there are no pictures this year. I forgot my camera in the mad rush of getting out the door after figuring out that I had the wrong time in my head for Thanksgiving dinner.
no pictures, but let me at least take a few minutes to list a few things I'm thankful for this year.
as always, I'm so thankful for my God and the ultimate gift of his son.
and of course I'm thankful for my husband and kids. they're my life.
but this year I have a few "non-traditional" things that I'm especially thankful for.
Lillian caught a cold, and good grief, we'd be in a load of trouble if it wasn't for albuterol. I hate that she has asthma, and that somehow every time we go to Orange City we have major issues with it. and she hates "the shakes" she gets when she feels all doped up.
but she can breathe. all thanks to albuterol.
and speaking of sick, I'm so so so thankful that my kids are all old enough to tell me when they're gonna throw up. I'm not sure WHY, but man, my kids have always gotten sick a LOT. every year, we get hit hard. the good news is that it's not that major to us anymore. we get sick, and then we get better, and it's not like our world gets turned upside down like it used to when I was a "new mom" with sick kids. We just do our thing, get through it, and buy stock in Clorox wipes. and now that they can tell me when it's gonna happen, it just makes the sick season that much better. (Brielle threw up in the van last week, and that's when i realized how long it had been since I had cleaned it up when it wasn't in a bucket. it made me thankful.) :)
and when my kids are sick, they get better. and that's something major to be thankful for. My heart just HURTS for people who's kids are sick and may not get better. I haven't stepped foot in a hospital for a long time, but for some people, it's "home." I still think of little Aria's family, and their loss earlier this year. and the hundreds and thousands more that I don't even know about. I'm so thankful that sick to us means clorox wipes and albuterol.
another thing I'm particularly thankful for this year is our Christmas decorations. they're nothing fancy. we bought a fake tree and put up maybe a FIFTH of our millions of ornaments. they don't match. there's no theme. but they're ours. and we also have a few homemade items. probably chinsey looking to some, but they were cheap and I made them. so I like them. and we have our AWESOME nativity set. It's the willow tree one, and I think I have all the pieces. I have always LOVED it, and Steve's family gave me a few pieces every year til I had them all. and I just love it, still. and the last thing we have is our garland for our railing. My mom always loved to put garland on the stair railings. I was trying to just add one new thing each year for our decorations, and that year was my favorite addition.
Some years it's hard to be thankful for things like family gatherings and such because our family has changed so much in the last five years. and honestly, sometimes I think it's just easier to not all be together with the changes so obvious and staring you in the face. it's HARD to face it. every time. But aside from my mom missing from the pictures, I'm so thankful for so much of it this year. thankful that my brother could make the trip. and thankful that he brought the awesome texas roadhouse rolls. thankful that Mel was there and her calming presence, always. thankful that Dad and Judy could make it when we first thought they couldn't. thankful that they have each other. and thankful for my one-of-a-kind niece Hazel, and her non-stop entertainment. and her brother and parents that I just love beyond words. And thankful that my aunt, uncle, and cousin could join us, as they do most holidays, just to hang out and play games and love on the kids. we weren't ALL together. Ohio is a long drive. :( but those of us who could gathered just for a day, half a day really. and for that I'm thankful.
I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm always thankful for our stuff. And in a year where we have to prioritize paying our bills over buying Christmas gifts, I'm just so thankful for what we already have. I love it that I'm having a really hard time coming up with a Christmas list for other family members, because we're just working really hard and being content with what we have. and it feels good. I'm always thankful for times like this, usually later more so than in the moment, but this time I'm trying to be thankful NOW. when it's a bit harder.
and, even when my neck has a kink and my fingers are burned, when my basement is a (beautiful) disaster, and there are not enough minutes in a day, I'm thankful for the pinkadink. maybe it's too "traditional" for this list, but i have to write it. I'm in the midst of some growing pains right now, but it's good. I have to figure out how to think with a business mind, and how to value my time, and how to do what's best for the business AND my family at the same time. it's tricky. but I'm so thankful that God has blessed this business so much that I even have to figure it all out. it's a good place to be.
and while that does NOT "sum up" my list of thankfulness this year, it'll have to do for now.