Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Speaking of gratitude… I have a lot of it to go around this holiday season. What a perfect way to kick off the new year in my blog; thanking everyone for all the things they have done to lighten my load over the past weeks.

First of all, I’ve got to thank Mike for being the amazingly helpful husband that he is. It is nearly impossible for him to even think of leaving work early or to consider anything less than 12 hours a good day’s work, so for the couple of times he arrived home between 4 and 5, I am greatly appreciative. That is worst time of day for most of us and one of the greatest gifts is having the reserves show up to support you right then. It doesn’t get any better than when the “reserves” is daddy. Mike helps in every way he can, I couldn’t dream of a better husband or father. He helped me make it through our five family Christmas celebrations when both of us were ready to cancel; and he made them fun, too. He jumped right in when Finn started puking two days after Christmas and today left for work feeling queasy. To top it off, he ends to holidays every year with a birthday celebration that is lacking some enthusiasm since were all so tuckered out. And he doesn’t mind a bit. He is simply the best and I am so thankful for him.

Next, I am so grateful that my kids kept it together through most of the holidays with only a few minor and expected meltdowns along the way. It is a lot to handle for sure and they really do it so well. With the possible exception of the fact that at every party we host and attend, my kids are asking me where the presents are, I think they have done remarkably well and feel a lot of gratitude for the wonderful family they have and all that have received. More importantly, I have witnessed them experience great joy in giving to others this holiday season – the best gift of all.

Our parents have helped so much this holiday season, too. My mom took more than a couple days off work to help out and watch the kids so I could attend events at both Logan and Riley’s schools, get some writing done and prepare for our various house guests. She babysat at night too, and always leaves the house in perfect condition – cleaner than how she found it. She helped me think through gift and party ideas. She provided me with and outlet to vent in much needed situations of holiday stress. More importantly, she’s my new partner at the gym – which is a great thing for both of us! Our kids couldn’t love her more and I am enormously grateful for her every step of the way!

Mike’s Dad and Mary were so wonderful to watch the kids so that I could get out and go to that much needed gym. They visit at a time when everyone is worn out and tired and always make it so much fun. The kids (and we) adore them. There’s always some new gadget or technology purchased for us while they’re here – this time its software to load our camcorder tapes onto the computer – that makes our crazy kid-filled life easier in a big way. We are so thankful for them in our lives and don’t know what we’d do without them. Grandmom even picked up the stomach flu while visiting, but still sat at Mike’s birthday dinner with a smile. It doesn’t get much better than that.

My dad joined in the craziness as well, by spending two days here babysitting pre-holiday so I could finish up shopping and do some writing. Although he felt he left a mess behind, he also left three happy kids that were glad to spend the time with him and won’t stop asking the rest of us to play the “flush the toilet” game. I am very thankful for the kid-free errands and the time they got to spend together.

Mike’s mom put out a wonderful spread for the holidays and opened up her home to our crew despite the fact that it’s on the market (with new carpeting!) She helped us out with watching the kids so we could have a much needed dinner with good friends. We are so lucky to have her in our lives.

I’m grateful to everyone who touched our lives this holiday season; all our brothers and my sister, friends and extended family, the parents and kids at school for making holiday celebrations wonderful. I wish everyone a healthy, happy new year and heart full of joy all year long.

It sure sounds like I have a lot of help… what do I have to complain about??

Happy New Year!

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