The Romance of Gratitude thumbnail

The Romance of Gratitude

3 Things by Rachel Turiel, 6512 and Growing

3 Things by Rachel Turiel, 6512 and Growing


Saying thank you for the little things greases the wheels of marriage.

On any typical night, I start cleaning up dinner while my husband handles teeth-brushing. Then, switcheroo: he takes over clean-up and I get the kids nestled in bed, reading from our latest chapter book. This is not exactly set in stone, but it varies as much as say, Mount Rushmore.

After the little people are hugged, kissed and lullabyed, I slip out (with fingers crossed) and Dan thanks me for wrapping up their day with Mama-love and some good somnambulant kid-lit. I thank him for brushing teeth and doing dishes.

It feels good to be acknowledged, even if it’s for the tasks you’ve purposefully divvied up, the tasks you perform on autopilot (you could detect “the nightly lullaby” on an MRI of my brain), the tasks you just do to keep the ship of your household afloat.

These acknowledgments of gratitude make family life feel less like a business, and more like a series of daily gifts we give each other. And as formulaic as it may sound, being appreciated for the pieces I bring to the family puzzle make me feel lucky for being able to participate. Which, really, I am.

It’s well known that expressing gratitude is linked to better health, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.

Now, that’s romantic.

3 things for mom3


Can we talk about toilets? Okay, good.

If you, like us, let it mellow if it’s yellow, (which, holy moly, consider the environmental impact of flushing 1-2 gallons of drinking water every time you pee), you will notice yellowish build up (due to urobilins; thanks, Google) in your toilet bowl.

To get your toilet white again, bail out the water, throw on some rubber gloves, and scrub with a pumice stone and some bon ami or white vinegar. Voila!


This is as much a “find” as, well, a toaster, meaning, approximately 700,000 grandmothers have discovered this before me. However, my pressure cooker is possibly my favorite kitchen gadget. It cooks beans, (which you may say are the musical fruit, I call them the miracle fruit – cheap, delish, kid-friendly protein!) in 45 minutes. No. More. Cans.

When my son was born 3 1/2 months premature, we were emergency airlifted to the nearest big city. After our son was stabilized (but predicted to need 4 months in the NICU), my husband flew home and drove back with some of our most important belongings, including, yes, our pressure cooker.


Contributor: Rachel from 6512 and Growing
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  • Finicky Cat April 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    YES to the gratitude thing! That’s our marriage, too. I make dinner every single evening – and every single evening, my husband thanks me for it like he was genuinely surprised to walk through the front door and find…his dinner waiting! It is wonderful. And I thank him myself, oh, about a dozen times each evening for all the little ordinary things he does every day. It IS romantic!

  • shadymama April 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    gonna have to get on that pressure cooker, cuz i am a lazy-canned-bean-kinda-mama. and the gratitude – the gratitude! necessary and so SO validating. the toilet? UNH UH, mama. that shizz can *stay* yellow. shady out -!

  • Rachel @ 6512 and growing April 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Super sweet. Lucky you.

  • Rachel @ 6512 and growing April 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

    love you and your yellowness. xoxo

  • Justine April 11, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Yes! Romance definitely includes chores and saying thank you for the often-overlooked gestures. When we express gratitude for even the little things, life seems to be abundant with love and pleasure.

  • Beth in the City April 12, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Good to know about the toilet should mine get behind my normal procedures! Instead of bailing, can you turn the water off, at the valve near the floor, then flush? I think it won’t refill that way. Might save you some gross-ness.

  • mb April 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    you, my dear, are one of the most wonderful finds i have found in the blog world. i follow you wherever you go. speaking of gratitude, thank you ever so much for continuing to write. you are great.