So I was thinking the other day (and I guarantee Bob just cringed... because normally those words are followed by some kind of need to perform chores...)
But no... I wasn't thinking about the parts of our house that need to be painted (there are lots) or things that I want to replace (there are lots) or all the places that need to be purged (there are lots) - shoot... now I AM thinking about all of those things...
What I was actually thinking about the other day while driving to work in the dark was that I have so many reasons to be thankful. I guess it's good to stop and think about these things regularly. I've been trying to be more aware of being thankful and having gratitude, but it's sometimes still easy to lose sight of those things in the midst of a chaotic schedule. Thanksgiving is always a good, and blatant, reminder to recognize (even if silently) things around you, within you, above you for which you can be thankful.
I feel like I have more than my fair share of reasons to feel blessed. My life is rich with experience - and friends - and family. I've worked hard enough to value what I have. I've made mistakes that make the good decisions just that much sweeter. I've struggled and stressed and worried through days that make the easy and carefree moments special and memorable. I've watched people around me struggle and then rebound and thrive. I've seen loss and pain and grieving which reminds me that life is short and those still with me are blessings to be cherished. Every day.
Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day. A list of reasons why I am thankful would not be complete without my family. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be married to my very best friend. And together we have been given the gift of raising these four amazing boys. I'm sure I'd be proud and love my boys under pretty much any circumstance. That's a mom's love. But we have the special and unique perspective given to the parents of preemies (and maybe made more special by those little ones who have gone through extra challenges). I imagine this perspective can come through other avenues as well - survivors of illness or injury, for example - but for me, it's Quinn who provided this reminder of how precious this crazy life really is.
Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day and I will be celebrating Quinn - and all the other tiny littles who can claim to have overcome that harsh introduction to the world. These babies teach everyone they meet what it's like to fight. I'll also spend some time remembering all those babies born too soon to survive and sending up prayers for their parents.
Here's a new picture of Quinn with his Incredible Shrinking Bear. And an old picture, that will always be so precious to me, of just after tiny Quinn was born. Perspective is so very powerful. We are so very, very lucky!
Spend some time this week, leading up to Turkey Day, thinking about what you are thankful for this year. And then hug as many of those reasons as you can. Send prayers for the ones you can't reach physically.
Aside from Thanksgiving and hugging my kids until they complain, we also have a LOT of sports stuff going on! Saturday Beckett plays in the Lanier Bowl. I've never had a kindergartener play football and not go to the Lanier Bowl! I think the Bovenizers are good luck! We are 1 and 1 in K/1 Lanier Bowls... so this is our tie-breaker year - and we are due for a win!
After that we will all head to Spencer's wrestling match. He's wrestling varsity again this week at 220. Last weekend he came in 4th in his weight class (there were 17 teams at the match). He was unimpressed with 4th place and threw his medal in his bag... You know how Spencer feels about "participation trophies" - there's a winner and then there's everyone else. LOL
Tuesday Spencer has another wrestling match since the boys are all off school all week. We are definitely rookie wrestling parents and didn't realize that a Tuesday tournament meant they were starting in the morning. Ha! So Bob and I have both scrambled to rearrange work stuff so we can take the day off and watch/volunteer. Pretty sure we'll be working concessions all day, but at least we will be together!
In other Spencer news... he's signed up to take his driver's education classes over the Thanksgiving break. 4 days worth... sucks for him to give up vacation time, but this is literally the only time until June he can take the class without missing practice/games/trips. That child has a ridiculously busy schedule.
And of course we get to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and dad and my sister's family. I love this holiday! Downtime and relaxed family time, followed by a "free" weekend to decorate for Christmas and do more family stuff. Time to exhale. I am thankful for that for sure!