To finish things with a bang, here's a list of things I'm super grateful for that didn't specifically get blogged about earlier in the month. This list is just in the order they came to mind, not in some carefully-thought-out order. And this is NOT meant to be an exhaustive list - I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of really important stuff. But this is what came to mind today as we brainstormed thankful things in the car on the way to Logan for Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and my dad's side of the family.
- Heavenly Father. I don't know what I'd do without the knowledge that Someone is up there watching and caring all the time.
- Jesus. Jesus' example and teachings are at the core of what I believe and who I want to be.
- Jared's level head and lack of moodiness - the fact that he's everything I'm not.
- My home. I love how after a year, this house really feels like a home. There are memories here - not just ours but somehow also 100 years of memories from all those who've been here before seem to combine to create a good feeling in this house. I love this house's loveable imperfections and quirks.
- The way Oliver walks around with his head in a Magic Treehouse book most of the time these days, SO excited as he finishes each one.
- Eliza's big violet-blue eyes and sprinkling of freckles plus her lovely smile.
- Isaac's deep dark brown eyes ringed with the most enviable eyelashes - they're especially beautiful when they're full of sympathy or concern (as they often are)
- Ashton's amazing computer abilities and how he can help me a lot with POM and help with all my computer issues.
- The way Silas sings me this cute song about how he loves me at least 10 times a day.
- My amazing parents, 8 uniquely wonderful siblings, their spouses and the fun and great kids that my kids get to call cousins and that I get to call nieces and nephews.
- The wonderful family I married into. I learn so much from the examples of all my in-laws and just really enjoy being with all of them. I love that they're mostly further along with their families than we are with ours so we can watch and learn. (I have 8 siblings-in-law plus their spouses and children so I'm very richly blessed with both quantity and quality of family on both sides.)
- April. What would I do without April, my Power of Moms partner and dear friend? I email or talk with her daily and she is the most perfect business partner imaginable - she is hard-working, quick-thinking, super bright, full of inspired ideas, and amazingly efficient - not to mention one of the kindest and most wonderful friends I've ever had.
- Fall leaves. I love their colors of gold and burnt red and love crunching through them on the ground. We didn't get much of this in St George.
- Happy, good music that reminds me of what matters. My favorite songs right now are Everybody by Ingrid Michaelson, Good Life by One Republic, and Rhythm of Love by Plain White T's. I always get a burst of energy and happiness when I'm running and one of these songs comes on.
- Babies - I got to hold the cutest little baby at the Retreat in Arizona for a while. I love the fuzzy little heads of almost-bald babies (like all of mine) and I love love love when they gift you with a smile.
- Grocery stores. How awesome is it that we can drive for a few minutes and walk into a store full of 1000's of choices of food ready for us to pick up and take home?
- Cars. I'm so grateful that we have cars (one 7-year-old super reliable one and one 15-year-old that has been perfect until the last two years but is still holding its own). So relatively few people in the world have cars. Cars are a huge blessing.
- Mountains. From the red mountains of St George to the craggy granite peaks around here, mountains fill my heart with joy and awe.
- Skies. From the azure blues to the threatening grays to the vibrant colors of sunsets, I love the sky. Looking up always makes me smile.
- Beds. I love to sleep. I love it so much. I love my warm bed.
- Books. There's nothing like reading a book that is beautifully written and that takes you down virtual roads of understanding and adventure and learning. Favorites this year: Half Broke Horses, Whistling in the Dark,
- Animals. I love the simplicity of our pet snake and the joy he brings to the kids. I love that we have neighbors with a very nice dog and a lot of nice cats and that they kids get their animal fixes quite conveniently w/o us having to own our own furry friend. I love the look on my twins' faces whenever they see an animal.
- Beauty. A thing of beauty really is a joy forever. I love the golds, reds and greens of leaves on the path. I love beautifully crafted sculpture, paintings and music. I love the old carved doors and staircase and stained glass windows and inlaid wood floor in our house. I love the way beauty makes me smile inside and out.
- Neighbors. About 20 people showed up this morning for our last-minute Turkey Trot (some to participate and some to just cheer on everyone else). We had such a wonderful little run together - bikes, scooters, runners, all different speeds and ability levels. It was a gorgeous morning - golden leaves still above and underfoot, perfect running temperatures. We made it all the way down to the cemetery and back and kind neighbors set up a juice box/water station 1/2 way which was such a thoughtful touch. (see photo below)
- Good food. I love love love fresh tasty well-prepared, nicely seasoned food. Especially vegetables. I'm so into vegetables. And bread. Great fresh bread is a beautiful thing. And cookies. Have to admit I have a major soft spot for cookies - homemade ones from certain recipes, that is.
- Hymns. We always sing the first verse of "For the Beauty of the Earth" as a family when we're on top of a mountain or in some other beautiful place. Today we learned the second and third verses in the car on the way to Grandma Great's house (photos below) and I came to love the song even more. I'll end with the lyrics since it captures a lot of other stuff I'm so grateful for:
For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth,
over and around us lies
For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night
hill and vale and tree and flower
sun and moon and stars of light
For the joy of human love
brother, sister, parent child
Friends on earth and friends above (I felt some of them as we sang today...)
For every gentle thought and mild
Lord of all to thee we raise
this our hymn of thankful praise.