Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I'm Grateful For

Thanksgiving Day, 2010. Me.
(Throwback Thursday)

I was thinking this morning that I really love Thanksgiving; I have so much to be grateful for this year.

Now I'm not sayin' my life is perfect. (I know, until now you thought it was--hahaha.)

Like many of you, our family has had our share of "hard" this year: Saying goodbye to our oldest son for 2 years as he left to serve a service mission; health problems; hospital stays; loved ones w/ mental health "things" to face; tragedy in our neighborhood; the suicide of a dear friend; my own experience being WAY humbled after Survivor Caramoan aired--and the anxiety and sadness that accompanied it; theft . . . and the list goes on an on. 

And on.

But despite all of these hard experiences, I still feel super grateful today. Because I have a really strong belief/faith that God is good, life is beautiful, and people are kind (so kind).

So today I want to make sure and let my family (especially my kids) know--in writing--that I am so thankful to be part of our family. My life has meaning because of each of you. I feel so lucky.

And even though I'm pretty sure I'm only going to remember 10% of the things I'm grateful for (memory at 43 is going...haha), I still want to try and list the things I am thankful for this 2013th year. 

Please please please forgive any omissions--because I love you and would never knowingly leave someone or something off.

Not-so-perfect Perfect Pumpkin Pie.

Things I'm Grateful For: Thanksgiving 2013

* My faith and relationship with God (a God who loves us and believes in our goodness.)

* My membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
* My bond to Dave. He's the best man I know and I feel so fortunate to be married to him.

* Each of our 6 children:
Jay--for his engineering mind, humor, creativity, and endurance.
Bam--for her kindness, joy, goodness, fashion sense, and ability to tolerate the HARD things in life.
Papaya--for her work ethic, drive, determination, generosity, and concern for all people.
Jr--for his courage, his gentle personality, his ability to overcome challenges, and his kindness to others.
Zu--for her creativity, her laughter, her joy, her love of movies, and her musical, mathematical, & artistic talents.
Lu--for her sensitivity to other people, her laughter, her playfulness, her loyalty, and her gift of "the gab."

* My parents. They are the most hard-working and generous people I know. I love them.

* My brother and sister-in-law and their bambinos. Anytime we are together, I am happy.

* Dave's whole family. They have been MY family, too. And they are each so smart, funny, and kind.

* Missionaries. All over the world.

* Janae's friendship. Her family. The bond we share. The battle she literally FIGHTS with ALS/Lou Gehrig's.

* NeYoda. That she battled--and beat--leukemia these past two years.

* The Hucks and Langs. They mean everything to me.

* Cochran. My island BFF/brother/son. His happiness is my happiness. I have unconditional love for him.

* Friendships with women who have inspired me with their courage, kindness, intelligence, generosity, motherhood, and willingness to face the hardest of hard--while being grateful and loving DURING the hard. Yes, I'm gonna name them. Yes, I'm going to forget someone. I'm sorry in advance for any blunders:

Our daughters, my mom, Juanita, Janae, Whittney, Christine, Liz, Kindra, Julie, Julie, NeYoda, Debi, Sophie, Edna, Andrea, Elise, Heather, Heather, Marthe, Mary, Miriam, Jenn, Janeil, Tamara, Jodi, Jamie, Lindsey, Vicky, Cheryse, Cobi, Kristi, Shannon, Andrea, Jennifer, Amy, Heidi, Angie, Shannon, Jeni, Holly, Kim, Caisa, Shelby, Andrea, Janet, Whitney, Corrine, Holly, La, Candace, Amy, Ruby, Tami, Amber, Debbie  ...
* Living in Utah; being born in America.

* Our children's birthparents. There are no word to express all they mean to us.

* Our pets: Harriet, Whitney, Amelia Pond, and Sparkle.

* Survivor. Both times. Life-changing. Life-defining. Humbling. Hard. Beautiful. Jeff Probst & the amazing crew.

* Running/clean water, sanitation, accessible food, education, community programs (the LIBRARY!).

* Baking bread. (And "sister" Renee T. who taught me how to do it years ago.)

* Dave's job. And his great boss, Dan.


* Laughter.

* The beach and the snowy mountains.

* The fact that I sometimes swear like a sailor at home (a bad habit picked up during Survivor), and our kids/Dave always forgive me for it. And then they laugh.

* Forgiveness.

* Being associated with BYU and the incredible people who are on campus every day.

* Our Bishop and Stake President.

* Some incredible doctors and nurses who helped us stay healthy this year.

* The people of Indiana who have welcomed our son as he serves his mission there.

* Elder Lang returning from his mission--and getting engaged.

* Dance parties.

* Prayer.

* Our neighbors.

* Candles (my absolute weakness--I heart smelly candles).

* Large pomegranates. Symphony bars. Nutella.

* The postal system.

* Education.

* Technology.

* Adoption.

* The missionary mom group I'm a part of.

* XM radio and Pandora.

* NPR.

* Books.

* Our chalkboard wall.

* Chopped, The Voice, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation.

* Shampoo, toothpaste, makeup and good deodorant.

* Zu's new glasses.

* Our kids' church leaders (major role models).

* Blogging.
(Which started 8 years ago as a way to journal my life.
I never imagined I'd keep it up this long.
And I'm so thankful I have.)

* Each of you that read the blog and check in with me and my
wonky life. I feel fortunate to have a connection to
so many beautiful people--all over the world. Thank you for enriching my life.