Posts Tagged ‘thankfulness’

Book Review: The Gratitude Diaries

Monday, February 15th, 2016

The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your LifeThe Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Simply put, I enjoyed this book.

I am not much of a self-help reader, but this year, I decided to set aside my pride and try a few that appeal to me. Many of them I don’t even finish, because they all seem to be written by spoiled brats who don’t know how good they really have it. Their life is full of multiple homes, travel, money, fame, and more, but their lives are somehow so miserable, that they despair at missing out on some enlightenment.

I can’t relate to that.

This book is also written by a spoiled woman, except that she realizes that she’s spoiled, and decides to spend a year learning to be grateful. Rather than trying to change the circumstances of her life, she seeks to learn how to express and feel gratitude for what’s right in front of her.

This is an approach I can get behind!

She didn’t need a fully funded trip around the world eating, praying and loving. She didn’t need other people to stroke her ego, guide her onto new spiritual plains, or tell her comforting lies over really great food. She realized that it is her responsibility to find her own joy and happiness within the life she has been given.

She also realizes that gratitude allows you the wisdom to see circumstances that might need to change, and the courage to make those changes herself.

Breath of fresh air.

The best part? She doesn’t claim to hold the keys to happiness. She just shares her research and personal journey. And I believe her year of gratitude was genuine, and it’s going to stick, and she’s really going to be better for it.

I appreciated her approach, her conversational writing style, and her humility.

She comes across kind of big-sistery at times, even though she’s the little sister in her family. But even that made me appreciate her more, because I related so strongly.

I’m glad I read it, and I think I can apply what I learned from it.

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30 Days of Gratitude, day 19: Vivian Harmon

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Copy of thankful 2015 day 19Vivan Harmon, Student Midwife extraordinaire! I do not exaggerate when I say that I am most grateful for my fellow student and assistant. The more I get to know Vivian, the more I admire, respect, and love her.

When I first started assisting Desirre, she and Vivian had already worked together as assistants under Merrie MacDowell, the midwife who caught my two youngest babies. They had a rhythm in their work that was like a choreographed ballet. I wondered in my insecurity if I would ever attain that kind of synchronicity.

Thanks to Vivian, I have.

From the beginning, she taught me efficiently and kindly how to do what she does, and brought me up to speed faster than I would have thought possible. She has had nothing but grace and kindness for me during our entire professional relationship, and I feel blessed to now count her among my friends.

Ain't she purty, too?

Ain’t she purty, too?

She has been open to my questions, taught me how to do things before they are asked for, and shown me little tips and tricks that make the work we do so much easier and more efficient. She knows how to cooperate and work together, how to correct mistakes graciously, and how to lead and ask for what she needs. She and I work together so well, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her calm presence.

Vivian is intelligent, honest, loyal, professional, honest, capable, humble, confident, kind, funny, and pretty much just amazing all around. I kinda want to be more like her when I grow up.

As we face separate paths this coming New Year, I couldn’t let this old year pass by without expressing my gratitude for her presence in my life. Thank you, Vivian. I heart you with many hearts.

Who are you thankful for in your life?

Tiffany Miller
Student Midwife and Childbirth Educator

30 Days of Gratitude, Days 4 & 5: Beautiful Weather & Colors of Fall

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

thankful 2015 day 4Several of us in the Preparing for Birth office space are grateful for the gorgeous Indian-summer sunshine we have experienced in the past week! The weather has been truly delightful, with blue skies, incredible cloud formations, perfect temperatures, and just the right amount of crisp in the air to justify boots and hoodies.

The vivid yellows that characterize fall leaves in Colorado (thank you, high altitude and aspens) are an added source of light, and bathe us in sunny hues even on the days that bring some overcast skies.

Jennifer Green and Ramona Webb have both expressed their gratitude for the sunny weather we’ve had, and the colorful leaves presiding in radiant glory over our parks and lawns and gardens all across the city. Their thankfulness has reminded each one of us that, no matter the season, there is always beauty to be had.

Our steps have been lighter, our hearts more ready to receive the message of surrender that autumn brings us.

11231161_10206638472333892_3252314865851918149_oWe all anticipate this winter to be especially cold, with a lot of heavy snowfall. Who knows, really? So, enjoying the dying days of autumn help all of us to slow down, breathe in the scent of earth and wind and leaves, and let go. Even Desirre, who detests the parting of summer, has been inspired to find hope in the falling leaves.

In our hearts, though we know that autumn is but a preparation for the death of frost and winter, we also know that Spring will surely come. That resurrection is the rule, not the exception on God’s green earth.

And that is truly something to be grateful for.

What do you like best about autumn? What are you thankful for today?

Tiffany Miller
Childbirth Educator, Student Midwife

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 2: Mentors.

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

thankful 2015 day 3Today, I want to share my gratitude for (and to) my mentor, Desirre Andrews, CPM, RM.

There is no single person who has contributed more to my growth and development, both professionally and personally, than she has in the past several years that I’ve known her. Truthfully, I don’t even quite remember how long I’ve known her, she has become such an integrated part of my life.

She is the big sister I never had. I cannot help but turn to her for advice on everything from Diva cups to marriage to grief to birth to business and even faith. She is always ready with answers that leave room for my own thought, my own application. I am free with her to pick and choose what advice makes sense and applies to my life, and which advice can be filed away for a rainy day, or passed on to someone to whom it will have more value.

Desirre is the best butt-kicking fairy a person can have, and she has more than earned her wings in my life! She is never one to just tell me what I want to hear. Instead, she calls my attention to nooks and crannies of thought that I might never have reached for, dusting off the dark corners of my common sense and intuition and helping me bring them to light.

I cannot talk about Desirre without mentioning how beautifully our brain squirrels work together. Whenever we need new marketing material, or need to brainstorm new formats for classes, we have the most fun with a whiteboard and a thesaurus. It’s really quite ridiculous. And we wouldn’t have it any other way!

I cannot thank God enough for bringing her into my life, and I look forward to a lifetime of sisterhood and friendship with her.

Do you have a mentor? Whose influence in your life are you most thankful for this year? Share in the comments!

Tiffany Miller
Childbirth Educator, Student Midwife

30 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 1: Coffee

Sunday, November 1st, 2015


I am grateful for coffee, because it is what enables to sentence putting together things of doing and such like.

Or something.

Light hearted. That’s how I want to keep this year’s thankful posts, because that’s just easier right now. If I try to think too much about all I have to do, want to do, and hope to do in the near future, I crumble into a pile of uselessness and tears and stress.

So, coffee.

I’m thankful for it. Especially good coffee, because good coffee doesn’t need silly creamers, sugar, or even half-and-half. It’s perfect in its dark, handsome, rich and slightly bitter hotness.

Iced or hot, it comforts. The smell is divine. The texture sublime.

It is my drug of choice, and I revel in my addiction. I do try to moderate it, but there are some days, weeks, and even months in which it becomes my blood type through sheer necessity. Birth work is tough, and being on-call and sleep deprived as a default mode really wears on a person. Coffee dulls the sting of sleep deprivation most effectively, and enables me to human more efficiently. (Yes, “human” is a verb in my vocabulary. Thank you, coffee, for such creative license.)

So coffee. I love it. More than chocolate, these days. Sacrilege, I know, but it’s true.

It brings people together. There’s nothing quite like a cup of something hot (yes, I still love my tea-drinking friends) to bond over.

Coffee. It understands me, and I will welcome its warm embrace pretty much any time, anywhere.

What are you thankful for today?

Grace and Peace,

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 1: Opportunity

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

It’s that time of year again. The time when we all start feeling the need to look on the bright side. The world, even while brilliantly hued in its golden and crimson glory, can seem a duller place as the days get shorter and the darkness closes in. Living things seek sleep, going brown and dormant, and the air regains its bite. At a time when we most need things to slow down, the pace of life grows to breakneck speed as we rush and tumble and scramble to make and fulfill our holiday plans. Our lives are filled to brim with commitments at which we give and give and give, and we begin to run on fumes.

One blessing of social media is this new tradition of sharing one thing we are thankful for everyday in November. It’s so easy to type out a quick Tweet, a short blog post, or a Facebook status outlining something we can be grateful for. We all have something, and it bolsters our spirits to see everyone diving in and appreciating life. I really do believe it can make a difference for many of us, to make sure that we zero in on the beauty and joy of this life, rather than the busyness and challenge.

It’s no different for us at Preparing for Birth, or for the other midwives and assistants who share our office space. We, all of us, need this time to recharge, to refocus, and to remind ourselves of what we are grateful for. I asked everyone in Team Preparing for Birth, as well as our awesome office-mates, to share with me what they are grateful for, and I plan to share that with you here all month long.

For today, Day One/Thirty, Tiffany Jorgensen shares her first thought of gratitude. Tiffany finds herself grateful for Opportunity today. Specifically…

The opportunity to be a midwife & work with the women I love in the setting I love! Though it’s not perfect everyday, having this opportunity is fabulous! ~Tiffany Jorgensen, CNM

I find myself in hearty agreement with her. I never expected to be called to this journey, yet here I am. I think I speak for all of us in the office when I say we feel humbled, honored, and amazed that we get to join with women and their families to welcome the newest human beings with kindness, respect, dignity, and skill.

It is an opportunity none of us can turn down, nor would we want to.

What an unadulterated blessing it is to become a midwife. To be “with woman.”

To past and current clients: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to care for you, your baby, and your family!
What are you grateful for today? Share your own gratitude blog post, or leave us a comment telling us what you are thankful for today!

Stay warm!
Tiffany Miller
Childbirth Educator, Student Midwife