Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday EVER! There is something about it that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. And, no, it is not from the large quantities of wine consumed. I have been feeling this way for years, way before I could drink wine. The past few years, though, I have kind of felt badly for Thanksgiving. People go straight from celebrating Halloween directly to singing Fa-la-la-la-la. What happened to the whole gobble, gobble, pilgrims, Indians, stuffing, pumpkin pie? It is so disappointing! I will be working on Thanksgiving again this year, which really stinks, but Sam and I decided to have not one, but two Friendsgiving celebrations at our house so this way I would not miss out on the fun. One thing that I will not get to do, though, is go up to The Christmas Tree Shoppe and Stew Leonard's with my family in NY the day after Thanksgiving. That is always one of my favorite parts. Another reason why I love Thanksgiving so much is because I get to think back and reflect on everything that I have in my life. Here are just a few!
A girl could not ask for a better family! We have had our ups and downs years ago, but we have always stuck together. This will be my nephew's first Thanksgiving and I am sad that I will miss it, but I am so thankful that he is in our lives. My niece is my competition for being the center of attention, so I am thankful that she will be providing the family entertainment when I am not there. Stina really does take after me! My mom and dad are the best parents. They have always been supportive of me and have loved me even through all of the really bad choices I have made in life. They have been my providers and have given me what I needed to be where I am today, but they have not just handed me things. Instead of just buying me a house, for example, they instilled a strong work ethic in me and gave me the tools I need in order for Sam and myself to buy our own house. My sister is my go to gal for advice. Dana is a great sister, mother, daughter, and wife, but mostly, she is a phenomenal friend. Brian, my brother in law, helps keep me grounded. Whenever I get mad and pout, he is usually the only person who can get me to see things in a better lite. Gramps is my heart and soul. There are no words to describe how much I love him. Even though Grams has been an angel for almost 3 years now, I am thankful for the never ending love that she provided. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and I miss her more and more everyday. Even though I have not spoken to my father's parents in about 17 years, I am thankful for them. They have taught me the importance of forgiveness. I forgive them for disliking me for no reason. After struggling for years with trying to reach out to them and gain their love, I have come to peace with the fact that there is nothing I can do to make them love me and I forgive them for that.
I am thankful for the 10 years I got to spend with my baby girl Cheyenne. She taught me how to really love and showed me unconditional love as well as taught me responsibility. There is a special place in my heart that is reserved just for her. Phoebe and Lulu have shown me that I have room in my heart to love another dog. Their antics and quirks keep Sam and I laughing (and cleaning) non-stop. I am so glad that we found each other.
My friends, new and old, are the best. While I don't get to see my friends from New York nearly as much as I would like, when I am up there, we are able to pick up where we left off. They got me thru the awkward years of high school, as well as college. I miss them terribly and cannot wait to see them again - I'll be home for Christmas, girls! My OLH friends have been around since I was 4 years old and I am thankful that, even after all of this time, I am still able to count on them. It is amazing to see how many of my former classmates have kids - I remember sitting in kindergarten with these people! I love it! My Georgia friends are great. Many have been around since my days in GSU, and some have just been added to the friends roster recently. Either way, they provide lots of laughs and good times. Lucky for me, I work with many of them, so every day at work is filled with smiles and laughs.
Nursing has been my dream for years. I am thankful to CHOA and all of my coworkers for helping to make my dream even more of a reality. After a rough start, I have found my comfort zone and I appreciate my co-workers for helping me to get settled there. CHOA has given me opportunities to grow professionally and I am so grateful for that. Through my job, we have health insurance and I get a paycheck that provides for us.
Our house might be on the older side, but I am so thankful that we can call it ours. It keeps us dry and warm on cold rainy nites and cool and shaded on hot, harsh days. It might be a little outdated, but it aids in providing the meals that keep us nourished, has a nice warm bed, and running water. I think it is a great place. We are working on updating it, but it will take some time and money.
My health is something that I often take for granted and I have realized that it is not a luxury that everyone has. I am thankful for the fact that I can get up and go every morning. For the past few weeks, I have been taking care of myself a little bit better than I have been in the past and I already notice a difference.
Well, I think that covers it all! Just kidding!
SAM! How thankful I am for a husband like Sam. If they ever do another remake of Superman, I think they should base it on a day in the life of Sam. Sam is my partner, cheerleader, provider, but mostly my best friend! He has gotten me thru the ups and downs of 2011 and I know that he will be there for me holding my hand thru 2012. There is one word that I think describes Sam better than any other - HUMBLE. Everyday, he gets up, does his treatments, and goes to work. Very rarely does he complain about it. But yet he is always there to pick up the pieces when I fall apart. He works so hard to take care of himself, not only for him, but for me. Everything that he has, he has worked hard for and earned. I am thankful for everything that he has taught me. Sam has taught me to appreciate the little things in life, to not take the privilege of breathing easily for granted, and to always see the positive side of situations and never give up - EVER! I love the life I have with him!
On to some other things that have happened since my last blog. On November 9th, I became a CPN - certified pediatric nurse. This was an amazing opportunity that my employer provided for me and I am so glad that I seized it. It is more than just another bunch of letters after my name. It is about having even more confidence in myself when I go to work everyday, set an example for the nursing students that come to our floor, and achieving a lifelong dream and goal. That's what those 3 simple letters are doing for me.
I have also learned a valuable lesson in friendship. A sorority sister of mine, Katie, passed away last weekend. Katie had such a beautiful spirit and a smile and laugh that would lite up the room. I have many fond memories with her and I am regretful of the fact that we drifted after college. We were able to reconnect thru Facebook and I really wish we would have carried out the promise of "We should get together sometime". Heaven gained a beautiful angel and I am sure her wings are just as brite as her smile.
Another lesson that I have learned is about respecting myself as much as I respect other people. I am always so concerned about hurting other people and I often end up being the one that is hurt. Friendships don't always last. It would be nice if they did, but they don't; it's sad but true. People change, relationships change, jobs, life happens, marriage, kids, for whatever the reasons. I have spent time evaluating my relationships and, believe it or not, I don't have time to chase after people. One sided friendships are not good. There cannot just be one person making the phone calls and reaching out. It has to be 2 ways. I know that my friendship should not be the center of any one's universe. I get that, but to purposefully drum up bad feelings and if you know that some one's IVF didn't work, don't make them feel worse about it. I am guilty of not always being a great friend and now that I have been on the receiving end, I apologize to anyone that I might have hurt in the past, but I hope that I have never purposefully hurt someone or had a sense of self-importance. Feeling like you have been replaced is never a good feeling.
Here is hoping that all of my readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Spend some time thinking about things that you can be thankful for. Reflect on some of the luxuries that you take for granted everyday. Look at the people that are surrounding you and be grateful they are in your life. Reach out to a friend who you haven't spoken to in a while and let them know that you are thankful for him/her. Also, if you are spending your Thanksgiving at home, either yours or someone else's, be grateful that you are with loved ones and not in the hospital, homeless, deployed, or working. But MOST importantly - Don't forget to wear your elastic waistband buffet pants!!!! Happy Eatin', Guys!
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
"Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God." ~Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson)