I feel like I would be a pretty ungrateful person if I were to not do a post on the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. I live a charmed life. I really do. The list of my blessings in pretty much innumerable, but I would like to highlight a few. I've been trying to make a list on facebook, but I kept getting behind, so I'll just start over! In no particular order here are the big things I'm grateful for today:
1. Ryan. I could not be more lucky in the husband department. He is a great friend, provider, husband and father. He helps me around the house a ton, I really don't know how anything would get done without him. I feel lost and incomplete when he is gone. Thankfully he works from home so I don't have to feel that way very often! I love him with all my heart and am so glad he puts up with me!
2. Beth. I prayed long and hard for Beth to come to our family. I always wanted to be a mom and the day she was born was surreal and amazing. She and I butt heads a lot, and she is an emotional wreck sometimes (I wonder where she gets that?...) But she is the sweetest most affectionate girl. I really can't imagine me without her. She made me a mother, and makes me have to strive every day to figure out how to be a better one, and a better person to deserve her undying and unquestionable love. And I love what a great big sister and helper she is. I'd be lost without her.
3. James. This boy can get on my nerves like no other (only since he turned 3 though, before that he was non-stop loveable). BUT, he is also a part of my heart. No one can pull at my heartstrings like this boy. His smile is completely infectious. He is so imaginative and fun and funny! I'm so glad I get to experience being a mom of a boy, its so different and so much fun (and so aggravating, but that's the life of a mom!). Truly our family would be incomplete without him.
4. Kate. What can I say about Kate? I've written before that the connection I have with her in inexplicable and God sent. She has been my biggest trial while at the same time being an incredible joy in my life. The thought of not having her in my life practically turns me inside out. I'm not me without her, even if the me with her is not quite sane ;). I can feel nothing but love when I look at her, even if she's in the process of screaming at me or tearing my house apart. My prayers for another child were answered in her. My faith that the Lord could help me through anything was also tested and strengthened in her. Today she is 9 months old and it breaks my heart because she is growing too fast. My last baby is almost not a baby anymore and I can't stand it.
5. My house/Neighborhood. I am so grateful to have a nice house to live in. One that is comfortable and feels like home. A safe place for me to raise my children and where we can build our memories together. And I am SO grateful to live in the neighborhood we live in. I have never felt so involved and so wanted and needed as I do here. I feel like there are people I can depend on everywhere I turn and like my family has grown to include so many new people. And I feel totally supported. When I am struggling someone is right there to step in and cheer me up for help me out, a lot of times without me needing to ask. It is a beautiful thing!
6. Family. Obviously I've already covered my little family, but I have to mention the rest of my family, my own and my in-laws. I feel truly blessed in this regard. I have a wonderful extended family that care about me and love me no matter what. My siblings are all inspirations to me, and I love them dearly. I don't get to see most of them very often, and I wish I knew them all a little better, but I love them! I have the funniest cousins, I don't get to see them often, but when I do it totally makes my day! My in-laws are awesome, all of them. I feel like a part of the family and always have. I love to spend evenings at Ryan's parents house and am so glad to know them and to have them as my children's grandparents. And of course, I am grateful to my parents. Their example and guidance in my life have brought me where I am, and it still influences me every day. The list goes on and on, my family being huge and all. Know that I love you all!
7. The Gospel. I am not as spiritual of a person as I strive to be. It is something I am trying very hard to work on and has become very important to me. But, I have never ever taken for granted the knowledge I have of God and his plan for me. I don't know how people live without that knowledge and I am grateful that I know I can turn to God in prayer to get help in raising my children or easing grief or just getting assurance that I am doing alright in this life and to keep on pushing ahead.
8. My health. I'm a fairly healthy person, maybe not by some people's standards, but for the most part I do pretty well. My asthma irks me on occasion, and sometimes prevents me from being as active and healthy as I want to be, but for the most part I can get up every day and do what needs to be done for my family without having to think about my body or my health. That truly is a blessing. While I'm not as trim as I'd like to be (so much for the 9 months on, 9 months off philosophy for baby weight. bah!), and still have a long ways to go to reach my fitness goals, I'm glad that my body doesn't really hold me back. I've known a lot of people lately that aren't so lucky and it has reminded me to be grateful.
Okay, this is getting rather lengthy, so I think I'll stop here. But, know that my list goes on and on and on and I hope you can see that no matter how whiny I sometimes come across in my blog posts that I LOVE MY LIFE! I get to wake up every day and do exactly what I always wanted to do with a family that is better than I could have imagined. The daily grind gets me down sometimes, and I don't always handle the frustrations of motherhood very well, but I know that I am blessed beyond measure. I hope you all get a chance to think of your blessings, and maybe even write them down, it'll do you some good! :) Happy Thanksgiving!