Tuesday, November 22, 2016

11/22/16- Gratitude

Gratitude, I've heard that word a lot lately.  I think with Thanksgiving around the corner (2 days!), many people start to reflect and think about what they are thankful for.  I'm no exception; I'm one of those people reflecting on what I'm grateful for.

Before I start my list of gratitude, I have to say 2016 has been one sharky year for me, and it seems for the world as well.  Wars, conflicts, floods, earthquakes, record high temperatures, legends lost, clowns running countries, and probably other sharky things I'm forgetting (personally this year, there's been illness and broken bones and emotional trials, blah).  It's a wonder that anyone is in a thankful mood right now.  But ever the optimist (although old age sure is trying to beat that out of me and make me a COE, cranky old engineer; you know the stereotype), I do realize there are still some wonderful things in my life.

The first thing I'm grateful for is my friends and family. Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog.  Hearing that you take time out of your day to read my blog means so much to me.   They like me; they really, really like me!  :)   Even if you don't read my blog, I'm so grateful for the care and support my friends and family give me.  Big hugs!

Some of My Wonderful Friends <3

Second, the Cubs winning the world series.  The Cubs winning made my husband (life long fan) so happy, and shark it, if we couldn't all use that kind of happy right now!  Sure, it could be a sign of the 4 horsemen riding, but that was one of the most amazing (sport) wins I've seen.  If we survive the apocalypse, that is one thing we'll still be talking about as we cage fight for food and water Mad Max style.

That One Time at Wrigley

Next on the list, the pug.  It was almost 10 years to this day that Bobby and I went to the cargo hanger at Skyharbor and picked up 2 dogs. They were both shaking in their crates from what I can only image to be the most crazy experience of their dog lives. They had lost their owner, my aunt, a few days before, and then were packed up into dog crates and flown all the way from Atlanta to Phoenix in the belly of an airplane, only to be greeted by 2 strangers and taken to a strange home that already had a dog occupant.

It was one of the best and worst Thanksgivings of my life, so I can only image for Chaps, the Pug, and Gomez, the Shih Tzu, what that Thanksgiving was like for them. Gomez is no longer with us (he passed away a few years ago), but Chaps is.  He is the sweetest dog I've ever had and was Jack's first best friend (okay, Jack's first best friend might have been the ceiling fan).  Chaps, you are getting a whole Turkey in celebration of your adoption birthday! I mean YOLO, right Chaps?

 Pug in 2006

To lighten the mood a little, the next thing I'm grateful for is Bobby and mine's Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition of watching holiday movies.  First movie up will be Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Even though I've seen that movie 20+ times, I still laugh. "Those aren't pillows!" And Christmas Vacation. And Home Alone.  And dozens others.  These movies just make me happy.  And seriously, a good laugh right now is something I think a lot of us can use, so queue up the holiday movies!

Finally, one of the things I'm most grateful for, and it's probably obvious, is Jack and Bobby. Even when they annoy the hammerhead out of me, the next minute their making me smile with a silly face or funny joke.  They also keep me going at work. When I want to quit (almost everyday), I think of how our family needs my income (I know that is so practical, but sometimes the practical reasons are good reasons to keep working).  I also think about how I'm setting an example for Jack. Jack needs me to be the working woman in his life if I want him to truly understand what equal rights in the workplace means (*opinion alert! opinion alert!*).

<3 Three's Company <3

And better than being a part of the motivation to work, Jack and Bobby are part of my inspiration to follow a dream.  After Jack was born, I knew I wanted to create more beautiful things in the world (Jack is the most beautiful thing I've created, but to keep him humble, let's keep that between you and me :)).  I believe with engineering that you can create and make, but the engineering job I'm currently in is all about maintenance (which is important too, but really not challenging me). There is no creating and making with my current engineering job.  So for me to create and make, I decided to write a picture book.

The first picture book was inspired by Jack, observing him being curious about the appliances in our house and how they work.  That manuscript is currently "in the drawer" (as author's call it).  Shortly after that first manuscript, I came up with an idea to write female animal characters performing STEM jobs, in hopes of encouraging children, especially girls, to pursue those careers (assuming the slightest hint of interest, of course).  Bobby helped me form the idea for the first animal character (an aardvark), and he's been a big support in getting the book to print.

That's right, the book is coming to print!  Bobby and I hope to release "Annie a Mathematical Aardvark" in January of 2017!  I'm so excited, happy and grateful to go on this new journey (publishing a picture book) with my guys. Jack and Bobby have been an endless well of support and inspiration, and I'll be celebrating that this Thanksgiving!

Introducing Annie!*

I know 2016 was a rough year for a lot of people, but if you think of something you're grateful and thankful for this year, please leave a comment.  I'd love to hear about the good things that have happened to you.  Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble! :)

*Update- I totally forgot to give credit to the illustrator, Davina, "Viv," Kinney for Annie!  I'm thankful that Viv and I connected and for all the work she's doing on the book!

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