I was going through the notes on my phone today, trying to clear out some memory, and I came across this note. Last year, during the month of November, there was a thankfulness challenge going around on social media, particularly Facebook. The task was to write something you were thankful for each day during the month of November. I didn't commit to doing this because I knew how hard it would be to keep up with posting something every day (having already done one Slice of Life challenge). So, I decided to write my thoughts privately in a note in my phone and then if I wrote something every day, I would then write a blog post about it.
Well, as I predicted, I didn't keep up with it, but I got pretty close. As I came across this note tonight, and was struggling with trying to find something to write about for today's slice, I thought now would be the time to publish my thoughts.
I am thankful for:
1. My TINA girls. At the end of a rough week that we've all been through together, we make each other laugh. I know that in times of joy and in times of sadness, we are all there for each other.
2. A family that likes to have FUN together. Movie marathons, pumpkin smashing, fire pits are just the tip of the iceberg.
3. What a great cook my husband is. He enjoys cooking for our family and each creation is delicious. Today alone, he made biscuits with sausage gravy for breakfast, baked apples, and a turkey dinner with all the fixings for dinner.
4. A husband who recognizes how stressful it is for me as I approach progress reports and conferences (on top of everything else I have to do) and says, "What can I do to help?"
5. Humor. There is so much in my daily life that stresses me out, causes me to feel like I'm not doing enough or not doing it right, that I just need a good laugh to release some of that balled up blah. A funny cartoon, a spoof or parody of a song or movie, a half hour sitcom, or just one of the family acting goofy is all it takes to remind me that I shouldn't be so serious all of the time.
6. Fast Food. Because when I've had a long, busy day and my husband has evening plans, I don't have to figure out what to make for dinner, I just have to decide which drive-thru to head to.
7. A roof over my head. As the weather turns cold, wet, and windy, I realize how fortunate I am to have a place to rest my head and call home. I may not own it, but it's a place for me to raise my family where they can be safe and healthy.
8. Having some really great families in my class. Their kids may drive me crazy sometimes, but they are a very supportive group of parents who seem to really appreciate what I do.
9. Saturday mornings. I get to sleep in then go for a donut or bagel run and sit back to enjoy my pastry and coffee before heading out to do whatever is on my weekend to-do list.
10. My newly formed friendship with my cousin-in-law. Some very interesting circumstances have brought us together and made us close in a way few women experience. I hope that we are able to continue this for many years to come.
11. For all the men and women who have served in the military, ensuring us the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans. Thank you for your bravery, your selflessness, and your sacrifices.
12. The opportunity to continue my education and grow as a professional. While it can be "just one more thing" to add to my plate at times, I know that I am lucky to work for a district that provides purposeful professional development for its teachers. I am also fortunate to be able to take graduate courses with almost no out-of-pocket expense to me.
13. My 3 boys. (Each one will get their own individual thankful post later.) They might make life a little more busy, a bit more complicated, and a lot more messy, but I wouldn't trade being their Mom for anything in the world.
14. A job that is not just a career, but a passion. There are a lot of things about my profession right now that are a challenge, but at the end of the day I feel like I have made a small difference and fulfilled a purpose.
15. Friends. I don't have very many close friends, but there are a varied group of people I enjoy spending time with. I don't feel like I need to have an enormous group of friends, but I do enjoy going out for a drink, attending a home party of one kind or another, and have meaningful conversations with a variety of people.
16. My car. It's nothing fancy, it gets me from place to place, it keeps me cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. But, I know that there are people out there without a car, or they have 1 car for their household. I never have to worry how I'm going to get to work.
17. My education. I had the opportunity to go to a great university that was just the right size for me. It prepared me for my career and although I'm still paying for it, I know how lucky I am to have received this level of education.
18. My health. Even though my outward appearance and the scale say that I am obese, the reports from my doctor show that I am incredibly healthy. Neither I, nor any of my children, are people who get sick very often.
19. Liam. My oldest son is smart, funny, and caring. We have a lot in common, especially our taste in music. He is a great big brother and takes care of his little brothers with love and kindness (and just a little bit of bossiness).
20. Ben. My middle son has a quirky personality. He is incredibly sweet, kind, and caring. He is sensitive and is in tune with others' moods, which makes him very empathetic. He loves to crack jokes and has a great sense of humor.
21. Nick. My youngest little man. He wants to be like his big brothers, but he has a personality all his own. He is spunky and sassy. He defends me to the ground whenever his dad or brothers are teasing me.
22. Kevin. My husband is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. He loves me like crazy and tells me so. He doesn't let me beat myself up and helps me know my own worth. He loves me inside and out, no matter what. He loves our family and does everything in his power to take care of us.
23. My family...my parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews. While I might not have what one would call a close relationship with any of them, I know that they would do anything for me. We don't have a lot in common, but at the bottom of it all, we are family.
24. My in-laws...the people on my husband's side of the family. They treat me like I'm more than just the wife of Kevin. I have a second set of parents, a sister, aunt and uncle, and cousins who have always made me feel like I don't need to add "in-law" at the end of their name. They are there for me and my kids whenever we need them.
25. Vacations. For the last three years, my husband and I have gone away for the weekend on a cruise for some "us time". We love going someplace sunny, with and without our kids. We are fortunate that both of our careers allow us time to get away and spend time together as a family. We haven't done it as much recently as in previous years, but we are going to make an effort before our children get too old to enjoy it.