thankful thursday

This week has been THE craziest week of my life. Nannying 6 kids, which means staying at their house overnight, then rushing home to fit 8 hours of work into 4, then rushing back for them to get home from school, then rushing from this practice to that game to that dance lesson, a zillion loads of laundry and dishes and a dog who is constantly chewing socks. I am exhausted. But being so thoroughly spent, mentally and physically, makes me more aware of the little blessings too. So I thought it was a perfect time to share another Thursday Thankful List. Because even though I've almost completely lost my mind multiple times this week, I'm also so grateful for all the blessings being lovingly thrown my way.

This week, I'm especially grateful for:

  • fall leaves changing right before my eyes
  • chilly mornings
  • rain
  • hot tea
  • cozy slippers
  • couch naps (I managed to fit one in!)
  • a clean apartment
  • apple pie for breakfast
  • catching up with a friend over lunch
  • calling my mom
  • big hugs
  • belly laughs
  • moments of peace and quiet
  • the perfect-smelling candle
  • a long shower
  • prayer time
  • wonderful women of God who are examples to me daily
  • good hair days
  • finding time to put an outfit together
  • a cleaned-out car
  • houseplants
  • and most of all, my wonderful, dependable, patient and loving husband. he has been the absolute BEST this week!

Happy Thursday!

Thursday Thankful List | no. 07

Oh friends, I am in dire need of making one of these lists today. It's been a CRAZY week! I've really been caught up in comparing myself to a lot of other people and comparing my life/my situations to others, which can be so dangerous and defeating, especially when usually I don't know all the ins and outs of what other people are going through, just the snippets I see on their blog/instagram/social media. My mom is always so good at reminding me of the beautiful quote "comparison is the thief of joy." It's so true! I am really going to make an effort this month to be especially grateful for all the things I have, all the things I am, all that my life is, instead of constantly comparing it to everything else everyone else seems to have. This week, I'm especially grateful for:

  • celebrating with so many dear friends at my bridal shower
  • 17 hours with Chelsea
  • an amazing, patient fiance who never makes me feel like what I'm going through or feeling doesn't matter
  • beautiful spring weather
  • bright shoes
  • sleeping through the night
  • making decisions that are good for my sanity
  • patio lunchdate with mama
  • dark chocolate
  • group texts with high school friends
  • good hair days
  • the perfect song coming on the radio with just enough time to listen before I get to work
  • co-worker compliments
  • the wedding list is dwindling!
  • accountability partners
  • my body, and all that it does for me
  • access to + the ability to afford good food for myself
  • clean water
  • hot showers
  • putting on comfy sweatpants right after you just shaved your legs
  • blooming tulips
  • morning light
  • listening to music while I get ready in the morning
  • overhearing 5-year olds talk about how cool their babysitter (me) is
  • dates on the calendar to catch up with so many friends in the next few weeks
  • best friends
  • blue skies
  • the smell of fresh-cut grass
  • driving with the windows down
  • the ability to do what I love with people who support my wild dreams

Happy Thursday! XO.

thursday thankful list | no. 06

Are you ever inspired by your past self? Sometimes I find a past journal entry I wrote or something I made and I'm inspired by my own wisdom/creativity. That happened to me this week and it's the inspiration for today's Thursday Thankful List. Earlier this week I was feeling really overwhelmed and incapable. Feeling like I am never going to be successful at the multitude of things I'd like to be successful at. After journaling some of my frustration, I flipped back through past pages and found an entry from January 21st. I wrote about a quote I had read, "you become what you believe you are." I thought it was so true (still do!) and so I made a list of the things I believe I am. Today, I am so grateful for this list and for stumbling across it when I really needed it. It was like past Valerie was telling current Valerie "it's OK! You GOT this!" So for that, I am grateful. Make a list for yourself. You'll instantly feel like a million bucks.


I believe I am loved.

I believe I am a queen.

I believe I am God's.

I believe I deserve happiness.

I believe I am talented.

I believe I matter.

I believe I am irreplaceable.

I believe I am important.

I believe I am unrepeatable.

I believe I am passionate.

I believe I am honest.

I believe I am determined.

I believe I am capable.

I believe I am beautiful.

I believe I am strong.

I believe I am not alone.

I believe I am inspiring.

I believe I am hard-working.

I believe I am good enough.

I believe I will make it.

I believe I can do it.

I believe I am curious.

I believe I am brave.

I believe I am valuable.

I believe I am special.

I believe I was intended.

I believe I have a purpose.

I believe I am courageous.

I believe I am hopeful.

I believe I am faithful.

I believe I am joyful.

I believe I am spiritual.

I believe I am inquisitive.

I believe I am smart.

I believe I can solve problems.

I believe I can heal.

I believe I am happy.

I believe I am thoughtful.

I believe I am insightful.

I believe in my spirit.

I believe I am kind.

I believe I am empathetic.

I believe I am compassionate.

I believe I care.

I believe in me.


xo, Valerie

Thursday Thankful List / no. 05

What a rough week it's been. It's hard for me to blog when I feel so sad and not so typically bubbly-sunshiney-Valerie. It feels a little like the whole world is going crazy, no? That's how it feels to me. The terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon, days of tornados/severe weather across my beloved Midwest, people mailing poison in a letter to the president, an earthquake in the middle east, explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas, the list goes on and on. It is so easy to feel burdened and truly, defeated, by all the sadness and tragedy on the news or your Twitter timeline. I came across a quote on Twitter after being glued to it for too long on Monday, reading all the sadness coming out of Boston. Rick Warren posted this: "A crisis depletes your emotions.You must intentionally replenish them. Make a list of what restores you and do those things."

I love that. It's so true. So this week, I am grateful for all of these things that restore me, that bring loveliness to my life, that remind me that while sadness and evil and tragedy are real, so are springtime, and flowers, and little moments of joy. I'm making an effort to be more aware of incorporating these restorative things in my life. It's important to take care of ourselves, especially when we feel consumed by sadness. What restores you? I'd love to hear!


{ the things that restore me }

a world in bloom

cooking breakfast with Matt

walks with my dog

morning thunderstorms

watching the rain from inside my cozy office

laughing with my fellow intern, Jenny

a chance to see inspiring speakers (this week, I listened to incredible lectures by Jane Goodall and Oliver Blank!)

throwing my to-do list out the window

an extra hour of sleep

driving with the windows down (preferably on country roads)

watching the sunset

talking to my mom (daily!)

catching up with old friends


dreaming about future travel

treating myself

warm sunshine

feeling put together + confident

belly laughs

getting excited


Sunday nights

getting lost in the music at church


big hugs

silly jokes

text message conversations with my little brother

looking at photos from adventures past (like Haiti and England!)

freshly painted nails

bright scarves

the smell of just-cut grass

afternoon iced caramel machiattos (my weakness!)

k-love radio

xo, Valerie

thursday thankful list / no. 04

Oh, what a week! A looooong week last week. A looooong weekend. A looooong few days prepping for this whirlwind trip to Mexico. But in the midst of it all, so many blessings. Here are a few!

  • yummy smelling bedroom candles
  • long, luxurious hot showers
  • daylight until 8 p.m.
  • walks with my pup to watch the sunset
  • flowers poking up through the ground
  • tank top weather -- finally!
  • dark chocolate almond milk
  • sharpie pens
  • fresh notebook
  • post-it notes -- everywhere!
  • a feel-good ending to a novel
  • mom taking care of my life even from vacation
  • vitamins
  • conversations with chelsea
  • pretty new coffee mugs
  • tulips on the front porch
  • waking up early enough for breakfast
  • hitting all the lights green
  • five-minute daily skype dates with Matthew
  • invitations ORDERED!
  • a good messy braid
  • coconut milk ice cream
  • friendly baristas
  • packing for a trip -- trips never feel real to me until I'm throwing outfits in a suitcase!
  • Jesus Calling devotions
  • birds chirping outside my window all day
  • packages in the mail!
  • my brother staying at the house so I'm not here by myself!
  • helpful servicepeople
  • grocery shopping
  • afternoon walks to get the mail
  • when the perfect song comes on during my morning commute
  • saying & hearing "i love you"