Thirty Things I’m Thankful For – part 1 of 3
The most important things first:
- Patrick. The love of my life and father of my daughter. The guy who makes heart-shaped pancakes, learned how to do pigtails in Evy’s hair, tells me I’m beautiful even when I’m wearing sweatpants, compliments my cooking no matter what, puts his heart into family dance parties, spends Saturdays spiffing up our house, bakes a mean chocolate cake, and gives hugs that make me feel safe, strong, and alive.
- Evelyn. Joy of my life. The toddler who has taken life by the horns, the strong-willed little girl who loves as fiercely as she refuses sweet potatoes, the girl that is full of hugs and snuggles and will tell you exactly what she wants. She dances with abandon, loves her family, friends, and babies, talks and talk and talks, is serious about helping, and can say ‘no’ better than anyone I know. Every single day I thank God and the universe for bringing her to us. This is the child we dreamed of.
- My parents. They are always there when I need them – whether with assistance on house projects, babysitting, or a bowl of chicken soup. Nonnie and Papa light up my daughter’s world, and they are a living example of love. They taught me that family comes first, they provided a simple, secure and happy childhood, and they provide delicious Sunday dinners. Evy loves her Thursday Nonnie days, and Papa makes her laugh and laugh and laugh.
- Pat’s parents. I couldn’t ask for more amazing in-laws. We have the dream team of parents, and Evy has the dream team of grandparents. Pat’s parents are always willing to help with whatever we need, always providing meals and support, always there to offer love and guidance. They raised a guy who does laundry, cooks, and is handy – I am thankful every day for that! They are caretakers through and through, and we are so lucky to have them.
- My sister (and Dean!). Katie can make me laugh no matter what and is my lifelong fashion consultant (I am consulting with her on my hair as I write this). She’s great, and she just married a great guy. Plus she finds the funniest books and toys for Evy AND can recite every episode of Friends.
- Pat’s brother. Michael is a fun and funny uncle to Evy, and she loves playing with him. He’s always there with a smile and a joke when we ask for help on projects/moving heavy things/catsitting/any number of other less-than-pleasant jobs.
- Our friends. We have an incredible group of friends, spread near and far. I am grateful to the support network around us, for the way they have all taken in and loved Evy, for the check-ins, the pot lucks, the visits, the playdates, the old friendships and the new. They make me laugh, they inspire me, they build me up, and they make me proud.
- Our home. I find things to wish were bigger/newer/different and rattle off a list of the twenty projects I want to complete, but it’s home. We’ve made this place ours in all it’s cozy compact glory. It has kept us safe, dry, warm, and protected. I love its nooks and crannies, the windows that fill it with light, the magnolia and the japanese maple in its yard, and the friendly neighborhood in which it sits.
- My job. I am grateful to work for an organization that does meaningful work, with people that care about what they do and the people they work with, for an employer that values employees as well as their contributions, for a boss that has been one of my most important mentors, and at a place that knows when and how to have fun. I am grateful for the flexibility I’ve been afforded, and the circumstances that have allowed me to spend more time at home with my daughter than I thought possible.
- Bedtime (when it goes well…) Watching Pat give Evy her bath. All of us quietly talking, singing, kissing while getting her all ready for bed and into her fuzzy jammies. Snuggling and nursing in the chair while I stroke her impossibly smooth hair. Bedtime stories. Hugs and kisses. Watching her drift off in the crib, snuggled with her doll and her blanket. Watching her back rise and fall, hearing her sweet breath. Whispering a small prayer before leaving the room.