In the chaos of everyday life with young children, jobs, houses, friends, family, and a dog, it’s hard, even on Thanksgiving, to reflect and give thanks for all the good in our life. But now, in the quiet of our house while I take a “mental health” day off from work, I sit in amazement of all that we were blessed with this year.
First and foremost, we give thanks this year for Lillian’s very successful surgery to repair her annual pancreas. Her birth, surgery, and homecoming were much less traumatic than I was prepared to experience. And now, at 6.5 months old, she is happy, healthy, and growing. As the saying goes, you do not realize how important your health – or the health of your loved ones – is, until it is compromised. We are thankful that everyone in our family is in overall good health.
We are also so thankful for the spice that Vivian adds to our life; for our marriage that keeps the foundation of our family strong, even when things around us seem to be falling down; for our warm and cozy house in the most wonderful neighborhood; for jobs that we like and that pay our bills and allow us to enjoy our lives (and allow me to take six months off for maternity leave); for our ability and willingness to travel to experience new things and places and to maintain strong relationships with our families who live far away; and even for Snoopy, that crazy dog!
This Thanksgiving, we spent the entire 4-day weekend at home in Orange County. We didn’t travel anywhere and no one traveled to visit us. We love our families, but this more quiet and simple holiday was NICE!
On Thanksgiving morning, we checked off one of our 2016 New Year’s Resolutions: Run a 5K together as a family. I ran with Vivian in a jogging stroller and Dan ran with Lillian in a jogging stroller. It was a slow race, especially for me who hasn’t run at all in over a year. I did run the entire race, though, without stopping to walk or rest, and finished in a humbling 38:26. Dan finished in 48:04.
Both girls fell asleep by mile 2 of the race. When we got home, Lillian fell back asleep for THREE hours (thank you, thank you!). Dan and I made dinner for our little family of four: brie and crackers, turkey breast and gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, dressing, and chocolate pie. Lillian joined us at the table for the first time and ate her first bites of solid food: homemade butternut squash!
We enjoyed dessert and company over at our friends’ house and retired at the end of the night thankful that we still had three days of work off!
Since Lillian wasn’t a huge fan of butternut squash on Thanksgiving, we fed her homemade sweet potatoes on Black Friday. She did much better with those! I fed her while Dan took Vivian to see a showing of The Polar Express at our clubhouse.
On Saturday, Dan and Vivian made cutout cookies using his family’s recipe.
We also decorated our house for Christmas and trimmed the tree. It was a wonderfully rainy day and the perfect day to stay inside, decorate, and watch Christmas shows on TV.
On the last day of the weekend, I took Vivian to a matinee showing of the musical, The Little Mermaid, at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster. She loved it! And I loved having over two hours of uninterrupted snuggle time with her!
At the end of the weekend, we had all sorts of new memories for which we could be thankful!