Gratitude day 70




I am grateful for matching Christmas Jammie’s on my boys. I know it’s early. So what! Look at them! THEY ARE ELVES! And that’s awesome.

I am grateful for more reno progress. Where once there was a planter, there is now a quarter of a planter and space for a doorway. How about that.

I am grateful that I think I’ve processed my way through the whole Ghomeshi thing. That news story was taking up far too much of my brain space for longer than it should have. Moving on…

Gratitude day 69

Today I am grateful for Farley, in his firefighter helmet, running around the house screaming “WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO-WEE-OOO!”

I am grateful for the quiet murmur in my office. TGIM.

I am grateful for progress on the reno. Small steps thus far, but it’s great to see things starting to happen.

Gratitude day 64

I am grateful for the box our new hot water tank came in.


I am grateful that I managed, just today, the day before workers come to start work, to get our basement devoid of stuff. When we moved in we had most of our stuff placed there, and having so much crap, we never figured we needed it enough to unpack it. One lesson learned that (hopefully) will no longer applicable to me: don’t hold on to stuff thinking someday you’ll have a house to put it in. If you are like me, you might spend decades squeezing those things into closets. You’ll move them from rented apartment to rented apartment. Perhaps you’ll even rent storage space for them. Then, you’ll get that house you always dreamed those things would belong in, only to find you stIll don’t want that crap. It’s been a liberating, but long and tedious journey to a clean basement over these last few weeks.

I am grateful for projects getting done and launched and off my radar. On to other things!

Gratitude day 61

Today I am grateful for 57 years of service from our hot water tank. I’m amazed at how happy I am it failed today. Here’s the thing: it was the best possible scenario. It started leaking, but I happened to be in the basement probably within about 20-45 minutes of it starting. There was about of gallon of water on the floor, where last week, many of my possessions were located in cardboard boxes before we moved them to make way for construction. No damage occurred, but that would not have been the case last week. Even better, we’d already decided and planned on its imminent replacement. In fact, it was set to be moved temporarily tomorrow, because right now it sits where the door to the downstairs suite will be. Unreal!

I am grateful for a familiar crowd of families at a birthday party for a 4 year old we attended this morning. It’s great to have a 5 and 2 year old, both who have “old” friends.

I grateful for the unplanned event of having Farley fall asleep on me while I was reading him stories before bed today. He was pretty tuckered out! Speaking of tuckered out, so am I. Goodnight, interwebs.

Gratitude day 57

I am grateful that it is a rare occasion I drive to work. Parking is a drag, and I get grumpy when I don’t get a walk or a bike ride in somewhere in the day.

I am grateful that our renovations are starting to actually happen this week. It’s been a long time coming. I am trepidatious about how this, my first experience with a home renovation will go. I’ll feel better when I’m at the destination on this one, but every long journey starts with one step.

I am grateful for some time spent this evening with my boys making paper airplanes from a great paper airplane book from my youth. It is amazing what a great toy a piece of paper can be when you fold it up, and what a few minor adjustments can do to improve a paper airplane’s performance.

Gratitude day 55






I am grateful for Julie’s idea to go to Goldstream provincial park for a weenie roast for lunch. It was all kinds of a great way to spend the day. Having a fire is fun. Eating hot dogs is fun. Being outside is almost always more fun than being inside. The natural beauty of that place, from the majesty of a great big waterfall, to the microcosm of the moss on the side of any given tree is amazing. It makes me realize my gratitude for living near this particularly amazing place on this particularly amazing planet. What are the chances?

I am grateful for the brotherly love that exists between my boys. They can fight like cats and dogs; perhaps just dogs; perhaps actually particularly violent dingoes… But I digress. Often they fight, but sooner or later they make up, and you can see how much they prefer to be together than apart. That photo of them holding hands – that’s all them, and just how they were this afternoon. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

On that note, I am grateful to Kurt Vonnegut, whose novels I love, but in this case I am grateful for this quote about his uncle Alex, from whom I borrow that phrase A LOT in this blog :

One of the things [Uncle Alex] found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

My late grandfather, Steve Lathrop Sr. had a quotable phrase he often uttered to me and many other family members on many occasions, from backyard barbecues to fancy dinners. It was similar and went like this:

“It doesn’t get much better than this.”

[pause for effect]

“And this is pretty good!”

Gratitude day 54


I am grateful for Firehall open houses. This year it was in Esquimault. Farley is particularly enthused with firetrucks these days and he loved it!

I am grateful for our daycare provider. She commented on the above photo on Facebook because she knows and likes my kid. Both kids. She took care of Coop, too, and still sees him socially on occasion, and when we’re dropping Farley off sometimes. She’s got an amazing respect for kids that I wish I saw in more grown ups, myself included. She sets a great example for the children, but also for their parents. At this point she feels like is a member of our family. For the record, I’m not writing this because she told me she reads my blog recently, although that is flattering. When she mentioned the blog she said she was glad to get a glimpse of Farley’s world. Cussing awesome reason! If you are ever in need of a recommendation for daycare in Victoria, hit me up via email and I’ll provide contact info.

I am grateful for the immediate comfort that comes with the presence of old friends, in town and over for the full sacrificial turkey ritual this at Thanksgiving. Remember when I said I made some great friends as a scout? I’ve known my pal Ryan since I was 12 and he was 10. Now I also get to hang out with his spouse and 2 kids, similarly aged to Coop and Farl. If that’s not nice, I don’t know what is.

Gratitude day 40


I am grateful for the nap I had with Farley today. He’s still a fairly avid napper, but he won’t be forever. Best to drink these kids in while one can, and I did today, and it was nice.

I am grateful for leftovers. It made dinner easy; otherwise, we we’re beat. I think it would have been hard.

I am grateful for my big boy’s understanding and gracious response upon learning that my little boy knocked over his plastic beadwork project, thereby destroying dozens of minutes of work. Cooper was upset, but he didn’t freak out at Farley too bad upon hearing the news.