Thanksgiving is coming up. I’ve been profusely blessed and given outrageous grace. So here’s my list that merely skims the surface.

The straight from the trunk, the creamy, teensy-bit-melted, scraped off-with-the-spoon top layer of the Dreyers vanilla ice cream. Also, I’m apparently now obsessed with Tillamook’s Marionberry Pie and Udderly Chocolate.

Freshly laundered white sheets—the unmistakable clean fragrance of Clorox filling my nose and heavenly cozy fabric on my skin.

Loving and living with a man who is willing to be vulnerable yet strong, who still looks really great in board shorts.

My dad’s redder than red, homegrown tomatoes, salt shaker, eaten like a juicy apple.

Clean, on-demand, water from the tap.

The “Stop notifications” button.

My claw foot tub.

Q-tips.‘Cause a toothbrush in the ear is unpleasant.

Love. Straight up.

My son and my daughter, by their very existence, teach me that I cannot begin to fathom the endless bounds of our Father’s love.

Homemade gnocchi bathed in my homemade sauce.

My 92 year old friend Inez who doesn’t make a plan with me without the tag line, “Good Lord willing.”

I believe this is not as good as it gets, and this is pretty darn good.

That laughter and exercise release the dolphins. That I’m smart enough to use these powerful resources.

I see miracles rather than coincidences.

People who still RSVP.

Vision (literal and figurative).

The power of three: Perfect balance of waffle, butter, syrup.

A mom and dad who were willing to give a home to little homeless girl.

Danny Ciarolla and Cheryl Patton, who shared their beautiful parents and home, who treated me like their own, last minute, little sister. It was like, “Oh, you’re part of our family now? Cool.”


Early morning clarity.

Loving friends (noun and verb).


That Tide Simply Clean and Fresh feeling and unexpected empowerment/freedom that comes when I give a true- blue, heart felt, down-to-my socks apology. Wish it was easier to get to the jumping off point.

A thick(ish) skin and tender(ish) heart.

That I made it to the top of Half Dome.

When chocolate cake is devastatingly moist (I know that’s a wildly hated word but there is no replacement; sorry.)

That I’ve seen people in dark, dire places and seen them come out the other side. Myself included.

I’ve got tons of little Guatemalan girlfriends. They love me, I love them, it’s a full-on win-win.

In Sept 2001, through our country’s collective broken heart, we were more united than I’d ever experienced in my lifetime. Wish it didn’t take such devastation to get there.

Bravery (acting even when you’re scared to death). First responders who ran to a burning building rather than from. Those who gave their lives for another and those heroes who walk before us every day who would do the same.

All the fire fighters who live on my street and in my town—and for all the law enforcement other than those who have ever given me a speeding ticket. Not them.

The healing power of love.

The healing power of honesty, and for brave writers like Philip Yancey who deal with pain head on and help people grieve.

For all our wounded warriors and their warrior families who keep on keepin‘ on.

Thankful for mayonnaise and the example it is of blending with other things to make things quite delicious.

A new day.

Stinky cheese.

All cheese.

Erasers and delete buttons and do-over second chances.

A good sweat and sweet relief the moment you finish a respectable cardio sesh.

Piping hot from the oven, homemade bread with a pat(s) of unsalted butter.

Our peach tree that bears amazing fruit (specifically peaches).

Hiking in nature.

A solid sleep.

Apparently, hilarious, bright, fearless children make me very happy.

The stooped ones with gray, lined faces, hearing aids or HurryCanes, who have stories, spunk, mettle and wisdom, those with the benefit of having been there, done that, who know what they’re talking about—those closer to home but who still have so much to offer, maybe most of any and all.

Movies that make me cry hard, laugh hard, change me for the better.

The small flower that grows through a crack in the sidewalk.

Italy. Every last bite of it.

Changed hearts.


Being home.

My Italian heritage. 🙂

People who lean in and listen carefully–rather than talk.

On cooking day, the way the sauce, focaccia and bread permeates the entire house.

My local celebrity status for my foccacia.

I ate pizza (more than once) in the joint that won the award for #2 pizza in all of Europe.

Melody Beattie.

Brene Brown.

CS Lewis.

Grateful I know this: While “Throwing the baby out with the bath water” seems like a horrible metaphor, I like the reminder that we can take what what’s good and useful and discard that which is not. That something doesn’t have to be all good or bad.

The wisdom of gratitude lists.