That’s what I’m grateful for– another year.  And what a year it was.  I’ve started to write this post dozens of times, but with a year off from writing, the task seemed a little too big.  Where would I begin?

There’s no way I can cover all that I did while I was away from the blog, but as we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I am very mindful of the blessings in my life.  Here are some of them from the past year.

YVCS schoolMr. D and some of the boys, including Isaac, at Yadkin Valley Community School.

The thing I’m probably most grateful for this year is Yadkin Valley Community School.  It was about a year ago that Kim and I met to brainstorm all the possibilities for a new school in our area.  What seemed like an impossible dream took shape and finally took off this past summer.  We got the doors open, and it’s been everything we had hoped for and more.  Never underestimate the power of committed, whole-hearted people who want to create something good in the world.

Isaac is thriving, Mr. D. is a ROCK STAR, the other children are amazing and unique, Kim and Joe should get medals, and the other board members have given so much of their time and talent, not to mention the tremendous support we’ve gotten from our community.  This has been such a positive experience, partly in the “holy cow, this is hard, and if I survive, I know I’ll be a better person” kind of way and partly in the “holy cow, there are a lot of really good people in the world” kind of way.

There will be more to come on YVCS, but for now, I just want to thank God for this huge blessing in our lives.

Other things I’m grateful for…

We have a new family member.  Her name is Scout.  She’s an Australian Shepherd.  After a very long campaign on Harper Lee’s part- one that involved PowerPoint presentations, books, daily hints, and full-on begging sessions– we finally conceded and got a dog for Harper’s 14th birthday.




I’m also grateful that after years of art journaling and on-line art classes as well as an all-out addiction to listening to Creative Living With Jamie, I was asked to…

  1. Write a guest post in Shannon Kinney Duh’s Inside Out Art Journaling class!  If you don’t know Shannon, you definitely need to check out her website, A Free Spirit Life.  I’ve taken Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery three times, and it gets better every time.  I was thrilled to be asked to write a post during Week 3: Connection to Self.  It was mostly about my experiences with journaling, which I’ve done for years, and letting go of fear and, instead, embracing adventure.  And…
  2. I was interviewed by Jamie Ridler, THE creative living guru.  Jamie is going into her fifth year of podcasts, and I’ve listened to every episode, some of them multiple times.  At the beginning of every podcast, Jamie always says, “Who knows?  Someday, I might just be talking to you.”  And, sure enough, she was.  I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but I don’t think I sounded too goofy.  We talked about teaching and being open to possibilities.  It was fun, and Jamie is just as sweet and wonderful as I imagined she would be.  Plus, it’s one more item checked off the bucket list.  You can listen to the interview here.

Other things that make life good…

Foothills Theater– Mary and I driving in our “car” in last spring’s production of “Road Trip” by Leighanne Martin.

I’m grateful for the awesome folks I’ve met through the Foothills Arts Council and Foothills Theater.  I always knew (as I rehearsed my lines from Gone With The Wind in front of my mirror when I was a girl) that I’d end up on stage someday.

I’m grateful to work with the best of the best at Surry Early College.  I’m proud to be part of this program.  And I’m grateful for our students.  It’s a good gig if you can get.

I’m grateful for a healthy, strong body.  Right now, I’m not racing at the same level that I was ten years ago.  This has bothered me for a while, but I’ve gotten much more comfortable with running a little slower but still having a good time.  This is something I’m really grateful for.  This body has run a lot of miles, climbed a lot of mountains and grown two, very large, very healthy babies.  It can run several hours at a time, race up muddy trails and through freezing river water, rock a crane pose, and play a mean game of “pinkie wrestle” (don’t ask).  I’m grateful for crazy, outlaw trail races, an awesome new mountain bike (thank you, Rob), and Yoga on Main.

And I’m grateful for good friends.

For a warm home with too much laundry and too many dirty dishes.  It means we have clothes to wear and food to eat.

For good books and old movies.

For growing up in the South.

For Christmas songs that come on way too early but make me happy anyway.

For good memories and things to look forward to.

And finally,…


… for these people.  Much love.