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The Heart of Life

The Heart of Life: December 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Winter Confessional

One frosty winter day--back when I was in college--I went to the store to pick up some groceries. I came out of the store with a couple bags and a gallon of milk. When I got to my car I set my milk on the roof and proceeded to put my bags in the back seat.

Approximately a moment too late I noticed my gallon of milk. Sliding. Sliding off the frosty roof in the general direction of the ground. I didn't quite have time to react. My milk hit the ground before I could do anything to stop it. And then it exploded. I closed the car door to survey the situation--it had inadvertently shielded me from most of the milk explosion.

There was some milk on my shoes and jeans. There was milk on the exterior of my car, which had already frozen to the frosty car. But mostly there was a big splat of white milk on the dark asphalt of the parking lot.

Had I done the right thing, I would have plucked the mostly empty container up from its puddle, found a garbage can to put it in, and then I would have gone back in the store to purchase another gallon of milk.

But I didn't do the right thing. Maybe it was pride. Maybe it was embarrassment. Maybe it was stubbornness. I don't know. All I know is I stepped over the puddle, got in my car, then drove away. In a strange episode of stubborn rebellion against the gods of frosty cars and exploded milk, I refused to buy another gallon of milk for an entire week.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Drug-less Addiction

Lately The Matt Walsh Blog has been popping up on my Facebook feed pretty frequently. So I started to follow. Although I don't always completely agree with him, I enjoy his perspective. He's entertaining. Anyway, one of the first posts I read was on pornography. I think you know how I feel about porn and its relation to sexual abuse. And he hit the nail on the head.

I recommend reading his whole post because there are so many great points, but I'll brief you on a few thoughts I had as I was reading.

  • I liked his main point, which is that when guys look at porn they're cheating on their wives--committing adultery. There's really no way around it.
  • He alluded to a moral double standard for the viewer and the viewed, which I hadn't really thought of before. Our society tends to tag porn models as promiscuous and immoral. And in the same breath dismiss porn viewers with, "It's normal! Boys will be boys."
  • I thought it was interesting how porn is sometimes justified (unsuccessfully) by the claim that since porn involves no physical touch it's innocent and harms no one. Oh, but it does!
  • He makes a pretty spot on comparison of porn to other addictive substances, especially drugs. When you think of it that way, porn is debatably worse than any other addiction.
  • My favorite quote: "Pornography is evil, empty, deadening, dirty — this is something we all know. That’s why, unless you are either psychotic or utterly despicable, you wouldn’t want your daughter to get into the porn business. That’s why most people hide their porn habits. That’s why it still isn’t considered acceptable to browse “adult” websites at your desk at work or at a table in Starbucks (although people still do, in both scenarios). That’s why you only find porn shops and strip clubs in the slummy, rundown parts of town. No matter how hedonistic and “open minded” we become, we still recognize porn as something that ought to be stowed away in the dank, dark corners of our lives. This is Natural Law, and we can’t escape it. We have an innate understanding of right and wrong, whether we want it or not."

Like I said, go ahead and read it.

A couple years ago I attended a lecture on sex trafficking at a conference. One thing from that lecture that has stuck with me ever since was the haunting application of basic economics to the situation. The gist of the idea was that regardless of what is done to get girls out of the sex trafficking industry, as long as there is a demand for prostitution and the like, it will not stop. This principle applies to pornography as well. It won't and can't be eliminated until the demand for it is quelled.

Considering this principle of supply and demand, porn can't simply be outlawed. We saw how well that worked with Prohibition. There’s too much demand. So how do we curb the demand for porn?

In November there was a petition (sorry, no link—you can’t view it after the time runs out) circulating through my Facebook feed to make porn an opt-in feature of the worldwide web in the U.S. I contributed to the trend by signing and sharing it too, but I don’t think it got quite enough signatures.

There was a little debate about the constitutionality of this and how it takes us one step closer to communism and government censorship, etc., etc.  This is an overreaction, in my humble opinion. Porn would still be available, but just a little more difficult for kids to access accidentally. Think of it this way: Facebook and all other social media are opt-in and we don't feel too communist about that. If we want it, we sign up, and if not we don't worry about it. Same idea for porn.

I was initially skeptical of whether it's even remotely possible to do this. The logistics behind it seem kind of daunting to my non-tech mind.  However, the U.K. has actually already introduced something very similar last summer and major internet providers have been gradually implementing it.  From what I gather from a recent source, things seem to be going ok with it.

But will it work?  Will it reduce the demand for porn?  I’m not sure.  Only time will tell, but I think it’s a good start. Unlike drug addictions, I’m guessing a decent portion of porn addicts first stumbled upon porn accidentally. If accidental viewing happens less, maybe there will be fewer addicts and less of a demand.

Regardless, regulations are definitely needed when it comes to porn.  Sure, there are regulations forbidding minors from buying cold medicine and spray paint, but porn?  Kids can have at it (often for free) on a computer or smart phone from literally anywhere.  It’s way too easily accessible.  You would be horrified if you knew how many children are addicted to porn.

I could go on and on about porn, but I’ll stop here.  If you’re interested in learning more, here are some links to some more information:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Some Housekeeping

I’ve been evaluating my blog lately.  You know, it’s purpose, etc.  My writing has been pretty random lately (both in subject and frequency), which is fine, but the the micro/macro oriented writer in me is bothered that my posts don’t lend themselves to a big picture—an overarching theme.  Why write if there’s not a purpose?

You see, I’m not a journal-y blogger (or mommy blogger—they’re pretty closely related).  I’m just not into reporting what’s been going on in my family (although I do like reading my friends’ blogs that are like this—it’s just not what I like to write about). 

I’m also not a home décor/DIY blogger.  Sigh.  I wish I was. 

I’m not a food blogger.  I like a good recipe, but only on occasion.  Plus, I don’t have the photography skills for that.

I’m not a style blogger.  I went Christmas shopping yesterday in forest-green skinny jeans, a baggy navy-blue t-shirt, a pale green snow coat, and a pink headband with my ponytail (which has lately been the victim of a mysterious chronic rats nest).  Oh, with no makeup.  I’m turning heads everywhere I go, I tell you.

I’m not a life-hacker blogger.  I love a good cleaning trick, but let’s be honest—they’re other people’s tricks, not something originally from me. 

I’m not a “here’s a spiritual/inspirational thought” blogger.  I go there once in a while, but let’s face it:  I’m too goofy.  I avoid reading/watching things people share on Facebook with the tag line, “This will make you cry!  Tear-jerker alert!  So sweet!”  I don’t really want to cry.  I like things that make me think and/or laugh.  Not cry.  This is why I have a love-hate relationship with Mormon Messages (don’t get me wrong; they’re wonderful—just something I have to be in a very special mood for). 

I’m not a review blogger.  I am an Influenster, so I occasionally do a somewhat obligatory review when I get a Vox Box (free products to test and review), but I’m a pretty harsh critic.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun—I  have invites if you want one—but I’m kind of surprised they keep sending me stuff, because I’m definitely not their ideal easy-to-please “OMG, guys!  You HAVE to try this!” Influenster.  I’m not going to talk up a product if I don’t think it’s amazing and a reasonable price.  Anyway, if I’m going to review something I usually do it on the Influenster site.

I’m not a photography blogger.  I take my pictures with an iPod touch.  Enough said.

I’m not a coupon/money saving blogger.  I’m of the “spend conservatively and live beneath your means” camp.  I’m not big into the coupon scene (although I think you’re an idiot if you buy something full price at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc. because they all have a 40% off coupon every single week).

I’m not a hot-button issue (feminism, gay rights, environmentalism, etc.) or political blogger.  There’s enough controversy in the world without me contributing to it.

So.  What am I?

I’m not sure if I can answer that very precisely, but I can tell you why I write.

First of all, I like it.

Secondly, I’m terrified of becoming one of those people who doesn’t know the correct usage of their/there/they’re and your/you’re.  Or someone who doesn’t know where or when to use an apostrophe appropriately.  Bad punctuation makes me cringe.

Also, I eventually want to go back to school and get my master’s.  However, that could be way down the road when my kids are at least high school aged.  I’ve heard it’s hard to go back to school later in life, but I don’t see myself going back sooner.  I think if I keep up on my writing/researching/critical thinking skills it won’t be so hard to get back into the swing of things when I do get the opportunity to go back.

So why don’t I just write privately?  I guess I could, but I want to write about interesting things (seriously, who likes boring stuff?).  And if I’ve happened upon something interesting, why wouldn’t I share it with others?  It seems selfish not to.  Knowledge is meant to be shared.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this:  In order to stay true to what I’ve defined as my blog’s purpose, I’m going to make some changes in subject matter.  I’m going to shoot to become an “interesting story” blogger because that’s something I can do (instead of trying to do a mishmash of the above-described blogging types).  Hang tight, and we’ll see how it goes.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 10

Write 10 things about the gospel you are grateful for.

  1. Christ’s atonement.  Based on my incredibly limited knowledge, I know the Atonement is an incredible thing.  I hope one day I can understand it in its entirety.
  2. Christ’s life and example.  This is along the same vein, but it’s important enough to merit its own number.  I read Jesus the Christ several years ago and was so blown away by what I could learn just through the way he lived, not to mention through his teachings and atonement.
  3. Temples (including the ordinances done in them).  When we were first married we lived half a block from the temple and went twice a month.  This was so good for us, and I miss living so close to a temple.  Since we’ve moved away and had Tiger, we’ve not been able to go nearly so regularly, but I’m hoping we can get back into the habit as Tiger gets a little older. 
  4. Scriptures/General Conference.  The more I read, the more I learn.
  5. Living prophet and apostles.  It’s such a comfort to know that if something big and crazy happens in the world (apocalypse-like), we have a prophet to turn to for guidance.
  6. Callings.  Callings really help me get out of my comfort zone.  As much as I’d like to say I’m outgoing, I’m sort of an introvert at heart.  I’m friendly, sure, but I tend to be pretty content keeping to myself.
  7. Solidarity.  It’s so beautiful to be united with people outside of my country and culture.  There are people all over the globe who are learning the same thing in church as I am, and that’s pretty cool.  The church is the same wherever you are.
  8. Divine roles.  I get where feminism is coming from, but when you understand the divine roles of both men and women, feminism is sort of unnecessary.
  9. The plan of salvation.  Keeping in mind the big picture of our lives in terms of now and forever makes trials (both little and huge) that much easier to deal with.
  10. Happiness.  A teacher once told my class that he thought the LDS church was just a sugar pill—we’re happy because we want to be happy.  While in a way he’s right—happiness is a decision—you think about how many “restrictions” and “requirements” come along with our church, and it’s actually pretty incredible that more members aren’t disgruntled.  It reminds me of this recent talk by President Uchtdorf.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 9

Write 10 foods you are grateful for.

  1. Toast.  I feel like I’ve mentioned this before.  Oh yeah.  I have.  Twice already.  It’s almost embarrassing how much I like toast.  Especially when it’s Dave’s Killer Bread (I’ve only seen it at Costco).  We don’t really do cold cereal, so I feel ok about splurging a little on nice bread.
  2. Hot chocolate.  Try it with some cinnamon, vanilla, and a little sea salt.  Yum.
  3. Mac and cheese (from scratch).  I don’t do Kraft Mac.  Even as a child I thought it was nasty.  But scratch mac… comfort food.  Especially when it’s baked.
  4. Bagels with strawberry cream cheese.  Remember this recipe?  Delicious.
  5. Hot chocolate chip cookies.  Sometimes I like to freeze cookie dough so I can have a hot cookie every day for a few weeks.  These cookies are pretty yummy.
  6. Burgers.  I love a good burger with most of the fixings (but hold the onions and mustard).
  7. Potato chips.  Especially kettle chips.  I avoid buying chips because I can’t stop.
  8. Cinnamon rolls.  I love them.  I make pretty good cinnamon rolls, by the way.  I owe it to the recipe—it’s a Cinnabon copycat.
  9. Texas Roadhouse house salad.  I’m not a huge salad person, but something about this salad kills me every time.  So yummy.
  10. Sweet potato fries.  The ones fast food chains have been doing lately are pretty meh, but legit sweet potato fries are wonderful.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 8

Write 10 modern inventions you are grateful for.

  1. The automobile in general is a fantastic invention.  I like being in different places, but don’t necessarily like going there.  Cars make the going a ton faster than via horse and buggy.
  2. The internet.  It’s kind of crazy that the internet came about in my lifetime.  So many great things stem from the internet.  There’s some bad things too, but mostly good.
  3. Toilets/indoor plumbing.  I’m sure I could manage without… but I’m glad I don’t have to.
  4. The printing press.  Ok, so print might one day become obsolete with the internet, but its invention really ushered in a new age of thinking.  All of the sudden reading was for the masses.
  5. Heating/air conditioning.  It’s so nice not having to worry about keeping a fire stoked in the winter.  Especially after my experience in a yurt.  I’ll share about that sometime soon.
  6. Electricity.  I probably take for granted how easy it is to just turn lights on and off.  No matches; no candles.  Just a switch and the occasional new light bulb.
  7. Pens.  They’re really an underrated convenience when you compare it to quills and ink.  Pens are faster and easier.
  8. Vaccines.  I listened to a podcast on the beginnings of vaccines and it’s creepy at the start, but really it’s pretty incredible that we’ve been able to nearly eradicate so many awful diseases through them.
  9. Microwave.  It’s a magical box.  I avoid using the microwave as a principle method for preparing food (I’m probably the only person in the world who still makes Ramen Noodles on the stovetop), but the microwave is really pretty great.
  10. Toasters.  Ok.  I love toast.  You can do it in the oven with the broiler… but the toaster is better.

Monday, December 9, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 7

Write 10 places on earth you are grateful for.


(clockwise, beginning in top right)

  1. Majdanek (here’s why)
  2. My hometown
  3. The Belarus/Poland border near Wlodowa, Poland (here’s why)
  4. The Logan Cemetery
  5. An ancient amphitheater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  6. My home
  7. Our first apartment as a married couple (here and here is a tour)
  8. The Logan Temple
  9. Old Main
  10. Tintern Abbey (England)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Month Three Development


-Regard own hand:  stares at own hand for at least several seconds.  75% pass.  Tiger passes.  He prefers looking at his hand when it’s in a fist.

Fine Motor/Adaptive

-Follow past midline:  watches dangling yarn from the side of their head past the halfway point.  90% pass at 11 weeks.  Tiger passes.

-Grasp rattle:  grasps rattle when touched to back of fingers or fingertips.  40% pass.  Tiger passes.

-Hands together:  brings hands together to the midline of body over chest or mouth while lying on back.  78% pass.  Tiger passes.

-Follow 180 degrees:  follows dangling yarn from the side of their head all the way to the other side.  50% pass.  Tiger passes, although I did it with a toy, so maybe that’s cheating.

-Regard raisin:  while holding child in lap sitting at the table place raisin, cheerio, or similarly sized object on the table; pass if child looks at raisin (pointing to it is ok).  28% pass.  Not yet for Tiger.


-Ooo/Ahhh:  makes vowel sounds.  90% pass at 11 weeks.  Tiger passes.

-Laughs:  laughs aloud.  85% pass.  Tiger passes.  We have to work like crazy to get him to laugh, but it’s the cutest sound I’ve ever heard.

-Squeals:  makes high-pitched happy sounds.  80% pass.  Tiger passes.  He doesn’t do it very often, but he’s done it a few times.

-Turn to rattling sound:  hold child in your lap facing you and have someone stand behind child (out of sight) and shake a rattle 6-12 inches away from child’s ear and repeat with other ear; pass if child turns to sound for both ears.  27% pass.  Not yet.

-Imitate speech sounds:  repeat a sound several times (cough, clicking tongue, kissy sound); pass if child imitates sound.  25% pass.  Not yet.

Gross Motor

-Head up 45 degrees: head makes a 45 degree angle from the surface for a few seconds while on tummy (without head being turned to the side).  90% pass at 11 weeks.  Tiger passes.

-Head up 90 degrees:  head makes a 90 degree angle from the surface for a few seconds while on tummy (without head being turned to the side).  75% pass.  Tiger passes.

-Sit head steady:  holds head upright and steady (no bobbing) for a few seconds while being held in sitting position.  75% pass.  I can’t decide if he passes on this.  When he’s screaming he holds his head up like a rock star, but when he’s happy he’s kind of bobbly.  He’s so close to passing though.

-Bear weight on legs:  supports own weight on feet and legs for a few seconds in a standing position (holding child in standing position and slowly loosening hand support, but not letting go).  55% pass.  Tiger passes.  He loves doing this.

-Chest up-arm support:  Place child on stomach on flat surface; pass if child lifts head and chest with outstretched arms.  35% pass.  Not yet.

-Roll over:  roll completely from back to stomach or vice versa at least twice.  45% pass.  Maybe.  He’s done several times, but I’m pretty sure it’s accidental.  When he’s on his belly and holding his head up high, he sometimes tips over and ends up rolling to his back.

-Pull to sit-no head lag:  with child on back, grasp child’s hands and wrists and gently and slowly pull to a sitting position; pass if child’s head stays in line with body with no lag (stop if there is immediate lag).  27% pass.  Not yet.  We had immediate lag.

Things to practice for next month:

-regarding raisin:  I’ll put objects in front of him to encourage him to focus on particular things.

-turn to rattling sound:  This one is a little trickier to practice because you kind of need someone around to help, but I’ll try sneaking up on him and rattling something by his ear.

-imitate speech sounds:  I’ll continue making ridiculous noises close to his face.

-holding head steady:  We’ll keep giving him the opportunity to hold his head on his own.  He’s almost there.

-chest up-arm support:  I’ll help him get into position while he’s in tummy time so he knows what it feels like.

-pull to sit:  We’ll keep trying it.  I have a feeling we’ll get closer once he can hold his head more steadily.

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 6

Write 10 things about today you are grateful for.

  1. I changed the sheets yesterday, and there’s few things nicer than sleeping in fresh sheets.
  2. Tiger slept in until 8:30 this morning.
  3. I had plenty of time to get ready for church.
  4. My bangs weren’t weird this morning.
  5. Driving up the hill to get to church wasn’t slippery.
  6. I only missed half of Sunday school and twenty minutes of sacrament meeting today.
  7. I got to take a nap.
  8. I finished a music-related project.
  9. I practiced the violin for a little while.
  10. Had some toast and hot chocolate.

Friday, December 6, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 5

The formatting turned out funky on this, and try as I may I couldn’t fix it.  I realized way too late that a collage would have been way easier and more visually appealing.  Oh well.

Write 10 things about nature you are grateful for.

  1. Asiatic Lily
  2. Black-Eyed Susanasiatic lily
  3. Garden Phloxblack-eyed-susans
  4. Creeping Thymegarden phlox
  5. Ice Plantcreeping thyme
  6. Irish Mossice plant
  7. Lavenderirish moss
  8. Succulentslavender
  9. Tulip Treesucculent
  10. Vinca Minortulip tree

vinca minor

Thursday, December 5, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 4

Ok, I got a little behind.  I knew this would happen.  Don’t worry, I’ll compensate.

Write 10 deceased people you are grateful for.

  1. Great Great Great Grandma Emma.  In my family we generally refer to her as “the woman with the awful life” but in all seriousness she was a pretty incredible lady.  She joined the LDS church in England with her family, then they traveled across the ocean, then across the country with the pioneers to Salt Lake City.  Then when she was a newlywed her parents and siblings decided to go back to Illinois to be with the reorganized LDS church.  Later her husband and two of her children died within the space of about 2 years.  She was a trooper.
  2. Great Grandma Venice.  She also had some difficult parts of her life and was also a trooper.  She lived in a tiny sheep camp during the winter with her young children.
  3. Great Grandma Vesta.  She went to the same collage as me and was the captain of the freshman girls basketball team.  That seems pretty progressive for the late 1920’s, and I admire that.
  4. My cousin Lydia.  She died when she was six after a somewhat routine heart surgery didn’t go quite as planned.  I was only two at the time, so I only have one very fleeting memory of her, but I’m told we were great friends.  I’m grateful I’ll have the opportunity to get to know her later.
  5. Joseph B. Wirthlin.  All the apostles are great, but there was one particular talk he gave that had a lasting impact on me—not necessarily because of what he said, but how he said it.  My LDS friends might remember it as the talk where Elder Nelson stood by him to support him as he spoke.
  6. C. S. Lewis.  I don’t know too much about his personal life (there’s got to be some good biographies out there, so if you know of a good one let me know), but he wrote some incredible things.
  7. Mozart.  Or Tchaikovsky.  Or Vivaldi.  Or Bach.  Or Debussy.  Or Chopin.  I really can’t narrow it down.  The classics are great.
  8. The Founding Fathers.  None of them were perfect, of course, but I’m grateful for their contribution to the creation of the United States.
  9. Lewis and Clark.  Kind of a random one, but I just listened to a podcast on them and they were pretty cool.  They were a pretty important part of the settlement of the West.  Which is a big deal when you live in the West.
  10. Cemeteries.  Ok, this is a lot of deceased people and very general, but you can learn a lot from headstones.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 3

Write 10 living people you are grateful for.

  1. My husband.  He’s a great guy, and I’m so glad to have him in my life.
  2. My Baby Tiger.  He’s a sweetheart.  By the way, I had originally planned to continue calling him Ching on my blog, but it just doesn’t fit him.  Tiger somehow works better.
  3. My mom.  We’ve always had a really good relationship.
  4. My dad.  I look up to him in a lot of different ways.
  5. My siblings.  Ok, this is three people, but this way I can squeeze more people in my list.  All three of my siblings have special qualities that I admire and am grateful for.
  6. My grandparents.  I know, I know.  Four people this time.  They are all wonderful and I’m so blessed to have grown up knowing all four of my grandparents.
  7. My in-laws.  I’m so grateful they accept and tolerate me.
  8. My ward.  Ok, huge clump of people, but everyone has been so kind and welcoming to us that I can’t leave anyone out. 
  9. There are so many teachers and professors from throughout my education for which I am grateful.  I’ve had so many awesome mentors.
  10. My extended family.  I’m always floored by how supportive my family is in all that I do.

Monday, December 2, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge Number 2

Write 10 material possessions you are grateful for.

  1. A sturdy car.  I can’t imagine relying solely on public transportation.
  2. A comfy bed.  Oh, how I love my bed.
  3. My iPod touch.  I still have a dumb phone (as opposed to a smart phone), but I’m ok with that because my iPod meets all my needs.
  4. My house.  We really lucked out.
  5. Tweezers.  It’s a necessity for the well-embrowed (like me).
  6. Toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Such a wonderful development for all humanity.
  7. I love my KitchenAid mixer.  I use it so often.  I feel like it’s a necessity for making frosting and kneaded breads.
  8. Towels.  Once upon a time I showered in Poland and had to dry myself off with a dirty t-shirt because my luggage got lost.  Not so fun.
  9. A toaster is a necessity in my house.  Toast is the nectar of life.
  10. Shoes are pretty great.  When I was 10 or 11 I hit the awkward stage where my feet were too big for girls shoes and I didn’t like the women’s shoes, and I remember feeling frustrated and thinking to myself something like, “Why must shoes be necessary?!”  But I’ve seen the error of my ways.  They’re pretty useful.  Not to mention great for protecting your feet from the perils of nature.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 for 10 Gratitude Challenge {Number 1}

November is over, along with all the twenty-whatever days of gratitude I’ve seen many people doing on Facebook.  It’s cool, but I didn’t participate.  It’s just not my style.  In my mind I know I can come up with twenty-something things I’m thankful for, so it’s not much of a challenge.  Also, you’re running the risk of being borderline braggy.  I have a lot to be grateful for, but don’t want to imply that someone else’s life doesn’t measure up with mine.  You know what I mean—the “best husband ever” or “best family ever” claims.  Best ever?  This isn’t a competition, so there’s no need to compare.

Anyway, in Relief Society today they gave us a list of 10 prompts, each prompt asking to list 10 of something specific you’re grateful for.  I thought they were a pretty good list of questions that extend beyond the normal things you list off as being grateful for.  It’s more of a challenge.  So I’m going to do one list of ten for the first ten days of December.  Christmas overcrowds Thanksgiving all the time, so I’m fine with letting Thanksgiving take over ten days of December.  After all, it’s never too late to be grateful.

Write 10 physical abilities you are grateful for.

  1. I’m grateful I can see.  It would be so terrifying to make your way around the world without seeing it.
  2. I’m grateful I can hear.  I love listening to and playing music.  Plus, sounds tend to alert you to problems.
  3. I like being able to walk.  It’s such a smooth way to get around.  Pushing a stroller around has made me more aware of wheelchair accessibility, and walking is so much easier.
  4. Fingers are great.  You don’t realize until you cut/hurt a finger how much you use that one finger.
  5. I’m grateful I’m a decent cook.  There’s nothing worse than ruining a meal and having to start over again.
  6. I’m grateful I can taste and smell.  My mom can’t smell anymore, and she doesn’t mind not smelling when it stinks, but I know she misses the nice smells.  It makes cooking and cleaning a little harder—I have to tell her when her fridge or towels are starting to smell a little funky.
  7. I’m glad I can sew.  I’m not amazing, but I can do the basics pretty well and I enjoy it.
  8. I like being able to play the piano and violin.  It’s fun and a good talent to have.
  9. I’m grateful I’m able to chew my food.  It’s weird, but most foods wouldn’t be nearly as nice if you couldn’t chew them.
  10. I’m grateful I can drive a car.  Plus, I can drive a stick shift, which comes in handy.