Gratitude Squared

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Last night, I was in bed, thinking about how today is the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  Crazy how time flies and yet it still seems like yesterday.  I decided that today, in honor of everything that has happened since, I would go through the motions of my normal life and be grateful for each experience.  I thought of it as ‘gratefulness squared’ – extreme gratefulness for every little moment.


My first test – my wakeup call at 2 AM.  But as I blearily looked down into Henry’s face, I realized that – HELL YES – being woken up by my baby in the middle of the night is a blessing, even if it doesn’t always feel like it.


My bed.  The roof over my head.  My snoring husband.  My barking dogs (ughhh, but please, shut up).  My refrigerator full of food.  The sun in the sky.  The chill in the air.  The clean diapers I can afford to put on Henry’s butt.  My eyes.  My legs. 


So many things that I take for granted every day. 


It’s nice to pause and reflect how much we have, both big and small, important and trivial.


Healthy food:


Toast and buttah


The juiciest, most perfect peach


Thought of the Day:


I am grateful for what I am and have.

My Thanksgiving is perpetual…

O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches.

No run on my bank can drain it

for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

– Henry David Thoreau



  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 11, 2012, 10:15 am

    Today is definitely a reminder for everything we have – both big and small. And it’s a reminder of the people who lost their lives (both on 9/11 and in the years since) fighting for our freedom.

  • Holly @ A Year in Wichita September 11, 2012, 10:17 am

    Such a good reminder to be continually grateful. I was just having a conversation with my husband about this yesterday. He struggled to get accepted into med school for 4 years and was finally accepted this year. However, we catch ourselves griping about how busy it has made him or how stressful it can be and yesterday I commented on how we should keep in mind that this was a stress that we hoped for for years. Anyway, it’s just easy to forget to be grateful for all things, especially when they are temporarily unpleastant. Great post.

  • Janelle September 11, 2012, 10:20 am

    Love this. I have been trying to be intentionally grateful lately too. Amazing how much we have to be thankful for when we open our eyes to it. Also, the Henry pictures are always so sweet.

  • Libby September 11, 2012, 10:21 am

    I love the Thoreau quote at the end of this post. And, I heartily second everything you said. Every moment is a blessing.

  • Janae @ Bring-Joy September 11, 2012, 10:25 am

    So true–it’s all in the gratitude.

    I’ve found the most beautiful people, the ones I want to spend time with & I’m drawn to, are the ones who are brimming with gratitude. I hope to be more grateful, especially today. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Kim September 11, 2012, 10:27 am

    Very cool post, Caitlin. I was thinking the same thing this morning at 6:30am when I was running 2.5 miles. I was thinking….”keep going….there are so many people who can’t run who would love to. Be thankful for these strong legs.”

  • Emily September 11, 2012, 10:28 am

    That’s so true. It’s often difficult to remember that the seemingly littlest things are so important and hard to live without like healthy food, a roof over our heads, the breaths we breath, and the family we have! I thank God for all these blessings!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 11, 2012, 10:34 am

    I definitely try and remember to be thankful every day. If the things I’m dealing with are my biggest problems then I am a very blessed person!

  • Hilary September 11, 2012, 10:41 am

    Wow, I really like that HD Thoreau quote . Very appropriate today.

  • Becca @ Blueberry Smiles September 11, 2012, 10:41 am

    So true. It’s the simple things that matter most.

  • Tonya September 11, 2012, 10:44 am

    Beautiful. Thank you for that quote and the too cute pic of your lil baby. 🙂

  • victoria September 11, 2012, 10:47 am

    Beautifully put! Thank you.

    That bread looks delicious – what is it?

  • Army Amy* September 11, 2012, 10:50 am

    Your perspective today sounds a lot like how I felt during my husband’s deployment. When I would miss him so much that I ached, I’d try to focus on how truly lucky I am. Food at my fingertips, fresh air, a comfy bed to sleep in, legs that run, lungs that breathe. How can I be unhappy? Love the quote, too!*

  • Hillary September 11, 2012, 10:50 am

    Thanks for that Thoreau quote. Pretty perfect, if I do say so myself.

  • Hillary September 11, 2012, 10:52 am

    And, on an additional dorky note, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes (I’m an English teacher, bear with me):

    “They are but beggars that can count their worth, but…I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.”

  • Kelly September 11, 2012, 10:53 am

    GREAT post Caitlin. Needed that today…..and the adorable picture of Henry helped as well 🙂

  • Amy Q September 11, 2012, 10:53 am

    Excellent post- and Henry looks just like his mama in THAT picture!

  • Sonia the Mexigarian September 11, 2012, 10:58 am

    I watched the sunrise this morning over the hills by our house. There are a lot of internal things happening in my mind that seem important, but in the grand scheme of things, are not. Thinking of the events of this day and its lasting effects made me tear up. Your post is a beautiful reminder for appreciating and loving each breath we have.

  • Diana@run4life September 11, 2012, 11:13 am

    I needed this. Thank you Caitlin! I haven’t been in the best mood all morning but this is the perfect reminder to be greatful for everything that I have. Officially turning this day around!

  • Elisabeth September 11, 2012, 11:14 am

    Thank you for this beautiful post, Caitlin – a great reminder for all of us!

  • Teacherwoman September 11, 2012, 11:22 am

    I love this post. I am going to go through the rest of my day with the same mindframe.

    I have been away from blogging for a very long time, so I must say, congrats on your very handsome little guy! What a cutie!

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 11, 2012, 11:24 am

    Definitely a great reminder, especially considering what day it is today. Always loved, never forgotten!

  • Colleen September 11, 2012, 11:41 am

    I totally thought the samething this morning at 5am. I was thankful to wake up to a fresh day.

  • Kelly September 11, 2012, 11:59 am

    You have the most beautiful baby! 🙂

  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life September 11, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Needed this today. You have no idea! Thank you, as always, for your inspiration!

  • Julianna @ Julianna Bananna September 11, 2012, 12:41 pm

    love this post… there are so many things to be grateful for and often i don’t take the time to appreciate them!!

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 11, 2012, 12:59 pm

    My bad day yesterday has managed to trickle into today, but I’m fighting to stay positive, especially today. My brother was in Iraq for two years and I don’t think I’ll ever come close to understanding what he went through. I’m definitely grateful that he made it back home; so many didn’t.

  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 11, 2012, 1:02 pm

    Love this!! I love being grateful for the small things<–for it helps me stay in the present & not worry about the future. I am totally grateful for an awesome husband. He is the best!

  • Karen September 11, 2012, 1:39 pm

    That Thoreau quote is one of my favorite quotes. Today is definitely a day to count our blessings and live in the present moment.

  • Courtney September 11, 2012, 2:15 pm

    Great idea! We have so much to be grateful for and it is days like today that you cannot help but be grateful for the many blessings in our life.

  • Chelsea September 11, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Thanks for inspiring me to be extra-grateful today! I especially love the Thoreau quote and am writing it down in my notebook. It feels good to be grateful! Hope you have a happy day 🙂

  • Emma September 11, 2012, 2:48 pm

    This post gave me chills… in the good way. What a beautiful way to live your life.

  • Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset September 11, 2012, 3:00 pm

    WOW, Caitlin. How I needed this reminder today. Been having troubles with low BP, dizziness and fainting. I’m in recovery from anorexia and doing AWESOME!!! I have gained over 20 pounds since November and just walking everyday and doing some light weight training. Doing SO well except dizzy, low BP concerns. Internist I saw today told me I have a ‘Benign fainting condition’ (I’m a 5th year pre-med student and this is definitely made up buddy). He told me that my problems would go away if I exercised more. Hmm, tell someone in recovery to exercise more and that will make me feel better? I was FURIOUS and still am. Also told me to drink 4L of water/day in addition to 5000-10,000mg of salt (!!!!). It’s so scary that there are physicians out there like this. I was having such a pity party and although the doctor was awful, I still have so much to be thankful for. #1 by far- beating anorexia!!!!! I will not let some idiot bring me down or allow him to trigger me. Thank you, Caitlin 🙂

  • Becca September 11, 2012, 3:05 pm

    This was lovely – thanks so much. Henry is a gorgeous baby!

  • Joey September 11, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Very thoughtful post today. It IS so hard to believe it has been 11 years. Trying to live every single day with this kind of intentional gratitude for the many blessings in my life!

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy September 11, 2012, 6:13 pm

    Henry is adorbs! I had a Thankful Thursday post last week when a wave of appreciation hit me for everything I have, my fiance/the manfriend, and life in general.

  • Alicia September 11, 2012, 7:03 pm

    What kind of bread do you use? Your toast always looks so good, do you buy a nicer loaf of bread, or is it the way you are toasting it?? My toast gets all soggy and deflated 🙁

    • Caitlin September 11, 2012, 8:06 pm

      Udi’s 🙂 It’s yummy.

  • Cate September 11, 2012, 9:12 pm

    good reminder Caitlin. and I love that quote by Thoreau

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 11, 2012, 9:18 pm

    I love this! Thank you for the reminder. When you look at it this way, it’s so easy to find something to be grateful about in almost any negative thought! 🙂

  • Emily B September 11, 2012, 10:21 pm

    I sponsor a child in Ethiopia to express my gratitude – living in a country with clean drinking water, compulsory education and no child brides is more than enough to be thankful for.

    I LOVE this post!!

  • Warren @ September 12, 2012, 3:01 am

    Hi Caitlin, thanks for sharing this. I totally agree that living with gratitude — taking the time to notice all of the good things in life — can really help make a day more positive and meaningful. Here’s one of our favorite quotes at Thankaday: “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie

  • Fabiola November 27, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I definitely agree that we live in a world where we seek to acquire happiness and not tap into it within us. If we only spent more time being grateful for our basic needs, we would be more appreciative for the luxuries that we get to have.

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