32 years, 32 things

Today I turned thirty-two.  It's become a tradition of mine the last few years to make a list of things I am grateful for on my birthday.  With the number of things being equal to my years.  There have been repeats, of course, (though I don't let myself actually read the old list before making the new) and they are in no particular order, as you might imagine after reading the list.  I'm hoping I've got many, many more lists to make.  40 more? 50 more? 60?  We shall see.

So here are my 32:

I am grateful for.......

the way the chickens come running when I call them with my lame 'chicken call', hoping I've got something good, like leftover oats or grubs, but politely not acting too disappointed when they see it's just more kale stems or another rotting tomato

my wonderful job that allows me to be a mama and contribute to our household finances at the same time, all while exploring my creative side

this sweet town I call home, and most especially the little nook we call our neigborhood

the wonderful tailgate market that provides a socializing/eating/coffee drinking/food buying ritual on Saturdays from May through October

the way that we are slowly making this house and yard into the home we want it to be

the you-know-who who often makes up (much) more than his fair share of the
previously mentioned "we"
(for so many things)

and the littler you-know-who for opening my eyes to so much over these last few years... to so many possibilities, truths, and so many lessons learned about myself and who I am and who I aim to be

the process of striving to be who I aim to be, and for the times I am mindful of doing so

the crickets and birds that fill the air with music that goes largely unnoticed much of the time, because the rest of the time, when I hear their songs so loud and clear, I can't imagine the world without them

living in an area that takes good, local food seriously.  from coffee roasters to chocolate makers, microbreweries (hello Beer City USA!) to goat cheese creameries and farms of all kinds.... yum, yum, yum.

my growing ability to listen to my heart, my instincts, my gut... whatever you want to call it.  it's louder than before, and I'm finding it much more persuasive these days

my family (through blood and through marriage) for being who they are~ loving, kind, and supportive

my friends, for the very same thing

the calendar showing an upcoming trip to the beach (!)

the salty ocean air that I will drink in while I'm there, toes in the sand, wind in my hair, cares put aside as I soak it all in....  the sand, the sea, the sunshine, the laughter carried across the beach and filtered through the wind and sounds of gulls mocking each other

my health

wonderfully welcoming and friendly librarians, who always make Claire feel so loved

being minutes away from miles and miles of beautiful hiking trails

our slow and easy mornings

breakfast picnics, though their days are dwindling (for this year)

the lavender-infused honey I picked up last weekend on the farm tour

and the lavender cream picked up at another farm the same weekend

cups of hot tea held close to my chest on chilly fall mornings (lavender-earl grey, perhaps)

all that we've gotten out of the garden and yard this year, and all that continues to grow

the free therapy provided in exchange for sinking my hands into the garden soil and working there

the excitement she shares for gardening.  even if it is a bit.... less..... focused on the outcome.

the way she says "oh. my. GOODNESS!" when she's surprised by or excited about something

so many of the sweet and absurd things coming out of that mouth these days

listening to her as she recites (from memory) a little blessing at the table:  "thank you for the wind and rain, the sun and pleasant weather, thank you for this, our food, and that we are together."

the bushel of apples gifted to us by a friend today, after he showed us around his farm

hellooooooo birthday apple pie! (thanks, babe)

the amazing lunch shared with my loves today, and that a little Van Morrison came on as we lingered over the remains of a delicious and enormous feast

another year, another opportunity to sit, quietly thinking about the things that fill me up,
make me smile, and make my heart swell with gratitude


  1. Happy, happy, happy birthday Amanda. I'm thankful that I know you even if it is only through the virtual land. Best wishes to you today and everyday.

    1. thank you so much, Nichole~ it really was a pretty lovely fall day! I too am so happy to know you~

  2. What a lovely birthday tradition! Your list is full of lovely life moments and I am so glad you have 32 of the them to share! I am coming up to 33 and will keep this little tradition in mind, if that's okay with you? Happiest of birthday wishes to you!

    1. thank you! I sat here, thinking up 32 things, some big and some decidedly small... and it was so great to do, to have my focus be just on gratitude. Of course it's okay with me~ surely I was inspired by someone along the way, I don't claim to own the idea at all ;)

  3. happy, happy birthday! sounds like you have much to be thankful for - enjoy :)

    1. thank you~ it felt good to sit and focus just on what I was thankful for... I find it to be humbling and grounding whenever I do it


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~