Day 1: I am thankful for my kids. Even though things have been tough with some new adjustments, I’m thankful they are ready to have some difficult discussions, get down to some serious business of making changes, and easer to have fun with me. They put up with my crazy ideas, cheer me on in my new ideas. They are the reason I do half of what I do. I’m proud of who they are becoming — all five of them!
Day 2: I am thankful for sleepovers. Last night the big girls came over to watch Hamilton with us. We pulled mattresses to the living room, had popcorn and left-over Christmas treats, and just enjoyed being all together. I loved listening to four of the five sing along! The sleepover was fun, and I think there are going to be requests for repeat performances of this particular family activity.
Day 3: I am thankful for me time. I have neglected this for so long, and I forget what it feels like to have the house alone to myself. I spent my two hours today working on the blog and writing. How I ache to write more! I forget sometimes how much the process of putting words to paper means to me. I lose it when I’m grading 5th grade essays. I am looking forward to dedicating time to writing each day and each week. Being intentional in using the words I have been blessed with. This is going to be a good writing year!
Day 4: I am thankful for my job as a teacher. I love these kids who want to tell me all about their break. I love the excitement they bring with them each day. I love the stories and the strange words they give me (“Friggle means pudding, Patchett!”). I love putting together curriculum that shows them how reading and writing and science and math all come together in the “real world”. I love that I get to geek out about the science of snowflakes before we read stories about them, and then we do art and math around them! How awesome it is that I get to show a different way of looking at the world, and we make the regular day new and exciting.
Day 5: I am thankful for the chance to be part of something larger than me. My good friend hosted a Hero Book Drive with me tonight. All the books, donations, and hostess rewards are going to a local shelter she volunteers at. I’m so proud of all the work she has done to help them out — she has even won an award for her volunteer work there! It was a pleasure meeting her friends and family and being a part of this book drive tonight.
Day 6: I am thankful B got a new job. She was telling me about the interview process and how some companies missed the appointments they set. I am thankful that the job she got is a weekend job so she will be able to focus on her studies during the week. I am thankful that she will be able to transfer back to Orem should college go back to in person. The job she accepted is the job I was hoping she would be offered and that she would accept. Hoping that C can find another job that will be able to work with her at school and have the hours she needs to continue to be independent.
Day 7: I am thankful for family time. For Christmas, the big girls gave us a coupon to go to Build-A-Bear. They have been, but the rest of us haven’t. The littles were super excited all week because TONIGHT was the night we were going. The adults (how strange it is to think of my older two as adults still . . .) each had a little to help pick a bear. I almost cried watching each of them do the heart ceremony and put the heart inside their animal. Then the craziness of picking outfits and accessories. We laughed at the choices, and I ended up buying a sorting hat because it got my house right on the first try. Watching the little three hug their new BFF and chatter with their big sisters was the best part. I miss the big girls being home and doing things together.
Day 8: I am thankful for emergency workers. This week we have seen a LOT of accidents on the way to and from school. Bad ones that shut down two lanes of traffic for hours. I’m so thankful there are people who are there to help and keep others safe. I’m thankful for those who clean up the messes so we have safe passage later on. K said she is thankful we have been safe to and from school all week!
Day 9: I am thankful for creativity. Today we held K’s birthday party since it falls on a school day this year. She wanted to paint ceramic foxes, but the shop was all out of them when we went to pick them up. At first she was sad, but then we found little boxes (that we could paint foxes on!) and there were enough of those. I love watching the kids and friends decide what to paint on the top and inside of the blank ceramic. How individual and unique they each ended up being! I’m excited to see them glazed and finished. Now to get them back to the store . . .
Day 10: I am thankful for books on my To Be Read Shelf. I’m not sure why I’m struggling right now to fee adequate as a mother. I think I see the things I need and want to do, and how long it takes us to get anything done. I’m frustrated with myself for not having done things better in the past. Tonight I got overwhelmed and decided it was time to call a TIME OUT. The kids got some free electronics time, and I grabbed the first book on my shelf: Hold on but don’t Hold Still by Kristina Kuzmic. It was what I needed to read tonight.
Day 11: I am thankful for possibilities. We are cleaning out a room in the basement, and discussing what to do in the space. We could move my office over and put in a family room downstairs. We could use the newly cleaned space as a craft area. We could use it to store food and holiday items. I could move all my books into in and we could have a library. So many ideas, and it is fun to see what the kids think we could do.
Day 12: I am thankful for support groups. I like knowing that I’m not alone in what I’m going through, and I like a reality check given by those who are in the same circumstances. I like making new friends, and I’m thankful the kids are also making friends, learning skills to help them process and adjust, and that we get to do it together.
Day 13: I am thankful for safety. We were involved in a bad car accident tonight, but everyone walked away with only minor injuries. It could have been so much worse — I had just told K to put her feet down from the seat in front of her minutes before we wrecked. I had just switched lanes, so we weren’t going top speed. We made it to the side of the road before we stopped, so there were only the two vehicles involved and not more.
Day 14: I’m thankful for K and her double digit birthday. I’m still in shock that she is already this old, and have been messing up her age all year. I’m thankful for her fighting spirit — even though right now it turns against me often. I’m thankful that she wants to help people who are not able to help themselves. I love how she cares for the babies at church, volunteers to help out when I least expect it, and how she takes charge of her fashion.
Day 15: I am thankful for a lot of people today. Thankful for those who stopped to help at the accident — the ladies who took the kids until their dad showed up. Thankful for my daycare lady (who also happens to be an amazing friend) stopped to help us out, then drove me to meet up with the kids at the hospital after the police paperwork was filled out. Thankful for the gentleman who called 911 so I could focus on the kids and make the calls I needed to make. I am thankful for the police, firefighters, and towing company who took care of business — which happened to be us. I am thankful my kids are safe. I am thankful for my students and fellow teachers who carried my things, moved computers and books from room to room, and generally took care of me for the past few days. I am thankful for friends and family who called to check in on us.
Day 16: I am thankful for friends who recognize my needs before I do. Darcie is one of my closest friends. She also happens to teach Baby at preschool. How we met on one of my FAVORITE God Stories. She is also the one who stopped after the accident to take care of my kiddos while I dug out belongings and chatted with the authorities. Anyway, she asked fi she could do my nails for me, and I agreed. We got to chat and laugh, she showed me some new stuff (and may have started a new obsession), and I got to just relax and take a breather. My nails look fabulous, my spirit has been lifted, and I bonded with this beautiful and amazing lady I get to call my friend. What could make for a better day?
Day 17: I am thankful for those moments when books, goals, challenges, and life seem to be pointing me in the same direction. I have book club this week, and in all the excitement I forgot to read the book. I picked it up this morning, and it is all about some of the things I’ve been struggling with and hoping to focus on – namely letting go of the ego and all that is holding me back so I can focus on my priorities. I talked to the kids this morning about the declutter challenge and what we want to do with the things that we are going to get rid of in the next few weeks. We discussed the homeless shelter and their visions for helping out. I’m dreaming of ways to simplify our physical surroundings so we can simplify the emotional as well.