I'm thankful that I've been granted the title of 'mama'.
It continues to be the single most rewarding experience of my entire life. There are no words to explain the power of motherhood.
I'm thankful that 'mama' is also my current job title.
I'm grateful I get to be the one to see my baby's smiling face when he wakes up every morning, read him stories before nap, and kiss him goodnight every single day. I'm grateful that I get to be the one to make him breakfast, lunch, and dinner and we get to enjoy them together at our own pace every day. I'm grateful that I see and hear every giggle, new words and discoveries and kiss his tears away every day. I'm grateful that I get to be the one to teach him things and watch the outcome of those teachings every day. I know not everyone is able to experience these things so I'm forever grateful that we are in a place financially right now that makes it possible. The job doesn't come without its long days and daily struggles, but it's totally worth it.
I'm thankful for my crazy awesome husband. I'm still not sure how I'm so lucky that I get to spend my life with Justin, but every day I'm reminded of what an awesome choice I made. He is seriously a rockstar at his job (I can't even explain the awesome asset he is to his company...he's a true natural at what he does) and he works so hard every day so I'm able to stay home with Avery. He's hands-down the best father I could ever imagine and Avery adores his 'dada'. (The excitement that fills this house when the garage door opens at the end of the day is absolutely priceless.) Walking into Pizza Hut for that job interview six years ago has turned out to be one of the greatest decisions I've ever made - who knew?!
I'm thankful for my happy, healthy, tender-hearted little Avery. I know not every parent is blessed with a healthy child, so I thank God every day for Avery's health and pray that he continues to grow and develop as well as he has been. I love everything about him and his blossoming personality, I'll never get enough.
I'm thankful for the healthy baby that's growing inside me. With all my attention on my attention-loving toddler all day, it's easy for me to forget that baby's even there sometimes but his strong movements lately have reminded me he's growing ever bigger and stronger daily and continues to be healthy. The process of baby-growing is a pretty amazing thing.
I'm thankful to have vision in my left eye. I was driving yesterday and thinking about just over a year ago when I got smashed in the face with a baseball and how scary it was to not have any vision in that eye for about 6 hours. Having and using our senses is something that we all take for granted every day, but having one taken from you - even for a short time - is a humbling experience.
I'm thankful for the love and support of an amazing family. It's really hard being so far away from all of our family. But, even though we aren't close geographically at the time being, we manage to make the best of the situation and take the time to stay close. I'm thankful for the technology that allows us to do this and for the ability to share photos of the rapidly-growing Avery that they all love so much.
I'm thankful my teacher training. Being an art teacher is the perfect fit for me and although I'm not currently using my degree, I don't regret the blood, sweat and tears that went into becoming an educator. All my college training and hours spent with kids have helped make me the person that I am and the two years I spent teaching 7th graders gave me an invaluable set of skills that I use every single day in my 'mama' role. I can't explain how crucial those two years were to my personal development and the profound impact they had on me, and I look back on them fondly often.
I'm thankful for our amazing friends who have become our 'Indiana family'. We moved to Indiana not knowing a soul and were on our own when it came to making connections and meeting new people. Luckily for us, moving into our home in this neighborhood turned out to be a God-send. We have met some of the most warm, friendly people that we are blessed to call our close friends and they have welcomed us into their families with open arms. We are all raising our babies together and have created a very strong circle of support - truly like a family. We love them all so much and can't imagine doing life without them.
Of course I'm always thankful to have our health, food on our table, an amazing home in a safe neighborhood and reliable vehicles to drive. We have more than enough and are so blessed in so many ways. Life is good. I hope you take a minute to count your blessings this season too :)