Monday, November 24, 2014

What I’m Thankful For

Something I like about November is that it gives me a good excuse to come up with a list of things that I’m thankful for.

I bought this from Pottery Barn Kids (and plan to keep it up year round, because I love it) and we have started talking about things we are thankful for at dinner. Except the girls sort of get stuck in a rut where Hannah is always thankful for the iPad and Maggie is always thankful for macaroni and cheese.

We are working on it.

But keeping track of things you are thankful for is pretty much the best idea ever because it is the easiest and most rewarding happiness habit. I love to look back at old lists (I started keeping them on my phone). Highly recommend.

In No Particular Order.
  • Cold Weather. I always love cold weather in the fall (I stop loving it at the end of the winter, obviously). It’s so festive at the beginning of the fall though!
  • Warm Clothes. I love warm clothes. Like fleece lined tights. I think everything should be lined in fleece. Or sherpa. Or fur. (faux fur, of course)

  • Seasonal drinks. Hot chocolate, seasoned lattes, warm apple cider.
  • Fireplaces. The smell of families in the neighborhood using their fireplace. I don’t really like using the fireplace that much because smoke weirds me out. But sometimes we do it, around Christmas. But I like the smell of other people doing it.
  • Play Time. When the girls are playing together nicely. I especially love it when they are doing it all on their own and I didn’t have to encourage it in any way. (i.e., take away an iPad.) It is like, I want to go back to myself as a mom of babies me and say, hang in there. it gets better.
  • Big Girls. Ditto when the girls dress themselves, or put their seat belts on themselves, or get themselves water or a snack by themselves. It is like some kind of parenting miracle. It is about that time Cork will chime in with, hey! let’s destroy all our progress with another baby! And a little piece of my happiness sets itself on fire and goes up in flames. Just kidding. A baby brings its own special happiness. That is immediately cancelled out by all the hard work they demand. kidding again. kind of. No, seriously though, having babies and becoming a mom brought out this whole new, kind of awesome if I do say so myself, part of me that I’m forever grateful for. Kids are super hard though. like for real.
  • Going to Bed Early. I don’t know why I didn’t go to bed early starting in college. Like I know it isn’t “cool” but neither was I, so it would have worked out nicely. Going to bed early is my favorite. I go to bed early all the time these days and it is everything I ever dreamed it would be.
  • Pinterest. Don’t judge me, but I freaking love Pinterest. It has introduced me to some of my favorite recipes, decorating ideas, fashion bloggers, and craft/learning projects for the kids.
  • Marriage. I really lucked out with the whole marriage thing. I found someone who cooks (as in, dinner every day. Yeah, it is awesome) and cleans. He let’s me take naps on the weekends. I mean, sometimes we may want to punch each other in the face (which is kind of nbd, I sometimes want to punch everybody in the face a little) but we haven’t ever done it. Not once. (fyi, ditto everybody else I sometimes want to punch.) And he makes me laugh. (a lot.) Also, he reads directions, which I’m pretty much too lazy to read ever. So he’s pretty awesome to have around. And he never embarrasses me. EVER. A million years ago, I thought I’d never get married because I’m super judgmental about people saying nonsense or terrible things. And it seemed inevitable. People would be talking and I’d just be like, oh gosh, that was logically disastrous or super distasteful what you just said. and I can’t be around you any. more. ever. starting right this second. oh god. now. make this stop. And Cork never makes me feel that way. He’s really smart and compassionate. Like, really really. Which is huge. Because, I’ve seen other people with husbands who say stuff and I cringe for them and immediately love my husband even more. I mean, yuck. I don’t do second hand awkwardness very well. Plus, I’ve probably never been happier. So there is that.
  • Preschool Pick up. Drop offs still suck for Maggie (and therefore, me). But she makes up for it when she runs screaming to my arms at the end of the day. Or when I come while they aren’t outside playing and I see her jumping up and down at the window, saying, “MOMMY!” over and over again. 
  • Work BFFs. Work can be pretty rough sometimes. And yet it is bearable because I have these amazing friends who I get to see (almost) every day. Except they keep quitting (because see above). But I’m still forever grateful for their friendship and everything I’ve learned from them and all the times they have been there for me.
The corner of my desk that I used to cheer myself up
  • Extended Family. I have so many family members so close by, and it is amazing. I can call my sister and ask if my husband can borrow her car for the afternoon because his just got towed off right by her office parking garage. I can call my other sister and ask if she can watch the girls while I run and get my eyebrows done. I can stop by my parents house on the way home because the traffic is ridiculous. And best of all, we can all get together Saturday morning for pancake breakfasts. Plus, my brother’s in-laws live in Austin too, and they are pretty cool. Not that I’d borrow their car or anything (yet) (just kidding). But compared to moving to Washington, DC and NYC where I knew almost no one and had to move myself in and out by myself, and stuff like that, this is like heaven and I will never take it for granted. Feeling the opposite of lonely, and knowing you always have people you can count on, all the time is basically the best thing ever.
  • Puppy Dogs. I love having dogs. I love how every morning, when we feed the dogs breakfast, they will lick their plates clean and then simultaneously switch sides of the kitchen, running to each other’s plate to make sure the other dog didn’t miss a speck of food. I love how they are such creatures of habit (like me), and how Junebug is always cold (like me), and down for an extra blanket, and how much Maggie loves Tybalt (not like me, but still). I just love how they are always so happy to see us, and vice versa.
  • Crazy Baby. The girls have invented this game they play together called Crazy Baby. It is sort of like preschool with their dolls. The best part is, they have “special” versions of it, like Crazy Baby Halloween. And since they play on the iPads (#sorrynotsorry) they sometimes refer to adding new versions of the game as “downloading” them and retiring certain versions of the game as “deleting” them. As in, “if you’re not nice to me, I’m going to delete Crazy Baby Special Surprise!” or, “Thank you for letting me sit on the driver’s side! For being so nice, I’m going download a brand new Crazy Baby. It’s called Crazy Baby Christmas Time!” It is like, life imitating apps.
  • Shopping. (Just ask Cork.) Sometimes when people try to help me figure out what I should do with my life, they ask me what my favorite job was. And I always look back fondly on my time at J.Crew. Is that weird? I don’t think I could really make it in the retail business, though. Because Black Friday through Christmas conflicts with my favorite time at home (back then, not so much). But. One of my secret joys in life, I’m not even going to hide it, is shopping for clothes. If anyone ever needs help shopping for a big event or even a small one, shopping is pretty much my favorite thing. I basically deal with this unrequited love by filling up online shopping carts and closing the browser and walking away. Or not (Just ask Cork). 
  • Halloween through Christmas. I never want this part of the year to end. It is amazing. I love coordinating costumes. I love planning family meals. I love decorating. I love twinkling lights. I love all of it. September through January first needs to last longer. Or they need to get better holidays in the spring.
  • Cute Animals I found on Social Media. Self explanatory. But if you need any examples: Marnie the Dog, Pygmy Marmoset, Baby Eisleigh and Clyde the pit bull 
  • That I Could Go On And On... I could talk about how I’m still in touch with my elementary school teachers who are the most amazing women. How much I enjoy reading silly kids’ books to my girls. How thankful I am to own a home in a neighborhood I love on a quiet street where cute little kids walk with their parents and stop to stare at our pumpkin with the ghost that pops out (during Halloween, obviously). How much I love it when the girls put their plates up after dinner without being asked. How much I love it when my sister is better with my girls than I am, because that way I don’t have to get that awful, “nobody can mother them like I can” feeling (who knew that feeling replaceable would be such a relief?). That I have a minivan with doors that open remotely with the push of a button (it is awesome, TRUST ME). That I have friends all over the country from all different times in my life that I'm still really close to and can confide in and ask for advice about all sorts of random things. That I have great in-laws who love my little girls and treat me really well. That my family is healthy and none of us is under the care of an oncologist. And I could keep going and going, but I'll stop.

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