Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday...The Final Installment

This is it. The big day has arrived. Turkey day is here...and with the joy of enjoying to eat tons of yummy food comes the joy of giving thanks for the blessings we have in our lives. I've been counting my blessings all month, and for each Thursday I posted a list of ten things I'm thankful for. Today marks the final installment - which will give me 30 things I'm thankful for - one for each day of the month of November. Today, I'm going to highlight my extended family - the people that haven't been mentioned thus far. Being that I'm not going to be with any of them today, I figured this was a great way to tell them how much I will be thinking of them.

21. I am thankful for my mom. She is one of the people that has always been there for me... through thick or thin. There's only two people in my life that can earn that credit - and the next one comes shortly. She taught me what I needed to know about being a good mother, supported my decisions for my life, and is now one of my closest friends. Our relationship hasn't always been perfect, but we've always had a relationship. There are times when I want to shake her senseless, and I'm sure she feels the same about me - but nothing can interfere with the love that I have for that woman. She is an amazing grandmother to my children, an amazing mother to her own children, and has even opened up her home to be a wonderful foster mother for complete strangers. I'm quite sure she was put on this earth for that reason - to be there for children that need her. Cause Lord knows, I couldn't and wouldn't have become the person I am today if it wasn't for her.

22. I am thankful for my dad. He's the person that earns the other spot of being one of two people that have always been there for me. My dad is my rock, my hero. While he is a man of few words, he makes up for it with the love that flows from him. This man has been there for me through so much. He was the man that gave me hope that there are decent men in this world... because I got to be raised by one. He works hard, supports his family, would lay his life on line for any one of us. He is also an amazing grandparent. My children adore him just as much as I do. I know for a fact that my Butter wouldn't have gotten through his struggles as well as he did without the love and guidance from my dad. He has no idea how much he has done for me throughout my life. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful father in my life.

23. I am thankful for P-Momma. My mom away from mom. Not that I need a mom away from my mom... but who couldn't be thankful for having one? She came in to my life seven years ago, but it feels like I've known this woman my entire life. From the moment she met me and the kids, she has treated us like family. I know that there's not a single thing this woman wouldn't do for any one of us if we needed her to. The kids think of her as a grandmother - Grammy, to be exact. They adore her just as much as I do... and there are no blurred lines between family in their eyes. She is a member of our family, we are a member of hers. That's how it's been and will always be.

24. I am thankful for my mother and father in law. I'm pretty sure that seven years ago, they were a little nervous about hearing that their middle son was dating a woman with two kids. But, if they were thinking it, they didn't show it. They welcomed me warmly in to their home and their family. Peanut and Butter have never been considered anything but their grandchildren, and Jelly was embraced by a grandmother and grandfather that adored her. I really miss the days when my mother-in-law watched Jelly while I worked, because it was at that time that our relationship was the strongest and closest. Even though we don't get to spend near as much time together anymore, I think of them often. They are amazing in-laws, and I definitely struck gold when I inherited Hubby's family.

25. I am thankful for the food that will be cooked and enjoyed today. Not just that, but the fact that it was paid for with the money Hubby and I earned at our jobs. Even though we're not wealthy, by any means, it's nice to know that we can enjoy an amazing dinner on this special day.

26. I am thankful for Sirius' Holly Station. I discovered it last weekend, and have been listening to it pretty much non-stop ever since. Even though I don't really like to start celebrating Christmas until after Thanksgiving, it has been really nice to listen to a few holiday songs while driving to and from work.

27. I am thankful that I won't be battling the crowds tomorrow morning. I really don't get why people go to so much trouble on Black Friday. OK, so you might save a couple of bucks - but getting smashed with carts, pushed out of the way, and elbows to the midsection just isn't worth that to me. I read a wonderful quote yesterday that said "It's ironic that the day after we give thanks for the things we have, we wage war for the things we want". I'll just enjoy my Black Friday sleeping in.

28. I am thankful that I am blessed with a heart full of love and acceptance. Social media sites have become a cesspool of hate, and I just don't want any part of it. My heart tells me that everyone should have the right to love whoever they want, vote for whoever they want, worship whoever they want - and that it's none of my business. My values and beliefs are no more important than anybody else's. I'm so sick and tired of hearing people condemn others for not conforming to the set of rules and standards offered by one particular religion or group or belief system. I sleep well at night knowing that when the time comes for me to depart this life, I would have lived a good life. I would have loved and respected everyone - regardless of differences in beliefs. And, I will go out on a limb and say that if there truly is a heaven and I'm kept out because I lived my life that way - then I probably don't want to be there anyway.

29. I am thankful that my life long dream was to become a teacher. I hear of people following a calling to certain professions - and I feel that I have heard and answered mine. Nothing makes me happier than waking up every morning knowing that I am going to a job I love, kids that are eager to see me, and challenges to do what I can to improve the lives of my students. I doubted that calling several times throughout my life - but I ended up exactly where I'm supposed to be. My path was laid out for me at the ripe old age of 5. Sure, I questioned that path more times than I can count, but everything came out the way it was supposed to.

30. I am thankful that I can sit here at my computer and easily think of 30 things I'm thankful for, and barely skim the surface of how much thanks I could be given. Happiness isn't measured by the amount of money in my bank account, the possessions that I own, the type of car I drive, or by the house I live in. It's measured by the people in my life that are my family, the joys of waking up each morning and getting to live another day doing what I love, to have a man by my side that loves me for who I am - flaws and all. My life is perfect just the way it is. Every bit of it. And that is something to truly be thankful for.


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