As this month of thankfulness nears its end, I wanted to take some time to focus on the people and things that I am most grateful for in my life.
I don’t know where I would be today without Greg’s unconditional love and support in our relationship. We’ve almost been together for half of our lives now, which always feels like such a blessing. Not many couples are able to go through so many growing phases together, and I’m so glad we got to be one of them. While marriage (and parenting!) can be tough at times, I know that Greg is by my side and going through it too. He’s the only one that can completely understand me and I love him for it. I am also thankful that Greg is a very hard worker and an amazing provider, allowing me to stay home for our boys’ early years. He’s also an incredible dad – better than I ever could have imagined. He is much more patient than me, much more rational, and he is always able to make me laugh. I am so blessed to have Greg as my husband.
Oh, Caden. Though my relationship with him has been put through more trials than I can count over the years, especially most recently, I cannot imagine my life without him. He can be so sweet sometimes. He truly has a good heart and is only looking for confirmation of our love returned to him. He is incredibly smart – we’ve been told that so many times by people and of course seen it on our own too. I’m excited to see what his future holds and which direction he’ll take. Caden is also creative and generous. He loves to make gifts for other people, he loves helping me in the kitchen, and he shows interest in absolutely everything Greg and I ever do. He wants to be just like his Daddy with their love for video games, and he’s also excited to learn how to sew and bake with me. He never wants to be alone, which is very trying at times, but it’s better than having a child who wants nothing to do with us. Caden is a good big brother and as he starts to gain more confidence in himself, he’s becoming a good friend too. I love Caden so much and I am glad to have him as my first born son.
Shepard is by far the burst of sunshine in my life. He keeps me laughing and reminds me how much fun simply being alive can be. While Greg, Caden, and I are very reserved in our expressions and emotions, Shepard is a refreshing breath of fresh air with his constant exclamations and joy. I can’t even tell you how many times a day he begins a sentence with “I love.” “I love snow, mom! I love these boots! I love this movie! I love Elmo!” It’s adorable, sweet, and kind of hilarious. Shepard may only be two, but he’s open and affectionate in ways I never saw from Caden. He’s not perfect, believe me, but he brings so much happiness to everyone who knows him. I am thankful every day that I didn’t get that daughter I longed for and was instead blessed with this beautiful and entertaining little boy.
I am so thankful to live near and have such support from my parents and in-laws. It’s wonderful to know that they’re here for me, but even more great to know that they’re here for the boys. Grandparent relationships were a huge part of mine and Greg’s childhoods and I’m so glad that my children get to experience that too. It’s kind of nice that because they’re the only grandchildren on each side they get even extra attention (though I do REALLY hope they get cousins someday!). But back to our parents. They have taught us how to work hard and love deeply. They’ve taught us the importance of family above all else. And they’ve raised us to the be people we are to be and I am so grateful for them.
I am grateful for my brothers and sisters-in-law. Though distance now separates most of us, we will always have a shared past and common bond. I don’t always appreciate the relationships with my siblings the way that I should, but I’m still happy that they exist. I’m also thrilled that they love my children and take their roles as aunts and uncles seriously. It kind of helps that once again, they’re the only kids around, so they get a lot of extra love and attention. Caden and Shepard are always SO excited to see their aunts and uncles. I am so thankful that they are in our lives and I’m excited to spend extra time with most of them in the upcoming month.
Friendships are pretty hard for me, which makes my existing ones so much more important. I am particularly thankful for my best friend Dianne, who has been by my side since kindergarten. We haven’t lived by each other in years, but we talk on a daily basis and I don’t know what I would do without her. I’m also incredibly thankful for my friend Liz. We met at my wedding rehearsal when she accompanied the best man and stood in as my maid of honor for the rehearsed ceremony. We seemed to bond instantly and now that we live near each other again, we talk often and try to see each other when we can. Like I said before, it’s really hard for me to open up to people and develop actual friendships, but when it comes easy for me I know that I’ve gained a friend for life.
McKenna is my goddaughter and daughter of my longtime friend, Dana. Though I’ve only seen McKenna a handful of times in her year of life, I think of her often. Dana knew how much I wanted a daughter and that I’m never going to have one, so she gave me the gift of a goddaughter instead. I hope that as McKenna gets older we can develop a lasting bond and I’ll become as important to her as she currently is to me. I’m so thankful for her.
I began Heartstring Annie a mere seven months ago, but it has given me a sense of worth that I didn’t even realize I so badly needed. I’ve always been a creative person, which has been expressed through various mediums throughout my life. I feel like I’ve finally found a passion that will last, though. I love making dolls and bears and bags. I feel so accomplished when I can turn a pile of fabric into something adorable, useful, and appreciated. This business has also given me a source of independence from the rest of my life, allowing me to be an individual instead of just a tired and run down mommy. As I wade my way through the world of other primitive sewers and buyers, I’m developing friendships and building dreams for what I want to do in the future. Something that has been missing in my life since I had kids and refused to ever think of what would come next because the emptiness terrified me. Though my housework has seriously suffered since I began, I am so so grateful to have Heartstring Annie in my life.
I am blessed. 🙂