Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Thanks

A few posts ago I was a bit of a Debbie Downer....just a little beat down by the daily grind of coaching, raising a baby, running a house and trying to keep my head above water.

1. I have such a diverse group of friends and I really cherish each of the special and unique friendships I have with all of them.  Craig and I have our couples friends who we mostly met through work that we go to dinner with and watch Cowboys games or go to Stars games with.  I have girlfriends that I've known since birth, middle school and friends that I've made as an adult.  I have friends that have older children and pass on valuable advice to me and I have new mommy friends with whom I can lament the trials and tribulations of learning how to parent.  Each and every friendship that I have brings something special to my life and even though sometimes life gets busy and I can't see them as often as I would like, hopefully they all know how much I value them!

2. The hubs.  I can't write too much or I'll cry and I'm currently sitting in Study Hall with twenty sixth grade students so tears are probably not appropriate right now.  He's pretty awesome - not just at being my husband, but being Natalie and Angie's daddy, a middle school girls basketball coach, a son, a brother and pretty much everything else he does in his life.  I'm thankful for all the little twists and turns that our lives took that brought us to both working in the athletic department at the same school several years ago.

3. My two girls bring my so much joy in life - yes, I'm talking about both Natalie my human daughter and my fur baby Angie.  This morning is a great example of why I'm thankful to call them my own: I walked into Natalie's room at 7:00 to see her sitting in her crib playing sweetly with her musical giraffe - adorable.  I picked her up to carry her into the spare room to wake up her Daddy (Craig is a snorer) and very soon after we crashed onto Craig, we heard the clip-clop noises of Angie trotting in from the master bedroom.  Craig and I were soon covered with puppy dog kisses and all we could hear were the squeals of delight as Natalie tried to pet Angie while simultaneously dodging Angie's persistent attempt at kisses.  I have my moments of pure frustration with both of them and the gift of wisdom and patience with them is on my daily prayer list.  And although in the past year there have been so many moments when I have questioned my mothering abilities and God's reasoning in even making me a mother and gifting me with a child........on the good days I look into her blue eyes and I know that she was specifically created to be MY daughter and no one else's.  I just want to be the kind of mother that she deserves because she is a precious gift from God and she deserves the best I can possibly give to her.  And not to be forgotten, there is my four legged fur baby who always tends to know exactly what I need whether it's a warm cuddle on the bed or a gentle "I hope you feel better" lick on the hand, Angie always is right in the thick of things in our house and is a vital member of our family.

4. I have a lot of friends as I stated above, but there is one friend in particular that is one of my more recent friendships but I truly believe that she and I were placed in each other's lives to share the first year of motherhood together.  She has no idea what good it did for me to hear that I wasn't going crazy and that I wasn't alone in the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing after Natalie's birth.  In eighteen years when our girls are graduating and going off to college and becoming adults, I will look at my friend and still remember the summer of 2011 when we barricaded our babies in the living room with the toys and sat around on the couches sharing our stories and struggles with PPD.  She has been such a blessing in my life this past year and I hope that she knows that even though life gets crazy and we don't get to see each other often that she is always in my thoughts, prayers and my "thank yous" to God.

5. In the past year there has been a baby boom in my life and in the lives of my friends.  Mostly little girls but one very special little boy as well - her baby cousin Ian who is only 5 months younger!  I'm very thankful for all the babies in Natalie's life because I can't wait to see her grow up with these kiddos and be able to say "I've known them since I was born!"  At Craig's middle school alone, there are SIX baby girls born all in the past year (four of them to the coaching staff!) and if they all go to the same elementary next to the middle school - how fun would that be!!  And on the subject of Mr. Ian and his two big brothers, Alexander and Ford, I am so thankful for Natalie's boy cousins.  One of my favorite things about growing up (although I didn't admit it at the time) was having two big brothers and although I was thrilled to have a little girl, I was a bit saddened that she won't ever get to know what having big brothers is like.  Enter the boy cousins - Alexander is so genuinely sweet and nurturing with her while Ford will probably be the one talking her into going along with his crazy (but creative and fun!) schemes.....and with baby Ian being so close in age, she'll always have a playmate at family functions.

6. While we're on the topic of big boys helping to take care of Natalie, I should touch on how thankful I am that I was led to Ms. Rebecca who takes care of Natalie during the day.  Natalie is the only little girl among three to four older boys and I love how excited the boys get to see her and all the fun relationships she's going to build with them.  Rebecca is just the most perfect person to take care of my little girl - when Natalie was still fighting with the croup and needed breathing treatments Rebecca had no problem administering her midday treatment as well as giving her the extra cuddles and snuggles she needed when she felt a little yucky.    I love that Rebecca doesn't just take care of kids during the day but she really seems to love the little ones and find joy in helping them grow.  I know how blessed I am to have found such an amazing place for Natalie to be when I am at work.

Those are all some pretty serious things to be thankful for.....and what's the silly stuff I am glad to have in my life?
1. Facebook - so that I can see my friend Amy's kiddos grow up even when they are a thousand miles away.
2. Keurig coffee makers - makes the most perfect cup of coffee for me in the mornings.
3. Target baby pajama sets - just because they make my baby girl look so scrumptiously cute in the mornings.
4. Pandora internet radio - I love choosing a station that fits my mood at any given moment.
5. Reese's Peanut Butter cups - the best midday pick me up....ever.
6. 8th grade volleyball - for being fun, hard working and sweet kiddos

There are so many things to be thankful for in my life and it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day grind and frustrations.  Thanksgiving is truly my favorite holiday because it's about nothing more than being with great friends and family and taking a time out to acknowledge all the blessings in your life.

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