Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving

Life is Good: there is so much to be thankful for!


Month of Gratitude, Day 28

Happy Thanksgiving! This post is a day late, but that doesn't diminish my gratitude. It was a full day, no pun intended.

We had an easy three boys played together while I baked a turkey breast (white meat only, please!), an apple crumble pie (new fave...I will post the recipe asap!), and some appetizers for our dinner with friends (simple stuff--artichoke dip, guacamole, crudites gathered together in the shape of a turkey, of course).

Then, we were off to the ER at Children's Hospital. Wait, put on the brakes. Nothing was wrong. In fact, everything is great. We are so grateful to the staff at Minneapolis Children's Hospital. When the big kid was two, he had his first infection ever. Unfortunately, it resulted in a life-threatening bout with croup and a secondary infection. With their proactive treatment and exceptional knowledge, the staff at Children's saved his life. So when we have been in town on Thanksgiving, we have dropped off snacks & goodies and a thank you note in the ICU where he was treated.

We're very fortunate that we have only been in the ICU once and it was a short stint. Now, the big kid has a tendency towards croup and when he gets it, it is not the ordinary scary kind, but a super scary kind. So a couple of times a year, we have landed in the ER at Children's Hospital in need of help. So this year, we decided to drop off a goody bag to the ER staff who, instead of celebrating the holiday with their friends & family, were there taking care of kids, saving lives, giving families another reason to be grateful. It meant a lot to the big kid. He loved "giving stuff to people who help us. It feels so good inside."

And hearing him say that made me feel good inside. We are working hard to raise kind, loving, responsible, generous, grateful little people. Hearing that makes me think we might be on the right track...

In the car on the way home, the big kid asked about the kids who were in the hospital on Thanksgiving. He asked if we could pray for them. So we did. But not without tears (mine). Not without tears for those kids and their families. Those kids who may or may not leave the hospital healthy. And tears for the ones who do leave the hospital to resume their lives, like our big kid. And tears for the memory. Tears for that little two-year old of ours and the faint voice and the limp body, for the mama I was, arms wrapped tight around him in constant prayer. Tears for how long ago it feels in some ways and how recent it feels, too. Tears for all we have done and seen and accomplished and lived since then.

We got to watch the Jayhawks play basketball for a bit (Rock Chalk!) and then it was time to go over to our goddaughter's house for dinner with her family. We are so blessed to have friends to share the holiday with. A special shoutout to their families for sharing their holiday with us, too!

Check out the bird!

And the chef!

Our darling goddaughter and her lil sis provided the entertainment. Sorry for the blurry pic...there was a lot of dancing involved!

The award for having the most fun might have gone to our little one. He did a great job of keeping up with the big kids. The kiddos played and played and played. How can I harness some of that energy?!

 My friend, Laura, and I wrestled for the wishbone. (Not really.)

We are so very blessed. Wishing on a wishbone (does anybody have a tradition of doing that?) seems greedy. I am so grateful for the simple things and the extraordinary, too. We have them all. I am grateful for the relationships that keep me happy, peaceful, and everything in between--our little family of four, my parents, some wonderful extended family, a wide group of friends near and far. We had a lovely Thanksgiving, despite my missing being with my parents. Our friends loved us up and filled our bellies.

Every Thanksgiving, I remember a card that I sent to my grandparents. I wrote in it, "Happy Thanksgiving to two of my favorite turkeys!" They called me as soon as they got the card. I was living in Atlanta and I can still picture where I was standing as I spoke to them on the phone. My Grandma cackled and giggled with delight and my Granddad, attempting to sound stern and serious, said, "Now you listen here. Who's the turkey?" and then we all laughed and laughed. I miss them dearly. On holidays and every day. If you have a special turkey in your life, tell them. Okay, maybe don't call them a turkey, if they wouldn't find that funny. ; ) But today, if you have someone you love dearly or a friend that makes you feel special, tell them. You'll be thankful that you did!

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