*SIDE NOTE: speaking of maintaining hope (did you see the market returns and economic outlook today, among other things in the world?) in an extremely difficult time for everyone - I wholeheartedly suggest reading Martha Beck's article in this month's O Magazine (it's not online yet) - but it's an inspiring non-guilty guide to keeping the faith and being positive.
One source of hope is rooted in being married to an awesome guy. It's cheesy I know, but @benjaminmagill rocks. When I returned from New York last week, I was met with this: an indoor herb garden. Ben did it. Just for me. I. Die. Isn't it so perfect in the crisp pots (from IKEA) and sitting atop a lazy susan on gilded stump. In. The. Living. Room. I love it there because - who else has an herb garden in the living room? Which works in a little house so well. We just used the basil tonight for dinner and I expect major usage of all. . . mostly it just makes me happy when I look at it. . . being thoughtful (and flavorful!) is not overrated.