Thankful

So I intentionally took a few weeks off from blogging. I needed the break; and as this is our busiest time of the year at work (we’re like Santa’s elves in child life-the holidays hit us hard), I have been coming home exhausted every day with a need to shut off my mind and focus solely on Leah. Who, speaking of, has quickly rounded the corner from baby to toddler and I am loving every minute; fits and all.
But as Thanksgiving quickly descends upon us, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I am thankful for this year, and let me tell you, it’s a lot. I truly try to lift up a prayer of thanks throughout the year for the life I have, but let’s be honest, it’s always easy to fall into complaints about what I don’t have and what I wish I did. So with that in mind, here’s a list of my biggest thanks (in no particular order):

1.

This guy, right here. I stumbled across this picture on hub’s computer a few weeks ago. It’s about 4 years old and it’s from a fun stage of our relationship called “long distance dating.” At the time I was living in NYC, completing my master’s degree in child life, and Brett was living outside of Washington, D.C. working at a large church in youth ministry. Brett and I dated long distance for 2 long years and it sucked. 100%. And yet, in an odd way, it was also wonderful in so many ways. It taught us how to communicate, how to compromise, how to love, and if it weren’t for those 2 long years, we wouldn’t have the marriage we have today. Sometimes I look at Brett as we sit on the couch, watching The Office on Netflix for the hundredth time, and I think “How did I get so lucky that he chose me?!” And it’s true, I won the jackpot of marriages with this guy for which I will always be humbled and thankful for.

2.

The ability to get pregnant and give birth. This will never, ever be something I take for granted again. There was a time, a dark and scary time, not too long ago where I was told that this might not be a possibility for me. And I truly believed it. I mourned the loss of never being pregnant, never having biological children with my husband, and it was devastating. But then God intervened (like I should have known that he would!) and quickly showed me that his plans were greater than anything we could have ever imagined ourselves. And throughout my pregnancy I marveled at my body’s ability to create and grow life. There’s nothing like a pregnancy to make you feel like a (much deserved) rock star and I will forever be in awe and thankful for God’s blessed gift of pregnancy and birth.

3.

This little troublemaker. This girl: when I think of a way to describe her my mind quickly becomes a jumbled mess of adjectives that can never do her justice. But she is funny, and loud and boisterous and beautiful and engaging and smart and compassionate and spirited and….and…and….I could go on all day. There are days when she tries my patience to the point where I don’t know whether to scream or laugh, but at the end of everyday, as I’m nursing her to sleep, I am hit with a sense of immeasurable love and gratification for this amazing child that I am blessed to call my own.

4.

Best friends. When I started working in the field of child life I figured it would be a great career to meet friends in since, let’s be honest, it’s rare to find a child life specialist who is not a woman in her 20’s or early 30’s. But I never expected to meet and work with a small group of girls who have become like sisters. The other day one in the group needed to make an unfortunate trip to the ER and myself and another did not hesitate for one second before tagging along. And when she thanked us hours later all I kept thinking was; “Well of course, isn’t that what family is for?”

5.

This good looking group of people. I cannot imagine my life without my parents and sisters. I could never say enough about my parents. I always figured that I would grow up, get married, have children of my own, and eventually stop feeling an overwhelming need to be close to my parents, but if that’s the case, I haven’t hit that stage yet. Every time we visit I cry when we leave and it feels so abnormal to be so far away from them. My baby sis (in flannel) is in the Air Force and is currently stationed in hot and balmy Alaska (ha). I haven’t seen her in a YEAR and she has only met Leah once. But she is on leave and is currently at my parent’s house in North Carolina where we will see her next week when we travel up for Thanksgiving and to say that I am excited would be an understatement. I am blessed to be able to see my other sister Caitlin as well (who nicely pulls off a seductive stare and handlebar mustache) next week and the only reason we will NOT be seeing my older sister is because she will be 37 weeks pregnant with her and her husband’s soon to be daughter. To which I add to my list of thankfulness; that I will soon have my first niece and a beautiful cousin for Leah.

And let’s not forget these folks:

And the fact that I am outrageously blessed to have married into such a wonderful, loving family.  I know some people just say that, but I really am happy to have in-laws that I truly love and get along with! (And Leah loves them all as well!)

6.

Our house. This is probably one of my biggest unthankful complaints. I complain when the AC doesn’t work well, I complain when our kitchen remodel moves too slowly, I complain that we don’t yet have the resources to put in new hardwood floors, I complain that the bathrooms need to be updated….and so on and so forth. I’m embarrassed to say that, when it comes to my house, there is little that I DON’T complain about. But, if I could stop being so much of a whiner for one second, I would see how incredibly blessed and thankful I should be for the fact that I am currently raising my family in a large, beautiful home, that I OWN. And that is something for which to be immensely thankful for.

So there’s my list of just a (few) of the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving season!

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