Yours truly visiting the Ice Palace in St. Paul, MN Sunday, January 28, 2018

Inspired by a prompt in the current winter issue of Bella Grace, I kept a log for the past month, writing down one happy thing per day. I found it to be a good practice that, as easy as it sounds, still required a little bit of discipline to actually think about each evening. Here goes:

  1. moonlight shadows on snow
  2. Christmas lights sparkling in the dark countryside
  3. chocolate chip cookies at the Albert (EMC2 Hotel, Chicago)
  4. shopping with my daughter
  5. my new thermos French press coffee maker
  6. buttery chocolate chip cookies
  7. the smell of banana bread baking
  8. lunch at a designer hotel with my son
  9. 13 blissful hours home alone
  10. cute teapot gift from my boss
  11. pizza out with my kids
  12. walking to a fancy pastry shop on a blustery winter afternoon with my daughter
  13. the sunny spot on the couch in our sun porch
  14. helping my son submit his application to study in Jerusalem next year
  15. banana bread with butter

16. discovering a Gabriele Münter painting (The Blue Gable, 1911) in the Krannert Art Museum in Urbana-Champaign

17. memorial ceremony for a 96-year-old colleague of mine

18. wonderful memoir workshop with my students

19. quiet day at home

20. iced-over lakefront

21. designing a newspaper layout for my son

22. planting bulbs on my porch (it was warm enough!)

23. my cardboard box standing desk contraption that lets me work standing and relieves the pain in my hip

24. a great chat with a friend

25. a nice email from a reader about my book

26. cooking chickpea soup

27. having a major insight while writing my Morning Pages

28. amazing day at ModernWell in Minneapolis (and visiting the ice palace in St. Paul!)

29. two-hour phone chat with my sister

30. a whole day of working in bed (also good for my aching hip)

31. a good dinner conversation with my husband and son

Retyping my list here was a happy thing to do, too. What a nice way to review the month of January, to remember icy wonders along Chicago’s lakefront or in downtown St. Paul, days mild enough to clean up my porch and find paper white bulbs to plant, days of working and writing and good times spent with my family and friends.

Ice Palace 2018, St. Paul, MN