I knew last month when I set out to pay homage to 25 Things I’m Thankful For in less than thirty days it was a rather tall order.
To then take into consideration the timing of the academic term, the holiday and a first birthday and you are looking at a very tall order.
And I failed.
But, I’m totally okay with that. I thought I’d briefly touch on something I was thankful for, and do so more days than not…but that just didn’t happen. I ended up being more detailed and really delving into why I have thanks, what causes me to notice it and why that is meaningful for me. Quality over quantity is a powerful thing.
And there is no hard or fast rule that the month of November has a monopoly on thanks! Why not extend the sentiment into December?
With that thought, I’m going to complete my list. I’ll start with the  topics I’ve already covered and round out my final eight.
- Reliable Transportation
- Four Oregon Seasons
- Quiet Weekends
- Portland, Oregon
- Quality Childcare
- Washer and Dryer
- Health and Ability
- My Schedule
- The Things I Take For Granted
- Disneyland Trip
- Fertility, Healthy Babies, and Birth Control
- A Natural Birth Experience
18. My Siblings- I have three younger siblings and they are all such unique and amazing people. We genuinely enjoy getting together and are able to see a lot of one another even though we have all lived separately for the past two years (and I haven’t really lived with any of them for 8 years). I feel like we have a strong support system we can count on in them, and Dot and M&M are blessed with three aunts, an uncles and two uncle-ish (uncles-to-be?) figures to look up to. I’m am counting on them to give me my baby fix when the girls are anything but [babies] in the coming years! I’m thankful for the times we have had and the times we willl have. I’m thankful we remain connected even as we shift into grown-up roles. I’m thankful for our similarities but even more for our differences.
19. My Parents- How can I say how great my siblings are without acknowledging the people that raised us? My parents are caring, dedicated, stable, supportive and motivated. They have sacrificed greatly to provide for us. And it’s so fun to watch them grandparent. Mothering Dot (my little mini-me) has given me great perspective into the trials they endured raising my high-spirited self. I’m thankful for the strong foundation of childhood, routine and normalcy I have to draw on. I am more aware now than ever that many people don’t have that background to use as a touchstone. I’m thankful for parents that care, that will willingly–even happily,–come to the rescue if they can. I’m thankful for parents that weathered many storms with me and relationships that emerged stronger. I’m thankful to be accepted as a grown-up, as someone with valid ideas and opinions, as competent. I’m thankful for all the respect my parents show Tony and myself as we navigate life’s waters with our children in tow.
20. Old Friends- I have a core group of girlfriends from high school (some I’ve known since elementary school). It is a special–and I think important–luxury in life to have someone who knew you when. Even if my parents and siblings were there, they weren’t my friends and no one knows an adolescent like their friends do. I’m so thankful that we’ve remained close through all life has thrown in all our ways. I’m thankful we make time amongst the craziness to get together and I’m thankful we utilize technology to connect in the meantime.
21. New Friends- In the past two years we’ve formed and strengthened bonds with families we’ve met through daycare. Having a circle to move with, and navigate through the tough developmental periods, has been such a gift. I am thankful for parents that get it, parents that share our values, and the happy, nutty kids they are raising. The kids that get Dot. The kids that adore M&M. The kids that never tire of playing Star Wars, House or dressing up. And the new babies that flourish in the chaos because, like M, they know nothing different. I’m also thankful for the new friends I’ve made at the gym, at school and in other avenues of life.
22. Fast Friends- It’s been eight month since this post and I can hardly believe I’ve only been friends with these ladies since then. It already feel like it’s been years (and, oh, I wish it had been!). It is an honor to be a part of their lives. It is a joy to go to class with them. I have never ever had such enjoyable marathon night classes. I am so thankful we found each other (or life threw us together) and that we get to grow from students to legit social workers together. I’m thankful for our significant others who support our friendships, and the five sweet and spirited kiddos we combine that enjoy playing together as well.
23. Extended Family- We are truly blessed with active and supportive extended family on many sides. Both Tony and I have three living grandparents. That’s six great-grandparents for our girls and countless great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins and second cousins. We try hard to prioritize, and do what we can to make getting together with family happen. Since our kids are cousin-less on both sides it is extra special when they get to experience the large child-filled get-togethers their parents grew up with. I am thankful for family near and far. I am thankful to feel included and supported. I am thankful to be a part of your lives just as you are a part of ours (I am thankful for Facebook’s help in this regard!). I am thankful for the interest shown in us, in Dot and M, in going-ons small and big. I am thankful for family that values family. I’m also thankful for the many people that aren’t technically family but might as well be. I think you know who you are.
24. Co-workers- Now that we’ve two parents working outside the home, we’ve also two support networks. I am so blessed by the woman I’ve co-facilitated a support group with for nearly two years now. I am thankful to the “domestic violence gods” that we ended up together and couldn’t imagine going through the highs and lows of this experience with anyone else. In my field placement I have a truly wonderful, caring, flexible and supportive supervisor who is much more likely to view me as a person than a student. I am so thankful for the ways in which my placement is perfect for me. And then there’s Tony. I didn’t realize the sacrifice he made by working from home for three years almost continuously. Even though it’s hard to have him gone, I can see how good it is for him to have regular interaction. Male interaction. He has made really great new friends (with sweet families) and developing a face-to-face relationship with long-time co-workers is pretty clutch too. I’m thankful he has that and I’m thankful for those giving to him what I cannot.
25. My Daughters- After their father, my greatest blessing of all. These girls have changed my life in more ways than I could ever list. They make the days worth getting up for. They are full of smiles, sass, and never, ever boring. Even when they drive me batty, they are so darn cute about it. I’m thankful to have them as daughters. I’m thankful they have each other as sisters. I’m thankful for their health, their wit, their individuals spirits. I’m thankful for the ways they compliment and the areas they contrast. I’m thankful for the almost 3.5 years between them (great gap, if I do say so!). I’m thankful they grow, even when I’m not ready for them to. I’m thankful for hugs and kisses. I’m thankful for six hour stretches of sleep. I’m thankful to be a part of new skills mastered. I’m just thankful to be a mom. Their mom. I’m an infinitely better (richer, deeper, more whole, rounded and moderate) person because of it.
Not that there is any extra thanks-giving credit, but if there were, here is a quick, random, rundown of topics I didn’t get to:
- scrunchy baby smiles
- water–clean water, fresh water, abundant water
- our king size bed
- school; education
- joy; a sense of well-being
- blog readers 😉
- options and the right to a change of mind
- local news
- fashion–clothes, accessories, hair and always evolving
- a bright future…and no set idea where we’re headed!