I failed. I committed to thirty days of gratitude and did 11ish. That's less than fifty percent. That's terrible. In my defense, we have had a broken collar bone, Sucrose Guy traveling extensively, my mom move in with us, my mom move out into her own house, the flu, and Christmas. But, just to make sure I complete the task at hand, least I be a quitter...and to assure you have have many things to be grateful for, I give you the other 19ish things that deserve a little thanks in my life.
12. My bed. Oh how I love this piece of furniture. It comforts me at the end of a long day and reminds me there is always tomorrow.
13. My dogs. They never mouth off and really isn't that reason enough?
14. Christmas vacation. While two weeks off school is a tad bit excessive, I love spending time with the kids and not having a schedule. I love doing things at our own pace rather than living by the dictates of the calendar.
15. A roof over my head. While the house we are currently in isn't my favorite. It is a roof over my head and shelter from the uber harsh Arizona winter.
16. Service. There is no better way to be reminded of what you are blessed with than to serve another. No matter how bad I think my problems are, I have come to understand with every act of service, I am grateful I have been given the burdens I have and not the trials and tribulations given to others I have known and served.
17. Fuzzy socks. To slip on a pair of fuzzy socks on a gloomy day kinda makes the day seem ok.
18. Tutoring. I love to see the wheels turn in the minds of young people and to see the kindling of a fire when a child begins to understand a concept and a whole new world opens up to them.
19. The writers group I go to. They humor me by laughing at my jokes and they think I am smart. It's a little boost to the ego every time I go. Everyone should have a place to go where they can feel that.
20. The peppermint dark chocolate ice cream at Cold Stone only available during the holidays. This mouth melting ice cream in combination with crushed oreos is the best dessert ever. The fact it is only available one month a year makes it that much better.
21. Date night. They seem to be less frequent than I would like, but I love when we get to spend time together and remind ourselves of why we dated and got married in the first place. It is on these occasions I am reminded that I not only love him, but I really like him.
22. My car. Although we are currently a one car family, and have been for a year now, AND I just had to spend an arm and a leg on it in "scheduled maintenance," I am so grateful to have four wheels to get me around. I am not going to sugar coat it, I hate exercise and I am glad I don't have to ride a bike everywhere I go.
23. Teachers. My kids have great ones and I can never underestimate the importance of great teachers.
24. Technology. It is pretty much a given that if I was required to hand write letters to keep in touch with friends and family, I would be in trouble. I am grateful for modern technology in all its glory that allows me to keep in touch and watch families grow up.
25. Texting. Technically I know it's technology. But it is in a class all on its own. I love that there is no longer a need for a 45 minute friendly conversation to borrow a cup of sugar. A simple "do u hav sugar i can borrow?" solves the daily dilemmas of life.
26. Laughter. It truly is the best medicine.
27. Family. Everyone needs a tribe to which they feel like they belong.
28. Chicken and waffles. Yes, my birthday present this year was a trip to Lulu's Chicken and Waffles and it did not disappoint. All the servers wore t-shirts that said "Ghetto Hen." I have decided I need one of those.
29. Super Target. While this store is sooooo dangerous for me, I love that I can get my kids clothes, computer supplies, birthday presents, and my groceries in the same place. Those people at Target are geniuses!
30. Joy. I will always be grateful that I have it, but more importantly, I am grateful I know how to recognize it in all its forms.
In a year where it would be easy to forget what is really important, Hollywood, Curly, and the Wee one have certainly anchored me in rememberance. Joy is found in the little things, and in the time spent together. This is what I will always be most grateful for.
I really am trying to find the Christmas cheer and be grateful for all I have been blessed with. But the offspring are making it difficult. I don't know how you do it managing all those elves! Why aren't you crying every day asking them if they hate you? Is Mrs. Clause the enforcer in your home so that you can maintain your holiday cheer through the season? I guess if I could eat cookies and hot cocoa all day and find social acceptance in being a "jolly soul" I wouldn't mind the 20 pounds I put on drowning my cares in sugar.
This morning Hollywood stepped in the sleigh in front of the tree and is now complaining his foot hurts. He said it was dark and he couldn't see it. I say he probably thought it was funny to sit in the sleigh and pretend Rudolph was guiding him. I told him limping or not, he was going to school.
Shortly after pedaling pain relievers to both of the older ones and racing to get them in the gate before the morning bell rang, the wee one came running in with her nose scrunched and trying to blow snot rockets. There was an open bag of fruit snacks in her hand and before she even said it, I knew what she had done. I spent the next fifteen minutes with a pair of tweezers dislodging the half chewed fruit snack from her right nostril. Upon successful extraction, she joyfully exclaimed, "yea Momma you did it. Good job!" I reminded her that fruit snacks do not go anywhere but our mouths to which she replied "got it."
Curly's really been a trooper with her broken collar bone (the Motrin is largely facilitating this). But yesterday, she tripped over a cord and fell on her way out the door to school. Then, at lunch, a kid at school plowed into her shoulder which brought on immediate tears and a trip to the nurse. She told her teacher she was fine and stuck out the rest of the day. I am sure it had something to do with the fact they were building gingerbread houses and each got to take home a giant bag of candy and treats.
So this year Santa, will you bring me a vacation? It could come in the form of a hotel for one just to sleep uninterrupted for the night, or a trip to Hawaii, whichever is better for the budget. At this point, I would even take a sound proof room with padded walls and a door that locked from the inside. If it is convenient, just pick me up in the sleigh when you drop by on Christmas eve. Free airfare is always a bonus.
Gotta run, the wee one has been in the bathroom an awefully long time and she's quiet. That's never a good sign.
I have never really considered a myself a great friend. I am not entirely thoughtful, I never write thank you's (even though I always think I will), I don't call often, and I discovered last night when I awoke at three in the morning from a terrible nightmare, that I will leave you to fend for yourself if we are in a room together with a psychopath. I am so bad that while I was searching through my digital photos for a picture with friends, I didn't have a single one so I had to google images of friends for the blog picture.
Nevertheless, there are those who will still call me friend. So to all of you, I say thank you. I have learned something from every one of you. There are some of you who will tell me my butt looks terrible in plaid (you get extra thanks!). There are some who will listen to me whine about mundane things. There are some who will let me cry on your shoulder. There are some who let me entertain you so that I can feel like I am good at something. What would I do without all of you? Probably shrivel right up and melt like the wicked witch of the west.
Today, and always, I am grateful for you. Next year, I might even try to be a better friend. Well, at least maybe I'll work on hugging without cringing.
For several months now there has been quite a heated debate over a new temple to be built in the city of Phoenix. There are a couple dozen people who have come together in vehement opposition of it being built. Throughout this time frame, several planning committee meetings have been well attended and emotions have run high on both sides. According to Arizona law, the church has the right to built a temple here, to light it however they want, and to have a steeple height of over 70 feet since steeple height is unregulated in the state. The issue is a grating of a 10 foot variance to accommodate the height of the actual building. In every preliminary meeting, the committees have always voted in favor of the variance approval. Last night was the City Council meeting in which the Mayor and Council would cast the deciding votes regarding the issue. The meeting was held in the Opheum Theater downtown to accommodate all of the people in attendance. The theater was filled to near capacity, yet only 98 people present were in opposition. Vehement opposition.
For the past several weeks, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints have been encouraged to attend this City Council meeting to show their support of the temple. When I heard it was on a Wednesday night, I nearly dismissed the idea of going entirely. Logan has football games, I have tutoring, and another commitment was scheduled for this night as well. But as the days on the calendar flew by, I began to think, "what if I don't go and the variance isn't grated. What if I could have taken a stand and didn't."
Admittedly, it is a little known fact that I do not in any way shape or form enjoy confrontation regarding issues of a religious nature. Most people who know me are surprised to discover I am a Mormon. I have come to realize this probably because while I have an infinite amount of faith in the gospel, I do not often take a stand. Thus, my palms began to sweat profusely when I slapped on the neon pink name tag which read "I Support the Temple" in big black lettering just before entering the theater.
I knew in that moment I had boldly professed where I stood, and they I may be beaten in a dark parking structure for it. I knew, that if asked, I needed to show others why I know temples are important, and why it is important for Phoenix to have a temple. It's importance is not found in the sales tax or other revenue that will be brought into the city as a result of people coming to the temple. It is not in the increase of property values which often accompanies temples being built. It is not in the peace I find in walking the gardens of the temple grounds.
The importance of this temple being built rests in the family. Within the walls of the temple, families are sealed together forever by the priesthood authority of God. This means that the family unit is sealed together for time and all eternity. Relationship persevere beyond the grave and our mortal existence. Because of the temple, I know that what I have worked so hard here on earth to create within my family will be carried on into eternity. I believe that is worth taking a stand for.
Today I am grateful for temples. I am even more grateful Phoenix will soon have one.