Category Archives: 30 Days of Thankfulness

Bittersweet-ness. Day 27

It is always so funny to me how many Christmas decorations we see as we travel each Thanksgiving to go visit our peeps in North Carolina.

I should confess here that I am one of “those” people.

The ones who pretty much boycott anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Yep. I feel pretty strongly that Thanksgiving totally gets the shaft. You can never have too much Thanks or Giving, really. Can you? No, people, you cannot!

But once Thanksgiving gets its due, I turn into one of those “every day should be Christmas” people. I mean, we shouldn’t just celebrate Jesus’ birth one day a year. Even Ebenezer Scrooge figured out that we should keep Christmas in our hearts all year long.

And what is Christmas about? Certainly the birth of our Savior is the number one focus. But for me, as with Thanksgiving, Christmas is also about family, love, gratitude,  and giving.

So, here we are again.

On the cusp of the crazy Christmas chaos—something I try every. single. year. to avoid. Some years I do better than others. This year, though, I guess, I am feeling the need, just a little more than usual, to slowly savor each moment and intentionally focus on what is truly important during this season.

Budding adults...Nov. 2012Now that my kids are 17 (going on 18 in a couple of months! ACK!) and 14 (going on 30), I am starting to feel this urgency. It goes a little something like this:

“Holy crap! They’re growing up too fast, and they are going to leave me, like, SOON! Cling! Cling! Cling!”

Do any of you other mamas feel me out there?

I look at these budding adults and though I feel so much pride and joy and hope and excitement for their futures, I also look at them with a tear in my eye and smidge of nostalgic bittersweet-ness. (Is that a word?)

I know they are growing up, and though I am trying very hard to be realistic, I just want to hang on to these fleeting moments with them.

To pretend for just a little while, that they are still my babies, standing there in their matchy-matchy Christmas pajamas, looking up at their daddy and me with those glistening expectant faces on Christmas morning.

Matchy-Matchy PJs Circa 2004

I look at these two faces with such gratitude. I am so thankful for these amazing human beings who are still my babies— and will always be!

“It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.”  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness, Family, Kids, Parenting

All good things…Day 26

Thanksgiving '12 088I don’t really like the saying “all good things must come to an end.” I mean, really, why do good things have to end? Who made that rule?

I am thinking about our visits with family over the Thanksgiving holiday, for example, which were great and always seem entirely too brief. I am always so thankful to be able to go see our people for Thanksgiving, because there was a time when we lived so far away that going home for Thanksgiving was not an option. (Iowa to North Carolina—not a weekend trip.)

Did this saying come about because if it, the good thing, goes on for too long, it won’t seem so good anymore? (Because there is also that saying about “too much of a good thing”, you know.)

Yeah, well. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that theory.

Or is it because we get complacent after a while and don’t really appreciate the “good thing” in the same way as we did at first?

Maybe that’s it.

Maybe. But I just know that when it is time to leave the “good thing” that I call my family, my people, I am really bummed. And, frankly, I find post-holiday re-entry into every day life to be pretty challenging.

I look around and I see how the people I love age and change during the time that I am not with them. I look at my grandmothers and my parents and my mother-in-law and I see folks getting older. I am joyously entertained by my nieces and nephews—the young ones and the not-so-young ones—and wish I could be with them more. I miss having a regular, face-to-face, connection with my brothers and sisters-in-law. I wonder how the time goes by so quickly and why it is that I have to be so enslaved to the demands of my own life that I cannot be with them to enjoy the time we have. I find that the older I get, the more I wish we lived closer and could be more involved in the every day stuff of life.

I am so grateful for the time we are able to spend together, but I miss them all.

And I long for more of these good things.


“…for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” ~Psalm 109:7 NIV


Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness, Family

A side of crazy. Day 20

I have often said that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yes, I like to eat; there are some yummy eats to be had between my mama’s house and my mother-in-law’s house! Yes, I am so thankful for all the blessings in our lives! Those things alone are great things to bring me to a very grateful place in my heart.

But what I get so excited about at Thanksgiving is getting to hang out with my people!!

About three times a year, I get to be in the same house with my mama and daddy, my two grandmas, my two brothers and their wives and my hilarious nieces and nephews! It is crazy chaos, but there are stories and cooking and eating and just sitting around looking at each other. Then, I get to go to my mother-in-law’s house where we get to do it all again!

I never get tired of it. And it doesn’t happen often enough.

Today is the happy day that we get to go my mama’s house! I haven’t seen my people since the end of July and I am stoked!

My family is not perfect. We don’t always agree on everything. There is a bit of cray-cray. But the bottom line is we love each other. Always.

So bring on the crazy! Bring on the chaos! Bring on the love!

And by all means, bring on the turkey!

I mean, what’s a little turkey without a can of crazy on the side, eh? As we say around here that is BO-to-da-RING!


Filed under 30 Days of Thankfulness, Family, Humor