November is the Month of Gratefulness
With Thanksgiving being in the month of November, at least for us Americans, it has almost become a cliché to use the month as a time to be thankful. Thanksgiving is about giving “thanks”, though many do try to politicize it, the holiday does create grateful hearts and attitudes. With the way the last couple years has gone, I wanted to take some time to find the good, and so I decided to do… 30 days of grateful during the month of November.
To help me along with the challenge, I created a calendar with some daily prompts (and fun holidays), and you can download it here. Each day, I am going to post on my Facebook page and create an Instagram story about the things I am grateful for, but I am also going to add them daily to this page.
I’d love to have you join me this month, so download the calendar and share your thoughts. If you head to Facebook, you can comment on my post, and if you head to Instagram, you can “Add Yours” (a new Instagram feature) on my story! Don’t forget to include the kiddos, we are doing this as a family, and it is a hoot to hear what kids are thankful for!
Have a great November and I hope to see you on my journey #30daysofgrateful!
BEM and Fam 🙂
Update 2022: For those that might stumble across this page after 2021, I plan on producing more calendars! Head here to search for a current year’s #30daysofgrateful calendar!
Day 30: What part of this month are you most grateful for?
I am grateful I allowed myself to take this gratefulness journey. I thought a lot… discovered a lot, and while I thought more would join me on this journey, I can only hope it sent a spark of good into the world. It’s been a long 30 days, but I am so grateful I took this path… it’s forced me to see a new perspective and I aim to keep that perspective in the future!
Day 29: What story are you most grateful for?
This was extremely hard to think on because what does the word “story” mean? It could mean written story, fiction or non-fiction. It could mean a personal story, it could mean a told or hand-me-down story, and honestly… it really could mean anything, but if I had to choose my favorite story, it would be the story of the world from the view of the Creator. This probably sounds crazy, but I love the idea of interconnectedness (is that even a real word) and there is no other story that has so much of that… as the one of us on planet earth. Obviously, I can’t see this story unfold, but I know it is there and you do hear about it often… the saying “it’s a small world” is around for a reason. The idea of each of us being connected, though often not knowing it, is the story I am most grateful for and is an idea in books and movies, that make me the happiest.
Day 28: What feeling are you most grateful for?
I am most grateful for excitement, though, I don’t know if I can explain why accurately. Happiness is great, contentment is the goal and is an amazing feeling or state, but… excitement is a unique feeling! While excited, one feels really alive and liberated. I am grateful for that feeling, though not felt often, it is defining!
Day 27: What business are you most grateful for?
In today’s world, I am most grateful for small shops, but not just any small shop, those that choose products from handmade artisans versus buying in bulk or wholesale from a supplier overseas. This is why I would say I am grateful for Etsy. Strange… maybe… but just today, I purchased a handmade bag, for a Christmas gift, from a seller on Etsy who gives a portion of her proceeds to charity. This bag is made with leather sourced from an organic farm and is eco tanned, will be made with a custom, organic lining that I chose, and all for a third of what someone might pay for a surface only dyed bag, mass produced by a big company you might find at the mall… and I found it on Etsy.
I also have a shop on Etsy where I sell many printables and items to download. This makes Etsy valuable to me, not only can I have a shop, that allows me to raise money for our Little Library, but I can purchase amazing items, that are one of a kind. I would always recommend shopping local (there is a way to search Etsy for local shops) but Etsy allows you the ability to be in touch with artisans that you might not else be able!
Day 26: What type of art are you most grateful for?
This is hard… art in the “normal” sense of the word… has never really been my “thing”, however, as art is really what moves you, I would have to say that music is the art I am most grateful for. I have a playlist called “feels” that I listen to sometimes to just deal with things or because I just want to sing… or because I might just want to cry. Those songs move me in a way that no traditional art piece has. All art gives us a way to connect with each other because it allows us to understand WHY that piece or type of art is important… that is also another thing to be grateful for!
Day 25: What dessert are you most grateful for?
This did take a minute but I ended on cookies. Not because they are my favorite dessert but because you can have a wide variety of cookies. You can have sugar cookies and frost them or not… but just change a couple of things and those cookies can become oatmeal, chocolate chip, or even molasses. Not to mention cookies can be cut into awesome shapes and decorated in fun ways and they are relatively easy to make compared to many desserts!
Day 24: What seemingly insignificant thing are you most grateful for?
This could literally be anything… and took me some time to think about. I asked my hubby and he said drinkware, but I decided mine is scissors. Think about how important they are when you need them and where we’d be without them. They are important for cutting hair, opening packaging, for crafting, but seem unimportant most of the time. I use scissors for 1000s of reasons and in my opinion, you can never have to many pairs (probably because I can never find a pair when I need one)… odd we say pairs, but there you have it… I am very grateful for scissors!
Day 23: What drink are you most grateful for?
On National Espresso Day and being an avid coffee lover… maybe it should be caffeinated but I’m most grateful for carbonated water. Ridiculous… maybe, but I used to NEVER drink water, any water. I was addicted to soda and every time I had water… I wanted to throw up. Well, I don’t drink soda now… and a lot of that is because of carbonated water.
I now drink this when I want a bubbly beverage and regular water most of the other time… when I’m not having some coffee of course! There should be a National Carbonated Water Day!
Day 22: What tradition are you most grateful for?
This one was hard because growing up we didn’t have many traditions and my husband’s family didn’t really either, so as a family, we have had a hard time creating traditions that last year to year. We’ve done this or that for 3-4 years in a row, then found we wanted to try something new… and so we started a “new” tradition. However, one thing we have done every year, since the kids have been old enough to help, is deliver treats to our neighbors and random people in the community (if you do this please make sure to add an ingredients list). We don’t do every holiday, but we do this for a couple holidays every year. Usually at Christmas, the kids and I make 100s of dozens of cookies… and we walk or drive around, delivering them. This is something I love to do and we look forward to every year!
Day 21: What past hardship are you most grateful for?
HARD ONE! This picture is a childhood picture of my grandmother and her siblings. I love this picture, I actually don’t have it hanging in my home but I do cherish it nonetheless.
I’d have to say, that the hardship I’m most grateful for, and this will seem odd, is the passing of my grandmother. I’d give anything to have lived a lifetime with her. My husband’s grandparents are still living… well into their 90s, so it could have been… but wasn’t. However, her passing changed my life.
It was HARD but it is what started the domino effect that has, and is, allowing me to break generational curses. This single event, as hard as it was and how much I still wish I could some how change it, has allowed me to give a better life to my children… and hopefully future generations!
Day 20: What skill have you learned that you are most grateful for?
I am very grateful for the skill of baking and cooking. I wasn’t raised around a lot of home cooking, in fact, I never had a homemade pie until I was in my 30s and made one myself. When I think how far I have come in the kitchen… I am extremely grateful for that skill!
Day 19: What place are you most grateful for?
This one was a bit easier for me… I was going to say my home, though not completely finished, it is a place I love and feel safe, but I realized that the place I am most grateful is with my family.
With these people… I can be myself, even when I am not perfect, having a bad hair day, and am on the 2nd day of pajamas… they still love me and with them is the place I am most thankful for. This picture is one of the first that comes to mind… the room looks different now, but the feeling is the same, snuggly and warm… and a place to be grateful for.
Day 18: What plant are you most grateful for?
There are so many amazing plants on this earth, this was hard to pick, but I would have to say the tomato plant is the plant that I am most grateful for.
I never grew up around gardening and when I began to garden, the tomato plant was the only thing that half tried to live. After a few years, I got the hang of it, and now grow and can tons of tomatoes. We use them in our pizza sauce, which we use every Monday night for family movie night pizza! While tomatoes aren’t roses… they are a plant that I love to grow!
Day 17: What tech are you most grateful for?
I don’t know if this can be considered tech or not, but my answer is the ability to video chat or live stream with others, like on zoom, skype, twitch, and so on.
I am 42, and had a childhood free from computers, social media, and tech in general… so obviously that is all pretty amazing to me, but being able to live across the country, or world, and be able to see each other daily… is brilliant!
I also have been able to teach children from around the world, from my own home… and my own children are able to take lessons from others, globally!
Day 16: What movie are you most grateful for?
This is difficult, how many amazing movies are there… and depending on the time in your life or even how you are feeling on any given day… a movie can go from favorite to not, easily. I had a long list… Wizard of Oz… because I used to watch it with my grandmother at Thanksgiving. Talladega nights… because every time I watch it I laugh so hard it makes me cry. Up… because it makes me feel so much love… and those are just a few of the runner ups.
If I had to chose a movie that I am very grateful for, I would have to say it would be… Groundhog Day. So many people don’t get this movie but it is a movie about redemption and becoming the very best version of yourself… of course with tons of humor along the way. Every time I see it… I laugh and feel… and wish I could find myself in this magical, perpetual day, where I do nothing but emerge a better person. It makes me want to be better.
My family and I watch it every year, obviously around Groundhog Day. We make groundhog grub and have a family night… making the movie just that much more amazing!
Day 15: Who in your life are you most grateful for?
This person to me is my husband. Many will say a sister or a father… or even a friend… but for me… my husband is the someone I am most grateful for. I am thankful for how he’s there for me, I am grateful that I never have to prove myself to him, I love how I feel with him, and I am so grateful for the little ways he shows his love.
There are many people I am grateful for… for many reasons, but I am most grateful for my husband because I don’t ever doubt who I am with him and know that I can always be myself… and that he will be there with me through everything… always!
Day 14: What holiday are you most grateful for?
I choose Christmas and many will. My reason is simple… at Christmas time, people try harder, they care more, they give more, they are less angry, they love more… and it simply makes the world an amazing place for a few short weeks.
No, the world isn’t perfect at Christmas time and there are other times when people are this way, but if people lived like it was Christmas all year, the world would be a much better place to live. Christmas is a time and a holiday… that I am most grateful for.
Day 13: What song are you most grateful for?
There are many amazing songs, beautiful ones, songs that get you pumped, songs that really get the feels going, but for me… the song I am most grateful for is… You Are My Sunshine!
My great grandmother lived with me when I was little, and she used to spend hours holding me, loving me, and singing this song to me. I used to have a recording of us signing together, and the story of that is a sad one, because now it is gone… but there are times when I close my eyes and just am still… I can hear her singing it to me. That I am grateful for!
Day 12: What about your town are you most grateful?
I could easily say nothing… and kinda mean it. I live in a town that thinks in a very antiquated way, and those in charge seemingly go out of their way to do things to chase away industry and young families… and honestly, I could go on, but this is supposed to be what I am GRATEFUL for… and so if I had to pick something, I would say I am very grateful for our county’s courthouse. Once a college, turned courthouse, it is a gem in the community… and I couldn’t see the town without it!
Day 11: What memory are you most grateful for?
Good grief, this was hard. My life has been unusual and memories, especially from when I was a child, are filed away in a box that says “stay out”. There are many memories I love and am grateful for, but this one feels important.
So, this is my grandma… I was raised with her living in the home and she was like a mother to me. This picture was taken at a pumpkin patch waiting for a hayride that I really wanted to go on. My mother and aunt were there as well. This memory sticks out because my mother and aunt didn’t particularly like each other, and it showed. My mother had recently just abandoned me to move across the country, and my grandmother was only there because I wanted to go… however… the hayride ended up being a blast.
We all talked, threw hay around, and laughed… a lot. This was the last fall I had with my grandma before she died, and my mom sent me to be a ward of the state… but that day was amazing.
This picture is tiny, like 4×4 square and it’s really the only picture I have in my home of any of my family… other than my kids and hubby. I don’t look at it often, I simply know it’s there. I am grateful for that memory, even though my life drastically changed soon after, it is something I can cherish.
Day 10: What talent are you most grateful for?
This was another hard one for me and why it took so long to do… I couldn’t think of anything. Why are we so self-critical? Anyway, after some thought… all day… I realized I am most grateful for my ability to relate with children.
I’ve always been good with kids, and yes, they can get on my nerves, but I have always seen children as just small people, with feelings, thoughts, and ideas, and this has always given me the ability to talk and relate to children of all ages.
This “talent” has allowed my kids to comfortably talk to me about subjects others find hard to talk about… and has given me an amazing career… teaching! I would never have thought a decade ago that I would homeschool my children AND teach other children virtually… but here we are, and I LOVE it!
(This is me in my “classroom”)
Day 9: What about your partner are you most grateful for?
We’ve been married for 14 years and we’ve been through a lot… moving, miscarriages, becoming parents, job changes, illnesses… just to name a few, but the one thing I’m most grateful for today… is my husband’s loyalty to me.
He’s loyal in his love, he’s loyal in respecting me and my decisions, and he’s loyal in his ability to take care of his family. There are other things I love about him, but that is what I’m most grateful for…
Day 8: What sound are you most grateful for?
This took a minute and I asked my hubby what he thought… he said “song birds”, but after some thought I realized my favorite sound is simple, genuine laughter… and especially that of my kiddos!
My kids laugh a lot, but I thought of this day. I had just made some treats and they were on the couch telling jokes to each other. I could hear the laughter and giggles from the other room and I just happened to catch this moment. The sweet sound of genuine laughter is precious!
Day 7: What season are you most grateful for?
I am very grateful for changing seasons but I am probably most grateful for fall. While I love all the seasons, fall is a time I slow down a bit. I tend to relax more, my teaching schedule slows down, and I do more of what I love… like baking, crafting, and snuggling. I also love the beauty of fall, the colors are simply fantastic, and make a lovely backdrop to life!
Day 6: What part of your body are you most grateful for?
Hard one! I’m thankful for my brain, my eyes, my heart… I mean none of it really works without the other, but I realized how grateful I should be for the ability to have been able to carry children. A woman’s body is amazing and nothing about it should be trivialized. I don’t have many pictures of me while pregnant, this one is on our mantle though as a reminder of how amazing this time in my life was!
Day 5: What about your house are you most grateful?
Below is my house, this was taken right after the new roof this year. You can see the dormer isn’t painted blue, in fact the back of my house isn’t painted yet either. Actually there’s lots of projects undone here. Thinking about this place, however, I’m just thankful for it in general.
There’s the aspect of being grateful for a roof over your head, which of course I am, but also… as someone that grew up as a ward of the state, moving over 70 times in 4 years, having a place of my own is amazing. I am grateful that this is mine, done or not, that I can hang pictures and paint walls and feel comfortable with my family!
Day 4: What book are you most grateful for?
This may seem odd, but it is the Harry Potter series. It isn’t just because of the books themselves, because originally I wasn’t a fan, but recently as a family we have started reading the books. It is an amazing thing to sit and read together and I am so grateful for that time… we even plan a yearly event around the movies and food! I have also become a big fan!!
Day 3: What food or flavor are you most grateful?
There are so many amazing flavors and foods in this world, but I LOVE maple! There is something so warm, comforting, and yummy about it. I gravitate toward maple… maple pie, maple muffins, maple frosting, maple infusions, even these maple cookies, that I first had in Canada. We’ve even tapped our own maple trees and made our own homemade syrup before… that was nuts, but fun! Maple makes me smile!
Day 2: What in nature are you most grateful for?
I am most grateful for change. Growing up in Florida, the weather can be amazing. Living now in the Midwest, the weather can be rough, but the change of seasons and the awesomeness they all bring… are my favorite!
I love the colors of fall, the coziness of winter, the smell of spring, and the warmth of summer. Each has a story and I am so thankful to experience them… how else would I get such an amazing picture of my kiddos… even though it’s like from 11 years ago… it’s a favorite!
Day 1: What smell are you grateful for today?
This was a hard one for me, coffee came to mind first… but, I am most thankful for the smell of homemade bread. I often make bread at home, and while it is a small thing, I was never taught how to cook or bake, in fact for a long time, I didn’t have the confidence to try to do those type of things, but I love the smell of house while baking bread, and I am so thankful I learned how to bake it!