On This Thanksgiving

I count my blessings every day. I truly do. And while I think we should be thankful for what he have every day, I love that people vocalize how they feel in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s good for the soul, even if it’s said out loud only one day a year.

After I read bedtime stories to Kaden last night, I spent some time talking with him about the meaning of Thanksgiving. First I asked him what he’s thankful for. He said Christmas. ha! Then I explained a little more about what sort of things we should be thankful for, such as warm beds, food in our bellies, family, etc. It’s tough trying to explain that to a 4 year old, but it’s also amazing how much they do understand.

Last month, we donated some of the kids’ baby items and toys to a family in need. At first, Kaden didn’t want us to give the toys away. But, we explained to him why it was good to do it. Last week, I overheard him tell Kyle we should give more toys away to other kids who don’t have any. Even if he doesn’t fully get it, he got something out of that conversation we had a month ago. That fills my heart.

I’m thankful for so many things. I say it every year and I may sound like a broken record, but this year I think I have some new additions.

1. Friendships. Just when I thought female friendships were hopeless, I connected with a few great ones this past year. And, even though I’m probably more of a guy’s girl, it feels good to have a circle of women I can laugh and drink with and share conversation about children, life goals, good books and careers. I also totally love those few friends I’ve had forever and that I know I can count on, always.

2. Physical strength and health. I did something this year I never would have even dared to try in my past. I completed a 40 mile bike ride. I didn’t think I could do it. I even stalled registering for the ride because I doubted myself. But, I got over it and did it. And, now I want more. I may not be as skinny as I would love to be, but I am the healthiest I’ve been in years, and I feel so good.

3. Kyle. He totally grounds me. I know that every woman out there thinks they have the best husband in the world. Their husbands are also the best fathers to their children. I am one of those women. I really do believe Kyle is my soul mate. I didn’t even know that when we got married. But, with each day, week and year that passes, I grow to love and appreciate him even more. There is nothing better in life than to have someone you can sit on the couch with at the end of a tough day and talk to, laugh with and truly enjoy being in each other’s company. He’s a true partner in every sense of the word.

4. Contentment without being too comfortable. It’s true that you become wiser with age. I am more comfortable in my skin at 36 than I was at 26. I have balance in my life, and that is why I am content. But, I’m not so comfortable with it that I have no aspirations to be more or do less. I am thankful to have the energy to keep going every day. Never settle and never substitute happiness with comfort.

5. Kaden. This boy teaches me life lessons every single day. It’s exhausting. But, for every challenge, there is a moment of zen. And, he certainly has opened my eyes enough to look within myself. Other than looking like Kyle’s mini me, he is a near replica of me. And, we butt heads. Through it all though, he amazes me and I admire him. I think it’s good he has a little fire in his personality. I like that he knows what he wants and vocalizes it. I was, and still am sometimes, a spitfire and I never took crap from anybody. I want that for him too, because that means he’ll stand up for what he believes in.

6. Colton. He can put a smile on my face no matter what I’m going through at any given moment. I melt like butter when I look at his sweet face. He’s got a little fire in him too, but he exudes happiness, and it’s infectious. He’s smart and wants to learn. He wants to repeat words, sing songs and read books. Colton completed our family.

7. Family. I love my family. They know that. They are so supportive and always so helpful, especially with the kids. My sister will babysit on a whim. My parents will take the boys overnight. My mother-in-law will scoop them up and take them out for treats. My father-in-law helps to pick up Kaden from school and took him to swim lessons every week for several months. We are so lucky to have family around who not only help us, but actually like spending time with our kids. Even other family members are helping us, and that makes me utterly grateful. My aunt and uncle who just moved here from Missouri are now helping to watch Colton during the week. And, Kyle’s cousin Emily is always excited to spend time with Kaden and Colton. I feel comforted that the boys are in good hands with family.

That’s all I got for now. But, to me, this comes full circle and fills my life. I’m just honestly in love with life. It keeps getting better and better, and I’m full of gratitude.

May your blessings be as rich. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!