After everything else I was thankful for last week, I finished out the weekend being very thankful for Thanksgiving itself. Spending time with my family during a beautiful weekend at the beach…. Couldn’t really get any better than that! So here goes my photo montage of our Thanksgiving weekend in Lewes, DE.
Thankful #7 November 23, 2011
Today I’m thankful for family. I’m actually thankful for my family every day. But especially now as we get ready to spend a long Thanksgiving weekend with them.
I’ve been pretty open on this blog about how much Jeremy and I have considered moving many times. We debated New England for a couple of years (and it is still a shimmer of light in the deep recesses of our minds), but no matter how much we envision this beautiful life up north, we always come back to family. We could never leave our family. We are so blessed to have everyone close by. Jeremy’s parents are only an hour away. My mom is just over an hour away. Jeremy’s sister is 2 miles away! And my sister, brother-in-law and nephew are just over 2 hours away (oh how I wish we were closer!) The fact is that we have a great life where we are, and I think that is in large part to having our family so close. How could we willingly give that up? What would life be like if we didn’t live as close?
Not only am I thankful for my family, but also the traditions we have created together… The memories we have with one another… The laughter we share… The bonds we make… My life is better because of my family. I would not be the person I am today without them. So this Thanksgiving, I am giving thanks for a lot, but all of that would not be possible without the love of my family behind me.
Thankful #6 November 22, 2011
Today I am thankful for progress. This one is very direct to my life right now. I think I told you that we are redoing our basement. “Redoing” is strong – we’re actually finishing it as it was never really finished before despite having a room with walls and carpet.
My thrifty husband wanted to take on a new project. (Apparently a shed that has been in the works for 4 years and is still not finished is not enough of a reason to hire professionals. But that’s another post for another time.) He had a very aggressive schedule for himself. He wanted to be done before Cooper’s birthday in January so that we could have his Star Wars or Mario themed birthday in the newly finished basement. (Cooper is still undecided on a theme.) As of now, Jeremy doesn’t think we’re going to make the deadline. We have to consider the schedule of an electrician (who hasn’t been called) and a drywaller (who we don’t have a number for yet.) And worst of all, we have to figure out a leak coming from our bathroom above, which means time away from the basement and/or more money we’re scared to spend.
You’re probably wondering when I’ll get to the part about being thankful for progress rather than going on and on about our setbacks…
I really am thankful for progress (and my hubby!) because it gave me this!
There is still more framing to do. Then the electrical work. Then the insulation. Then the drywall goes up. Then the floors go in. Then the painting. Then the trim. Then… and only then… will we be partying! It might seem a long way off, but I’m still thankful for progress!
Thankful #5 November 21, 2011
Today I am thankful for Pinterest. (You can follow me here.) If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it basically allows you to “bookmark” things on the web and put them into categories or “boards” like you’re pinning ideas to a bulletin board. Not only can you “pin” things you find yourself on the web, but you can follow others and see what they pinned and then re-pin it. Simply put – it’s awesome! (Although also very addicting!)
Here are some of my favorites…
See all the inspiration I have gotten already? Whether it be for my house, for my oven, for my body, for my doing or for my mind… I am finding so much to inspire me! So thank you Pinterest for all the great ideas I’ve gotten!
Thankful #4 November 20, 2011
Today I am thankful for Jillian Michaels. Ok… That might sound trite after my previous posts, but I thought I’d go lighter today. And ok, maybe it’s not specifically Jillian Michaels, but really exercise in general.
I’ve always been a very active person. I played soccer from age 4 through high school and most of that time, it was year round. When I was done with soccer and went off to college, I was at the gym a lot. I coached soccer, and I loved getting out for a walk or a hike.
I started running races a few years ago and usually use that as my motivation to keep moving. This year was my busiest in terms of races. I ran a 10-miler with my sister in March, then a 10k with my friend in early June, then was part of a triathlon relay with Jeremy and his sister in late June and then did the annual Four Miler with family in September. After all that I vowed to myself that I would not run at all through the winter. I wanted to let my body recover since running is so hard on my knees and back. I told myself I would focus on my core. This is where Jillian comes in…
I’ve been doing her 30 Day Shred workouts for a couple of years. And I wanted to use those as my core strengthening workouts this winter. They are great because I can do them in less than 30 minutes, and they really do push me to my limits. After staying consistent with the Shred workouts and walking on the treadmill for a few weeks, I was feeling great. Even with the dark winter mornings, I’m motivated to get up and exercise. (It might have a tiny bit to do with wanting to eat all the delicious food the holidays bring and needing to work off all the calories, but that’s another post for another time.) After working out in the morning, I feel great throughout the day knowing I’ve already gotten it done.
One of my favorite recent quotes I found on Pinterest is “You can feel sore tomorrow or you can feel sorry tomorrow. You choose.” It is so true. And most days while I lay in the dark wondering if I should just get more sleep or get up and workout, I now think about this and choose to be sore rather than sorry.
And now that I’m feeling stronger, I couldn’t stop myself from running despite my vow to not do it all winter. I used to say that I wasn’t a “runner.” Even though I do all these races, I didn’t consider myself a “runner.” But the fact that I couldn’t go 2 months without breaking down and hitting 6 on the treadmill must mean something. I enjoy it (usually), and I need it (most of the time). So thank you Jillian Michaels for getting me out of bed every day and for pushing me beyond my comfort zone. And thank you exercise for helping me remember my need to stay active.
Thankful #3 November 19, 2011
Today I am thankful for technology. In a way, this relates to my post yesterday about memories. Technology like this darn computer I write all my blogs on…. Technology like cameras, iPhones, text messaging are just the things we use to document and then recall the memories.
Pictures are a time capsule for me. My Picasa account has thousands of pictures on it. And that number grows daily. While we have definitely slowed down in our picture taking now that the kids are older and life is busier, I still cherish what visual memories we keep, like this day when the kids had a blast playing in the leaves.
I’ve been putting together the photo calendar we make each year for our parents and other family members. I looked through a year of photos to pull the ones worthy of looking at for a month on end. I realized that we usually take pictures only at important events now – birthdays, trips, etc. But every so often I would find a random picture from just a normal day, and it would take me back to that day to remember why I was so inclined to pull out our DSLR or my iPhone to document the moment. The fact that we can take pictures (of good quality!) with our phones and then send that picture to others instantly or post them to Facebook for all of our “friends” to see or create a slideshow set to music or print the picture on a calendar to remind us of the moment next year… It’s all mind boggling for sure. But it’s also pretty darn awesome.
How else would I have gotten this picture of my nephew on Halloween night?
How else could my sister create an amazing slideshow of our past for my mom’s retirement? How else would my best friend be able to send me warm fuzzies via text message when she knows I need cheering up and can’t be there in person? TECHNOLOGY! Thank you technology.
Thankful #2 November 18, 2011
Today I am thankful for memories. We live each day often in a blur – just trying to get through the day. We barely recognize the events happening right in front of us. It could be your daughter reading a new word for the first time or your son making a joke that gets everyone laughing or your husband telling you you’re beautiful… or your dad singing Billy Joel at the top of his lungs while he drives you to soccer practice. These are all memories that often get passed over until it’s all you have left.
Today would be my dad’s 65th birthday. He’s been gone for the past 19 years, though. He has missed many memories with us, and we have missed having him included in ours. As each year passes, the memories of my dad comfort me even more. I’ve realized how grateful I am to have the memories I do have of him. Yes, I’ve missed out on some of the big ones – father/daughter dance at my wedding; seeing him hold my children for the first time; having him help us with projects in our first home… But I have other memories that carry me through.
- Playing basketball in our driveway and ping pong in our basement.
- Hearing him cheer me on at my soccer games.
- Him taking group pictures of me and all my girlfriends when we had our annual gift exchange.
- Watching Top Gun in the theater for the first time.
There are many more that I recall each day. I’m thankful for those memories.
And I’m thankful for all the memories I continue to make with my own family and friends. Because as we get older, lives change and kids go to college, these memories that might seem trivial right now will be just the thought I need to put a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.
Thankful #1 November 17, 2011
There is just one week until Thanksgiving. The next 6 days will fly by with all the planning, cooking, traveling and just keeping up with the rest of life, and I feel like I need to take time out of all of that to be thankful for everything around me. I feel it is better to understand it all now BEFORE Thanksgiving so I can truly embrace the day when it comes.
Today I am going to start with my husband. I am extremely thankful to have him in my life. It’s been almost 11 years since we first met. I was grateful to have gotten the second chance to meet him because it led to me “knowing” he was the one for me. And here we are…
The reason I am especially thankful for him right now is because I have come to fully appreciate the life we have together and the life we give each other when we’re apart. See, we’re finally at the stage in our lives where the kids are grown up enough that taking care of them by ourselves is not as daunting as it used to be. We aren’t knee-deep in diapers; we aren’t dealing with feeding schedules; we aren’t worrying about naps interfering with plans; we aren’t feeling like the kids need constant attention. This all leads to us encouraging one another to go out with friends at night or to indulge in our hobbies (oh wait, we don’t have hobbies, but that’s another story for another time!) We’ve built a strong foundation for our life together, and now we can finally get back to building our life back up outside of family – with friends, work, extracurriculars…
So I am thankful for my husband – for loving me, for supporting me, for encouraging me. And I am extremely thankful that he allows me to pursue a life outside of him and outside of the family because I truly believe that to survive and thrive as a couple (and family), we need to each have something that is all our own.
Halloween Fun November 3, 2011
It’s 3 days after Halloween, and I think I’m still on a sugar high. Honestly, I want to either throw all the candy away or just eat it in one big binge so that I don’t have to see it anymore. I want to get back to eating baked goods. Candy is nice for a change, but I’m done with it. (Except for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups because I can never be done with those!)
All in all, we had a lovely Halloween here in Maryland. The weather was good after a weekend of snow and sleet. The kids were on their best behavior and pumped to get to trick-or-treat with Daddy and Aunt Kristin. And I got all the decorations up at the last minute in hopes of welcoming a lot of neighborhood kids. Unfortunately there was only a knock knock knock on my door 5 times… And the last one was my own kids! Sad. So sad. Especially after the neighborhood listserv had everyone email their address if they were welcoming kids for trick-or-treating. Still only four groups. But the kids went a few streets over where the streets are less busy and the neighborhood is more active. It was the perfect amount of Halloween for them. The question for next year remains… Do we stick it out and try to build the activity in our own neighborhood through consistent participation or do we defect and go to our friends’ neighborhood where they block off the street, eat hot dogs, serve beer and let the kids run wild? Hmm…
So Halloween is officially over. Christmas decorations are already going up in stores and around town, but I’m counting down to Thanksgiving. We’re renting a house this year at the beach, and I couldn’t be more excited for the extra long weekend! Hopefully by then, I’ll be ready to stuff myself with food and sweets again.