Random Acts of Thanks: 6-9

Guess what. Sometimes we make really big plans and then life happens. For me, this week, life looked like a surprise 730 pages of editing plus two a slew of deadlines ... so our Random Acts of Thanks felt smaller, though I know they are still important.

I hope we'll be able to make more sweeping gestures as the month wears on.

#6. Voting.

Normally, I wouldn't consider voting an act of thanks, but this year our town had a dismal turnout. Only 7% of registered voters actually showed up at the polls -- and that's including our early voting period. When I cast my vote at 4pm, I was voter #125 at my polling place. How disappointing is that?

Every year the Mountain Man and I make it a point to take our children with us when we vote. We want them to feel involved in the political process, and we want them to understand how important it is that everyone casts their vote.

I make sure to discuss with them how women and people of color had to fight hard to gain the right of voting and that by casting our vote, we are honoring their heroism. Therefore, this year, I'm including it. We are thankful and we showed it by showing up.

#7. Gaboons!

Our buddy J has a love that matches his love of Fancy and that love is gaboons (!!!), known to everyone else as balloons. Ashley asked me if we could all vote together so we could help her with him when she went in to cast her vote.

The kids and I decided to surprise our little friend with a big bouquet of gaboons. We bought 8 mylar ones in all different prints, shoved them into the car, and drove to meet them. According to Ashley, J lost his mind as soon as we turned the corner and he laid eyes on our car. "Gaboons! Mine! My gaboons!" with lots of clapping and laughing.

I wish we could've heard him. Instead, what we saw was him charging across the parking lot at us as soon as Ashley let go of his hand. He flew over to us with a look of intense concentration. When he got to us, he didn't say hello or give us high fives. He said only, "No let go gaboons!" and made sure he clasped the string for every last one. He didn't care that they said "Get well" and "Happy birthday" and "It's a girl," he only cared that they didn't get away from him.

After he'd had some time with his gaboons, J did something that amazed us all. He gave each of us one balloon to have for our very own -- something he's never done in his life.  Talk about paying it forward!

#8. Fancy hunting.

Our next act involves J, too. Our plan had been to vote and then return home to make dinner and go about our usual weekday routine. However, J really didn't want to leave us. This kid has such a huge heart and our family takes up a lot of space in it. While he's older than Javi, he really sees Bella as his best friend and Javi as his role model.

Therefore, we couldn't let him down. We decided to forego our regular plans and have Ashley and J over for dinner and some play time. But really the only thing J wanted was to find and chase Fancy (poor girl). So, once we got home, he and Bella raced to the backyard for the ultimate game of hide and seek.

J finally spotted Fancy roosting in her "bedroom," aka a nearly bare tree in the corner of our yard. He squawked and flapped at her hoping to get her to run so he could chase her. When she ignored him, he turned his gaboon into a weapon and used to rile her up enough that she rushed off to find a safer roosting spot.

No bird has ever made a child as happy as Fancy did J at that moment!

#9. A note for no reason.

A family friend recently moved from our area to southern California. While technology like Facebook allow us to be engaged in her life, we decided to send her a little piece of NC, especially now that we're having a really beautiful fall.

So we drove around one afternoon looking for perfect locations for a fall photo shoot. Then I added some text to the photo and the kids wrong a little message on the back and we mailed it out. I hope our friend loves her little photo of "home."

***I'll check back in next Sunday to share the week's random acts of thanks. If you're doing something similar, please share your link in the comments so we can learn from you and get ideas. We're already planning a shoe box, sending special things to Romania and to soldiers in combat zones, donating to a mitten tree, and making cards for nursing home residents. We're in need of more small ideas, please!***


  • amber_mtmc

    What a great idea, Kelly, and thank you for sharing all these random acts of thanks with us.

    I do know that your local Headstart most likely could use an hour or two during a week of volunteer time (even 30 min counts), donations of hats, gloves, and winter coats for their needy families, and Christmas gifts. So you might want to contact them if you are in need of ideas.

  • Kim


  • Cheri

    No act is ever "small" and despite your crazy schedule, you did great this week! Kudos!

  • TKW

    Love "gaboons!" You are so inspiring, Kelly.

  • Stacia

    Gaboons always cheer me up, too. Love these, Kelly!

  • Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri

    Kelly, this really rocks. Love it!

  • Cathy Reaves

    There are so many opportunities to ignore the little things and paying attention to those are important - afterall, it's the little thing that matters most. Glad you are sticking to your plan. And only 7% voter turnout - holy cow that's sad.

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