Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

As one who loves Ireland, and spent my final semester at UCLA studying at University College Galway on Ireland’s west coast, today is a special day. I don’t celebrate it with green beer or corned beef and cabbage, but rather, I remember all the great Irish and Anglo-Irish writers I’ve studied and read, as well as the wonderful contemporary Irish authors I favor today like Maeve Binchy, Marian Keyes, and my friend, Harlequin Presents author Abby Green. (Check her out, she rocks!)

And also timed with this one of my favorite holidays is a new contest featuring Easy On The Eyes… details at the end of this post.

Things have been so busy and stressful lately that I thought it’s also time to shift my focus from worries to good things, those little things that we might take for granted but shouldn’t as good things–whether big or small– are always good and shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle. So here’s my list of gratitudes:

-my new tires.  They’re awesome.  I forgot how nice driving is when your car actually sticks to the road versus slides across the asphalt.

-the hour I managed to write yesterday when I didn’t think I’d have time to write.  My youngest ended up joining his big brother for water polo practice and after dropping them off at 5:30 I hit a nearby Starbucks for an hour and wrote 5 pages.  A huge blessing.

-The new GPS/stereo/entertainment center I put in my car three weeks ago as a birthday present to myself.  It was a bit of a splurge but its so wonderful.  The screen is huge and I can see the map clearly and hear the directions and the kids love that I can hook up their iPods and play their music.  And yesterday when I needed to find a store and couldn’t find it, the GPS got me there fast, fast, fast.

-Progress on homework.  One son has been struggling in school in a particular subject and he’s managed to bring the failing grade to a C+ and might, just might, be on his way to a B. The blessing is that he is taking responsibility for the bad grade (chose not to study and “forgot” to turn in homework) and is going to twice a day tutorials as well as communicating with teacher better. Yay! Big step.

So tell me a blessing in your life, can be little, can be big, and you’re entered in my St. Patrick’s Day contest.  I’m giving away a copy of Irish author Marian Keyes latest hardcover, This Charming Man, a Starbucks drink card, a See’s chocolate leprechaun, and lots of JP goodies.  Contest ends Thursday night and I’ll post winner’s name Friday morning.

And since many of you like contests, check out the brand new contest I have on my website.  It just started today and it’s a bigger contest than my blog contest and includes a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card among other good things.  While you’re getting the details on my new contest, read the brand new sneak peek of Easy On The Eyes and let me know what you think!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and blessings to all!


  1. Jane! Lå feile padraig to you too – hope my very rusty school Irish is ok! Sending you a big green kiss from Ireland, hope you get to come back and visit soon.
    xx Abby

  2. Thanks for a bright spot, Jane. Today I am thankful for many things. But the first thing that comes to mind is a loving and supportive family. They love us and the kids and are here when we need them. We are all deeply blessed by their devotion to our darling kids and desire to help!!
    Happy St. Pat’s!

  3. jane…i am thankful that my family is healthy at the moment! i am also thankful for being able to have a nice big st patrick’s day dinner w.my whole family tonight…

  4. Wow, Jane! This is a great post and I’m glad the last few days have been so wonderful to you…you deserve it! I also want to say thanks for the amazing gifts I won from your blog!!! I can’t wait to curl up in my new bath robe with my book!

    I usually make something “green” for dinner for my family. we will see what is on the menu for tonight (the kids are getting harder to please)!

    Erin go bragh!

  5. Blessings:

    My daughter is working on HER grades and brought hers up to a C. Too many absences and not turning in work, too.

    I am babysitting my granddaughter tonight. She is 2 and I love spending time with her….

    My oldest daughter turns 24 this Friday and we are so close and that makes me so very happy.

    There is NO snow today!!!!!!!! YAY.

  6. Four happy, healthy kids whom I adore and who make me laugh every day (even though two of them no longer live at home).

    Spring is finally coming!!! I hate spring because it’s muddy and yucky, but by this time of year I am happy to see the end of winter.

    My girlfriends who stick by through thick and thin.

    And, I am thankful for all the good books I have yet to read!

  7. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I do like this idea of remembering our blessings. One little thing was today when my son told me he needed a haircut and it occurred to me that I don’t have to worry about getting him there since he just got his license last month so I just made the appointment and gave him the money.

  8. Hi Jane,

    I have so many things to be grateful for but I will give you three. One, I am grateful for my wonderful husband. Two, I am grateful that me and my husband still have our jobs. Three, I am grateful that we are both healhty.
    Thank you for the opportunity to remind myself of my many blessings.

  9. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    I hear you Jane about the stress of life, mine is really getting me down lately.
    But I do have a couple of bright spots. My daughter got her report card she has all A’s and one B.
    She is fixing to graduate High School and has been accepted into the Honor’s Program at college.

  10. Hi Jane,

    This post actually brought a tear to my eye. A week and a half ago we buried my grandmother. The last living grandparent I had left. She would have loved what you wrote about today. She believed in not taking things for granted.

    I’m blessed to have a great spouse who knows when I need my space. I’m thankful to have my memories of my grandmother, who by the way helped raise me. I’m grateful that we are both healthy and still not smoking. I could go on and on but I will leave it with I’m thankful to be alive.

    Have a great day.

  11. So glad to hear good things from your neck of the woods!

    I too splurged and bought myself a bed – a real bed with headboard and footboard and a strong frame. It’s my first real bed since my childhood canopy long, long ago. I bought it after learning that we got our bonuses at work had gone through. A day later, I was told that my long-delayed promotion was finally approved and going through as of April 1st – April Fool’s Day, which somehow feels appropriate. That’s Ms. Senior Editor to you! 🙂 And now we’ve been told that my agency was nominated for Agency of the Year for 2008. In such a dodgy economy, to have good things happen in the professional realm is a remarkable blessing on many levels. Plus, now I get to rest from it all in my lovely wrought iron and wood bed!

  12. I’m grateful to be alive since for a while it seemed I might not be. I’m grateful for healthy kids, because after doing my taxes and seeing how much we paid in copays, deductibles and prescriptions I am glad every day I dont have to go to the doctor! I’m grateful for my hubby who continues to be my best friend for ever.

  13. I’m grateful to have a day off from work this evening so we can have dinner together as a family! Loved the sneak peak of Easy On the Eyes, by the way!

  14. Life is good. The ‘littles’ we take for granted are so important and more so than any specific ‘big’ happening in our lives. We’re building my son a garage and house on our property and things are moving great. Tonight we’re all looking forward to the traditional meal and I doubt they’ll be leftovers for tomorrows lunches. It’s warming up in the Shenandoah Valley, a start toward spring. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

  15. I’m grateful, ever so thankful. . why? I’m still here, my kids are healthy and doing well in school and in their jobs, my bills get paid, I still have my job, my guy still thinks I’m hot and no matter how tough things get, Life is still a Wonder, I’m happy, so blessed and I am still here.

  16. I am grateful for having good health each and everyday. The bright sunshine that I can enjoy and soothes my soul. My wonderful sons who I admire. Thanks for this lovely post today.

  17. Happy Green Day to you, too, Jane. The skies are blue and the sun shone out a few times. It’s a very good day here, indeed.

    When you mentioned your new tires, for a minute, I was wondering if you were appreciating your spare pregnancy tires or the car’s tires. Oops. 🙂 That photo of you and Kari, a few blogs down, is gorgeous!! You make pregnancy look very good.

    For things I’m grateful, friends and friendships always bubbles to the top of that list.

  18. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    I am grateful for my friends and family and for the-almost-here spring time of the year :-0) Everything just seems a little better when the grass is green and flowers are blooming.

  19. I’m blessed with 2 great kids, and I still have a job, when so many don’t. I am grateful for my friends & family, and the beautiful pot of blooming daffodils on my kitchen table! A bit of Spring really makes you happy!

  20. I’m blessed with 2 wonderful children and parents who are still always there for me even at my age (in my forties).
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  21. Hi Jane! I’m very blessed to have a loving family, great friends, a job, and my health. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  22. Hi Jane!

    I wake up to my biggest blessings every morning and kiss them goodnight every night. I’m blessed to share their lives and hear them call me “mom”, and blessed that I get to stay home with them every day. I could lose every material thing in my life but with those two little blessings and my husband, I’d still have everything I could ever want.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  23. My blessings are my children, family and friends. Happy St. Patrick’s Day and hopefully you’re feeling better. xxoo

  24. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
    Thank you for the upbeat blog post.
    On this day and any, I am blessed for my family and my health.
    Today’s special, I volunteered at my sons book fair and will go back tonight for family reading night. I am blessed that there are so many children that want to read. Parents at the book fair letting the kids get what they want, teachers with wish lists being filled by kind and generous parents who want to continue to give and the looks on the kids faces with their new books. It was a blessing to see this today and know that our kids want to read!!
    Thank you Jane, you help everyday fulfill this Moms blessing and will for MANY years to come.

  25. Wow, I have a lot of blessings. I am most thankful to have a healthy and happy family. I think everyone takes that for granted at some point in their lives! A very close friend of mine is have a precious baby boy today and I can’t wait for her to feel the blessings of motherhood! And yes along with that there is also the sleep deprivation but hey, it’s priceless and it’s life! 🙂

  26. Thank you for reminding us of the good things in life. I am so incredibly thankful that my once non-verbal son has been dismissed from speech-therapy and all of the other therapies necessary to treat his disorder. He is “healed” and above average for his age in many areas. I just learned this at his pre-school conference last week.

  27. Biggest blessing? My son. Corny, I know, but so true. After a rather icky day yesterday I lost it for a few minutes and complained rather loudly in front of my son about nearly everything that was going wrong. My 8 year old’s response? “Well, at least we still have each other.” I managed to refrain from crying, but it brought me back down quickly.

  28. I am so blessed with a wonderful family, our health, and some very awesome friends! I couldn’t ask for more!

    Can’t wait to read Easy on the Eyes!

  29. Hi Jane! What a lovely post about blessings. :> I have so many…where to start? My darling husband, beautiful kids, wonderful dogs, and the amazing, fabulous, delicious chance to do what I love for a living. Tulips. Daffodils. Seeing the buds on my peach and plum trees.

    I could go on and on and on. I’ll spare ya’ that though!

    Hope you had a marvelous day…

  30. I am grateful for so many things from my health to my family. Every day is a blessing some of us take for granted.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

  31. Dear Jane,

    I am thankful for my husband, with whom I celebrate 14 years of marriage tomorrow. With us, there are no saints and no sinners, just two human beings trying to get it right for each other and our 3 kids and probably fail more often than not, knowing there is always forgiveness and respect and refuge with the other.

  32. Hi Jane. Today was a most beautiful ,almost spring time,St. Patrick’s Day…here in Central Pa.

    I decided to take on the “spring clean out “of my very large Koi pond. Having being frozen a good part of fall-winter, the fish slow down and are sluggish. I don’t spend quality time out there talking to them,like I do from March thru Oct.
    Today as I was in the pond cutting back plants and hauling out old leaves, I was greeted by my wonderful,sweet ,beautiful Koi. They swam up to touch my hands ,and swam between my legs ( in hip-waders). They sucked on my daughters fingers and appeared to be kissing her. Such a simple sweet gesture, but one of my greatest blessings in life. My dear fish coming to say “hi” we have missed you all winter,but we are happy now it is spring. They swam around freely and enjoyed the glorious sunshine ,as did i on such a beautiful St. Paddy’s Day.

  33. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    My blessings are my husband, our furry and feathered friends and our new house – it’s perfect!

  34. Happy St. Patricks day to you!
    With recent twists and turns in life I have come to realize there are so many things to be thankful for. I am blessed to have a loving, healthy family. I am blessed to have a job. I am blessed to have a mom who is the most loving kind person I have ever known. I may not have all that I desire but have also realized that I just don’t need it all to be happy. I feel blessed to have realized this. xo

  35. I’m blessed to have traveled to the spectacular Emerald Isle myself. Living in Colorado where everything is now brown, I took my pics out to look at the green and remember the wonderful time I had there!

  36. Everyday on my personal blog I list 5 things I am grateful for–big and small, no matter how silly.

    So a few things from this weekend: Ben & Jerry’s Strawberries & Cream ice cream, a big plate of spaghetti, pets to take a nap with, finding a particular pink patent leather Coach bag after searching everywhere, and guacamole!

  37. I am most thankful today that my Mother-In-Law who as Metastatic Colon CA can eat again and is smiling!! She had a terrible bout with Chemo, and was unable to eat. She is the BEST Mother-In_Law ever, and now I will be able to cook her favorite meals again. 🙂

  38. Hi Jane,

    I am appreciative and grateful for so many blessings in my life…one very heavy worry has been lifted just today.

    After YEARS of feeling exhausted, (and almost convinced that I was living with an illness), I have finally found a doctor who listened and knew what to ‘look’ for. I am in menopause (no ‘peri’ for me) and my thyroid is not functioning at all. The most exciting news is that these issues can be managed and I am going to begin bio-identical hormones by week’s end. I do credit watching Oprah’s show weekly for providing me with the educational and motivation to create my best life. Today, I am living it!!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

  39. Hi Jane…Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m thankful for my two beautiful daughters and our health and I’m saying lots of prayers for my brother who has been waiting for a liver and kidney transplant. He’s had it tough these last few years and I just hope things turn around for him.

  40. Happy St. Patrick’s Day Jane.
    I am grateful that tomorrow dh and I are going on a 6 hr. drive to my sister’s and her family. They are going on a trip but I am dog sitting their new puppy which is a Labradoodle. I so love puppies/dogs. Dh will go visit his Mom and sister/family. I’m getting away from work and being with dh; I’m helping my sister out. I’m blessed.

  41. I am so lucky to be strong and healthy and able to get away and hike which gives me exercise and peace of mind. I hope to be hiking when I am 80!

  42. Happy St. Patty’s Day Jane!! 🙂

    I hope your son makes it to that B!

    A blessing my life is my beautiful kitty, Libby. She’s the sassiest cat I have ever met (which, I know most cats are) but always gives me love when I get home. Nothing better than coming home to your pets and their unconditional love! 🙂

  43. I second Amber’s comment about coming home to your pets and their unconditional love. Only mine are dogs and there are three. 🙂

    Besides those blessings, I am blessed with a good job and good friends (not necessarily in that order).

  44. I was blessed when my 20-month-old launched herself off the top stairs of our shoveled walkway and landed her full body on the concrete three steps below–and yet there was no blood or broken limbs.

    Thank you, God, for puffy, puffy snowsuits!


  45. I woke up and got up this morning! What a blessing!
    A toast to Jane and all Jane’s readers:
    “May your joy be like the capital of Ireland…always Dublin!”

  46. Went to a St. Patty’s parade on Saturday and took my daughters’ favorite pooch, “Sparky”. It was a beautiful day and we got to meet some really nice people and dogs!
    It felt good to hear, Jane that I’m not the only parent going through the school difficulties with their kids regarding grades/communication. My daughter does her homework and then forgets to turn it in! Thank goodness for weekly grade sheets to spot any missing assignments. Have a good week…

  47. My Mom has breast cancer and just got her post surgery results that they got it all, and think she’d be fine without radiation (which she is going to do anyway, to be on the safe side). I’m just relieved that it’s over and there is no evidence it spred anywhere else in her body.


  48. I feel so blessed and it is hard to choose just one. Our children have been in good health for the last year!!! This one is huge for us. My husband (who is one of life’s greatest gifts) has a great job, and I am blessed to work from home! It is all the small details, the affirming gratitude, and the mindset!

  49. Jane,

    I am blessed for my wonderful spouse who will be taking me to get my wisdom teeth pulled in a few weeks. He plans to take the day off from work and stay home with me. I am also blessed with great friends and family that make me smile and feel so lucky for the life I have.


  50. I’m blessed that I only have 2 days of classes this semester which is also my last year of school so that’s even better LOL

  51. I am so grateful for my two daughters who tend to their mother (recent foot surgery – always something isn’t it). I am also grateful for the friends I still have after 20 – 30 years. We had a reunion at a park here in Broward County this past Sunday. We were all raised in Hialeah, Florida and there were 40 of us not counting our children and or those who have grandchildren. We were a crazy bunch in our heyday!! But the best part was that all of our children grew up to be wonderful and educated. Why we were asking each other – survival!!!!

  52. The blessing in my life right now is that my husband still has a job during these bad times, although I think he will have a lay off for one week but If that is all we will be alright. I am just so glad our house is paid for.

  53. Jane–

    It’s funny, I was just talking to my sister about all the things I was thankful last night before bed and then today I happened across your blog. I’m thankful for many of the same things as you are – new tires that keep me safe in the car, GPS so I can stop driving in circles, a family that is loving and supportive, and honestly – getting laid off so that I could have some time to really figure out who I am.

  54. I am grateful for so many things…awesome friends, healthy and happy family, the ability to work from home with a fabulous company and team, the fact that after weeks of working out regularly I was forced to buy a belt to keep my pants up yesterday!!! Although I am sitting here typing this and snacking on the GS Think Mint cookies and am very grateful for those too!!! Hope you are feeling better!! Great blog!!

  55. We are blessed with a growing business, even in a tough economy, healthy kids, my own health and a warm home on a windy Fresno day.

    If I asked for more, I’d be accused of being greedy!

  56. I’m grateful for two beautiful daughters, a wonderful hubby and sis, the best dog in the world and I pray for continued good health for us all!

  57. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to see friends and family even thou they live far far away. I love celebrating birthdays and this week I had the opportunity to celebrate my fathers birthday.

  58. I read your blog with a little jealousy, and much hope and love. We found out we were unexpectedly pregnant … and were filled with hope for a bit. We are blessed with two beautiful girls, 4 and just 1, and still mourn the loss of our baby girl who died at 4 days. But life works in strange ways… and we believe all for the good. I am thankful today for the beautiful family I have, for the joy of little arms wrapped around me and big words, “Mommy I love you!”. So, I won’t feel those baby kicks from the inside anymore, but I am so thankful for what I have. Thank you for letting me live vicariously with your pregnancy!

  59. I’m thankful for so many things- my husband and mine’s relationship- we’ve gone through a rough spot and came out on the good end…my kids- our little family owned business and the fact that I recently found out I get to keep my job while others have been cut back. My heart goes out to my fellow employees and wish them the best.

  60. I’m grateful for many things, among them, the help that’s out there if I just ask for it. I’m grateful for the support of my family and friends. I’m also grateful for the dawn of spring! My kids and I have walked the dogs twice already and had such a wonderful time.

  61. Hiya Jane. The blessing in my life is my family, wonderful parents, great husband and 3 beautiful children. If wealth was measured in love of family I would be a very rich lady.

  62. Happy St. Pat’s Day Jane!

    I forgot to wear my green and grabbed a bit of green tinsel at work that was shaped like a clover and pinned it to my sweater. No pinches for me thank God!

    My greatest blessing is my hubby. He is the most charming, sincere, considerate husband ever! He makes my lunch when I am running late to work and makes me supper when I come home late from work. He is a wonderful lover, friend and husband! I couldn’t ask for a better guy!

    Also, a wonderful blessing is that my mom is recovering nicely from her hip surgery. She fell down a month ago and broke her hip. She is in a Rehab center. The people there have been wonderful and she has a wonderful room mate.

    Praise the Lord she is in good hands!

    Many blessings to you Jane! Have a wonderful week!

  63. Hi Jane,

    I didn’t know that we share a love of Ireland but I’m delighted to discover this!

    I have been there three times – 1998, 2000 & 2003 – and love it with all my heart. My love of Irish music (U2, Van Morrison, Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats, The Waterboys, Hothouse Flowers, Jack L, The Frames, The Thrills, The Devlins) and literature (my fav contemporary Irish writers are Edna O’Brien, Patrick McCabe, Joseph O’Connor, Neil Jordan, Maggie O’Farrell and Roddy Doyle) is what started my obsession with that country although I will admit that I have learned to love a pint of Guinness too. I enjoyed a few pints of the black on St. Patrick’s Day and had lunch in our local Irish pub, The Toucan.

    Naturally, I have a great fondness for Irish actors as well and have had the pleasure of meeting one of my favourites, Gabriel Byrne, not to mention my hero, Bob Geldof. Since yesterday, all I can think about is Liam Neeson (another of my favourites) and his family and the Richardson family after the tragic passing of Natasha at the young age of 45 (my age!). My sister and brother-in-law and the twins and friends of theirs are at Mont Tremblant this week for March Break and of course heard about the ski accident but didn’t know it was Natasha until it was on the news. I’m heart broken for her family and feel sick and even more worried about my friend Vicki who is 42 and very ill, fighting for her life.

    I decided to take today off work so that I can spend some time with Vicki because we just never know when our time or the time of our loved ones will be up. (This ties in perfectly with the excerpt I read of Easy on the Eyes too.)

    So what I’m most grateful for is every moment that I get to spend with my family and friends; every moment that I’m not in pain or stressed out or worried; every moment I get to play or walk with my dog; and every moment I get to spend having fun and not having to worry about finances or stress about how much work or studying I have to do. Because in the end, it’s all meaningless anyway. The only thing that really matters is the love we share with the people we care about while we’re here. NOW is where it’s at.

    Love really is all there is. You understand that and you write about it so beautifully and I love you for it.

    God bless you and always keep you and your family healthy and safe.

    Love Christine xox

  64. Good morning! Happy Thursday to all.

    I’ve drawn a winner for the St. Patrick’s Day contest and it’s #17, Anne. Anne, you are the lucky winner of the St. Patrick’s Day contest so please email me with your mail address and I’ll get your prize package out in the next mail!

    I also drew a Bonus winner because there were so many wonderful posts and so many wonderful things to feel grateful for, and the bonus winner is #64, Cindy. Cindy, I have a Starbucks drink card, a $10 B&N gift card and a little See’s chocolate lepruchan with your name on it. Please send me your address and I’ll get your prize out in the mail, too!

    Thank you everyone for sharing. I’m blessed to have you as readers and friends.



  65. Having a rough week, but this will be good for me right now…to focus on the positives. Let’s see…my biggest blessing is my son, Zach, my miracle child. I was always planning on having at least 4 kids, but life threw me a curve ball and only blessed me with one. I still look at little babies and toddlers and my eyes swell up with tears. What I would give for just one more! But, alas, as I get older, I realize this was not meant to be. Anyway, I am so blessed to have my one little Z, and my heart goes out to those unable to have just one.

  66. Sorry to comment so late but I’ve been in bed with the flu since Monday. Let me tell you, it was pure misery! Today is the first day I’ve been able to log onto my computer. I am grateful my fever of 102 has subsided and I am back among the living. I just read the sneak preview of Easy on the Eyes and I can’t wait for the release.

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