Monday, May 25, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 23...

This week's prompt: my favorite physical trait.

Now........I hate these. The ones where I have to talk about things I like about myself. I love talking about traits I love on other people. I could point out a thousand of those. But on me?

Ick. I hate that.

However, a challenge is a challenge, so I must press on.

My favorite physical trait?



My smile.



It's a little bit Tom Cruise-ish (with off center teeth, etc) and a little bit hysterical or manic at times...well, okay, most of the time. And sometimes I smile so hard I look a bit psychotic or maybe even homicidal. However, I do like my smile. Just not for superficial reasons.



I like my smile because it represents my unwavering ability to press on.



I've seen sadness and darkness. I've seen anger and loss. I've seen heartache and disappointment. I've seen rejection and cruelty. And  I've had the ugly experience of losing a child, which hollows one out like a Jack-o-lantern and chars the soul til it's black and crispy. In my lifetime I've watched alcoholism and drug addiction ruin families. I've seen mental illness split apart marriages and fracture families. I've seen anger turn to bitterness and then slowly morph into decades of frostiness that is tangible to everyone who witnesses it. I've seen aging parents and unexpected deaths. I've seen scary diagnosis's and life reboots a'plenty. I've seen divorce and anguish and tug-of-wars over children that never needed to happen. I've seen a lot. I haven't seen it all, per say, but I've seen enough.



In all reality, I should be a permanent frowner. I would have every right to be. This is fact.

And yet.....



I keep smiling. Always smiling. And here's why:



Because I never know who needs my smile to keep THEM going. I may never know. Maybe it's the cranky dude at the market. Maybe it's the little kid who didn't want to get on the bus to Hogwan this afternoon. Who knows. All I know is, there may be a time when someone needs a smile, and who am I to refuse to give it to them. Smiles are free. Smiles are good for one's health. I may as well share them, eh?

Plus, some people have smiled at me when I really wanted to give up. I remember being greeted with a smile at church a few days after we lost our daughter, and feeling like maybe, JUST MAYBE the world wasn't the festering cess pool I'd written it off to be. It gave me hope. All from a little smile! That's pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

And so I do as the aforementioned meme suggests...I try to scatter joy. Some days are better than others. Some days I fail. Some days I succeed.

But I always smile. (Even when there are tears in my eyes.)



So that's my favorite physical trait. My smile.

What's yours?

xxoo
Brooke

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 22...

This week's prompt is:

Something I use daily.

Okay, so other than my Mac and my iPhone, which were both too cliche to pick, I only use one other thing on a daily basis...and sometimes even more often than that, especially since moving to South Korea.



My faith.

Yeah. It's pretty strong lately. And I'm relying on it an awful lot right now, to get me--and my family-- through this huge transition. I'm not sure where I would be without it.

What do you use daily?

xxoo
Brooke

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 21...

This week's prompt is...

Things I like about summer.

Oh, summertime, our relationship has been complex over the past 39 years....

I was overweight for years. Summertime was awful. I would sweat and get faint all the time, and got rashes in weird spots from the moisture on my skin, and the heat around my body. It was embarrassing and gross. I hated summer.

But then I lost 100 pounds. And then I spent the summer moving and playing and going places and enjoying the heat....especially since I was no longer suffering from heat stroke and excessive sweating.

But there are a lot of other things to enjoy about summertime, too.....here are a few of my faves:

1.) Camping. (We camper camp. Don't hate it unless you've tried it. It ROCKS...especially for a fair-weather camper like me.)



2.) Nectarines and watermelon.




3.) The smell of fresh cut grass, and rain on the horizon. (Growing up in Fairfield, I learned how to detect rain just with the use of my nose.)



4.) Priest Lake. (Google it....it's my own personal heaven on earth.)



5.) Sunflowers and daisies.



What do YOU like about summertime?

xxoo
Brooke

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 20...

And this week's prompt:

A friend.

Yeah. We're doing this one again. Which is fine by me, because I've got some lovely friends. This week I decided to brag about my awesome friend, Jess, who is a fellow writer and foster mom....



...Not to mention a kick butt chick who makes me laugh and inspires me daily.

She writes incredible stories. And she's a class act in the mom department, too. She really does make me want to be a better wife, mom, and author.

Buy her books. She writes under the name Jess MacCallan. And she's awesome.

xxoo
Brooke

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 19...

Sorry I missed last week. Living without internet or cell phones for the past few weeks while we got settled in South Korea was rough. I am well aware that billions of people live without so much more than just internet and cell phones, so don't come down on me. But man oh man, I felt so isolated and disconnected. It sucked.

But now I'm back.

And this week's prompt is: Health.

You know, this is one of those things I take for granted until I am in poor health, and then I realize how grateful I am for health.

Watching my mom age, and struggle with her health (mobility wise) is hard. I know that I'll get to that point eventually, and it scares me. It makes me sad to watch my mom, who used to be spry and active, struggle to do even the most mundane things, like walk to get her mail sometimes. That makes me extremely grateful for my legs, and how easily they move and walk and run.

I am also grateful for my new stomach, and the health it affords me. I've lost 100 pounds, kicked pre diabetes to the curb, told neuropathy to suck it, and decided to live to meet my grandkids. And I'm so grateful for that. I really am.

What health benefits are you grateful for??

xxoo
Brooke

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gratitude challenge week 17...

....This week's topic?

Something I take for granted.



This is easy for me. Right now we are waiting for our alien registration cards (our family moved to South Korea recently) so we are without internet or cell phones.

And we are climbing the walls.



True story.

I never thought living without these things would suck this hard. But it does. Oh, yes. It sure does.

What do you take for granted?

xxoo
Brooke