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On gratitude

I’ve had some personal challenges over the last few weeks (a car in the shop more than it is out of the shop, and hitting a wall with the long and expensive process of what it takes to become a fire fighter), and I was having a mini pity party recently (the tray-passed appetizers were divine though).  A coworker of mine calls these moments “righteous fury”, and I was having a grand time working myself up in to a bitchy lather.

And then I took a deep breath.  And another one.  And then another one after that (that is how breathing works after all).  And then things cleared and my head was set on straight.  My heart is very full today.  As a matter of fact, it has been full for quite some time.  Life is not perfect.  Thank god for that.  Perfection is boring.  Perfection is a Pottery Barn catalog – sterile and safe.  I prefer a Goodwill kind of life – a hodge podge of colors, memories, and experiences that define who we are right now.

I started this blog as a way to share ideas on how to lead a good life on a small budget.  It’s evolved and grown in the 20 months I’ve been writing it.  In the last six weeks, it has grown in ways I could never have conceived (thank you Pintrest!).

Almost daily I get the kindest emails from readers telling me that a story or recipe or tip has resonated with them.  You must understand – this is crack to a blogger.  We feed on knowing that strangers in the ether have connected with what we’ve written or thought.  And might I cheekily add, it tickles me to no end when someone sends me an email saying my cursing makes them laugh.  My mother hates you for encouraging my potty mouth, but fuck it, I love a good swear word!

Within the last few months, Jack has started participating in prayers before dinner.  He is able to say them, and we’ve even let him add his own note at the end for someone/something he’d like to say a special prayer for.  Some days it is for a friend or family member.  Other days it is saying thanks for an object like a toy or a book.  Some times it is pure silliness like “I want to prayer for poop”.  As someone who birthed a child with a 99th percentile head, I myself have prayer for that.

Jack also says a prayer for “Poppy to get a fire fighting job” and I always mutter an “amen” after that.  Believing that God bends an ear to listen carefully to a child’s prayers (my friend Mary says he hears children’s prayers first because they’re closest to his heart), I’ve asked Jack to start praying for something for me too.  All too often as parents we tuck our hopes and dreams away in a closet to be unpacked once a child is grown.

Upon my request, Jack has started to pray that eventually I can make this here blog a full time job so that I can stay at home.  Honestly I’m not 100% convinced I have the disposition to be a stay at home mom, but dammit if I don’t want the opportunity to find that out!

In a child’s mind, words get twisted and turned around, so Jack’s nightly prayer has morphed to ask that I become a “safe blogger”.  My current lack of blogging goggles and air bags is positively frightening indeed!

Who knows if this will ever become something that can be a replacement income, but from the bottom of my heart I thank you for reading, commenting, and emailing.  It gives me a wee dash of hope each day that people keep coming back for more silly family stories, recipes, money-saving tips, and fart jokes.  Always the fart jokes.

We all need a little silliness in our world.  Life is long and hard.

That’s what she said.

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24 comments on “On gratitude”

  1. “I prefer a Goodwill kind of life – a hodge podge of colors, memories, and experiences that define who we are right now.”

    That about sums it up for me! I’m here from pinterest and I too enjoy your no-nonsense style. Never commented on a “strangers” blog before but that sentence above just made me smile. Keep your head up and never pass up the opportunity for a curse word or an Office reference and you will have everything your heart desires.

  2. LOVE this post!! I know your blog will make it!! Keep doing it! Love ya!

  3. Wonderful post (except on your mom’s side for the one part). I’d like to see if you could make it as a SAHM, too! Although cash-paying jobs usually get more positive feedback than a SAHM’s job gets, in the end our family has found it’s been a blessing to have me home. I prefer a “Goodwill” kind of life, too!

  4. Hang in there kid. Thank the lord you and Amy got your mom’s strength.
    Now, as to where in the hell you two got your outhouse mouths, I haven’t got a clue.

    Love Dad

  5. Adorable post. And you’re right; a child’s prayer can be an amazing thing. I was going to suggest what Allyb mentioned; Etsy is a great way to test the waters, and I’m pretty sure you’d do great! Hope you get the opportunity.

  6. Your child is 2+? You have so few years left to stay home with him before he goes to school. Is there any way at all you can stay at home in the next six months? There is nothing I cherish more than staying at home all the time with my three. It is wonderful. Now, I did go to school, work parttime retail during holidays, and sew for people, so I was not “just” a mother. None of us are.

    Have you ever thought about keeping another child in your home to pad your income? You can supply outings on weekends for parents who want their child to go places but cannot take them. That way, you can add a bit of income. Or, pick up older children to shuttle them to dance lessons, ball practice, home,etc. You would be sort of like an after-school nanny and they would never come to your home.

    Have you seen the sites that tell you how to monetize your blog and use keywords? I can supply that if you like because, after all, we want you to be a safe blogger.

    • Believe me when I say I’ve thought about everything. The fact of the matter is that I make 75% of our income and all of the insurance. Troy doesn’t have the opportunity for insurance at his employer. Until Troy gets a fire fighting job, it would be irresponsible (health-wise) for me to stay at home.

    • Oh, and I make a little bit of money on this blog when people click on the ads towards the top of the page. It’s definitely not enough to replace any income, especially income that provides health insurance!

  7. I am struggling with the desire to stay at home too. I have been looking for a blog that looked more like my life instead of making me want to be a full time SAHM, since that’s probably not in the cards right now. Thanks for sharing your world with us. I look forward to getting to know you better…in a totally non-stalkerish kind of way…of course. I also love that you get potty humor like only the mom of a boy can.

  8. Love it! I know what you mean. I was having one of those moments this morning where I hated life because my son was up but 10 minutes and we were already out the door and on the way to the sitter…the sitter with whom he spends more time with than his mother because his mother has to sit at a desk all day and gouge her eyeballs out with pencils.

    • Oh Allison, I totally know how you feel. I’d love to give you a hug because I know how badly those days suck.

      Make sure the pencils are sharp – I’ve found that dull ones hurt more.

  9. I sure hope you can get a full time job “safe blogging” too! That would be AWESOME! I’m sure Jack would love to have his momma there everyday to hang out and spend time with while tasting even more yummy new recipes! Have you tried a homemade business?? Lots of people liked your lotion bar. And rich ladies do LOVE soap and bath scrubs. 😉 Maybe you could start a little store on Etsy or something and see how it does….Just a thought.

    Keeping you in my prayers as well! Have a good day.

    • I hadn’t considered Etsy because basically I tell people how to make stuff and it seems weird to charge people for stuff. It’s definitely an avenue I’ll look at exploring though!

      Thank you for your prayers.

    • oh, believe me…People would buy your stuff!!!! You can also make a FB page, and link your stuff for sale to pinterest! But, if you don’t wanna have to worry about making something other than dinner on those real late work nights then I would just stick to snuggling with your little one. He is a Cutie!

  10. your blog is my new favorite & I wish you all the luck in the world. You are real, funny, creative and your recipes are delicious. I love that you are living a simple, sustainable life and not preaching about it or sugar coating every aspect. It is refreshing to read a blog that makes me laugh & gives me great ideas all at once. (And to have found someone who agrees with me about the scent of tea tree oil 🙂