- Changing seasons. Even here in the desert, we get to see the light soften and the colors pop as the cooler weather and shorter days set in. We get to enjoy perfect hiking and biking weather most of the fall, winter and spring and then great swimming weather all summer. Plus we get snow once or twice a year - enough for a quick snowman in the morning - not enough to settle on the pavement or last more than a few hours. Perfect! And I love how the different seasons bring different traditions - Bear Lake and the Farm in the summer with all the cousins plus swim time with friends down at the pool almost every day when we're in town, pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup and pumpkin cookies all October and November, all the great stuff that comes with Thanksgiving and Christmas, bunnies everywhere in the wash behind our house to usher in the Easter season...
- My kids. They are SO fun right now. They all have their moments but I really wish I could bottle them up and keep them right where they are for a few years or so. They're all young enough to still have that excited wonder about the world around them and that lovely belief that their parents still know pretty much everything. But they're all old enough to do all sorts of fun things. I took them all to our little art museum here the other day and all five really got into the things I was pointing out about art (and for the first time in a museum that isn't a children's museum, I wasn't on edge every second about them touching something they shouldn't touch - they're becoming quite well-behaved!) and then we spend over an hour in the kids' corner of the museum, painting and creating art - everyone old enough (and young enough) to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
- My husband. I was shopping for the 20+ people we'll have here for Thanksgiving weekend and encountered lines that were WAY too long for the time I had to shop while the twins were at preschool. I was faced with being VERY late to pick them up or leaving everything and having to somehow squeeze in a trip later on back to the other side of town to shop all over again. Jared graciously agreed to do the preschool pick up even though he was having a very crazy day of his own. I'm so very blessed to have a husband who is always so willing to do whatever I ask him to do. He is the most helpful, patient, unselfish person I've ever known. And I get to be married to him. (and he's so handsome he still takes my breath away sometimes.)
- The Gospel. As we go through hard things and need the truth of the Gospel and the help of the Lord so deeply and as we experience joy and love heightened by having someone to thank, I am so grateful for the truths I hold dear.
- Income. As so many people around us loose jobs and as houses around us go through foreclosure, we're so grateful for a fairly steady income that covers our basic needs (as long as we're quite careful!).
- Cookies. I just love love love love them. Partly because they're the best dessert and only sugary thing worth eating in my book but also because they represent 100's or maybe even 1000's of gatherings with my family. My sister or I made cookies almost every day after school when we were in high school. She took public transportation, making several connections, from Boston University out to Wellesley College to make cookies with me (among other things) at least once a week while we were both in college. My brother Jonah joined in the cookie baking and mastered the art of the perfect cookie and while he lived next door to me, he used to bring me a plate full of nice fresh ones when I needed them most. Everyone in my family makes cookies for any other family member coming to visit. I remember so many times arriving at a sibling's home late at night after a long day of travel and finding that plate of cookies waiting. Warm cookies and warm hearts go hand in hand in my family. I think cookies would be much better than pie for desert at Thanksgiving dinner but I'll bow to tradition.
- The pilgrims. I love sharing the story of their courage and conviction with my kids every Thanksgiving and love counting my blessings that I didn't have to endure a rocky sea voyage, build my own home and grow my own food in a scary new world before enjoying a Thanksgiving feast.
- The Indians. I love thinking of their kindness to help these strange-seeming pilgrims and save them from starvation.
- The Power of Moms. I've been working so hard the past few weeks to get our new Learning Circles program up and running. There have been times when I have resented this work and wondered what in the world I'm doing trying to help other mothers be the mothers they want to be when I'm not 1/2 the mother that I want to be - especially when I'm so busy working on other projects. But as I work with really inspiring other moms and examine my own life as a mother while preparing materials to help other mothers do the same, I realize this is what I need. I'm a better mother when I'm working to be a good mom not just for myself and for my family but also for all the other moms out there who might benefit from the resources and ideas that have helped me
- My parents. They are amazing. I'm so blessed to call them my greatest advisors and cheerleaders and exemplars.
- My extended family. I'm so blessed to honestly like all my siblings and their spouses and kids as well as Jared's wonderful mother, siblings, spouses and kids. I know this is rare. I know I am so blessed. I'm so glad I married into a family so much the same as mine in some important ways (devotion to the gospel, devotion to family) and so very different from mine at the same time. I learn so much from all of them.
- Vegetables. I just love vegetables more and more and more (and like meat less and less and less). Vegetables are so beautiful and so tasty and they just make me feel so good. I'm so grateful that so many more fresh and flavorful vegetable options exist now than did when I was growing up - we were pretty much confined to canned corn, frozen peas or frozen mixed veggies, iceburg lettuce with pink, pulpy, tasteless tomatoes and ranch or thousand island. I grew up thinking vegetables weren't that good. But then I went on a mission to Bulgaria where all they had were fresh-from-the-garden veggies and wow - vegetables took on a whole new meaning to me. There's nothing like a vine-ripened garden tomato or a baby spinach salad with pears and poppyseed dressing or those french beans they have at Costco that you can just steam and eat with a little salt. Or edamame - yum. And sauted onions and peppers with a little chili powder thrown in wrapped up in a freshly cooked tortilla. And avacados. I'll stop now.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Lately I've been going off on how grateful I am for beauty and I've put a lot of stuff on here about how grateful I am for the twins. As Thanksgiving gets nearer, I want to take a minute to list some of the other things I'm so very grateful for in my life right now (in no particular order):