Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt {Part One}

It just never fails. Each and every year the holidays come and go by so darn quickly. After they do, some random afternoon in early January, I find myself finally sitting down, letting out a big sigh of intermingled relief and regret, feeling stunned, and wondering how on earth I let another holiday season go by in such a flurry of chaos and chores. 

It doesn't seem to matter that each October I vow that "this will be the year!", the year I will wring every last ounce of meaning out of the holiday season. And predictably this October was no different. Once again, I found myself vowing "This--THIS! will be the year!".

Of course I mean it more this year than I've ever meant before. This year I'm going to do less shopping. Less stress. Less procedure and protocol. Less guilt. Less "To Do"s. More time. More quality. More actions. More service. More family. More love. This year I'm going to make the time to enjoy the holiday. This year I'm going to do my best to reveal the true meaning of the season to my children.

And it starts today!

Many thanks to Sarah at Sarah Dawn Designs for helping me to do that. The kids and I have had a lot of fun preparing to post and link up to her Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt. And while my 6 year, 5 year, 3 year, and 10 month olds weren't exactly catching on to the idea of finding specific things on the checklist that we are grateful for, this little scavenger hunt opened up the conversation in our family on gratitude and looking for the things in our life that we are thankful for.

I think we might be off to a pretty good start this year.

Over the next 3 days of posts here are pictures of 30 things that I'm grateful for...

1. Something I'm grateful for in color.
Family. We're a pretty colorful bunch.

2. Something I'm grateful for in nature.
Mountains. "What are men to rocks and mountains?" ~Jane Austen
There is something about mountains that connects to something deep inside of me. They stir me up. They set me soaring. They just make me downright happy. This year in particular I am grateful to live in a home where I can open my window blinds and see incredible mountain ranges in every direction. I imagine my window views have had a little something to do with what a good and happy year 2011 has been.

3. Something I'm grateful for in the city.
And they only live a half hour drive away! This is stretching the term "in the city", but after living so far from our family we're very grateful for a teensy tinsy half hour drive to spend time with our loved ones.

4. Something I'm grateful for at the park.
Green grass.
I never realized how much I took grass for granted until we lived in ugly brown Arizona where there was none. Well, there was some, but it was so prickly and ant infested that you couldn't sit on it without being assaulted. I'm grateful for a backyard and parks with lovely green grass that my children can run and play happily on. I'm grateful for summer evenings spent comfortably sitting on grass.

5. Something I'm grateful for that is soft.
Baby cheeks.
How grateful I am for the gift of motherhood. These precious moments spent nuzzling soft baby cheeks are ones I imagine I will remember long after those cheeks won't let me nuzzle them anymore.

6. Something I'm grateful for that is hard.
I'm getting a little abstract with this one, but I am grateful for running. It is hard, really hard especially as a mom of four little ones. But it has brought me a lot of joy. I've lost 60 pounds this year partly in thanks to running. I've found an escape and a release. I've discovered that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. Running has developed my muscles and my self esteem. It's hard, but I can do hard things...And be happier because of them!

7. Something I'm grateful for in my closet.
I'm grateful to live in a country where I can legally bear arms. I am grateful that I have something I can protect my family with if the occasion should ever arise. And I'm grateful my husband has finally found a hobby for himself.

8. Something I'm grateful for with texture.
Gluten free food.
It's been an interesting year at our house when it comes to food. When I discovered in September that my three year old Elle has Celiac Disease I was terrified at the thought of not having anything to feed my daughter. While it may have a strange texture and be quite expensive, I am grateful for gluten free food that I can safely feed my daughter.

9. Something I'm grateful for in my kitchen.
My Bosch mixer.
My mom found this little beaut at a thrift store for a few dollars. These things normally cost hundreds of dollars, but last forever. I am so grateful she found it. I could never have afforded a brand new one. I use my mixer all the time. Fruit smoothies, breads, cookies, etc. I love my mixer!

10. Something I'm grateful for in the weather.
Along with the green grass, I missed the snow terribly when we lived in Arizona. Snow is magical and fun and wonderful. I love it when it comes and I love it when it goes. I am grateful to live in a place with weather variety. It makes me happy!

There are still twenty more things to show you that I'm grateful for. Make sure to come back Tuesday and Wednesday to see more.

And again, thank you to Sarah for hosting such a brilliant blog Thanksgiving celebration! Make sure to visit her to see what other bloggers are grateful for too.


MiMi said...

Your family photo is gorgeous!

Valerie said...

I'm so jealous about your Bosch!! My mom has had hers FOREVER and that's all I'm used to. My husband bought me a Kitchen aid 5 years ago and I use it but it is LOUD enough to wake the dead. I miss a Bosch! What a find for you!! Love your pictures!

Nicole said...

Love! Can't wait to see the rest of your pics, mama. :)

Sarahie said...

I love this! It made me happy and made me think about what I would have taken pictures of...which made me even happier. =) Thanks for sharing.

By the way, your husband and my husband would get along well with the gun hobby. And me and you could visit while they were away. =)

aubrey said...

I LOVE my Bosch, I have the same one. My Grandma gave me hers when I got married because she loved her Kitchenaid, I hate those things, and I can't imagine cooking without it. Love, love, love it!

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