Thankful Things Thursday: The Little Things

Good morning!

Do you know what’s great about this week?


I exaggerate. But only slightly.

This week has dragged on and has felt never-ending, but it’s also been one of the most productive weeks I’ve had in a long time. When things are rolling along nicely, it’s easy to think about all the good stuff in the world. With that, let’s embark on another celebration of Thankful Things Thursday!

I’m thankful for the daily photos Michaela (my sister-in-law) sends me every morning. I know that by 7 AM, I’ll have a brand-new photo of Tyler chillin’ on my phone. And the photos always come with great captions, so it’s nice to know that even on the worst days, I will at least wake up smiling. A few recent favorites:

Tyler being happy. I think his wrists are getting a little chunky. That concerns me.
So Tyler can crawl now, which means he’s all over the place. I bet that’s fun for Michaela as she tries to get ready for work in the morning. Maybe for Christmas I could get him a baby cage or something? I don’t really know what to do with babies…
In this photo, Tyler looks like a deviant. Like he’s about to roll into a bank, in his footy pajamas, and rob the place. That face cannot be trusted. And again with the wrists…Next time I see this kid I’m teaching him some wrist exercises. Also, does anyone know any wrist exercises for babies?

I’m thankful I’m recovered from last weekend’s bike crash. I’ve got some lingering bruises and road rash, but the soreness, nausea, headaches and overall feelings of pain have diminished.

I’m thankful for a great week at work. You know how sometimes, no matter how great your job is and no matter how much you like the people you work with, work life just sucks? This week is not that week. And that’s a fantastic thing. Highlights of the week have included celebrating our newest issue (click the link, read the cover stories, carefully crafted with lots of passion by yours truly), kicking off the new year…

My baby. Who wants a copy? I’ll send you one with a love note tucked inside. And confetti. And glitter.

…and getting feedback on it from the Most Important Person In The Dance World.

When Mia Michaels Tweets me, my world feels complete. My career has peaked at 27 years old.

I’ve also gotten great feedback this week from my boss and another higher-up at the company. It feels good, kids. It feels good.

I’m thankful for my newly-acquired knife skills. I know I wrote about it already, but that class was so good and, dare I say, life changing? Look at what I did the other night:

LOOK AT ALL THE CHOPPING!!! ALL THE DICING!!! And all the pretty colors.

Oh, you have no idea what that is? Food bloggers, help meeeeeee, I don’t know how to take good pictures of my creations.

On Monday night, I made soup. Broccoli cheddar soup, to be very specific. This soup, to be exact. And I added carrots because I’m a Cooking Wizard With Great Ideas.

The soup was awesome for several reasons:

  1. The ingredients were cheap.
  2. I got to use my skills. When you’re a Knife Expert, such as myself, you can be more efficient in the kitchen and things don’t take nearly as long to prep.
  3. The recipe made enough for two night’s worth of meals. Plus a little extra snack-sized portion.
  4. It tasted really good. Probably because of the cheese.

I would also like to add that I have now taken a knife skills class and utilized my learnings in real life, and I’ve emerged unscathed, unharmed and uncut.

Oh this tragic incident? This was from doing dishes. That damn springform pan I used for the cheesecake two weeks ago sliced me up really nicely. This is why I should never have to do dishes. BRIAN!!!!!!

I’m thankful I’m done with that dumb New Year’s Resolution to “cook something new once every month.” When I made that soup on Monday, I didn’t even realize I was playing Master Chef and whipping up a new creation until later that night. Stupid Resolution complete!

I MADE A ROAST CHICKEN FOR NOVEMBER! A ROAST CHICKEN! IN THE OVEN! LIKE A REAL FANCY PERSON! I mean, whatever. Not a big deal. People make chicken all the time. (People who are not me and who know the differences between “bake,” “broil” and “roast.”)

I’m thankful I’ve seen my best friend more times this year than we had in the previous five years combined. I think. I’m not good with math and I’m also not so great at remembering things. But Becky and I traveled between New Hampshire, North Carolina and New York City this year all in the name of long-distance friendship.

Becky and me in Times Square. This was before The Great Panic Attack of 2012 that we all experienced in Rockefeller Center.

Becky visited this weekend with her husband (he had never been to NYC!) and we got lots of quality time together. She laughs at every single one of my jokes and that’s not the only reason I love her so much, but it does count for something.

I’m thankful my Christmas shopping is mostly complete. It was easy this year because my family instated a spending limit. It basically allowed for me to purchase one gift per family member, and we have a small family and I did all the purchasing online. So now my apartment looks like this every day when I come home:

It was real cute carrying my work bag plus all these packages into the elevator and then up to the apartment where I had to retrieve my keys and unlock both locks on the door. I struggled. And broke a sweat.

Now I just have to wrap all this crap. I hate gift wrapping. I think it’s my least favorite annual activity. Also I’m terrible at it. And I’m not just “kind of sloppy,” I’m horrid. Tragic, even. I’m a perfectionist in so many ways, and gift wrapping is simply not one of them. Screw it.

I’m thankful for my beautiful new keyboard. Several months ago I asked for a new keyboard at work. Mine was filthy from whoever had it before me, and the keys got stuck because I’m pretty sure the previous keyboard owner liked to eat honey at his or her desk and let it slowly drip onto the keys and into the board’s guts.

Finally, after months of very kind pleading with the IT department, I finally got a shiny, clicky new keyboard.

Untouched and ready for my love. Yes, I have a bedazzled mouse.

It does not take much to please me, people.

But most of all, at the end of the day…

I’m thankful for this:


Thank you, Lauren, for that.

That’s all I’ve got today, everyone. There are times when I’m thankful for all that sappy, big-picture stuff like my health and my family and my still-somehow-attached black toenail. But today isn’t one of those days. Today is a day to appreciate the tiny things in life that bring me joy. So there you have ’em.

WHAT LITTLE THINGS ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR TODAY? Ice cream is not a little thing, FYI, because it should only be served in massively large portions. Examples of “the little things in life” are compliments from kind people, thumbtacks, scissors that brilliantly cut through big stretches of wrapping paper and colored printers with fully-stocked ink. Now that you know, go to it. It’s fun.



40 Responses

  1. It’s so funny – I just took a knife handling class too, a week ago. I went to Sur la Table. Best money I ever spent too on a cooking-type class. I’m not much in the kitchen but at least now (hopefully) I won’t cut my thumb off.

  2. I’m thankful for homemade pizza…and really thick pizza dough. Despite being from NYC, I’ve always preferred thick crust pizza over the thin NY slices. Blasphemy, I know! But making thick homemade pizza with my roommates last night reminded me of why it’s just so much better that way 🙂

  3. I love chubby baby wrists! I remember with my cousins, it seemed like once they had visible wrist bones, they weren’t babies any more.

    I’m thankful for sunny weather, flavor ice, the Santa hat my husband bought for my dog (she will probably feel differently about this), an upcoming week off from work, and I’m thankful that I finally scheduled an appointment with a GI doctor.

  4. I’m thankful for hospitals that treat their patients like family members, family members who are really friends and friends who become family. Deep? Insightful? Clearly it’s Friday and I’m not being productive.

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  5. I am thankful that my director acknowledged my hard work!
    I am thankful for my sister who wrapped all the holiday gifts for our family Hanukkah party tomorrow night!
    I am thankful my nail polish ( full manicure) has lasted more than two days- don’t believe in the gel manicure but strongly dislike that most manicures don’t last!

  6. 1. You photo bombed your own picture with all the packages.
    2. Mia Michaels tweeted you. Holy Shit, that’s big, and I’m so envious.
    3. The best part of big batches of soup is freezing some for the night you don’t want to cook…or should I say the night Brian doesn’t want to cook.

  7. Glad I read this post and that you like Ty’s morning photos! By the way, this “baby cage” you speak of makes an appearance in 2 of your 3 pics. Around the house, it’s more affectionately referred to as a pack ‘n play, but we all know it’s really a cage 🙂

  8. I actually really enjoy wrapping presents – I’m clearly lacking in real creative outlets…..

    I’m thankful that my hanukkah sugar cookies look prettier this year. I’m thankful for my mixer. I’m thankful for the helpful people at the trader joe’s wine shop. I’m thankful for the super delicious dinner I had last night.

  9. I’m thankful NYRR let me withdraw my entry into the NYC Half lottery! It was stressing me out since I possibly have a stress fracture, so even though I’m disappointed it was definitely the right decision.
    I’m also thankful for the Christmas tree stand right outside my subway stop! The smell of pine trees = December.

  10. Those pictures of Tyler are adorable! They totally made me giggle just looking at them.

    And congratulations on your amazing Mia issue and cover! The cover is so stunning. I can only imagine how good you are feeling about it. Enjoy!

  11. I’ve been injured, but I’m thankful that I’m slowly getting better. Every day I wake up feeling a little stronger and it’s an amazing feeling!

  12. I, too, am terrible at wrapping. I’m the laughing stock of the family at Christmas time. I also write like a 3rd grader, so it’s no surprise that I am terrible wrapping. I have no patience and I’m messy. Also: Tyler the bank robber is super cute! Oh and I’m thankful for the the coffee mug that my hipster brother got me from some hipster coffee shop in Milwaukee. I poured coffee in it at like 9am and IT’S STILL SO HOT! It doesn’t take much to impress me 🙂

  13. Thankful for Spearmint Tea (not Peppermint…it tastes blue) and also thankful I have stopped stockpiling boxes of it like a hoarder. Trust the grocery shelves Michele!

    Thankful when sucking on your teeth actually works and you get that piece of cereal out without having to resort to violent picks or floss.

  14. I’m thankful I made it through a 2,000 meter row this morning even though it means I lost a lot of butt skin (TMI!) and screamed when the water hit me in the shower. I’m thankful for dogs and the possibility of owning one. I am thankful for my nephew who will be born any day now. I’m thankful for a dog Santa costume with sparkly belt and hood that I will be giving to my brother’s dog on Christmas day.

  15. I’m thankful that tomorrow is my last day at my current job and I have 3 glorious weeks off before I start my new job in January. Bittersweet to say goodbye but thrilling beyond words for a new adventure.

  16. I am thankful for a beautiful sunrise this morning and running with some of my buddies in my ‘hood…we call ourselves the breakfast running club 🙂

    Loved reading the Mia Michaels article!! It’s so cool that you’re the editor for that magazine. I also loved reading your bio on your dance background.

    Happy Holidays to you!

  17. I love the little things that make me happy! Hmmm… Here are some off the top of my head. I am SUPER thankful for the beautiful sunrise this morning, I am thankful that today is Santa Lucia Day and that I am Swedish, I am thankful that I didn’t have to stop for any red lights coming back into the city on my run this morning, I am thankful that I decided running no longer sucks after a week off, I am thankful that I transfered “L” trains in Chicago yesterday without having to wait more than 30 seconds. Oh and I am super thankful that birds migrate south for the winter. I really don’t like birds.

  18. So, this week, for the little things, I am thankful for :
    – Christmas spirit !!! I’ve been singing Christmas songs all week (in my head… otherwise I wouldn’t be here to tell you)
    – seeing my yoga teacher on my way to the subway stop on a morning this week, before what I expected would be a crappy day at work… just a “hi” and a smile and it made my day (it reminded me that there are things in my life that I enjoy doing)

  19. I’m so glad you’re having such a fantastic week. Pictures of Tyler, positive feedback at work, and a new keyboard really do make for a above average week. I’m thankful for new clients and for seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when things finally slow down next week.

  20. I’m thankful or nice people. Last weekend, I went to the chick-fil-a drive through and when I pulled up to the window, the guy told me that the car in front of me had paid for my meal! What!? I didn’t even know them! Apparantly, it’s a real thing and people do this all the time, but I had no clue. I carried it on and paid for the person behind me! So fun!

  21. That’s what gift bags are for!!! No wrapping. Especially handy are the ones that are so huge that you can basically fit a house in them… you can wrap yourself, too!

  22. I’m thankful that I am the unofficial family gift wrapper. I love gift wrapping; I think I’d wrap everything in sight if people would let me! So they just hand me presents and ask me to do it for them. I’m also thankful for bows and ribbon! I don’t skimp on the presentation, that’s for sure!

    1. OMG you’re hired. Please come to my apartment. I have all the wrapping paper and bows and tape. I will pay you in I Heart Sweat shirts, chopped vegetables and hugs.

    2. Me too! I LOVE to gift wrap, I even did it in 4-H when I was younger because I was an “in-town” kid and couldn’t have animals! (Yes, I still claim to be a Champion!) Although I do get a little discouraged when people don’t appreciate the beauty before ripping it to shreds, I mean I spent TIME on making that look awesome 🙂

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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