Merry Merry Quite Contrary how does the story go?


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i’m only 3 days into this mini challenge…and lemme tell ya, it is awesome.


here’s the thing.  all day long, i’m searching for my “what am i grateful for” moment as opposed to the “what the hell were they thinking” moment.  is it an attitude booster?  you betcha.  almost to the point of absurdity.  i swear to you, when i was driving home today i think i saw some Disney cartoon birds (like from Cinderella, or Snow White).  they were chirping alongside my car while i rocked out to Sledgehammer.  one even offered to braid my hair and tie it with a ribbon, but i thought that was a bit much.


i’m that absurdly upbeat.


after filtering through the twenty or so things that i mentally tagged as gratitude worthy, i narrowed it down to just one.  i know i’m bordering obnoxious with my sunny rays of positivity & pink fluffy clouds of optimism, so i won’t list them all.  you’re gonna have 27 more days of this & i don’t want anyone sending me death threats…that would surely be a bummer.


so for day 3 of gratefulness, may i present to you a picture of my window…


do you see that?  there’s 6, count ’em, SIX LIVE PLANTS!


i have kept 6 plants alive for exactly 1 month!  this is a freaking miracle!!!  a christmas in March miracle!!!!!!  our lavender, our rosemary, our sweet basil, our little pot of succulents, our name-unknown flowers, our snake plant…all alive and not withering away!

you might think that this is somewhat of a trivial thing to be thankful for.  i assure you, it is most definitely not.  normally i take one look at a plant, proclaim “hey!  i’m going to buy this and take it home and it will be beeeeeeeautiful!” that’s the moment that the targeted plant shrieks (if plants could shriek) and dies.  i have the opposite of a green thumb.  i am Meredith Black Thumb.

but not anymore!  the times, they are a changin!


i am grateful that these little buddies have decided to stick around.  and i am grateful for my roommate extraordinaire for remembering to water them when it miiiiight have slipped my mind.  finally, i am grateful because tonight i used fresh sweet basil & fresh rosemary to season my homemade chicken salad.


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today, i am thankful for the rain.

i’ve been craving a nice, breezy, rainy day.  and, low & behold, my wish came true.

SA WEET!  thanks mother nature!

and here are the reasons why today’s rain was so amazing.

1)  it was not scary tornado weather that makes me uber scared & hide in the closet under the staircase a la harry potter.

2) the stupid leak in my bathroom’s skylight did not drip a single drop!  *mental note, harass the HOA to fix that soon.

3) the tulips in my front flower bed are starting to come up & they need some sweet sweet hydration.

and last, but certainly not least…

4) i got to wear my yellow rain boots.  and i am a fan of that.

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so the other day i was watching America’s Next Top Model (yes, i watch this train-wreck of a show…and i’m not afraid to admit it…so maybe i am a little so don’t judge too much, mmmkay?) and one of the judges told a girl to “put some gratitude in your attitude”.

gah, gold nuggets like this is one reason why i watch that show.  the 2nd is to analyze the photos & posing.  the 3rd is Nigel Barker…he’s soooooo dreamy.  but i digress.

gratitude.  being grateful. showing an appreciation for the little things in life.


now, i like to think that i’m a pretty positive person.  i like to think that i have a sunny disposition, even though i do love a little time in my judgement tree (let’s be honest, it’s kind of fun).  and i think about the things i am grateful for all the time.  but do i ever say them?  out loud?  do i put those positive vibes out into the universe??


welp, kiddos.  if i didn’t before, i am definitely planning on doing that now.  do you smell a mini challenge coming on?  cuz i sure do!

for the next 30 days, i’m going to post something that i’m grateful for…the big things, the little things, and everything in-between.


to kick this little challenge off, i’d like to say that i’m thankful for The Blondes (if you’re unfamiliar with the nickname, The Blondes are my mom, my aunt, and my grandmother).

this past week has been a doozy…and i will say one thing, The Blondes are the best at coming together & making. things. better.

my mom has been such a trooper throughout her surgeries, maintaining a positive outlook even through the pain of recovery.  Neena has been the rock, keeping everything in order & moving along.  and you know AJ is going to fix whatever mini-crisis arises, or come in like a whirling dervish with lunch or even a new outdoor grill.  and the whole time they maintain such grace and a sense of humor.

yes, thank goodness for The Blondes.


and because a picture of Mr. Bix makes everything better…

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my mother is many things.


my mother is strong. my mother is beautiful. my mother is compassionate. my mother is intelligent. my mother is fun. my mother is stubborn. my mother is generous. my mother is passionate about making a difference. my mother is hilarious. my mother is modern.  my mother is caring.  my mother is supportive.  my mother has style. my mother is driven. my mother is amazing.



the one thing my mother does not have, is a signature perfume.  no, she mixes it up.  a lot.  which made me do a mental head slap when i came across this item on the list.  how can i capture an image of what her perfume smells like when she changes in the blink of an eye?

and then, the season changed from winter to spring.  it seemed like in just one day, these massive trees in my neighborhood exploded into delicate white flowers.  the stoic emotion of winter gave way to the renewed promise spring.  and it was never more obvious than when i stood in awe at the strength of these tree boughs encompassed in beauty.

that is my mother.

my mother never lets the challenges of life keep her down.  she scoffs at the thought of remaining stagnant, at being stifled by overwhelming circumstances.

instead, my mother thrives on the possibilities of what she can accomplish.


my mother is who i want to be when i grow up.

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winter can be stark, cold, and sometimes ugly.  it’s not a soft season, like Spring, when the world is green & promising new life.  it’s not a bold season, like fall, with it’s crimson & molten orange.  or even summer, when the world sheds clothing and opts for a vacation by the pool.


no, winter is none of these.  it is harsh lines against a cloudy sky.  it is a tangle of naked branches.  it is crumbling stone in the middle of nowhere.

and somewhere, within all of that, winter is guarding a secret… a beauty within those tangles and perceived dilapidation.

a shout out to Jeff, for braving a cold & dreary day on a wandering and aimless photo excursion.

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when i was but a young little meredith, one of the most magical places for me was my grand bob’s house.  once a week, i would get to spend the day with him and his housekeeper, nina, who was a beloved family friend.  both of them are two my favorite people in the whole wide world.  especially because they would let me run around the house, making blanket forts and costumes out of table cloths.  i have so many stories and cherished memories from that time…i could go on for hours.  but i have a point here, so i will try my best to get to it.

in my grandfather’s bathroom, he had this huge sunken bathtub.  for a kid of about 4 or 5, it was like a swimming pool.  it even had steps!  i would beg & plead to be allowed to take a bubble bath.  and, for i was very persistent even back then, nina would finally give in and load the tub full of warm water and bubbles.  it was heaven.  i would pretend that i was a princess or perhaps a My Little Pony.  i would make a giant beard of bubbles and a shampoo mohawk.  i would go completely underwater and see how long i could hold my breath, because by this time i was pretending to be a mermaid.  all too soon, the water would get cold & my fingers were beyond pruney.  nina would coax me out of the tub with a giant fluffy towel and promises of chocolate milk.  it worked every time.


as an adult, not much has changed.  i still live for a nice, warm bubble bath.  only i’ve traded in the pretend of being a princess or a my little pony for a good book and a glass of wine.  and yes, i still make a shampoo mohawk complete with a beard made of bubbles.  sadly, the bathtub at my condo is seriously lacking.  but trust me when i say that if i ever run into a windfall of money, that will be one of the first upgrades i make.  a big, white, claw foot tub.  deep enough that i can soak in water up to my chin.  or better yet, completely submerge and see how long i can hold my breath…because while i’ve given up being a princess or a my little pony, i will never stop pretending i’m a mermaid.




a huge thank you to my friend Allison… for posing for this session, for having the perfect bathroom, for helping make this beyond what i had envisioned, and for being absolutely stunning.  i originally intended to only share one or two images, but i fell in love with so many that i couldn’t bear to part with any of them.

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sometimes it’s a good thing.  just to soak into your surroundings, blend in and become apart of them.  it’s a conscious choice.

other times, it’s a bad thing.  when you feel that you are fading away and not a single person acknowledges it.

and then there are the comic books, with invisibility being a super power.

with these images, i tried to capture the different feelings of being invisible: becoming apart of your surroundings, fading away, and just being rad.

a huge thank you to my roommate, Aaron…for always being game for an impromptu photo sesh.  you’re the best