Gratitude List: June 21, 2011

1. The first day of summer.
2. The 9-month anniversary of Isabella’s birth.
3. My ZaggMate iPad keyboard.
4. Cold watermelon in the refrigerator.
5. Cold watermelon in my mouth.
6. A cooler than usual day.
7. Sitting on my front porch in the evening.
8. Tickling Izzy and listening to her laugh.
9. Visiting with our neighbor about their trip to Sedona.
10. Annaleise bought paper towels and trash bags (we were out of both).
11. Creating and enforcing behavioral fences for Isabella when she tries to crawl over to and mess with the DVD player.
12. Honest feedback that stretches me.
13. People who make art.
14. A half-eaten Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup sitting in my desk drawer at work that makes me laugh every time I see it.
15. Crossing a few more items off my “30 Before 30” list. Still haven’t slapped a bull though.
16. Cool photo editing apps on my phone.
17. iTunes gift cards.
18. Seat-belts. Click it or ticket baby!
19. Blog comments.
20. Google Reader.
21. Follow Up Flags in Microsoft Outlook.
22. Evernote.
23. Funny church camp stories about candy bars.
24. Free trips thanks to Southwest Rapid Rewards.
25. Windows in my 60-year old house that are less than one year old.
26. Corrective lenses.
27. Familiar routines.
28. Summer reading lists.
29. That I’m not taking a graduate level Stats class right now.
30. Sleeping with the fan on at night.
31. Repairing a broken towel rack.
32. Skype.
33. Seeing Isabella’s bath toys at my feet when I’m taking a shower.
34. Getting into bed and laying down on one of Isabella’s toys that make noise. Particularly, her squeaky giraffe, Sophie.
35. Isabella holding on to my finger and cuddling with me while her mom vacuums. Someday, the vacuum cleaner won’t scare her into my arms, but I’ll cherish it as long as it does.
36. God’s still small voice… “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19: 11-13)
37. This story written and illustrated by a friend of mine:

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Gratitude List: June 20, 2011

1. Daddy daughter time on Monday night.
2. Being assigned a task at work by the president that I’m really excited about.
3. A nice evening rain storm with hail too small to do any damage.

4. Bottle feeding Isabella before bed.
5. The Oklahoma City Public Library.
6. Excellent miles per gallon.
7. Writing Isabella’s poem.
8. Photography.
9. The written word.
10. June birthday lunch with co-workers.
11. Homemade Pickles!!! These are off the chain. Thank you Kelly.
12. A quiet evening at home.
13. My mentors and the opportunity to be a mentor to others.
14. Annaleise… duh.
15. Old pictures.
16. Sleep.
17. Going on cool trips.
18. Seeing my family after coming home from cool trips.
19. That’s God’s wisdom is incomprehensibly far beyond my wisdom… or lack thereof.
20. A wife who’s excited about and really good at being a mom to our daughter.
21. Show tunes. Yeah. I went there.
22. The lover stage.
23. A nice compliment from Annaleise today.
24. Stick figures.

Gratitude List: Weekend Version


1. Matching white shirts with everyone I work with.
2. Baba Ganoush for lunch.
3. A shorter than usual Friday team meeting.
4. Taking a half-day off work to spend with the ladies.
5. Napping with the ladies.
6. Date night.
7. Delicious and healthy Spicy Pork Chile Verde at 501 Café.
8. Good friends who are willing to watch Izzy while we go on a date.
9. Getting to go see a movie with Annaleise.
10. That the mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean are not real. Those ladies freaked me out.
11. The cross and the empty tomb.

1. Getting to spend the weekend with my girls.

2. Birthday parties at the Orr Family Farm.
3. Riding a carousel with Izzy.

4. Walking beside Izzy while she rode a pony for the first time.

5. Seeing her face light up at the sight of all the animals.
6. Air Conditioning.
7. Friendships that have endured since high school.
8. New friends.
9. A lawn that’s stopped growing because of the heat.
10. God’s provision.
11. Psalm 139:9-10


1. Working the donut table at church with Nate Dawg.
2. P-Dub’s Iced Coffee with frozen coffee ice cubes.
3. A great Father’s Day Sermon.
4. Talking to my dad on the phone after church.
5. Corky’s BBQ for lunch.
6. This mug:

7. A solid two-hour Father’s Day nap.
8. My dad.
9. My dad sporting a sweet stache, Gregory’s Sporting Goods t-shirt, and black jean shorts circa 1993ish.

10. Show tunes… particularly this Pandora station. Fruity… I know.
11. Dancing in the living room with Iz before bedtime to the above station.
12. This moment captured and frozen in time:

13. A blog post written by my wife that made my Father’s Day.
14. Bedtime traditions.
15. Homemade pickles.
16. A perfect heavenly father.

Gratitude List: June 16, 2011

1. Getting to be a good neighbor.
2. A healthy breakfast and a healthy dinner which allowed me to eat a pulled pork sandwich at Earl’s for lunch.
3. Air conditioning.
4. Watching Iz sleep.
5. A lovely and talented wife.
6. My Wahl clippers.
7. The ability to cut my own hair.
8. Serving with a lot of cool people on the Staff Council at work.
9. Annaleise’s cousin Hayli who is coming to babysit for us tomorrow night so we can go see Pirates of the Caribbean III.
10. 1/2 Off Coupon at 501 Cafe at the Classen Curve.
11. Freedom in Christ.
12. Striving toward more simplicity in our life.
13. Striving to be more minimalist.
14. Striving to eat more natural, locally grown foods.
15. New ideas.
16. Ice cold pink lemonade.
17. Mercy and grace.
18. Hands and feet. I could probably get by without them, but I wouldn’t want to.
19. Izzy crawling before she walks.
20. This book:

21. Working with someone who can give me really good advice about what type of camera to buy. The old point and shoot just isn’t delivering the quality of pictures AM is wanting these days.
22. Walking outside on a summer night.
23. Old friends.
24. New friends.
25. The price of gasoline could be higher.
26. An awesome and FREE OC Advancement Team dry-fit shirt at work today.
27. Summer buzz cuts.
28. People who are kind.
29. People who are honest.
30. People who smile a lot.
31. My daughter’s curious and determined eyes.
32. Fiber One Frosted Mini-Wheat cereal.
33. Jesus.
34. Green grass.
35. Not having mowed my grass in almost two weeks.
36. Reconciliation… working things out, making things better.
37. Healing.
38. Family legacy.
39. New family traditions.
40. Annaleise making me turn her bedside table lamp out at night before we go to sleep.

Gratitude List: June 15, 2011

1. A good night’s sleep.
2. Laughter.
3. Coffee at Starbucks this morning with a good friend.
4. Campus tour with the one and only Jacob White.
5. Louie’s for lunch and the person I went with paid.
6. Great meaningful conversation at lunch.
7. An awesome iced coffee recipe.
8. This music video:

9. Listening to the above song over and over again at work today.
10. Air conditioning.
11. Showers.
12. Homeowners insurance that covers a hail damaged roof.
13. Eyes to see.
14. Ears to hear.
15. A laid back wife.
16. Wrangling Isabella in my arms as I carried her around at church tonight.
17. FroYo with Annaleise after church tonight.
18. Remembering to take the trash out before going to bed.
19. A cool Father’s Day gift from Isabella.
20. Being a father this year on Father’s Day.
21. My dad.
22. Planned a Friday date night with Annaleise that includes dinner and a movie.
23. Singing “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” with Isabella at bedtime. Not really with her… more like to her.
24. Footed pa’jamas that still fit.
25. Feeling connected to and involved with the Mayfair church.
26. The book “Strong Fathers. Strong Daughters.”
27. A peaceful home.
28. A sound mind.
29. Scripture.
30. Multiple types of free ice-dispensers at work.
31. Awkward jokes involving Angler Fish.
32. That I’m not a male Angler Fish.
33. Readily available nutrition info online for just about anything I might eat.
34. Isabella’s many funny facial expressions and mannerisms.
35. Finally being able to get the cactus spine out of my big toe after two weeks.
36. My health.

Gratitude List: June 14, 2011

1. Listening to Isabella sing and chirp to her little heart’s content in her crib at 6:45 a.m.
2. Picking Isabella up out of her crib at 7:10 a.m.
3. God’s grace.
4. Making travel arrangements for my trip next week to Joshua Tree.
5. Smiling at Annaleise before leaving for work in the morning.
6. Going twenty-four hours without turning the TV on and not even missing it.
7. The breath in my lungs.
8. The beat of my heart.
9. The beat of Annaleise and Isabella’s heart.
10. Laughing with Annaleise at Isabella when she pulled herself up on the bumper of her crib so she could see if we were still in her room after we laid her down at bedtime.
11. Sharing a chocolate shake with Annaleise.
12. Surviving the hail storm.
13. A quiet house.
14. Three Free Fresco Beef Soft Tacos from Taco Bell for lunch.
15. No-Shave Tuesday.
16. A boss that I like.
17. A good church home.
18. The presence of the holy spirit.
19. Reliable cars to drive.
20. Having all of my basic physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs met.
21. Having quite a few of my not-so-basic physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wants met.
22. Funny text messages back and forth with my brother-in-law while at work.
23. College football season is less than three months away.
24. Making progress on a goal.
25. The generosity of others.

That My Joy May Be Complete

My wife has been cultivating a spiritual practice of gratitude for the last few weeks by keeping a daily journal in which she records the things in her life she’s thankful for each day. She’s also been posting the highlights from it each week as Thankful Thursday post on her blog.

I think she might be onto something with this new practice and so yesterday I started doing my own version by keeping a daily list of things, big and small, that I’m either grateful for or that provide me some measure of joy throughout my day. Here’s what I came up with yesterday:

1. Being a soothing presence in my daughter’s life. She woke up crying at 5:20 a.m. When I came into her room and she saw me standing over her crib she immediately stopped. By 5:30, after and softly stroking her face for a few minutes, she went back to sleeping peacefully.
2. Eating a healthy breakfast.
3. Almond Milk.
4. Good music on the way to work.
5. A roof over my family’s head, four walls around us, and a solid floor beneath our feet.
6. Cold air conditioning at home, in the car, and at the office.
7. AM’s parents.
8. A job that allows AM to stay home with Isabella.
9. Books.
10. Stabilizing a wall for VBS with a group of great guys from our church.
11. Watermelon.
12. Watching the kid next door smile as he drives his go-cart up and down our street.
13. Indian food for lunch with my co-workers.
14. The smell of fresh cedar mulch on campus.
15. Afternoon drink break in the Faculty Staff Lounge.
16. Picking Isabella up after work.
17. Daddy Daughter time on Monday nights while AM sees clients.
18. Just a little over a month until my parents move back from Germany.
19. Laughing with AM before we fall asleep at night.
20. This picture: