I took an unintended break from the blog for a week. Time management has never been my strong point, and when I thought about writing, I was seeing double I was so tired, so it’s just not been done much, yet, in this new year. Plus last Tuesday was a giant BLAH.


I went into town to get chicken food and ended up with $30 in groceries and no chicken food (it was completely sold out!).


I know, right? I got home late, we ate supper late, I did the dishes, did chicken and chores, made cinnamon rolls to rise for basketball practice today, and got on the treadmill late. All in all, last Tuesday’s school day went well, the after-school day part of Tuesday, not so much!

So, today, my One Little Word. I looked at the posts that others have written about the topic. Much flowery writing, many grand plans, and in some cases, a lot of fluff. Maybe it’s my attitude, my age, or the fact that I’m really jaded about many things right now, but the fluffy “oh I’ll be so much better” stuff is just like fingernails on a chalkboard.

For myself, this one is pretty basic, but my One Little Word of 2022 is Thankful.


So, why thankful? Because in this time of stress, burnout, where we were once thanked for our jobs, then demonized for wanting better, I need to be thankful for the things in my life OUTSIDE of school.

My wife and I were together for a LONG time during Covid. We cooked together, cleaned together, spent time walking together, and shared our weak Internet together. All of these things brought us closer together. I am so thankful for that time to just reconnect with her.

As we visited our daughters last month, I just sat back and watched the interactions between them, my wife, and a boyfriend both that night, then at breakfast the next day. The laughter, the smiles, the good-natured teasing going back and forth just made my heart full. I’m thankful for the time we had together.

We had the chance to share a meal and Christmas Eve services with my parents. That’s been my family’s tradition since we’ve moved back to Iowa many years ago. We’d been down for Thanksgiving, but this was different. It didn’t feel as rushed for whatever reason. Those opportunities to just talk without the pressures around creeping in will be the ones I remember. I am thankful for that time with them, my wife, and my daughter.

We’ll have a family Christmas with my wife’s side of the family this weekend. It was postponed due to a Covid positive case in the family, so it will be nice to see everyone again. It’s a traditional sort of meal and kids opening gifts. Nothing fancy, but I know their mom and dad would feel good knowing Christmas is still being held at their place. I am thankful for the amazing cooks who are in my wife’s family. The food will be delightful, and that’s something to be thankful for!

In February, we’ll have a Christmas with my side of the family. I’m the stick in the mud, having basketball tournaments up until February 5th, but who knew there would be a positive Covid test pop up! My brother will bring games and we’ll have a potluck style dinner with soups, which will be interesting! We made this chicken gnocchi soup a couple of nights ago that was just outstanding, so I’m not sure what my wife will bring! I’ll be thankful to see everyone, healthy!

My basketball team won a tournament last weekend. We got clobbered in our first tournament, only had five girls for our second, so I really didn’t know what to expect going in. To see the girls play well and be successful warmed my cold, dark heart. They were relentless on defense and, while not good shooters, we did enough right that we outscored teams by 16 points per game. I tell a lot of people this: we aren’t a “pretty” team, we don’t shoot the ball especially well, we are fairly short, but what we lack in those skills we make up with being tough on defense and just gritty all the way around. I am thankful for those girls and their parents for allowing me to coach them this year.

And finally, I’m part of a fitness challenge and I’m very thankful for that right now. I’d started to backslide on weight and eating habits (I struggle during the school year) so being held accountable for certain goals has been very needed in my life. I’m exercising 30 minutes a day, hitting a calorie goal (less than 2100), a protein goal (120 g per day), and really starting to feel better. My sleep is better and I just feel less “yuck” right now.

So, my One Little Word for 2022: Thankful. So many things out there to be thankful for.

And who doesn’t need a little gratitude in their lives? ๐Ÿ™‚