10 Things Grateful, Even When Aldi’s Out of Naan Bread

stormtrooper kitty
‘sup cat?

So I’ve got these systems.

Some are working. Some aren’t. I’m in that journal nearly every day. The 30-day pushup challenge? Well, it might have been 30 days since I’ve done it. I’m sticking to the systems, though, and have found a couple new ones that I know will help.

One is the productivity planner.

I have a lot going on. I can handle it. When I don’t deliver, though, people get ticked. And I don’t sleep so well. I’m having trouble getting the time to do it, though, and that’s problematic. After I post this. I’ll get to it

Another great place for systems is when a storm might hit and you’re low on snacks.

I made a new mom friend, Kim, on Saturday. Seems we had similar systems. Try Aldi first, go to Food Lion for what Aldi doesn’t have. And if Food Lion doesn’t have it? We’re not talking bread and milk here (which was wiped out.)

“They don’t have the kind of beer I like,” Kim said.

Amen to that. Hey, where’s my rum?

While I look … here’s what I’m thankful for.

10 things grateful

This crew. We snap a pre-game picture like they do in the World Cup – if the World Cup was for goofballs. I love them big.

1. Chances. To keep getting better after I fail. Nothing’s gained without another try.

2. Confidence. Patience. Direction. Feeling.

3. Late-night searches for adding machines. And their potential, even if it isn’t realized. You find direction and purpose in the most unexpected places.

They’re the Kids in America, an 80s tribute band. They rocked out all the songs of my awkward teens for me in my awkward 40s. Bitchin.

4. Sound sleep. Even if it looks ugly on the sleep app I downloaded. It’s getting better.

5. My will. No, not which kid gets my Star Wars figures. My will gets bent like a Twizzler but won’t break like a KitKat.

6. The promise of new soccer seasons. Wins and losses are footnotes. Although, for the love of Hope Solo, it’d be nice to get one of those Ws. Next week, I predict.

Not since Ricky Shroeder was little has a boy gotten away with so much. Meet Abu. He looks innocent now, but he’s probably just come down from the drapes or been fished out of the kitchen sink.

7. My family. They’re  on and resilient and sweet. And sometimes give me food.

8. Friends who come back around. Never shut that door tight, unless they’ve stolen your onion rings. Even then.

9. My work environment. I’m not perfect. But it’s a good spot for me.

10. The gracious women my girls have become. If they only knew how much influence they have on me wanting to be my best me. Keep on keeping on.

What about you? Tell me what you’re giving props to.

quotes gratitude gomez



  1. Lauren Becker says:

    These are all great things to be grateful for, and I’m glad you are happy with where you work – it’s a big thing! And your cat is adorable. 🙂


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel like I need to be better at work but I’m in a good spot for myself, Lauren. Abu is only slightly less trouble than he is cute, it turns out.

  2. Akaleistar says:

    What a fun team pic!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We do that before every match, with the starters … they are characters for sure, Ash.

  3. You never fail to have the right perspective on things, Eli. (Or to have a list of things to be grateful for that’s as entertaining as it is insightful.) I love the photos you included, especially the ones of your soccer team and the kitty. How old is Abu?

    As for me, I’m grateful for… well, all of my friends, but especially one who is a former co-worker. We talked for an hour about career / day job related things earlier in the week, and between her humor, rational mind, perceptiveness, and sympathy (we’re both in similar boats right now), she’s the best possible person I can talk to on that topic. And on other things, too.

    Not so random thought, but why am I thinking that you live in North Carolina? I hope I’m wrong. If I’m not, then I hope you and the family are doing OK with Hurricane Florence.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Sara – maybe that’s why this is the only post I seem able to write lately! The gratitude journal helps- except for nights I’m too tired to write in it (and the mornings I’m too rushed to catch up.)

      I’ve been posting those soccer pics to Instagram with recaps of our games too. Abu is five months old and so curious I think he’s on his 19th life already.

      I love that you have a friend like her! We get so conditioned to be entirely self-sufficient, but there’s so much to be said about connecting with a friend on things like this.

      We are in North Carolina, Sara. We’ve been waiting weeks for this storm, and it’s not even quite here yet! We’re hanging out and playing the Wii today until things get dicey.

  4. You, and your kids, are in my prayers. Wish i could help you find the beer you like.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, meems. It was actually Kim who was in search of beer! I didn’t even ask her which one she wanted …

  5. Charlotte says:

    Oh, my dear friend… it’s so refreshing and great to be back here again. I’ve missed you! You have a new cat!! Abu is adorable and looks like he’s about to get into some trouble. I have a soft spot for the little stinkers 🙂

    I hope you are staying safe and have all the essentials and comforts you need at home. This florence sounds like a doozy; also thanks for the reminder to check out Aldi. I haven’t in too long!

    Also yes to some of those friendships coming back, and some just leaving imprints on your heart forever.

    Wishing you much love and peace.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m happy to have you back, Charlotte! I’ve missed you too – I have so many places I have to visit, and so many guest posts ready to share here, too.

      Hayden got that cat! She’s wanted one – he is definitely trouble, and she likes to let him loose out of her room for me to handle. Everything in the world is a toy to this kid.

      I wish we had more cheese in the house for this storm, but otherwise, we’re good. Florence has taken her sweet time getting here and lulled us into a mindset that she isn’t all that bad … but we shall see!

      I will always welcome back and old friend with open arms. Except the onion ring thing as notedl That’s for real.

      Love and peace right back to you Charlotte. Can’t wait to get back to your words.

  6. cricketmuse says:

    I have made it through the first two weeks of school. I can do it again next week.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yas! You’ve got this, Crick.

  7. ksbeth says:

    be safe, eli. and i am grateful to wake up each day. and for coffee and for my girls and grandies.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I will, I promise – so far, the only hazard has been a huge stack of crepes. Your girls and grandies are lucky to have you, Beth.

  8. Had no idea you did thankful lists. I haven’t done that in a looooong time. These are wonderful things to be thankful for. Me? I’m very thankful that my daughter is continuing to heal well and for husband’s new job.

  9. TheTaskGirl says:

    Dude, your blog is so positive! The world needs more stuff like this. Following! (and thanks for your follow! You helped push my blog to 200!)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’ll be to 300 before you know it! Your blog is kind of addicting, sister. You read one and then another and all of a sudden you have a beard and have missed dinner four straight nights.

      1. TheTaskGirl says:

        Aww, thanks! 😊

  10. candidkay says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that your girls are gracious women! Kudos, daddy-o. They have a great example. And friends who still onion rings?! I’m with you. Right out. Today, I give props to my youngest, who keeps on keepin’ on in a new school, new expectations, new world. I am inspired by his quiet persistence:).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Kay! I’m just so proud of them. I’m all about sharing some onion rings, but if someone’s going to steal them … well, there’s going to be trouble!

      Don’t you love when our kids rock the changes? You’re like me – still learning from them as much as we feel we’re teaching them, probably. So great to see you here.

      Can’t wait to get back to your words … it’s been way too long!

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