so much to be thankful for this year

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What’s dumb is that we, any of us, shouldn’t be waiting until Thanksgiving Day to post about the things we’re thankful for. I don’t know why we don’t take the time to realize and talk about the things that we really are thankful for each and every day. But all that aside, I’m going to jump on the ol’ Thanksgiving Day Thankful List right now, too.

  1. I’m thankful for my boys. The almost 13 month old that’s crawling around in turbo mode, refusing to say ‘mama’ and headbutts everyone and everything is everything I’ve dreamed about and more when it comes to being a parent. His contagious laugh, open-mouthed kisses and obsessive high fives continue to be the highlights of my every day. The 18.5 year old, although completely absent in my every day life, still makes me so proud of who he’s become as a man and how he continues to grow into his own person, tackling constant challenges that would cause most people to crumble and loving his brother so much that it makes my heart explode. IT WOULD BE NICE TO HEAR FROM HIM TIME TO TIME.
  2. I’m thankful for my wife. I don’t know, you guys, every single day I’m thankful for her and all that she does for me, our sons, herself, her family, you name it. She’s this person that will challenge and inspire you. And she’s this person that will love you, care for you and defend you until the very end. This year has been a doozy for the both of us with 12 trillion things going on at once, both incredibly awesome and really, really hard, but I can’t imagine going through it all with anyone else in the world.
  3. I’m thankful for my family. My parents have naturally morphed into grandparents, coming to visit twice in the last six month, trying to talk to their only grandson via speakerphone once a week and always checking in on him. Being the grandparents in a small town with a grandson that has two moms could be easily be a hard thing for them, but they seem to like this baby just a little bit. My brother continues to be this solid dude that I completely adore, which is a far cry from the little douche that carved swear words in the soap and blamed it on me. My brother’s girlfriend is such an amazing person and, despite the different last name and lack of ring on her finger, is such an important piece of our little family.
  4. I’m so thankful for my grandparents. They’re the people I want to grow up and be like. At 89 and 91, they’re still both just as whip smart as they’ve ever been and watching them spend time with their great grandson has been such a beautiful experience. I wish everyone were fortunate enough to have grandparents that are genuinely full of love, compassion and acceptance.
  5. I’m thankful for the rest of my family. My aunt and uncle who always welcome us into their home anytime we’re in town and are proud to talk about us and our family to anyone that listens. My cousin who’s always that person I can text about random crap, important stuff or completely offensive pictures. My other cousins, aunts and uncles from all over the place that are all around pretty great people.
  6. I’m thankful for my in-laws. I struck gold when I landed a mother-in-law that’s as amazing as mine. Whether she’s at our place or we’re at hers, it all falls into place likes we’ve been doing it for years. She’s crazy about her grandkids, can serve up an awesome meal for 10 in no time at all and works her tail off in everything she does. I’m thankful for a father-in-law that’ll give you the business in one breath and make baby sounds to his youngest grandson in the next. I’m thankful for my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew and niece. Who knew that four extra people could really help complete a whole family, you know?
  7. I’m thankful for my friends. Holy cow, am I thankful for my friends. No matter where they are, on the other side of the river or the other side of the country, whether I see them every day or every other year, I’ve hit the jackpot with all of them.
  8. I’m thankful for where I work. I left my old job to come to this one with the hope that they really followed their mission statement and, lo and behold, they sure as heck do. My co-workers are way rad and every single person in a leadership role have traits that I admire and aspire to be like.
  9. I’m thankful for the three domesticated beasts we have living in our house. The 10 year old boxer has the patience of a saint when it comes to the other dog, the cat or even the baby laying on him at nap time. For the past 10 years, there hasn’t been anyone else in my life I’ve let hog the bed as much as I do him. The tiny three year old dog that’s so anxious about everything in her life really is the sweetest thing in the world when it comes to our tiny family. Plus, she does a great job of keeping my butt warm in the middle of the night. The five year old surly tomcat that sits in the bathroom sink any chance he gets somehow just fits into this family in a way that just works.
  10. I’m thankful that I can sit in my living room with a roof over my head, a functioning furnace and a belly full of chicken and dumplings without worrying about how I’m going to afford to feed my family or get the healthcare my family might need. I’m thankful that worst of my problems is I only have two hours to write a five page paper. I’m thankful that I can live openly and honestly about who I am without being in constant fear. I’m thankful my family can do the same. I’m thankful for you.

sometimes it’s easy to forget about kindness in others 

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This past weekend, I found out that my grandpa was feeling a little on the sad side. 
He hasn’t been able to go to church since he got out of the hospital this summer. Since August, Grandpa Chuck’s pastor had only been to visit him once. Considering it’s a small church in a small town, it was disheartening, disappointing and down crappy for me to hear that someone else was making my 91 year old stoic grandfather feel bad. 

Instead of sending rabid beavers with hacksaws to the pastor’s house like originally wanted to do, I decided to finally USE MY POWERS FOR GOOD. My cousin, my wife, my brother and my sister-in-lawish joined in and we invited over 1000 people through Facebook to send a quick card, letter or what have you to his house. It wasn’t a visit from a pastor, but it was a dang good place to start. 

Since 3am this past Monday when insomnia hit both my cousin and I like the 18 wheelers our grandpa used to drive and pushed us to get this going, he’s received 16 letters/cards and a CD. He’s read them all, put them back into the envelopes and put them on the table. This is a guys who counts his birthday cards every year and leaves them out on the table for all his visitors to see. He’s digging it. 

We heard today that a Brownie troop made craft projects for him and two classes of pre-K all made cards for him today. He’s getting Hallmark DVDs, stuff from Hawaii, a card from Spain, candy and even more cards, letters and so, so much love. The kindness of everyone is awe-inspiring and restores my faith that sometimes people just need a reminder that they can make a difference in someone’s day. Like Chuck’s.

He and my grandma are Christians and amazing people in every since of those words. They love unconditionally. They open their home to all. They accept. They support. They share. They embody just genuine love and compassion. They’re good folks. They deserve so much of that in return, but would never even dream of asking. And really, they shouldn’t have to. If everyone in the world had he kind of hearts and souls my grandparents have, it’d be an amazing place. 

 XOXO, world. Thanks for doing a solid for my grandpa. 

things i can definitely do for 30 days straight 

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  1. Think about blogging
  2. Check Ancestry.com for those little shaky leaf things
  3. Take a picture of my toddler 
  4. Hum Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and You Are My Sunshine in that order around 9pm
  5. Avoid changing a diaper
  6. Threaten to beat my small dog because she’s barking at everything and nothing all at once 
  7. Consider putting my small dog on puppy Prozac 
  8. Wonder if the college aged son is eating 
  9. Think about macaroni and cheese or nachos or both 
  10. Try to come up with a scheme to make eleventy billion dollars by just having a winning personality so I can help all the people and do all the things 

Things I can’t do for 30 days straight:

  1. Blog every day 

vaxxed all to pieces

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We’re vaxxers at our house. We give our sons all of the vaccines that the CDC recommends. Of course, we do all of our research beforehand and are crazy, obsessive freaks after the fact because we’re sure his leg will fall off in the middle of the night from whatever weird ass shot that was that will prevent him from catching something like athlete’s foot. It never has, but it doesn’t stop us from being hyper-vigilant about it.

Today, our little one year old had some blood drawn, had four vaccinations, plus a flu shot. I’m halfway surprised that he hasn’t packed his sad little knapsack and threatened to runaway and join the hobos on the train yet. I guess he can’t walk and he can’t reach his top dresser drawer where we keep his jackets. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure he’d be outta here.

This baby has six band-aids on right now! I’m not pulling them off because I feel like it’ll just wind up causing more screaming than the shots did. And that wasn’t cool at all. They’ll have to fall off on their own and let’s hope that’s not in the middle of the cake tomorrow during his birthday party.

status of homeownership 2.5 months in

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Two thumbs up. A++++++++. Highly recommended. Fast shipping. Would do business with again. 

Aside from the paralyzing fear of a 30 year financial commitment, there wasn’t much else that concerned me about owning my own house. I mean, I’ve only sent the mortgage company two checks, but still… I’m not crying myself to sleep at night or anything. 

Things that are super cheers* level great:

  1. It’s been over a month since the last time I filled up my gas tank.  In our last house, it was a once a week ordeal. 
  2. Our entire family can fit around the dining room table. 
  3. One night Amelia heard the marching band on the field at the football stadium up the street. At our old house, that probably would have been noises of murder. 
  4. A basement that’s actually comfortable to be in. Or at least appears that way since only our guests and large child stay there. 
  5. And we’re pretty much in love with what my brother and dad did this past weekend:

 
It only required my dad climbing on the to step of a ladder that specifically said not to use it as a step and my brother to eat three pounds of insulation dust. But it sure does look pretty great, huh??

We’re fans of it all so far, even the next door lady that’s recommended a lawn service to us twice. Take it easy, Barbara. We promise not to bring down your property value. 

Man. We are so grown up and responsible now.
*Mickey Mouse Clubhouse references happen when you have a one year old.