30 Days of Gratitude 2012

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. -William Arthur Ward

For the past several years I have participated in ’30 Days of Gratitude’ for the month of November. Every day I post something for which I am grateful in my facebook news feed. This year I have added Thomas and Lillian’s daily gratitude also. Their gratitude lists will be posted on our Team TLC website. I’m posting here mainly so I don’t forget what I shared and can continue to look back on days I need reminded ….

First 15 Days of Gratitude (Go here for the Next 15 Days of Gratitude):

November 1st: Food …. that’s it … I am grateful to have food in our fridge and pantry … FOOD!!! Hugs and Smiles Y’all!!

November 2nd: Shelter …. Today and EVERY day I am grateful to have a roof over our heads … the blankets to keep us warm, the beds to sleep in, the electricity to warm or cool us and brighten our day, the water to drink … Blessed and grateful for this shelter of ours …. Warm Hugs and a Big Ole Smile Y’all!

November 3rd: Kimberly Phipps-Nichol …. Today I am grateful that you and I met in 2007 and became friends. I am thankful for you and our beautiful friendship. As we count down the one week left before you make your move to Houston, please know I feel so awesomely blessed for our closeness. I will miss you dearly …. Yet, I know this will be an amazing part of your journey and an exciting adventure!!! I TREASURE the connection we have my sweet friend … See you in a few hours for your going away party!!!

November 4th: A vehicle and gas in it’s tank … So very grateful that Team TLC has a car to get us places we need and want to go and that we have gas in the tank to make that car GO!! Big ole smiles and hugs y’all!!

November 5th: The ability to learn is what I am full of gratitude for today … and all that goes with it. The ability to read and write, the ability to change habits and change my thoughts, to create new thought patterns that serve me, my family and society better … And because it can be difficult at times to change habits and thought patterns, I’m grateful for the tenacity and faith to keep at it, to keep learning and working at it …. no matter WHAT!

November 6th: The freedom to vote, make our own choices and the ability to learn from those choices … grateful for this today … Smiles and hugs to y’all today!

November 7th:  I am not the same person I was before these two people came into my life. They have rocked my world, turned it upside down, inside out, shaken it up, (kinda makes me think of the hokey pokey song!!). They, each in their own way, have been a catalyst for my growth and learning. She has taught me about acceptance of myself and others, compassion for others, letting go of judgmental thoughts, flexibility, and releasing expectations. He has taught me patience, not taking actions and comments of others personally, and simply keeps me on this learning journey with all his ups and downs. I am GRATEFUL beyond words for these two young people in my life, my 6 yr old son Thomas and 11 yr old daughter, Lillian. They were the beginning of a journey that has definitely not been easy at times, a journey into facing fears, changing thought patterns for the better and continually learning so that I can be the best teacher to them that I can be and so that I model what I think is in their best interest. It’s been one heck of an adventure and I’m thankful to each of them for the change they began in me ….

November 8th: On this windy day, I am grateful for the storms of my life, the tough times, the trials that I chose and still choose to bring into my life. If not for these times, how would I learn and grow? How would I have discovered my strength and courage? If not for these times, I would not have awakened to my true authentic self and my purpose. How would I have learned to find peace and remain content no matter what? How would I learn that fears are just an illusion? Without these times I would not become aware that there are still a few things I need to work on within myself. How would I have gotten to the point where I can stop right when the storm begins and say, “What am I to learn from this?”, know the answer, and calm the storm before it even begins … Hugs and Smiles Y’all!

November 9th: Laughter …. Laughing … Hearing other people laugh and laughing myself to tears … That’s what I’m grateful for today!! Here’s a couple of short videos that made me laugh … get on there and find your own if these don’t do it for you!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RP4abiHdQpc&feature=fvwrel …. AND ….http://youtu.be/Eg1u7L6ZJfc

November 10th: I am filled with gratitude for the unconditional love of my Mama, Patty Romano, and my step-father, Frank Romano …. They never openly judge or question my actions or inactions. They support me the best way they can and know how. I missed my Mama so much during all those years from 6th grade through the age of 20 years old. I’m happy for the times we saw each other during that time and am grateful and blessed we’ve made up for all that missed time in the last 22 years. I love you lady with all my heart, body and soul and am blessed to pieces that you are my Mama!! Frank: I’m grateful that you came into my Mama’s life 26 years ago … You are a sexy, kind, gentle, giving, rockin Italian ROCK STAR of a man!!!!!!! Thank you for being such a fabulous step-father and grandfather to Thomas and Lillian!!!

November 11th: “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.” -G.K. Chesterton … Gratitude beyond mere words for each and every one of our Veterans …. “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” -Thucydides

November 12th: Grateful that Robert F Downs, Jr is my Daddy … Blessed for all the family that came along with being born into his family and all the FUN times we had growing up. He doesn’t hesitate to give me his opinion, but knows I’m gonna do what I think is best. He’s really been there for me over these past 5 years and I’m thankful beyond words for that!! LOVE YOU DADDY!

November 13th: HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY THOMAS!!!!! You came right into this world without any hesitation the night of November 13, 2005 and you haven’t stopped since! I am grateful and blessed in a way I cannot even describe that you came into my life and keep me learning and growing. I’m enjoying every minute of observing you on this journey of discovering your gifts and talents and am so excited to see how you use them to serve others. You have taught me patience, not taking actions and comments of others personally, and have furthered my true understanding of releasing judgements of others. You inspire me to be the best teacher and guide to you and your sister that I can be. It’s been a wild and crazy (and fun) adventure and I’m thankful to my son for inspiring me to go deeper within myself to be the best that I can be.

November 14th: ‘Home Means Nevada’ … I’m grateful for this beautiful city and state that Team TLC has made our home since December 2006. I am in love with everything about this place … Reno, Nevada … The landscape, the weather, the air, the people, the beauty I see each and every time I step outside … the amazing cloud formations, every bend and curve of the hills and mountains, the sounds of nature, the warmth of the sun, the breathtaking views … The soul infusing Lake Tahoe at our doorstep, stepping back into yesteryear in Virginia City, the beautiful drive between Reno and Carson City, peaceful and serene views from every corner of this gorgeous place … Lillian’s video for her Nevada Day project this year captures much of how I feel so thought I’d share it to go along with today’s gratitude post …

November 15th: I’m grateful to all who are caregivers … To quote from the Agenda for The 7th Annual Caregiver Recognition Celebration luncheon which was held today …. “Caregivers, by what they do, enhance the quality of life for older adults and individuals of any age with disabilities.” Each caregiver nominated received a certificate of recognition from United States Senator Dean Heller, Office of the Governor for the State of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, United States Senator Harry Reid, a Shining Star Certificate for the Linda Carr Caregiver Award, Congressional Recognition from the United States Congress, a fabulous lunch, door prizes, a movie themed basket and just an all around inspiring two hours. Blessings and thanks to all who are caregivers for anyone in our society who needs extra help and assistance …

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. -John Milton

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