Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Thirty

 In light of my very, very, VERY favorite holiday this Thursday, I’d like to list just some of the many, many, MANY things I am thankful for.  Since there are thirty days in this month, I’ll go with thirty.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

I’m thankful for…

1. My husband, my best friend, my partner-in-crime, my better half, the love of my life.  Like any couple, we have our ups and downs – it’s not always rainbows and sunshine.  But we’re the strongest couple I know, and we both believe we can get through anything, as long as we’re together.  I’m so lucky I get to go on this adventure with him.

2.  My daughter.  My Cameron Kate.  The most beautiful, fun-loving, happy, wild little spirit.  The one who made me a mama.  The reason I NOW know what it feels like to love with every ounce of my being.  Someone who has taught me how to be selfless and patient, to understand that I am not in control of the universe, to learn how to appreciate the little things.  The absolute light of my life.

3.  My parents.  Two people who have helped to shape the woman, wife, mother I am today.  Two people who love me in spite of my faults, who are there for me whenever I need them, who let me be – me.

4.  My in-laws.  I have two sets of in-laws who I truly feel as though love me like an actual daughter.  Who would drop what they were doing and be here for us at any hour, on any day.

5.  My siblings.  My brother, sisters, step-brother, and step-sister – we’re one big, crazy, happy, chaotic family, and I love every minute of it.

6.  My siblings-in-law.  Both my siblings’ better halves and my husband’s family members.  People who I feel like I’ve known my whole life.

7.  Good health.  It takes about an hour of sitting in a surgical waiting room – and a pediatric surgical waiting room at that – to make you realize just how much you take your and your family’s health for granted.

8.  My niece and nephews.  Becoming an aunt a little over three years ago changed my life.  I absolutely adore being Aunt Jess!

9.  My job.  I complain about it often, but mostly because I want to spend my time as a mama.  However, in today’s economy, I am grateful to have a stable job I (for the most part) enjoy.

10.  My dog, Bailey.  T got her for me for Christmas NINE years ago.  Sweet pup has been around for a long time, and has adjusted pretty well to having a toddler running around.  She’s such a good dog and SO patient when Cameron chases her, steals her toys, pulls her tail, dumps over her water bowl, and "pat pat pats" her while she's trying to eat.

11.  My friends – both old and new.  I’ve always believed there are people we’re “meant to be” with.  Husbands – yes – but girlfriends, too.  Sometimes you meet them in high school, sometimes in college, sometimes even later in your life.  But, like with your husband, it’s an instant connection.  A bond you know cannot be broken.  You just know it’s the real thing.  Lately, my faith has been restored in these types of bonds – these types of friendships that you’re sure will stand the test of time.

12.  Running.  All it takes is a bum ankle to make you realize how much you depend on that outlet.  That time where it’s just you, your breathing, and the road that lies ahead.  I went for my first post-injury jog last Friday and despite my ankle still being sore, man, it felt good.

13.  Red wine and craft beer.  Especially after a long day.

14.  Lists.  Something silly to be thankful for?  Possibly.  But I’m always thankful for a good list.  Bonus point if there are square boxes to check off.

15.  Mail.  There’s something like getting an actual letter or package in the mail that makes me so, so happy.  It seems as though surprises in the mailbox are few and far between in this technology-driven world we live in.

16.  Recipes.  Particularly those that are easy and require five ingredients or less.  I’m terrible in the kitchen and have never in my life made something from scratch.  So thank goodness for recipes.

17.  And on that note – take-out.

18.  DVR.  A pretty shallow thing to be thankful for, but as a full-time working mama, I rarely if ever have time to watch tv.  And when I do, it’s always something that was recorded earlier in the week.

19.  Target.

20.  Health insurance.  While my ankle mess and Cameron’s surgery will both be costing us a pretty penny, I can’t imagine how much worse it would be without our buddies Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

21.  My iPhone.  From keeping track of schedules/feedings when CK was born, to taking pictures/videos, to accessing the internet whenever I want/need to, to swapping texts/pictures/videos constantly – I have to say I feel naked without it.

22.  Cameron’s buddy Melvin.  He’s gotten her through some tough times lately!

23.  The one diet coke I HAVE to have everyday.

24.  CK’s very first teachers, who will forever hold a dear place in my heart.  They dealt with my first-time-mom anxiety and worries and always made both Cameron and me feel comfortable.

25.  Our house.  While I often feel like the walls are closing in on us, it is our very first home – the home we bought together and moved into as Mr. and Mrs., the home where we found out we were going to become a family of three, the home where we spent many sleepless nights learning how to be parents, the home where our little girl turned 1, the home where our best and most favorite memories have been made.  While I selfishly hope we don’t say in this house forever, it will always be so special to us.

26.  I kinda mentioned this in the iPhone blurb, but I am very thankful for pictures/videos.  I absolutely LOVE looking at old pictures my mom has in her house, and I hope one day Cameron enjoys doing the same.  Maybe that’s why I take about four hundred pictures of her a month!

27.  Days off of work.  Even though I wish I wasn’t working full-time, I’m lucky enough to work for a school system, which means I have it pretty good when it comes to getting days off, especially around the holidays.

28.  My coworkers.  I love, love, love the people I work with, and they make going to work everyday enjoyable!

29.  I think about this one often – I am incredibly thankful for the experience of getting pregnant, carrying a baby to full-term, and giving birth.  There were many emotional, stressful months during which I wondered if I would even be able to get pregnant.  So I don’t take the pregnancy or the labor and delivery for granted.  I still think back and cherish the days of early pregnancy excitement, constant nausea, feeling my bug kick inside of me, feeling miserable, having painful contractions, laboring for 21 hours, and pushing her out with TJ cheering me on.  I am so thankful I was able to go through the entire experience from start to finish.

30.  This blog.  A little self-indulgent, maybe narcissistic, full of grammatical errors, not always very interesting… but it’s become my outlet.  A form of therapy.  A way for me to do one of my most favorite things – write – while also documenting my life.  And I will forever cherish these days – when my memory becomes a little hazy, and my hair becomes gray, I will always have these words to read when I want to remember…

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!!
Our little turkey :)  (Like her shirt?  Check ouGoat and Lulu on Etsy!)

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