Monday, November 26, 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness Rolled Into One

I pride myself in not jumping on bandwagons, but I can no longer resist the "Thankful" trend that has filled my newsfeed on Facebook. I've honestly enjoyed reading everyone's posts, and usually, I scoff at that sort of thing. I guess motherhood has softened me after all. Anyway, I lack the discipline to keep something up for thirty days straight (unless it's eating), and since I've fallen way behind, I'll just post all 30 expressions of gratitude right here.

1. I am thankful for my husband, Jeffrey Brown. It dawned on me this week that we have been together (by together, I mean we go back to our dating years) for a decade now. Wow. Someone has put up with all of my crap for ten years, and with very little alcohol consumption. Of course, I generally win him over with wit, dessert, and by wearing short skirts on occasion. A day has never gone by when Jeffrey hasn't told me I was beautiful/smart/perfect, even though most of the time, I'm convinced he's just making it all up. Regardless, I do love that man. 

2. My most precious gift from God is my little boy, Vincent Jude Brown. I never knew love like I have for him until I heard his little heartbeat for the first time. It astounds me how much that love grows every day. I know in my heart that nothing could make me stop loving him (and I write this after I changed a really rancid cloth diaper and fussed at him for pitching a fit over...well, I never did figure it out). Jude is my world, and he will never know the extent of my love for him until he has a child of his own. 

3. I am thankful for my house. Four years ago, Jeffrey and I purchased our dream home, a 1920s craftsman style house. It is beautiful, it is comfortable, and most importantly, it is home. It is also big enough that we will never have to move again unless some super awesome job opportunity from far away opens up. 

4. I am thankful for financial security. In the last few weeks, I've made some bone-head moves to the tune of losing my car keys that have cost my family several hundred dollars, and just before Christmastime, too. Fortunately, we have the money to cover the costs, and we did not have to dip into savings to cover it. Even though replacing the keys has been nothing but a headache, I realize now the importance of having a savings account and living cheaply. 

5. I love Holmes Community College where I work. My students' progress throughout a semester brings me great joy, and I especially love when they feel comfortable enough to share their lives with me (even though there are more than enough times when I wish they would just stop). Seeing them each day reminds me that I have a purpose, and I am so thankful that at the young age of 24 when I first started working there, I actually found my calling.

6. I am thankful for the faculty and staff at Holmes Community College. These people are my family away from my family. A week day does not go by when I'm not laughing with at least one of them. I love my English Department so much. We have so much fun together, and I think they are all so very wise. Unlike a lot of colleges where professors generally squat in one location, I have good friends outside of the department. Folks from the math, history, social science, and art departments have made my day on numerous occasions, too. In fact, I love these people so much, I married one of the employees! (In all fairness, though, we married before we moved to Goodman.)
7. Please note that this list is in no particular order, except for what just happens to come to mind. If it was, my Weezy-cat would pretty much top the list. I love my cat so much. She's the first pet I've ever had not in a cage (except for Bingo, a beagle/schnauzer/retard mix my parents got my sister and me when we were little but promptly sent to the farm when we couldn't train him. Also, I'm reasonably sure they sent him to a literal farm instead of what the euphemism implies). Anyway, Weezy is truly a special pet. She has helped me study for Masters Comps by keeping my study materials warm from where she would plop down on them for hours, curled up with me while I was sick or upset, and has watched many a chick flick on television with me (Dirty Dancing being her all time favorite). Ok, ok, so she lays around a lot, but I love her just the same.

8. I am thankful for my mother, Miriam Wahl. We have a beautifully strange mother/daughter connection. She's not the sort that calls me every day, takes me shopping or lounges around with me watching chick flicks (that's what the cat is for--see #7), and she certainly does not live vicariously through me or my sister. I have to admit that sometimes I get a little jealous when I see other girls with their mothers doing those things. However, she has instilled in me confidence, independence, problem solving abilities, and a really quick wit that allows me to hang with just about anyone--qualities I don't typically see in other girls my age. Also, we do have fun together, and I know she's always there when I need her, but I am glad she has let me fly freely with very little interference my entire adult life. 

9. I don't know what I'd do without Daddy. That man has shown me nothing but compassion my entire life. When my parents first divorced, I felt I had to get mad at someone, and I took my anger out on him. Still, he always told me he loved me, and I really didn't deserve it. Now, we've become very good friends. I had the honor of aiding in nursing him back to health after his hip replacement. That remains one of the most precious times in my life.
10. I thank God for my big sister, Amanda. She was and remains a positive example in my life. I can pretty much tell her anything even though she's going to come at me with advice, whether I want it or not. I don't tell her this enough, mainly because I want to keep my Amanda humble, but she really paved the way for me and made tough transitions like going to jr. high, then high school, then college go smoothly. Perhaps the best thing she ever did for me, though, was prep me for childbirth. I wasn't at all nervous about going into labor until my epidural didn't work. Of course, no one could prepare for that.