I love family get togethers. But some have moved away (and are dearly missed). Others have decided to wait until another time to visit. Our usual hosts, who spoil us so, are out of town. Everyone is doing something else. And so, for the first year in a while, I'm left with just my household to celebrate.
As my weekend progressed, though, I came to quite enjoy the idea of thanksgiving anyway. The gorgeous colors are still on display. The pumpkins are begging to become pie. The frost is starting to show its bite in the early morning. The snuggly sweaters and trendy scarves and cozy blankets are being put to use.
Maybe it was the uplifting church meeting we had Thursday night. Maybe it's the extra cleaning and the tapping into my creativity to prepare for my daughters second birthday party (so excited). But I've come to see I have many reasons in my life to give thanks.
The one thing that tops that list, of course, is my darling, amazing daughter. Her personality is starting to blossom. Her nurturing as she talks to her stuffed animals, asking if they're okay and putting them to bed. Her tattling as the dog tries to sneak in the dining room. Her joyful, constant singing of a wide range of songs I can't believe she knows. Her organizing and cleaning up. And her desire to be on top of things.
The other day I silently did some push ups. In the past I have always counted to encourage her to remember numbers. I didn't this time, as she was busy playing. As I finished and went to get up, she promptly dropped what she was doing and assumed the position next to me and told me to do it again as I forgot to count. Silly me.
It's crazy how easily things form into habits. One supper, in an effort to get her to eat, I said, "What's that noise?! It's your tummy saying feed me!" This instantly progressed into an exuberant, every meal occurrence with some interesting repeats. "It's my heart, saying I love you" (oh, I just melt when she puts her hand on her chest and says that to me). Or, "It's your armpit, saying tickle me."
We have our, "Hey! I love you!" yelling matches. Our bazillion excuses to have a tickle match. Our silly dances around the kitchen. Our Chitty Chitty Bang Bang snuggles. Our fun grocery store trips (minus the occasional break down when we leave). Our favorite lullabies and running my fingers through her hair. I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything.
I am very thankful for the opportunity to be healthy and raise a child post-leukemia. I am honored to have a dedicated and loving husband. I am grateful for my friends and family. For my sometimes-behaved dogs. For my church. And for the fact that I live in such an astoundingly beautiful place.
My daughter and I can safely enjoy explorative outings surrounded by peaceful forests and majestic mountains with our dogs. Or we can randomly walk about quaint coffee shops and smiling faces just a few minutes away. And soon, she'll be awed at the coming of fluffy, throwable, pile-able (and shovel it again and again and again) snow.
What blessings I have.