Thankfulness: the theme of the day

Sometimes life is so busy. Sometimes there are just SO MANY THINGS (people, needs, work) clamoring for our attention that it makes it extremely difficult to focus on the most important things.

That’s kind of what Thanksgiving is for though, right? Time to focus and take stock and appreciate.

Sometimes that’s even hard to do on Thanksgiving. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m used to having a BIG family get together on Thanksgiving and the day ends up being more about getting the food ready, making sure it’s yummylicious, getting myself and my family out the door, and dealing with a lot of people.

This year things are different for us. We’re not going anywhere for Thanksgiving or having anyone over. No one. It will just be the 4 of us. WOW.

Now, maybe, we can focus on the important things. Now I can ponder my thankfulness with (mostly) my full attention. I can selfishly eat the yummy food my husband makes and not have to share. I can cuddle my kids for hours. I can do the dishes much, much later. I can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with minimal interruption.

So here’s my thankful list:

My boys.

My husband.

My home.

My health and my predominantly healthy immediate and extended family. Knock on wood.

My job, and paycheck.

My mom.

All my many, many parents.

My good friends. You know, the ones you love like family and they love you back without exception.

My iphone. (just keepin’ it real, folks)

This blog, as my outlet, and anybody who reads it. I’m so grateful.

My hope. I don’t ever want to lose it.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you.

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The Daily Dichotomy

It’s a very strange, modern world we live in these days.

I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline early this morning and, as one does, absentmindedly noted the prevailing themes. They were:

  • Steve Jobs death & his legacy.
  • Politics – Obama’s pending press conference focused on the jobs bill (employment – not to be confused with Steve Jobs).
  • A little boy name Harry who has an inoperable brain tumor and is fighting for his life.  http://www.helpharryhelpothers.com/ What an angel.
  • Kim Kardashian’s wedding cake

Let me ask you – which one of these things do not belong?

I am all for reading some inspiring and light-hearted news on occasion to brighten my day, or my otherwise dreary news feed – but, honestly, who really gives a rat’s ass about Kim Kardashian’s wedding cake? That family is the pinnacle of all that is wrong in this overly materialistic and value-based-on-appearance society that we seem to find ourselves living in these days.

Some days I ignore it – that odd dichotomy we modern people tend to effortlessly follow, balancing the truly frivolous with the overwhelmingly important.

Other days, like today, the blatant frivolity – in the presence of pain and suffering and so much unmet need – is a slap in the face.

The worst things in my life today are:

1. My kids are out of school and I’m not home with them. I’m not making their meals, baking something special and pulling out the Fall/Halloween decor for them.

2. It’s dress-day numero dos at work this week and I’m wearing Spanx. I just can’t wait for the bathroom gymnastics THAT will entail.

3. There’s a little boy named Harry in the UK fighting for his life and his momma is sitting there begging for a miracle.

The best things in my life today are:

1. My husband is home with my children today. Even if I can’t be there, HE can be. I’m so thankful for that.

2. My home, and all that is in it. It has rained for the past 24 hours but I woke up warm and dry in my soft bed, my down comforter and my personal space heater, my husband, beside me. I had an early meeting from home (using my iPhone – thank you, Steve Jobs). Then I crawled back into my warm bed, in my warm home, with my husband and my two snuggle-bunnies. My two happy, healthy sons – bounding with the energy and excitement of a 4 day weekend and planning what fun they will have with their days.

3. There’s a little boy named Harry who decided to raise money for brain tumor research when he realized how sick he was and when he met another boy like him. He decided he wasn’t going to die without doing something first. Something that will help others. He makes my world a better place.

Kim Kardashian’s wedding cake can suck it.

Thankful Thursday – The Greatest Gift

The greatest thing I’ve ever done is have my children. They are everything to me in a way that nothing else is.

I love my husband, but he’s a grown man and I didn’t make him. His momma did and I’m quite sure she feels about him the same way I feel about my little dudes.

I love them both so much. They are so unique. Clever. Sassy.

Oy, with the sass. (At least they come by it quite naturally).

My 9 yo is so complex. He’s smart. He’s bossy. He’s introverted. He’s extroverted. He’s sweet. He’s sour. He’s gives great hugs. He’s shy. He’s just SO LAYERED. Which, I think, is pretty normal. (Whatever that means).

These days he prefers to play with Legos by himself in his room with the door closed. I’m attributing this to the first rumblings of Tween angsty-ness. He’s good at understanding nuances in other people’s words, tone or facial expression. (He says “SARCASM” whenever we are sarcastic – which is a lot).

He’s good at turning on the charm. Can be very Eddie Haskell-ish. He has a fake smile, but when he’s not thinking about it sometimes we see his real smile  and it’s to die for.

My little dude, my 7 yo, on the other hand is absolutely without artifice. Nothing fake here, people.

I read a comment in another blog about a gal’s Autistic son that really resonated with me. She said he’s just absolutely PURE. In his reactions and expressions. I absolutely feel the same way about my little bubba. He’s pure. If he’s happy then he’s unabashedly happy. If he’s mad then he’s all thunderous brows and angry eyes. It’s one of the two. No sulkiness. No manipulations. Just pure emotion. Pure love.

Having both of them is absolutely the best thing I have ever done. I am more than “just” a mother – I’m a wife and a daughter and a business professional – but nothing I do in my life will ever be more important than conceiving, birthing and raising these two wondrous creatures.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this gift. This gift of BOYS.

Thankful Thursday: Too Much Good Stuff

I am indeed very thankful today. For many reasons:
  • Last night my boys came home after being with their grandparents in California for 12 days. I’m so thankful they came home safely to me. It felt weird having half my heart beating from another state. The two halves belong together just like my babies belong with me.
  • I’m thankful for having a mom & stepdad who would take my children for 12 days just so they can be with them and take them to do fun things. They went to the mountains, they kayaked, they swam a lot (and are still learning and getting better), they went to the Jelly Belly Factory, they helped my parents buy a travel trailer – okay, so not always fun for the kids. But my kids will get the benefit of that travel trailer (we’re already planning a trip for the 6 of us to Yellowstone next year) and how awesome are those grandparents? 

 

  •  I’m thankful for the time I had with my husband over the past weekend. We NEEDED to reconnect romantically without kids, parents and stressors and we did just that. And I was spoiled. He was spoiled. It was GOOD. After 12 years together (11 married) we don’t expect heart-shaped explosions all the time, but respect, understanding, caring, and a teacup or two of passion will put us in good stead for a while.
Date night. Downtown Boise. We saw BUCK and it was SO GOOD.
  • I’m thankful for the time I had alone. My husband had shows or rehearsals every evening so I had my house to myself. WOW. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was paralyzed in indecision from the options. Do I want to write a blog? Make dinner for MYSELF only? Clean house? Watch a chick flick? Pay bills? Work out? Paint the hallway? WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY SHOULD I DO? In the end, to be honest, I didn’t do much. I did the dishes some days. I watched some girl TV (we don’t need details. moving on.) I worked out. I watered plants. I did (some) laundry. I did NOT bake a darn thing. One night all I ate for dinner was Zucchini. It was awesome.
  • I’m thankful for friends who are like family. ‘Nuff said. 
  • Last, but not least, I’m thankful for my renewed work-out ethic. I came back from vacation with the intention of beginning my work-out regimen. That Sunday I got out mid-day and started day 1, week 1, of the Couch-to-5K program using the C25K iPhone app. I didn’t finish it. I ended up walking half the “runs”. Because, hello, I’m not in the best of shape. But I’m going to persevere. I’m going to get it done. I’ve been hitting my elliptical at night. I’m very proud of myself. Very proud of the effort I have been making and I hope to keep it up. In the last 12 days I’ve done 3.1 miles on the elliptical a couple times, and then about 1 to 1 1/2 miles a few other times. I’m using a Pedometer app on my iPhone to track the elliptical work-outs. This is good for me. Baby steps. I will get there. But first I need new shoes. 🙂 

 What are you thankful for today? 

Thankful Thursday: I’m thankful for PTO

PTO?? Paid Time OFF. Thank heaven, Allah, Gaia, the sun, and Maude (whoever she is) for paid time off. Time off? And my bills still get paid? Awesome. 
What makes PTO so awesome? Let’s see:
Because of PTO, on a Thursday, I slept in until 7:45 this morning.
Because of PTO I get to stay home with my little guy on his first 2 days of summer break.
Because of PTO I have a couple extra days to think through some work stuff that’s got me all discombobulated.
Because of PTO I sat down and played the new Lego Pirates of the Caribbean video game with my son this afternoon. And I might go take a soak in a bath. On a Thursday afternoon. All because of PTO. 
Because of PTO, on a Thursday afternoon, I’m writing a blog post and watching my boy ride his bike outside my office window. 
What is that saying? You have to relax to reload? I’m going to relax. Today, tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.

Off to take my bubble bath now. Thank you, PTO, thankyouveryveryverymuch.