Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 29

Today, I had a chance to just hang with my family.  My sister and aunt went out for tea in the morning at a little Tea Room in my hometown. Yes, I was surprised that my small hometown has a Tea Room.  Pasadena has about six or eight of them, so, I am spoiled.  I am not sure that there are even that many in the whole state of Connecticut (trust me, we googled them and couldn't find that many), and one of them is in our tiny town.

I, also, had a chance to go out for pizza with everyone to my favorite place (Ernie's in New Haven).  I tried to get there back in July but they are a small family business and were closed for the two weeks I was home.  I decided tonight that I could literally give up pizza if I could have it every time I cam home. California doesn't know what it is missing.

So, I am thankful for family even if at times they drive you crazy.  I am thankful for the burnt roof of my mouth from that oh too hot first bite of pizza.  I am thankful for the chance to extend my trip east to hang with my family even for a few days. 

..and in honor of Picture Book Month, here is my recommendation:

by Melissa Stewart; Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum
Peachtree Publishers (2009)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 28

Thanksgiving is an emotional time for many.  Most of our lives do not look like a Norman Rockwell painting or play out like a Hallmark movie.  Our families and relationships are often complicated and messy.  Some people are missing the presence of a special family member who died over the past year.  Others have loved ones in the military or living too far away to come home for the holiday.

This was my first Thanksgiving with my parents in 22 years. I knew going into it there would be emotions for me for many reasons that I won't go into here.  However, I worked hard to stay in the moment and to appreciate my family and too recognize that much can change all too quickly if I do not take the time to celebrate what I have.  And for all of that, I do celebrate and show my appreciation.

While I was playing on-line, I came across some quotes about gratitude and thought I would share them with you.  Click on the link below to read them all.

...and in honor of Picture Book Month, here is my Thanksgiving Day recommendation:

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
by Laurie Halse Anderson; Illustrated by Matt Faulkner
Simon & Schuster (2005)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Days 24, 25, 26, and 27

It appears that I have gotten really, really behind with these posts but I have good excuses.  And I am very thankful for so much.

On Sunday, November 24th (Day 24), I met up with several former roommates, their husbands, and a few other friends from when I lived in Amherst.  We met in Waltham, Massachusetts for dinner.  It was so nice to see them.  Some I haven't seen in 10 or 12 years, and a few others I haven't seen in 20 years.  Those friends will always hold a very special place in my heart no matter how infrequent we see each other. 

On Monday, November 25th (Day 25), I enjoyed the first day of ALAN.  Hanging with Nerdy Book Club friends and listening to authors - how much better can life get.  I wrapped up the day having dinner with Beth Shaum and Kellie Celia from Walden Pond Press.  I am thankful for how books have brought me into contact with some very wonderful people.

On Tuesday, November 26th (Day 26),  I celebrated my final day at NCTE/ALAN.  It was sad to say bye to all those wonderful people, but I was excited to move on to my next leg of the journey.  After renting a car, I spent 5+ hours on the road driving from Boston to my parents' home in Connecticut. Traffic was extremely slow, and the weather wasn't great, but I was thankful for safe travel, a good audiobook, rain and not ice and snow.

And that brings us to today, Wednesday, November 27th (Day 27), I spent the day with my family and preparing for Thanksgiving.

And for all of these things, I am very grateful.

...and in honor of Picture Book Month, here is my recommendation:

by  Diane Mayr; Illustrations by Laura Rader
Walker Books for Young Children (2007)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 3

Independent Bookstores! Yep, that's what I am very thankful for today.  I am especially lucky that I have several in close proximity to home and work.  I am fully aware that some people do not even have one near them.  I do my best to support as many of these indies so that they will continue to be around.

Here are just two of my favorites - I love Maureen Palacio, Kris Vreeland and the rest of the staff at Once Upon a Time Bookstore in Montrose, California.  OUaT is small but has incredible author events and the best service.

My other frequent bookstore hangout is Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena.  It's been around for 120 years and it has an incredibly large children's and young adult section.  A definite must visit if you come to Pasadena.

....and since this is also picture book month, here is my daily picture book recommendation:

created/illustrated by Bill Thomson
Two Lions (November 5, 2013)

This is Thomson's follow-up to CHALK.  It is wonderful, and it comes out on Tuesday.  Quick, go order it! :-)   

What are you thankful for?

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 1

Today is the first day of November.  Its the month that we celebrate Thanksgiving.  However, so often food preparation and eating, holiday sales, and general busy lives crowd out time to express gratitude.  I have a lot to be thankful for and need to take a moment to acknowledge those things.

So, today I am thankful for....

.....the community of friends that surround me and remind me of how rich my life really is.

.....homemade brownies baked with snickers that a friend made.

....a moment of quiet to reflect on all the amazing things in the world.

Also, today kicks of Picture Book Month.  And what better way to celebrate than by reading...

Edited with reflections by 
Katherine Paterson
Illustrated by Pamela Dalton
Chronicle Books (October 15, 2013)

What are you thankful for?