Wednesday, November 25, 2015

With Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. It's certainly my favorite meal of the year. There are certain dishes that we only eat on Thanksgiving. The turkey, obviously, homemade stuffing, apple and sweet potato scallops, stuffed mushrooms, and more. My mouth is watering, so I should probably stop. Tomorrow's the day!!

I've always loved taking some time to be thankful during this time of the year (and really anytime of the year). The harvest is done, there's a warmth to be found within our abodes, there are loved ones to see & hug. I always have the urge to be cliche and ask everyone at the table to share what they are thankful for. The few times I've done it at my family gatherings it's met some eye-rolling and I get it.

In the last couple of months, during the time Ian's been at PMO, I've tried to be really purposeful with my hours alone. I've done more exercising, reading, journaling, and taken more time to just be quiet. It's been a blessing and a gift that I haven't taken lightly.

In two a half months, give or take a few weeks, life will be changing again. We'll be welcoming a precious baby into our family and life will move from somewhat predictable & routine to dynamic, full, and new. I find the time that I have now to regroup, focus, pour in, and savor the moments with only Ian as incredibly significant and I want to cherish and soak in as much as humanly possible.

I am so thankful that this breathing time is available in the here and now. It's led me to be much more content and much more present for Ian & Jim. Being a mama is all I've ever wanted and it brings me so much joy. I am so grateful for this purpose and opportunity to love our children daily and enrich their lives through activities and just giving them my time and energy.

This season I have recognized that during my "off" times, like naps and PMO, it's okay to take this time to replenish and thrive in my own way. I'm more productive and available in all faculties if I've taken some time for me. All other things will get done and DO get done faster.

This may sound obvious, but it's a lesson I've had to learn and relearn in the last months. I am so grateful for it.

While I am writing about being grateful, here's my 2015 list (in no special order!):

  • A warm house with all of the comforts we need (and some we don't!), with a glorious backyard, and a playground down the street. It's a toddler paradise and, for now, it appeases the urges Jim has to "homestead" (that term is used very lightly!). A garden, chickens, and very soon rabbits will be added to the mix.
  • My husband who works so hard for our family, our life,  and our dreams. For a man who daily walks into difficult medical situations and loves & cares for each patient with his humble, thoughtful, and knowledgeable skills. For an involved and passionate father who helps whenever he can, currently takes all of the nighttime sleep interruption shifts, and runs around the house in circles fifty plus times a night after hearing a simple, "C'mon Papa, run!" And for a man who just organized a weekend away for us as a couple to enjoy, pamper ourselves, and savor time together before life changes again (for the better).
  • For a toddler who seeks every opportunity to explore, learn, and create. As long as he's included, no adventure is too big for his little legs and heart. His love for music, singing, and being sung to, is a delight for us to behold. His language skills soar more and more each day, leading every day to be a gift of surprises and excitement. He brings more laughter, joy, and love into each day than we ever thought possible!
  • Our sweet baby, growing hearty and strong within my womb. Snuggling with me and reminding me of his/her presence throughout each day, making his/her way into our hearts and home. "Moosey" is so loved. As the season changes to cold, dry, and crisp, my heart only grows warmer thinking about the birth that is to come in the middle of winter, just before spring blooms around us. What a time to come into this world... just before all that's grey turns green and vibrant with an unlimited color palate.
  • Our families. Both sides don't live super close, but they make efforts to visit us when they can and we are grateful for the times we jet up to spend time with each of them. They love Ian so unconditionally and, in turn, fill our hearts as well. Thank you for being so supportive and encouraging through this residency & parenting journey!
  • The area where we live. Never would I have thought that we'd grow so attached to this location. Medical school brought us here six years ago and we've grown quite fond of it. There are many reasons... it's beautiful, full of outdoor adventure possibilities, is a multi-college hub, it has great cultural charm set in the Appalachian mountains, and great & healthy food and foodies abound. We have no idea how long we'll be here, but we love it and it will always be the first place that was really "home" to our life together.
  • Our community here is pretty stellar! We've made some wonderful, sure-to-be lifelong friends. For the first time since we've been married, we feel connected and embedded in a great group of people. Between potlucks, dinner dates, birthday parties, walks, play dates, craft groups, and rugby games, we hardly want for social opportunities. It's something we've expressed to each other time and time again this year... we are thankful for community and solid friendships.
We're about to hit the road for our Thanksgiving plans. I am sure there are many more things I should add to this list (and I probably will add them) but here it is for now.

Ian's first Thanksgiving craft.
He is so proud of this piece. Everyone who comes into our house
gets to see his "Turkey!" with "red, orange, green & yellow."
Made at PMO.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!

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