The last evening of 2016, I spent with long time friends, Tina and Mike, and my husband Russell. After a savory dinner and some music, we headed to our favorite coffeehouse in Cottleville, Van Buskirk’s Chocolate Bar for some conversation and drinks.
The mood was festive, with millenials and hipsters hanging out at the bar. Silver ribbons and star decorations hung from the rafters. Familiar music from bands of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s played in the background. Lisa, the cute bartender, ever so stylish in her yarn hat, handed out sparkling glasses of champagne to the fifteen of us gathered that night to ring in the New Year.
I’m sure the four of us were the oldest people there. No worries. Tina and I had fun dancing and singing; the guys had fun laughing at our antics.
As Mike and Russell conversed, Tina and I shared how 2016 was like a roller coaster with its ups and downs. I mentioned to her, how I’d just love to have a day of solitude.
I planned on opening the Grateful Jar after I returned home, a tradition I’d started last year on January 1, after seeing a facebook or twitter post, but for some reason, it wasn’t the right time.
I saved the Grateful Jar for today. A day where the sun was brilliant in the powder blue sky, and snow was packed hard in the driveway. A lazy Saturday morning — kittens talking to birds outside, and the dogs sacked out in the living room with the hubster.
The Grateful Jar’s purpose – write down good things that happen to you on paper and place them in the jar. They could be surprise gifts, accomplished goals, the beauty of nature, LOL moments or even daily blessings. Then on December 31, open the jar at midnight and read all the amazing things that happened that year.
I opened the new and improved “Count Your Blessings” jar purchased at a home decor store.
– January 4 – Grateful for my husband and three beautiful fur babies.
– Grateful for my long time friend, Tina, who reminds me of the sister I never had.
– Sleeping in my own bed.
– Thankful for long winter walks in the snow with the dogs, and mornings of discovery in January.
– January 27 – Thankful God takes away my anxiety just by reading his Word.
– January – Thankful for my fur baby wake-up crew – a black cat diva, a neurotic Australian Shepherd, and big ole goofy red dog.
– January 3 – Grateful to have a roof over my head.
– Thankful for a wonderful birthday weekend.
-February 2 – Caramel cappuccinos at Crooked Tree Coffeehouse
-February 3 – Extra Dark Cacao Chocolate with sea salt at Kakao Chocolate in Maplewood.
-February 4 – Grateful for cotton candy pink clouds in the shapes of horses and dragons.
-February 4 – Grateful for sacked out naps with dogs, hubby and kitty in the comfort of my sofa on cold winter days.
-Beautiful landscapes of fields, farms, and barns.
-February 3 – Grateful for the shooting star I witnessed in the magnificent night sky at 12:22 a.m., and the incredible night sky blanketed by stars!
-March 3 – Glorious day of a purple sky sunset against silhouetted trees!
-March 14 – Thankful Adeline, the manx cat, showed up on our deck. Thankful we didn’t leave a pregnant momma out in the cold to fend for herself.
-Grateful for Adeline and the delivery of six healthy kitten babies on April 11. Praying for her health and well being.
-Grateful God listens to my prayers – April 12.
-Grateful Adeline’s kittens Patric, Dora, Sweet Tea, Elvis, Ireland and Skye make me laugh every day biting my legs, jumping on my back, crawling up my nightgown, and jumping in Russell’s underwear. (six weeks old)
-Thankful for a house full of love – kitties and kittens.
-Grateful Adeline’s kittens have gone to friends and church family.
-Russell snuck this one in – Grateful for Sheree’s need to be productive.
-Some days I’m just grateful for everything! (March 28) Smiley face
-Grateful my lymphoma is in check.
-Iced cappucinnos and cake pops from Starbucks.
-Grateful for outdoor showers at beach houses in Sunset Beach and the way the cool air feels on my nubile skin.
-May 24 – Grateful for the beautiful orchid I’ve kept alive for more than 1.5 years.
-Dogs riding in cars with their heads hanging out the windows, and ears flapping in the wind.
-My husband gently washing my back in the shower.
-The hummingbird on the purple helicopter plant (Cleome) on the back deck.
-The sound of the 12:30 a.m. train whistling through my open bedroom window.
-My big red dog, Bordeaux, inquisitively memorizing our car trip to the beach.
-Conversations with strangers on planes that last for 2 hours. (Strangers no more)
-When Ireland, our kitten, carries that big yellow artificial Gerber Daisy in her mouth. My inability to catch her.
-My friend Abby snuck these in. Love you Abby!
I am grateful for Sheree and Russ sharing their fur babies with me. Love, Abby
I am grateful for Midnight, Adeline, Elvis and Ireland wait for me to come in at the door. (Three hearts)
I am grateful for my very good friends Sheree and Russell !! xoxo, (smiley face with exclamation eyes) Abby
-Toes dug in chilly Michigan sand, and warm up jackets.
-God’s grace. (heart)
-Backyard bonfires with friends and s’mores with dark chocolate and Reese’s peanut butter cups.
My husband snuck this one in.
-“My wife’s big boobs.”
-Grateful to console friends that need to talk.
-Grateful for Katie Eichhorn’s ‘wedding of the century’ held at Bissinger Chocolate Factory, with all the cousins.
-Grateful for five vacations this year.
-Blessed that Wildlife Rescue Center released 12 baby squirrels on our property.
-Grateful the pain in my breast was nothing.
-Grateful to ring in the New Year with friends, Mike and Tina, and the hubster, Russell.
Alot of people on facebook said that 2016 was a bad year. Well, it wasn’t for me. Sure there were some low periods. Even unproductive times. With all the things that bring a smile to my face, make me laugh, and gave me warm fuzzies, I think it was a pretty good year.
And Lord knows, I love all that chocolate and coffee stimulating my brain!
Isn’t that what it’s all about? Feeling, seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, talking, loving, building relationships…
However your 2016 played out, remember there’s always this year to change things up.
Hope 2017 is a good one for you.
Peace Out and Love,