Monday, November 29, 2010

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

Whew. You may think we dropped off the face of the planet, but we are still here. It's been a seriously hectic long weekend!

Sick baby. Sick mommy. Lots of baths. Holiday cooking. Cleaning. Sick mommy again. Laundry piled to the ceiling. Rearranging the furniture.



















Pulling out the Christmas boxes. Packing away the fall decorations. Sleeping in. Movies. Fireplaces.

Organzing. Sanatizing. Prioritizing. Family reunions. Grocery shopping. Financial planning. Christmas specials.

Being ever so thankful for every single second of it.

And isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about? Forgetting what you don't have, and being grateful for what you do.

It's celebrating first Thanksgivings...
















And 87th Thanksgivings.
















It's having everyone around the table no matter how young or old.
































It's good conversation and no television...
































It's an uncle giving up some of his sweet potato for his little niece...
















And her loving every bite...
















It's having more dessert dishes on the table than main entree and side dishes...








And having an extra slice of cake because you'll lose the weight after the New Year...
















It's a smile...
















Or a giggle...
















It's a Great-Paw Paw...
















And a new Paw Paw...
















And it's having another sweet Evelyn, not to take the place but rather to hold and love and fill the emptiness, when yours has gone on before you.
















It's a mom cleaning up dinner, rather than cooking dinner (sorry mom, it's true, we are thankful for this)....
















It's two men telling tales...
















And two young ones drooling over Black Friday deals...
















It's music to fill the gaps.
















It's many a moments of being content with what's happening around you...
















































And a few tantrums to spice things up...



















It's four generations of women, spanning 87 years, still going strong...
















It's coming home from the hospital on Thanksgiving day with two years to live...
















Five years ago.
















It's proving them wrong....


Which allowed you to get to know and love your youngest granddaughter's little girl.
















And her to know and love you.

For a happy healthy daughter, a loving husband, for compassionate grandparents, a sweet caring daddy, and for a momma who listens and loves. For food to eat. A home for my family. A few dollars in the bank. For a religion to follow and a God to guide. For a safe country to live, and soldiers who keep it that way. For bad times that better me, and good times that spoil me. For everything in my life. I'm truly grateful.

It's a lot to be thankful for, and I consider myself incredibly blessed.

I hope that each one of you had an equally satisfying holiday and that you stuffed yourselves silly and enjoyed time with your families... and with Thanksgiving over it's now officially the Christmas season...

And I love Christmas!
















Time to drink some cocoa and deck the halls!

















And how's this for a first... my mom actually had a Christmas decoration up before me. Miracles do happen!















Monday, November 22, 2010

I want to go to the beach.

I keep staring at the clock on my computer. I’ve been staring at a blank page now for 20 minutes. It’s getting late. It’s already past 8:30 and I should be in bed. But I have so much to say. I just don’t know how to get it out.
This weekend I experienced a moment. I don’t know what to call this moment; I can only describe how it feels by comparing it to something that it could possibly be like.

It’s kind of like that split second rush you get right before you step into the sand for the first time during your beach vacation, like looking in the mirror at the finished product after dolling yourself up for a night out, like the moment you first realize that he’s going to propose and the moment your dad gives you away to him, or when the doctor comes in and tells you it’s time to start pushing.

Those moments are the precursors to a snowball effect, they last only seconds, and once caught up in the avalanche that follows, are easily tossed aside and forgotten only to be replaced by moments you assume are much bigger. But without those moments, what follows would not be as nearly as exciting.

This past weekend was kinda like that.

Evelyn had her four month check-up. A whoppin’ 15 pounds and some change. 80th percentile.

The good news: She is perfectly healthy.

The bad news: We walked out of there with a band aid on each leg.



We prepared ourselves this time. The last round of vaccines left her sore, tired, feverish, and fussy for five days following her appointment. So, we made no set-in-stone plans. We just went with it.

Evelyn surprised us. While she did run a fever the whole time, she was in great spirits about it all. I tried not to attack her with the camera this weekend for fear of ruining her surprisingly good mood, but I did get a chance to take some four month photos.
Yes, that's right, she can do baby push ups now.


And then there was that moment. That right-before-everything-gets-hectic moment. The moment where my baby girl becomes just a little less dependent on me, and while I am excited to see her experience new things; it breaks my heart a little. The moment that I’ll remember doing, but forget how it felt exactly because I’ll do it a thousand more times in her lifetime.

And she loved it. We loved it.
We videotaped. We took photos. We laughed. She laughed. We awed and told her how big of a girl she was. That kid just literally and figuratively ate it up!
She already knows what is coming when we plant her into her highchair and she stares with anticipation the entire time I am fixing her food.
Yeah that was the look.
As if she isn't doing enough already, she also wants to help out and try it herself.
Not to bad for a first try.

Tomorrow it will be sweet potatoes, then pears, and then eventually finger foods, and eating what we have for dinner.
It will snowball. It will then avalanche,
She eventually won’t rely on her momma as much.

But I want to remember what it feels like to sink my toes into the warm sand for the first time. So I’m going to drag this split-second moment out for as long as possible, and when it’s over, I’m going to try and remember how it felt the moment I let her grow up just a little as often as I can.

I think I'll call it the toes-in-the-sand-moment.
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