Travel Makes Me Happy

A long time ago, I had decided I’d write a quick post about something I was thankful for each day. Reality is that publishing this post every day just didn’t happen. But I do want to try this again, so I’m going to try and see if I can at least publish one post per week about the things I’m thankful for. And what better day to do it than on #ThankfulThursday? 

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Gratitude & Self-Care: An Intimate Connection

If you’re trying to develop a gratitude habit, remembering your self-care is important. Although these two things may seem completely unrelated, they’re really not: self-care is a way of showing gratitude for your body. 

Your body is the only thing you’ll know you’ll have for the rest of your life. Whether you have an amazing body that does everything the way you want it to, or a bruised, battered body, or a body that doesn’t always act the way it should, your body is yours. It carries you through this life and allows you to experience everything our earth has to offer. 

Developing a gratitude habit sometimes takes effort, but if you start with your own self-care and being grateful for your body, it can become a little easier.

It can be hard to make time for self-care. That’s why I’ve written a simple document with 50 self-care ideas that take 10 minutes or less.

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Swing Dancing and Old Friends

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Roughly 16 years ago, I met my husband at the University of Western Ontario’s swing dance club, Swing Kids. Roughly two years before that, way back in 1999, my brother had dragged me to a swing dancing event at Chicago’s Willowbrook Ballroom (well, sort of Chicago. Close enough). I reluctantly went, sure that 1930’s dancing would be extremely boring. In my defense, I was 17 at the time, and knew absolutely nothing about swing dancing. Well, to my surprise, it was great fun, and I was hooked right away. How could you not be, when you got to take a lesson to learn how to dance and then got to dance with pretty much everyone – and to a live band, no less!

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All the nice things… from (almost) all the days I didn’t post

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Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Trains and visits from grandma

Today my mom (whom my kids call Vó Bia) came to stay for a 5-day visit. It’s been a while since she was able to come from London, ON to Kingston, ON, so we were looking forward to her coming to see us. We picked her up at the train station, then headed straight to the YMCA for the kids’ swimming and jump rope lessons. Dan met us there, and I headed out to grab some pizzas, because we didn’t have time to make anything to bring with us for dinner.

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Birthday and Special Haircuts

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I love birthday parties. I love hosting little parties at my house, making yummy food, and having friends over. My little K-girl turned 7 on January 20th. I can’t believe how fast time is flying.

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Sunday Treats & Family Time

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Our church has a lovely fellowship hour after mass. When we left Kingston temporarily between 2006-2008, one of the reasons we really yearned to come back was our church community. It was hard to find that back in Ottawa.

Not only do we get to spend some time chatting with our Sunday family and just hanging out, we also get some lovely treats, too. Thoughtful folks bring lovely treats each Sunday, and the kids really enjoy them. The kids they run around in the back of the hall and burn off their energy before we go home and put them down for rest time.

Today’s nice thing is being free to attend church, hang out, and have yummy treats.

The other nice thing is to be able to spend time as a family, watching our kids quickly acquire new skills by using the indoor playground daddy built. We’ve got some pretty cool monkey bars and a trapeze in our basement now. My hubby is awesome. In so many ways.

Those are my nice things for Sunday. What nice things happened for you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art!

Husbands Who Cook

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Today’s nice thing was that we had some more folks over for dinner. Dan decided that this year he’d like to have people over for dinner on most weekends. We had found we were getting a little too socially isolated, and we wanted to re-connect with friends and re-establish a social life. After all, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” as they say.

So today’s nice thing is that we had a lovely family over for dinner. I met Chris when I performed in my very first play last spring – an adaptation of the Princess Bride. I like to joke that I was in a play with Johnny Depp, because it’s uncanny how much this dude looks like the actor. Anyway, after doing the play, we became friends with Chris and his lovely family. So we invited them over a couple of times, one of which was for yesterday’s dinner. Their kids and ours get along well, so they played and we actually got to have a fairly uninterrupted conversation, which was nice.

But the other nice thing is that the entire meal was cooked by Dan. Dan really enjoys cooking, so he takes pride in making the meals when he invites people over. And sorry, family, but he also makes the best “pudim de leite condensado” I’ve ever had. I don’t even make the stuff (I refuse to, ’cause there’s no way it can compare). When we first got married, Dan was a better cook than me. Now I think we’re pretty much on par. It’s nice to have a dinner cooked for me though 🙂

Today I’m grateful for an involved husband and father who can cook, dance, fold laundry, change diapers and clean toilets, and who enjoys entertaining guests. Looks like I hit the jackpot (but I already knew that).

What nice thing happened to you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s lovely image. Check out their awesome art.

Mighty Fingers and Good Movies

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Today I went to hand clinic for the third time. Back in October, I broke my left pinky finger playing basketball. To make a long story short, I was given some exercises to do, and the nice thing for today is that the exercises seem to be working. My range of motion has improved greatly from when I first landed at the hand clinic. I don’t have full extension yet, but I should get back to almost full if not full extension if I continue doing the exercises. My flexion is almost normal, though it still needs a little work. I’ll always have a “fat knuckle” (doctor’s words, not mine), but I don’t mind.

The other nice thing is that Dan went to the library and surprised me with some movies for us to watch. Yesterday we finally finished Saving Mr. Banks, which I’d been meaning to watch since it came out in 2013. It was a pretty good movie, but, as expected, was very loosely based on the true story (just as Mary Poppins was very loosely based on the original books).

But the nice thing about watching that movie is that now I’m very curious to learn more about P.L. Travers, so I decided to read her biography – and it’s available at my library. Yay! Can’t wait to learn more about this really interesting (if very odd) author.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check out their awesome art!

Skipping School

This post is part of a daily series to notice “all the nice things” in 2017. I encourage you to also keep a journal of all the nice things that happen this year. At the end of December, you’ll have great memories to look back on. Thanks to Cesar Abeid for the idea.

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after following a link on this post, I may receive a small commission. Rest assured that I only recommend products and services that I use and love, or that I want to use in the near future.

Today’s nice thing: skipping school.

Yesterday was a rough day with the kiddos. I love them and I love homeschooling, but it’s not always easy. Some days are really hard. Yesterday was one of those days. Today, in order to re-set, I decided to go with the flow of the day. I wasn’t going to nag the kids to get their chores done (or to do anything, really). So I just kept to myself for most of the day, attending to them as needed, but not asking much of them. They ended up still getting all their chores done (albeit it took them 3 hours), playing really well together, and I ended up being able to clean up my inbox while they played. And we still managed to make it outside to play in the snow.

Sometimes we skip school. We’ve been judged for this, but we don’t care. We’re living life on our terms. We don’t need to explain why skipping school is OK, but I’ll write a post about it later on, because I’m tired of people talking about stuff they know nothing about. Skipping homeschool lessons is perfectly fine, not only because we still get all our work done by the end of the year, but also because life experiences, even (and especially) at a young age are much more valuable than structured lessons. There was no time when our kids learned better than during our bike trip this summer. During that time, we did not do structured lessons at all. Yet, my son’s speech skyrocketed (he has a speech delay), my oldest daughter finally got the concept of how a story is told (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, resolution – she’s still working on setting), and my youngest girl learned from her siblings at a pace much faster than what she does at home.

Today I’m thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling.

Another nice thing about today is that because yesterday was so rough, hubby gave me the night “off” tonight, which means I get to sit down and do one my favourite things – write. I also got to go to the gym and do a quick workout and have an uninterrupted shower afterwards.

Today I’m thankful for showering at the gym.

What nice thing happened for you today?

Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check our their awesome art!