#AtoZChallenge: Q is for quality (and other #gratitudeandshit items)

stormtrooper baby ninja 2018 chillin antique store

I can eat an entire Totino’s pizza.

AtoZ2019QNot that big a deal. But, also twice the serving size. (I even cut it only into two pieces, you know? Two-piece maximum.) When I eat half the pizza, I feel normal. Average. So then that other half looks back at me … tantalizing …

Where was I going with this?

Oh, quality. Well, I still can’t remember the exact connection I was trying to make. But it’s almost lunchtime. And I’ve fallen behind on this challenge. And I haven’t been thrilled with the writing quality. I feel like I should write more ahead of time. I feel repetitive.

But I’m grateful for the chance to do this.

And I’m grateful my favorite frozen pizza costs just $1.39 each. Honestly, those rectangular little pizzas have come to symbolize lunch with the family, almost a calling home to rest and be together. And eat more than the surgeon general recommends.

What else am I thankful for? Glad you asked.

me decorative oregano 2018 i thought it was edible target
I WAS grateful to find this on clearance. But what the hell is decorative oregano? I was going to grow this shit and put it in lasagna. #planB

1-A seat at an open window to write. I’m there right now. It’s a chilly day in Carolina. My to-do list is probably too ambitious, but right here, right now, I’m writing and watching the last episode of The Office with Hayden. All that’s missing is the pizza.

2-The Spotify account Hayden made me. She whipped it up for our trip to Florida. We played that sucker on a continual loop as I dodged trucks and frustrated speeders with responsible speeds. Everything’s made easier with a little Billy Joel and Norah Jones.

3-Friends who will take a moment. I don’t need a bestie or a 24/7 confidant. But when someone I care about takes a moment to check on me? That means everything. And it’s always so well-timed and from such a variety of friends. Thanks.

me art 2018 pretty uptown
There’s some pretty shit to see uptown if you stop and look.

4-Warm San Jose Sharks socks. Yes, I’m a Colorado Avalanche fan. But these candy-striped, teal-and-black socks are the bomb. I got some in other teams for the kids, too. We dig socks. I love when my kids wear the socks I give them!

5-The Unspam Conference. I spent two days in Greenville, S.C., with my people. Seriously, it was awesome to hang out with people I so admire in this business. We write emails. We’re nerdy like that. But we’re not alone.

6-Last dances with Camdyn. In February, we went to our last daddy/daughter dance. It was wonderful and nostalgic. On the final dance, she rested her head on my chest. I thought I’d lose it. But I didn’t. Instead, I spun her around one last time.

me burrito breakfast hungry mi casa
This bacon, cheese, egg and sour cream burrito was almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

7-The Taco Bell drive-thru. Sure, food, right? But more than that. It was a shit day that lasted into the night. I was tired and sad, sore and restless. The kid taking my order was genuinely nice. I appreciated that. It was a little thing that meant a lot.

8-Sarapes and Nike sweatpants. A dad has to chill. And be warm doing it. They say to get out of your comfort zone more, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable. It’s my wardrobe equivalent of cruise control and sometimes it’s what you need.

9-Connections. Old and new. I’ve kind of purged those that don’t bring value. I’m sure those people haven’t noticed. Those who I connect with naturally, I want closer to me. It’s a small contingent, but they’re as true to me as I can imagine.

virginia helmet belk bowl winners bank of america stadium
Check out the battle scars on this one. It got left on the stage after the Belk Bowl win against South Carolina. I wanted to steal it.

10-Well-timed gestures of compassion. They can be the friends who take a moment, or, as silly as it probably sounds to read about it, a kid named Noah in a late-night drive-thru who took a moment to be human. The last I could do is pay it forward.

What about you? What has you feeling the #gratitudeandshit today?

A to Z Challenge:

A is for Almost (and also At Last)

B is for Baggett (as in Laura, the actress, and #GirlsRock interview)

C is for Cursive, Cats, and Chinese Restaurants (Go Ask Daddy about them)

D is for Drawing the Line

E is for Every Day Gratitude

F is for Fieri, Falling in Love, and Focus (Weekend Reads IV)

G is for #GoAskDaddy: An interview with realtor Kristen Foxx

H is for Habit of Peace

I is for I Shot the Sheriff, Item Lifting and other Illegal Activity (Go Ask Daddy)

J is for Journalist, a #GirlsRock Interview with Esther Robards-Forbes

K is for Kickass Kindness (to go with #gratitudeandshit)

 L is for Low Self-Esteem, Life Sucks, and Electric Lit (Weekend Reads V)

M is for Manifest your dreams? No thanks. (Here’s why.)

N is for a new path (and why you don’t need one)

O is for old people, other police dogs and one business day (Go Ask Daddy!)

P is for Patience (and how to procure it)

Ziglar quote gratitude



  1. Grateful for good ER docs and nurses and that #2 Son will be okay now. Turns out it was minor, but untreated it wouldn’t have been.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Mimi. Here’s to continued recovery and good health for him and you. Nothing takes a toll on a parent than something like this!

  2. ksbeth says:

    I have gratitude that we both wrote about gratitude today. lucky, Totino’s is so reasonably priced. but must be hard to turn away from it, so it’s a double-edged sword, I’m pretty sure.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll gratefully go read your gratitude post, gladly, beth. Well, Totino’s appears in my thoughts and words far less often than in my actual freezer and mouth, to be honest.

  3. Kathy G says:

    I’m grateful for being able to hang out with my adult children because they want me to be around.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Isn’t that a great feeling, Kathy?

  4. Zig Zigler had some awesome quotes didn’t he? Have to be grateful for even the bad stuff.. that’s a hard one.
    “Give thanks in all circumstances….” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      A perfect passage, Courtney. Zig definitely has some memorable quotes and I’ve used a ton of his stuff here.

      1. He has!! And I love them all!!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Sometimes I decide to Zag when he Zigs …

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