3.5 = miles I ran on the first day I broke in my new running shoes last week. I hardly buy anything for myself (mostly I spend on items for the kiddos, the house, etc.), so has been a treat to run in proper gear.

29.5 = pounds I’ve lost since June. Hit my lowest weight yesterday.

1000-1200 = calories I limit myself to eating on a daily basis. Okay, 1500 if I am having an extravagant day or need the protein after a run. I see food in a totally different way than I saw it last year at this time.

123 = pounds Bill has lost on his weight lost journey. A whole (small) person’s worth!!!

5 = people in my daily life who have been sick in the past two weeks. Currently hoping I have dodged Bill’s cold this weekend. I swear by  almost-too-hot baths for myself and lemon-ginger tea, along with zinc and my normal green tea.

3-4 = hours of my least amount of night’s sleep last week. I need to rededicate myself to the discipline of clean and healthy sleep. I’ve been up too late streaming a TV series on Netflix, violating several of my personal rules for my health. TV is such a time sucker for me at night when the children are sleeping, and I usually relegate it only to time on our stationary bike (thanks, Sana, for that strategy). I do indulge in Downton Abbey, but earlier this year I was watching no personal TV…and loving it, getting so much more done and getting better rest, too. Time to tighten up on myself again.

4 = sweet children at the park on a picnic date with sweet and kind friends

picnic with bergons


(Thanks for the beautiful afternoon, Bergons)!

1 = toe vacuumed up and crunched/sprained/bruised after running around like a madwoman (what else is new?) tidying up the house for company. Still running on it though (yay, sturdy shoes). Yesterday hurt more than today, so we’re headed in the right direction at least with the healing.

6 = years I have had the pleasure to know this superstar student:

meeting with matt


(I taught Matt as a 9th grader the year I gave birth to Katie, and he came over today. Handed off a letter of recommendation and talked with him about his next pursuit. I am so thankful for a bond that still continues with my former students, and I love that so many of them still know so many years later that they can rely upon me to be rooting for them and writing on their behalf. The fact that they know this means that I did my job. I have written several recommendations (for internships, special programs, post-grad work, jobs, etc) since leaving my classroom. I only once had to turn down a student who happened to ask right as I was about to give birth to Eric and pass my real estate test, and I hope he knows still how much it pained me to have to decline due to circumstances. Anyway, I loved visiting with Matt today, and I cannot wait to see how his next adventure pans out for him. What a great guy this one is, universally adored by my colleagues).

2 = nights it took us to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers as part of our McGaugh Family Movie Night: Month of Musicals Edition. Katie and I love that one…

3 = fires in our fireplace this week. Eric is finally old enough this year to be cautious (under supervision) about the fire. I’ve been missing them!

1.5 = approximate number of years since I have seen Mrs. Cutler in person:



(So thankful for our visit on Friday).

4 = days taught so far in our second semester at The McGaugh Academy

4:30 = time we went to the ice cream social at River Springs last Wednesday to celebrate Katie’s achievement of her I CAN goals in ELA and math. She was so pleased as punch to be there and to see her hard work paying off. She got to meet more homeschooled students and even played a little ice breaker game with them. Can you find her?



1 = night this weekend of a great philosophical conversation with my husband about the nature of causality, statistics, language, agency, predeterminism, and physics. I love his amazing mind. Our minds love to play together as we seek to understand this place.

I am so completely thankful for all the good this week (or so) has brought: a chance to deepen friendships, time with my husband and children, cozy rainy days full of learning and warmth, a sense of self-control and health. We’ve been learning about polar bears (among other topics), and I just love homeschooling so much because I get to keep learning, too. I always found myself learning from my students as a public school teacher, as well, and I am thankful that as we get older we never know everything. Life is so much richer when we realize how much we do not know.

My favorite part of our day is cuddling with my two little people in Katie’s big bed. We snuggle, read lots of books, and always end by sharing everyone and everything we’re thankful for each day. If there is anything I hope those two little ones learn from me it is this: to cultivate a spirit of gratitude, to choose kind words, to promote what is positive and good, and to leave the world a kinder, gentler, and less judgmental place. We will always be works in progress as far as those ideals go, but we can always choose to do the right thing and make choices that lead to greater peace in the world. We often talk about ways to make good decisions and using this question as a litmus test for our actions: If everyone in the extreme were to do what I am about to do (or want to do), then would the universe (across time and space) be a better or a worse place? By testing actions at the extreme, we often get a clearer sense of their moral nature. (No, we cannot know all of their ripples, but we can look out many moves ahead as in a chess game). When my babies and I are in our little nightly nest saying what we’re thankful for and talking about what we can do in the morning light to think about others and promote graciousness, those are the moments when I feel like all is right in the world.

In the past two months, I have been pondering what to do with this blog. I know several bloggers who ponder this from time to time. What began as an efficient way to keep in touch with family and friends and to give myself a creative outlet has turned into a means of unexpected connections and blessings. One of my best friends gave me a beautiful journal for my birthday, and it has enticed me to return to handwritten diary entries, daily gratitudes, and a simpler and less public form of existence.

But then every once in awhile, a friend from long ago will find the blog, or will read it (I never assume I have any readers except some of my family, and the other handful of friends I know about, LOL). My site stats reveal a different story, and I am always surprised and humbly touched that anyone would care about and connect with my words. I received a message just last week from a high school friend, C, who connected with something I wrote, and I realize that I keep the blog going because I would never want to miss out on the chance to connect with someone and get to know that person better. Threads of connection are so precious to me, when we are given the chance to see the light inside of someone else. If any of my simple (and sometimes downright silly!) words somehow become the means for me to see inside of someone else, then that is magic. What can be more of a source of wonder than the lives that are around us?

So whatever your numbers are this week, or whatever it is you are thankful for, I want you to know that I am thankful for the chance to connect with you, friends. I hope you all have a great week!