Finding Joy In the Ordinary

Finding Joy In the Ordinary



I come from a family of homemade present makers.

Not your ordinary present makers…..but extraordinary-mind-boggling-one-of-a-kind-over-the-top-incredible makers of gifts.

Direct descendants from Santa and his elves.

There was the year my sister made lampshades for all of us…..from old slides all looped together with jump rings so that when you turned on the light…..the pictures lit up in miniature.

Or the year my brother hand-carved bowls from an oak tree that fell during a storm.

And the year my sister made this and my brother made this and then wrapped his presents in hand-printed wrapping paper with photographs of all of us wearing mullets…..

….even the dog.

Can you see what I mean?



Hand printed Blog picture


But this year my sister created something that made me cry.

And smile.

And laugh in amazement.

Something that made my heart sing at the sheer wonder of the magnitude and simplicity of the gift.


She took the first three months of blog posts from Thistlewood Farm….all 20,478 words of them…..each and every word that I had written…..

…..and created a thistle.

Thistle Picture


Every word is there.  

Every *sigh.”

Every “seriously.”

Every comma, every quotation mark, every exclamation point.

Every tree skirt I forgot and every loaf of bread I baked and every stinky sock and story and medal display and state canvas and every porch I tried to elope with.

They are all there on the down of the thistle.



And as I stared at those words and read and read and read until my eyes filled with tears…..

…..each word became special.

Every “a” or “the” or “this” or “that” or “under” and all the other 46 prepositions.






Sometimes we are so busy with life that we overlook the simple.  We spend so much time looking for the extra-ordinary….the fireworks….the explosion….the mountain top….the next incredible experience.

And all the while the joy is right before us.

Waiting for us to notice.


It’s in the tiny little marshmallows that float to the top of the hot chocolate.

Or the Hallmark Channel’s New Year’s happily-ever-after marathon of movies.

Or the Reese’s peanut butter trees on after-Christmas clearance.

Or the perfect mix of a drive-through diet coke.


Or that you just happened to look down at your feet and avoided the total embarrassment of walking out of the house wearing two different shoes.





Finding joy in the ordinary.

It’s so 2013. :)


PS  What’s your ordinary joy today?

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