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Thankful For Gifts In Disguise

Thanksgiving is approaching and I was thinking about all the things I’m grateful for.  Of course family, friends and health, but I was also thinking about all the little things that seem to be trying at times.  The things we should be grateful for, but are sometimes gifts in disguise.  Here are my top ten…

1. Be thankful for growing older. Not everyone gets this opportunity. Aging with health and grace is a rare and beautiful gift.

2. When your parents are pressing your buttons, be thankful you still have them around.  If they are no longer with you, take a moment to be thankful for the time you had with them.

3. If you have to wait in line at the supermarket for your Thanksgiving dinner, be thankful that you can afford what you would like to eat. We are all aware of the many people waiting in line to have a meal at the soup kitchen.

4. Be thankful for the ability to pay your bills, even if it means you have to give up some things you want.  Having basic needs met is a luxury for some.

5. If you have to get up before dawn for work, be thankful you get to see another sunrise and have a job to go to.  What if you slept everyday until noon and didn’t know when you would get your next paycheck?

6. When you’re stuck in traffic, be thankful you have a car to get where you need to go and money to buy gas.   Some are waiting in the freezing weather for the bus.  Well, unless you’re a New Yorker!

7. When your children are testing your patience, be thankful you have children to love and who love you back.   Some would love to have children, but are unable.

8. When your mate is acting grumpy or giving you a hard time, be thankful for having love in your life and someone to grow old with.  A life partner is someone that less than half the population has.  Your partner is a blessing that needs to be counted.

9. When you sit down with loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner, be thankful for everyone and everything that makes it possible.  Some have no one to share this holiday with.

10. We’re leaving for Wisconsin today to spend Thanksgiving with the in-laws.  I’m thankful that we are able to afford to travel, have family to visit and spend time with, and to have “special news” to share with loved ones!

Wishing you a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!  See you in a week!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  I would love to hear about it.

Biking New Jersey

Last weekend I was back on my bike with Bike New York riding through parts of New Jersey.  Oh, poor New Jersey, they always get a bad rap – from their beaches that cost to enjoy, from the hundreds of toll roads, from the full service gas stations where you wait and wait to get your gas, from the high bridge tolls into NYC and I’m sure the Housewives of New Jersey series isn’t boosting the state’s reputation either.  It has to be tough to shine when you are only a stone’s throw away from one of the most dynamic cities in the world!  Well I’m here to say, it’s not that bad and actually quite beautiful.  My weekend ride gave me a little insight, to the third wealthiest and most densely populated state, and it helped me see the hidden charm of Jorsey.  Would I go back, oh yeah.  Would I recommend it to others, you bet.  Would I do this ride again, without a doubt.

We rode along the Atlantic Ocean, across a few waterways, over a couple bridges, through the gorgeous neighborhoods of Rumson and on tree-lined rolling hills of Monmouth County.  Here’s a look at what I saw and it just might have you booking a trip to the other side of the George Washington Bridge.

beautiful waterways..

gorgeous homes along the water…

picturesque tree-lined streets with rolling hills…

a short wait for a boat to pass under a drawbridge…

many stunning homes with manicured yards though Rumson…was hard to keep my eyes on the road!

and Jersey knows how to finish a bike ride…with a chocolate fountain!  Where’s my kabob stick?!

Until next ride Jorsey!  Headed back to NYC!!  Great day, great ride and leaving with a new prospective.

What are your thoughts about New Jersey?  Have you judged something before experiencing it first hand?  Would love to hear about it.

Wordless Wednesday: Appreciation

Last night my husband and I painted the town!  Not in the old way we use to, but in our new era of life, post baby.  It was my birthday.  We had a simple dinner out at an Italian restaurant in our neighborhood, Osteria Il Paiolo.  We shared the restaurant with only one other couple and their daughter about Maddie’s age.  I ordered my favorite pasta dish, a glass of Barbera and listened to old Italian classics playing in the background.  I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I was to be enjoying a simple dinner out, alone time with my husband, and blessed with a sweet-little-high-energy daughter, who I was missing already.  I could have sat there all night enjoying the moment.  After we finished our dinner, two waiters came over with a small chocolate cake, a candle, and quietly sang happy birthday.  I’m sure it was not the norm there, but the place was practically empty, so I’m sure, they were open to anything, even singing!  We took our time finishing the cake and just absorbed the rare time out together.  As we headed home, we walked along the waterfront overlooking the Manhattan skyline.  It had been scorching hot and humid for weeks, but to our surprise, last night the weather could not have been more perfect…just like the evening felt…

As I stood there looking out at the Manhattan skyline, absorbing the night, I thought about how much I appreciate what I have: a daughter who pulls at my heart daily, a loving and supportive husband and living in a dynamic city that I am able to share with my family everyday.  I couldn’t help but want to remember that moment, and snapped this picture.  Wordless Wednesday has now become quite wordy…

Do you take time to stop, in your busy everyday life, to think about the things you appreciate?  What are they?  I would love to hear about them.

Until next ride,

Amy

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