Not Your Ordinary Gratitude Post

Now that Halloween has come and gone, we can all start to get in the spirit of giving. I love this time of year. There are so many things I look forward to when the leaves change from green to the bright colors of orange, yellow and red, when the wind shifts ever so dramatically out of the North and the mornings are chilly enough for a jacket. Here are a list of a few things I enjoy during the fall.

  1. Pumpkin spice donuts and coffees. Heck, pumpkin spice anything.
  2. Sweatshirts.
  3. McDonalds brings back the McRib. (No judging.)
  4. Football.
  5. Daylight Savings Time. (It’s dark by 6 p.m. and I am ready for bed by 6:30 p.m.)
  6. Wearing boots.

Some are thankful for family and friends. Many are thankful for God.

This season is the sign the year is coming to an end, you realize you didn’t accomplish any of your New Year’s Resolutions and old man winter is going to be rearing his ugly head. Well, that’s what I think anyway. I am not hating on Fall, actually, it is my favorite time of year. There is an excitement in air which I have always enjoyed. It also makes me remember all I am thankful for. Tonight as I was Facebook stalking people, I noticed many posting the 30 Days of Thankfulness. I do like reading what my friends are most thankful for. Some are thankful for family and friends. Many are thankful for God. Personally, I am thankful for the McRib. Did I mention it is back?

It’s only when I dig out my Broncos hoodie and hang the Fall wreath on my door that I begin to feel appreciation and gratefulness.

In the past I have participated in posting on social media something I am thankful for each day during the month of November. I think it is a great way to appreciate others and the gifts God has given, but I couldn’t help but start to kick myself for not being more thankful through the year. I started thinking why do I not show thanks and feel thankful each and every day? I have blessings given to me all the time. I am given opportunities to show gratitude to others when I walk out my front door. But do I? Nope. It’s only when I dig out my Broncos hoodie and hang the Fall wreath on my door that I begin to feel appreciation and gratefulness. And for me, I think that is a damn shame.

I started digging around on the internet to see if I could find any statics of what Americans are most grateful for. I found a list of nine things we, as Americans, are grateful for from a 2013 survey conducted by International Business Times. Here is what they discovered. Cue drumroll.

  1. Health.
  2. Family relationships.
  3. Technology makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends.
  4. Good technology is easily accessible.
  5. Personal economic situation.
  6. Personal work situation.
  7. It is safe to walk in the streets.
  8. The way people treat one another.
  9. The economic situation in the US.

Everyone’s list is different and is never complete.

These are all things we should be thankful for, I guess? Everyone’s list is different and is never complete. When I read that list, I tried to relate my blessings to each one of the nine answers. I could think of something for each of them, but I think my list would go like this.

  1. God.
  2. Family.
  3. Laughter.
  4. Health.
  5. Freedom.
  6. Job.
  7. Shelter.
  8. Happiness.
  9. McRibs. (Ok, ok. I’ll stop.)

One thing to be thankful for is having underwear.

The point I am trying to make is I wish I kept the attitude of gratitude with me every single day, in every season, 365 days a year. But just being real here, I don’t. There are days, even weeks, I feel I have nothing to appreciate. I walk around playing the victim card, thinking my life sucks. How messed up is that? In reality, it’s not. We live in a world where we struggle to make ends meet, rush around to get things done and barely have enough time left to make sure we change our underwear. One thing to be thankful for is having underwear.

As the month of November kicks off, embrace the season of giving. Let the spirit of appreciation feel you full until its spills out of your eyeballs. However, don’t let it dry out on January 1. Try to keep your blessings in the front of your mind all year long. Even on the days you think you have nothing to be thankful for. For me, it will be a challenge that is for sure. Here are some ideas to help motivate you to see the goodness in every day. Side note, apparently I am on a “list” kick at the moment.

  1. Showers.
  2. Having exact change.
  3. Colors.
  4. Pillows.
  5. Salt.
  6. Air conditioning.
  7. Good hair days.
  8. Music.
  9. Hitting every green light when you are running late.
  10. Toilet paper.

Remember there is a difference between being thankful for things and being a thankful person. When we start to realize the blessings in our daily routine, the happier we become. I think Oprah said it best, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.”

I would love to hear what you are thankful for. Leave a comment and let me know. It would totally make my day!

Happy Fall Y’all

Writing this post, I am sitting with my warm cup of coffee (with the best creamer on the planet ~ pumpkin spice), the windows opened and a soft, comfy sweatshirt. The house is peaceful and still. Not even the cats are awake. It is the beginning of Fall and I absolutely love it!

There is something wonderful when you get to open the house up and air out the stuffiness from the hot summer days. It’s almost the perfect weather for chili and of course football season. In the Baron household, we take football seriously. We put on our Broncos gear, whip up some finger foods and just veg out watching all the games. Logan usually puts on his Peyton Manning jersey, football helmet and runs playings right in front of the television. Even Madison and Mallorie hang out for a quarter or two, while inhaling little smokies and cheese dip. It’s one of the few opportunities we get to hang out as a family. It’s even better when the older kids come over as well. Everyone all together, it’s one of my favorite things.

Then you have the trash talk. Living in Kansas and being a Bronco fan is the prefect storm for talking smack. Of course, it’s only fun if you win, but the joy of texting and chatting with family, friends and co-workers about your favorite teams brings me happiness. It’s simply my favorite time of year.

Fall also means everything pumpkin. From pumpkin spice candles, decorations, coffee, muffins, donuts, pie, cookies and my favorite, pumpkin spice Hersey’s kisses (which currently are in every candy dish of my house), my love for this time of year is running ramped in our home. I am thankful my husband humors my love for the pumpkin and puts up with the aroma of burning candles and spiced scented Glade plug ins.

Next, is the ever hard-making decision of “What to be for Halloween?” I usually start asking Logan in August what he wants to be. He always comes back with the same response, “It’s only August. Why are you asking me that?” Then my answer is always, “Because if you want to get a good costume, we need to get it early.” He usually changes his mind 50 times before deciding around October 23rd. LOL, so funny. And since Logan is not a fan of chocolate, guess who reaps the rewards of a hard night of trick-or-treating? You got it, this girl.

This time of year, for me, reflects routine. I am a big fan of routine and planning out of the day. Summer is full of crazy schedules, messy house, cereal and popcorn for dinner, millions of text messages from your kids while at work, bed times way past midnight, lack of hygiene (Logan, when was the last time you had a bath?), junk food overload and way too many piles of laundry. Don’t misunderstand, I love the activities summer brings, but I think I feel more in control and organized when school is back in session. P.S. ~ teachers are a blessing.

At lastly, Fall brings back our favorite T.V. series. The anticipation of sitting down and catching up with the storyline and characters from the show you love.  Ain’t gonna lie, Rob and I are huge Big Bang Theory fans. And it has been killing me all summer to find out if Penny and Leonard are finally going to get married.  Oh, and did I mention football?

I hope you can see the beauty in this cool, crisp time of year. And have a few moments to enjoy the changing leaves on the trees and soon-to-come, slightly dusted frost in the mornings. The days where the mornings you need a jacket, but by afternoon short sleeves are perfect. What a perfect time. Here is to a happy Fall, y’all! Go Broncos!