Before I ever took the plunge and began blogging, I discovered, completely by accident, several blogs that I really love to read. One of my all-time favorites is Lorrie Veasey's "Our Name is Blog," which is one of my guilty pleasures. This week Lorrie is playing the Alphabet Super Game wherein bloggers such as myself who are in desperate need of blogging ideas can request a letter of the alphabet to use for a "Top 10" favorites list. I totally forgot to beg to be released from the letters Q or X, but she was merciful and assigned me the letter T instead.
So, in the spirit of the amazing Letterman (remember that show? He was able to leap the capital T in a single bound!), here are my 10 favorite things:
1) The Trinity - as in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I was extremely blessed to have grandparents who took me to a Christian church as a child, giving me a solid foundation to build my life on. I totally get that I am a sinner, saved by grace, and I try not to take that for granted (although I know I do, a dozen times a day). I cannot imagine trying to get through life without that assurance.
Plus the knowledge that "God is watching" has kept me, on more than one occasion, from hanging my children upside down by their toes or returning them to the rock I swear they crawled out from under!
2) Tom Jones - as in my hubby, not the aging(well, okay, maybe that part), hip-swaying crooner of "What's Up, Pussycat." Although he'll sing it for you if you ask. But I beg of you, don't ask... please?
I love Tom because he always makes me laugh (even if I'm trying not to), he has Bee-Yoo-Ti-Ful puppy dog brown eyes, and is really a big softy deep down though he tries not to show it. AND he called me on his way home from work to VOLUNTEER to make dinner tonight. Who wouldn't love this man?!!!
3) Tea - I successfully fought the urge to put this as #1 on my list, but decided that I really ought to put my priorities in the right order, at least on paper. As a kid it always seemed to be an enormous treat to get a cup of tea with milk and honey added: simple child, simple pleasures! I guess some things never change, except for the milk part. Blechhh! What was I thinking? My favorite is probably Earl Gray, but a quick glance in the cupboard behind me also reveals Constant Comment, Peppermint, Tension Tamer, plain black, Mandarin Orange Spice, Cozy Chamomile, Chai Latte, and Celestial Seasoning's delicious Sleepytime tea that I sip minutes before bedtime. And these are just the ones I currently have on hand.
4) Travel - I LOVE to travel, but unfortunately I don't get to do it as often as I'd like. My first favorite travel companion was my Aunt Lois who made a promise to little 5-year-old me when she was still in high school that when I turned 16, she would take me to Mexico City. Although I probably would have forgotten all about it, she never did. We spent an incredible (on many different levels!) week in Mexico City and the surrounding area, climbing the Aztec pyramids, getting our tennis shoes shined, drinking Pepsi from a bag, and walking miles and miles (and that was just to see one sight. How tall was that building, anyway?!).
Tom and I spent our honeymoon driving the length of the Oregon coast and seeing the Redwoods in California and last May we spent a week in No. Carolina for Josh's Special Forces graduation - my first time in either the East or the South. In recent years we've tried to take family vacations and so far we've managed to take the kids to see the Pacific in Washington and Oregon, been to Glacier National Park (my newest favorite!), Yellowstone several times (I'll have to blog about our first trip there as a family - it's amazing we ever traveled together again), Rocky Mountain N.P., Teton N.P., and various sundry parts in between. Let's just say that I never met a road trip I didn't like!
Oops - I can't neglect to mention the trip I took with my mom, dad, and brother to see Mount Rushmore. For some reason my parents couldn't afford to take vacations until AFTER I moved out, but that trip, taken while I was going through my divorce, was worth the wait. Note to self: Next time DON'T let Forrest carry the video camera!
5) My Tahoe - She's a gas guzzler, but she's roomy enough for the the kids and all their crap, errr, belongings, and there's still room for groceries too. I can drive through town without feeling knobby 16-year-old knees poking me through the seat, and the radio works. More than anything though, at this time of the year I appreciate it for the 4-wheel drive. How did I ever survive a winter without it?!
6) Tunes - I've blogged several times about my love for music, but no list of T's would be complete without my Tunes! James Taylor immediately pops to mind as a top too, but there are so many other greats that I couldn't just limit it to him. For Christmas, #2 bought me an adaptor to play songs from my mp3 player over the radio in #5. I can hardly wait to use it the next time I #4!
7) Theatre - Several years ago, as part of the quest to get my degree, I had to take a "Creative Arts" appreciation class. So far, it has proven to be one of my very favorite classes as it uncovered an absolute love of the theatre. We are lucky enough, in our small valley, to have some wonderful venues. Now if I only had more money so I could go see it all! And if you ever get the chance to see "Seussical the Musical" - just do it! And Stomp... and...
8) Tomatoes - I knew no list would be complete without some sort of food, and I have to say that there couldn't be a more appropriate thing! Tomatoes fresh from the garden are as close as we'll get to heaven this side of the grave. Oh, and tuna fish casserole is a favorite too, but I'm no longer allowed to make it. Somewhere after the first year of marriage, Tom exclaimed "If I have to eat this one more time..." So, yeah... :)
9) Teachers - Here again, I've been very blessed with the teachers I've had over the years. Sure, I had a few awful ones, but for the most part I'd say I was very lucky. As a kid I was really shy and exceedingly geeky, and many of my teachers went out of their way to help build my confidence and let me know it was okay to be a bookworm. In high school it was the encouragement of a few truly great teachers that helped me get past that shyness and really come into my own, and now I have the privilege to work with a great bunch of teachers too, many of whom inspire me just as much as those I've taken classes from. You know who you are... :)
As a parent, it's also been interesting to see the effect a teacher can make in the kids' lives. Evan's English teacher last year, Mrs. Pettis, should be eligible for sainthood, and I'm not even exaggerating. I wanted to cry when Braden didn't get her this year. I only hope she'll still be there when Savannah gets into 9th grade, or at least consider coming out of retirement! If ever human cloning is allowed, she should be the model.
10) Finally, True Friends - What more can I say? I'm the type of person that has a lot of acquaintances, but only a few close friends. But once you've earned my trust, you're stuck with me forever, whether you like it or not!
Who wants to play next?