Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

Little Things // December 2018

Each month I like to practice gratitude by looking back at the little things each month. For me that usually means looking through the photos on my phone and remembering moments that might not come to mind so easily. Let’s take a look back at December!

Mina starts out the month.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

My niece celebrated a birthday, so we had cake and coffee with a dollop of ice cream after dinner.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

I met up with a friend for a long overdue coffee date to chat about life and poetry.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

There was a holiday harp concert at my coffeeshop, so my niece and I attended. So many people stopped by to talk to us and there was someone else who I knew in high school who I think wanted to talk to me, but didn’t, even though he stood right by our table the entire time.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

That same weekend my niece and I looked at a filming setup so that we can film her piano playing.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

We had a few days of frost and it looked like Narnia. It was so gorgeous!

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

I mean…

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

In December I began each day by setting an intention and planning out my day. It made such a difference in each day and I noticed how different I felt on the days I didn’t do this.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

I purchased a Norfolk Island Pine and the people at the nursery said I should be able to wait until spring to repot, but after a few weeks it was so rootbound that it was starting to curl and the roots were dangling out of the nursery pot, so I repotted it.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And then I irritated Mina by taking pictures of her in front of it. 😂

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

I spent a weekend with my niece and Tino during which my niece said I traumatized her by making her watch all the Twilight movies. She thought they would have been so much better if Edward and Bella weren’t in them. Also, the final movie. For a few minutes we thought I might have misled her about things would end and her fangirl heart (which is still reeling from the loss of one of her fave characters) almost couldn’t take it.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

I gave my niece my money plant when we thought it was on its way out. Since it was floundering in my care, she decided it should go to a good home that loves it in its final days. Only… it started to grow!

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

The light and shadows in this room. 😍😍

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

A friend had a studio open house/winter solstice party right before the holidays.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And a week (week and a half at the most) later, look at how it’s grown!

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

I hired a coach! (This is where I was during our phone call.)

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And puppy sat Tino over Christmas.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And we had a cozy time filled with books and the fireplace.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And then it was Christmas Day!

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

Miss Mina and I went on an adventure. (Gotta love that blurry first picture I chose from all the photos I took that day. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And tried to take a few selfies. Well, I was, at least. She was trying to see where we should go next.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

We celebrated my mom’s birthday with brunch and dinner.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And we had a rainy day in December.

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com
Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

Every time he went outside he sat and let me dry him off when he came back in. He’s such a sweetie. 💙💙💙

Practicing gratitude by celebrating the little things each month. December 2018 included dogs, holidays, birthdays, and beautiful scenery. // dreams-etc.com

And those were my little moments in December. I’d love to hear about YOUR little moments from the month!

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Instagram

  • Met this handsome fella today. His name is Chauncey. When he blooms he’ll smell like eau de rotting meat and will make everyone swoon. 😍🥴😷 (If you live in the Twin Cities and visit him on Tuesday you might be able to see/smell him in all his glory.)
  • “Spread love wherever you go.” [Mother Theresa]
  • Whether you had a case of the Mondays or you had a great Monday, a photo of a cute dog is always in order.

PS - There’s a new post on the blog featuring this guy and a few other cute dogs. 🐶
  • If you’re looking for me, I am probably buried in the snow someplace, waiting for mail that never gets delivered and wondering if the only greenery I’ll ever see again are the plants that fill my room. What colors do you see when you look outside?
  • Just booked tickets to head back to a city that captured my heart last year. And I’ll be there a little longer this time! Tell me your NYC faves! What should I do? Where should I eat? Where should I get coffee? And any tips for being social while at @vox_con? I can be an awkward one sometimes. 😂
  • Happy #nationalloveyourpetday to my sweet little sidekick. She was a little bewildered by all the snow we got today, but by the end of the day she was frolicking through it. I so appreciate this little girl and all the joy, laughter, and comfort she brings. Tell me about your pet.
  • Let’s see if I can make it through this without crying. If you’ve been following my Stories, you’ll know that I left town on Wednesday. I mentioned that this isn’t a fun trip, but I followed that up with images of cute dogs and a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. What I didn’t show was a day spent at the hospital as I visit people I love dearly, one of whom is in ICU and may not get better. This would actually be a great segue into “Instagram is curated,” but not today.

Yesterday was a hard day. It was filled with this view, that brought some peace. It was filled with cute dogs, who brought some comfort. It was also filled with a lot of anxiety and tension and sadness. We ended the day in a group and our conversation was filled with tears as we talked about what’s happening right now and how we feel.

And then the tears turned to laughter as we reminisced about the past and talked about dogs.

It brought to mind that quote by the wise Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” The day I left, a friend and I were chatting and he said, “Your heart must be aching.” And it is. I wouldn’t necessarily describe anything I’ve felt as happiness, but yesterday I was reminded (because I’ve always known this, sometimes it’s just harder to remember) that the heartache and sadness can coexist with easier moments, too.

I can enjoy this view and accept the peace that it brings as I wonder what the outcome of this will be. I can feel the heaviness that I might not see this person again and accept the comfort that these dogs bring me. I can band together with people that I love to live through a rough day, but also enjoy the good moments that we share in the midst of it.

Laughter can accompany tears.

And when I live through days like today, I wonder if it’s exactly what we need in order to get through them.
  • Happy birthday, Valentino! You have the ability to make me roll my eyes, then melt my heart, all within a matter of seconds. You’re such a delight of a Canine Nephew and the best reason for celebration on Valentine’s Day. 😘

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