I love the word twilight, but not in a vampire-y sort of way--in a romantic, wine-at-sunset sort of way. (P.S. My grandparents used to go "twilight golfing"--how cute is that?!) Anyway, I snapped this shot of my kitchen, just as the sun was making its way down. I love looking out the windows of my usually cluttered and often messy kitchen (I have two boys, three if you count the husband!) and checking out my maples that are the most vibrant colors right now. So in this gratitude moment, I am thankful for my kitchen windows. They are old and mildewy and not double paned. But they are perfect.


Somehow, the fact that we’re recovering from the flu is making me feel grateful–for my health, for my kids, for our home–for life (not that I was going to die or anything, but you know). And that’s where I want to start this week, with this roof over my head, and how I’m grateful for it. We almost got wooed away by a great big dream house on Bainbridge Island over the summer. And when our house in Seattle didn’t sell, the deal fell through, and it was a big fat disappointment. But, you know what? We’re thankful to be here, and over the past month or so, we’ve developed a newfound appreciation for this home of ours. Carson, our 2 year old summed it up perfectly the other day when he came barreling into the kitchen with a huge smile on his face: “Mama! I just love this house!” How sweet is that? Still, I’m convinced that if we lived in a tent, he’d feel the same way. Kids can teach us all a lesson in contentment, huh? So, to kick off gratitude week, I’m sharing photos of the little things, details, colors and corners of my house that I love. Just simple little things that make smile every single day. Come take a look…


(Side note: That is not my child, but isn’t he adorable?!) One of the great joys of motherhood, I’ve decided, is being able to dress your kids up in (funny) costumes. This year, Russell, who is 9 months, will be a monkey. Carson, the 2 and a half year old, is going to be a bumble bee (he picked out this adorable costume himself!) But, if I’d known about the adorable (and affordable!) costumes over at the Etsy shop, DIY Costumes, which I read about over at Green & Gorgeous, I would have had two little lions this year. Here’s how it works: You buy little kits ($15–cheap!) to transform a sweater or hoodie into an imaginative costume.

My friend Kathy sent me this photo of the amazing carrots her kids, Akemi (8) and Kai (6) grew in their garden this summer. Akemi's been gardening for several years now--since she was just 5 years old. In 2006, I wrote about her adorable story for The Seattle PI: She started a garden in hopes of selling her produce to raise money for the local hunger relief agency Northwest Harvest. Several years later, she's still gardening. Her mom tells me that she's raised $317 this summer to donate. I expect big things from this kiddo in the years to come (first female--Japanese American--president?! Maybe!). For now, I'm admiring her giving, curious spirit and her amazing carrots. P.S. Garden lovers, here's the seed blend that produced these amazing veggies.


We invited some of next-door and across-the-street neighbors over for a little casual fall soiree last weekend and had a ton of fun out on our deck with our newly installed mega outdoor heater (you know, the ones that restaurants have on the patios–love this thing!). In summary of the party: Jazz. Kids laughing and mingling. Babies playing. Wine. Appetizer munching. Crisp, but not cold (thanks to the heater), fall breeze blowing. Pumpkin gazing. Tons of fun. More photos…