1. While we were turned away from hearing President Obama speak tonight at Wayne State (there were more free tickets than seats), I am thankful for all the experiences I have been able to give my kids. Just recently we've walked across the Mackinaw Bridge with 25,000 other people, we explored Memphis from Graceland to the National Civil Rights Museum, we camped at Michigan's first state park and explored "The most beautiful place in America." I'm thankful for our adventures and looking forward to more.
2. I'm thankful for my home, where my family lives...together.
3. Today I'm thankful for lunch. I'm really needing the food AND mental break today...
4. Today I'm thankful for the opportunity to vote and for all those who sacrificed so that I could have that right. While our nation is not perfect, I think we become great when the current generation puts aside their own desires for the benefit of future generations.
5. I am so thankful for my husband. One of things I have come to appreciate more and more is that he is not the same person I married 15 years ago, or met 21 years ago. He continues to grow and learn and change. I most recently appreciate that when I went back to work full time, he has taken on much more of the parenting duties including picking the kids up from school, making dinner and supervising chores. When we lived apart, I honestly felt like a part of me was missing, so saying that life is better with Alex is a truth that I learned quite well!
6. I'm thankful for Greyson. He is so confident, which I hope he can temper with humility because that confidence attracts others to him and his ideas. I love that he is not in too much of a hurry to grow up and still has an innocence about him, still believing in Santa Claus and the Toothfairy, even though his younger brother does not (although maybe he's feigning for me, and I'm alright with that too). He is also so very helpful, you can count on him when he's needed and even when he's not he tries to lend a hand or whatever is needed.
7. I am thankful for Grant. Anyone who has hung out with him knows he has a sense of humor way beyond his 8 years and he truly enjoys making people laugh. He is such a sponge with information, soaking it up, but because he is such a goofball, people are often surprised at how smart he is. And as my "baby," he has also been the cuddler of the family.
8. I'm thankful that my kids enjoy books, and reading, and learning. We've always read together every night. We started with picture books and moved on to chapter books. We've read the classics (the Chronicles of Narnia, Mary Poppins, Henry Huggins), we've read read new books (The Wednesday Wars, Percy Jackson, The Sisters Grimm), and listened to books on CD on our endless car trips (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has a great narration). I think the variety and depth of these books has helped to start discussions about history, politics and ideologies. And I love it when I see them pick up a book on their own, even when its not something I would have picked
9. I'm thankful for friends. While I met some great people in New Orleans, there was something so comfortable about coming home to friends who have known us 20+ years. Friends who know our quirks, who have seen the good, and offered their help during the not-so-good. I wouldn't have made it through "single parenting" without all the friends who helped out. I appreciate all of you, and while I hope you never *need* my help because your life is smooth sailing, I hope I am there to support you the way you have me.
10. I'm thankful for sunsets and sunrises. We had a gorgeous one tonight!
11. I am thankful for the many freedoms I enjoy, which therefore makes me thankful for all those who fought, sacrificed and worked to make that happen!
12. I'm thankful for my family. I come from a pretty big family that is also fairly close. I saw their love in action today at a funeral, but I've seen it so often otherwise, and on both sides. I can honestly say that I'm friends with the people in my family and I'm glad my kids grow up knowing that love.
13. I'm thankful to be living in a place with 4 seasons. The crispness of fall with the most gorgeous colors nature can paint, blankets of white snow and silence you can hear in the peacefulness of winter, springtime that roars in like a lion to make way for colorful shots of grass and flowers, summertimes that I once heard described as, "you know those magical childhood summers described in books and movies? With hot days and cool nights? Swimming and fireflies? Those actually exist in Michigan!"
14. I am so thankful for weekends. Lately my weekdays have started at 5am and go nonstop until after 9. Even though the weekends are filled with errands and chores, the slower pace is a welcomed change.
15. I'm thankful for life's annoyances. Everything that annoyed me today is something to be thankful for: the grocery shopping means my family has food for the week, the messy house means we have a place to live together, the laundry means we have clean clothes to wear! So, today I'm thankful for the annoyances.
16. I am so very thankful for the discussion groups I've been a part of. Pub Theology in New Orleans, book club and dinner & a movie in Michigan. It amazes me how a group of people can all read or see the same thing but have different views based on their own life experiences. My life has really been enriched by these interactions and I've expanded my horizons through them.
17. Working at a new job can make you reflective about past positions. I am so thankful to have had great work experiences! At Campfire, Judi took a chance on me and allowed me the experience of working on a team, organizing, planning, supervising and how to pitch in where needed. At Detroit Conference Camps I got to explore the creative side I didn't even know I had and I met so many wonderful people who were campers, volunteers, staff and supporters. And I consider how many peo...ple I worked with over those 10 years that I still consider GOOD friends. At GrowthWorks I worked with people who were definitely not in it for the money but cared enough about people to make an effort with every client, even though it was the small majority that let themselves be helped. Those people are some of the most generous I've ever known. Even at Tulane, where the work culture was isolating, I am thankful for the vast amount I learned about childhood mental health and poverty. Some people just have jobs, but I am thankful to have had learning experiences, knowledge, support, growth and friendship.
18. I'm thankful that all my rain turned into rainbows today. I left work late, but that meant I missed the traffic! The kids were supposed to have pizza at the trampoline party, but instead they were refunded the food money & Alex used that to buy Little Ceasar's for everyone
19. I'm thankful that what my kids argued about tonight was...who got to shovel snow. Because they both wanted to. For real.
20. Today I'm thankful that all things come to an end. It's been a loooooong day!
21. I'm thankful for my sister Shelly and her family. This is the 2nd time since we've moved back that they've said, "Come on vacation with us! Just bring yourselves...and maybe a sleeping bag!"
22. I'm thankful for my sister Marie. She lived with us for 4 years while going to college and has been like a 2nd mother to my kids. Since we love the same movies we are always quoting them to each other. She plans trips for us and was great at organizing a birthday trip for me to Las Vegas this year. Plus everyone is always complementing the hand-me-down clothes she sends my way!
23. I'm thankful for my brother Stanley and his family. They have always loved including my kids in activities and it has been great for Greyson to have a cousin his own age!
24. My kids received an advent calendar today and it made me think: I'm thankful for anticipation and having things to look forward to.
25. Last night my 8 year old asked, "Can we get a poinsettia? My art teacher says I'm really good at drawing them!" I am thankful for people who are encouragers.
26. I'm thankful my kids are learning how to cook and clean. Hopefully life skills will help them grow self sufficiency!
27. "This is the thanks for all that's good: home and family and friends and food."
— reading This Is the Turkey.
28. "Never say no to adventures. Always say yes. Otherwise you'll lead a very dull life."
I'm thankful for all the adventures I've said yes to.
— reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
29. I'm thankful for celebrations!
30. Out of all the days in November, this is the day that has me most thankful! My two best friends, Alex and Marie, were born on this day (of course, they were born 8 years apart!) and I am so thankful to have them in my lives!