I was originally going to steal her idea and outline a few of the events that I've missed from this past year. But once I started looking through my pictures, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of thankfulness for all those faces smiling out from those pictures at me. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I think it's as good a time as any to remind myself of all the things I have to be thankful for.
I'm thankful for my husband, who pours all that he is into taking care of us and providing for us and protecting us and being present and available to all of us. Who treats me with respect and makes it his goal to make me feel beautiful and appreciated.
I'm thankful for Caleb, who is the most caring, compassionate, respectful, and intelligent kid I've ever met. I'm thankful that he knows and loves the Lord, and is getting baptized this Sunday. I'm thankful for the way he has always made me feel welcome in his world.
I'm thankful for Jacob, who really and truly "walks to the beat of his own drum". I'm thankful for his seemingly endless creativity, his hysterical sense of humor, and his constant desire to be set apart, different and unique. I'm thankful for the smile that he has on his face at any given time, and his talent for bringing the same thing to my face.
I'm thankful for Levi, who has turned my world upside-down, and convinced me that it's infinitely better that way. I'm thankful that he is healthy, happy, and truly joyful. I'm thankful for his smiles and giggles and deep belly laughs that he shares with me so generously.
I'm thankful for my ever-growing family of nieces and nephews and cousins-a-plenty. I'm thankful for my mom, who always answers her phone and always has time for me. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work with Pa this last year, and all the extra time I got to spend with him. I'm thankful for Jason's mom, and her willingness to always make herself available to us. I'm thankful for each one of my siblings, and for the amazing blessing of getting to raise our children together.
I'm thankful for my loving Father who lets me live my life among all these incredible people. I'm thankful for the days they teach me and the days they challenge me. I'm thankful for the ways they've each helped to shape me into who I am.
I'm thankful for the unique glimpses I get to see of my Father in each one of them.
I'm thankful for pictures, and for the reminder to slow down and reflect on all that I have in my family.