I'm thankful that my brand new nephew - born yesterday (Happy Halloween, baby Forest!) - arrived safely and that both he and his mama, my sweet SIL Chandi, are healthy.
I'm thankful for the (more) fall-like weather we experienced this past weekend, especially on Halloween night when the conditions outside - around 70 degrees, light breeze, no mosquitoes - were absolutely perfect for trick-or-treating.
I'm thankful for friends who willingly and graciously pick up the slack when I accidentally drop the ball.
I'm thankful that Will ended up with a soccer coach who, while lacking in administrative and organizational skills, truly understood the game and how to coach a player like Will.
I'm thankful for the rain, not just because our grass needed a drink and I love dreary weather, but also because wet soccer fields meant practice was cancelled. As a result, we enjoyed an unexpected and much-needed night at home.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to catch up with a close friend who I see far too infrequently these days.
I'm thankful for a night out - Mexican food at Ninfa's and Gone Girl in the theater - with the hubby, and for a truly amazing babysitter who keeps my kids safe and happy (and laughs about their "quirks") when I can't be with them.
I'm thankful for an quick, easy, and very affordable family photo session before and during which no one cried, threw a tantrum, pooped in their underwear, fell in a marsh, bit someone else, or spilled on their one and only photo-ready outfit. Yes, all those things have happened during past photo shoots.
I'm thankful I managed to get Hallie's hair untangled from her new mermaid toy's hidden propeller. The box warned "keep away from hair" for a reason.
I'm thankful for our first full weekday afternoon at home since soccer season started more than two months ago, and that Tom was able to make it home to join the kids and me for dinner.
I'm thankful for a good friend who gave me a fabulous coupon for free Zumba pants!
I'm thankful that not every day feels as wasted or leaves me as frustrated as this one did.
I'm thankful that both kids' teachers - as well as Will's switch teacher - made time in their busy schedules for me to come into their classrooms, talk to their students about the mission of the American Red Cross, and then coordinate Holiday Mail for Heroes card-making parties. I hope the service members who receive these cards will be able to look past the misspelled words and upside-down Christmas trees to feel the love that Will, Hallie, and their classmates put into them.
I'm thankful that neither Will or Hallie asked me why male ballerinas wear nearly sheer, skin-tight white tights when they dance. (Because I don't know the answer.) I'm also thankful that neither Will or Hallie asked me about the body parts that those nearly sheer, skin-tight white tights do a fantastic job of highlighting.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with just Hallie while Will joined friends for a laser tag birthday party. I'm also thankful that I learned about the awesomeness that is laser tag.
I'm thankful for a Packers win, even though we never get to actually watch Packers games.
I'm thankful for our fireplace, and the ease with which it lights and can be extinguished. My family had a wood-burning fireplace for a few years when I was little, and while it created a warmer atmosphere and provided actual warmth, firewood logistics as well as lighting, maintaining, and extinguishing the flames took up hours of my dad's time every evening. Now, lighting a fire in the fireplace on a cool night is so quick and easy that even Hallie could do it. (Though we OF COURSE don't let her.)
I'm thankful for Sonic's half-price drinks on weekdays between 2pm and 4pm. Without the draw of small Sonic cherry limeades (Will) and lemonades (Hallie), we might never make it out of the house and to dance on time on Tuesday afternoons.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to attend a City-Wide PTO meeting with many of our school district's leaders, and for the delicious catered lunch that was provided. What a treat!
I'm thankful for a night out - to see Mockingjay, Part 1 in the theater on opening night, no less - with my girlfriends!
I'm thankful for a night out (again to see Mockingjay, Part 1) with Tom. We made it on two dates this month, which I dare say hasn't happened since before Will was born!
I'm thankful for each of my 36 years on this earth, and for the people who have made those years worth living.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend a rare Sunday afternoon together, just the four of us (and approximately 2,200 soccer fans), watching the Aggie women's soccer team win their NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game and advance to the Elite Eight. (And thanks to the Aggie Soccer organization for always inviting kids like Will and Hallie to participate in the pre-game ceremonies - Hallie loved her first experience "walking out" with the team.)
I'm thankful for this short school (two days) and work (three days) week. Knowing the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was just around the corner made getting out of bed this morning much
I'm thankful for the beautiful weather - highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's - we've had and expect to continue having this week. These conditions draw us outside and into the fresh air during the day, and bring us close together, usually reading books in front of the fireplace, in the evenings.
I'm thankful to have so many valuable professional resources - doctor, nurse, accountant, teacher, principal, and realtor - in my family members, as I've needed to tap into their individual knowledge bases and field experiences quite a bit throughout the last few months.
I'm thankful for my loving, supportive family - Tom, Will, and Hallie, as well as our parents, grandparents, siblings, niece, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins - and friends. I'm thankful for my health, and for the health of those I love. I'm thankful we have a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear. I'm thankful we have what we need, and for the opportunity to give back to those who, for whatever reason, could use a helping hand up.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.