Monday, April 11, 2011

So Much

5th Anniversary Roses

Lately it seems like I've been focused on everything that is hard or stressful in my life. And you know, just that mindset can keep you stuck in that space. I've recently been reminded of how lucky I am and how grateful I am for so much in my life. It's amazing what just a little bit of gratitiude can do for you - and even though I've tried to end every single post on this blog since I started it in 2006 with something I'm grateful for...sometimes I need to be reminded how much I truly have - not in things but in the wealth I have through my relationships, and just the joy and wonder of living this life I've been given.

So, I just wanted to share a few little things I'm grateful for today. The photo above (taken with my phone via the Instagram app on Friday morning) is of one of the two vases of roses Eric surprised me with for our five year anniversary. I am so lucky to be married to this man, and so glad that I have so many wonderful memories of our life together and especially of our honeymoon in Rome - I thought of our time in Rome all day on Friday!

And where would I be without my friends who I trust and treasure. Those who are always there for me, and I never have to wonder where I stand with them. It is truly a blessing to me to have people in my life who remind me of my strength and independence by exampling to me their own. Where would I be without my sisters of the heart, those women who I can talk to about anything and know they're not going to judge me or share something I've told them in confidence. And even if it's only via email, or a stolen lunch during a layover, I'm always thankful for those touchpoints. And there is nothing better than a friend who "gets" you. Someone who knows exactly what to say, or exactly the thing to surprise you with.

A&E Cookie

Weekend before last, I got to see Sylvia during a quick layover she had in Dallas. And I was so glad to see her face, and have a big hug. And look what she surprised me with - a little something from Germany for my A&E wall.

And of course, I'm grateful for my stitching and for having the time to do it on a regular basis now that I'm done with school. And even though it's been bothering me that I got so off track in February with my goals of finishing an ornament a month, and one of my AOTH blocks a month... Guess what? A finish is still a finish, regardless of whether it's done "on time" or not. And this little finish (my second ornament for the year) made me so happy while I was stitching on it. It was a good thing to work on after my root canal, or when I'd had a hard day. How can you not smile when you're stitching Shepherd's Bush?

SB Joyful Night 041011

This is Joyful Night by Shepherd's Bush and it was republished in the JCS 10th Anniversary Collection. I stitched it on 32ct Cream linen with DMC. You may remember I stitched this for my guild's ornament exchange back in December, and I had to stitch one for myself too.

I also have to thank my lucky stars that the planets aligned and my border on Dorothy met up. Cue angels singing.

Dorothy's Garden 041011

You can see I made a little bitty start on that little bitty chimney while watching part of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I remember watching that movie with Eric when I was so stressed out about our wedding planning. It made me feel like everything would all work out

Dorothy's Garden Close 041011

And on Sunday, I worked on ATS. And even though this was where I was last April on this piece, I'm grateful that I'm finally making some progress on her. This is where I left off last Sunday

ATS 041011

And I took a quick snap this morning via the Instagram app again to show you my progress from last night.


Several more motifs done, including another bird and the start of a flower and a butterfly. I'm almost at the point where I'll have to roll my fabric. I'm so glad that even though this piece is taking me a long time, I'm sticking with it and enjoying it. (Plus, OMG I'm addicted to Instagram, can you tell?!)

So, sometimes it's the big things and sometimes it's the small things, but I've been reminded that you have to focus on what there is to be grateful for rather than how hard things suck on the suck-o-meter. It truly changes your perspective and the more you recognize the good things, the more good things there are to recognize.

And I'm thankful for each and every one of you that visits my blog and peeks into what's going on here. I deeply appreciate it.

I am grateful for so much...


lynda said...

Thanks for the reminder to remember all that we have to be grateful for. We've been going through some stuff too and sometimes it's easy to forget.

Sylvia said...

You made me tear up! Miss you like crazy and just so very grateful to call you my friend. You have been a sanity saver, a person that is one of the pillars in my life.

You have made such great progress on ATS! You will catch me in no time. The ornie is just so cute, I think I will have to stitch it as well.

September cannot come fast enough!

Nancy said...

Such a beautiful post Michelle, and I couldn't agree more that it's the little things that are so special and so important! All of your stitching looks so beautiful!

Nancy said...

Those flowers are beautiful...two have a wonderful husband!

The progress on your stitching is lovely and I love the ornie finish!

Gratitude for the big and the small things in life each day is the only way we can get through this life here on earth with hope and maybe even a little happiness. Family and friends are the most important gifts we have during the good times and the bad. We have to always remember that!

woolwoman said...

Yes Michelle - it is the little things that get us thru the day - little finishes or a little progress on a BAP like ATS is something to be happy about for sure ! Friends and family who are always there for us are also a treasure and something to be grateful for. Even our blog friends who are always there to lend an ear or post an uplifting comment when we are down or give us a big "YEAH YGG" when we have a big accomplishemnt to celebrate.
Congrats on the 5th ! Melody

Love to Stitch said...

Happy Anniversary!! The roses are gorgeous!! A finish is a finish-- Great job :) Love the new A & E addition, you should post a pic of your A & E wall sometime!!!!!! ATS progress is fabulous!

valerie said...

Beautiful roses! Happy Anniversary! I need to remember to not get all caught up in the stress. It's so hard but the positive thinking has to come out in full force. I'm glad you're focusing on happy things. Your stitching is gorgeous! I love Dorothy. The colors are great and your little SB ornie is sooo cute!

Margaret said...

You're so right -- we do need to stop once in a while and be grateful for the small things in life. I love your roses -- how gorgeous! (Happy anniversary again!) And your stitching! All the pieces are wonderful! I'm in love with Dorothy. Who can not love SB? And ATS looks great! Love the A&E Sylvia got for you -- wow! Hope things get less stressful for you and Eric.

Nicole said...

Beautiful stitching and beautiful roses! That's a cool app! :) Happy belated anniversary!!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Love the A&E Sylvia gifted you. All your stitching progress is fabulous.
We all need to be reminded of the things we should be grateful for. The greatest lessons my two Corgis have taught me is to enjoy the moment we are in and the simply pleasures that life offers.

mainely stitching said...

It is too easy to get caught up in the tough stuff every day ... but thank you for the reminder of all the wonderful, good things happening in our lives!

The Scarlett House said...

Michelle, I understand completely where you are coming from. It can be way too easy to focus on the negative, and each and everyone of us can find something to be grateful for. I am happy for you that you and Eric were able to enjoy a night out and that a visit with Sylvia lifted your spirits. Like I keep telling you...hang in there, kid! You've got a many friends to vent to whenever you feel the need, including me.

Sharon said...

Happy Anniversary! Gorgeous stitching and as always a timely reminder these days to be grateful for what we have!

Hazel said...

I like your positive post. I am in the downs at the moment and really do need to do this but it is very hard when all around you seems bleak. Being thankful for even the small things can make a difference. Thanks for the reminder. xx

Giovanna said...

Wonderful stitching! And the roses are spectacular - Happy Anniversary!

Siobhan said...

Yeah, I need to remember that, too--to look at the many good things instead of the long list of things on the This Sucks list.

Beautiful flowers!! I need to figure out how to use that Instagram app.

I love the gift from Sylvia! How neat! The fact that she was able to give it to you in person makes it all the more special. :)

Wonderful progress on your stitching! Love the ornament, too.

Sally said...

We certainly do need to remind ourselves from time to time don't we and I've been trying to do just that lately.

Your stitching, as always, is beautiful. Love the SB. You're right about SB designs making you smile.

Vonna said...

Such a positive, inspiring post...we are much the same and I always love visiting with you!
I love (of course) all your stitching....and I thought I heard heavenly music the other day...that must have been the border meeting up ;)

You are a special, sincere woman and I am happy to know you! Keep up the good work and happy vibes :)

Katrina said...

What a sweet post!!!! And happy belated anniversary :-).

Gorgeous stitching pics and I absolutely love the piece Sylvia gave you. It's so important to have a friend who 'gets' you!

Melody said...

Great progress on your work. Yes, we all need to remember to slow down and take stock of what we have in our lives and be grateful. Love that Dorothy sampler!!

Littlebit said...

Why oh why does it seem easier to dwell on the stressful things when it zaps the energy and life right out of us? Thanks for the reminder, Michelle. I hope you will have the best week! Beautiful flowers and stitching, by the way. :)

Glenna said...

What a wonderful post. I'm having some things going on as well (I think of it as the tribulations), and experiencing some doubts and some fears, and your calm words made me feel more at peace. And your stitching, as always, is a treasure, as are you. (and yay on Dot's border meeting up; I've done more of the center section but I less than 1/2 of the border, so the jury's out on that for me.)

Dona said...

Beautiful roses, Michelle!I'm glad you had a nice anniversary. I hope you know you have friends who are grateful for you, too!

SUch pretty addition to your A&E wall from Sylvia. I don't I've seen one like that!

Sweet SB ornament!

Karoline said...

Great progress on your wips especially ATS.

Happy Anniversary, your flowers are gorgeous

Legallyblondemel said...

Happy anniversary, and thank you for the (much needed, in my case) gratitude reminder!

Sherry said...

I love your grateful posts. They help me focus on the important things a little more.

ATS is really coming along.

MiniBinoy said...

hello Michele, i just stumbled upon your beautiful blog!!plenty of things to see and appreciate!!:) luv all your cross stitch creations!!pls visit mine when you get free time.

mdgtjulie said...

Wow, you have a lot of projects in progress. And I thought I was bad, lol. Glad to hear things are going fairly well for you, or that you remain grateful for all the good things you have.

Susan said...

What fabric are you stitching And They Sinned on? It looks beautiful! And progress is progress and who said stitching had to be done in a timely manner? Isn't it supposed to be fun and relaxing. Why do we need deadlines?

Happy Stitching!