Giving Thanks

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The snow has started to fall, the pies are being prepped, and holiday tunes are playing. It’s officially my most favorite part of the year. 

This week it is obligatory for us to pause and say thanks. We put aside our stress, take big sighs and say thanks  while we help ourselves to seconds of pumpkin pie and think about Christmas shopping. It’s a nice tradition and I take pleasure in watching everyone’s faces soften a bit this week and bask in a little kindness.  And then riots happen. And mass confusion. And violence. And ugly consumerism. It’s so easy for our simple thank yous to get lost. For us to get lost. Buried under all of that weight. 

This time of year is my favorite. But like my stomach after stuffing and pie, it is also very full. So very full. Full of traditions, emotions, memories, hopes, loss, and joy. Remember that for everyone who is thankful for time with family there is someone without a family to create memories with. That for every person that is looking forward to old traditions there is someone who is experiencing a loss and no traditions this year. Not everything is merry and bright, this season holds darkness as well. 

So as this season of fullness begins I will pause to take it all in. I pause to remember all that I do have, not just the big things but all the small things as well.

Thank you for the big fluffy snowflakes that are falling outside. Thank you for a husband that knows when I need him to hold my hand. Thank you for that second cup of coffee in the AM. Thank you for friends that listen and make me laugh. Thank you for legs and lungs that let me run. Thank you for family that is always present. Thank you for puppy kisses and warm cuddles. Thank you for a safe neighborhood and long walks. Thank you for the man that listens to every silly thought and makes me feel like I belong. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for a job that fulfills me and a boss that is kind. Thank you for naps on clean, crisp sheets. Thank you for champagne and It’s A Wonderful Life on Thanksgiving night.

Thank you for allowing me to hope.

Thank you for the belief that most of the world is still good. 

 

 

Love Letter of Gratitude

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November: A month of thankfulness. I don’t think any of us really thank our partners enough. As this month reminds us to be extra thankful, I thought I’d pause and write a letter of gratitude to Ryan.

Dear Ryan,

These past few months have taught me that love is always changing and always growing. But most importantly they have taught me that love is always there, even when I can’t always see it.

Last month I was feeling lonely in marriage. I mean that in the best of ways. Let me explain. There were nights when I was home alone and feeling the pressure to hold it all together. To not let you show how hard it was to be apart.  There were times when I took on the weight of all your anxieties and fears. The ones that sometimes crush your spirit. My heart felt the need to pick them all up for you, to help lighten the load on your heart, to make you happy. Without thinking twice I picked up all your anxieites and worries as if they were my own. “Isn’t that what marriage is about?” I thought to myself.

I catologed all those worries and lined them up side by side like books on a bookshelf. Thinking they were all organized and like I had a plan. They were all nicely lined up on that shelf in my heart, leaning against my own anxieties, my own fears. The ones I kept to myself because I didn’t want to overflow your already full plate. The ones I was afraid would distract you from focussing in school and your dreams. I thought that by being strong for you, by taking on your burdens, I was showing you how much I love you. 

But that shelf in my soul was getting so very heavy. It began to break with the weight of all those burdens. And then came that Sunday when despite by attempts of bravery, they all came tumbling down on top of me. Suffocating me. Making it hard to breathe. 

That day I showed you a part of me I usually keep hidden away. I felt so unhinged yet heavy at the same time. Yet you read my tears like the words to your favorite song. You knew. With no doubt you understood my fears and my worries. How could I forget that you know me so well? How could I forget that we were a team? How could I forget that you’d never expect me to carry all that weight? You held me close and whispered, “We can be strong together.”

So Ryan, I need to thank you for reminding me that I am not alone. I’ll never be alone. That sometimes I can get lost but that I will always be found. 

 I need to thank you for always making “us” a priority even when you are running on zero sleep, are working on 3 different projects for school, are prepping cases for work, and dealing with family crises. Thank you for putting us first. Thank you for pancake breakfasts, for always bring me coffee in bed on the weekends, for listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on repeat in the car for the past 3 weeks. Thank you for putting up with my moods. Thank you for cleaning the whole house when you had a vacation day on Veteran’s Day. You could have slept or watched TV but you chose to scrub the kitchen and bathrooms. Thanks for always making me laugh. And thank you for sharing my dreams.

I’m one lucky lady. Thank you for loving me and thank you for letting me love you. 

 

 

 

Big Thanks and Little Thanks

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I’m currently trekking through the rain and snow, making the drive from PA to western NC for Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law’s home. I’m so thankful to be able to take time off from work to spend quality time with family and see a new part of the US.

As I will be staying in a remote cabin – away from it all, I will be taking a little Thanksgiving break from posting. So, I wanted to take time today to express my gratitude.

Of course I’m thankful for all the obvious things like my family, my husband, my friends, Maggie, my job, home, and health. I am truly blessed with a beautiful life. You may say that I want to give  BIG thank you to all of these blessings.

But what about the little thank you’s?

Here is a list of a few things lesser thing that I am also thankful for. Parts of my life that I may usually take for granted. Smaller things that may not seem worth noting but things that in the end add to the beauty and greatness of my life.

1. There is this one part of my daily drive home where the sky is always breathtaking – no matter what time of day it is, it always catches my eye. I always say to myself, tomorrow I will pull over to take a picture – and I haven’t yet. I’m grateful to live in such a beautiful part of this country.

2. Warm morning cuddles with Maggie. She makes it both easier to get up but harder to get out of bed.

3. Christmas decorations – most importantly the ones that have been passed down to me from my grandmother or mother and the ones from my childhood. Each holds its own story.

4. Warm boots and scarves – keeps me cozy at the office

5. The fact that I get to see my mom almost every day and my dad at least twice a week. I’m fortunate to know my adults as people, rather than just parents. I’m glad to have them as friends.

6. Scented candles that fill up my home with warm fuzzy feelings – makes evenings alone seem not so lonely

7. The fact that Ryan washes the dishes and cleans the bathrooms without complaint. Even if I DID do these two chores, he’d do the over again because my effort wouldn’t be up to par. I haven’t cleaned the kitchen or the bathroom since we started living together a year ago. I cook, he cleans.

8. Red lipstick that brightens my day and makes me feel more like a woman, even if inside I feel like a slobby troll.

9. Wine, peanut butter, chocolate (hopefully those two things together), apples, nachos, cheese, avocado, cosmos, ice cream, cashews, macaroni and cheese, crab cakes, and chex mix.

10. You! I’m so grateful for this blog and you readers. It still blows my mind that anyone would want to read. I love connecting with all of you, making new friends, and commiserating over this crazy world we live in. I’m so appreciative to have a place to come to every day, a place where I can say my thoughts, be creative, and feel at home. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

If you want to follow along on my trip to Asheville connect with me on Twitter or Instagram

xoxo katie