Saturday, November 24, 2012

24th Day of Thankful

We took the kids to see Santa today on base. There were no lines, no waiting, just a very chilly looking Santa since they had him sitting outside (what's up with THAT base people?!?) in 38 degree weather. Granted, since he's from the North Pole and all, 38 probably felt plenty warm to him, but we were pretty chilly. It worked out well, since we had lunch right before we went to visit him and Sara spilled her lunch down the front of her pretty dress. With her coat on, you couldn't even tell. Come to think of it, I'm thankful for that too.  And for that fact that my kids made a Christmas list of things they wanted, but still wanted to give Santa money from their allowances to help them buy presents for other kids too. 

I have no idea what they are looking at!

23rd Day of Thankful

Keeping this short and simple - I am so very thankful that I did not have to go out and deal with Black Friday traffic, crowds, and waiting. In the rain. In rapidly dropping temperatures. With employees who wanted to be with their families instead of dealing with customers who had to deal with traffic, crowds, and waiting in the rain and rapidly dropping temperatures.


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

22nd Day of Thankful

Today, I'm thankful for the opportunity to have a wonderful meal with a group of people that have become like family to me. That's a pretty big deal to me, because growing up I always heard 'family first'. And I took it very seriously. But my generation, like all the ones before and after mine, does things a little differently. So while my mom's generation grew up with lots of family all around them, by the time I was growing up our family had started to scatter all over the place.

So for me to find a group of people here that not only feels like family, but acts like family...well, that's a pretty amazing thing. And today, I got to have Thanksgiving dinner with some of them. It doesn't get much better than that, especially for a gal who has never felt like she fit in with her own family all that well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

21st Day of Thankful

Today, and every day, I'm thankful for my son, Tucker. He can always make me laugh and he is such a kind-hearted kid. Life is always interesting with him and he constantly amazes me with the things he can do. It's a joy to watch him grow up (even though I think it's going by way too fast) and he gives the best hugs in the world.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

20th Day of Thankful

Today, and every day, I'm thankful for my daughter Sara. She is funny, smart, beautiful, and so freakishly self assured. She always makes life interesting and I think I'm learning way more from her than she ever will from me. Even on the really dramatic days, I cannot imagine my life without this amazing child and I cannot wait to see the woman she becomes.


Monday, November 19, 2012

19th Day of Thankful

Today I am thankful for chances. I went to Zumba tonight and the instructor mentioned that she was looking for subs a couple of nights in December. 

All during class I debated mentioning that I am a licensed Zumba instructor. It's no secret that I love Zumba, but getting up in front of a group of people makes me want to curl into a ball, cry, and hope that clicking my heels will eventually take me home. But one of my goals was to teach a Zumba class before the end of the year. 

So  I did it. I offered to sub for her and she accepted. I'm terrified but excited and hope that I can make it through the class without throwing up - because how awful would THAT be? (Pretty awful!) So here goes nothing. Or something. Or everything.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

18th Day of Thankful

Today I am thankful for days of rest and to be able to spend time with my family. We didn't do anything, we didn't go anywhere, we were all just together and and happy. Well, mostly happy. Tucker has pronounced me 'boring' today multiple times, but considering he's grounded for a nice, long while that's to be expected.

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17th Day of Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for today I don't know where to begin.

I'm thankful to have happy, healthy children who have gone out of their way the last couple days to show me how much they love me. I'm lucky to have a husband who puts my happiness up there with his own and even after over 11 years of marriage, still makes me smile when he walks in a room. I'm thankful to have such wonderful friends. I'm thankful to be alive to celebrate another day/week/month/year/decade.  I'm thankful that even in these tough economic times, we have somewhere to sleep, food to eat, and money to be able to help others every now and then. I'm thankful for new experiences and for the opportunity to step out of my comfort zones, even though I'll fight it all the way. I'm thankful for every person that reads this blog. Today, I'm just thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2012

16th Day of Thankful

Today, I am thankful for love. What other feeling allows so much acceptance, forgiveness, and happiness? It comes in so many forms: love for family, love for friends, love for God, love for a significant other...

There is little else that can compare to the feeling of being loved and loving in return. Very, very little.

photo from

Thursday, November 15, 2012

15th Day of Thankful

I am SO thankful for understanding.

This afternoon, I was at a friend's house and we were working on a wreath we were making (more on that in another post).  When it was time for the kids get home from school, we walked to the bus stop and then all of us went back to her house so she and I could continue working.

Almost two hours later, it was time to go and when I verbally expressed this to Tucker, he had the mother of all meltdowns (more on THAT in another post). It was so bad that my friend's husband had to drag him out to my car, it took both of us to get him in the car, and I had to childlock the door to keep him in the car.

Through this entire horrifying process, my friend and her husband were so gracious and understanding. Me? Not so much (more on that in another post).

So now I owe you guys at least two more explanatory posts but I really, really need to go to bed because I am emotionally exhausted. Thank goodness it's a brand new day in 25 minutes.

14th Day of Thankful

Today I am thankful for conversations with friends. Some days I think those conversations are the only things  that keep me sane.

photo from

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13th Day of Thankful

Today I'm thankful for laughter. Hands down, it's the best medicine for just about anything. It's like Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Endless uses and it fixes anything. Also in that category? Duck tape.

I love to make people laugh, and I love for people to make me laugh. There is something so satisfying about making someone happy and seeing a genuine smile on their face.

Hands down, my favorite kind of laughter in the universe is the sound of my kids laughing. It's magical, musical, heart warming, unique, and endorphin-inducing.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something funny just happened and my kids have no idea

Today we took the kids to see Wreck It Ralph.

Cuuuuuuuuuuute movie - especially if you grew up in the golden arcade era.

Tucker liked it, I think. It was hard to tell, he won't admit it, but he laughed a lot and grabbed my hand during the sad part.

Sara was just in it for the popcorn. Per usual.

We're home now, and Tucker raided his piggy bank for quarters (because we have so many arcade style video games here), and came over and handed me a quarter.

Me: I don't have a quarter slot and you can't play me. Hahahaha!

Tucker: ::totally serious:: No, I just want you to have it.

Me: ::lets it go:: Okay, thanks.

Tucker walks over to Robert and hands him a quarter.

Robert: What's this for?

Tucker: It's for you.

Robert: Yes, but what's it for??

Me: So you can call someone who cares. Bwaaaahahahaahaaaaaaaa!


It's hard being the funny one here. Seriously.

12th Day of Thankful

Today, I'm thankful for opportunity, and to live in a country where just about anything is possible. I could keep writing, but I'm going to take this opportunity to keep it short and sweet.

11th Day of Thankful

Today I'm thankful for clean, safe water. I drink a lot of water and it's easy to take for granted that any time I want some, I have plenty at my fingertips. In so many other places in the world, this is not the case. I cannot imagine having to get drinking water out of a polluted river or scrounge it up from places where one should not drink water.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

10th Day of Thankful

Today I'm thankful for play dates. It gives me a chance to spend one-on-one time with my kids without the other one feeling like they are missing out on anything.

And if I'm being completely honest, it gives me a chance to really, truly miss them. I love that both kids are independent and eager to have their friends over here to play or go to their friends' houses without over involvement from adults. I love that with a rare exception, other parents make it a point to tell me how great my kids are.

But what I REALLY love is that moment they see me after they come home and they run and give me the biggest hug and kiss and I know they missed me too.

9th Day of Thankful

Today I'm thankful for observation. There are so many times when I wonder if the kids listen to anything I say. And often, I feel like I say a lot of negatives - 'don't', 'stop', 'no', and so on. Not to mention, I'm fighting my own battles pretty much daily to set a good example for the kids. I know that even if they are listening, chances are they are going to learn and repeat the behaviors they see from me and Robert - especially the ones we hope they don't!

Then I'll see the kids at school or playing with their friends and I have hard evidence that Robert and I? We are getting through. That makes the rough times and the repetitiveness so much easier to bear.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

8th Day of Thankful

Today I'm thankful for our military - and especially all the men and women who serve and have served our country. Because of them, I have freedoms people in other countries cannot even imagine. I can speak out in support or opposition of my government without fear of oppression or repercussion (although I'm not sure the same can be said of putting those thoughts on Facebook). None of this would be possible if not for our military. As a military wife, I have a pretty good idea of the sacrifices made by military members and their families. I've been lucky. So many other families haven't been. How do you thank someone adequately for being willing to die for you and for your country? I'm not sure that's even possible. But I am so thankful and humbled and grateful for all of it. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Go away, sweetheart!

Since I have a horrible, re-occurring case of over-share-itis, I simply must blog about this.

Last night was Sara's weekly dance class. (On a side note, we got to go in and watch their tap routine - C.U.T.E!!! And Sara inherited Robert's rhythm for choreographed dances, but that's another blog post entirely)

Once class was over, Sara and I were walking out to the car with Megan and her daughter. As we prepared to head in different parking lot directions, a lady comes out of the building holding a toddler that was throwing one heck of a fit.

Dude. Been there, done that. It's awful when it happens to you, and it's almost as awful when you see someone else going through it.

There are three basic reactions available for such an event:

1) Ignore it completely
2) Empathy/sympathy
3) Judgement

# 3 is the one I dreaded the most because it generally came with a side dish of commentary and a garnish of holier-than-thou-ism - often with a dollop of eye roll.

If you've had children, chances are pretty good that you've survived a tantrum (or a couple thousand). The public ones were the worst!  If you have children and you've never experienced a public tantrum consider yourself EXTREMELY fortunate and pray that nothing changes. And you might want to immediately start writing a parenting book, because I would LOVE to know the secret to that.

No, really.

I could see how upset this poor lady was and I felt her pain. Sara and I said goodbye to Megan and Z, and went to our car. It turns out the lady parked a couple of spaces away from me. Her child was still screaming bloody murder and was putting up a fight about getting in the car.

Been there too, honey. No bueno!

I ask Sara to get in our car, buckle up, and close the door. I walk over to the other care to see if there's anything I can do to help. From personal experience, every now and then a random act of kindness truly seemed to make the difference between sanity and a 5150. I had no intention of passing judgement, offering advice, or interfering. I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do to help her in any way.

I approached the car just as something happened between the mom and child. The child was in the backseat and the mom had turned around to say something and I didn't see what happened, but the look on her face changed to a pretty scary face and she grabbed the child and drug him into her lap in the front seat. I had my hand raised to knock on her window when she saw me. She wasn't happy. She rolled down her window and we had the following conversation:

Me: Hi. Look, I don't mean to bother you, but I just wondered if I could help....
Me: I know. We've all been there and I just thought...
Her: SWEETHEART, JUST GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She throws up her hand towards me as in 'talk to the hand...'

Window rolls up. Her face is still REALLY angry. I feel like an idiot.

I slink away and get in my car. From where we were parked, I could see her talking to her child, and wiping off his face, so hopefully everything was okay.

I mean, I get it. I've been that angry at my kids before for the same exact behavior.Many, many, many, many, many times did I have to drag one or both of them kicking and screaming out of somewhere. It's horrible, as are the comments about my parenting and the dirty looks I would get.

The few times someone said something kind to me, it made a world of difference. If nothing else, it gave me a second to not be so in the situation, if that makes sense. And every time that was the case, going back to the situation didn't seem nearly as awful as a few seconds before.

But I'm not like everyone else, and everyone else is not like me. And I felt foolish for trying to help when it wasn't wanted. So, lesson learned. After all, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right?!?

7th Day of Thankful

Today, I'm thankful for reconnections  Through Facebook, I have reconnected with lots of people I went to school with, worked with, or used to know at some point in my life.

Through Facebook and a series of miracles, I was able to reconnect with my biological son this year - something I have been waiting over 19 years to be able to do. (Pausing for a moment while I put down some of my baggage...)

photo from

On the days when I am starting to doubt that there are decent people left in the world, these reconnections I have made reassure me that there are many, many decent people still in this world being kind and compassionate to others. I'm astounded by how many truly wonderful, amazing people I know. For this, I am truly, truly thankful.

6th Day of Thankful

Today, I am thankful for music. In my best and worst of times, music has been right there - able to express what I often was not/am not able to say myself. It can lift me up when I'm sad or blue. It can take me instantly back in time or make the present moment something I'll remember forever. So much of why I love Zumba has to do with the music involved. And most of the movies I love are as much for the soundtracks as for the movie itself. 

No matter your mood, your opinion, your personal preference, your experiences....there's music for that. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

5th Day of Thankful

I am thankful for simple things that make me happy: a great workout, pleasantly sore muscles, a comfortable couch, a good book, an unexpected email from a friend, a warm pair of socks for a pair of cold feet, ice cold water to drink when I'm thirsty... I could go on for hours today. 

Life is full of small unexpected blessings and I know that too often I take them for granted. I find myself making lists throughout the day of things I'm thankful for this week and there are so many more than I expected to have. I am very blessed and hopefully appropriately thankful. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

4th Day of Thankful

I am thankful for my husband.  He's always got my back, but he'll tell me the honest truth...or at least refuse to answer based on the absence of the 'cone of safety' and protection of his fifth amendment rights. I can tell him anything (and I pretty much tell him everything). And he never judges me. 

Together we've moved halfway across the world and back and had two amazing children. He has supported me through some serious ups and downs and I know I can lean on him anytime. He makes me want to be a better person. He pitches in and helps me out when I over-volunteer.  I couldn't ask for a better partner. 

Not to mention, he lets me sleep late on the weekends if I need to. I love this man with all my heart. And he's really, really cute!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

3rd Day of Thankful

Today I am thankful for the ladies I have met through Zumba. They are funny, smart, kind, supportive, inspiring, accepting, amazing, thoughtful, considerate, and all around wonderful.

This is the first place that has ever truly felt like home since we moved away from North Carolina. I feel like the friendships and support network I've built here are just as the strong as the support network I thought I had in North Carolina.

It's a powerful thing for me, because I've never really felt like I belonged anywhere before. But here, I feel like I belong and that I'm wanted. And for that, I am SO, SO thankful.

Peace, love, and Zumba baby!

Friday, November 2, 2012

2nd Day of Thankful

Today I am thankful for Pinterest.

What other one stop shop is there for fashion, DIY ideas, crafts, recipes, and things to make you laugh out loud?
pinterest funny-junk

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful In November

Awesome! Now I have a blog entry idea for every day in November!

Today I am most thankful for....

image from
Free time.

I have willingly filled most of my days up with something to do this year. Sometimes it seems like too much something, but today I took a day and did absolutely nothing. I don't know if it's the change in weather, a sinus issue, the common cold, stress, or whatever..but my head feels like someone hit it with a sledgehammer.

So today I did nothing while the kids were at school.  I am so lucky that we can afford for me to not work right now and that every now and then, I can do nothing without it affecting any one else in the house.