A Year of Thanks

1 post a day for 365 days showing gratitude

what makes my kids thankful… November 18, 2014

Filed under: food — courtsbrogno @ 8:44 pm

…is when I go grocery shopping. I’ll be honest, we’ve been running low on food. Not to the point of not having food, but enough to the point that both kids kept saying, “Can you go to the store PLEASE!!!”

But I’ve been busy and sick, and so today I finally had time to go, and brought back groceries.

And spent $180 on just the basics. JUST THE BASICS. Like juice, milk, sugar, cheese, toilet paper, bread, cereal, bagels, cheese, fruit, veggies. I honestly did not buy one non-necessary item.

This does not make me so happy. How high  has inflation gotten? Because seriously, this is ridiculous.

But I’m thankful my kids are happy.


friends and dinner February 23, 2011

Filed under: food,friends — courtsbrogno @ 10:07 pm

My friend Jenn set up a dinner tonight for me, the kids, and some friends.

She cooked all afternoon:

And then the friends came–Steve, Colleen, Danny, and Ryan:

And we ate and talked and drank some wine. It was such a fun night.

I’m thankful Jenn planned this dinner because I don’t often have dinner with friends during the week and it was amazing to get together with close friends and share a meal. I’m so thankful Jenn cooked dinner and OH MY GOD, it was an amazing dinner. I didn’t even take any pictures because I was so absorbed in my meal.

I’m so thankful to have such great friends.

Really, life is so good.


breaking the law December 27, 2010

Filed under: family fun,food — courtsbrogno @ 8:18 pm

WordPress is having some serious technical problems, so I’ll have to check back tomorrow and post what happened then, but till tomorrow….i’m thankful for breaking the law.

UPDATE: Well, now that word press is back to normal, let me continue.

I’m not usually a law-breaker. Being raised in a strict household with a sheriff as a father led me to believe that rules exist to be followed.

But every once in a while, you just gotta break the rules.

Like today, when I had planned a pretty easy hike with the kids and my friend Melanie and her kids and yet there was a foreboding sign at the trail entrance:

Usually the parking lot for this hike is also packed, but because of the closure, it was empty. My friend Megan who was meeting us as well got to the entrance before me and left because it was closed. But I thought it couldn’t be that bad. It  was only closed due to the rain and it hadn’t rained in a few days and it’s not like it had been closed due to wild and dangerous animal sightings. Luckily, my friend Melanie agreed. So off we went.

It’s kind of nice hiking on a trail with four kids and no one around. It makes stopping and meandering much more enjoyable.



I’ve never seen the creek so full:

And yes, the weather conditions were wet, and it was really muddy. But the kids loved trekking through the mud and getting dirty. I’m thankful for breaking the law a little bit today. It made for a good hike.



P.S. This has nothing to do with breaking the law, but I’m also thankful for a nice dinner with Maddie. Luke was with his dad, I was tired of cooking, and we were itching to get out So we went down to our local noodle shop and had dinner.



baking December 22, 2010

Filed under: food — courtsbrogno @ 7:23 pm

I am not a big baker. I like to cook, but baking has never been my thing.  I can’t stand that every measurement had to be exactly correct and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to throw something out because it came out horrible.

Yet, once a year when the holidays roll around, I dust off my measuring cups and my rolling pin and spend one entire day baking up a storm in the effort of gifting some homemade goodies to friends.

Today was my baking day. And oh, did I bake. All day.

I made cranberry-orange bread:


Thyme & sea salt crackers (they’re already in the wrapping):

There are a few more goodies we made as well.

Bags are packed (decorated by Maddie and Luke) and ready to be delivered tomorrow:

I’ve enjoyed my day of baking, and I’m thankful for the fun we had making all these goodies. I’m also thankful that I probably will not be baking again until next year =-)


the good and bad of it all December 8, 2010

Filed under: family fun,food,kids,work — courtsbrogno @ 9:03 pm


  • My students have lost their minds. Observe a conversation I had with a student today (Note: She was first in line of about 15 students waiting to see me):

Me: Good morning student. How’s the essay? Did you make any progress since we last talked (Note: I saw her 3 days ago and we went over her essay for about 30 minutes)

Student: Hey. Yeah. Not really. Could you look at my essay again and go over what needs to be changed?

Me: Ummm…I did that 3 days ago????

Student: yeah, I know. But I forgot what you said.

Me: Are you serious?

  • My kids have lost their minds. Letters written to Santa today:

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would like an iPod Touch. I know you won’t get me one so don’t get me anything.



**I think she won’t be getting anything at all for a letter like that.

Dear Santa,


I would like a pie for Christmas.




**Really, a pie, Luke? Cause I could have sworn you said you wanted a bike for the past month and now you change your mind? Guess what? You’re getting a bike. Not a pie.


  • Taking Luke and Maddie to see Santa. While Maddie refused to sit on Santa’s lap, Luke did and looked completely confused:

  • Watching the lighting of the menorah. Today is the last day of Hanukkah and we accompanied my sister and her family (whose husband is Jewish) to watch the lighting of the last candle. It was beautiful.

  • Making a new dinner for the family and the kids loved it! It was Naan pizzas with broccoli pesto, roasted red peppers, and sausage and arugula salad (recipe from this months Sunset magazine). Divine. But eating a healthy dinner with the kids: even better.


I’m thankful the GOOD outweighed the BAD!


tri tip dinner November 18, 2010

Filed under: food,friends — courtsbrogno @ 9:23 pm

Maddie’s school has a huge fundraiser every year: a tri tip dinner. Basically for a $35 ticket you get a dinner of tri tip, beans, potato salad, and garlic bread. Each dinner feeds a family of four, and each student has to sell 3 tickets.

It’s actually a pretty good deal and the tri tip is always perfectly cooked.

So tonight I’m thankful I didn’t have to cook anything for dinner–I just had to drive on over to the school and pick up our meal.

I’m also thankful that we shared our dinner with my friends Jason and Brian, who–even thought they are adults AND professionals–act like children half the time and so they fit in very well with us.

Overall, a great meal to end a pretty good day. I really, really wish every night could consist of a wonderful dinner with friends. It makes life so much better.


free afternoon October 7, 2010

Filed under: family fun,food — courtsbrogno @ 8:01 pm

The community college gives it students and staff today and tomorrow off. It’s not officially a holiday, and although these days are called ‘flex days,’ it’s really just a reason for students and staff to have some time to relax or catch up.

What this meant for me was that I was done teaching at noon instead of 4:30. What this meant for Luke was that he only had to be at preschool for a few hours. This was exciting for both of us. (Maddie, on the other hand, didn’t have one change to her schedule. Poor her.).

Luke and I got to spend the entire afternoon playing and napping. Oh how I love lying down to have a nap with Luke. I also decided to make a nice dinner since it’s been awhile since the kids have had a real cooked meal from me. I mean, I always cook for them, but lately it’s been really quick dinners–basically nothing too special.

I decided to make eggplant parmesan because I needed to eat all those eggplants and tomatoes I gathered from my garden last week. But as I started to prep the eggplants, I realized that I had a whole chicken in the fridge that needed to be cooked by today as well. Then I looked closer and realized that there were some Italian sausages in my fridge whose expiration date was also today.

So I made and cooked the eggplant, the chicken, and the sausages. It was a flurry of cooking in my kitchen from about 4 to 6:30, and even Luke helped:

(or really just made a mess on the kitchen floor for me to clean)

But the chicken and the eggplant and the sausage all came out great and this may be the first time EVER my kids have had such a variety of dinner choices.

I’m thankful I didn’t have to teach at the community college and for these ‘flex days.’ I’m thankful Luke didn’t have to be in preschool all day. I’m thankful Luke and I had a great afternoon together. But most of all I’m thankful for the amount of cooking I did because now we’ll have left-over dinners for at least four or five days!