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Thank You

Happy (early) Thanksgiving everyone!  As of this moment, I’m still not quite sure what our plans will be for the day.  My mother-in-law, husband, and myself had decided to skip the cooking and the mess this year and just go to Cracker Barrel for some food before spending time together at the house.  But because my sister-in-law will be here with her 1-year-old daughter and because she insists on a traditional Thanksgiving, my poor mom-in-law may be stuck doing some last minute cleaning, crazy organizing due to the Christmas gifts scattered around her house, and some very last minute dinner planning.

My mother-in-law is a saint; there’s no other way to describe her.  Her dining room is literally buried under Christmas gifts, wrap, and accessories as she prepares for our first Christmas on December 1st in Ohio, yet she will not hesitate to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to make that room spotless so we can enjoy dinner.  She’ll get a turkey and a ham last minute and spend the entire day slaving away in the kitchen if her kid(s) want a traditional Thanksgiving celebration.  She is always putting herself last when it comes to us.

Prior to getting married, I always heard horror stories about in-laws.  They never considered you good enough for their baby, they stuck their nose in your business, they were mean and snappy when it came to how you kept your house or what foods you ate, and they were a headache you could never shake.  Considering how I met my husband, I couldn’t imagine his mother liking me in the least.  A chick he met on the internet who had a toddler running around?  I was certain I was the furthest thing from what she imagined for her son.

Thankfully, I was just being my usual paranoid self, as she welcomed me into her family without judgment and with open arms.  She’s done more for me in the last almost 5 years than my own mother has done for me my entire life.  She worries about us a bit too much, but that is the worst thing I can say about her, and even that isn’t much of a negative.  I can’t say it enough; I hit the mom-in-law jackpot.

I bitch a lot.  More than a lot.  But in all honesty, I have a pretty easy and comfortable life.  My husband loves me to pieces for better and for worse, never treats me poorly or is dishonest, always supports me, and is an incredible man.  My little boy loves me to pieces and is one of the brightest kids in his grade, he’s sweet as pie, and he always finds a way to impress me and make me proud.  We have the coolest and sweetest dog to ever exist.  We have a townhome with attached garage and a lake in our backyard.  We’re both employed full-time and in good health.  Life is good.

Regardless of what we end up doing for Thanksgiving, I’m just going to be happy for the time off with my family.  I don’t need turkey and trimmings or anything fancy.  We can go to Hardee’s for all I care.  As long as we’re together and safe, I consider that a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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A Moment Of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  This year marks the first time my husband and I will have our turkey dinner at home; my sister-in-law gave birth to a baby girl on November 11th and my mother-in-law is in Ohio helping her get through one of the many tough weeks of handling your first child.  She nearly cut her trip short in order to be back to cook us dinner at her home, but we insisted that we would be fine and would prepare our own meal.  Hopefully it goes well!

My son had a homework assignment last week to write down five things he is thankful for.  It was a challenge for him at first, but he eventually came up with a nice list that of course included his toys.  While it might seem cliché or silly for us as adults to write down the things we are thankful for, I think it’s a good exercise that reminds you of the positive things in life, something we just don’t look at enough.  In no particular order, I give you my list of what I am thankful for

1.  My son.  His birth gave me the strength to walk away from a bad relationship and to fully stand up for myself with my parents.  He taught me about priorities and what counts in life.  He makes me want to be a better person and to give him a better mom than I had.  Watching him grow from a feisty baby into an even feistier six-year-old has been both rewarding and a challenge, but he is definitely one of my greatest accomplishments.

2.  My husband.  I knew there was something about him when I first laid eyes on his photo and I can’t be happier that our long distance friendship resulted in marriage.  We rushed into things thinking love conquers all and discovered that not to be the case, but the hurdles we’ve had to jump have made us stronger as a couple and better as individuals.  He’s my partner in crime and my best friend; I can’t imagine ever being without him.

3.  My mother-in-law.  To say this woman is a saint is a great understatement.  She has done more for me in these last four years than my own mother has done for me my entire life.  She is the most selfless person I’ve ever met.  Her one flaw is that she neglects herself due to spending way too much time and effort on us kids.  If I ever get rich, I’m buying this woman a house and every servant imaginable so she can be pampered for the rest of her days.

4.  My job. It may drive me crazy at times, but it provides for myself and my family, allows me time to study and pursue other interests, and is a stable place to work.  With some struggling to find employment, I consider myself very lucky to have a great paying job.  Plus there are enough comical characters around here to keep me fully entertained.

5.  Our dog.  Adopted as a puppy from the Humane Society, this pup has brought enough joy into our lives to last a lifetime. He’s playful, vocal, loving and obedient.  He always knows exactly when one of us needs cheering up and he’s never too busy for cuddle time.  He’s such a personable dog and is truly a member of our family.  Plus he likes pizza; anyone who likes pizza is definitely a friend of mine.

6.  My memories.  I’ve been to the Bahamas, Key West, Pigeon Forge, Venezuela, Chicago, Niagara Falls, countless amusement parks and fairs and many other places that were new and exciting for me.  Even if they weren’t perfect at the time, I can look back whenever I want and remember all the fun I had.  So long as my mind is in tact, no one can take my memories away from me or from the people I spent my time with.

7.  My brain.  I was in the gifted program in school and I’ve never had a problem learning new things and retaining information.  I’m not the smartest chick in the coop, but I have the advantage of having higher than average intelligence and should use it more often.  I’m sometimes amazed at the random bits of knowledge that have stuck with me throughout the years, regardless of their level of importance.

8.  My best friend.  I’ve known him for nearly 18 years now and although we don’t talk as much as we used to, we always seem to pick up right where we left off.  He got me through high school and has always supported me, whether he meant to or not.  He’s one of the few people who I never have to worry about judging me and one of the few people I can really trust.

9.  The internet.  It’s been so long since AOL dial-up that I often forget what life was life before I had the world available in my pocket.  Smartphones, online gaming, instant streaming movies and TV shows; I’d honestly be lost if we had to go back to the pre-internet days.  It’s overwhelming at times, but I enjoy being connected to whatever I choose, regardless of where I may be.

10.  The bad stuff.  Every negative thing that has happened in my life has helped shape the person that I am today and made me stronger for having experienced it.  I’ve lost nearly all my possessions twice over and while it was awful, it’s made me more appreciative of what I have now.  I wouldn’t want to relive any of it, but I’m grateful it happened so I could get where I am today.

Happy Thanksgiving!  What are YOU thankful for?

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