gratitude52, Week 16: Simple Thingsfeatured

gratitude52, Week 16: Simple Things {the ponytail diaries}

gratitude52 (because “52 Weeks of Gratitude” is too much of a mouthful) is a year-long challenge/series on, obviously, gratitude. Read more about the challenge here and all gratitude52 posts here.

Well, to start, this isn’t exactly a “simple thing,” but this week, we found out that Husband has passed ALL his national exams for architecture! He now just has to finish his internship hours and pass the California supplemental exam this summer and he’ll be a LEGIT LICENSED ARCHITECT.

(The process of becoming an actual architect is crazy intense. Seriously, like becoming a doctor. Which should make you feel better the next time you step inside a building.)

He’s been working so hard, both at work itself and at studying for these tests (there are seven national exams) with a discipline and intensity that truly wows me — getting up at godawful hours so he can get to the office early and study, staying late at work so he can study, forgoing nights out so he can either stay in and study or go to bed early so he can get up and study…and then I complain that it’s so hard to drag my ass out of bed to walk the dog before 7:00.

So now, I’m grateful that all his hard work is paying off. And I’m grateful that he’ll be getting home when it’s still light out! He’s still got a lot of work ahead of him this summer — and it’s not like he gets his license and then sits back on and chills for the next 30-40 years — but, as he said the other night, it’s like there’s finally light at the end of a tunnel he’s been in for, oh, nine years or so.

And after all that? Thinking about this has given me even more of an appreciation for “the simple things,” as I’m supposed to do this week.

// Taking Onyx for walks every day + watching our sunset progress on our evening walks

// Lying on the couch, reading a book or magazine or scrolling through Instagram with my feet in his lap

// Listening to the birds outside

// Watching our limes grow and judging their progress by measuring them against my thumb

// Making cup after cup of tea

// Watering our little patio garden and watching the incremental changes each day (especially during the spring/summer when we plant colorful flowers as filler)

// Let’s face it, getting more-than-usual likes or comments on Instagram or a blog post

// Finally collapsing in bed — with a book, of course — after a long day

// Getting the email notification that the book I placed on hold is available at the library

// The handful of neighbors I see and say hi to, or even stop and chat with, almost every day

// Giving Onyx belly rubs after chasing her around the apartment

// Group texts with my brothers (oh but those can be HILarious)

// Avocados

// Super-friendly and helpful baristas

// Early morning beach runs

// Trail runs

// Really, any runs

// Taking Onyx for a run and watching her practically bounding as she looks back at me with this big doggie smile and I swear she’s saying “THIS IS THE BEST EVERRRRR!!!”

// Gulping down fresh, cold water after a hot run

// Cupcakes (especially when your favorite cupcake shop gives you a freebie)

// Settling into down dog

I could write this forever. What are you favorite “simple things?”