Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Heart of Thanksgiving

It’s official, the holidays are among us. It’s such a busy time of year, and yet it’s the time of year I look forward to the most. Not because of the presents, or the food (however, I am very thankful for the food), but because of the time I get to spend with friends and family. Yes, there are definitely times when I look at my calendar and wish we had some down time; but as soon as we gather with our friends or our family, I’m instantly convinced we made the right decision to get out of the house one more time. Those moments when I’m feeling tired and run down are replaced with joy and thanksgiving when I walk into the warm and welcoming home of those we love the most. 
And Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday of the year (again, not all because of the food) because there’s no rushing around crazy packed shopping malls, there’s no pressure to buy the perfect present for everyone on your list, and the holiday parties haven’t consumed all of your time quite yet. It’s simply about being thankful, and surrounding yourself with people you love. Period. (The food is a pretty big cherry on top, though.) 
So what am I thankful for this year?
First and foremost, I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful for our marriage. He supports me and loves me and always makes sure I know how much (it's about two inches less than I love him). He works hard so that I can stay home with our daughter. He makes me laugh every single day. He knows my heart and accepts me for my shortcomings. He challenges me and encourages me to search for complete answers instead of just being content with the simple ones. He helps me be a better version of myself: healthier, stronger, happier. He is an amazing father to our daughter, and seeing his (and her) face light up when he sees her warms my heart every single time. He is my best friend, and for that I am thankful.

I am thankful for a healthy, happy baby girl. Every single day, I am amazed by her discoveries, her happy and calm spirit, her ability to adapt to her surroundings, and the way she’s changed our lives. I am thankful for her sweet cheeks and dimpled chin that she got from me, her beautiful eyes and luscious lips she got from Daddy, and the long eyelashes she inherited from us both. It means she’s ours, and for that I am thankful. 

I am thankful for our families. My sister is my best friend. She has been beside me for the best and worst days of my life. She listens well and knows when I need to cry, laugh, vent, or brag.  I could not ask for a more amazing sister. I do not have the words to thank my sister for everything she has done for me. My brother is my hero. I want to make him laugh, to make him proud, to be like him. He is the coolest person I know. I'm so glad he's my brother. 

Every day I am thankful that Anne and Les opened their home to us all those years ago; that they loved us when we needed it the most. I am thankful for Meg and her boys, for their health and happiness, even when they are faced with life's challenges. 

Sarah, Mark, Andrew, Lindsey, and Lauren are not only family, but they are my friends. I would pick every single one to be a part of my life; I'm so grateful that the people I love so much made that so easy for me. 

I am especially thankful for Bruce and Becky this year. They have supported us, encouraged us, taught us, challenged us, and loved us. They are an incredible example of what a strong marriage, loving parents, and servants of God should look like. 

These people are forever a part of my life, and for that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my friends, both near and far, big and little. Thank you for your hugs, for your laughter, for keeping me sane, and for sharing your kids, your time, and your wine. I love you all. 

For this and so much more I am so very thankful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

5 Months!

Man, every time I sit down to write one of Harper's monthly updates, I'm amazed at all of the "big" things that have happened to her that month. I think to myself, "What big adventures for such a little girl." I usually end each entry with, "I can't wait to see what adventures next month brings you." But in my head, I'm also thinking, It can't get much bigger than this. And then it does!! Month five was pretty darn exciting for one sweet little girl.

She was a lion...
A skeleton...

She went on her first plane ride...

Saw her first snow...

Had lots of quality time with Nonnie...

Met Uncle Rob...

Drove her first car...JUST KIDDING!
Drove her first cart...for real. She's a big girl now, you know.


Monday, November 7, 2011

On Great Grandparents

How blessed is Harper to be able to reach out and touch the hands that held her mom and dad, that rocked her grandparents to sleep. How incredible is this life that allows us to witness the bonding of two people who are nine decades apart in age, but who see the pureness in each other’s hearts so easily. Harper can look past the wrinkles and ailments, and only see their unconditional love. If only we, the middle generations, could do the same. Sometimes we forget that these family members, the ones who have been around the longest, are just like the newest ones, the babes. Yes, we have to take care of them, feed them, clothe them, remind them of their daily habits; but when they see you walk into a room and smile, it’s because they know that you’re family. And family is forever.