Thursday, November 22, 2012

Month of Thanks

Many of my Facebook friends are posting one thing they are thankful for every day this month. And a couple of people I follow on Instagram are completing a Grateful Gram list - one photo per day following the guidelines below.

Though I love to read what people are thankful for, and I love the concept of taking the time to think about what one is thankful for, I'd rather not string it along over the course of a month. So, I've decided to post my list on Thanksgiving Day, because I feel that is most appropriate. I am following the Grateful Gram list, but don't necessarily have a picture for each item listed.

1: Family Member(s)

Looking outside of my own family unit, I am most thankful for my sister Stephanie. She is my best friend, my former business partner, my most needed conversationalist, and my always-there-when-I-need-her helper. We think there's nothing wrong with cramming into a fitting room together so we can see everything the other person tries on. We are horribly honest and judgemental towards each other, but we find that to be very helpful when making decisions. Each of our "crazy" fits well with the other's. I. Love. Her.

2: Friend(s)

Oh boy, how do I narrow this one down? I have so many wonderful friends in my life. So I'm going to single this out to say I'm super thankful for all of my fellow mommy friends. Each time we have play dates, I learn something new. And sometimes, it takes hanging out with other moms for me to realize that I'm too hard on myself and I'm not a horrible mother. We all make mistakes, all children misbehave, all moms lose their patience. We are all great moms in our own right. And always, always, my mommy friends make me laugh.

3: Household Item

I am truly thankful for my washer and dryer. People bitch and moan all the time about how much laundry they have to do and how long it's going to take. Seriously? Can you imagine washing everything by hand and hanging it out to dry? Come on, people. Yes, the process of laundry going from dirty to clean to put away is a long process. But the ACTUAL amount of time you spend on it is really not that much. What? Five minutes total to load the washer, put wet clothes in the dryer, and empty the dryer once dry? Maybe 15 minutes to put the clean laundry away? And that's being generous. I'd say it takes me less than 10 minutes per load.

4: Technology

Without a doubt, I am thankful that I can use a handheld device to make phone calls, use my email account, browse the internet, refer to recipes while cooking, play mindless games when my daughter isn't looking, buy things online, take priceless pictures of Addy, and so on. And it costs me $30 per month. I have no idea how I accomplished anything before I got my iPhone.

5: Kitchen Tool

I can't stand to wash dishes without my sponge wand thingy. End of story.

6: An Emotion

This is a tough one. I am thankful for the emotion of feeling proud. I just cast a vote for the President of the USA, and I'm proud to have voted for Gary Johnson. I am proud to have attempted to make a change in this election. Johnson did not get the 5% needed to qualify the Libertarian party for future government funding, but in four years, I will be proud to try again. Because I believe this country needs a change to the bi-partisan system.

7: Stranger

I am thankful for the millions of men and women that get up every single day and do a job that I would never consider doing, but I couldn't live the lifestyle I do without someone doing that job. For instance, the person responsible for chopping off the head of a chicken and then tearing the chicken apart and packaging everything up all nice and tidy and feather free for me to cook nice, healthy, boneless-skinless chicken breast meals. Thank you very much.

8: Clothing Item

I am thankful for everything that covers my body so the outside world does not have to look at it. I'm half tempted to post the picture I just took of what my belly fat looks like when I sit down to clarify why it is so very important that my clothing exists, but I will spare you the horror (or rather, my embarrassment).

9: Food Item

I could very easily refer back to #7 on this one, but I'll play nice and pay tribute to something different. I am thankful for the banana. My daughter eagerly eats one every day. The act of eating it has improved her fine motor skills through the peeling of the banana. And also, she is getting much better at throwing the peel in the trash before she indulges in the banana, therefore, learning how to clean up after herself. Plus, every time I scroll through the pictures on my phone, I laugh out loud at this one:

10: An Indulgence

Turkey Hill ice cream. Specifically, when Acme has it on sale BOGO. It's like crack, only crack is probably healthier. Banana Split is my favorite flavor. Or maybe Chocolate Marshmallow. Or Double Dunker. Can it be classified as an indulgence if I shamelessly eat it nearly every day? No? Shoot. Should I insert the picture of my belly fat now, as proof that I do, in fact, eat it nearly every day?

11: A Hobby

I'm thankful for blogging! I love that I have created an outlet for myself. I may not use it often enough, and I may not have a lot of followers or the best writing style, but utilizing it is very helpful for me. And I'm thankful that years from now, I will have a hard copy of what life was all about back in the good ol' days!

12: I adore... precious daughter Addison Marie. I adore her smile. Her laugh. Her giggles from way deep in her belly. Those are the BEST. I adore her tight hugs, her sweet kisses, and her silly playful nature. I adore that she is mine and I get to love her forever and ever and ever and ever.

13: Favorite Read

I'm going to split this up into two favorites: currently reading and previously read. My favorite book that I am currently reading is Llama Llama Holiday Drama, part of Addy's bedtime reading the past couple weeks. I think the book is just long enough to sit through, and is a nice introduction to the holiday season. Plus, Addy asks for it by name, which is super cute - "Yamma Yamma Haw-ye-day!" My favorite book that I have read in the past is The Hunger Games. Extremely well written story that I plan on reading again and again. 

14: A Comfort Item

The thing I love most when I need comfort is holding my husband's hand. That simple act can calm my nerves, put me at ease, make me feel safe, and give me confidence.

15: Family Time

I love the time in the evening, after dinner, when all three of us play together. It doesn't happen every night, because sometimes Matt likes to zone out in front of the TV, and sometimes I run off to get as far away from playtime as possible...but when we are all in good moods, and fully engaged, it's awesome.

16: Dinnertime

I am thankful that we have family dinnertime every night of the week, with rare exceptions. The Family Dinner is something that is very important to me, and will only grow in importance as Addy gets older. I'm usually able to have dinner ready when Matt walks in the door from work, and we all always eat together. I am so very thankful for that.

17: Nighttime Ritual

I love putting Addy to bed. I love reading to her and giving her the last hug and kiss of the day. I'm thankful that I no longer work weeknights, so I have the opportunity to do this every night.

18: Favorite Quote

19: Favorite Photo

I'm not sure why I like this so much, because honestly, I don't even like red wine. But still, it somehow resonates with the goofy, cynical mommy in me.

20: Family Pet

We have two kitties, Heidi and Dexter. They look like twins, until you get to know them. Heidi is a bitch and always has a scowl on her face. Dexter is much friendlier, but only if she knows you. Both of these cats came with my husband. I am a cat lover, but it took me a long time to warm up to these particular cats. I am thankful that Addy loves these cats, even though they rarely return her love. And when they do, it's quickly followed by a swift scratch to her hand, telling her they've had enough love for the time being.

21: Your Work

I am so very blessed to be afforded the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter while Matt works his ass off to make a living. There are certainly some days when I think I'd be happier sitting at a desk running reports, but then that little stinker will do something adorable and I'm all like, "How does any mom work, seriously?!?" And then five minutes later, I'm dreaming about restructuring my resume. But seriously, I am where I need to be. Thank you, husband, for everything you do to provide for this family.

22: A Blessing

I am thankful that my sister is well on the road to recovery from some very scary health issues she faced earlier this year. I can't bear to imagine a life without my sister in it, and sometimes I forget just how close that reality could have been.

23: Gift

On a regular basis, I look around at all the wonderful gifts we received at our baby showers from family, friends, and coworkers, and still can't believe the generosity. We were gifted so many items, big and small, that have been used, abused, and appreciated over the past two years. And I am forever grateful.  

24: Can't Live Without

I'm not a fan of this question...I mean, at the core of it, I need food, water, and oxygen to live. Everything else, I can technically live without. For me to say, for example, "OMG I could NOT live without my dishwasher!" just seems ridiculous. I could live. It might suck sometimes. My feet and back might hurt from standing at the sink washing dishes. Oh, the horror. But I could get my point? But since I feel compelled to give my best shot at answering all the questions, OMG I COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT INSTANTLY HOT RUNNING WATER. I am so very thankful that I have the ability every single day to take a nice warm shower. Life would totally suck without hot water delivered on demand.

25: A Love

I am thankful for all the circumstances that brought my dear husband Matt back into my life after 10 years. When we first met, I knew wholeheartedly that there was something special between us, but it was the wrong time. And had I chosen him all those years ago, it never would have worked out. We both needed to change. We both needed to experience the relationships in between in order to appreciate what we each have to offer. We needed to grow up. And because of everything that happened in between, I can without a doubt say that my husband is the love of my life. There is no other that would be a better match. And having that kind of faith and certainty is a wonderful feeling.

26: A Weakness

Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. I cannot comprehend why it is so easy to stuff them in my face. Worse yet, I don't understand why I keep buying them for Matt, expecting myself to steer clear of them. Who am I kidding?

27: Relaxing

I am thankful for my father's success that afforded him the ability to build his dream getaway at beautiful Keuka Lake in Hammondsport, New York. And I'm extremely thankful that I have family that was more than willing to watch Addy while Matt and I enjoyed a weekend honeymoon at the lakehouse. When you are there, it is like time actually stops. It is the epitome of relaxation.

View from the kitchen window
28: Beauty is...

Watkins Glen State Park in New York. Of all the places I've seen, the gorge is perhaps the most wonderful display of nature's beauty.

29: Love is...

Simple, straightforward, comfortable.

30: Happiness is...

Being grateful for everything you have, both tangible and intangible. I find that I am happiest when I follow the principles of the serenity prayer...accept the things I cannot change, change the things that should be changed, and recognize the difference.

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