November 3, 3 things.

I am so grateful for open and honest conversations. Communication makes or breaks any relationship. Clarity; I am grateful that my surgery went very well yesterday (outpatient- nothing major). But I woke up and came home. Whew; I am grateful for this hot cup of coffee I’m having with my boyfriend this morning. #choosejoy #things #gratitude

October 22nd’s 3 things from my new home.

I am grateful to have my kitchen unpacked and I am looking forward to my first batch of chocolate chip cookies; I am grateful the pile of of empty boxes outside my back door from all the other things I have unpacked in the last week; I am grateful that tomorrow I get to keep going and keep working at making this my home, a home like no other – my refuge and my safe place. All mine. #choosejoy #3things #gratitude #homesweethome”

3 things of Gratitude on this 21st day of October…

I’m not going to be a total Debbie Downer, but I can’t let this day go by and not acknowledge that it is the day I convinced my mother to go into the hospital after a fall down the stairs. She had been in bed for the week with “the flu” but we were afraid she had had a stroke. Well – she never came home. Sadly, she died 10 weeks later. 10 weeks of agony with no diagnosis and incompetent medical care. The doctors asked for an autopsy bc they had no idea what killed her. Turns out God just didn’t want them to find the cancer that invaded every organ and every gland…her brain… her spinal cord. Her soul.

It was just supposed to be for a test…

I was 22 and a single parent. She was 49 and my whole life. Just gone.

I’m now 53. 3 kids, 2 grandkids, and a full life. She gave me so much. I miss her all the time and wish she could see my kids – my angels. I know most people feel this way about their lost parents. I’m not unique.

So, on to the good stuff. I am grateful that I had 22 years with a woman who taught me acceptance, passion, integrity, unconditional love, authenticity, and persistence…ok stubbornness; I am grateful to have had a wonderful model to show me how to be the mother I wanted to be; I am grateful for the perfectly imperfect world in which I live and learn grace daily. #gratitude #3things #choosejoy #restinpeacebigA

The Gratitude Reboot

Oct 19, 2022 – 3 things

Serene

Today I am grateful to find peace where I once was troubled; today I am grateful to be settling into my new home – purchased by me and no one else; today I am grateful for all of the women who came before me that made it possible for me to get a mortgage without the signature of a spouse or a father. #choosejoy #3things #gratitude #empowered

3 things – simple

August 8, 2022

I am grateful for late night, left over pizza and garlic butter;

Yummy

I am very grateful for this streaming ice machine thingy that goes through my current brace- it is very soothing (as is the pizza, if I’m being honest);

I am grateful for my amazing friend and her timely, post-it note worthy words “we can hold space for many feelings at once”.

Hoping I have all that I need to fill the cups of those who cross my path during this school year.

#choosejoy #gratitude #3things

Summer 2022 is almost gone but my to do list isn’t finished.

August 7, 2022

I am grateful that when I tore my ACL abroad that I did not break anything else the multiple times I fell as I continued to walk 5-7 miles a day. I tore it on the plane ride over, but when school starts it will be because… I tore my ACL in the Alps. Seriously – sidestepping my way to the window seat is just too… sad.

I am grateful for the support I had during that trip and here at home during surgery and this past week of recovery. A positive environment helps the healing and so far my healing has been awesome. Thank you.

I am grateful for grace and forgiveness. I will be even more grateful when I learn to give both to myself consistently, but I’m afraid I am still a work in progress in this area. So wonderful that others have mastered it and can teach me. I practice, but it’s very hard. It’s so easy to give to others but not to myself. I know I am not alone in this particular battle and struggle for growth as so many of us are so hard on ourselves. Still, I go to bed tonight with a grateful heart knowing that today I tried to be the best person I know how to be, that God loves me, and that my light still shines bright.

So, my to do list for summer 2022 remains with many items yet to be done. I shall use this as a challenge to myself to try to maintain some balance in my life as a teacher. You see my to do list was not filled with chores, but with adventures and new things to try. I don’t have to wait until summer 2023 – and for that I am grateful.

#choosejoy #3things #gratitude #aclsurgery #grace #forgiveness #travel

July ? 3 things – it is summer and I’m a teacher…

I am grateful that my trip abroad with students and parents finally happened and we had a successful educational experience.

A hilltop in Belgium where the American Memorial stands to honor the soldiers that liberated Belgium in WWII.
The precision of the American cemetery. Chilling.

I am grateful for the roof over my head and the home I have built for myself, but I have really been missing my house and my outdoor space. I pray real estate prices come down so this teacher can afford to buy a house. I am grateful I have enough – because I do…I have enough. I don’t need a house – I want a house, and I am grateful to know the difference.

I am grateful for the two little angels I spent the weekend with. They surely have my heart…just when I didn’t think I’d give it away ever again – God tricked me and sent me grandchildren. The sweetness, the innocence, the joy and laughter are all so uplifting and life-affirming.

I decided to put this photo of me as a child on my phone to remind myself who I really am. I, too, am a precious gift from God. This photo was kept in my daddy’s wallet until the day he died. ❤️

#3things #gratitude #choosejoy #bertramtravels

July 7, 2022 Salzburg

As we load the bus in the last day of this 14 day WWII Tour across Europe our perspective can’t help but be modified. The devastation and cruelty of war, of that war – how does our world not learn? I hope my students have been positively affected by this experience and knowledge and their empathy for others has grown.

View from the bus window as I write this post.

We are headed to Austria for the day and will visit the Eagle’s Nest. The view should be spectacular. The building of it was impressive. It’s owner…evil embodied.

My gratitude today? I am dealing with a lot of big emotions, thoughts, and ideologies so I am going to keep my list simple.

I am grateful that the education these students receive on these trips is quite personal and goes way beyond learning history; I am grateful that we have all remained safe; I am grateful for my earbuds that help me shut the world out when I am on stimulus overload. #gratitude #3things #Neverforget

My Three Things from Berlin on July 4th, 2022

Berlin, Germany

I am grateful for all that I have and for all that this life has to offer me in 2022; I am grateful for this WWII History tour and all that I have learned and experienced so far – so sad, yet so proud to be American; I am grateful that my student found her passport back at the restaurant 3 hours after she unknowingly dropped her wallet under the table. #choosejoy #3things #gratitude