For This I Am Grateful No. 3

September 5, 2017

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

Photo Credit – Instagram – @madeleinelumley

(This post may contain affiliate links)

May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty-handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance….I hope you dance”     ~ Lee Ann Womack | “I Hope You Dance”

— — —

I had an elderly neighbor once, who got up before the sun every day

Some mornings when I was up with one of the kids, I'd see her sitting near the window of her kitchen, a cup of coffee in her hand, her open bible on the table.  Her hand holding her chin as she watched the sun come up

“I don't know how many sunrises I've got left,” she'd say, “And I don't want to miss a single one.”

I've been thinking a lot about her lately because I've been feeling much the same way.

I've always loved taking walks in the evenings.  Swapping her love of the sun rising, for mine of the sun setting.  One might think, after all of these years, that I'd take this time of the day for granted.  In fact, the opposite is true, because no two sunsets are ever alike

Of course, I could lose myself in a million other things that are demanding my attention.  The headlines of the day, a social media news feed, mountains of work, tidying up around the house.  After all, the day will end whether I'm bearing witness to it or not

But still, as many evenings as I'm able, I'm out on my favorite walking path taking note of the changing light.

It truly only lasts a moment or two, and I let it be devoted to simply pausing, seeing, and being.  The sun setting on another day of being here, another day of striving to do a better job as a person than I did yesterday.  Another chance at gracefully executing this precious, fleeting, endlessly surprise challenge of being alive

The sunset truly lasts only a moment or two.  I allow it to be devoted to simply pausing, seeing, and being.  The sun setting on another day of life, another day of striving to do a little better than I did yesterday.  Another chance at gracefully executing this precious, fleeting, endlessly surprise challenge of being alive

Photo Credit – Instagram – @dailyharvest

My #ForThisIAmGrateful list has long this week.  A few other excerpts

An open table next to the outlet at the coffee shop

Alphabet puzzles for little and big people alike

Knowing that You'll Never Be Famous and That's OK

Food you never eat, except in small-town cafes

Recipe sharers

Routines for soothing the soul

Photo Credit – Instagram – @emilyblincoe

Teaching your puppies how to swim

Buying old cookbooks and finding handwritten notes in them

Jazz in the kitchen

The salad that lives in the sweet spot between kitchen laziness and sincere artistic expression (ps: the more croutons, the better)

Havarti dill on your burger

Helping those in need

Remembering: “After all, tomorrow is another day”  ~ Scarlett O'Hara


What are you grateful for this week?


ps:  For This, I Am Grateful No. 1 and No. 2

(Featured Image Photo Credit: Instagram – @bohemian.traders)

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  • Reply Josie September 2, 2017 at 5:19 am

    1. Deep conversations with best friends late at night around a camp fire
    2. Church and the way it continues to feel like coming home
    3. Writing because it allows me perspective
    Love your blog and love this post. Thanks Ali!

  • Reply Tim September 2, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I’m grateful for a million things, it seems. An intense random crush on a cute (and sexy!) guy, a bumper crop of tomatoes in the garden, feeling (sort-of) confident in a bikini for the first time EVER, hearing a favorite song in its entirety on the radio, and when things, and when my favorite online store has a sale …

  • Reply Mia September 2, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I’m grateful we’re able to afford the latest increase in rent, fruit smoothies, and the way my husband waits for me in the morning to say goodbye before heading off to work. He never seems to mind of my hair is still wet and my makeup is half done when he gives me a kiss. xx

  • Reply Louisa September 2, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    An incredible husband who’s also the best cook in the world. A giant Husky who’s a snuggle bug, and cheese (I’m always grateful for cheese). ps: Love your site Ali, you’re such a gem. xx

  • Reply Lilly September 3, 2017 at 2:17 am

    My mom and I were just talking about starting a gratitude jar at the little diner she owns. We’d ask everyone to put a little slip of paper in it with something they’re grateful for. We’d pick a few out at random and write them on the black board for the day.

  • Reply Laura September 3, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Have you ever read Sarah Ban Breathnatch’s book “Simple Abundance” (I know, the ‘90s). She suggested this as a daily practice: list five things you are grateful for at the end of each day. Admittedly, I haven’t done it in a long time, for for a long while I keep a journal which I gradually filled with lists: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Over and over again with my now-husband’s name at the top over every one! Fun to remember.

  • Reply Isabella September 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I’m so very grateful that my husband goes to work earlier in the morning because he’s able to be home by 5 pm to have dinner as a family and play with our daughter. After that it’s bath and bed for her, and we have the entire evening together! So many families aren’t able to have quality time together and we feel so fortunate

  • Reply Sheena September 3, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    I’m grateful for:
    1) My daughter’s sudden interest in attacking me with hugs (she’s three)
    2) My husband who doesn’t bat an eye when I just dissolve into tears for no real reason (this happened two nights ago, and he just went and got me a blanket)
    3) A great yoga class this morning

  • Reply Patty September 4, 2017 at 3:58 am

    Discovering an awesome (and easy) casserole recipe yesterday, pumpkin recipes, and powering through my first spin class last night (I can still walk today – woo hoo!)

  • Reply Jenny September 4, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I’m grateful for fall weather and my pretty sweaters. They always put me in a good mood. A kitchen counter full of tomatoes, and a warm shower. They seem more and more like a luxury with every child I have. x

  • Reply Lacey September 4, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I keep a gratitude journal but I must admit I don’t do it daily (why, oh why not?) Maybe your reminder will light a fire! A few things I’m grateful for today? My family, great books, and dark chocolate!

  • Reply Betsy September 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    My best friend posts almost daily on social media a list of five things she’s grateful for, without repeats. It really very cool, actually. When she first started, her list was pretty generic, but as she’s gone along, they’ve become far more tangible and specific. More than not, they make me laugh

  • Reply Angie September 4, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I’m grateful that my kids, husband, and I are in really good health. I’m so thankful that the sun finally came out this weekend, if even for a few hours. I’m grateful for the most wonderful friends in the whole wide world.

  • Reply Natalie September 4, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    How cute my finance looks as he sleeps with the covers pulled up under his chin. Oh, and cranberry kombucha, it’s like a gift from the heavens!

  • Reply Star Harford September 5, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Its true we never know how long we have left or what is in store for tomorrow. It is good to always try to make the best of every day.

  • Reply Zina September 5, 2017 at 3:33 am

    This is an amazing post!!! Simplicity is more than great to have in our days…happiness can be on simple things, like a walk in the sunset!

  • Reply Natalie September 5, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Your one in a melon- love it! Great little post to brighten up your day. Sometimes its nice to sit baxk and reflect about what your grateful for. Sometimes we forget about the little things and forget to even take a moment to appericate in our busy lives. Ive found a few books with notes in which jas made me smile. I live going for walks and taking photos of little things like a nice sunset or a baby duck swimming on its own for the first time or a family enjoying a bike ride.

  • Reply Melanie September 5, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I went to a small town cafe just yesterday. It was a wonderful little place, full of deli sandwiches, chatter, and the clink of dishes. Those places are definitely for the “grateful” list as they are a place to slow down and appreciation life.

  • Reply Neha kulshrestha September 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Such a great post. Sometimes we forget to be grateful of small and beautiful things around us while dreaming for big materialistic things..
    Just love watching the rainfall, magical sunrise, new vegetable growing in my pots…and mostly when my kids get excited watching these natures marvels..

  • Reply Joanna September 5, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    What a great post. I’m grateful for so many things at the moment.But mainly I’m grateful that I read this post, because I could be grateful for many more things, things that are simple in life.

  • Reply Heather September 5, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    oh so cute, real and honest…

    My husband and I like to ask each other “What makes you grateful for having me as your husband/wife today?” (and the rule is it has to be something specific) Yesterday I told him “I’m grateful you’re my husband today because you woke up early to take the dog out and it saved me from having to go out in the rain” His was “I’m grateful you’re my wife today because you truly care that my arms and shoulders are sore”

  • Reply Odette September 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I am grateful for my health this week. So many people I know are falling ill, or getting health complications and I am fairly healthy.

  • Reply Joline September 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Oh I love that song. And reading it laid out like that, thanks it made my day 🙂 So I’m grateful for that! And for sharing laughs with friends over the weekend. And for a relatively traffic-free drive to and from work today. It’s the little things!

  • Reply Alicia Trautwein September 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Getting back to some simplicity really makes you feel more grounded. I also loving buying old cookbooks and finding handwritten notes in them 🙂

  • Reply Censie Sawyer September 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    This is a post full of reminders. One of my good friends was shot and killed 2 months ago, he was my age, has a son who is 5 and a beautiful wife. Once that happened, it really made me start thinking about life in a new light. Tomorrow may never come. Say I love you, laugh, forgive and love. We have so much to be thankful for!

  • Reply Ana September 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    The sunset analogy really made me look at life a different way. We should not take our lives for granted and finding something to be grateful about can really help us gain perspective. We may never see another tomorrow so we have to focus on the present x

  • Reply Laura September 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Ahh I love this, gratitude is such an important quality. I sometimes focus on the negatives and forget to be grateful, this is a great reminder.

  • Reply Monica September 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    That poem is so great. it brought tears to my eyes. I have been dealing with some things lately and I needed to be reminded of fighting for what I want and remember that I am worthy and one of a melon. Thanks for the inspiration.
    I also love the ice letters. So creative.

  • Reply Heather September 5, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    I think it’s so neat that your neighbor sits there with her bible greeting each day. What A lady. I’m with you though, i truly enjoy a sunset and reflecting on my day as long as I’m. It stressing about it,

  • Reply Yukti September 5, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Beautifully written, specially the You’re one in a melon. Being grateful to simple things like enjoying a sunset, going for long walks, enjoy the silence are the things I would be grateful. Jazz in the kitchen is the most cool thing to do and being grateful for that also.

  • Reply Steph September 6, 2017 at 2:36 am

    I’m grateful for vacation planning, a new theme for my blog, and fresh bread (ps: I’m living in France for a year, so I have to eat as much as I can .. no?) Oh, and eclairs. I’m obsessed. I had no idea the good ones tasted so amazing! x

  • Reply Louisa M September 6, 2017 at 4:39 am

    This year we started the coolest ritual. Before we start eating dinner, we ask the kids to tell us something they’re grateful for from their day. I wasn’t raised in a religious family, but in a way, it feels a lot like saying grace. It’s important for us to be appreciative of the life we have, and this has become a wonderful practice. (ps: It’s started some pretty investing and fun dinner conversations too!)

  • Reply Joanna September 6, 2017 at 5:41 am

    The sunset might last one for a few minutes but its colors stay in the sky for hours, before and after. I remember sitting on this concrete fence, in Granada, watching the sunset, in two different days. Even if the sky was clear, in each of the days the sunset was different, the sky was filled with different colors and the patterns were distinct.

  • Reply Melissa Dixon September 6, 2017 at 8:33 am

    I really have everything I have ever wanted but that is the thing about human nature, we tend to always want more. I am grateful for everything I have and everyone in my life because they and it is everything I have wanted but it is easily forgotten. Whenever I stop to think about it I am amazed by what I have and humbled by where I came from, I enjoy a time like this that reminds me to reflect and be grateful. Thank you for that.

  • Reply Lisa Lisa September 6, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Great post as always! I’m so grateful for what I have and my family, sometimes I look back and cry , because life has been so good to me and my family. The walks in the evening and sucking up the sun and beautiful air is something I have enjoyed also, I love the ice creation! We must learn to appreciate every moment!

  • Reply Aditi September 6, 2017 at 9:46 am

    I always love reading you IamGrateful posts, they give so much insight and perspective to life. The sunrise and sunset approaches have really intrigued me, I guess we should all be grateful for the moment we get to live in and live it to the fullest.

  • Reply Juli September 6, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I love the topic of this post. Gratitude is so under rated and yet super important! This post is totally a reminder for me to get back on track with my gratitude practice! Thank you!

  • Reply Megan September 6, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I started a gratitude journal at the beginning of the year and it’s become my favorite ritual for starting the day. The first thing I do in the morning, while sipping my green tea almond milk latte, is write a few lines in my journal about what I’m grateful for and set an intention for the day.

  • Reply Bethany Stout September 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    What a great post, amazing shares. I am thankful for being healthier and making good choices. It’s so important to reflect on what you are thankful for it keeps us humble.

  • Reply Catalina September 6, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    ” You are one in melon” – I love this !! It`s a sweet reminder to never doubt you are unique. Have a great week honey ! ♥

  • Reply Calleigh Keibler September 6, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for the inspirational post, Alsion. Reading your post leads me to start a gratitude journal for myself. There are days I don’t feel motivated particularly when my best-laid plans go out of the window even before the day has begun. But then, I became more aware of my surroundings when I started to pay attention. I remembered to be grateful when I caught myself of a complaint.

  • Reply Genevieve September 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I’m soooo grateful for my first grown-up job, great parents, my sweet boyfriend. Oh, and pumpkin spice lattes!

  • Reply Calleigh September 7, 2017 at 3:51 am

    This post inspires me to keep a gratitude journal. An end- of-the-day journal, where I should write the things I am grateful for the day that has passed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Reply Nancy September 7, 2017 at 5:19 am

    I’m very grateful today for vacation days from work, lunch dates with my sister, pretty wild flowers (on sale at the co-op) and for my sweet and adorable husband

  • Reply Kelly September 7, 2017 at 5:29 am

    I’m grateful for a happy home, a husband who loves to do dishes, and our good health

  • Reply Aileen September 7, 2017 at 7:39 am

    It always gives me joy to read your ‘grateful posts’! It always reminds me to be thankful for the things in my life — even the little things! Because often times, even the littlest things give the biggest bundle of joy 😀

  • Reply Farrah Less G. September 7, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Very inspiring great read esp. in times that you are feeling down and discouraged. God is great and I am forever be grateful with his grace. When were in doubt or in pain we all have to remember the blessings we just receive rather than the struggles we are in.

  • Reply Ellie September 7, 2017 at 8:58 am

    that quote your neighbour gave about not wanting to miss a single sunrise is so beautiful and so poignant too. We never know how long we have so we have to make every day as good as we can and enjoy each day as much as possible and not focus on the little negatives.

  • Reply GiGi September 7, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I am always so grateful for so many things every day and every week. First and foremost I am grateful that I have my health and my limbs. I am also insanely grateful for my husband who deals with my “womanly mood swings” and my “bat shit crazy” LOL! I am thankful for my parents and siblings and the roof over my head and salmon… GAH! I could write a novel about all that I am grateful for. Seriously.

  • Reply Sherri September 7, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Your site! Simon Estes playing in the kitchen while I’m cooking and having a glass of wine. An afternoon at the beach with our dogs off leash. Pottery class with my mom. Late night phone calls with a friend.

  • Reply Elena September 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Lately I am trying to do things that I enjoy the most. I do not know why I have the feeling that life is short, I am in my thirties, but it is. It is a shame that at the same time there are so many obstructions that do not leave us to do the things that we want to do.

  • Reply Jennifer L September 7, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I actually have a neighbor who also wakes up each morning and sits on his porch with a cup of coffee just reading his paper and looking at people go by. It reminds me to take eveything in…to not just be on the go but to enjoy every second as much as possible.

  • Reply Odette September 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    I enjoyed your recollection of your neighbor. sometimes it is good to sit back and enjoy life. I also used to enjoy evening walks (I haven’t had one for a while) but I completed them for fitness reasons not to admire the sunset.
    I’m grateful for my health, quiet a few people I know have fallen ill and it makes me more appreciative of my good health.

  • Reply Olivia September 8, 2017 at 3:53 am

    I’m grateful that my hubby is coming home after a week away in Denver. Finally, I’ll get a good night’s sleep! (I hate it when he’s gone) While he was away, I was reminded of how affectionate and sweet our dog is.

  • Reply Carol September 8, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Love this series, Ali! You always make me smile. I’m grateful Fall is coming, that I made it into grad school, and for good health.

  • Reply Ava September 8, 2017 at 10:24 am

    What a fun post! Here are mine: A cardinal family outside my office window, coffee with half and half, my mom coming home from the hospital tomorrow.

  • Reply Chichi Uguru September 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    The fresh eggs my neighbor left on our front porch and I scrambled for breakfast. Football weather and my husband’s sweatshirts, and my son’s never-ending sense of wonder (and energy!) He’s two.
    (ps: That was a great break. I feel better now. Must repeat. Love your site, Ali)

  • Reply Lisa September 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    I’m grateful for my incredible family. Every day (also for pasta with butter and cheese)

  • Reply Claire Santiago September 8, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    I am grateful for every sunrise and sunset that come my way. They are the proof of God’s love for humanity. I won’t ask for more, for as long as I have my family beside me as I journey the world of uncertainty, that is more than a blessing.

  • Reply Annie September 8, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I’m pinching myself for the lovey-dovey honeymoon phase my new hubby and I find ourselves in, a jade plant gifted from a neighbor, my bff who called last night to tell me she’s pregnant (with twins!)

  • Reply Debbie September 8, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Chocolate chip orange muffins (a gift from a neighbor), two more sleeps until a mini vacation with my hubby, and sleeping in on a Sunday morning!

  • Reply Luna September 9, 2017 at 2:47 am

    My boyfriend’s attempt at a beard. It’s in the awkward growing out stages but if he sticks to it, I think it’ll look awesome! And the sunny weather Texas has had all week. I love walking outside on my lunch break and feeling the sunshine on my face 🙂

  • Reply Christine September 9, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Today I’m most grateful for a hard working husband who loves his family, tums when pregnancy heartburn kicks in, and long toddler naps. x

  • Reply Abby September 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Rain for our parched yard, upcoming lunch with girl friends, a pot of strawberry jam simmering on the stovetop

  • Reply Abigail September 9, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Ali, this is truly the best! I’m the luckiest mom in the world with a eight-month old who fills me with wonder every day. (Me? I made an amazing human being?!) I’m also grateful for my husband who is the best provider and it lets me stay home with my little one. Oh, and warm, sunny September days. Those are pretty great too. x

  • Reply Anita September 9, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    I’m grateful for sushi and the smell in the air on the first warm day after a bunch of cold ones

  • Reply David Elliott October 26, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    There are so many things to be grateful for absolutely. You know that I love this list of things to be grateful for. I do love jazz, but I am not sure that I would make it my music in the kitchen. I love my classical while I am cleaning. I am definitely thankful for that table with a plug in the coffee shop. That’s so important.

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