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Ten Things of Thankful: Road Trip, then Home Edition

The house is quiet. Outside, the snow is falling. Drexel is at my feet. It's a perfect setting to reflect back over the past week and think about things for which I am thankful. There are many, but I'll stick to ten:

1. I'm thankful that I was able to uneventfully travel to San Diego to attend a significant event: the sealing of one of my friends in the temple. For those of you not familiar with LDS theology, a sealing ceremony is an ordinance of eternal marriage--not just "until death do us part." We believe that families can be together forever, even after this life. 

Photo: Palm trees line both sides of an expansive lawn that leads to the white spires of the San Diego temple. The sky is blue and cloudless.

2. I'm thankful for wonderful friends and the chance we had to visit outside the temple after the ceremony.

3. I'm thankful that youngest daughter came to San Diego with me. 

4. I'm thankful for the time we spent in La Jolla, walking along a trail and watching the various ocean wildlife. 

Photo: A sea lion poses on boulders on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. He gazes out towards the waves, and a puddle on the rock catches his partial reflection.
Photo: A black sea bird, with webbed feet and white wispy feathers on either side of its face, holds a twig in its mouth as it stands on a rock on the shore. The blue water of the Pacific Ocean is in the background.
Photo: Multiple seals snooze in a heap on the rocks. Behind them, the waves crash.
5. I'm thankful for prayer. While we usually can't remove a challenge from someone's life, we can always pray, and prayer can provide an extra measure of strength and peace for the individual. 

6. I'm thankful for humor. While at Costco this week, I overheard a mom telling her young children that they didn't need to go down a particular aisle: "That's the pet aisle, for people who have dogs, or cats, or squirrels." I suppose some people might have a pet squirrel, but her choice of animals to list made me chuckle. 

7. I'm thankful that work continues on the house.

Photo: The small flight of hardwood stairs replaces the carpet that had been there.
8. I'm thankful I was able to reschedule the appliance delivery that had been going to happen while I was in San Diego. 

Photo: A refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher sit in my otherwise empty kitchen.
9. I'm thankful for good health. See that refrigerator in the photo above? John and I (I would say "singlehandedly," but we actually each used both hands) moved it from our storage unit into a UHaul truck, and from the truck up the stairs, into the house and then into the kitchen. Even with an appliance dolly, that was hard work, but we managed! Not only did we move the fridge, we moved a washer and dryer, bookcases, a china hutch, dressers, and boxes and boxes. Most of the items are in the garage waiting for the work on the house to be done, but we did move in the appliances.

10. As always, I'm thankful for John. I love the fact that date nights--like the UHaul loading and unloading one last night--don't have to be stereotypical to be fun and meaningful. I also love his humor while we are working so hard on the house; he talks about how nice it will be when we "grow up and move out on our own!" I think that with any phase of life we have two options: mourn the loss of what used to be, or celebrate the changes. When we are empty-nesters, that means that our children have all become independent enough to function without our involvement in the day-to-day aspects of their lives, and isn't that what we want for our children? I'm glad we can all celebrate together!

What are you thankful for this week? Comment below, and link up your own blog post if you'd like! Ten Things of Thankful Blog

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  1. Love the photos from your trip. It sounds like you had a week filled with an abundance of blessings.

    1. Thank you. Fortunately, I got a fair number of shots taken before I ran out of memory on the card.

  2. I love, love those ocean life shots. Visiting the Pacific Ocean myself in a few months. Thanks for sharing.


    1. I've never been a sun-myself-at-the-beach kind of girl, but I do love watching the wildlife and exploring the tide pools.

  3. I love all the photos. The one of the sea lion overlooking the water is beautiful, and the one of the temple is striking. The black bird is a cormorant. The dictionary claims they have voracious appetites, although what is in its mouth is more likely nesting material. Before you know it you will be competing with your Dad. John's remark made me laugh.

    1. I should have been able to identify a cormorant; we watched cormorants fishing in Japan! (I do think it was a different variety, though, it seemed much taller and leaner.) I'm pretty sure he was gathering nesting material. There was another bird on a nest nearby.

      I'm not nearly as good as Dad with photography! In fact, as I was posting these photos, I told John, "Dad would throw these out if he had taken them, but as they are the best I have, they will have to do!" :-)

  4. Enjoyed #9. While not a frequent occurrence, there have been time when Phyllis and I've been faced with what seems a difficult task involving physical exertion. Very satisfying feel when it's successfully done.
    Excellent photos! (And, as always, I admire your caption writing. Simple and descriptive.)

    1. Have you ever seen the movie, "Music and Lyrics"? During one scene, Drew Barrymore tells Hugh Grant that she can't work anymore without food--even a bit of bread would do. While John and I were unloading the truck, I was just about to remind John of that line and then miraculously, we reached the "Mom's Attic" of the Uhaul. A 10:00 dinner at The Pita Pit was about the best food I've ever tasted! We were sore but happy after getting that truck unloaded.

  5. You do have a way with a camera, Kristi. The seal shot with his reflection is stellar. My hub and I sometimes celebrate a date night at Lowe's or the Home Depot, as long as we are together, the place doesn't matter. The progress on your home is fun to watch.

    1. I'm sure neither store would appreciate the moniker, but John will occasionally ask me if I'd like to accompany him to Lowe-Depot.

  6. There is nothing like a loving dog at your feet while you write, or sitting next to you on the couch watching TV (I experienced the second more often as our dogs, I think half the time, thought "the floor? the floor is for dogs!")
    As always, I enjoy your pictures. Your descriptions enhance them, if that's possible :)
    It sounds as if you had a marvellous trip and surely made extra special with your daughter joining in. The Temple looks gorgeous against that back drop of lawn and the palm trees. Awesome.
    I agree with #5 and try to remind myself of it when I seem to have forgotten.
    Teamwork! Amazing isn't it what 2 people can achieve when they are on the same page, have the same motiviation :D

    1. Drexel, as a former guide dog puppy-in-training, was not allowed on the furniture, and we didn't feel the need to change that when he career-changed. (Now, he does sleep on youngest daughter's bed at night, but even now still waits to be invited up before joining her.) Years ago, we had a basset/lab mix who absolutely refused to stay off the furniture. Whenever we told him to get off, he would walk his front legs off the couch, and slowly walk forward until finally his rear legs would drop to the floor. As a basset mix, he was very long so the whole process seemed to take forever. If he could have rolled his eyes, I'm sure he would have!

  7. Your travel photos are amazing. So glad you got to take what looks like an incredibly wonderful trip. And appliances! Yippee! Are you feeling like there is light at the end of the tunnel?

    1. Yes! Cabinets go in tomorrow, and I can hardly wait!

  8. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, and as someone who used to have a pet squirrel, i do not recommend it!

    1. So you were the person the woman at Costco was referencing! :-)

  9. Great list of thankfuls. Beautiful photos too. Have a great week!

  10. Glad you had a nice trip to San Diego. Did you drive or fly? That's quite a trip from where you are now.
    Your house is really coming together! Do you like the cabinets in the kitchen, or did you prefer them on the living room floor :)
    My neighbor up the street used to have a pet squirrel. She fed it peanuts. The squirrel lived outside and brought her babies with her, but she was the only tame one. Her name was Patrick (named before they knew she was a she), and coincidentally, I was just talking to the daughter of the woman who had the squirrel today at preschool, and we were talking about Patrick!
    That was quite a date night!


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