It’s that time of year! We are all encouraged to reflect on things for which we are grateful and, of course, what makes the top of my list every year is my family, my healthy and happy children, the roof over our heads, food on our table etc. But I’m also grateful for the things that bring me small moments of happiness throughout the year.

Here is this year’s list:

1. Hulu Plus– Mamas, seriously. If I didn’t have my Hulu subscription, those nights when I’ve been alone with 4 kids through homework, dinner, baths and bedtime would be so, so much worse. Nothing beats putting the kids to bed and sitting on the couch to binge watch a reality show to forget about a hard day.

2. Yerba Maté– In my opinion, this traditional South American tea has coffee beat. I’m not quite sure how I’d get by without my 4 warm cups a day. It’s an energy booster and stress reliever. I especially love drinking it out of the mug the kids made me on Mother’s Day four years ago. It reads, “Mama’s Maté”.

3. Zollie’s wet nose and warm cuddles– It’s like he knows he was our family’s missing piece. He understands how different all the kids are and adapts to each of them. He’s the best dog I’ve ever had.

4. My central vacuum– Ya know, if I have to vacuum kids’ crumbs 7 days a week, I’m just grateful that I don’t have to drag a big old cannister or upright around the house. It’s the simple things.

5. Larousse Gastronomique– This “world’s most comprehensive culinary encyclopedia” has a special spot in my kitchen. Just looking at it gives me inspiration to finally make that quail dish recipe I’ve been eyeing.

6. Trader Joe’s– There are different reasons people love this grocery store. My favorites are the quick frozen meals I can pick up when I haven’t planned dinner ahead, the big jar of coconut oil I buy and use in most of my cooking (and for my facials), but mostly the chocolate covered pretzels and their great wine section. Which brings me to 7.

7. Wine– Nothing beats a glass at the end of my day. I love the romantic look in my husband’s eyes when the kids have finally gone to bed and he reaches for the wine opener. Is it bad that I can hear a chorus of angels singing when he pops the cork?

8. Theatre– I love the theatre. I am really grateful that our community is so rich in the arts. I love performing and attending and talking about all things theatre. I am grateful that the kids love it too and love putting on plays for us and filming their own movies on the weekends. Every year, I make them write acceptance speeches for the Academy Awards. I always make sure they include, “and lastly, this is for my Mama, without whom I wouldn’t be the person I am today.” Hey, ya never know!

9. My bonus daughter’s hugs– Yes, I love all of my children’s hugs and treasure them, but they have known my arms since birth. I am so very grateful for the moments when my “bonus” falls on top of me on the couch and gives me a squeeze. She can stay there for an hour at a time. In those moments, I am so grateful for the very special relationship we have. Even when my arm falls asleep. And, it usually does.

10. My featherbed– Nothing beats my downy featherbed according to the kids. They love climbing up on it and cuddling while we read or watch a movie. There is something about its luxuriousness that makes them feel extra snuggly. For that reason alone, I am grateful.


What are YOU thankful for this holiday season?