This year has been full of ups and downs, huge changes, and new roles. It’s so easy to get stuck in that mentality of how hard everything is, how much we want to change, and why we deserve better than what life’s giving us. But during this season of Thanksgiving, I feel that despite the craziness that this year has brought, there is so much that I’m thankful for. These things for which I’m grateful aren’t flashy, expensive, or elaborate…. ultimately what I’m thankful for… are the simple things.
*Sappy paragraph alert…* I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my wonderful husband. This year has brought our marriage so many challenges, including a new baby, multiple hospital visits, a move to a new state, new jobs, and frequent general crankiness from me…but despite those challenges…Bryce has stood by me through it all. He’s been encouraging of my passions, understanding during my times of emotional instability, helpful around the house, and intentional about continuing to get to know me daily and loving me well. For him, I’m so thankful.
2. Our parents
When we moved back, our main reason was to be with family. I never realized how important it is to have a village to help with raising a child. From my parents allowing us to live with them for a month before we moved in to our house, to Bryce’s parents coming over and cleaning our place from top-to-bottom for us, to my dad taking care of Max each day while Bryce and I work…we couldn’t do this thing without them. It’s wonderful to be so close, and it’s so fun to see how attached Max is getting to all four of his grandparents. For them, I’m so thankful.
3. My School
For quite possibly the very first time in my career, I’m 100% completely at peace with where I’m at. At every school I’ve taught at, there was always at least one thing that prevented me from being truly happy with where I was. And while I’m so thankful for each school I’ve had the opportunity to teach in—I’m so glad God opened this window when he did. Not only do I love this job during the day, I also love that it also allows me to go home and still be a mom to my son at the end of each day–and not be completely physically or emotionally drained. I was truly ready to quit teaching last year…but this school, my administration, my co-workers, and students have completely changed my mind about that (My sweet students even nominated me for staff member of the month). For all of that, I’m so thankful.
The first month after Max was born was possibly the HARDEST month of my life. I was completely sleep deprived, and in a terrible place emotionally. I remember crumpling on to the floor, weeping while Bryce held me, saying “I can’t be a mom. I can’t be a mom…” over and over again. At six weeks after Max was born, my mom came and gave Bryce and me the gift of sleep. She took Max downstairs and got up with him throughout the night and I slept for 11 hours straight. It was the most healing sleep I’ve ever had. From that point on, I did better…but still was getting up* with Max anywhere between 4 and 10 times a night. It was exhausting. (*Before you start judging Bryce for not getting up with him, Bryce was in the middle of running camp at the Y and working 16 hour days…on weekends he would get up with Max, but during the week…I took over.)
When Max was 4 1/2 months, and we were finally settled in our new house…we decided to sleep train Max. For two excruciatingly difficult nights, we let him cry-it-out in his crib. Bryce had to hold me back from “rescuing him,” but after those two nights…he started sleeping through the night for, wait for it…..TWELVE HOURS. Do you even understand how much our life has changed since that???? At 8:00, he goes to bed every night. Then Bryce and I get time to actually watch a show together on Netflix…I have time to blog…we have time to SLEEP. Did you guys know that sleep is so wonderful? It is. And for sleep, I’m so thankful.
For a very looongg time it seems…probably since we first moved to St. Louis last year, I have been stuck in a rut… I was lacking motivation to do anything extra besides what absolutely had to be done at the time. Chalk that up to pregnancy, being a new mom, being unhappy professionally…but since we made the move back to Indy, it seems that my motivation is back. I’ve finally got energy again! I’m excited about my job, I’m excited about being a mom, and I finally have motivation to do extra things that make me happy…like spend more time blogging! I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again. For this renewed motivation, I’m so very thankful.
Having a grateful heart doesn’t always come naturally for me…I have to work really hard to ignore the negative a lot of times. It’s a decision that I have to consciously make each day, and some days I fail so badly at it. But the days that I choose to be grateful, are the days that I’m the happiest, the most motivated, and the most at peace. Focus on the good. Focus on what you’re you’re grateful for.
What are you thankful for this year? Leave a comment below!