My own list of 1,000 Gifts

Inspired by Ann Voskamp  and her must-read “One Thousand Gifts,”  I’m working on intentionally listing daily blessings in my life, however big or small.

  • These leisurely, happy days in Bristol
  • Postcards
  • Honeymoonin’ in five months!
  • The sound of rain (falling harder and harder)
  • Catching a film at the Odeon with Mad, Bev, Ash and Gen (i love nicknames!)
  • Audrey in desperate need of a haircut
  • Sophie’s smiles
  • Gigi and Nanie’s little voices heard over Skype
  • The venue is ours: the Plains Art Museum
  • The Guest List is nearly complete (at last)
  • A string of sunshine-filled days
  • Picture-taking
  • Watching the Olympic Torch cross the Suspension Bridge first hand
  • Hebrews 12:1
  • My very first tin of English biscuits
  • Strolling through Cambridge University
  • English summers
  • Last month in Bristol (bittersweet days)
  • Finishing A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Return of the Native, Two on a Tower, and A Laodicean all in one week
  • I’m so excited I could WEE it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubliee
  • Meeting with Ralph
  • The Happily Ever Begins: October 27th, 2012
  • Choosing the most darling flower girl dresses for Brigette, Natalie and Olivia
  • Long runs through Ashton Court and right on to the harbor and home again
  • Holding the Olympic Torch
  • Running into a darling Scottie dog en route to the gym
  • Dinner at The Lido with the love of my life
  • Cream tea in Bath (is there any better place in the world for cream tea?)
  • A proposal on Clifton Suspension Bridge
  • A studly fiance (brown eyes, broad shoulders, and he’s all mine)
  • Italy (Roma, Cinque Terre, and back to Venice) in five days
  • The keys to Ashleigh’s lovely flat in the heart of Clifton Village
  • Maria arrives in two days
  • Dress shopping with Gen in Cabot Circus (matching £ 10 denim shirts…by mistake)
  • A rainy Saturday night with chinese food and mozart (and Prince Charles’ tribute to the Queen on BBC)
  • Salmon and quinoa and too much wine and chocolate with Ashleigh Joanna
  • Clevedon Beach (another world ten minutes from my doorstep)
  • A yellow gold solitaire (yes, an engagement ring!)
  • His faithfulness
  • Morning yoga
  • My first macaroons in the Tulieries
  • Seeing the world & still preferring home
  • Brady visits in 18 days (!!)
  • Yogurt-covered banana chips (a Leah & Em Goteborg tradition)
  • Fresh laundry
  • Seeing “The Birth of Venus”
  • Piazza Michelangelo
  • Two scoops of gelato
  • My first Italian ‘cannolo’
  • Being alone!
  • Seeing Sophie’s chubby face via skype
  • New pictures of Coop and Olivia
  • Hearing news that Audrey got an Easter bath
  • The warmth of sunlight on my skin
  • Celebrating Easter with family
  • Finally seeing “The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood”
  • Arriving in Scandinavia and having it feel like home
  • Brady’s voice when it’s been so long
  • Strolling the streets of Venice
  • The best prosciutto and mozzarella I’ve ever tasted in Florence
  • Experiencing the Med
  • New pretty scarves (two for one at Lindex)
  • Saturday morning coffee with honey and cinnamon in the studio of Vintage Invites
  • Impressionism (!)
  • Cute dogs on walks ’round Bristol (look, don’t touch!)
  • Unexpected care packages complete with Funfetti frosting and sprinkles
  • ‘Your voice over the wire came leaping’
  • Rediscovering my love of Thomas Hardy
  • Hearing Gigi and Nanie’s little voices via Skype
  • The idyllic cottage of Anne Hathaway
  • Little British children in coffee shops (“Would you like a biscuit?”)
  • Less than two weeks till Paris
  • Warm, sunshiney days in Clifton Village
  • Discovering a new short-cut
  • The view of The Sound In Plymouth, UK (beauty so immense I lose words)
  • The vivid morning sunshine of Cornwall glittering over the ocean
  • Messages waiting for me in the morning from Brady
  • Making dinner (even chopping onions relieves stress)
  • Learning so much from the first Romantics lecture on William Blake
  • The feeling of empowerment when I find most of my books for term (which is no small task)
  • Making homemade Valentine’s
  • Finishing Mansfield Park (Somehow I still like Henry Crawford)
  • Falmouth, Cornwall-my favorite little sea village
  • Trial and error
  • Walking and walking and walking some more
  • Getting home safe
  • Needtobreathe, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, JJ Heller
  • Ashton Court
  • Moment 1:20 of  Coldplay’s ‘Princess of China’
  • Accidentally overpaying my TJMaxx bill (why yes, I could use an extra $185.08)
  • Upcoming plans for Paris (what?!)
  • His Grace (when I’m so far from deserving)
  • Seeing Audrey via Skype
  • The Quay at Exeter
  • Sunshine and rain and sunshine and rain, rain, rain
  • My lovely flatmate Molly
  • An adorable (maybe two) dress from Top Shop (’twas a killer sale)
  • Trafalgare Square
  • Navigating the Tube like a pro
  • A plush hotel in London (felt spoiled indeed)
  • Soclose to finishing Mansfield Park (a small start to my reading list)
  • William Blake (never remembered liking him and then! o!)
  • The beauty of Cathedrals (St. Pauls, Bath Abbey, Exeter)
  • The handsome British manager in Exeter who left his post to show Maddy, Gen and I the old secret vaults
  • New mornings with new grace
  • A lovely three-course dinner shared with Maddy at The Waterfront
  • The stunning view overlooking The Sound in Plymouth, UK
  • The start of a new year
  • Fish and Chips in Clifton Village with Molly
  • Delicious naps after zero winks on the flight
  • Meeting little Zoe (she and Audrey will be buds)
  • Farewell dinner at Monte’s
  • A Minnesota Christmas with little or no snow (simply unheard of!)
  • Driving with my Grandmother
  • Hilarious messages from Caro
  • Lovely nude Mary-Jane pumps
  • Meeting a lovely Jewish woman on the flight from Newark to Brussels
  • Running out of gas right outside the Raddisson (Hello, airport shuttle!)
  • A pretty Christmas pearl bracelet
  • Cuddling with Audrey every night
  • Studying at the Hilton Inn compliments of Momo
  • The Finnish Bistro in Saint Paul (I was suddenly transported back to Lillehammer)
  • The excitement and familiarity of home
  • Moxie Java coffee compliments of my girl Amee
  • The girls’ birthday cards to Brady (I want to make you a ‘chock-it’ cake with boo and pink ‘frost-in.’ I want to give you a yiddle dalmation. I want to give you a kiss)
  • Celebrating Brady’s birthday in person!
  • Bridgette asleep in the family room in her pink leopard print pajamas
  • Holiday baking and having access to a proper kitchen
  • Dairy Queen!
  • Gingerbread house making with the girls (Hope, why does yours look like a cardboard box?)
  • Christmas Eve at the Johnsons
  • Dollars go so much farther than pounds
  • Study days at Ikea with endless Swedish kaffe
  • Finishing the Aphra Behn essay (a miracle indeed)
  • Cooper and Olivia, the most gorgeous blonde children alive
  • The luxury of driving a car (what! I don’t have to walk to the grocery store?)
  • TJMAXX (Yes, I did have a couple Becky Bloomwood moments)
  • Date nights with Mr. Brady Mark
  • Long walks with Audrey (and her love affair the basset hound, poor chap!)
  • Trips to the pet store with Gigi, Nanie, and my Mother
  • Homemade caramel rolls on Christmas morning
  • The excitement of going home
  • Packing and listening to Christmas music
  • A signed first edition of ‘Keats and Hellenism’ (Thank you, Dr Punter!)
  • Seeing the babies THIS WEEK
  • Seeing my baby Aya THIS WEEK
  • Seeing Brady TOMORROW
  • Christmas presents from friends
  • Holiday baking
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Sleeping in (till just before noon)
  • Knowing I’m returning to Bristol after Christmas
  • Looking forward to wonderful things
  • No make-up days
  • Ray LaMontagne
  • Mulled wine and mince pies
  • Romanticism lectures
  • A new reading list
  • Clifton Christmas ‘Fayre’
  • ‘It’s the holiday season…’
  • Home in nine days
  • Going to the cinema
  • Finally getting warm enough to sleep
  • Christmas onesies that make me feel four (all I need now are stick-on earrings)
  • Listening to Josie Vanders
  • Pictures on my wall of Gigi, Nani and the rest of the crew
  • Salisbury Cathedral
  • Swans on River Avon
  • Battered cod and chips
  • Oil and water
  • Tiny coffees that leave you craving more
  • The view of Cabot Tower from my window
  • Audrey’s someday sibling
  • Two weeks till home
  • Hot showers and grapefruit soap
  • Hyperion: A Fragment, “O, aching time! O moments big as years!”
  • Scones with clotted cream and jam. Nothing more to say.
  • Quiet mornings at Cafe Nero in Clifton
  • British Mums with their British babies in prams
  • The James Blake concert
  • Ashley, Gen and Caro
  • Pear Cider
  • November in Bristol
  • His mercies are new each morning
  • Christmas surprises
  • Postcards
  • Letter writing
  • A bit of Christmas shopping in Clifton
  • The X Factor (o, BBC iplayer!)
  • Laughing with Leah
  • Strolling through castles
  • British children named Lily
  • Quince jam
  • Turning in my first essay
  • Finishing Keats’ biography
  • The magic of the Cotswolds
  • Exploring charity shops
  • Holding spaniel puppies on the street
  • Skype calls with Brady (this counts as a hundred gifts. at least.)
  • Grey days to appreciate the sunny ones
  • Experiencing an Anglican church service in a parish built in the 15th century
  • Learning to make a proper cup of British Tea (always say yes to cream and sugar)
  • Chalky white cliffs of Sussex
  • Old friends with familiar faces
  • Train rides through the English Countryside
  • Love letters
  • Pints of cider
  • New friends
  • Window shopping in Cabot Circus
  • Sending postcards
  • Sophie
  • Thinking of my baby sisters
  • “The Guilty River” by Wilkie Collins
  • Filling up my calendar
  • Polka dot dresses that fit just right
  • Daytrips to Bath, England
  • Keats
  • Numbing throat spray (my throat may be sore, but I can’t feel it!)
  • Blush wine
  • Emails from my Momma
  • Love notes from Brady
  • Grocery shopping in British grocery stores
  • Reading all things Romantic
  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Cream tea (o, sweet clotted cream!)
  • Library dates with Caro and Gen
  • British television (the luxury!)
  • Walks home in the rain
  • Meeting Judith and Jenny
  • Trips to Windsor Castle
  • Walking tours
  • Getting to know Tom and Stu
  • Molly
  • Bristol:::I love this city
  • Jetlag
  • Late nights and early mornings
  • Ivy on old stone fences
  • Manor Hall
  • A new mobile
  • Brady Mark
  • British Accents
  • Curry for 19pence (thank you, Sainsbury!)
  • Falling head over heels for Bristol
  • Scotties in the backyard
  • Free tea and scones
  • A new city
  • Cobbled streets
  • English classes
  • And Then There Were None
  • Visas coming through
  • Booking flights to England
  • Closing a chapter
  • His mercies are new each morning
  • Celebrating and dancing and weddings
  • A newborn niece fresh from the hands of God
  • Time freedom (even if it’s just spent cleaning)
  • Being home for a month
  • Sleeping in (such a luxury!)
  • Christina’s homemade chocolate cake
  • Silly dreams
  • Eating one too many ribs
  • Swimming!
  • Reading by the lake
  • Thank goodness for mascara
  • Falling deeper in love
  • Letters (instead of bills) in the mail
  • Pinterest (I’m an addict)
  • Beautiful Ugandan babies
  • Mornings I make it to work on time
  • New music to get me through the day
  • A lovely cubicle friend
  • Tiny grey kittens
  • Baby twin sisters
  • His mercies are new each morning
  • Tiny shopping sprees
  • Audrey kicking up her heels
  • Brady cooking delicious dinners
  • Looking forward to something
  • Outdoor weddings
  • Orchids
  • Sleep
  • Interesting conversations with strangers
  • Little girls stopping to pet Audrey
  • Warm glow of house lights at nighht
  • A water fountain in the park
  • Arranging bouquets
  • Bubbles
  • Shark Week
  • Couples that simply ‘go together’
  • Afternoons at the beach with Gigi and Nattie
  • Turning into a puddle at hot yoga
  • Soft pillows after a long day
  • Long walks with Audrey
  • Strawberry blonde hair on little girls
  • Coffee with cream

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Burning the Turkey « ineedtopinchmyself

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