Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful

There is just so much to be thankful for in my life that I hate to even start trying to make a list. I mean, there's the biggies, like health, a loving husband, my family, a home, etc. And then there's simple, obvious stuff that we take for granted, right, like electricity and music on the radio, etc.

So that leaves me kinda unsure of where to start. I guess I'll just make a list, and you must know this list is so totally non-inclusive. If something is absent from the list, but present in my life, please don't think this list is some declaration of my unthankfulness of said item!

Here goes.....I am thankful FOR:
  • my husband, Jeff
  • my kids, Drake and Avery
  • my brothers, their spouses and children
  • my niece (little sister) Amber...she gets a line of her own
  • my Dad and the way our relationship has evolved since my Mom died
  • my girlfriends
  • my neighborhood...Spring Arbor PRIVATE baby!
  • my home and my yard
  • my swagger wagon
  • my health
  • my commitment to a healthier me, and the results that I've seen thus far
  • compliments (very closely related to above item!)
  • jeans that fit....I mean REALLY fit
  • technology...I LOVE me some technology kids
  • being able to cook a good meal
  • compliments (very closely related to above item!)
  • being able to help others
  • blogging and readers who leave comments about my blog
  • photographs
  • comfort and stability
  • chaos and insanity
  • a warm house and a warm bed
  • a fridge full of food in the house and another one full of booze in the garage
  • feeling comfortable enough with who I am to be able to say what I mean and mean what I say
  • being able to talk to a friend and vent or complain and feel better when I'm done
  • snuggling with my kids
  • our new dog, Polly
  • my cell phone...means my family can reach me anytime, anywhere if they need me
  • old friends that have been there throughout the years
  • new friends that are so incredible you forget they haven't been around for years
  • sarcasm
  • comedy
  • live theater
  • wine
  • my treadmill
  • honest people
  • perspective...although, as in most life lessons, perspective was one gained the hard way, but that lesson has given me such clarity that I am happy to have learned it this early in my life
  • my life
  • the end of this list

Again, while not all encompassing of the things I'm thankful for, that list represents the top-of-mind-awareness that I could type out in those few minutes. I guess the easiest way to describe it is simply, I am thankful.

I sincerely hope that anyone reading this has a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by good food, great friends, and much laughter.

Enjoy your day....

Be Thankful.....I am......

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom...wherever you are...

Today should be my Mom's 78th birthday. I should've called her today and explained that I'm saving her gift to give her in person when her and Dad come next week for Christmas, only to rush out the day of their arrival to get something...I SHOULD have, but unfortunately, I can't do that any longer.

My Mom died on July 4, 2009, so this is the second time that her birthday has come and no such phone call was made. No last minute flowers were "sorry your card is a little late" "we have appointments at the spa for next week"...nothing.

Last year I was really, really sad on this day. Before anyone misinterprets, please know that today was difficult, and filled with moments of sadness, but today was not like last year. Last year I was sucked down in a hole of depression and sadness that I was unsure if I would ever come out of. Last year was simply bad.

But, this year is better....better than I would have dared imagine it could be. This year is more reflective than despairing. This year I can focus on all of the wonderful things, and how I appreciate them instead of yearning for nothing more than to have those things back. I understand now that the pain is part of the journey, and sometimes without the pain you are unable to see the beauty in the every day.

Losing so much has helped me see that beauty in every day.

So today, as every day, I have thought much of my Mom. I find myself looking at my kids and thinking how much she would get a kick out of them at this stage, and yet at the same time, thankful that she was able to see what she saw of their lives.

I learned so much from her...and so many of those traits that drove me nuts are the traits I see coming out in my own personality, and suddenly they're not so irritating! She taught (by example, of course) that making people feel welcome and warm in your home is such a wonderful gift to give your friends. I love having people over, and find that I am honestly happiest when the house is full and the party is in full swing...I look around and see smiles, hear laughs, and that is a feeling of complete joy that I know she felt on many an occasion.

She is missed by so many, and not a day goes by that I don't think about her. As a teenager I swore to NEVER be like her, and now, as an adult, I hope that some day my own children look back at me as their Mom and have similar feelings as I do for mine...her death left a void in my life that can never be filled, but her presence in my life was a gift that can never be taken away from me.

Happy Birthday Mom...I love you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Time To Be Thankful

November is here...I'm pretty sure it creeped up on me when I was busy doing other things. Weren't we just loading up the wagon and heading to the beach a few days ago? Wow...anyway...Fall is here.

November is many things, but it is the month of Thanksgiving.

Thanks Giving

Giving Thanks

So, thinking about this month got me to this post...since this is a time to give thanks, my blog this month will be focused on those things that I am thankful for. Here I will Give Thanks to the things that I am grateful for.

First, I have to say I am thankful for my family and friends. I can't just talk about family or friends, independent from each other. See, to me, many of my friends are like family, so these terms go hand-in-hand.

My "household" family would be Jeff, Drake, Avery, and our new pup Polly...and for them, I am extremely thankful.

Jeff and I have been married for 15 years, and even though I'm way too bitchy at times he loves me. Many times I reflect back on a day and think of all the times I could've been a little nicer. I hope that after being together for this long he never doubts that I would do anything for him, and I consider our marriage a true partnership in which we each support the other (and all of our crazy ideas) totally and completely.

My kids make my life worth living. They drive me nuts at times, but I love them more and more each day. I love seeing them grow and learn new things. I love seeing their relationship as brother and sister develop. They are so sweet and wonderful, even when they're testing my patience to the n'th degree! I can't imagine my life without them.

Polly is such a sweet dog, and having her in the house reminds me how much we all loved Albus, and of all the gifts he gave to us. Polly has quickly endeared herself to the entire household.

I am thankful for my awesome dad, Dan, and for all of the amazing things he's taught me over the years. After my Mom died, Jeff predicted that Dad and I would become even closer, which, at the time, seemed impossible to me. But, as is often true, Jeff's prediction was correct, and my Dad and I have an even stronger relationship now than before my Mom died. I hope she is able to look down on us and smile that we're all sticking together and getting through this as a family.

I'm thankful for my brothers: Dave, Jeff, and John. Regardless of the age gap they've always been awesome brothers and friends. I love them dearly.

I'm thankful for all those additional family members...nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, etc. Each of them have played a special part in who I am today, and I treasure the friendship that has grown over the years.

Now, on to my friends...this is more difficult to explain than the family! I have such GREAT friends. My close girlfriends are a treasure worth more than the Crown Jewels. These gals have been there for me through some really rough times and I appreciate their love and friendship more than anyone can imagine. The only way I can ever repay them is simply by being a good friend back. I strive to be that friend every day. Some of these friends I have known since grade school, while some are new to my life in the past few years. Regardless of the timeline, they all have made a mark on my heart. Knowing that you can call up a girlfriend and she's got your back is one of the greatest gifts we can have. There's simply NOTHING like a great girlfriend!

So, that's it for today...I'm showing my thanks for my friends and family. Had I REALLY expressed my feelings...well, the post would be too long! I could list countless examples of how these people have enriched my life, but you'll just have to take my word for friends and family are simply awesome and I'm so very thankful to have them in my life.