Monday, November 23, 2020

Giving Thanks

2020 has been A TRYING YEAR. And while we shouldn't need a national holiday to remind us to give thanks, it is convenient that Thanksgiving comes around once a year and pushes us to think about what we are thankful for. The year has presented a lot of challenges for our family and the broader world, but when I stop and think about it, I can still come up with a long list of things I am thankful for. So here are some of the things/people I am thankful for in no particular order!

I'm thankful...

- we are in a larger home than we were last year. We moved out of a 1,300 sq ft home and into a 2,400 sq ft home the weekend before Thanksgiving last year. We knew we wanted to have a 2nd child so that was the main reason for moving (our last home had 2 bedrooms plus an office). But I sure am glad we have more space since I've been working from home since March 12th and likely will through much of 2021! Phil WFH about 2 days/week but it's still nice that he has space to do so. We would have been very cramped in our old house, especially when Paul is home with us - which has been a lot. He's missed over 12 weeks of daycare (that we still paid for of course - ouch!). Only 2 weeks were due to his classroom being closed. The other 10 weeks were times we pulled him out to lower our risk of getting covid, with the exception of the 1 week we kept him out for a visit to my parents lake home. 

- that I have a healthy marriage. Phil and I have spent more time together this year than ever before since we've worked from home a lot and have not had the busy social calendars we had in the past. I will be honest and say that it's been challenging at times, especially during those 7 weeks in March/April when we had Paul out of daycare and were not seeing anyone - and I was dealing with first trimester exhaustion. Most friends that I've had candid/real conversations with have said this year has definitely put stress on their marriage but I'm glad we've been able to weather it. 

- for Paul. He reminds us what is most important and keeps the mood light when things can feel heavy. He loves to make people laugh so he is the best mood lifter! He's a healthy, thriving, bright little guy and I can't imagine our lives without him.

Icing his 'owie' (he didn't have one). He knows all about ice packs since most days I have one on a joint.

It's nearly impossible to not smile when you are around Paul!
- that we are adding a 2nd boy to our family! This pregnancy has been HARD but I don't take for granted how lucky we are to be able to grow our family. I just can't wait for him to be here! I'll take major abdominal surgery/recovery and the challenges of a newborn over being pregnant!

- that we've all stayed healthy and covid-free despite Paul going to daycare. His daycare has done an excellent job. They did close his room for 2 weeks when a classmate tested positive, but no one else got covid - thank goodness! We've been very careful about keeping our risk of getting covid as low as possible, which has resulted in some sacrifices, like not seeing family, only seeing friends outdoors, not going to restaurants, etc. But the sacrifices are all worth it.

- that there is a covid vaccine on the horizon! Huge shout-out to all the scientists who have worked tirelessly to deliver a vaccine in record time. 

- for my extended family. I miss my grandma, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews so much. I look forward to a time when we can all safely gather. Not everyone has the kind of family dynamic where they miss time together so I know I am lucky to have healthy relationships with my family!

- that Biden won the election. Enough said, right? 

- that my boss/team has been really understanding during this final stage of pregnancy and have cut me some major slack!

- for my wide group of friends. I'm glad I was able to fit in lots of walks and outdoor visits before the cold weather arrived. I can't imagine my life without my circle of friends.

- for all of you out there who are reading this blog, especially the faithful commenters! There are times when I question whether I should keep blogging or not but I love engaging with all of you!

Your turn! What are some things you are most grateful for this year? 


Sam said...

I'm grateful for a healthy family, my amazing adventurous into everything daughter, my marriage, that we have outdoor space, a great job, where we live, and good books!

Marlys said...

I’m thankful you didn’t have to deal with a blood clot this pregnancy as that was so scary!
Yes, we have so much to be thankful for, and it’s healthy if we think of three things we’re grateful for every day as we will be much happier people! If we dwell on the negative, we are not much fun to be around.
I’m so thankful for my family, and especially my grandchildren! They are the frosting on the cake of life!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I love your blog! Don't quit.

(I know I totally ditched my blog this year, lol, but I just wasn't feeling it in 2020. Seems kind of fitting looking back at how this year has been. I'm doing so much writing though, just in a different capacity. I do see myself returning to my blog in the future, but it might just be a monthly post or something like that.)

Yes, having a healthy marriage during this year is definitely something to be thankful for. I've had a hard year, and I'm not sure how I would have coped without Christopher. It's great that you and Phil are such a team.

Gracie said...

Oh man, the scientists. I am so thankful for them (us?!?! It feels weird to say it but I've been a researcher for two clinical trials!). Since day one they've been #1 on my prayer list: for the scientists to find treatments, vaccines, cures. Nice job, scientists!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Everything you said! And not to sound corny, but I am grateful to be healthy, to be alive, to have a job and that all of my family members are safe and healthy! I have spoken to friends who have kids and are essential so do not have the luxury of working from home and I think that I am very lucky to have the choice and the capability. I am grateful that I have a grocery store nearby with access to food and I have money to buy it and a place to store it.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly. Just think, in less than two weeks you will have a new baby boy! Hurray! My thoughts are with you guys; I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Grateful Kae said...

You have a great list! Definitely your adorable little boy and soon-to-be #2 deserve to be top of the list. :) I like that you pointed out your marriage as something you're grateful for. I think as moms/ parents it can be easy to put SO much focus on our kids that sometimes our spouses can accidentally get bumped down the priority list. Especially during these stressful/weird times, it can certainly be easy to take out frustrations on them (or just get annoyed by them! haha.). I obviously don't know Phil but he sounds like a very loving, supportive husband and that is definitely something to be grateful for. :)

I think I'm most grateful for the (forced) chance to slow down some. Our lives were CRAZY with the boys' activities, school, work, volunteer roles, travel plans, etc. etc. I actually said to my Mom last winter (pre-COVID), "I kind of wish everything could just stop for a couple weeks. For everyone, so I don't have to be the Mom who pulls her kids out of their activities/plans, but just a forced "pause" so we could take a little break from it all." Oops. Haha. I sometimes joke that I accidentally caused the pandemic with that little wish. LOL!

Jeanie said...

That's quite a list and a good one. Me? Grateful for Rick for the same reasons you are for Phil. We made it! And that so far we have avoided Covid. Grateful to have a home and resources to be able to live and survive during this. And of course for friends, family and Lizzie. No one will be sorry to see 2020 go --let's hope 2021 improves!

Stephany said...

What a great list! So much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my cats, the ability to work from home, daily check-ins with friends and my mom, and BOOKS. All of these things that have gotten me through this weird, weird year.

Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

Anne said...

Indeed, so much to be thankful for. I'm so happy to hear that you have been able to remain COVID-free thus far, and hope that the impending arrival of #2 (!!!) alleviates some (if not ALL) of your RA flares and symptoms. I am grateful for so much, but Zoom (long-distance family 'get togethers' weekly :>), having a good job that I love, books and other wonderful indulgences, and becoming more engaged with a community of bloggers whose posts I love to read. (Yours is among them!)

Charbelle said...

It has been a crazy year! I know that being in a larger house is definitely a blessing when you are both working from home! I try to use my "inside voice" bc Michael is in the dining room but we have a fairly open concept downstairs. It is what it is, it was really helpful that I was able to work from the lake this past summer! I too am so thankful that our marriage weathered the extra together time! I've learned how to let go of things, mostly. I suppose that life is full of the highs and lows it just feels that 2020 has had an excessive amount! Sending hugs!!!

Abby said...

Love this - it has been a tough year and you have been dealt some tough cards over the past month or so between RA flares and grieving Phil's brother.

I love seeing these sweet pictures of Paul and miss you guys so much. His personality gets more vibrant every time I see him on face time!

You have to keep your blog!!

I'm thankful that Ryan and I both weathered all the COVID layoffs etc with not missing a single paycheck or day of work - so many friends and even my own colleagues did not get that...

I'm thankful that we will be starting a family in a few months.

And I'm thankful for a spouse I get along with. This is also the most time we have ever spent together - and this is the longest he has been home without travel. And it's definitely brought us closer!