Gratitude Surrounds Her

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I’m grateful I found my mantra the very first day we arrived in the Outer Banks.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for sleepy heads on our nine hour drive.  And mismatched pajamas, but that’s a story for another day.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for this view on the GPS.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Vacation

I’m grateful he’s telling her what’s what–

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

— and they are still best friends.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful this lighthouse has stood steady as a sentinel in my life for the past decade.  I’m grateful it still brings me to tears when I see it each year.

Hatteras Lighthouse (Outer Banks)

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Hatteras Lighthouse (Outer Banks)

I’m grateful I finally got a moon shot.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for Thoreau.

Thoreau quote

I’m grateful for hot tubs.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Vacation

I’m grateful he wants to take photos with his pretend camera– “first of people, then cats, then boats.”

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for THREE.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful that even though this world is so big, He has held us in the palm of his hand.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for feeling small once in awhile. And flying kites.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Vacation

I’m grateful for flamingo bathing suits.  With matching hats.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful that I get to be the only woman in his life right now, because OOF, he’s going to be a heartbreaker someday.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful he posed for my best friend, even if he refused to do so for me.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for stillness.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful I didn’t ruin my white pants.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for gigantic pretzels eaten overlooking the harbor as the ferries chugged back and forth to Ocracoke.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Vacation

I’m grateful for beauty in all forms, even if it’s 248 spiral steps.

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful for the perfect striped maxi dress and gold sandals.

striped maxi dress and gold sandals

I’m grateful for THAT.  Wowza.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful that I finished, even with laryngitis and a sore throat.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for 3.1 miles of peace and quiet with my BFF, and that at the end of it all we get to be loved by these guys.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful there’s still wonder in this world, and that he has it.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for this ‘one wild and precious life‘.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for this footprint in the sand.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for a side dish of salty air with our dinners.

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful for this view.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for being able to tuck the sun in each night.

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful she perseveres, no matter how long the road or how hard the fight.  I’m grateful she teaches me about courage and hope each and every day.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Yes, I’m grateful for that scowl.  Most of the time.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for that HAIR.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Can I get an amen on those curls?

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful he stood still for a moment.  Barely.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for vintage finds from The Elegant Attic.  I’m grateful for the owner’s southern hospitality, who urged me to take a tour of her amazing home!

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful for sunshine.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for organized chaos.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for moments where my only job in life is to find the perfect piece of seaglass.

green sea glass

I’m grateful for sand.  Oh so much SAND.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful this former tube fed baby not only ate two huge rolls before dinner but relished dunking them in garlic oil.

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful for peek-a-boo.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for photobombs.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m used to be grateful for Brew-Thrus.  I’m not sure I’m grateful for them anymore.  But I’m grateful for being 22 once, and thinking Brew Thrus were amazing at that moment in time.

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful he’s the one who was tackled.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful Route 12 wasn’t underwater.  It’s sometimes underwater, and often under sand.

Route 12 Hatteras Island

I’m grateful he cares.

Outer Banks & Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful that crab didn’t catch my mojito.

mojito at Ketch 55

I’m grateful for Gee Gee at Buxton Village Books, who understood what I was asking even with my raging laryngitis, and amazingly had book #6 in the Outlander series in stock to feed my addiction.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful he searched until he found me a piece of seaglass.  I’m grateful for his love.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful for independent coffee shops like Ugly Mugs.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful she can write her name.  The doctors told us she’d never write her name.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful he’s the father of my children.  I’m so thankful she gets to call him daddy.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for perfect days.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful he can rock a pink flamingo hat when needed.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for daily sunset kayak trips where the only sound I heard was the cry of the birds, the lapping of the water, and the leaping of the fish.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for having two amazing men in my life.  My heart?  It melts.

 

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for my best friend’s family, and her beautiful, nurturing children.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

Outer Banks Vacation

Outer Banks Vacation

I’m grateful someone was here before us, and someone will be here after us, and that we could be here, now.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for that determination, for a woman on a mission!

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for daddies who took the kids ghost crab hunting so the mommies could catch up over wine in the hot tub.  Did I mention I’m also grateful for BFFs?

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m incredibly grateful for the Hatteras Realty employee that mailed his beloved White Kitty back to Pennsylvania after it was left on the top deck of our rental and not discovered missing until 9 hours later as we pulled into our driveway.  I’m grateful she recognized a well loved stuffed animal and didn’t throw it away!

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

I’m grateful for a great ‘before’ and ‘after’.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Vacation

I’m grateful this miracle baby shines on.  Oh Lord am I grateful!

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Island Vacation

I’m grateful we were able to go on vacation in our very favorite place for two weeks.  We may not always be able to do this; change is in the air, and it’s hard.  I’m grateful for this moment in time, and we appreciated every second of it.  I’m grateful we could spend this time together, absorbing inspiration from the world around us and each other.  I’m grateful.

Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras vacation

β€œWhen it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
― Mary Oliver

What are you grateful for today?

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23 Comments

  1. What a beautiful reminder to stop and appreciate the little things in life!

  2. I’m grateful that a four hour trip to the ER yesterday was a false alarm for my husband. It made my day to be told all is well, go home and enjoy the evening on his 43rd Father’s day.

    1. You’re the third person I know that spent Father’s Day in the ER. Something must be in the water… yes, definitely something to be grateful for, knowing all is well! Glad he’s doing better!

  3. Damn you, Carrie, for making me sob. That was absolutely beautiful.

  4. You never cease to make my day with every post I read. I cried a little, but smiled even more while I read this post from beginning to end. Absolutely beautiful and reflective. Thank you.

  5. What a beautiful list of gratitude! I love the photos – and the memories captured of a beautiful life!

  6. Thank for the picture of an amazing week you made me excited for my upcoming shore visit. Thanks for sharing. great photos so great you have this memory on our blog.

  7. Read this last night when I couldn’t sleep around 3 AM and LOVED IT (too tired to comment though πŸ˜‰

    The photo of the swimsuits and your perfect striped maxi dress was the photo that got me though — somehow that portrait was so poignant…wonderful, wonderful post!

  8. Just cried reading this….such a beautiful, well-written post! Amazing, Carrie! I will read it again and again when the kids are not around me, watching me cry and choke up! It was such a wonderful trip. So many wonderful, sweet memories!! The kids enjoyed seeing their pictures (they think they are famous now!). I had no idea about Ben’s beloved White Kitty!! SO glad you got it back!
    Your kids are amazing…we love and miss you ALL!!! xoxo

  9. What beautiful pictures and memories! You have a lovely way of conveying emotions… thanks for sharing.

  10. Great post! Love all these pictures that complement so well the text–what a great glimpse into your family! As one who has seen several children grow up (and with children of their own) while still raising some either in teen years or almost there…it is a blessing to be able to stop and treasure the moment. It is really true–you do look back later and wonder where the time went. And oh, to have back for one day the sticky-with-sweat hand in mine as we cross the street to the library…or the heaviness of lugging the toddler up the zillion (it seemed) steps of the fire tower at the Wilderness Center… You get the idea. Children are, indeed, a blessing lent us by their Creator. Keep loving them and loving their dad!

  11. Love, love, love. Wonderful photos, even better memories! I may have to steal this idea. πŸ˜‰

  12. Oh what great memories! You definitely brought a few tears to my eyes. I am so glad white kitty was rescued!

    I do need to know all of your hot spots we have started our countdown and we are around 70 days!

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  14. I too had a baby with cords and tubes coming out everywhere. He is now a strong minded, kind hearted nine year old. And I am ever grateful.

    Thank you for helping me to never forget how fragile life can be.

    1. I absolutely love hearing this! I’m all about strong minds and kind hearts!

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  16. Beautiful! Just saw this now as I was stalking your blog for an idea on something else and realized I never read this. These words and pictures could be a picture book! Just simple and lovely. We’re grateful for people like you who inspire us and show others what perseverance, patience, and passion truly mean. You’re the best!

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