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Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude Sunday’

By any measure — physical, mental, emotional — this was not a “good” week. However, I’ve said before that it is even more important to practice gratitude when life doesn’t seem so great on the surface. So in the spirit of practicing what I preach, here is this week’s Gratitude Sunday post.

Quotes on Gratitude

“To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you allow yourself to breathe into the depth, wonder, beauty, craziness, and strife — everything that represents the fullness of your life — you can live fearlessly. Because you come to realize that if you just keep breathing, you cannot be conquered.” — Oprah Winfrey

“There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the thing, light trumps darkness every time. You can stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.” — Jodi Picoult

Gratitude list for the week ending April 21

  1. Lovely spring weather
  2. Reading one of my childhood favorites, Hurry Home Candy, to the kids
  3. My mother
  4. Meeting deadlines
  5. Rescuing ANOTHER baby bunny – this time from the window well, and this time big enough to survive on its own
  6. Getting a babysitter and going out to dinner on Saturday night
  7. A baby lamb born to the sheep in the field behind our yard
  8. Jay learned to tie his shoes in one day.
  9. The tomato plants are sprouting.
  10. Long-standing conflicts on the road to being resolved

What are you grateful for this week?

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This week’s Gratitude Sunday really started last Sunday when we got together with my mom, my Aunt and my cousin and her family and we shared an Easter dinner that included the best prime rib I’ve ever eaten. That set the tone for a very good week.

Quotes on Gratitude

A week or so ago, Orna Ross blogged about a retreat she attended with Thich Nhat Hahn and shared these quotes.

“Don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. Smile, breathe and go slowly… Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

“The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth… Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.”

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

Gratitude list for the week ending April 14

  1. A hyacinth in a vase next to my bed, such that I fell asleep and woke up to its lovely scent.
  2. Attending a fascinating talk by Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works
  3. Making plans to see Les Mis with a college friend this summer, which has special significance for us
  4. Outdoor runs
  5. Lilacs in bloom
  6. Tulips blooming on Pearl Street
  7. Getting to see the movie Titanic on the big screen again – and in 3-D!
  8. Reading my book with the sound of rain on the roof
  9. Another helpful and supportive meeting with my in-person critique group
  10. Laura Backes helped me solve a problem in one of my manuscripts – a problem I’ve been trying to fix for TWO YEARS!

What are you grateful for this week?

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One of the lovely porticoes

Another crazy fantastic week in Italy – this time Bologna. Learned so much about the children’s book biz, including much ado about apps (more to come soon).  Bologna won me over with its lovely porticoes and outstanding food.  It’s a completely different world in Bologna from Florence, even though it’s only a 35 minute train ride.  If you ever go, make sure you pack your black.  It seems the only two colors people wear there are black and dark wash jeans.  I felt like an Easter egg in my wardrobe.  As a friend said, “Bologna – where black is the new black.”

Quotes on Gratitude

“Joy is not in things, it is in us.” — Joan Borysenko

“There is as much greatness of mind in acknowledging a good turn, as in doing it.” — Seneca

“Love is the true means by which the world is enjoyed: our love to others, and others’ love to us.” — Thomas Traherne

Gratitude list for the week ending March 24

  1. First, I am grateful for my in-laws, my stepmother and my mom for helping my husband hold down the fort while I took this epic trip to Italy.  Thank you!!
  2. Learning enough about apps and ebooks at the ToC Bologna conference to make my head spin.  Cheers to Kat Meyer and the entire O’Reilly team making it all happen.
  3. Meeting Katherine Paterson, author of one of my all-time favorite books – Bridge to Terabithia
  4. SCBWI Bologna dance party!
  5. The folks who put together the SCBWI booth program for the Bologna Book Fair – Kathleen Ahrens, Angela Cerrita, Kirsten Carlson, Bridget Strevens-Marzo, Tioka Tokedira, Chris Cheng, and anyone else I am forgetting.  These guys worked tirelessly to provide great programming, regional showcases, and opportunities for writers and illustrators attending the fair.  Grazie mille!

    The hard-working SCBWI team at the booth celebration

  6. Making wonderful new friends – including all of the above, plus Sarah Towle, Emily Smith Pearce, Danika Dinsmore, Susan Eaddy, Lucy CoatsBarbara McClintock, and Andi Ipaktchi.
  7. Hall after hall after hall of nothing but children’s books – enough said!
  8. Tagliatelle ragu and red wine with Danika and Susan – lovely dinner
  9. The city of Bologna itself, with its seductive porticoes, antiquarian bookshops, black-clad residents spilling into the streets from Enoteche at night, savory food shops and best of all, Gelateria Gianni!
  10. Receiving the best welcome home in history from my kids. The sign was fantastic, but the hugs and kisses even more precious.  How I missed them!

What are you grateful for this week?

The best part of the trip was coming home and knowing I was missed.

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I know I said I wouldn’t be posting Gratitude Sundays until the end of the month, but how could I not after spending a week in Florence?  My gratitude cup runneth over so much it might flood the Arno again. 😉  In celebration of all that is La Dolce Vita, in lieu of quotes on gratitude, this week I offer quotes from some of Italy’s most beloved poets.  And yes, Michelangelo was also a poet.

Quotes from Italian poets

“Remember tonight… For it is the beginning of always.” — Dante Alighieri

“True, we love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness.” — Francesco Petrarch

“Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come.”  — Michelangelo.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese

Gratitude list for the week ending March 17

  1. A group of young adults singing an impromptu hymn inside the Duomo – Santa Maria della Fiore
  2. Being reunited with pistaccio, bacio and nocciolo gelato!
  3. Prosecco at sunset on the rooftop bar of the Hotel Continentale
  4. Santo Spirito, lit up at night, fully reflected on the black glass water of the Arno
  5. Il Santo Bevitore and Olio & Convivium in Oltrarno, restaurants that provided two of the best meals I have eaten in a long time.
  6. Enoteche (wine bars) where a person can dine and drink alone and not be considered an oddity.
  7. Cafe Giacosa Cavalli – my favorite place for a morning coffee and pastry and for observing the local Florentines.
  8. Cafe Florian chocolates. I ate a few of them as my lunch on the train to Bologna (not kidding)!
  9. Lisa Clifford, an Australian author living in Florence, treated me to a lovely aperativo in Oltrarno.
  10. Walking along the Lungarno toward the Ponte Vecchio, under arches, with ripples of the river reflecting on the walls of the buildings opposite.  It gave the feeling of walking through water.  Beautiful.

What are you grateful for this week?

Reflections of the Ponte Vecchio

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This will likely be my last Gratitude Sunday until the end of March due to my upcoming trip to Italy.  Not to worry, as I have no doubt I’ll return steeped in gratitude.

Quotes on Gratitude

“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes.  It has enough lush forests, flowered fields and sandy beaches.  It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day.  What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.” — Michael Josephson

“As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world” — Adabella Radici

“Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” — John Henry Jowett

Gratitude List for the week ending March 3

  1. I actually got my submissions for the NAESP children’s book contest and the Barbara Karlin Grant sent out on time. Miraculously, my printer did not act up even once in the process of pulling materials together.  An auspicious sign…
  2. I completed my February 12 x 12 in 2012 PB draft.  Just under the wire, but complete nonetheless
  3. I hired a designer/developer to create my author website and gave them everything they need to get started.  HUGE relief.
  4. Girl’s night out – with my daughter! We went to dinner and a movie – The Lorax.  The movie did not have the emotional impact of the book, but then, I almost never like a movie better than the book.  Especially when it’s Dr. Seuss.  Still, my daughter asked me as I was tucking her in, “What do you think I can do to help the world?”  So it was worth it.
  5. Volunteering to help fit costumes for Em’s upcoming musical.  I’m heartbroken that I won’t be here for the show (the trip to Italy was planned months before the show was scheduled), so I was glad to see all the costumes (including hers) and to share that part of it with her.
  6. David Sedaris. Nuff said.
  7. My mother-in-law had a death on her side of the family, and I’m glad my husband was there with her this week.
  8. My friend Susanna Hill sent me a signed copy of her book in an envelope with Snoopy on it.  What a way to send a smile in the mail!
  9. Even better is the actual book, which is one of my favorites – Punxsutawney Phyllis. She wrote such a sweet note to my kids.
  10. I got a great night’s sleep last night, which almost never happens!

What are you grateful for this week?

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Guacamole made tableside

When I sat down to write this post, I was happy to discover I had a full list of things to be grateful for despite having a horrible cough and cold this week.  Here’s to better health this coming week!

Quotes on Gratitude

“I am grateful for what I am and have. 
My thanksgiving is perpetual… 
O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. 
No run on my bank can drain it 
for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Learn how to carry a friendship greatly, whether or not it is returned. Why should one regret if the receiver is not equally generous? It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet. Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away; but thou art enlarged by thy own shining.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You cannot be grateful and bitter.
You cannot be grateful and unhappy.
You cannot be grateful and without hope.
You cannot be grateful and unloving.
So just be grateful.”

— Author Unknown

Gratitude list for the week ending February 25

  1. We ate at Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant in Breckenridge, where I drank the best margarita I’ve had in years!
  2. Likewise, the food (I had elk mole enchiladas) was the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Austin or San Diego (and that says a LOT!).
  3. And let’s not forget guacamole made tableside. Yum!
  4. Last weekend was a long one due to the President’s Day holiday, which gave us extra time to ski with the kids.
  5. My new segment on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast debuted this week.  It’s called, “Julie Hedlund Gets All Grateful on Your A**!” :-)
  6. I am in the process of developing my professional author website, and I made great progress this week.
  7. I read and finished ROOM, by Emma Donahue.  An unbelievable book that has kept me thinking about it all week.  Those are the best kinds of books.
  8. I had my second school visit with a class of 5th graders.
  9. Both kids got great report cards.
  10. I got caught up on my blog reading.  Take THAT Google Reader!!

What are you grateful for this week?

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This week’s Gratitude Sunday post…

Quotes on Gratitude

“I have learned that happiness is not determined by circumstances. Happiness is not what happens when everything goes the way you think it should go: happiness is what happens when you decide to be happy.” — Marianne Williamson

“Gratefulness for what is there is one of the most powerful tools for creating what is not yet there. What does gratefulness mean? It means you appreciate what is. You value, you give attention to, you honor whatever is here at this moment.” — Eckhart Tolle

“The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now. And the more grateful you are, the more you get.” — Oprah Winfrey

Gratitude List for the week ending February 18

  1. Valentine flowers, for both me AND Em
  2. Valentine phone call
  3. Getting through all the posts piled up in my Google Reader
  4. Great meeting with a consultant who is kicking my butt helping me build a better business – online presence and all
  5. Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives – for keeping me company when I’m on the treadmill
  6. The fact that when Jay got the croup this week, he didn’t need an ER visit.
  7. EPIC sledding on the street in front of the Breckenridge house
  8. Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast.  I always drive to Breckenridge by myself to get things ready. She keeps me company AND I learn a ton.
  9. Splurging on Alaskan King Crab legs for dinner on Saturday.  So so good!
  10. Michigan beat Ohio State in their basketball game.

What are you grateful for this week?

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