I wanted to write not one but two posts encompassing everything I'm thankful for this year.  Because, let me tell YOU, it's been one heck of a year.  I'm blessed, lucky, fortunate, however you choose to look at it.  I have a lot to be thankful for. 

Life has happened though.  The kids and I will be spending Thanksgiving with my family in Arkansas and are leaving tonight.  (It's just the kids and I because Eddie has to work on Turkey Day.  SAD FACE).  We got back home late Saturday and I've spent the past couple days with children steady trying to crawl back in my body -- all while trying to unpack, do laundry, and get back in the swing of things because, HEY HEFFA, YOU AREN'T IN MEXICO ANYMORE (again, SAD FACE).

So there aren't two entries filled with prose-y stanzas.  Instead there is one full of cliche and lots of "DUH" moments.  But I couldn't let the season, this holiday, pass without taking a few minutes to write down all the things in my life that I'm so thankful for that I could just burst.

The other night we were eating TV dinner fettuccine alfredo for dinner.  Jaidan produced a few wooden skewers, handed a couple to his brother, and anounced that the two of them would be eating dinner with "chopsticks."  I suppose if I was a different type of mother I would've stopped them.  I mean, those things were sharp and we're talking about a six-year-old and four-year-old boy which means there was always the potential for a table-side sword fight.  But I allowed them to continue and laughed while they stabbed those noodles with the skewers and folded that memory up and put it in the little treasure chest in my mind so that I can pull it out when they're older and laugh with them about it.  I love how wonderfully weird my children are.  I love how, in their minds, a toolbox doubles as a treasure chest and how at least one of them has applied sunscreen (two hours after dark and when it was about 50 degrees outside) because he was "sweating."  I'm so thankful for my children -- for their innocence, for their weird, for the fun they bring into my life.

I'm thankful I have two boys -- and that my two boys have each other.  And I'm also thankful I have a little girl and that my daughter has a sister.  I can't even begin to imagine what my life would be like without the chaos that is four children under this roof.  And, oh my goodness, how thankful am I that every single one of these children is healthy?  The chaos and the noise and the "COULD YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN FOR JUST ONE MINUTE" is a sign that these children are well and healthy and whole.  And I could just end my thankful list right there because that's so much  more than what most people have and I could not ask for more.

I'm thankful that I have a husband who will buy tampons and even come in and tell me that he selected a particular brand because of how shiny and colorful the box was.  I'm thankful that last week, on our cruise, I was only mildly annoyed with him a couple times and never once felt the urge to throw him overboard.  I'm thankful that he works hard to provide for me and for our children and I'm thankful that his job allows me to stay home with our children right now when they're so young.  I'm thankful he and I see eye-to-eye on politics, that he does his own laundry, and that several years ago I decided to give him a chance even though UGH I was SO OVER MEN.

I'm thankful that I come from a very close family.  I'm thankful that my mom is my mom and my grandma is my grandma and sometimes I'm even thankful that my brother is my brother.  *Wink*  I never got a sister but the closest thing I have to one is my cousin Storme and, man, am I thankful I get to see her this week for the first time in six months!

I have the best girlfriends ever.  Hands down.  Don't bother arguing with me.  I wish they lived closer but it's cool because at least I get to have them in my life and have them as MY friends.

My little family has been so fortunate to be able to travel a lot this year and I can't even begin to express in words how grateful I am for the experiences we've had.  I love this country and I am so thankful to have been "Born in the USA."  We may not be in our best days right now, there might be a thing or two that I wish were different about our nation, but I always have been and always will be proud to be an American.  I'm thankful to come from a country that's as diverse and colorful as it is beautiful and awe-inspring. 

I am thankful for the roof over my head and, even though the living room walls are baby poop yellow and the kitchen needs a good updating, that my children get to grow up in a pretty house in a nice neighborhood with friends who live down the street.  I appreciate that we don't have to worry about where our next meal is going to come from or how we are going to manage shoes and clothes for our family.  We are so fortunate and so blessed.  So  many people in this world don't have those little things that we tend to take for granted on a daily basis.

I could go on to list a whole bunch of other possibly trivial and definitely materialistic things.  (Coke Zero, wine, whoever decided to stuff a jalapeno pepper with cheese, bread it and deep fry it, 90's on 9, college football, my iPad, the internet -- just to name a few).  But mostly my list of thankful comes down to what most of us are most thankful for: family, health, friends, food, clothing, and shelter.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
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