Well yesterday was my birthday. I got lots of lovely presents and a surprise party:) My darling hubby is the best! But the very best part had to be my wake up call. Levi, my 3 year old jumped on my bed bright and early as usual (where he gets this earlybird thing I couldn't tell you) and shouted "Mommy, isn't this the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!" And all I could think was yeah - it really is. Here are some of the reasons I'm one very happy 29 year old.
1. The God of the universe, the one who created everything in the Heavens and the Earth, is my personal Savior. I'm His daughter. A Princess of the King! So if I'm a little high maintenance....
2. It goes without saying that I'm incredibly blessed to have my wonderful husband, who is my opposite in so many perfect ways, and my beautiful, healthy children. After 3 years of infertility and the loss of my goddaughter in 2002, I don't take them for granted, not for a minute.
3. I'm really thankful that I come from such a tight-knit family. I didn't understand growing up that not every family is like this.
4. My mom - she's my best friend.
5. My dad dragged us all around the world when we were growing up. He was in the Army (just retired a few years back) and I made him miserable every time we had to move. But looking back I'm so glad about everyone of those moves. Not only did my dad make learning about the new culture we were in fascinating, I met friends that have lasted a lifetime. I had experiences that never could've happened any other way.
6. Which leads to number 6...I'm glad to be an Army brat:) It's colored my life and affected the way I feel about our country, our government, and my dad.
7. I have the greatest brother and sister ever! I fought with my brother for about the first 18 years of his life - he kind of messed up that "only child" thing I had going on up til I was 1 1/2 - but now...I really appreciate him. We're always there to back each other up. And my sister...I begged for her for years. Literally from as far back as I could remember I wanted a baby sister. I even asked my Grandma to have one for me:) And she's better than I ever imagined. At 15, she's already this incredible, talented, GOOD person (there just aren't enough adjectives).
8. Does it seem like I'm just going through my family? I am, but I'm so blessed to have all of them. My grandparents are next. I was blessed enough to know all four of them and to have them with me until I was an adult. Having grandparents is such a gift - they're always on my side, always think I'm wonderful. And what examples they've been - some good and some bad, I've learned so much from them.
9. I'm grateful for the rights I have as an American. There are lots of problems in this country and, believe me, I know it. But there is no other place on this earth that I'd have rather been born and raised.
10. Speaking of "born and raised" - I'm grateful to be from the South. You know what they say "American by birth, Southern by the grace of God:)" It's just better here!
11. I'm blessed to be able to stay at home with my hubby and kiddies. Nothing is better than waking up and knowing that I'll be able to spend the whole day with them.
12. I'm also blessed to have a home to take care of. And not even a "cute, little" apartment - a real, honest-to-goodness home.
13. I'm really thankful for my friends! The ones I've had forever and can share everything with, the ones that live close to me that I share everyday with, and the ones online that I'm learning so much from.
14. Books! Oh, how I love books. Old books, new books, ...fiction, nonfiction,...how to be a better wife (Can't wait to start Mrs. Pearl's!), how to plant a better garden,... I just really love books.
15. My church. There's still some question as to whether or not we'll keep going there, but the people are wonderful. It's like having an extended family.
16. Ladies' Meeting. Don't get me wrong - I'm not one of those moms who needs to "get out of the house" all the time. As a matter of fact I can't remember the last time I went somewhere without the kids right off the top of my head:) But once a month it's so nice to get out for a little while and talking to other moms is such a big help. Plus it's just great to giggle about something other than "Mommy, look. I put this (fill in the blank) on my head."
17. Yard Sales. Where else can you buy anything for a quarter?
18. The neighborhood playground - whenever we need a change of pace from the yard.
19. My Land's End diaper bag. On the one hand, I miss the cute little purses I used to carry. But this bag will carry anything. It has pockets for everything you might possibly need.
20. My planner, without which nothing in my life would ever get done!
21. The internet. It amazes me that there is this much information literally at our fingertips!
22. Baby Einstein videos. On the (rare, I promise) occasion that I need to keep my babies occupied for a few minutes, these always do the trick. I'm not sure if there's some sort of subliminal hypnosis effect or what, but they're spellbound.
23. I'm grateful that, in spite of #22, we don't watch much tv or let the kid's watch very much. I'm not raising little Barney addicts.
24. Even though I spent a lot of time in public school (and a Department of Defense school, and a couple of private schools) - I still managed to get a pretty good education.
25. I'm so glad that my parents instilled in me a love of reading and a curiousity about God's world.
26. I'm thankful for my mom's care boxes. Even though I'm grown and have kids of my own, my mom still sends me boxes full of stuff she thinks we might need or want. It's so great to know that she's still taking care of me.
27. My darling husband's work ethic. Honestly, I've never known anyone that works as hard as he does. He takes such good care of us.
28. I'm also blessed to have my health, no matter how I've abused it. And the sense to know that I need to stop taking it for granted.
29. Last, but sooo not least, I'm thankful God has opened my eyes to all these blessings. I used to have a lot harder time making a list of blessings than a list of grieviences. That one always seems easier, doesn't it? So thank you, Abba, for showing me Your hand in my life.