I’ve made it an annual Thanksgiving blogging tradition to share with you the things that I’m most grateful for each year. For my third installation, I’ll be sharing 27 blessings in my life. (Here are the links to 2012 & 2013.)
2014 was a tough year for me, but maybe because of that it’s so much easier to identify what is really important. And then there are the things (the little & fun things) that make life worth living.
So, without further ado and in no particular order:
1. James. I worked really hard to bring that boy into the world. I’m so glad I did. He’s made my life so much brighter (if a lot-bit sleep-deprived). I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a mom three times over. Color me lucky.
2. Movie Night. Every Friday night, my little family of five cuddles on the couch. In our pajamas and with a bowl of popcorn, we take turns picking a family movie to watch. There’s always an assortment of sleeping children and adults by the end, but the snuggles and time together is priceless in our hectic lives.
3. Health. Pregnancy thoroughly drained me, and then my surprise hysterectomy after giving birth to James took every little bit of strength I had to come back from. Now that I’m getting back to normal life, I’m going to try really hard not to forget how lucky I am to have my health and have a healthy family.
4. Margaritas! Even better? Margaritas with friends.
5. Jonnie. I think going through a health crisis and the stress of having a new baby can either bring you together in a marriage or tear you apart. I’m so grateful to say this year and all of it’s strife has brought us closer together. He’s been there for better and most definitely for worse. Can you believe we’ll have been married for 10 years in 2015? Time flies….
6. The nice fall weather we’ve had. I missed most of the late summer and early fall due to line item #3. But October and November have been so gorgeous, I’m not going to complain. Happy to be outside and get some fresh air.
7. My job. I freakin’ LOVE. MY. JOB. How many people get to say that? I love what I do, I love my clients, I love my team. Lauren & Libby – I couldn’t do this without y’all! And (of course!), I love my blog readers.
8. In-laws. I know! Most people probably wouldn’t include them on their grateful list. I’m a lucky daughter-in-law, though. My in-laws came to the rescue after my surgery and stayed for a month helping with all of the things I couldn’t do and got my family back on our feet. I am not exaggerating when I say I’m not sure how we would have made it through September without them.
9. My Bump Nest Pregnancy Pillow. Three months after baby, I still haven’t given that thing up. It is so darn comfy, and now helps support me during night-time nursing sessions. I don’t get a lot of sleep as a new mom, but when I do, it’s quality.
10. Brothers. I had always thought that when I was going to have children that I’d want little girls. Can I tell you how glad I am that I didn’t get what I want? Seeing my three boys together, engaging, playing, laughing (and even the fighting), is the most special thing in the world.
11. Knowing that the stressful things in my life are good stressors. Sure, I’ve got a million things on my to-do list for work. There’s always a bake sale or soccer practice or choir that I’ve forgotten about. But, too much work is better than no work. Having children with full lives is better than the alternative. I’m often overwhelmed, but when I step back from it, it’s pretty easy to see that I have a lot to be thankful for.
12. Lu. Lu is our family’s new nanny. She is the perfect addition to our lives. She loves on my boys, but is stern when she needs to be. She brightens my day with her conversation (working from home can get lonely sometimes). She dotes on James with hugs, kisses and warm baths. She’s made my ever-demanding career and life as a new mom (again) manageable. Thank you. Thank you!!
13. Online grocery shopping. Who wants to cart three kids around a grocery store?
14. Graham can read. Read! So proud.
15. Babysitters. I’m so glad that Jon and I are finally going on date nights. And going out with friends. We have kids, but we need a life. I’m grateful that we have found some great sitters to help make that possible.
16. Coconut Greek-Style Yogurt. Yeah, seems like a little thing to be grateful for, but trust me. I am. I had to give up dairy to to James’ milk allergy. And, I just have to have my daily Greek yogurt with berries and cereal. Every morning. So Delicious makes a fab coconut Greek yogurt that has been my go-to. It has a slight coconutty flavor, but otherwise I don’t notice the difference.
17. Awesome neighbors. We moved to our new ‘hood in summer of 2013. In our old neighborhood, we all just kinda kept to ourselves. Not here. Here, we’ve made lifelong friendships. The kids run back and forth between houses for afternoon playdates. We have backyard cookouts and the occasional happy hour get-together. When we had our baby and then I had my surgery, everyone came to our side with meals, and support. Love to you all.
18. My planner. I still forget stuff, but it could be so much worse. The life planners by Erin Condren are amazing. If you are a paper-planner kind of gal, check them out.
19. Macaroni and Cheese. Sometimes with Tabasco. Sometimes with kale. Sometimes straight out of the blue box. One of life’s greatest pleasures is the combo of noodle and cheese.
20. My girls – Eugenia: Thank you for coming to the hospital and crying with me when I needed someone to cry with. Sonal: Thank you for driving FOUR HOURS just to see my baby James and check in on me. Noelle: You know how much you mean to me! Libby: You are always there. I know we’re new friends, but I know it’s for the long haul!
22. My daddy. He moved from the lake (45 minutes away) to a neighborhood down the street. I’m so glad the boys have their Papa nearby. I’m also really grateful for the pool he put in his backyard. Can not wait for summer 2015!
23. Rocking a baby to sleep. There is no better feeling than feeling the weight of your own child resting peacefully in your arms.
24. Coffee. More specifically, my Keurig and flavored coffee K-cups.
25. Spending time with my family. I wouldn’t ask to have had surgery this year, but the one positive thing that came out of it? Getting to spend quality time with those I love. My mom and sister spent hours with me in the hospital. My dad watched movies with me and cradled baby James when I wasn’t able to hold him myself. My husband and I got to spend several weeks together. It was nice to see everyone for more than the sporadic and busy family dinners and holidays.
26. Will. “Bull in a china shop,” describes that boy to a tee. But he’s a really happy “bull” and I love that kid to the ends of the Earth and back.
27. Laughter. Things don’t always work out the way I plan. Sometimes I step in a pile of poo with barefeet (that would be when one of our children decided to start using the potty beside the potty), and once I woke up to find I’m missing an organ. A week ago I found myself on the floor of my kitchen at 4 am with two crying children, and there was the day I burned the Brussels sprouts. Oh well. I can wipe off the poo. My wounds will heal. I will (hopefully) get sleep another day. And, as it turns out, the crispy Brussels sprouts are the best. Most importantly, I’m learning that these not so fun things always make a good story that will generate laughs. It might not be right away, but that day does come.