1. I'm thankful for the love and support of my family and friends. I mean I'm really thankful. Each of my relatives or my friends elicit a special memory in my life and each support me in different ways. For example, I have mom friends that offer "me-time" and toddler advice, single friends that inspire me to get dressed up and want to go out on the town, college friends that remind me of the antics we pulled as teenagers, work friends that challenge my intellect, a mom that inspires me to be generous like her, and a husband that (usually) brings calm and balance to my world. I'm thankful for each of their roles and how they, without even knowing it, help me to be my best every day.
2. I'm thankful for a warm house. Yesterday, I literally ran back and forth from my car as I was bringing in last minute shopping bags filled with Christmas presents. I wasn't running because I was in a hurry; I was running because it was COLD, and with a wind on top of the cold, it felt like below zero temperatures. I can't say enough about the feeling of stepping inside a warm house to let your fingers, nose, and toes thaw.
3. I'm thankful for opposites. At this time of year, during the darkest and coldest days, it's easy to get into a slump. I find myself going to bed much earlier at night, not wanting to go outside much, and not having a whole lot of energy. Without the holidays, I think "seasonal affective disorder", for many of us, would start much earlier. Still, without the dark days of winter, I would forget to appreciate the warm, glowing days of spring and summer. You need the dark to appreciate the light; you need the rain to appreciate the sun; you need the tears to appreciate the laughs, and really I do appreciate it all.
4. I'm thankful for living next door to my mom. My husband and I live in a duplex or two-family house where we live on one side and my mother lives on the other. (It's the same house I grew up in. At that time, my mom and I lived on one side and my grandparents lived on the other. Now we live on my grandparents' side.) When my husband and I were getting married, I wasn't sure about moving here. For one, there was a part of me that wanted "my own" house, and also I wasn't sure if I'd be able to live where my grandparents did--would it make me sad all the time because I miss them so much? Still, I'm so glad we tried out this living arrangement! When my husband wants to visit family or friends, I have an instant friend next door to visit myself, and...now that Little Lewie's here...we're always going next door to visit Gramy. He loves going back and forth between our two apartments, and he's become so close to my mom like I became close to my grandparents.
5. I'm thankful for my little Christmas helper this year. My little guy, for the first time, has helped me put up some Christmas decorations. He still doesn't quite understand what's going on, but I sure am enjoying trying to explain it all to him. One of my favorite days was showing him some of my old Christmas tree ornaments. I gladly took out my favorite--Mr. Peanut Elf. I've owned him since I was in elementary school, and even to this day, he still makes me chuckle. He's got a little felt hat with pom pom for the top of his peanut head, pipe cleaner arms and legs, and one of his pipe cleaner arms is holding a pipe cleaner candy cane. Oh, and of course his face is a simple smiley face with a dot nose drawn in marker. I LOVE IT!