Friday, August 22, 2014

his new trick (& market tomorrow)

The last few weekends at market, Bracken has been enjoying his new "trick" that one of our booth neighbors taught him, how to put a maple seed on your nose. (What do you call maple seeds? I've heard them called different things.) Bracken has always liked finding the maple seeds in our yard and seeing the way they spin down to the ground. Now when he sees one at market, he is even more excited. There's a spot there he likes to go and collect them. (If you are at market and see one, please bring it over so he can show you his trick.) I think these pictures are hilarious. He tries to balance it so carefully so it doesn't fall off. I was told when they are still green they stick better than when they are all dried out. We'll be at the market tomorrow. After Tuesday's post about a typical market day, you have a better idea of what we'll be up to. If you come by market, please stop in booth 350 and say hello! 
Have a great weekend!

{this moment}

...Joining Amanda at SouleMama for {this moment}...
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

early morning first project

Forget what I said last week about not wanting to wake up any earlier. Two mornings this week I woke up really early and had some blissful morning work time before Bracken woke up. I plan to do that more often. Yesterday was my favorite. I read through part of the manual, got the bobbin wound, the machine threaded, and I started sewing. Sewing! Now, let me tell you, it's been so long since I've had a working sewing machine. Maybe even a few years before Bracken was born. And I've missed sewing on a sewing machine so very much. Hand sewing is relaxing, but to me there's nothing like the quick progress you can make on a sewing machine. Yesterday morning I was on a mission to finish a gift before we needed to leave the house. The three of us left for Florence and when Bracken and I dropped Jeff off for his physical therapy appointment, we also delivered this little baby hat to Jeff's physical therapist. Simply put, she is wonderful. When I found out she was expecting a baby girl, I wanted to bring her a little something. (Jeff has made some good progress in physical therapy, but the way, and we still have a long ways to go.) The hat was made from a felted wool shawl. It was a thrift store treasure I found one day, with some moth holes here and there, and I knew I wanted to give it a new life. I felted it in the washing machine and I saved it for a special project. When I was searching for hat material yesterday, it was just the thing. I used the pattern for Family Sweater Hats in Amanda's book, Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures. What a wonderful pattern! So simple and perfect for someone like me who is just getting back into sewing again and wanted an instant project. After sewing the hat, I added a wool flower and a Wooly Moss Roots button in mahogany wood. Jeff helped me pick which button to add. I thought for sure the sewing machine would wake Bracken up since he was sleeping in the room right next door (and the walls are not very thick), but he just kept on sleeping. And by the time he woke up I had a finished hat. It's the first thing I've made on a sewing machine in a long, long time. As I looked down at that hat on the corner of my sewing table, with the faint light coming in the window, I felt elated. I'm finally breathing some life into my crafting space again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

yarnalong: the second sock

...Joining Ginny's YarnAlong, sharing what I'm knitting and reading...
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...Knitting...
It says on my Ravelry page that I started these socks sometime in January. Our friend Inge wrote the pattern and asked if I'd like to be a test-knitter for her pattern. I said I'd love to. If I remember correctly she asked me last fall. Now it's the following summer. (The world's slowest test-knitter? Thankfully Inge is so sweet about it.) But I can now say that I'm getting close! I discovered something about myself- knitting with size 1 knitting needles is not my strong suit. But the effort is well worth it because these are going to be the most fabulous socks I've ever made. As I knitted them, with how tightly woven they are, I could tell they would hold up better than any socks I've made previously. And these socks are for me! This will be the first pair of socks I've knit for myself. This project kept getting pushed back for various reasons- because I had gifts to knit, because I came to a part that required a miniscule amount of concentration so I set them aside for that rare moment, but mostly because I don't bring knitting projects on double pointed needles along with me. I leave them at home. I decided to change that recently and have been bringing them with me. I'm determined to finish these beautiful socks. Not long ago Inge and I were able to go over the pattern together and she put the finishing touches on her sock pattern. I'm excited to announce that her sock pattern is now available on her Etsy Shop and on Ravelry. She creates such lovely patterns and I talked to her about making them available on Ravelry. I'm so happy to say she now has nine of her patterns there. (By the way, The Multiple Plait Cable Headband is how I first learned to cable and I would highly recommend it as a beginning cable project.) Inge also started a Timberwolf Farm yarn & fiber group on Ravelry where people can share the projects they make with her patterns and yarn. (If you've knit anything with Timberwolf Farm yarns or start up one of her knitting projects, please share your project there, I know she would be so delighted!)


...Reading...
I'm in between reading right now. It was time for me to return the cookbooks to the library so Jeff scanned a few favorite recipes for me to keep on hand. Today I went to the library to return them. We picked up some books for Bracken. I told the librarian that I was in the mood for something funny and asked if she had any recommendations. I wanted something different than what I normally choose. She couldn't think of anything. She asked another librarian and they searched the computer and gave me the name of one author. Shouldn't libraries and bookstores have entire sections devoted to humor? I think so. If this book is funny, I'll let you know. And also, if you've read anything particularly humorous lately, please share!

How about you?
Knitting? Reading?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a typical market day

Each market day varies and is unique in it's own way, yet they all share similarities. On Saturday I thought it would be fun to have a piece of paper with me, jot some things down, and give you an idea of what a typical market day is like for us. I took these pictures from the last few weekends. Soon, I'll take you on a tour of market booths and in the meantime, here is a glimpse into our market day. 
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Way too early- Jeff wakes up and I get up to go to the bathroom. I see the clock and am happy I can go back to sleep for awhile longer. I'm not ready to wake up yet. He figures he won't fall back asleep so just gets up super early.

About 6 AM - Jeff comes up the stairs, opens the door to our bedroom, says something to wake me up. Make some sort of grunting noise to let him know I heard him. Still not ready to wake up yet. Get up quickly so I don't fall back asleep, which I really want to do. Tell myself not to be a baby, lots of people have to wake up early. Go into the bathroom, laughing to myself about a silly dream I had. (Also laughing that I had entertained the thought about waking up extra early and writing a blog post. Ha!) Turn on the light. Hear Bracken in the bedroom. Light woke him up. Usually I get ready and then go wake him up. Waking him up is easy today. Bracken joins me in the bathroom and I start getting ready. He asks if I will play with the dollhouse with him and I explain that I don't have time because we have to get ready for market. He whines. Get ready quickly. Doesn't take me long these days. Pull my hair back. Curl my eyelashes because I'm feeling extra fancy. (When I was a teenager, it took me hours every morning to get ready. But I don't wear makeup anymore or take much time to do my hair, which significantly cut back on the time it takes me.) Bracken grabs my hand, leads me to the other room, and points to some Elmer's glue saying he wants to use it right now. Tell him not now. He starts crying. Oh boy.
About 6:23 AM - Go to quickly check e-mail. Internet not working. Push a button and it fixes itself. Feeling grateful it was so easy. Click on e-mail. Nothing exciting, mostly just a few junk mails. Go downstairs. Jeff and I tell each other our dreams from the night before while we're getting things ready. Bracken reminds me I forgot something upstairs. His windchimes we got at a garage sale the day before. First he fashioned it into a necklace and chimed everywhere he went and then he hung it next to his bed to go to sleep. Now he wants to bring them to market so I go retrieve them from the hook by his bed. Forget something else and go back upstairs a few minutes later.

About 6:57 AM - Leave house. Think it's 6:57, but all the clocks in our house are different. (So I'll just write "about" next to all the times.) Jeff tells corny joke and makes me laugh. Forget it now. Bracken and I eat breakfast in the car while Jeff drives. Jeff made breakfast, bless his heart. He already ate at home. I'm telling Bracken to eat a good breakfast so he can get some "treats" at farmer's market. Drive through the tunnel on the way to Eugene. Honk. We always honk. (Unless Bracken is sleeping.) Listen to Bracken sing from the backseat for a few minutes. Sounds like an angel. Much better sound than the whining earlier.

About 7:49 AM - Stop by the feed store and pick up a bag of chicken feed. The feed store is not officially open yet, but they invite us to swing by early, since their door is already open. With twenty chickens, it's become a weekly stop. No room left in car since it's packed full for market. Put bag of chicken feed on the floor on the passenger side. Get an intense craving for kombucha. Must have kombucha. Can't stop thinking about it. Hardly ever drink it, but suddenly I'm crazy for it. Tell Jeff. Now he can't get it out of his head either. Run into store while Jeff and Bracken wait in car. Looks like they are sold out. Darn it! Oh wait, one single bottle left. Eww, some green kind. I wanted ginger. Consider leaving the store empty handed, but decide to risk it and try the different kind. Emerge from the store, looking for our car, and then head over. Jeff asks why I only got one bottle and I explain. Jeff is stressed and worries we're going to be late. I drink some. It's surprisingly good. We all agree it's not so bad after all. The green stuff is algae and it's really good for us. Relieved it doesn't taste terrible.
8 something - Arrive at market. Need to check in by 8:30, we're good. Jeff checks in at info booth (now conveniently located very close to our booth.) Start taking the booth structure off the roof and unloading the car. It all fits in our car like a puzzle. It needs to be loaded and unloaded in somewhat of a certain order. It's always changing, but we've done this a million times. Lately Bracken likes to play with the bungee cords while we set up. Once the car is empty, he goes inside and acts like it's a fort. With the back open, he can build things with bungee cords, say hi to friends, and watch people. Neighbors comment on his bungee creations and he proudly shows his work. Bracken and I move car a little ways away so other vendors on our block can unload their stuff.
About 9:19 AM - The booth is up and we're almost finished setting up. Jeff needs to go to the wood store. Bracken asks for coconut water (a special treat we get on Saturdays.) Usually we wait till the end of the day, but Jeff is happy to oblige. Jeff and Bracken leave to run their errand. The grocery store is right by the wood store so they can get their drinks. I finish setting up our displays, make everything tidy, and take a few pictures of some of the new things Jeff created over the week.
About 9:34 AM - Take a seat and get out my knitting. Absolutely elated. Knitting time! I'm in a state of bliss being able to knit in the booth. Market is not open yet and hardly anyone is walking by, so this is the perfect knitting opportunity. It's overcast and cloudy. Knitting makes me feel cozy.

10 AM - Market officially opens. Still knitting. Awesome!
About 10:34 - See a guy walk by with a funny t-shirt on. Run out of the booth and ask him if I can take a picture of his shirt. Tell him that my mom would get such a kick out of it because it's inspired by one of her favorite SNL skits. Guy laughs and is happy to oblige, with his daughter next to him who bought the shirt. Go back in booth. More people starting to walk around now.
10 something - Jeff pulls up with the car in front of our booth. I'm ready for him and have my bag in hand. I get into the driver's seat, with Bracken still in the back, while Jeff goes to watch the booth. (Don't want him to do too much walking or his sciatic pain might flare up.) We go park at the parking garage. Bracken asks if we can go on the elevator. The ways he says that word is so cute and I smile. Not a fan of elevators, truth be told (I prefer stairs), but this elevator is definitely the coolest elevator that I know of. It's glass so you can see outside. It makes me feel less claustrophobic. Bracken pushes the button. He jumps into the elevator with glee. We land back on the earth and walk through the farmer's market. We say hello to friends and visit booths. I get Bracken a little container of raspberries and eat some too. Sun starts coming out. We cross the street, making our way back to our booth. It takes awhile to get across market because we chat with friends as we go along. We stop in a friend's booth and say hi. They asked if I'd seen Jeff yet and said they had just been to our booth and Jeff said that I had forgot to give him the change to give to customers when I went to park the car. Oh shoot! Hurry back to booth.

11 something - Arrive at booth. Give Jeff change. Luckily he had been okay without it. Hang out in booth for awhile. Bracken says hi to booth neighbors and plays in the area behind our booth.
About 11:50 AM - Go to nearby coffee shop. Since Bracken was little he refuses to use the bucks (porta-potty, whatever you want to call it.) I don't blame him. They're not fun to go in. Purchase cold peppermint tea so we can use their restroom. Forgot to bring a reusable container. Need to get better about that! Call mom from coffee shop on the cell phone, which we only use from time to time when we go to town. She asks how market is going so far and says she has a feeling it's going to be a really good day for us. Appreciate her always putting nice blessings on our day.
About 12:10 PM - Back to booth. Jeff said a friend dropped by with some fabric (that I'm super excited about for fabric buttons) and I was bummed that I missed seeing her. Eat some lunch that Jeff packed. Bless his heart again. Enjoying fresh salad greens from our garden, happy that we have them again. Stay in the booth for awhile. Still really enjoying the new earring rack. Bracken starts to get kind of antsy and we leave and go for a walk. (The two of us do a lot of walking on market days. Jeff really likes being in the booth, so it works out.) Walk around market for awhile, saying hi to more market friends. A friend gives him a carrot, another some change for the farmer's market, and another a handmade gift. I'm looking around and feeling grateful for the feeling of community and all the kind things our friends do for Bracken, making the market so fun and special for him.

About 1:56 PM - Back in booth. Eat some more food. Realize better get to farmer's market before it closes at 3.

About 2:15 PM - Head over to the farmer's market. Pick up a little bag of citrus fertilizer for our little lemon tree and a goji plant. Realize the goji plant has thorns, so the place we planned on planting it won't work. Will think of a new spot. Like dried goji berries and love the idea of having some growing in our yard. Try two apple varieties- ginger gold and akane. Both good, like the akane especially. Get some more mushroom spawn to inoculate with. Stoked! Don't need much from market, with our garden in full swing, and start making our way back to our booth. Back in booth for a bit.

About 3:19 PM - Visit coffee shop. Some air conditioning sounds really nice right now. It's hot outside. Come back to booth with cold drinks. Jeff requested a fresh squeezed orange juice blended with ice. Those are good.
About 3:46 PM - Leave booth to run a few errands. Walk through market and over to the parking garage. Bracken gets to ride the elevator again and is very pleased about that. Other people riding with us enjoy his enthusiasm. Eugene is about an hour from our house and we need to make the most of our trips to town, getting all our errands run. Head over to Long's Meat Market (with high quality meats from local farms) to get some things. They know us by name. Our order is in the back. There is a long line, it's busy. There is a bench with a book. Bracken sees it has Winnie-the-Pooh on the cover and asks me to read it to him. He asked me last time we came. Or maybe the last two times. Think I said "next time" to him before and don't want to say that again. Tell them to hold my order, and help the people behind me, so I can go read a book to Bracken. They don't mind. Bracken sits in my lap and I read him the story. He calls it the "Winnie-the-Pooh snow story" and excitedly tells people around us "Winnie-the-Pooh!!" Go up to counter again and get my order.

About 4:30 PM - Leave Long's and head to grocery store. Decide to go to a small store, a few streets out of the way, because it's so pleasant to shop at. Bracken says "yay" when we pull up because he likes this grocery store. Get Bracken some coconut water. All out of dried elderberries. Jeff asked me to get some for his sun teas. Find it in their bulk section. Decide to surprise Jeff and get something he loves that we hardly ever buy- olives. Take our time in the store because Jeff likes when we show up a few minutes after market closes so that he can start packing up by himself for just a bit. It makes it easier. Bracken asks if he can drink his coconut water while we are in the store. Usually don't allow this, but decided to say okay. Doesn't get lid on all the way after drinking some and when he sets it on the counter to pay, it tips over and some spills out. The cashier is nice about it. Bracken is upset about it. But he doesn't stay upset for long.

5 PM- Eugene Saturday Market closes.

About 5:07 PM - Leave grocery store. Found a little container of sprouted pumpkin seeds with nutritional yeast on them, right by the checkout line. Bracken and I started eating them in the car. They are soo good and I wish we had much more of them. Drive back to market.

About 5:15 PM - Arrive back at market. Park in front of our booth and start loading our car up. Our booth neighbor is already completely packed up and gone. (Wish market closed at 4, since it's such a long day for us and the farmer's market closes at 3.) Other neighbor invites Bracken to help pack up their booth, which he thinks is fun. Jeff bungee cords our booth structure to the roof rack and also the two chairs that don't fit in our car. Hardly fit all our stuff in our car, just like every week. Get all the doors to close. Yes. Say a little cheer we actually fit it all.

About 6 PM- Say goodbye to those in the vicinity. Leave market. Talk about ways we could make our set up and tear down quicker and easier, but thinking one hour for packing up isn't too bad. Or at least better than it was at one point. Drive by bank on the way out of town that has temperature displayed. 90 degrees. Still that temperature that late in the day? No wonder it felt so hot at market that day. It was a good market day and we feel grateful. Jeff has a list of all the new things he wants to make for next week. Give Bracken snacks and he happily eats them in the backseat. Jeff happily eats his olives. I hesitantly try a few and I don't gag. A bit surprised they taste good to me, since I ate so many one time when I was a child that I made myself sick and could never eat them again. Maybe I'm finally changing how I feel about olives. That would be good. Jeff and I talk about the day. Bracken falls asleep in the car. Earlier he said "mama, sleepy", telling me that he was tired. Typically no naps on Saturdays, plus so much walking all day long (my feet hurt), I can't imagine how tired he is. Thinking that he's getting big because he hardly asked me to carry him at all throughout the day and did all that walking on his little legs.

6 something - Stop by Morning Glory Farm on our way home. Get some carrots. We're all out of carrots. Bracken stays asleep. Pick up some pears from the neighbor that we traded for. No room left in the car. One box at my feet and one box on my lap. I'm scrunched and they're heavy, but I'm happy about pears. Jeff wants to quickly swing by the post office on the way home. He goes and checks our P.O. box. I wait in the car under a pile of pears.

About 7:20 PM - Arrive home. Been gone for a little over twelve hours. Bracken is still asleep. Start unpacking the car as quietly as I can. (Last week we left most of the car packed, but this week I need to do some car cleaning and need to get it all out.) Make some progress taking things out of the car and putting them on the front porch.
About 7:35 PM - Bracken wakes up. I get him out of his carseat and pick him up. He's moody, which is understandable. He tells me he wants "outside time" so I bring him over to the front yard. We take off our shoes and feel our barefeet in the grass. Jeff joins us. Jeff and Bracken lay on the ground and look up at the sky. I revel in the sound of the river. No longer surrounded by the busy sounds of moving cars and people everywhere. Feels good for us to all take a few minutes to take a breath after such a long day. We're all happy to be out there. Go and gather the eggs from the chicken coop. Then I go and finish unloading the car while Jeff and Bracken go in the kitchen.

About 8:12 PM -Get a splinter in my foot. Finish the job with a bit of a limp and am probably sort of pathetic looking. Car unloaded. Sit on couch and Jeff brings me a flashlight. Get splinter out and marvel that such a microscopic thing could cause so much discomfort. Inside for the night. I'm sweaty. Bracken and I take a quick shower while Jeff makes smoothies. Get our pajamas on. Feels so good to be clean.

About 8:45 - Enjoy our pre-bedtime smoothies. Go upstairs. Need to rest, have a lot of catching up to do on Sunday after being gone for a whole day. Pass out in bed after such a long day. Another full market day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

the last hurrah (blueberries)

We went blueberry picking two more times last week. (I've posted quite a bit of blueberry pictures here this summer, haven't I?) We went one evening at the beginning of the week, on an especially hot day. We had a lot of work to do and weren't planning on doing much more picking this season, but our neighbors gave us an offer we couldn't refuse. The heat was turning their berries to mush and they just haven't been able to pick them fast enough this year.

A few blueberries made their way into Bracken's bucket, but they didn't stay in there long before he ate them. Bracken got to pet a duck and enjoyed the cats that followed us around the field. I told our neighbors that if their cats ate blueberries, they'd be very well fed there. It turns out they have a dog that eats blueberries and one of their cats climbs the high branches and bends the branches over so the dog can eat the berries. How cute is that? They also have a peacock. If I ever thought I wanted a peacock for a pet, I changed my mind after hearing how loud it was. 

That evening Bracken and I ran through the sprinklers while we were there and it felt wonderful. The next time we went picking was on a cloudy morning at the end of the week. That time Bracken preferred to carry around his little basket instead of a big bucket. I told Jeff it was "the last hurrah"(don't know why, it just popped into my head), our final blueberry pick of the season. I *believe* it was our last pick. But, as it's hard for us to keep away from blueberry fields this time of year, I can't say for certain.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

G r a t i t u d e * S u n d a y

 G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y
{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
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If you would like to join us, see below. 
Our gratefulness feeds one another. 
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Throughout the week I've felt grateful for:

...Color in the garden. (My mind has been on planting more flowers lately.)
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...Watching Bracken play with the dollhouse that was mine when I was little. And his sweet invitation to: "Play me, mama!", wanting me to play with him.
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...Having a little helper by my side in the kitchen and in the garden, complete with a silk cape and a contagious laugh.
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...Finding an egg with three yolks! I've found double-yolkers, but finding three little yolks in one egg was a first for me. I told Jeff it was a sign of good fortune.
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...A friend visiting and sharing some pictures with us she had taken during her last visit awhile ago. Bracken looked so little in them.
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...The fact that Bracken didn't get into too much trouble when I went and took a shower by myself. I considered it an overall success.
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...Jeff replacing some lightbulbs and appreciating how much brighter those spaces are.
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...Vacuuming the rugs and a morning full of cleaning. I was having "cleaning therapy" that day and it did make me feel much better.
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...A few days with rain watering the garden. (And the fact that rain means less chance of forest fires in this area, it's been so dry.)
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...Fixing my wobbly table easily, with some folded paper under one leg. Much better.
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...Our electricity only going out for a few hours one night.
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...Jeff ordering a part to fix a tool (and feeling a little annoyed since he had just replaced the part not long ago) only to find that the company sent him a replacement for free!
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...The postcards from Grandma Julie that came all the way from Europe. Bracken was delighted and asked us to read them again and again.
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...Finding just the thing we were looking for at a garage sale, for hardly any money at all. 
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...Focusing again on what is working in our life instead of what isn't, which tends to happen when I get out of balance. It always does feel better to focus on gratitude.
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...Coming downstairs after some regenerating time to myself to hear about Jeff & Bracken's adventures in the garden. I came into the room to see them sitting side by side, Jeff working and Bracken watercolor painting and saying "for mama!" 
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...Seeing that our duck Fennel's leg was tangled up in something so I could go over and help her and get her untangled.
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...Bracken and I being able to sleep this morning after a long and full market day yesterday.
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You can read more about the inspiration for Gratitude Sunday here

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Whether your week flowed smoothly or you had a rough one, taking the time to focus on what you're grateful for always makes things better and will bring you a happy heart!
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What have you felt grateful for throughout your week?
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Gratitude Sunday