Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving...the day we are to express our graditude for something, or things.  A day in which we gorge on a gigantic bird, lots of carbs, and an insane amount of pies, all within a few short hours.  A day which we usually, but haven't now for three years, head north to the beautiful UP of Michigan.  Today we will celebrate this American holiday at my parents' with a few extended relatives, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

I want to take a moment while the house is still settled and quiet to give thanks for so many things in my life.  I have complained on this blog a few times in the past 16 months, but not today.  For today I focus on all the things I have (or don't) for which I am truly grateful.

1. My husband. Not just for everything he has done and been, but for everything he has yet to do and become. He has been an amazing partner through this crazy thing we call “being an adult.” We have travelled and discovered and had children and raise them to the best of our ability. We are a team and he always has my back. And through this awful experience of the past 16 months, he has been an amazing husband, always trying to provide-even when it’s not ideal, always keeping it together and never allowing it to negatively affect our relationship or his relationship with his children.

2. Delaney. She is our oldest and so much like me. I am thankful for her intelligence, her determination, and her creativity. She is sensitive and she is empathetic toward others. She has a passion for things beyond my scope, like an undying devotion to animals and video games.

3. Katie. Our middle daughter. I am thankful for her humor and manners, intelligence, and her intense spirit which I hope never, ever fades. She doesn’t cave to peer pressure and stands up tall for what she believes in. She is determined, very affectionate, and caring.

4. Rowena. Our baby girl. I am thankful for her spunk, humor and intelligence. She is quicker on that iPad than I! She has a love for food that many adults won’t care for or try. She is energetic and has a great giggle.

5. Charlie. Our baby boy, our only son, our last. I am thankful for him. It’s that simple. He hasn’t shown his personality like the other girls as much yet, but he has shown determination and a great sense of humor. When he was born, his cord was in a huge knot. The doctor said we were and he was lucky he was born early because 16 more days in utero could have really tighten that knot and then the unthinkable would’ve happened. He will be one in 4 days.

6. My parents. I am thankful for all they have taught me throughout my childhood and more so through my adulthood. I am grateful for all of their help throughout our 16 month struggle, for all they do for our children; how often and well they care for them.

7. My brothers. These two men are amazing. I cannot express my feelings for them without tearing up. There were times we hated one another or fought horribly, but now, they are two of my very best friends. I miss them terribly and wish I could see them both more often, go out for drinks, or just talk more. I am thankful for them and the wonderful friendship and bond we have.

8. My in-laws. There are many people included in this one…Nancy, Craig, Paula, Joe, Dan, and many more family, like Betty, Karen, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. These people are now just as much my family as those listed above. They have shown amazing support and love to me and Peter and our children throughout the years. I am thankful that when I married Peter, I was fortunate enough to get this whole extra package filled with love, kindness, laughter, and wonderful memories. I am also thankful for my newest in-law—Leann. With the wedding between her and Wesley, I finally was able to add a sister into my family. She is ever-so-smart and thoughtful…and she made me an Aunt for the first time.

9. Isabel. My niece. My Goddaughter. I am thankful for this beautiful little girl who smiles at me when I talk to her even though our time together in few.

10. My friends. I am so lucky and thankful to have a huge, amazing support system beyond family. It goes further than just those I talk to regularly. I have a wonderful “cuddle group” from grad school…a group of amazing, smart, successful women who came together in a stressful time and continue to support one another. I have some “besties” without whom I might go crazier—and they know who they are! My Mom’s Group, some local women with small children, who have become more than just people I might see around at events, but women I can actual call and commiserate with. My friends from the AST days at EIU and even from REHS. I have caught up with some oldies, but goodies, and I love Facebook for that.

11. Our home. Without which we would be cold, scared, and lost. Our home has been such for 10 years almost, and although I complain about how messy it is and cluttered, it is home. It is here we have extended our family from just a young married couple, to a family of 6 with a couple amazing dogs and created memories that fill my heart with joy and smiles.

12. My job. I love, love, LOVE what I do. I love being a counselor and finally feel I am doing what I should.

13. The Internet. I love this little thing called the internet. I am thankful for blogging and facebook and email. Oh, and online shopping is just an added bonus!

14. Books. I love to read…counseling books and nonfiction. I love diving into another world and getting lost in the characters. I also have a passion for reading about things that will help me and others.

15. iPad. This wonderful gadget is wonderful! I can do everything and anything.

16. Laughter. Without this and our silly moments, I would be sad all the time right now.

17. Dining out. This is something I rarely do anymore, but it is something I still treasure and really appreciate when it does happen.

18. Pictures. I love my camera and capturing so many moments in my children’s lives. I love looking back throughout the years; memories captured on “film.”

19. TV and movies. I love this form of entertainment. Again, like books, I love diving into another world, even if just for 30-60 minutes!

20. Simplicity. This is something I have yet to achieve, but something I am trying to accomplish and I am thankful simply for the idea. I think it will help with my stress, sadness, and feeling overwhelmed.

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