30 Days of Thanksgiving 2014

Day 1 - My First Family

You are the first ones who taught me how to love, how to laugh, how to argue, how to share, how to apologize, how to have fun...how to live...how to really live. Thank you so much for being my first loves. I am blessed that God chose me to be your daughter and sister.

Day 2 - My Forever Family

You are the first ones who taught me how to love selflessly, how to laugh at myself, how to handle conflict, how to give joyfully, how to admit fault, how to find joy in others...how to live...how to really live. Thank you so much for being my forever loves. I am blessed that you chose me to be your wife and that God chose me to be your mother, sister, aunt.

Day 3 - My Girls

You are the ones who've taught me how to accept the past and leave it there. You are the ones who've taught me to look to the future with joy and hope. You are the ones who've told me to quit complaining and count my blessings, to stop doubting and start believing. You have accepted me when I couldn't accept myself. Thank you for teaching me so much about friendship. I am blessed that God placed you in my life.

Day 4 - My Kids' Friends

You are the ones who bring laughter and joy and play into R&B's days. Their faces light up when they're running around with you, and that makes my heart glad. You'll be the ones teaching them their first lessons about friendship: the fun and the laughter, the hurt and the forgiveness. Thank you for being their friends. We are blessed to have you in our lives.

Day 5 - Unquestionable Confirmation

God, I asked you to direct my path, to guide my decisions, and to give me clarity about the next steps. Within 24 hours, you gave me a big, flashing sign. Thank you for giving me exactly what I need exactly when I need it.

Day 6 - Modern Travel and Hospitable Friends

Planes and Trains and Automobiles...they give me the ability to get where I need to go and see who I need to see. This week, they allowed me to visit a new friend and meet her family. We had an incredible time together, and I needed it so badly. Thank you, God, for modern travel and the means to take advantage of it. Thank you, A, for inviting us into your home and life with open arms.

Day 7 - Modern Technology

I got to Skype with Bethany today. Need I say more? Nope. But I will: Friend, you were one of my very first and are one of my only still. You've taught me so, so, so much. I can't thank you or Him enough.

Day 8 - Saturdays

No work. No school. (Usually) No schedule. What's not to love about Saturdays? I'm so thankful for this one day each week when we have loads of time together as a family. Playing guitar, fiddling with Photoshop, watching YouTube videos, eating out, having fun... I'm just so thankful.

Day 9 - Sundays

Community time with our church. Family time in the afternoon and evening. Multiple ways to worship and serve. I'm thankful for Sundays.

Day 10 - Routines

I'm more at peace when things are in order. (Ask poor Mike about my ROYGBIV ordered bath towels.) With that said, I'm usually somewhat thankful to see the weekend come to a close. I know, blasphemy! But I really like the predictable nature of Wake Up, Pack Lunches, Fill Out Reading Logs, Walk to School, Walk Home, Do Your Thing, Walk to School, Play at Playground, Walk Home, Have a Snack, Play Momster, Do Homework, Figure out Dinner, Family Time, Bed Time, Daddy/Mommy Time, Bed Time, Sleep. Repeat.

Day 11 - The "Do Your Thing" Slot in the Routine Above :)

As much as I like routine, I get a bit freaked out by hard and fast schedules. I like routine, but I *love* spontaneity. I'm thankful for a job that allows me to have nearly unlimited flexibility between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. And for a lifestyle that is nicely balanced.

Day 12 - Mr. Winston

One of the things that made me the saddest about moving away from Lafayette was the fact that Burke wouldn't get the chance to have Mrs. Bearden as his Kindergarten teacher. I started praying, then and there, and asking God to give Burke an equally incredible kindergarten experience. I didn't know how it would be possible, but I trusted that it could. Last year, Ruby had Mr. Winston as a teacher's aide in first grade. She loved the way he read out loud and the way he helped kids with their work. He was patient, kind, and always in touch with his students and parents. I thought in the back of my mind, "I really wish Burke could have Mr. Winston as a Kindergarten teacher. I bet he'd be great." Then, the letter showed up at the end of summer, and there it was, listed at the top of the page: Mr. Winston's K-Wi Kindergarten Class Roster. :) He has been everything we could have hoped for in a Kindergarten teacher and more! Burke loves going to school and gets sad on weekends when school is closed. I'm so, so thankful.

Day 13 - Netflix

While Mike is away on work trips, my evenings seem long and empty. Netflix gives me the ability to pass the time and ingest good stories. This time, I was particularly grateful for Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and The Bletchly Circle. So, I suppose I'm *really* grateful for the BBC. :)

Day 14 - Homecomings

Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder. I'm thankful for the times when Mike gets to come home.

Day 15 - Friends. And the ballet!

I love dance, absolutely love it. Unfortunately, I can't do it. So I'm really thankful that others can. So You Think You Can Dance, YouTube videos, street performers... I take in dance wherever I can find it. Today, I was able to attend Swan Lake peformed by the Boston Ballet. It was beautiful. Enjoying it with friends made it even more wonderful!

Day 16 - Friends. And football. And crepes!

I wish I could be thankful for a Colts victory over the Patriots. Instead, I'll have to be thankful for the chance to watch their demise while visiting with a new friend and eating delicious crepes! :) Dinner before the game was equally delightful as we met up with fellow Boilermakers living in or visiting the Boston area. 

Day 17 - The Calm

Life is full of ups and downs, peaks and valleys. But there are also blessed meadows and plains. I'm thankful for those calm, steady stretches of ordinary blessing.

Day 18 - The Storm

The ups. And the downs. I'm thankful for them all. The great flourish of dreams and celebrations, and the great anguish of broken dreams and canceled celebrations. Without them, life would be bland and boring and blech. So, yeah...I'm thankful for the storms.