So this year has been rough. We've had a lot of stress and change - some of it has been good, but a lot of it has been pretty crappy. I haven't gone into all of it on the blog simply because I don't wish to share all of our lives with the interwebs, just a portion. But even though this year has been more than a little bumpy, we still have a LOT to be thankful for.
Every day I try and remind myself of at least one thing I am thankful for, even if it's something as simple as a hot shower. On really rough days it helps get me through. As the year draws to a close, fewer days in the week are rough ones, but I'm still trying to stay in the habit of recognizing and appreciating the everyday things we generally take for granted. It helps my mood and it helps put everything into perspective. After all, we could be living in Haiti and dealing with a Cholera epidemic.
So here are some of the things that I am really thankful for...some are big and some are small, but they all make my life that much better.
Bryan and the kids
Of course they're on the top of my list! We all drive each other crazy. Really crazy. But we love each other more than we irritate each other, and really, what more can you ask for? I'm thankful for having a partner who shares all the responsibilities of parenthood with me. I'm thankful he always takes out the garbage, that he gets up with Griffin at 1am, that he only snores half the week ;) I'm thankful that Penelope has adjusted well to being a big sister, that she rarely throws tantrums, that she is polite and sweet, that she loves books as much as I do. I'm thankful that Griffin and I are still nursing a little at night, that he is so happy, and that he has the best goofy grin ever. I'm thankful that we're all healthy (and that the kids have insurance).
We really couldn't survive without my parents. I'm not exaggerating. Between childcare and emotional support, they're always there for us and we really and truly appreciate it. They've made it possible for me to finish my degree and student teaching, for Bryan to go back to school, for us to *not* lose our minds. I don't know how people raise families without my parents. Really, I don't.
My December 08 Moms
Some of you know this, but some don't... when Poe was born I "met" a group of women with similar due dates on a site called BabyCenter. When they switched formats, a small group of us broke off and started our own support board. Over 2 years later it's still going strong. We've celebrated milestones, grieved over losses, argued (well, rarely), laughed, shared... they've been absolutely wonderful and I have leaned on them so much this year. I love those ladies!
My MSN Moms
My other support group has been my IRL moms - most of whom I met through MSN. Now that MSN is gone (well, gone-ish) we've moved activities to people's houses instead of the center, but we are all still close. They're a wonderful group of women (and men!) who are always there if I need them, and vice versa. Kim watches the kids once a week, we meet on occasional weekends for playdates, we spend holidays (Halloween!) together, celebrate birthdays, bring each other meals, have girls night out, go out for ice cream, stay up late on the phone, sew diapers... next year I think we might get all of our kids on the same toddler soccer team! I love my extended family.
You may think I'm being flippant, but I really don't think I'd be sane at this point in the year without coffee. Between 5:30am wake-ups, to night nursing marathons, to stress-based insomnia, coffee has been my friend. It helps make me tolerable in the mornings, and I'm sure my 1st period class appreciates it.
I'm lucky to have been placed at ML... and lucky to be working with some great teachers. All of my Mentor teachers have taught me quite a few things about teaching - I've gotten ideas on management, curriculum, planning, grading, and even life.
We have a roof over our heads. The kids sleep in their own beds. We are very lucky. I don't LOVE this house, but I am very thankful for it.
Last, but not least, is you dear blog reader. If you've taken the time to read this then I thank you. You may not always comment, but I know you read - and the fact that you care enough to take a few minutes to read the drivel I write is very much appreciated.
There are a lot more things I have to be thankful for. I could write a book - but no one would read it and I don't have time to write a book anyway.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday season is full of joy and love. And I hope next year is better than this year.
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