I really love this time of year. It really brings all of the blessings and the things and people you are thankful for to the forefront. It’s not that you are not thankful year around, it’s just that there is something about pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing that make us remember the wonderful things in life. This has been a year of adjustments for my family. I got a job, my husband retired from the military, we moved, my youngest started kindergarten and my sweet (step)daughter is home after being on a mission in Brazil for our church. I am thankful for this time to reflect. This year we are not going anywhere. We are firmly planted at home. I was secretly counting down the days until Thanksgiving because now that I work two days off from work, paid I might add, is wonderful. I am thankful for my job. It was a tough adjustment. I haven’t worked outside the home in 8 years. After the birth of our first son, my husband and I decided it made more sense economically for me to stay home. We lived in the Washington, D.C. area and it was crazy expensive for day care. Now fast forward eight years and I am back in the workforce doing something I love – advising college students. I work at a community college so the population is diverse. Sometimes it can be as simple as helping a student find a class, but other times the student just needs someone to listen to them. I also work with some great people and have a super boss. So while I am working, my wonderful husband takes care of our boys. What a role reversal for him. He is doing great. I know he gets frustrated, but I also know that the boys enjoy their time spent with him. So while taking care of the boys and the home, he is also a full time college student. He is almost done with his degree. I think we have gotten some whispers behind our backs about our situation, but that’s okay. My husband served 24 years in the military doing things that I didn’t even know he did until they read about them at his retirement. The kind of things that were heroic and dangerous. It was probably best that I didn’t know at the time. The whispers are just that. They mean nothing to us. Everyone has a different path and this is our path right now. I am so thankful for my education. My husband encouraged me to continue my studies after we were married. He even scoped out local schools at the first base we were stationed at in New Jersey. I am thankful for my wonderful parents. I have a very close and special relationship with my mom and dad. They are always here for me no matter what. They have always encouraged me to follow my dreams, be independent and speak up for myself. I have no problem there (just ask the guy at the movie theater that was trying to save a whole row of seats). I am thankful for my husband and for all that he does. We get on each other’s nerves at times, but we always work it out. After 18 years sometimes we need a little space. I am thankful for my (step)daughter. She is great example to me, her dad and her brothers. We have had our ups and downs, but the times we have together are always fun. I love having her home and will miss her so much when she returns to school in January. I am thankful for my boys. I love them so much. They make me laugh, drive me crazy and make me feel so blessed to be their mom. I am thankful for my family – my husband’s family, my brother, his wife, my nieces, my grandma who is feisty as ever at 90, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
We played a game recently where we pulled a letter out of the pile and wrote down what we are thankful for starting with that letter. It was a fun game, but it got me to thinking how thankful I am for so many things. It’s not just my family but so much more. We live in a great country. We need to stay true to our beliefs and convictions. I am resigned to the fact that the person who won the election will be around for 4 years. But 4 years can go by fast. I am thankful to be able to blog. I love to write. I don’t do it often enough anymore, but I am so thankful to be able to express myself out loud. I am thankful for books. My imagination grows by leaps and bounds with a good book. Heating pads, cozy slippers, watermelon, tacos, the Lord, prayer, zebras, laughter, toilet paper well you get the idea. Gratitude is an attitude and it is one that I hope I can keep all year long not just as I sit down to eat turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!