For the fourth year in a row we’ve filled up our little thrift store jar that we etched with the word “Thanks” back in 2010 (you can read how we made it here). So before everyone dives headfirst into the gravy bowl (what? that’s not a thing?) we thought we’d stick with the annual tradition of sharing a few glimpses of some things that ended up on the list this year.
Spoiler alert: one of them’s you guys. So let’s just pause for a moment so I can tell you how good your hair looks and how nice you smell and how flattering that shirt is and most of all, how grateful we are that you drop in on our blog.
This past year has been insanely wild and wonderful: moving into a new house, a new baby on the way, a whirlwind book tour, working on a showhouse for Habitat For Humanity, hearing Oprah say our names. Look, I’m so ver clempt I didn’t even use parallel structure for that list. We just don’t have the words to explain how amazing and completely unexpected this little blog journey has been. We never could have dreamed that first post in 2007 would ever lead to this life, and I’m so so thankful that my techie hubby was all “let’s start a blog for fun”
and I was all “a what? that sounds nerdy.”
Anyway, I’m rambling. Back to the “thanks jar” tradition. For anyone who needs a refresher, every year since 2010 we’ve each stuck a piece of paper in it every day during the month of November with a different thing that we’re grateful for. You can see a few things that made the list in 2010, 2011, and 2012. This year was even more special because Clara is so articulate and color-happy that she got to dictate every single one of her card to us, and had fun coloring each one as she went along (last year there was a lot of us asking “are you thankful for… books?” and this year she came up with each item all on her own). Plus there’s a card where she drew me and my head looks just like a football. Priceless.
This year we also tried a new color system. Instead of everyone picking a randomly colored card each day, Clara’s are all yellow, mine are all orange, and John’s are all red. So when we flip back through this year down the road, the colors will clue us in on who’s “talking” (sometimes our chicken scratch starts to blend after staring at a ton of tiny pieces of paper).
Some of our favorite things that Clara listed were:
- Making smoothies with daddy
- Santa! (a holiday crossover)
- Legos and building really biiiig castles with mommy
- Going to the beach
- Grammy & TomTom and their toys
- Playing in my box crib (we currently have a giant refrigerator sized box in our living room and Clara fills it with animals and toys and basically wants to live in there)
Meanwhile, John and I had some funny overlapping ones (we both specifically shouted out The Walking Dead, iPhones, and the mighty miter saw).
Every year at the end (usually Thanksgiving Eve or Thanksgiving Day), we open the jar to read them all together – and we also go through the batches that we’ve saved from the past years. It’s sweet how they freeze time and remind us of things we’d never remember otherwise (old shows we watched that have since been canceled, places we visited, “hot” songs that we loved that have since been completely forgotten, weird inside jokes). I love that we’ll always have them to peek back on.
Sheesh, and to think my original plan for this post was just going to be typing “Happy Thanksgiving” with this cute chalkboard pic and letting you guys go eat your stuffing in peace. I’m going to go ahead and blame the hormones. They make you wordy, right? No. Then maybe it’s the smell of cookies baking (they make me delirious). Can’t. Stop. Talking.
We hope you all enjoy safe travels, good food, loving company, and
weird dreams about Bound 2 a nice post-dinner nap. We’ll be spending the holiday with the fam along with diving into some kitchen stuff and a few Children’s Hospital projects that we can’t wait to share with you when we come back (three pounds heavier).
More Thanksgiving Crafts & Traditions
We love celebrating Thanksgiving in our home, so check out some other holiday crafts and traditions here:
- A free Thanksgiving printable to mail messages of gratitude to friends & family
- Creating A Thanksgiving gratitude chalkboard display
- Our daughter’s first year writing Thanks Jar messages
I just saw this painting and thought it might be made for Burger: http://desenio.se/canvastavlor-3/barntavlor/chiwawa
And even though I’m not American, I’m still incredibly thankful; for the inspiration you give me every day; for being a part of your life (in a weird, a little bit creepy way) and for letting me be a part of preparing for (and crying happy tears over) your new bun.
Aw thanks Ellen! So cute!
Tracey Bradshaw says
What a lovely tradition – will be a future treasure for Clara, the bun and any future little Petersiks – hope you had a lovely family day.
Refrigerator boxes are the bomb! I used to make my parents pick up any boxes we saw people throwing out and I would make it into a house. My dad would use a box cutter and cut out a door and windows for me and I would move my play kitchen in there. I would be so sad when it would eventually wear out that my dad would try finding a new one on trash day.
Hope you guys had an awesome Thanksgiving!
Carrie Lea says
I, too, am thankful for your blog. You gave me to confidence to do the tiling myself in my bathroom! Thanks for saving me from an ugly shower surround! :-)
I’ve come to just adore you guys and your little family! Happy Day after Thanksgiving to you!
Aw I love that Carrie Lea! We’re so grateful for you guys, and hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever!
[email protected] says
Gosh, I love this idea. We had over 61 relatives at Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and I wish I read this first as it would have been a great idea. Next year!
Thanks for being thankful. Your humility always shines through your writing.
Hope you had a great holiday!
sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com says
super cute that you save each year’s cards
I love the thankful jar idea! We have so many blessings to count! We thank God for His goodness every single day, but this year we’re celebrating the incredible outpouring of love and support and caring that have overwhelmed us since we lost our home in the Washington, IL tornado on Nov. 17. Our friends, family, community, nation, and world have all stepped up to care for the many families in our community who have had their lives changed in a second, and we are so grateful!
I’ve been reading your blog for ages, and I thought you guys would be a great resource for our new and unexpected house-building project. The basement foundation may be able to be reused, but the rest of the house will be a complete demolition. My questions for you (and your readers, if possible) are:
What features of your home do you love the most?
What features would you change if you had the chance to rebuild?
We’re expecting to use a similar floor plan (2 story, kitchen open to informal dining open to living room, with a formal dining room turned playroom on the side) with a few tweaks, but beyond that, we know NOTHING about homebuilding, and have not to this point been daydreaming about any specifics. We’re at a loss about where to start with floor plans, construction materials, and decorating. We’d love opinions on upstairs laundry rooms? Dog- and kid-friendly floor coverings that are warmer than tile? Pros and cons of various countertop options? Quality cabinet brands? And anything else we wish we already knew! :)
If you’ve already written posts on these considerations, I’d love to read up if you can point me in the right direction! This blog is a great resource of knowledge and inspiration, and I’m hoping to find some ideas and motivation to take on this huge (read: daunting :)) project! Thank you so much!
Oh Helen, you’re so sweet! What a hard thing to go through, but I love your awesome attitude about it! We were really happy with KraftMaid cabinets and have heard great things about ikea cabinets as well. We’d love to install heated tile in our kitchen so hopefully there will be a tutorial on that! As for an upstairs laundry room, this is our first house with an upstairs, but we think it’s so convenient! Anyone else have advice for Helen?
When the kids were little, I’d cut out construction paper leaves and we’d all fill those out, then cover the Thanksgiving table with them and take turns reading them during dinner. Now, I post my thankful things on facebook and my blog. I have found it very helpful to be able to look back and remind myself that, even though things have been tough, I still have a lot to be thankful for.
Ana Silva says
Some of my favorite bloggers on here, including you! Cool.
Aw thanks Ana! Thrilled to be included!
Happy Thanksgiving guys. I’m thankful for you…my daily dose of DIY inspiration.
Did you guys make that amazing chalkboard? do you have a DIY of it on the site?
Thanks Christen! Here ya go: https://www.younghouselove.com/2012/10/fall-pinterest-challenge-getting-board/
Parallel structure! THANK YOU! I could not remember the reason why some lists bothered me….
Keep up the great writing!
Not sure if you saw this …
Weird, but definitely something to be thankful for!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I love your blog :) And this Thanks Jar is a great idea!
Hi John & Sherry (and anyone else who reads this). Thought I’d share one of our family traditions that relates somewhat to this post. Some years back our then 4 year old daughter had something of a blue streak. She’d complain about her day during dinner, which drove us crazy. We’d be all, “Really? Not one good thing happened today?” It caused us to start doing ‘bests’ during dinner each night. We always eat together (a family rule to be followed whenever possible), and while we’re eating we go around the table and tell everyone what the best part of our day was. These are frequently things we are thankful for, hence my comment on this post. We also used it in the beginning for her to identify a ‘worst’ (just one), but we rarely do that anymore. So, given that Clara is about the perfect age I encourage you to try this at your house. It’s a very lovely way to be present in each day and learn more about your kids and spouse. Bonus? The first time your newbie chimes in will knock your socks off! Our second was sitting there, seemingly not paying attention, then suddenly looked around and said “Ya-Ya” (his daycare lady’s name). His best was going to Ya-Ya’s house. Amazing moment for our family. It’s also really fun to make guests do it!
That’s so sweet!
I too am grateful for The Walking Dead. Have you watched last night’s episode yet? Don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t, but let me just say it was awesomely good and awesomely sad, if that is even possible.
Just curious, do you two also watch The Talking Dead also?
AHHHH! We haven’t watched it yet! I’m so sleepy at night these days (I blame the baby) so we have a Walking Dead date tonight! So excited! As for The Talking Dead, we love that too, but usually end up watching it days later since we don’t have the same WD urgency, but we love Chris Hardwick.