Category Archives: Life

What I’m Grateful For This Week…

There is nothing like a week at the beach to make you feel grateful…

1. Seafood – as someone who does not eat a lot of meat, I love having multiple fish and seafood options on the menu. I’ve been feasting on grouper, shrimp, scallops, and crab cakes. Snapper anyone? Delicious!!

2. More sunsets – any explanation needed?

3. Good friends – who wouldn’t feel blessed after spending a week at the beach with good friends?

4. Other things I am loving this week – small towns, olive oil stores, book stores, jigsaw puzzles, reading time, seashells, dolphins, happy hour and safe travels home.

What is on your gratitude list this week?

“I wonder if the beach misses me?”

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What I’m Grateful For This Week…

1. New Office Furniture – We recently moved to the first floor of our building into a newly updated suite. About a month later, my new office furniture arrived and it is amazing. I love the standing desk component. My office looks great and the space is so functional. I am blessed!

2. Sunsets – the end of the week finds us at the beach for Spring Break with friends rather than college students. Our first walk on the beach includes a lovely sunset. I love sunsets! More blessings!!

3. Other – I am also grateful for my health, Pilates mat class, friends, family, a great haircut, spring, safe travels and sand castles. Are you counting your blessings?

More next week from the beach!

“Gratitude is being more aware of what you have than what you don’t.” Max Lucado

What I’m Grateful For This Week…

Quick list – no photos:

– Peace

– Oatmeal

– Communion

– Music

– Easter

– Mentors

– Taxes filed

– Stars

– Honesty

– Hot chocolate

– Space heaters

– Lighthouses

– Panini press

– Houseplants

– Elliptical trainer

– Journals

– Avocado toast

– Finishing a novel

Your list?

“Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.”

What I’m Grateful for This Week…

This has been a travel week for me – four cities and two states in addition to the city and state that I live in. Here are things that keep me upbeat while away from home:

1. Remodeled hotel rooms – I am blessed to stay at nice hotels and eat yummy food while traveling for my company. Rooms with updated decor, adequate work space, lots of outlets and a pot to heat water for tea make my time away comfortable and enjoyable. This hotel is in the process of updating and I am lucky enough to get the updated room.

2. Awards presentations – Every year, we honor one of our financial institution partners with our Community Spirit Award to recognize their dedication to affordable housing and community economic development. A highlight for me this week was surprising one of our bankers with an award at our workshop in Troy, Michigan. This individual has distributed nearly $3 million in grant funds to help first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance and home repairs for lower wealth individuals. He also received $50,000 in grants for small businesses during 2018.

3. Girls’ Weekend – I concluded my travels with a quick weekend get away with a dear friend who lives in Atlanta. We met at the Atlanta airport and flew to Tampa for two nights at the Treasure Island Beach Resort. Relaxing poolside, walking on the beach, eating seafood, talking and eating more seafood – need I say more?

What is on your gratitude list this week?

“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C.S. Lewis

What I’m Grateful For This Week…

Well, I have slowed down on my “new things” with the last thing posted after our Aspen, CO visit six months ago. I’ve been enjoying other bloggers’ posts on what they are loving and/or grateful for so I’ll try sharing some things from my gratitude list…

1. Sunshine and Jeans Week – it is cold where I live, currently bitterly cold with snow on the ground. My spirits are so much higher when the sun is shining so sunshine is usually on my gratitude list. Similarly, it is easier to cross the parking lot on a single digit morning when we can wear jeans and a warm casual coat. We have the option of paying for a Jeans Week each month with the money supporting a charity in one of the states we serve. Win-win!

2. Weeknight pasta dishes – With my busy schedule and work travel, quick weeknight meals are a must. This pasta dish from Rachael Ray comes together quickly. A box of uncooked linguine, 1 lb. bag frozen shrimp, 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, 3 T olive oil and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper go into a skillet with a jar of marinara sauce and 3 1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes. You top the finished dish with gremolata – 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 2 T chopped fresh parsley and 1 T lemon zest. Yum!

3. Customer workshops – During the first quarter of each year, we travel across Indiana and Michigan to update our customers about our affordable housing grant programs. I am loving being in Grand Rapids, MI to share information about our grants and to hear what projects people are working on to improve their communities. So inspiring!

4. Family at Home – my absolute favorite thing this week was having family home. My college son visited from Chicago after spending the first half of Spring Break visiting a friend in Savannah. My brother visited for the weekend and the guys cooked dinner together. Great memories!

What are you grateful for this week?

“Gratitude is peace.” Anne Lamott

Aspen, CO

One of my “new things” for the summer was our family vacation to Aspen, Colorado. My younger son said we needed to branch away from our usual beach vacation and see something different so we traveled to the Rocky Mountains and high elevation for a week.

We spent our first day on Aspen Mountain after riding the gondolas to the top. I can tell there is less oxygen here while we are hiking! What fabulous views!!

Our second day is spent at Maroon Bells which ends up being my favorite spot – so beautiful!!

This is our “Bonanza” shot from our horseback ride near Maroon Bells.

We also hiked along the Continental Divide and stopped at a deserted mining town, learning about the early history of Aspen before it became an area focused on recreation. Our last day was spent in Glenwood Springs where we hiked to beautiful waterfalls at Hanging Lake. Gorgeous!!

Of course, we ate well. I didn’t have to give up my typical diet of seafood or vegetarian entrees. The homemade pasta with shrimp from Ellina was delicious.

My favorite restaurant was French, Creperie du Village. What’s not to love about chocolate crepes?

Colorado was beautiful and the hiking was splendid! …but I still miss the beach….

National Portrait Gallery

Although I am fairly sure I visited the National Portrait Gallery many years ago, I’m counting a recent visit as a “new thing” since I have never gone sight seeing along with a business trip to Washington, DC.This week, I flew to DC for the National Housing Conference’s annual gala. I selected a flight arriving early afternoon to allow for travel delays. (I historically have delays flying to DC and would not fly there with myself if I did not have to…) This time, I travel on a gorgeous day and everything goes smoothly. I regroup after my travels and walk to the Portrait Gallery for a couple hours.I start at the F Street entrance and walk among the American Origins portraits, seeing early leaders like Benjamin Franklin. I move along to the Civil War and see Lincoln’s portrait and the Faces of Discord section. Then I walk upstairs through the modernism section to a special exhibit on silhouettes. A life size May Pole silhouette is amazing!Next I find myself in the Portraits of America’s Presidents. There is a line to see the newest Obama portrait of him sitting in a garden setting. I photograph other Presidential portraits. Next I walk through an early American section of liturgical art, western art and landscapes before taking another set of stairs to the third floor.The third floor has contemporary art and twentieth century Americans including Michelle Obama’s portrait (another line). This is such a beautiful building.I also go up to the third floor mezzanine for a feature of athletes entitled Champions and a feature of entertainers called Bravo!I finish back on the first floor with folk and self-taught art before exiting on G Street and returning to my hotel. I am blessed to have the combination of a beautiful day, two hours of free time and a hotel within walking distance of a wonderful free museum. I am also blessed to attend the National Housing Conference’s gala honoring housing visionaries. One of the honorees is Team Detroit and it is fun to see some of my Detroit colleagues awarded for their vision and hard work. Do you ever have the luxury of tour time during business trips?