It just so happens that this week’s Thankful Thursday lands on Thanksgiving. It’s a double-whammy of gratefulness.
Family. All my family is now on the west coast, so this will be my first holiday season without seeing anyone on my side. (To clarify, we’re all saving for my brother’s Maui wedding in September, so holiday travel is out for us right now.) But even though I won’t be with them, I love them dearly and am so thankful for them.
In-Laws. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I hit the jackpot in in-laws. I just did. Don’t know why, it wasn’t deserved, but I won’t give them up. They continue to open up their lives and homes to me and treat me like a daughter, not their son’s wife. And that never goes unnoticed.
Planned Suburban Communities. My in-laws live in a great neighborhood (that is bear-free!), and the main drag (I know that sounds totally 1950s) is about 2.5 miles-ish. So I have been able to get up in the morning and run outdoors in the fresh air and get in a 5-mile run. In the morning. With no bears! And getting a workout over and done with is a zillion times better than having to go after kids are in bed. (Now on to the soda shoppe for a malted and doin’ the twist.)
Date Nights. Greg and I used to be so militant about having our date nights. (Er, actually, it was just me that was militant.) Anyhoo, having Paxton and moving all the time has put a wrench in even the best laid plans to have consistent date nights. So while we’re staying with the amazing in-laws, we took the opportunity to go to dinner. And a movie! To sit just as adults (not Mommy & Daddy) and discuss adult things uninterrupted was divine. I love dating my husband. Always have. Still do. Always will.
Family Portraits. (Doesn’t the phrase “family portraits” conjure up memories of bad family pictures from middle school when you had a terrible perm, but your mom would blow up the pictures to over 17 inches anyway and it sat framed on your living room wall to this very day? No? Yeah, me neither.) Now that Paxton’s almost one, I decided it was time for us to have family pictures together. (Actually, if I have to be honest, the reasoning had less to do with Paxton’s age and more to do with baby weight loss over the course of the past year.) REGARDLESS, we finally did it. And surprisingly, I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. Of course I found a things I would have changed and didn’t like about myself…but compared to the intense self-loathing I usually feel, this was a marked growth for me. Praise. Jesus. And now we have actual proof that Jaana and Paxton have a mother! (Incidentally, if you’re looking for a photographer, check out Karen at captured.photography! She’s amazing.)
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I can’t even describe how much I look forward to this every year, and now Jaana’s hooked, too, and we love watching it together. The best part is tomorrow is a rest day from running, so I can wake up, drink coffee and just sit and watch guilt-free. Bliss.
Starbucks’ Christmas Blend. Somehow coffee makes it onto my list almost every week. Weird? I think not! I posted on Facebook recently that I adore this annual blend not just because it’s delicious, but also because they’ve continued to call it “Christmas” blend and haven’t gone all PC-like and changed it to Holiday Blend or Seasonal Brew. And this week I walked into a nearby location and to what did my wandering eyes appear? Starbucks Christmas Blend ESPRESSO ROAST. Oh. My. Goodness. Santa came early to Mama this year!
Black Friday. I rarely get out and shop on Black Friday. Mainly because of the crowds, traffic, and my general distaste for large groups of people going bananas for $5 fleece blankets. However, this year I’ve been amused by two things I’ve noticed related to Black Friday:
a) Kohl’s and a few other stores will be opening their doors
at 3:00 AM for Black Friday shopping. This cracks me
up. I to imagine myself being the person who wants
to be there at three, but can’t decide if I’m going to just
stay up all night to go, or try to sleep then wake up at 2 or
2:30 to get ready and head out the door. If you’re one of
these 3:00 shoppers, I’m dying to know what you did and
b) So loving these Target Black Friday commercials with
the crazy blonde lady. My favorite is when her face is glued
to the store door waiting for it to open (at 4:am,
incidentally) and she doesn’t blink or move or anything the
whole time and “Lost in Love” is playing in the
background. Tickles me.
This Past Year. Yes, it has been a crazy year. Since last Thanksgiving we’ve acclimated to a new church and town, had a baby, rented out our house and moved a few times. But even in the midst of all that, God has been so incredibly faithful! He has provided all our needs and then some. He’s helped bring us even closer as a family. He’s brought restoration to relationships and new relationships into our lives. It’s been a good, good year and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
Correction. God has been gently showing me areas that need to change (quickly) in my life and in my character. I’m thankful He loves me too much to let me stay the same. (And that means He hasn’t given up on me yet.)
“At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels
like it’s going against the grain. Later of course, it
pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find
themselves mature in their relationship with God.”
– Hebrews 12:11, MSG
I pray your Thanksgiving is full of family, friends, laughter and love!