  This month challenged me and challenged me again.

So you want to spend 30 days being grateful?  Let’s see.  How about it if the car you were so excited to have was damaged?  Not a challenge?  What about the people you love? How would you feel if your parents got robbed?  Can find something good in that?   Income cut in half?  How about people invading your personal space in a threatening way.  What about things that are completely outside of your control?  How about instability in the region.  How about pollution so bad that your children are often sick.

Still I’m lucky.  I’m so incredibly lucky.  Sometimes life gives you lemons, and just when you are done making lemonade, you get a few more.

But I’m not thirsty for lemonade, you want to scream.

This is how we grow.  Through adversity, and challenge.

Knowing that I would have to come up with something to write about made me pay attention.  You observe pretty closely if you know there will be a test later.

All the stuff that happened this month?  Let me tell you, most days I could easily come up with a long list of things that made my feel so blessed, and so grateful.  Make your list friends.  It is a life changing experience.

It has started!

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The elfing that is… hopefully I’ll have time to do a few more projects this year (my pinterest boards are brimming with things I want to try!)  The boys made these.  If you are a grandmother to these boys, one will be coming your way soon.

So grateful that Christmas is coming… it is my very favorite time of the year, and Jack Jr. appreciates it more every year!

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Grateful for more time spent with my little guys. Yes, I’m only bringing home less than half a paycheck these days, but I do get to do this.

And for those of you watching the news, we are safe and sound.  Not everyone is, and for our safety we are very very grateful.  Keep Egypt in your prayers.

Read a Book

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Doing lots of random reading today. Keeps my mind occupied. On paper, I just finished The Professor and The Madman by Simon Winchester. Great story about the people who compiled the OED. On my kindle, I’m reading House of Stone by Anthony Shadid, Understanding the Middle East by Edward Trimnell, and today when I need brain candy, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Every book in the series, one after the other.

I love my Kindle. Of course everyone loves paper books, and I love browsing through my book shelves. But with my kindle, I can use libraries, buy books, and share books, all without braving the Cairo streets. I can carry my entire library with me where ever this nomadic life takes me.

Grateful for good books, their power to educate, inspire, and provide escape.

Cairo

Cairo is not doing so hot right now.  As we speak, people are protesting, sometimes at great risk to their own safety.  My husband’s office is not the safest place, and he knows the smell of teargas well.  This blog is not about politics, or religion, or even my views on current affairs.  It is about being a woman, a wife, a mom, a writer, a photographer, a creator, a human.  And finding the space and time to balance all those things in a way that is beautiful, true, and meaningful.

Today I am so grateful that my family is safe in the midst of all of this.  Grateful that I have always had the space and time to make this life filled with truth and beauty.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver “The Summer Day” from New and Selected Poems, 1992