30 November, 2011

Dear Jonathan

Today I'm sending a special thanks to my husband: Jonathan. It feels perfect to be ending my 30 DAYS OF THX with a note to this amazing man. I can hardly believe it was only a few years ago that we began our journey together - and what a wonderful road we've been on since then. It is an incredible feeling to love and to be loved so dearly, so honestly, so confidently. It is a rare and beautiful gift; we both have truly been blessed by each other.

Jonathan compliments me (and hopefully I do the same for him). He encourages me to think harder about things, to explore ideas with him, to do more of the things that I love. He teases me in a way that makes me laugh and "keeps me honest", as he says. I feel proud to be by his side, whether at a fancy event for work or just for a walk around our neighborhood. Words fall short when I try to describe my love for him. And in addition to the gift of himself, he also gave me the most beautiful daughter; it has been an honor and a joy to raise her together and to watch her grow into a stunning little person.

To Jonathan: thanks for being who you are and for loving me... here's to many more years of our journey together. I love you so much.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

29 November, 2011

Dear Marlene & Angele

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Marlene & Angele. These are the two wonderful women who take care our daughter for about 9 hours every Monday through Friday. They are sisters who run a home day care and follow the Montessori method of teaching. I have seen incredible strides in my daughter's activities and grasp of knowledge because of these two women. And she loves going to "school" each day.

It's quite a blessing to have found a day care in New York that we feel comfortable with AND are able afford (as those two things don't always go hand-in-hand). As with many families where both parents work, our little girl spends so many more of her awake hours with Marlene & Angele than she does with us... and we are lucky that she adores them so much!

To Marlene & Angele: thanks for the incredible love and care you give to our daughter... and for the gift of comfort and confidence you give to us as her parents.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

28 November, 2011

Dear Jen

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Jen. My first true yoga class was led by this beautiful woman - and I have never had one as good. It was an intimate group of six people, all different levels of yoga experience, and Jen made each of us feel like we were able to accomplish our individual best... and better than that, she made me want to be better/healthier for myself and not to impress the teacher. She's a great guide when it comes to leading you to your higher self.

Jen's another of those lovely people that I didn't get to know as well as I would've liked to while she was in NYC... and it always makes me smile to realize how quickly someone can really impact your world. It doesn't take a long time - just a special person. And she is definitely one of those.

To Jen: thanks for introducing me to the joys of yoga... I'll always think of you during my Sun Salutations and Savasanas :)

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

27 November, 2011

Dear Carole

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Carole. Carole was the lovely woman with a great British accent and an easy laugh who ran the Oak Cottage Bed & Breakfast, where we stayed for our honeymoon this past summer. She was kind and friendly and seemed to take a real joy in spending an hour each morning with us.

I think it takes a special kind of person to open and run a bed & breakfast. You have to be willing to share your home with people - and not people you know, but more often than not, people you don't know anything about! Carole could charm the pants off of anyone, though - so I'm pretty sure she'll make it.

To Carole: thanks for opening your home to us for an entire week... we so enjoyed ourselves and had such a wonderful time!

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

26 November, 2011

Dear Shane & Mary

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Shane & Mary. Shane was the first person in my theatre administration career that really mentored me. I looked up to him as an example of how someone could sit at a desk (instead of be on a stage) and still be incredibly creative and influential. I was inspired by his eye for clean, crisp design and the way he aspired to always make things better and more efficient. On a handful of wonderful occasions, I got to hang out with his wife, Mary. She impressed me with her wit and quiet charm; I loved her simple sense of fashion and her appreciation of good food.

Although the time I spent with them was relatively short - before they moved from NYC to Austin - they made a big impact in my world. These past several years, I've so enjoyed following their lives via their blogs: Shane with his Apple products and minimalist photos; Mary with her delicious recipes and quote gems. And I will never not enjoy picturing them side-by-side... the over-six-foot Shane and the just-past-5-foot Mary. Somehow, they're a perfect fit.

To Shane & Mary: thanks for being sweet friends and sharing some of your life with me in New York... and sharing it still on this world wide web. Miss you!

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

25 November, 2011

Dear Wanda & Ken

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Wanda & Ken: my parents-in-law. If I could have hand-picked my in-laws, there would be no two people who'd be a better fit than these two. They are kind and caring individuals with a strong love between them. And I truly couldn't be happier/luckier for the way they get along with my own parents. It's like I've doubled my parental love and support just by marrying into the best family. Cool, huh?

The first time I made a joke at Ken's expense, I really knew I was part of the family... a gentle teasing, of course. And there are times when I think Wanda and I must share the same brain - she often says to me, "Boy, did you marry in to the right family." But beyond how well we get along, I'm so grateful for the wonderful young man they raised who I was lucky enough to meet and marry. Good job, parents-in-law!

To Wanda & Ken: thanks for everything you've done to make me feel right at home... I love you guys so much and I'm truly blessed to be your daughter-in-law.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

24 November, 2011


Dear Mom & Dad

Today I'm sending a special thanks to my Mom & Dad: Patricia & Michael Ayers. In the same way I feel about my daughter, there are barely words enough to describe how grateful I am for my parents. I am so thankful to have been born to these two wonderful people; for this very wonderful gift of life that they have given me.

They have always shown me kindness and love, taught me responsibility and to have a good work ethic. They are examples of tireless giving. They are examples of love and light. They have also fostered this feeling of gratitude in me: being thankful themselves for their many blessings and always showing me that it's important to be grateful. If you've met them, you know what I'm talking about... everyone who meets them instantly knows how truly special they are.

To Mom & Dad: thanks for teaching me all of these things and more... and for always being there, no matter the distance. I'm so proud to be your daughter and I love you more than I can say.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

23 November, 2011

Dear Grace Elizabeth Ayers Waller

Today I'm sending a special thanks to my daughter, Grace. She is wonderful beyond words. It's honestly difficult for me to describe how much I love her. She melts my heart with her beautiful smile and gorgeous long-eyelashed hazel eyes. She cracks me up with her funny sense of humor and her belly laugh. She warms my soul with her sweet hugs and kisses. She makes me proud just by waking up each morning and saying, "Hi, Mama!"

I want so many things for her. I want her to have whatever she wants, but to also know the value of working for what she wants. I want her to have good friends and loving relationships and rewarding jobs. I want her to know and value her family. I want her to explore every passion she has. I want her to make her own mistakes and learn how to do it better the next time. I want her to have a full and fulfilling life.

To Grace: thanks for coming into our lives... you are the best present ever.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

22 November, 2011

Dear Lisa & Chuck and Gini & Jim

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Lisa & Chuck (my dad's brother and sister-in-law) and Gini & Jim (my mom's sister and brother-in-law). Our family is so close that I saw these aunts and uncles (and their kids, my cousins) for almost every holiday dinner and birthday celebration and random summer picnic while growing up. Both families lived within walking distance from our house and it was fun to see them so much.

It is a blessing to have a large, close family. It was one of my favorite things when I was a kid - to have a built-in network of extra adults and kids to play with. And now, as an adult, I adore all the extra love my own daughter gets from these wonderful people.

To Lisa & Chuck and Gini & Jim: thanks for the incredible gift that is our family... my life wouldn't be the same without you and I'm so grateful for each of you.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

21 November, 2011

Dear Nick

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Nick. Nick is my right hand man at work, but more often than not I feel like I could be his right hand man (er... woman). He's been at the theatre a few years longer than I have and he seems to know everything. I mean, Every Thing. Almost any time I have a question about anything, Nick already has the answer. He has a memory like an elephant (and as an animal-lover, I hope he appreciates the comparison!).

Nick anticipates the needs for the production; he takes care of the actors like he's their surrogate dad for the few months they're with us; he knows the building inside and out (better than he'd probably like to know it). He's truly a pro at his job and everyone who gets to know him finds out how amazing he is.

To Nick: thanks for everything you do... I'm glad we're a team and I honestly could not do my job without you!

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

20 November, 2011

Dear Pumpkins & Squashes

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Pumpkins & Squashes. Lately, I've been really inspired by the delicious fall dishes that can be made from these vegetables. In fact, I spent all weekend baking seeds, making real pumpkin pie, and learning about spaghetti squash (it's truly amazing how much it really looks like spaghetti!).

It was lovely to take on the challenge of making a few things that were brand new to me. It was fun to look up recipes and to attempt something for the first time. And even more fun when the dishes turned out well! It's a great feeling of accomplishment to provide for one's family by cooking - nourishing, satisfying, fulfilling.

To Pumpkins & Squashes: thanks for inspiring me to try new (and yummy) things... and for starting the domino effect of wanting to do even more cooking and baking!

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

19 November, 2011

Dear Mark

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Mark. Mark and I met during a production of A Christmas Carol at Pittsburgh's CLO over a decade ago. It was one of my first professional shows and Mark turned into an instant friend. He makes me laugh like no other, cracking me up with his many impressions and silly sense of humor. And we also think alike when it comes to Spirituality and Bigger Picture life things.

Although we're almost 10 years apart in age, I've never felt that difference... and I think that makes our relationship special. Perhaps it's Mark's youthful spirit, or my old soul. We connected on a deeper level. And I also appreciate his part in my daughter's life (especially today, when we went to see the dress rehearsal of his latest Christmas Carol production - where Mark played Scrooge himself... bah humbug!).

To Mark: thanks for being such a dear friend... and for giving my daughter her first theatrical experience - how magical!

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

18 November, 2011

Dear Kristen

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Kristen. Kristen is a rock star. And I don't use those words lightly. She is a good friend from college (we lived together our first year in New York... with Dennis, too) and even though we still live only a few blocks from each other in Queens, I don't see her nearly enough. She inspires me with her constant efforts at self-improvement and self-fulfillment... two things that are important to me, as well, although she seems to have a much better sense of will power than I do.

Kristen has a great sense of fashion and has created a personal style all her own. She is learning to play the guitar. She sings in a band. She always has an incredible hair-do. (See, I told you she's a rock star.) But more than that, she goes for what she wants in this life. And that is what truly makes me love her.

To Kristen: thanks for being an inspiring friend; you're awesome... I can't wait to see where life will take you (or where you will take it!).

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

17 November, 2011

Dear Dennis

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Dennis. Dennis and I met our freshman year of college back in the late 90's and I'm incredibly happy that we are still close friends more than a dozen years later. He was one of my first real college friends, which is so crucial when you're in a new place and away from everyone you've ever known for the previous 18 years of your life. We lived together in college and for a handful of years after that, when we first moved to New York. In fact, if we'd stayed in one place while we lived together all those years, I'm pretty sure we could be husband and wife under Common Law. Needless to say, we're pretty tight. (Do people still say that? Or have I just dated myself to Early 90's Slang?)

Dennis has been with me through almost every diet fad, a string of unsuccessful relationships (and even a few unsuccessful friendships), several different apartments, and even a few jobs. He taught me how to cook and nurtured my love for food (although I will never love the Food Network with quite the same passion that he has). He is and always will be "Uncle Dennis" to my daughter and a best friend to me... no matter where our lives may take us.

To Dennis: thanks for being my friend... in the words of [title of show], "It can be really scary being the new kid. (I bet.) I bet you bet. (I do. I bet.) I also wanna say that after all we've been through, I'm so glad we've met."

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

16 November, 2011

Dear Flower Shop Guy

Today I'm sending a special thanks to the guy at our local flower shop. Every evening, as we walk home from day care, my daughter and I pass by this corner flower shop connected to the C-Town grocery store. There's a short man with a round face who is always there - I mean, no matter what time of day, he's preparing flowers and arranging them and making himself available to help the customers.

My little girl, just a few months shy of two-years-old, loves to put her tiny hands all over the flowers - pointing at the colors, fingering anything new that she hasn't seen before, and she especially loves sticking her face into a beautiful bouquet to "smell" them. Initially, I wasn't sure how Flower Shop Guy would react... he could be very protective of his lovely arrangements, who knows? But it's now become such a routine, and he's so nice about it, that we say hello to him every day and he nods and smiles at us. And every so often, he surprises my munchkin with the kind gift of one single flower... which she carries home with pride.

To the gentleman that we see every day at the flower shop: thanks for letting us stop by and smell your beautiful flowers... even though we never buy any, you still greet us with a smile.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx) 

15 November, 2011

Dear Jan Karon

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Jan Karon. Ms. Karon is the author of a book series that makes my heart happy: The Mitford Series. I'm not sure when it was that I first learned about or picked up At Home in Mitford (the first of the series) but it was like reading a book that made me feel like I was coming home. Something about the simplicity of the story and the connectedness of its characters... I found myself really loving it all, and wishing I lived in that small town.

The books have a Christian message at their heart - as we follow the main character, Father Tim - but it's the people that Jan Karon creates that stick with me. I love historical fiction. I love a good factual non-fiction about the world we live in. I love self-help books. But every so often, I need a sweet feel-good novel and that's what The Mitford Series gives me. These stories are comforting and uplifting and - to be quite honest - they make me want to live a better, simpler life.

To Jan Karon: thanks for writing and for giving me a place to settle into that feels like a sweater worn with love... it's a joy to be able to disappear into your world for a bit.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

14 November, 2011

Dear Jill

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Jill. I first met Jill when she was an intern at the theatre where I work; because she is smart and funny and very capable, she quickly moved a couple rungs up the ladder and we got to work together for a few years. I adore her sense of humor and I miss it around the office, now that she's transitioned into a job in the opera world. But we both put our energies into becoming "real" friends (not just "work" friends) and I'm so glad I still get to hang out with her every so often.

I think when you become an adult making friends can be a lot harder than when you're a kid. It's somehow not cool to just go up to someone and say, "Hey, I think you're neat. Wanna be friends?" But I feel like that's kinda what Jill and I did to each other - and thank goodness, 'cause she's a really neat lady friend. I feel very lucky that our paths crossed. And luckier that we made the extra effort to get lunches together and go out for coffee or drinks, to surpass the levels of Work Associate and head into the deep world of True Friendship.

To Jill: thanks for being a truly lovely person and a great friend... I'm so glad we met and I'm looking forward to many more years of laughter and stories to come.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

13 November, 2011


Today I'm sending a special thanks to Michael C. Ruppert and Chris Martenson. Michael and Chris have each written a book, each book with similar themes and points about our society and culture as it's been for the past several decades... and where they think the world is going over the next 20 years. Yes, their material can be quite shocking - but I'm particularly grateful for how different these two gents are, even though they tend to believe the same fundamental things. My husband seems to relate more to one and I to the other. And it's difficult enough material that I'm glad we can each read about it from a perspective that we can feel comfortable with and understand.

"Comfortable" might be the wrong word, actually. While I don't know these two men personally, they sure have made a personal impact on my family. The ideas they have put on paper, about peak oil and money and politics and environment, are not popular ideas - and by that I mean it's much easier to not think or worry about them. But they've spoken clearly enough to my husband and me that we have already begun to make changes in our lives - at the very least, changes in the way we think about the world we live in - based on their research and writings.

To Michael and Chris: thanks for being willing to be the type of people who aren't afraid to possibly be ridiculed for what they believe... we need people like you to help make us less complacent.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx) 

A SUPERHERO: First Rehearsal

12 November, 2011

Dear Jean Bean

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Jean Bean. Jean is my husband's aunt - and from the first time I met her she's welcomed me into the family with open arms. Jean is the headmistress of an all-girls school in Baltimore and she definitely has a special place in her heart for little gals. She's very sweet to my own daughter, usually bringing her a small surprise when we get together. (It'll be a great way to teach my munchkin how to write her own thank you notes in a few years!)

Jean comes to NYC every so often and we always try to meet up with her for lunch or dinner. Today between Priscilla and Hugh Jackman (lucky lady!) she treated us to dinner at Un Deux Trois. It was lovely to see her, as always, and today's small gift was a little penguin; my daughter held and played with it the whole way home.

To Jean: thanks for your love and generosity... we're so glad to have you in our lives.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

11 November, 2011

Dear Vanessa

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Vanessa. She was the woman who gave me my first job in New York, and a weighty job at that: I was "the nanny" for her wonderful little daughter, Bella. During the days, when her mommy & daddy would go to work, Bella and I would invade the world of the Upper West Side. We would visit Citarella and spend hours at the Elephant Playground or the Hippo Playground or any other wonderful options in that neighborhood. We would have play dates with Kate who lived down the hall. And Bella would babble to me in her adorable toddler French.

Spending those few years with Bella (and with Vanessa and her husband, Steve) fostered my love of New York, deepened my desire to have a daughter of my own, and solidified my aspiration to be a loving member of a committed, romantic marriage. Having been blessed with a beautiful daughter and an incredible (and romantic!) husband, I am now fully aware that those seeds planted many years ago are now blossoming gardens in my life. My little girl is just a few months shy of her 2nd birthday - and she reminds me of Bella almost every single day.

To Vanessa: thanks for trusting me with your baby girl, a gift I can only now fully appreciate... and also for being a good example of how wonderful young motherhood can be, a gift I will always remember.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

10 November, 2011

Dear Petrowkskis

Today I'm sending a special thanks (and a special gift) to the Petrowski Family.When I was in middle school, my mom's brother "Uncle Jerry" married a lovely woman named Margot. They met in California and when Jerry brought her home to Ohio for the first time - at Christmas - I thought Margot was the coolest person on earth. She had a great smile, a wonderful laugh, and even showed me how to put on make-up! Their wedding was in California, too, which meant our whole family got to go there - my first time on an airplane - and we went to Disneyland and everything was amazing.

Jerry & Margot and their two incredible daughters, Noelle & Jillian, still live on the west coast - in Oregon now - and we don't get to see them nearly enough. But what always amazes me about family is that, no matter the distance, the love we feel for each other still abides... and it's only intensified during those rare and wonderful occasions when we do get to be together. Now I'm the person who says things like, "Oh my goodness, you're so big!" when I see Noelle (in college) and Jillian (in high school). Those two gals are pretty cool.

To Jerry, Margot, Noelle & Jillian: thanks for being a wonderful part of our family... I think of you often and miss you always.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

09 November, 2011


"The word mother is more powerful 
when it is used as a verb than as a noun."

By Martha Beck

I adore my mother. Yes, I love her. Yes, I admire her. But I choose to specifically use the word adore. A quick search of that word's meaning: "to honor as divine." Yes, I think that's very appropriate. My mother gives more of herself than anyone I've ever met (or am likely to meet in the future); she is as close to the "divine" as a mother could be. And though it sounds like I am, I'm not putting her on a pedestal. She's human, of course. She errs, she can forget to take care of herself, she doesn't have completely endless patience (but it's close!). But it's the idea of the person she strives to be each new day that really inspires my admiration for her.

I am lucky to have a mother like that. And that's the type of mother I want to be.

Martha Beck, in her memoir EXPECTING ADAM, says beautiful and truthful things about motherhood and mothering that strike me right to core of my very being:
"Mothering has little to do with biological reproduction - as another friend once told me, there are women who bear and raise children without ever mothering them, and there are people who mother all their lives without ever giving birth. The bad news is that not all of us have the good fortune to be born to our real mothers, or to stay with them as long as we need them. The good news is that, while mothers are often in short supply, mothering is not. Against all odds, despite everything that works against it on this unpleasant, uncomfortable planet, mothering is here in abundance. You can always find it, if you're smart and know where to look."
In addition to being one of the lucky few to have the good fortune of my real mother, I've also been blessed with many other people who've taken on mothering roles in my life: my oldest (but one year younger) friend, the college teacher who knitted and gardened and became a role model, the young mother who trusted me to take care of her baby girl when I first moved to New York, the dear Greek landlady who bakes for me, the first woman I trusted to take care of my own baby girl when I had to go back to work, and my wonderful mother-in-law who's felt more like my own family than "an in-law" from the very first day I met her. These women have mothered me in a way that's complementary to my own mother's guidance and love; they have also helped to shape my life.

I swell with pride when my own daughter calls out, "Mama, Mama!" - and although I want to be able to give her everything she could ever need or want or ask for - I know that one person alone cannot be the provider of all things. And my little girl already has several other mothers helping to shape her into the wonderful and sweet girl she is... in the day care family, in our landlady, in our glorious friends, and in her incredibly loving two grandmothers (and grandfathers). Not to mention her own Daddy, who adores her. Yes, there's that word again. It fits.

This cycle of motherhood and mothering feels like a deep comfort to me. One that is perhaps difficult to properly express, but easy to recognize. May we all be grateful for our many mothers.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of Martha Beck's EXPECTING ADAM to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.  Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.

Dear Raisa

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Raisa. (I'm pretty sure that's her name; she told me about a week ago and I remember it mostly because it's so different.) Now, I don't drink coffee every day... usually just when I have to start my morning earlier than usual - like today. But no matter what time I head into the local Starbucks on our corner, Raisa is there. And always with a smile on her face.

She seems to be in a perpetual good mood. And while I'm sure that's not exactly accurate, I've honestly never seen her otherwise. She greets each customer with warmth and attention, as if she truly cares about how the coffee she'll make will improve their day. And perhaps she really does!

To Raisa: thanks for having a smile on your face, no matter how early it is... your joy and your 1 Pump Vanilla Latte skills make my morning.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

08 November, 2011

Dear Meghann

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Meghann. We've long honored each other with the phrase "Best Friends Since We Were Two" but our friendship is much deeper than just an accumulation of the years we've known each other. Among the group of people I would consider to be my closest friends, I see Meghann the least - by far. Much of this has to do with the fact that we live nearly 500 miles apart, but even as kids we didn't see each other every day. We never went to the same school, we couldn't walk to each other's houses... the things that start most childhood friendships (being in class together, living next door to each other) were not a part of ours.

We clicked anyhow. And our families knew it. Thanks to them, we'd spend marathon weekends together. And as we grew older, Meghann would drive me to concerts; and I would visit her in college; and whenever we're both in the same place for holidays we make it a point to spend time together. There is much we have in common: our love for DMB, our love of the beach, our love of children... and there are many things we probably don't see eye-to-eye on. But that's part of who we are - as individuals and as dear friends - and the love and respect we have for each other will always win out in the end.

To Meghann: thanks for the blessing of your friendship... we've supported each other through heartaches and happiness, and I wouldn't be who I am today without you.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

07 November, 2011

Dear Lisa

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Lisa. Lisa is the woman who seems to run our local laundromat. I'm not sure if she owns it or not, but every time I've ever done our laundry or dropped it off to be done - she is there. She's an Asian woman (seems to be about my age or maybe a little older) with a big smile and a voice that goes up in pitch about 2 octaves each time she sees my daughter. She's always grinning and seems to be in a good mood no matter what time of day it is. On Friday morning, I asked what her name was because she is always so nice and I'd much rather be able to say, "Hi, Lisa" when we see her.

Whenever my little girl comes with me to do the laundry, Lisa gives her a small packet of two, thin, almond cookies. (What is it with people giving my gal cookies? Must be a cute little girl thing.) Now there's absolutely no reason for her to do this, but she does. Every time we're in there together. And my daughter loves it. And it makes me smile.

To Lisa: thanks for bringing a little extra cheer to our day with your big grin, your warm "Hello!", and your edible gifts... it's nice to get to know the people in your neighborhood. 

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

06 November, 2011

Dear Jon Aaron

Today I am sending a special thanks to Jon Aaron. Jon will direct the first production of the musical my husband wrote: A SUPERHERO. My amazing partner conceived this original idea* and has been pursuing it with passion and delicacy and love ever since I met him (and years before that)... in fact, when we first became friends I remember feeling honored that he asked me to read the script and listen to the demo and tell him what I thought. How lucky I feel now to hear that incredible music in our home almost daily and to live with these characters that feel like part of our family.

There are many things to be grateful to Jon for... his desire to work on a new musical, his drive to make it as good as it can be, his excitement in imagining and creating the show, his ability to assemble a great team to work on the production... but in my eyes, I'm most grateful to him for having a passion about the show to match my husband's. That passion has inspired both of them and it's so heartwarming for me to watch them collaborate.

To Jon Aaron: thanks for loving A SUPERHERO as much as my husband does; your enthusiasm is infectious and your passion inspiring.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

* For more information on A SUPERHERO and to sign up for the mailing list, visit www.superheromusical.com or www.jonathankwaller.com or "like" it on facebook!

05 November, 2011

Dear Anna & Nick

Today I am sending a special thanks to Anna & Nick. These two lovely folks are our landlords and downstairs neighbors... and after living with them for these past 2 and a 1/2 years, they're also our friends. They have grandsons in college, so there's a vast age difference between us yet somehow I feel that we are kindred souls. They appreciate good food, good wine, quiet time outdoors, family, friends... and best of all, they absolutely adore our daughter.

Anna makes homemade Greek cookies and pastries almost every day and will often share her bounty with us. When Grace was little, before she really knew people's names, she would see Anna as we came in the door at the end of the day and point to her while grinning and shouting, "Cookies!" Now that she's a bit older, a few times a week when we come home she runs in the front door and straight into their apartment (the door to their home is often open) while excitedly calling, "Anna Nick! Anna Nick!" And without a moment's hesitation, no matter what we may be interrupting, they both are glad to see us and invite us to stay for coffee and cookies.

To Anna & Nick: thanks for welcoming us into your home and giving us a place of our own to call home... and more than that, thanks for making us feel like part of the family.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

04 November, 2011

Dear Kai & Jen

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Kai & Jen (and their son 'Bash). I used to work with Kai in the theatre world and when I heard that he bought a farm upstate, that he and his family were moving there and actually running that farm, that they were growing food and starting a CSA and possibly expanding it to include other cool things like a few animals and artist retreats... well, I was in awe. 

As soon as we could, we invested in a full CSA share - to support this new farm and our friends' new endeavors, but also as part of our plan to eat more healthfully and seasonally and locally. Regardless of the fact that we sometimes totally space out and forget to pick up our share of veggies on Thursday afternoons (hopefully, some other lucky person goes home with double the goods!), we are so glad we get to be a part of Channery Hill Farm's inaugural season. May it be the first of many.

To Kai & Jen & Bash: thanks for the time and energy and love you put into those veggies and for sharing them with us... and more than that, thanks for being an inspiration to our family, showing us that it can be joyful to do what you love.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

03 November, 2011

Dear Matt/Jess/Amy

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Matt, Jessica, and Amy. These 3 amazing peeps work at BBB and they do an awful lot to promote the shows we produce at our theatre (not to mention all the other shows they work on, too!). I get emails from them at least once a day - and often times more - updating me on any/all press related to the show I'm working on at the current moment... interviews, live radio chats, reviews, special mentions, video clips, you name it - if it's press that's out there about our show, these 3 hardworking souls probably made it happen.

But they do so much more than that. They connect. They create. They care. It seems like it's not just "a job" to them, but a passion for theatre and the desire to help spread the word about a great show, or create a unique opportunity for an actor, or solidify the message of a company. And what they do can't possibly be an easy task. Do you realize how many shows there are in the New York area competing for attention? I don't have the numbers in front of me, but it's safe to say: A LOT. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such a great team.

To Matt, Jess, and Amy: thanks for going that extra mile, for usually making us chuckle with your witty senses of humor, and for genuinely caring about theatre... we need more people like you!

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

02 November, 2011

Dear Eric & Alan

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Eric & Alan. Eric and I first became friends at work, when he was an intern. We bonded over both being from Ohio and the general fact that he was cool and funny. (Plus, he was great at his job!) After his own career journey at a couple other theatres, (one included a job with my hubby) we now work together again - and it brings true joy to my day to see him in the halls, to work on projects with him, and to have lunch together at least once a week.

What I love most about our friendship is that it's the special kind that morphed from "work friend" into "real friend". Eric's a member of our NYC Family now. And our daughter simply adores him, pointing him out in pictures with a giggle: "Ehk! Ehk!" Our daughter also adores "Ahyan", Eric's partner. We're so glad Eric introduced us to Alan - he's sweet and funny and has a sharp wit to match Eric's. They're a hilarious pair, for sure.

To Eric & Alan: thanks for your dear friendship and for the laughter you've shared with us... we're glad you're in our lives, and glad you're in each other's.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)

01 November, 2011

Dear "Nana"

Today I'm sending a special thanks to Mary Anne. She's more than just my daughter's first day care provider. She is a mother to her own five daughters. And she was a mother-figure to me when I was seeking someone "perfect" to leave my daughter with after only a few months, when that lovely maternity leave was over and I had to head back to work.

Since she was 4 months old, we've dropped off Baby G at Mary Anne's house around 9:30am... and have picked her up after work around 6pm. That's a lot of hours to be away from Mama & Dada! But the way our girl's face lights up when she sees "Nana" (that's what she calls her) makes my heart confident that she's in the right place, with the right person.

To "Nana": thanks for all the love and care you give to my daughter, as if she were your own... not to mention the advice and confidence you give to me.

30 DAYS OF THX project inspired by ThxThxThx (#30daysofthx)