a month of Thanksgiving

Since today is November 1 (how did that happen?? Didn’t we just celebrate the Fourth of July?) and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought I’d do a Daily Thanksgiving post to sort of force myself into remembering all the blessings in my life. Because I’m always aware on some level of how rich my life is, but it gets hard to really vocalize the Good in the midst of the daily tantrums, pants-dropping and whining. Not to mention the issues I have with the girls. (zing!)

These are in no particular order and I have a feeling I will get more and more specific as the days go on and I run out of “umbrella” things to be thankful for. Don’t be surprised if you come here one day and read “I am totally thankful for toilet paper!” or something. No promises as to the quality of my gratitude.

It takes a village.
It’s really difficult to adequately put into words how grateful I am to the people in my life who are essentially helping me raise my kids. Kyle and I work full-time and although it isn’t ideal sometimes (yes, I’d love to have whole days home with my kids to fingerpaint the bedroom doors and cookie-cut pb&j sandwiches), it’s necessary for us. Not only financially-speaking, but for my own emotional well being. It may sound dramatic but when I am at home for periods of time I get lethargic, lazy and unmotivated. I think I need to work outside of the home for my own sanity. A happy mom makes a happy family or something, yes? But I digress ….

This isn’t about me or Kyle or our decisions for me to work outside of the home. This is about those choice people around me whom I can count on to come through for me β€” and more importantly, my daughters β€” when I’m in a bind.
My mom, the girls’ Yaya, has been a mainstay in their lives since day one. Jovi’s been regularly going to her house since she was five weeks old and I returned to work. Aven’s been going since she was 12 weeks old because of the same reason. I’ve told her this many times but it doesn’t do what she does for me (us), justice: She makes my life possible. I could probably write pages and pages of accolades for my mom and how amazing she is as a mother to me, a mother-in-law to my husband and a grandmother to my girls, but it would never be enough. The time my girls are spending with her are priceless and irreplaceable. They’re both (my mom and the girls) being given a gift that’s packaged in time spent with one another. She’s told me several times that “every day is like Christmas” because she gets to spend time with the girls. How amazing is that? I know (and we all know) that taking care of two young children isn’t easy (especially since she works full-time from home as well!), but my mom sees her time with them at this point in their lives as a gift and she jumps in 100 percent. Even if they’re sick she’ll take them and care for them if I can’t be there. The girls are so fortunate to have her as such a willing and enthusiastic part of their lives. They don’t know just how fortunate they are yet because they are too young to understand, but this time they get to spend with her? They will appreciate it someday. Maybe when they’re teenagers and they hate their parents and need to spend a night away from Evil Mom and Dad. I know they’ll always have a safe haven in my parents, and a friend in my mother. Thanks Mom for everything.

My sister-in-law Kendra is another person I am so grateful for. Sometimes the “in-law” part of that title diminishes the rest β€” I truly see her as my sister. And my girls, well… they absolutely adore her! I can rest easy when they are in her care. I know that they will be loved on, cherished, played with, disciplined and maybe even tarted up a little (Jovi loves when Auntie Kendra paints her fingers!)
She always comes through for me even when I call at the last minute because I have no other child care options, and even if she already has four other children at her house. I’ve told her more than once that she is a rockstar and although she brushes it off as sillyness, she truly is. She is an amazing mother, aunt and friend. I’m so grateful that my girls have her right now as their fun aunt, and later as a person they can confide in when they feel they can’t come to Kyle or me. It’s important to give kids options as far as trusting adults go and we are blessed to have several in our lives that can be there in lieu of us!

Kyle’s mom, the girls’ Nanny, watches them almost every Monday afternoon for a few hours and Jovi is always so excited to go to her house. They read books, play outside, look at flowers and play with their babies. Spending time with Nanny is something they look forward to all week long and I am grateful they have that time with her!
The lessons my girls learn from us are different than the ones learned from my parents and the ones learned from Nanny and Auntie Kendra. And when those lessons and examples are all brought together in my girls’ minds, hopefully they will lead to creating well-rounded, respectful, playful, inquisitive kids with an excitement for life.

There are other people in our lives that we can call as well when needed and for them we are just as thankful. Schedules and obligations obviously put limits in place but essentially, we have so many people who love and cherish our girls and we are so thankful for that!

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One Response to a month of Thanksgiving

  1. Kendra says:

    …and now I’m crying….do not give me so much credit Jen! I’m just a lucky aunt who gets to spend time with her nieces (and nephews) whenever the opportunity arises. I’m the blessed one!! And I agree….take the in-law out of it. πŸ˜‰ love you!!
    (and thanks for the reminder to get more pink nail polish! haha!)

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