Tag Archives: friends

Week of Thanksgiving: Day 1

If you read Thursday and Friday’s posts last week, you know that our week sucked big time wasn’t exactly that fun. One of the things that got me through the week, and that has helped tremendously this year, is repeating to myself over and over and over again a list of what I’m thankful for. In fact, Friday night when I couldn’t sleep and it felt like everything in the world was piling on my shoulders, I reached over to hold Brad’s hand and we started brainstorming every single thing we could think of to be thankful for. He was thankful that I didn’t have to work that day, and that I’d come to surprise him for lunch…. he said that thought alone carried him through the day. That I was safe. That I with him when it happened. That we were close to home. I wish you could’ve heard the gratitude and the absolute faith in the tone of his voice as we were laying there in bed. I said I was thankful that there was money in the bank, we have a roof over our heads, we can pay the bills, Zoe is healthy, Jess and Ryan came by to visit…. the list goes on.

And then, over the weekend, I started thinking that I wanted to do a week of giving thanks. I know that it’s pretty popular on Facebook right now to do the “31 days of Thanksgiving”. I think I did it for like 3 days or something. But, when I think back over this year… or the last 15 months…. gratitude is one of the predominate themes.

This past Saturday my parents showed up at our house “to help”. By the time they were done “helping” Brad was completely speechless, and I was just about there myself. But, that’s what this year has been like…. Brad and I get to a place where we don’t think that we can walk another step, and then our village steps in, and they say {in countless ways} “I’ve got your back.” “We believe in you.” “We love you.” “We believe in what you’re doing, keep going.” And that humbles me in ways I can’t even put to words.

Just as I was writing that last paragraph I had a flashback to our wedding. Brad and I wrote our own vows, and in my vows to him I said, “I’ll be your biggest fan and your loudest cheerleader”. And, that’s what our village has been to us through this season. Honestly, I don’t even know if I have words in my vocabulary to say how incredibly thankful I am for that. I’ve leaned on their support more than I even realize. The times where love and encouragement helped smooth a transition with Zoe. Or when we get that night off just to go be a married couple. {Just this past Saturday my parents sent us to the store while they stayed home with Zoe…. we were like kids! That was one of the best shopping trips that I can remember, just enjoying each others company… laughing and flirting all through Publix.} I’m just grateful for it. The times where we’ve been given an unexpected gift card to a restaurant nicer than Five Guys, or when we’ve stood in front of our cupboard and tried to figure out where the money was going to come from for groceries…and then the next day they’re full to overflowing because one of our parents just “stopped by to give us a little something”. It’s humbling. It’s faith building.

I could go on and on with examples from the past 15 months of love, support, encouragement, and unexpected provision {like in the thousands of dollars, unexpected provision} from this past year. But, instead, I just want to say thanks.

To Our Village,

Thank you for every time you’ve come beside us and held our hands on this journey. Thank you for every ounce of support you’ve given. Thank you for listening to me as I freaked out about becoming a mom. Thank you for laughing at me those times I’ve gone a little bit crazy. Thank you for helping me laugh this year. Thank you for filling our cupboards, our gas tanks and our hearts. Thank you for writing checks and for sitting on our couches and sharing your life with us. Thank you for distracting us from whatever problem we need distracting from, and for analyzing situations until we figure out the problem and then helping us come up with solutions. Thank you for sending us out on date nights. Thank you for thinking that my child is the most amazing child on the face of the planet, or at least for acting like you do. Thank you for spoiling my daughter like crazy, she is so lucky to have a village like you. Thank you for encouraging me to write. Thank you… for everything. We are so incredibly blessed to have a village like you.

With all the love in our hearts,

Brad, Rebecca and Zoe

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Things I hope I never forget

– Yesterday Zoe took a really long nap in the afternoon. We’re slowly getting rid of her morning nap {at her request} and yesterday was one of the days where she didn’t take it at all. On top of that, she’s been sick the past several days. Teething. Again. My child gets a pretty severe cold with every tooth that she cuts. At least I know what to expect now, although hearing her cough and looking into her sad watery eyes never gets any easier. My point is, she slept. Hard. And for like 3 1/2 hours. I was so ready to get her when she woke up… it’s crazy how much you can miss your baby when they’re taking a nap, while at the same time loving every single second of silence. At her first cry I raced upstairs and swooped her up in my arms. She cuddled right in to my neck, wrapped both hands around me and up in to my hair, and then she twirled it like she does 5,000 times a day. It melted my heart.

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– While we’re on the subject of Zoe. I hope I never forget her expressions in this age. They are so dramatic and so freaking hilarious. One of my favorite, and the picture I’m about to show you isn’t the best example, is her eyebrow raise. Those eyebrow muscles must be the strongest muscles in her entire body, because she works them out hard every single day. I love it. I love her little personality, or her BIG personality in a little person’s body.

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– I hope I never forget what it feels like to have such a tiny little body snuggled up as close as possible, with a little tiny hand on my forearm as we read books together 538 times a day. It’s just the best.

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– I hope I never forget the example of friendship that Ann showed us this weekend. Ann was my sister’s best friend when she lived in Kuwait. Originally she’s from Canada, but she’s been teaching internationally for 5 years now. This year she’s teaching in Korea. When she found out that Jessica was getting married she went to her principal to get time off. She flew from Korea 19 hours to spend 2 days with Jessica and 1 day shopping, and then she flew <em24 hours BACK to Korea…. just to be at her friend’s wedding…. First of all, do you know how much that trip costs????? Secondly, do you understand the amount of jet lag that she’s going to experience? Third, can you imagine how much that meant to my sister? She cried for days when she found out that Ann was coming. Everybody needs friends like Ann in their life.

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– And finally, I hope I never forget that Christmas starts the day AFTER Thanksgiving! People, seriously?!?!?! What is the deal? All over Facebook I’m seeing status updates of people who have already decorated their house for Christmas {I know some of you are reading this post…don’t get offended, please, I mean no offense}. I know one family who’s tradition it is to decorate the week before Thanksgiving because they’re pastors at a church and the holiday season is b-u-s-y at church. I get that. But, for the majority of Americans? We’re just jumping the gun. Let the big department stores jump the gun…that’s annoying enough…buy your Christmas cards early, buy a few decorations early…sure. But, the beauty of Christmas is that it’s a special time…it’s this short window between Thanksgiving and New Years where everything is magical and lights twinkle in the night. We’re going to lose the magic if we jump on the November bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I love decorating for Christmas. I love my Christmas decorations. I buy snowmen so that I can keep them up through the winter after I’ve put the “Christmas Christmas” decorations away {After New Year’s}…but I decorate during that long weekend. And it’s special. And it’s magical. And it’s wonderful… and I hope that it always stays that way. For 2 more weeks, this is all the decoration you’re going to see at my house…and it’s only because she’s just so darned cute!

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Happy Tuesday Ya’ll!

PS…Seriously, please don’t be offended if you’ve already decorated for Christmas. Chances are, if we were having a face to face conversation, I would tell you the same thing…you would say, “Yeah..but I like them out. And I just wanted to do it.” And I would laugh and say, “Well…alrighty then. They’re pretty!” And then we would talk about all your favorite decorations and deals that we found in stores.

PPS. I’m opinionated…but I truly don’t really care what you do. Whatever floats your boat…you know?