Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I wanted to focus today's favorites on the things I am most grateful for.
1. The Family I was born with...
My mother- who has shown me the true meaning of strength, courage, hard work and perseverance.
My step-father - who instilled in me the importance of being self-reliant, to blaze my own path, to not allow any man to define my self-worth, and to not take shit from anyone.
My Grandmother- for her unconditional love
My aunts - for always sticking up for me, providing for me, and including me.
2. The Family I created...
|This year's family pic!|
My Children- I never really imagined myself as a mom until I hit my 30s, and then after 2 painful miscarriages, I thought children were just not in the cards for me. But God had other plans, because here I am, a mother to 2 wonderful boys! My children challenge me, exhaust me, and occasionally bring me one step away from losing my sanity. But I wouldn't have it any other way! My boys have brought me such joy and taught me the meaning of true love. My heart could explode with the love I feel for them. They have given me purpose. They have given me clarity. And they have given me the strength to continue on when times have gotten tough.
My husband- Because of my husband, we have so much. He can pretty much do anything... plumbing, electrical, siding, landscaping, tiling, you name it. He reads about it, and then he just does it. I wish I had this skill!! Things we otherwise just wouldn't have had the money to do have gotten done because my husband has done the work himself. He built our deck. He landscaped our front yard. In our old house, he tiled the bathrooms, put in a new tile shower, built a 3 season room, put in a new kitchen and put up an above ground pool (with the help of his dad). If something breaks, he fixes it. If we need extra money for something, he finds a way to get it. He is resourceful and talented, and I am lucky to call him my husband.
|Hubby with Nick...just a few days old! So tiny!|
3. A good job...
Of course I'd rather stay home, online shop and watch Days of Our Lives everyday, but until I win the lottery, I gotta work. I am grateful to have found a good job that pays well and allows me flexibility (which is so important as a working mom). If I need a day off or need to leave early because one of the kids is sick, it is not a problem. I get to work from home one day a week which is awesome (who wouldn't want to work in their PJs???)... I enjoy what I do and am continually learning. I have fun and have met some wonderful people. And the money I make allows me to provide the kind of life for my kids that I want them to have.
4. My friends...
When times get tough, I have a handful of special friends I go to for support. Some of these ladies I have known for 10 years; some I have known since 1st grade. I am so lucky to have these special women in my life...women who truly understand and know me...and like me anyway! :) These ladies have got me through some dark times, and I am forever grateful.
5. A sense of community...
I am from a small town. A VERY small town. As a teenager, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of there and on to bigger and brighter things. But now that I'm all grown up, I see what an absolute blessing it was to grow up where I did. My classmates were more like family than friends. Many of us were together from kindergarten to senior year. Despite being a small school, we had so much opportunity to grow and try new things... if you wanted to be on a sports team, you were on it, If you wanted to play in the band, you were welcomed. We took trips to NYC to see musicals and the art museums. Our 9th grade Earth Science class took a camping trip to Watkins Glen to explore the gorge. Our senior class trip was to the Bahamas thanks to our fundraising efforts throughout high school. There was also an amazing sense of community. In small towns, when something happens to one person, it happens to everyone. You all pull together and work towards a common goal. You help each other, you care about each other. Not to mention we all felt SAFE, and for the most part we WERE safe in our community,
As an adult, this is the kind of childhood I want for my own children. Although I no longer live in my childhood town, I did seek out another small town to raise my family in. I feel truly blessed to have grown up in a small town, and I want my kids to have the same kind of childhood experiences I did.