Thursday, December 1, 2016

Before moving onto Christmas, one more look at Thanksgiving

On November 1, I had the thought that I’ve never done one of those “30 Days of Thanks” things for November on Facebook, and I wanted to. But for the first year that I remember, no one else was doing it. Plus I don’t like it when gratitude comes across as bragging, so I decided that instead of publicly posting each day, I’d keep it to myself and post it as a blog. So here it goes:

Day 1: I’m thankful for my husband, who is persistent beyond belief. Our radiators upstairs have only been heating half the floor since we tested them out about a month ago, and he has gone at this problem time after time after time. And while I would have given up and called a repairman after the second try, he knew that they would not do any magic trick to fix them or use any special tools, but that this is something he could fix himself. And he did!
Day 2: I’m thankful for getting together with friends weekly in my book club. We discuss books, and even more importantly, our lives. This is a weekly life raft that I always look forward to.
Day 3: I’m thankful for naps. I’m thankful when Rye naps, when Rye and Knox nap, and the trifecta—when I get a nap in there too. Oh sweet, blessed sleep.
Day 4: I’m thankful for friends who come to visit me, even though I only visit them every 5 years or so, and who bring chocolate J
Day 5: I’m thankful for good friends that we can talk openly and honestly with, have differing opinions, challenge each other to see things in new ways, and walk away feeling enriched by the experience.
Day 6: I’m thankful for declaring Sundays during football season as a day of rest—dedicated to watching the Ravens. And while they had me doubtful during the first quarter, they were clearly better than the Steelers today and didn’t blow it. Thank you, Ravens, for earning me my free Dunkin Donuts coffee tomorrow!
Day 7: I’m thankful for my son Rye. We’ve been going through a tough time, what with him being a 3-year-old dictator, and he’s been sick for the past two weeks and been just miserable. While sometimes he gets subdued and affectionate when he’s sick, this cold has led to extra whininess and general malaise. But today, though he hasn’t quite lost his congestion, his attitude and energy level greatly improved, and I remembered that he actually can be fun to spend time, and not just a snot-nosed punk (literally) who is always bossing me around. Love you, Rye!
Day 8: I’m thankful to live in a country where you can go and vote and people smile at you and you don’t have to worry about people with machine guns threatening you to prevent you from voting.
Day 9: I’m thankful that no matter what happens politically, God is God and he is in control, and I can cast my anxieties on him and share his light yoke. Because the thought of what’s going to happen politically makes me really sad…
Day 10: I’m thankful for weeks when Josh doesn’t have to work so much and we get to see more of each other than the quick “have a good day” and “goodnight” routines that control some days.
Day 11: I’m thankful for companies like Panera, which can transform the sad taste of lettuce into a delicious salad that I look forward to eating.
Day 12: I’m thankful for a slow start-up to the Christmas season. I used to eschew anything Christmas-related before Thanksgiving, but if the Christmas season is the “most wonderful time of the year,” then why not make it last for two months instead of one?
Day 13: I’m thankful for a day with absolutely nothing on the schedule and no obligations. Just sitting around the house, catching up on the newspaper and little things around the house, and taking time to exhale.
Day 14: I’m thankful for discovering high-waisted jeggings, which make it look like I’m wearing skinny jeans and yet they keep me from displaying embarrassing muffin-top. And I’m thankful that they are not labeled as “Mom Jeans of the 21st Century.”
Day 15: I’m thankful for grandparents who come visit and watch my kids not just because they want to help me but because they love seeing these little ones grow up.
Day 16: I’m thankful for British period dramas. I’m glad I don’t live during those times, but it’s fun to watch.
Day 17: I’m thankful for when you get the nudge to contact someone, out of the blue, and when you do, you find out you have something to offer that was just what the other person needed.
Day 18: I’m thankful for Knox, who turned four months old today! He is so sweet, and generally easy going, and has started sleeping at night again (bless you, Knox!), and smiles every time he sees me in a way that melts my heart. He is such a sweetie pie.
Day 19: I’m thankful for my dad, whose birthday is today. He has such great stories and such a generous spirit, and is just fun to be around. Glad I’ll get to see him tomorrow.
Day 20: I’m thankful for our church family, who we got to share our baby dedication ceremony with today. These people showed such compassion and I’m thankful for our church family, who prayed for this sweet child throughout my pregnancy and will be there to pray for him as he grows up.
Day 21: I’m thankful for those opportunities to view Rye in a new light. Today was his preschool Thanksgiving program for all the parents to come and watch, and it was great to see him in a different setting and with a fresh set of eyes. So cute!

Day 22: I’m thankful for unexpected changes in the day that make it go better. Today our pediatrician’s office called to call an 8:30 a.m. appointment for tomorrow, but then told me I could come at 12:15 p.m. today if I wanted to. Yes, please!
Day 23: I’m thankful for opportunities to cook for fun. For Thanksgiving, I made a chocolate pumpkin tart, which I would never make for just Josh and I, and I no longer have a work place to take baked goods to, so to have a family event to go a little “extra” for really makes me happy.
Day 24: I’m thankful for getting to see my parents, my brother and his wife, their new baby (who is just 3 months younger than Knox), my sister-in-law’s mother, and my mother-in-law for Thanksgiving at my parents’ house. It was just a very relaxing day with delicious, creative food (and plenty of leftovers to take home!) and there was no political talk and three desserts. #winning
Day 25: I’m thankful for having a husband who loves selecting a live Christmas tree as much as I do. This has always been my favorite part of Christmas, since I was a child, and Josh shows as much enthusiasm for it as I do. This year we spent about an hour and a half at the tree farm, and ended up getting the first tree I liked. The current tally for picking Christmas trees: Carrie-13, Josh-1.
Day 26: I’m thankful for my in-laws. Josh’s family and my family are very different, personality-wise, and it took me a few years to get used to them, but I wouldn’t trade my mother-in-law and brothers- and sisters-in law for anything! I feel so blessed that we have no tension within our family, and genuinely like spending time together!
Day 27: I’m thankful for online shopping. I’ve never been a hardcore shopper, so doing this from my phone or computer—what could be better!
Day 28: I’m thankful for living in such a great little city. I love Westminster, and appreciate all that its people put on for the rest of the community, sharing their passions and time and resources generously.
Day 29: I’m thankful for the nursery staff at our gym, who take the kiddos in, give them activities and snacks and make it a place where the kids are excited (usually) to go and so I can have an hour of time to myself trying to get my pre-baby body back.
Day 30: I’m thankful for a warm, dry house on icky, rainy days. I love that we’ve lived in this house for seven years and it is filled with our personal touches and memories and the sounds of our family. I love my view from sitting on the couch, holding Knox, and watching Josh and Rye build a wooden train track town together. I wonder what it will be like when Knox is old enough to play with Rye and Josh and I can sit on the couch again together.

So there you have it, my 30 days of gratitude. It wasn’t hard to be thankful each day, but extremely hard to remember to write them down each day. I usually ended up doing it every three to five days, so I wish I had been a little bit better about taking a moment to express and record the gratitude each day. There’s always next year!

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