Eighteen months ago, my darling daughter gave me this darling book for my birthday:


It’s a sweet little volume with spaces to write just a few words about each day of your life for up to five consecutive years.  It was a thoughtful gift from my daughter, who knows I love to write and journal and keep memories, at least with words.  (Pictures are another story.  Observe photog skills above.) I fell in love with this little gem immediately, and wrote in it enthusiastically for five, ten, fifteen days in a row.

And then I put it on a shelf and forgot all about it.

Until a week ago when a darling friend of mine who, due to her modest nature, shall remain nameless (I got your back Shalom), posted a picture holding this exact book and stated that she’d met her 2015 resolution by writing one thing she’s thankful for in it each day.  What a fantastic, fabulous, fantabulous idea, I thought.

So now, in honor of my friend, my daughter, and my personal life motto of Copying Other People Instead of Thinking Things Up By Myself Because That’s Hard, I’ve decided to adopt Shalom’s New Year’s Resolution as my own. (Thank you Shalom.  You’re pretty and nice.)

I will write one thing (or more) that I am thankful for, every day, in this fine little book for one fine little year. Do you mind if I share today’s entry with you now?  Don’t worry, I won’t make it a habit; I know being forced to read stranger’s journal entries is what gives blogging a bad name.  But bear with me just this once.

Today, I am grateful that after spending my morning at a Seminary Teachers Conference that was interesting, inspiring, and kinda-life-changing (for reals), I got to have lunch with a dear friend in Lake Oswego, meet my husband in sparkly downtown Portland at twilight for window shopping and hot chocolate, and then come home to this:


Ethan and his buddy Austin making dutch oven ravioli for Ethan’s “Cast Iron Chef” scout badge.  Ethan had to plan and cook a meal using the dutch oven, so naturally he asked if he could make his favoritest food in the whole wide world forever and ever amen and the end:  ravioli.  Go figure, we found a recipe online—and here I thought dutch ovens were just for meat and potatoes.  Where there’s a will there’s a way, baby.

While they were sprinkling mounds of grated Parmesan over the lumpy red concoction, I overheard Ethan telling Austin—with a casually cool authority—about his views on cooking:  “I don’t cook very much.  But when I do cook, I like to make Italian food.  Because it’s…you know…refined.”  Austin nodded in assent.  Of course it was.

(p.s.  Ethan has never cooked anything Italian—or Mexican, or American, or German or Chinese or Lebonese—in his eleven years on this earth.  Never ever ever ever amen and amen and the end.)

And now I’m sitting on my bed in my robe and slippers, punching happy words into a laptop while the Hub watches Big with the kids, insisting they’ll love it because it’s a “classic from his childhood.”  (Does he really think that’s a mark in his favor?)  I’m relaxed and ready to read, looking forward to another great Sunday tomorrow—church with the family, dinner with new friends.

So much to be grateful for today, but I think the refined ravioli tops my list.  How do you combine the words grateful and ravioli?  Gravioli?

Yes.  Gravioli.  A noun, an adjective, and maybe one day, an adverb?  I could write, and eat, and live graviolitiously.  And this year, that’s just what I intend to do.