Monday, November 28, 2011

with gratitude.

Listening To: The Day of Small Things by Alli Rogers
Perfectly Gorgeous Description: "Professor Cake was a hunched old man with a voice as knotted as his knuckles." - from Jonathan Auxier's Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

"All this noise, and all that sound.
All those places I got found." - Coldplay

Color me grateful for a long weekend,
for crunchy leaves
and sunrise skies
and crumbly pie crusts.

For the wild and crazy women in my family who love to cook,
because they love to love.
And cooking is one of the ways they love.

Cooking is not the way I love.
But they're okay with that.
They tell me all I ever need to bring is myself.
And my appetite.
(But I took a caramel cake anyway.
Because caramel cake = fudgey deliciousness.)

This weekend was cranberries and pretty china,
hot coffee and spiced cider,
and sweet potato casserole
covered with brown sugar and Georgia pecans.
Which I pronounce puh-con.
But my brother pronounces pee-can.
(My way sounds prettier.)

We all held hands and whispered grace,
prayers of thanks and and hope and health.
We whispered Christmas words.
We told vacation stories.
We talked about the people we love
(and miss).
We listened as much as we talked.
We laughed until our faces hurt.

I'm grateful for late night board games.
Cowboy hats and stormtrooper helmets were not a requirement:

But they definitely make opponents take you more seriously.
Or something.

I'm grateful for bedtime stories,
and Home Alone,
and how we've watched that movie so many times
that we mostly have it memorized.
(We laugh anyway.)

I'm grateful for a house full of comfy couches,
and soft blankets,
and fluffy pillows,
places perfect for hiding away,
to read,
or dream,
or sleep.
Or just pretend to be sleeping.

I'm grateful for sweet farm dogs,

For a long walk in the woods,

For a longer walk around the lake,
when the twilight clouds broke apart,
somewhere high-up above me.
Pretty winter crackle-clouds. 

When the sky gets scattered over the water like that,
the whole world looks silver and bright. 
One brave wishing star winked down at me. 
Just one star. And all it did was shine. 
But I thought about how maybe that's all it takes some times, 
just a little incentive to shine. 
Just a little flicker of courage.
No more hiding out.
No more lazy fear.

Maybe the moment I shine is the moment I decide to,
when I stop clinging to the reasons that I can't,
And decide instead that I am going to do
what I love to do,
clouds or no clouds. 
Even if nobody sees. Even if nobody notices. 
But some times they do notice. 
I wondered as I walked.
The world felt so full of hope and expectation and good things. 
These are good days. 

I'm grateful for good-bye pancakes
crunchy on the edges,
cakey in the middle
sweet, but sad too.  
Because whether it's a "good bye"
or a "see ya later," 
leaving is still leaving. 
And leaving always sucks.

But I'm still so thankful. 

Because love doesn't lessen when it's stretched across a thousand miles.
Love doesn't break when I drop it. 
Love keeps reaching,
and threading,
and bending,
and anchoring,
and connecting me to the people I love.
Even if we haven't seen each other in ages.
Even when we can't see each other at all. 

Home is most certainly where my heart is.
So color me grateful;
pick a color that's silver-grey like the sky,
pick a color that's caramel or cranberry,
something comforting and sweet.
Pick a sunrise color for me.

And use it to paint all the places I've left my heart.
They're all home to me. 
I love to think that,
no matter where I wander,
I'm really just headed home again. 

I'm still jet-lagged (in a good way!) from this weekend. And I am very grateful that calories consumed over Thanksgiving holidays do not count. Carbs, FTW! Did you have a good weekend? Read any fun books? Did you see Hugo? Or The Muppets? I would love to hear the best part of your Thanksgiving! (Please feel free to link YouTube clips of anything awesome I might have missed in the parade ...)


  1. Gorgeous post! :)

    Hugo hasn't come anywhere within a 2 hour drive from my house yet, unfortunately. Probably the best part of my Thanksgiving was me and my dad making our first from-scratch apple pie, and not only did it turn out edible, but it was good. Really good. {My talents in the kitchen are seriously lacking, but that gave me confidence. :)}


  2. My favorite part was when some of us went outside in the cold to jump on the trampoline and play on our swing in the woods.

  3. My favorite part of this weekend was spending my birthday with the people I love the most, my wonderful friends and family.
    I love them all SOOOOO much, and home is when I'm with them.
    I loved what you said about love, how it keeps reaching and threading and bending anc anchoring and connecting me to the ones I love, because that is the way I feel about the people I love.

  4. i loved this post SO much. very special, Natalie. and Home Alone is totally the best Christmas movie ever.

  5. "Maybe the moment I shine is the moment I decide to,
    when I stop clinging to the reasons that I can't,
    And decide instead that I am going to do
    what I love to do,
    clouds or no clouds.
    Even if nobody sees. Even if nobody notices.
    But some times they do notice.
    I wondered as I walked.
    The world felt so full of hope and expectation and good things.
    These are good days. "

    This reminded me of something God convicted me of tonight. I always make excuses and blame it on my age, because I've always been the youngest, and recently I've used that a lot to excuse myself from doing/saying important things, and I didn't even realize it. But my Father is so gracious and loving, and I can start now, I will start now, and I know that the world is full of hope and expectation and good things. :)

    Also I saw The Muppets (even though I had wanted to see Hugo) but it was great, funny and just what I needed, something just silly to make me laugh and sing along and reminisce. So worth it.

  6. Your words are so beautiful. Seriously. Never stop writing.

    My break was so wonderful. I got the whole week off from school and did lots of reading (read the Hunger Games and loved it...the second one is sitting next to me, waiting for me to finish my homework), scrapbooking, writing, Pinterest inspired crafting, was a much-needed break.

    Hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday! :)

  7. Natalie, this is beautiful. Just beautiful.