The Wonders of this Week 14/52

Hello Friends,

I am borrowing a format from an artist to use here.  Blue Bird Baby is a fantastic blog. Simple. Lovely. Soulful. Inspiring. She uses a weekly format to document. I like this method of tracking the days and the process. I have modified her approach a bit.  Every week you document and you note by the week.  She documents her darling daughter’s life in a really lovely way.  Go check it out.

This week I am:


Thank you notes. Have you ever received a thank you note that made you frown? I doubt it. Yeah, thank you notes are cool, mannerly, and, most important of all, full of love and gratitude. Send one today to someone you love.



<p><a href=”″>Stop Telling Women To Smile</a> from <a href=””>Dean Peterson</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


It is our Sunday ritual. Marc walks down the driveway and picks up the large plastic bag that holds our reading for the day. The Sunday New York Times. He makes a pot of strong, dark coffee and brings us two steaming cups heavy with fresh cream. I meanwhile fluff the pillows and open the curtains. We both get back into bed, readers perched at the end of our noses and we work our way through the paper. We share stories and fight over the editorials. He always reads the Sports section first and me? I go right for the Book Review and then the Travel section. We are all creatures of habit and this habit is one of the golden parts of our life together.


The Civil Wars. You know how you forget about music sometimes? You get in  your rut and then somewhere it comes up. I think it was Farmgirl Paints who mentioned The Civil Wars on her Instagram account and I just about died. I had forgotten how much I love them. So here I sit at the computer listening to all my favorite songs by them.


About joy and loss and compassion and patience.


To find a bit of land that I can call my own in this area. I grew up here and I want to go home again. As in, I want to buy a bit of land, plant some trees, clear for a garden, and build a little cottage. A place to rest and write.

NSJ Sign


I need to go back to work. I need to find a teaching position again. I miss it too much to stay away. I have not taught in two years and it is time to go back.



via tiny houses

via tiny houses


I have been making my own body products for a bit now and I am in love with them! I have always had really dry skin and the concoctions I am making now are really helping. Who knew I could create my own body products?!? I especially love my sugar body scrub. Totally glorious stuff…


Lots of homemade salad dressings with all our fresh from the garden salad greens. Yum!

via Mother Earth Living

via Mother Earth Living


This loveliness. A dear friend brought over a bottle for us to share on a sunny afternoon and it was lovely. Our favorite wine guy at Trader Joes suggested it. It. Is. Good.

via ABC Wines

via ABC Wines

I hope your week is good. I wish for you a week of gratitude, compassion, and love.


K is for Kisses

Hello Friends,

Don’t you love a good kiss? I certainly do. I was talking with a dear friend the other day about our marriages and about passion and the passing of time. We talked about how repetitive things can get in a marriage or long-term relationship. You know. Oh look, his socks are under the coffee table again. Stop making that awful noise while you chew. Must we always stop at Starbucks before leaving on a road trip?!?
We all have these experiences with our partner that can erode the passion a bit. Over time, those moments of renewed passion, adoration, and a quickening heartbeat can be further and further apart.

My husband and I went to a marriage workshop about two months ago. We have been married for about seven years now and while we love each other dearly we also have those challenging moments of utter annoyance and disappointment like any couple does. We also felt like we really needed to focus on our foundation. So much had gone on in our marriage and collective life over the last few years that it was time for a shot in the arm. A renewal.

So, we went to this workshop. If you have not heard of John Gottman or his wife, Julie Gottman, and you are in a significant relationship, I suggest you look immediately. They have this relationship stuff nailed. We are so glad we went to this workshop. For the record, we are not people who go to workshops or “touchy feely” stuff. We are pretty pragmatic. We have way too much of the WASP in us to enter drumming circles or share our feelings in groups. This had none of that.

Their theory, which is better explained in this book,


is that people need a strong base of trust, fondness, and admiration in order to create a positive lasting partnership. They have a seven step process explaining each part.

People, it makes complete sense to me. We were astounded and changed by our experience at the workshop. Here is a visual which shows what the seven components are. Without the bottom three you can not accomplish any of the others.

SRH Blog Pic

Sound Relationship House Overview

The one little takeaway that I want to share is this:

The six second kiss.

Anytime one of you is leaving the other or rejoining the other, you kiss. Now we all know how that can devolve into a crappy little quick peck on the cheek. This is exactly what my dear friend and I were talking about.

The passionless and perfunctory peck.

That is not what the Gottmans want you to do. They want you to kiss for at least six seconds. It is longer than you think. It easily tips the kiss from the affectionate to the, well, passionate. There is connection in that kiss.

Trust me on this one. A six second kiss on any departure or reunion. It makes a huge difference. It has for us. For it is in the little things, the everyday things, that momentum is built. It is in the cup of coffee my husband brings me every morning before he leaves for work. It is in the reading of the Sunday NYT together every week that we find our way as partners.

Go kiss the one you love.