Why I have reason to give Thanks

me and t on muir

Me and T on Muir Beach

There is only one more week to go until Thanksgiving and everyone is talking about getting together, eating together and how to spend the long weekend. The kids are learning all about how important it is to be thankful and gratitude is in the air.

In a week where Prince William has announced his wedding to Kate, causing many a Brit to pop open the champagne corks, where my eldest has decided that multiplication isn’t that bad after all (phew – obviously on a par with a Royal Wedding) and the Irish are getting royally bailed out, I take a moment while walking the pooch to contemplate all of the reasons I have to give Thanks.

First of all, I give thanks for being able to get out of bed this morning and walk the dog. Two years ago for Thanksgiving I faced the prospect of 3 months of dose dense chemotherapy. At the time I had no concept what that would really mean, how I would feel to have poison pumped into my veins, to lose my hair, to lose my energy and that chemotherapy was only really the beginning of my battle with the big ‘C’. There were some days where I couldn’t even walk to the end of the road and back. So – walking the dog for as long as I feel like is good. Really good.

I give thanks for being able to watch my kids grow. To see them weather their storms – big and small. To see them happy and settled in school this year. To see them healthy and to see them laugh, as well as to see them cry. I really am truly thankful for the fact that I survived to witness every moment that I have with them – good and bad.

I give thanks for having an amazing husband, who has stood by me and stood strong and doesn’t give up on his dreams.

I give thanks for my family and although I wish they were closer by on some days, I give thanks that they are only a plane journey or two away and that the world has become an increasingly small place.

I’m also thankful for great friends. Friends who dip in and out of my life, but are always there when I need them and I, in turn, am grateful that I now have the energy to be there for them.

I’m grateful for being surrounded by natural beauty. I remind myself to relish that every single day.

I’m not so grateful for the guy that cut me up in his car this morning, or the teapot that I smashed on Monday, or the tummy bug that knocked me off my feet this week, but that’s ok. You can’t go around just being grateful all of the time now, can you?

I’m supremely grateful for the lady who is cleaning my house right now. I caved in this morning, after a few days of being under the weather and a house in chaos and sent out a cry for help. I haven’t had a cleaning lady for months and months. This feels like heaven.

We are heading over to our friends house for Thanksgiving. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m not stressing about C’s food intake on the day too much, as he’ll be happy with Turkey and some veg. I might try and make some gluten free stuffing – just might. Gluten free Thanksgiving recipes abound on the gluten free blogosphere right now. For the most perfect Thanksgiving meal plan ever, check out Kim at Cook it Allergy Free’s blog. For some great round-ups, also check out Gluten Free Girl and The Chef and Glugle Gluten Free.

Off to fine tune my saffron roll recipe now to submit to Gluten Free Girl and The Chef for their cool Thanksgiving baking contest.

Happy Thanksgiving! (Well – almost).


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  1. I always connect with your writing, Nicola. Feeling both a bit emotional and grateful now. Thanks for all the reminders on what we have to be thankful for. Jealous on the cleaning lady, but I haven’t had a bug so I can’t justify one right now. ;-) Hope you feel much, much better very soon! I’d milk that cleaning lady thing though! ;-)


    • nstockmann says:

      OMG. I could really get used to the cleaning lady thing. It was like having an early Christmas gift – tummy flu or no tummy flu. The kids have already turned their rooms on their heads though, so I wonder what the point of it all is sometimes. ;-).

  2. Tia says:

    *Big Sigh*
    Cleaning lady. I could go for one of those. Or cleaning man, if he did the job well enough. I’ve been asking for years, but alas, not yet.

    But, seriously, it was a beautiful post. Sometimes it takes knowing what others are thankful for that remind us of how much we really have. I, too, am thankful that you were able to walk your dog. And, I am thankful for getting to meet you and getting to know you more as we attend “things” in the bay area. Looking forward to the GIG meeting, and hopefully the bloggers meetings. Although, those might have to wait until after the new year for me.

    Tia :P

    PS – Love the picture! It is worth more than a 1000 words, for sure.

    • nstockmann says:

      You’ve brought a tear to my eye Tia. Thanks for your lovely words.

      I had to bow out of the blog meet up thing again this month – it started too early and logistics got too complex. Definitely aiming to go to the December GIG though…

      N xo

  3. Nicola, that post had me in tears. So beautifully written. You have such a gift with the way you craft your words. They are always so obviously heart-felt. A cancer survivor’s life perspective is absolutely so amazing to me always. The rest of us need to learn (or remember more often) to see the world through eyes like yours and my Mom’s. It is truly the best way to live.
    And thank you, thank you for sharing my Thanksgiving series. I so appreciate that!
    And p.s. What do you mean that some guy cut you up in his car this morning? Did he hit you?
    Oh, and enjoy that cleaning lady. i caved a long time ago and it has been my one guilty pleasure.

    • nstockmann says:

      Kim – you are welcome! Your series is amazing. The attention to detail is phenomenal and everything looks so delicious.

      Oh – cutting up. Is that an English phrase? I do this all of the time and people have no clue what I am talking about… He just cut right across a corner in front of me. Completely oblivious to the fact that I was there. Luckily, I swerved. No accident…

      Nicola xo

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