It's been an eventful year for our family. As we lived our lives this year, I was tempted several times to stop and write down what was happening. I never wanted to forget the things that were said, the feelings that were felt. I of course want to remember all of the beautiful things and it is impossible to forget the terrifying things. There are so many moments I wish I could freeze in time. There are so many things I wish I had said out loud. But on this day set aside specifically to give thanks, I wanted to take a moment to do just that.
I am thankful for our house that is such a happy home. We welcomed so many special guests into our home this year. I hope that every year our house hears more laughter and is filled with more love than the year before.
I am thankful for friends, both old and new. Thank you for letting me cry, making me laugh, reminding me that I can get through anything, loving me, loving my children, being here, listening, praying, and being such incredible people. Thank you for being such a special part of my life.
I am thankful that my sister is my best friend. Amanda, thank you for feeding me, distracting me, keeping me company, making sure I always have something to read, and for doing the dishes even when you're the one who cooked. I spent so much of the last year feeling like I was running in circles, but you always managed to get me moving forward again. I love you.
Mom and Dad. Thank you doesn't seem sufficient. I hope you know how much I love you. How much the kids love you. It will take me a million lifetimes to thank you for all you have done for me. Thank you for making the scary days less scary, the great days memorable, and all the days in between special.
I am thankful to have my Mother In Law living close by now. I love watching the kids spending true quality time with Grandma. I am thankful that she was "ready to rumble" with me when I felt two of my babies were disrespected. I enjoy having her in our day to day life and I am so thankful that she is here.
I am thankful for my family (cousins, aunts, uncles) because they helped make me who I am. I miss you all so much. Every day. And I can't wait until we're all able to be together. I am thankful for whoever created text messages and the ability to share pictures instantly because it makes everyone feel not so far away. I love yous guys.
I am thankful for my three precious and HEALTHY children. Thank you sweet Mamie girl for being you. You made our family complete. Thank you Super P for reminding me how incredible life can be. You have forever changed me. You are the toughest little guy I know. Thank you Jackson for being my buddy. I love talking to you, and you sure do have a lot to say. I love watching you grow and I am so proud to be your mommy.
I am so incredibly thankful for Brian. Thank you, for everything. I love you with all of my heart.
And I am especially thankful to the cashier I had at the grocery store on Saturday, April 14. He taught me a very special lesson that day that I hope will make me a better person. I never shared the story because we were pretty busy, but I feel it's one worth sharing now. We had only been home from the hospital for a little while when I ran to the store to pick up something for dinner. The store was crowded and I had to wait in line to check out. The two women in line ahead of me definitely looked put together-they were each nicely dressed and clearly had bigger plans for the night than I did. I was well aware that I smelled like stale hospital air, had spit up on both sleeves of my shirt, my hair was filthy, and I hadn't showered in at least a day. The cashier asked each of the women ahead of me what their plans were for the night and he made other polite chit chat with them. When it was my turn, I started to get excited about what I could say about my day. But the cashier didn't talk to me. I don't know what he assumed about me based on my appearance, but I guess he didn't think I'd want to talk. He didn't even say "how are you doing today." I had the most amazing answer ready. I was going to tell him that after a week of complete hell, of watching my son's body become covered in bruises for no reason and bleed from places he shouldn't bleed, I finally knew for sure that he didn't have cancer. He denied me the chance to say out loud, "I'M DOING GREAT! I JUST FOUND OUT THAT MY SON DOESN'T HAVE CANCER." He reminded me instead that you should just be kind because you simply don't know what kind of battle people are facing.
I am thankful for each morning. I am thankful for each breath I take. I am thankful for life-on the good days and the bad days. And I look forward to the year ahead with a grateful heart.