10 things grateful, plus adios #AtoZ! 🦚

stormtrooper anniversary may 5 fiesta moterrey monroe

Man – I’m glad the #AtoZChallenge is over.

It’s fun. It’s just … extra. I love going to other blogs I’d not normally see. But the engagement is wonky, and I miss conversing with the regulars here. And visiting their blogs. And having time to post on social media and find your links there, too.

When you’re in the challenge, man, it feels like you’re kind of a narcissist.

Not to mention what it does to your non-blog life. I struggled to keep up, and sacrificed progress toward other deadlines. And sleep. Not snacks. I found time for snacks. But the rest of life was kind of a blur. Next time I do this, I’ll work ahead.

Which is what I said about keeping my desk clean and if you want to know how that’s going, I’m wiping away peanut and tortilla chip crumbs to get my fingers on the home keys. (I don’t eat them together. But if I did, that’d be okay too.)

I miss you and I’m grateful for you. And also …

me stormtrooper mug coffee time caffeine acn breakroom
How we coffee up in the Death Star.

1-Times I can surprise the kids. Hayden and Camdyn have been asking to be taken to the eye doctor for about 37 years. I finally brought them. Now that school’s almost over, Hayden deadpanned. Sometimes things fester on my to-do list, but they get done.

2-The opportunity to teach and lead. Coaches get caught up in the Xs and Os (no, those aren’t hugs and kisses, normally.) But we have a (sort of) captive audience when we address a team. What we say can land flat, or can stay with a kid for the long haul.

3-New pancake recipes. I stick with the tried and true, but sometimes, you’re out of an ingredient. Or you have self-rising flour that you have to take into account and find a new one. Sometimes that recipe is delicious and sometimes it includes chocolate chips.

me usc cheerleaders belk bowl 2019 bank of america stadium
More new friends from the Belk Bowl. Seriously. But I’ll stop.

4-A need for clarity of thought. This need leads to discourse. Discourse leads to seeking. Seeking leads to the finding, some things you want and some you don’t. Finding leads to picking out what you want to keep. I love that.

5-Pace. Life will slow a little although right now it’s like the buttons for incline and speed are stuck on high. The only moment that matters is this one. If I had less to consume me in this one, maybe I could laud the extra time that is to eventually come!

6-A shorter commute to work. Driving to Indian Land felt like a gauntlet pointed at my kidneys and nose. I’d get to work and feel like I should go back home. Driving 24 minutes to Concord on a (usually) wide open highway with Norah Jones in my ears? Yes, please.

christmas eve
Christmas Eve at The Landmark.

7-Connections. Finding a way to spark. Actually, just being open to it. When you look for it it’s evasive. When you hope for it its absence disappoints you. Be sparky yourself. Even if no one notices, you’ve got some great company.

8-Interactions. You don’t know where they’ll come from. The kid wrangling out-of-bounds soccer balls. The cashier who makes quilts. The regular at the pizza joint you stop in before you head home off the mountain after a state playoff loss. Love them all.

9-Camdyn staying up to wait for me. I get home late on weekends. The kid will put on The Office, yank out the snacks, and usually fall asleep before I get there. But I love the effort. And also Carol Stills and Camdyn’s leftover snacks.

christian mccaffrey shirt 2018 sales uptown
Shirts made for Christian McCaffrey sold uptown out of a beat-up cart. Wonder if he has one.

10-Good, deep, comfortable sleep. You know like when toddlers konk out in the car seat and wake up dazed and confused, miles from home? That’s me, in the morning. Exhaustion, it turns out, is the best sleep aid since whiskey and fried food.

What about you? What are you grateful for? #gratitudeandshit

schweitzer quote gratitude


  1. ksbeth says:

    I’m grateful for a day off today to be able to spend time writing thoughtful narratives on my class’ report cards. some have been with me for 2 years (multi-age class), and I’m pretty attached with have things to say about them, beyond knowing all of their abc’s. glad you survived your abc’s this month

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love that you do that, beth! one of my kids has a coach who wouldn’t add anything thoughtful to their evaluations. I always had lots to say.

      I wish you were my teacher. Wait, you kind of are.

  2. Gina says:

    Today I am thankful for friend that have rekindled my spark this week. Also… Have you tried m&ms in your pancakes? I think they’re gross but my kids love them.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sometimes we need someone to help jumpstart us, don’t we? So glad you have that, Gina. I’ve never tried M&M pancakes and am shocked, really, that the girls haven’t dreamed that one up themselves.

  3. Kathy G says:

    After three jam-packed weekends on the road, I’m glad that for this one I can sleep in my own bed. (And BTW, I mis-read that you wiped away peanut and tortilla chip crumbs. Instead, my brain told me you had peanut BUTTER with those chips. Which sounded like an interesting combination.)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you’re back home, Kathy! I had a slew of snacks going on. Peanut butter and tortilla chips? I’d give it a go.

  4. It’s an attitude of gratitude.. was talking to a friend from high school the other night and we were discussing the classmates we have lost since graduating. Our 40th reunion is only 2 years away but good Lord.. 14? That we know of. some people kind of dropped off the planet, you know? It was a small class, 196 I think so not too difficult to find people, if they want to be found. He said life felt fragile with all of those our age having passed away already. He lives every day like it is his last. I confess, I do not but we all should. Life is way too short.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Those milestones put things in perspective. We lost someone in our senior class right after graduation. Life’s always fragile, right? I’d be happy to just to be happy in every moment I’ve been able to have, from 8 to 18 to 48 (next year).

  5. Tell the girls they will start next school year with fresh eyes (and if the joke falls flat, blame me).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Ha! I’ll deliver that.

  6. Beth says:

    Great list Eli! I love that Camdyn waits up for you and you watch the Office together or at least try to do so even if she falls asleep. I love that show. And there is nothing like that good, deep sleep. I’m hoping for some of that this weekend. Have a good one!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks, Beth! I also love when she gets up at the crack of dawn to come to a soccer game with me on a Saturday. We were just singing “That Night” in the restaurant today, the song Jan’s intern wrote for her!

      Happy Mother’s Day!

  7. Sara Strand says:

    I’m pretty grateful for sunshine and warmer weather. I knew I would love it and I look forward to it all year but it feels like I’m actually awake when winter is over. Like now I can get back to life and all is right. So today is feeling like a pretty OK day.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Is it looking good where you are, Sara? Especially spring, it feels like when the awakening happens, you feel more alive.

      (Except for the pollen.)

      I feel like you’ve got some momentum going, Sara. I’ll steal a pinch and get going too.

  8. Emily says:

    This is such a great list. I love your 6 words series. I am so grateful for sleep especially when I get enough sleep.

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