Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 8: I am thankful for my sister Emily

I got a phone call today from my sister Emily, who is currently in Florida vacationing with her husband and their two little girls.  She called because she had heard that I was having a heck of a time between work and a teething baby and very little sleep, and she just wanted to offer some encouragement.

Talking to her is always uplifting, and in the course of the conversation, I went from wiped out to wiped out but hopeful and even a little amused by the situation.  I know that she had plenty going on where she was, thanks to frigid temperatures that had cancelled their beach plans and forced them to find indoor amusement for the kiddos, but she was kind enough to call and check on me in spite of it all.

I always appreciate conversations with Emily, as well as her prayers and her insights, spiritual and intellectual.  She is also one of my favorite people to kick back with and enjoy a glass of wine and some classic corny television.  (Murder, She Wrote or Star Trek, anyone?)  As sisters and friends go, she is top notch.

On another note, I am also thankful for Blogger's backdating feature, since I am WAY behind on posting my 365 Days of Thanksgiving posts!  No one has to know.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 7: I am thankful for Isaac

Today, my brother-in-law Isaac is celebrating his birthday, so I want to take time to be thankful for him today.  He and I had a bit of a rocky road to travel for some time, but we were able to work through things and become close friends.

He is an absolutely amazing uncle to my son.  Being the youngest child, Isaac does not have a lot of experience with babies, but he is a natural with Clayton.  If Clayton gets upset, Isaac can almost always get him settled (unless he's hungry, in which case, only Mama will do!), and the best part is that Isaac doesn't freak out and hand Clayton off at the slightest cry.  He sticks it out, figures out what's wrong, walks him around, plays with him, and generally does anything he can think of to settle Clayton down.

I also am thankful for how respectful he is of any instructions or requests I give.  He never second-guesses anything I say or ignores me when I tell him that Clayton needs fed or changed or put down for his nap.  It can be challenging to be a first time mom because a lot of people think they know better than you do.  I get so frustrated when I tell people that Clayton is hungry or tired, and they ignore me and try to solve his problems in a different way.  Isaac never does that.  He always respects my wishes without questioning or trying to tell me that I am wrong.

So, happy birthday, Isaac!  I'm thankful for you today (and every day)!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 6: I am thankful for coffee

Yesterday, I was feeling a tad nostalgic and mentioned to my almost 6-month-old that a part of me misses his newborn stage.  He thoughtfully responded by regressing to newborn sleeping patterns last night.  He also refused to go down for his nap until 12:30 this afternoon, a full 3 hours after he usually takes his first nap of the day.  Needless to say, I am quite tired today.

Enter a fresh, hot, steaming cup of coffee.  There are few things in life that I rely on more than my morning cups of joe...and my afternoon cups of joe.  Generally speaking, I probably consume a wee bit more coffee than I should, but hey, it's chock full of antioxidants, right?

But seriously, not having coffee was one of the most difficult parts of pregnancy for me.  I really did not miss alcohol at all, except a little towards the end of my pregnancy, but coffee was a different story.  I did have a cup from time to time, but only when I really needed it, such as when I was at work and physically incapable of staying awake.

Now that I am no longer pregnant, I pretty much drink it whenever I want.  I am still breastfeeding, but it has not had any noticeable effect on my son.  In fact, he has been a much better than average sleeper for his age since day one, at least most nights.  I also try to time my coffee so that I am having a cup right after he eats, which allows time for my body to metabolize it.

I do feel very fortunate to have access to coffee throughout the day.  I know that we are going to try for more children in the future, so I will enjoy this time of being able to indulge as much as possible!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 5: I am thankful for D and L

A few days ago, I wrote about being thankful for my mom after something happened that really upset me.  Without going into too much detail about that incident, I will share that what happened was that somebody stole a box out of my vehicle trunk while I was unloading it after Christmas.  Everything in the box was easy to replace, with one exception.  I had placed the picture of my son sitting on Santa's lap in that box in order to keep it from getting bent or wrinkled during our trip home.

I was so devastated to lose that picture, but fortunately I had taken a picture of the picture on my cell phone in order to add it to Facebook.  The picture is not great, of course, but it's better than nothing.

Upon hearing about this, however, a co-worker of my husband, D, who has a Santa suit offered to dress up as Santa and do a picture with our son.  So we went over to his home and did a replacement Santa picture, then had lunch with his wife, L, and two boys.

I am so grateful for this family.  When I was pregnant, I had a somewhat scary automobile breakdown on a very busy highway while traveling with our two dogs.  My husband was on a plane headed for Germany when it happened, and L was the one who came to rescue me.  We have been so blessed by both of these people, and I am so thankful to have friends like them.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4: I am thankful for my home

I have never been a very neat person, and I have always hated to clean, but lately, I have tried to take on a new approach to housecleaning.  Instead of being annoyed that I have to clean or letting myself get overwhelmed with all there is to do, I now spend my cleaning time thanking God for all that I have.

For example, if I am cleaning out my closet, I thank Him for giving me plenty of clothing and shoes to wear.  Or, if I am cleaning out the fridge or organizing the cupboards, I thank Him for providing enough food to keep us from going hungry.

I also love our house.  I don't know what it is about this place, but I just love living here.  It is not a huge house, but it is pretty spacious, and it has a ton of storage space, including a finished basement.  The storage space in and of itself is pretty amazing, especially since we lived in apartments with hardly any space for such a long time.

I also love that we now have a backyard with a fence so that I can let the pups out without going out in the cold.  It would be rough trying to take them out every time they needed to go when I am home alone with he little man, especially when it is freezing cold.

What is really amazing about this house, too, is that we moved in just a month before our surprise pregnancy.  It was more room than we needed - 3 bedrooms - but the rent was cheaper than our much smaller apartment, so we went for it.  Soon after, we realized that we would be using that space after all.  After spending nearly 2 months looking at a ton of places, I am so happy that this is the one where we ended up.  Thank you, Jesus, for this home!  (And please help me keep it clean.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 3: I am thankful for my mom

Yesterday, I had such a bad morning.  I know bad days happen to most people, but not to me.  In an entire year, I probably have an average of 3 or fewer bad days.  My husband likes to say that if I broke my leg, I would say that some people don't have legs to break.  Which is totally true.  No matter what happens, I always try to think about how fortunate I am, rather than focus on whatever is getting me down.

But yesterday, I was really feeling down, and I could not pick myself back up.  Part of it was just being exhausted and sick, never a good combination.  But about an hour after I got out of bed, something happened that really made me feel sad, and I could not shake it off.

I don't want to go into details for various reasons, but I will say that it was nothing serious like a health issue or a death in the family or anything nearly that bad.  I knew it should not get me so upset, but it did.

So I called my mom, who provided me with just the right dose of "this isn't that serious" mixed with "it's okay to be upset over this."  It really reminded me how fortunate I am to have a mom who I can talk to and who is one of my closest friends.  And the best part was that it took my focus off of my blues and put it back where it belongs: on what I am most thankful for.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 2: I am thankful for my son

Day 2 of the 365 Days of Thanksgiving project is here, and today I am thankful for my son, Clayton Ramsey.  He is 5 and a half months old, and he is such a delight.  I never could have imagined how much I would love being a mom, but having him has changed my life so completely.

Now, it is so hard to think of what life was like before he arrived.  I mean, really.  What did I do with myself before he got here?

Clayton has been a very alert and vocal child from the very beginning.  I have a video of him talking away at just 3 hours old, and the older he gets, the more vocal he becomes.  I don't know if that is the result of me reading to my belly, something which I did fairly regularly, especially during the last few months of pregnancy, or if he just happens to be exceptional, but I love hearing his little voice.

I am grateful not just for his personality, which shines through more clearly every day, but also for his good health.  While I was pregnant, I prayed for him often and specifically asked for good health, good sleep, and a happy disposition.  So far, all of these have come to pass.  He has never been ill, he has been sleeping through the night since he was about 2 months old, and he is one of the most cheerful babies I have ever seen.

I continue to pray that God will bless my little boy with good health in the future, and I thank Him now for all the days of good health we have seen and will see.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tackling the laundry beast

One of my New Year's resolutions was to get the house clean and organized, and I am off to a great start.  I decided to break the whole house up into small projects, with the first being the laundry.  My first week's project will be to get all of the laundry in the whole house washed, dried, folded/hung, and put away.  

Okay, so you're thinking, "Big deal.  A week to do all the laundry?  Easy-peasy."  Not so, my friend.  Not so.

I'm sure this will horrify some - probably most - people, but I am going to go ahead and confess anyway.  Sometimes - and by sometimes, I mean pretty much every time I do laundry - I do not put the laundry away after it comes out of the dryer.  In fact, half the time, it ends up sitting in the dryer - or if I am feeling particularly ambitious, on the ping pong table - until we need it.  Yup.  That's how bad the situation is.  And that's just the laundry.

Not to mention, there is a basket of miscellaneous socks and other random items that has been in a closet for a length of time too disgraceful to mention, simply because I have not sorted it.  In my house, doing all the laundry and getting it all put away is a huge job.

To keep me on track with this and other projects, I have decided to reward myself as I complete each phase.  I just got a new Spyro the Dragon game for my Wii - yes, for all intents and purposes, I am still 6 years old - and I am so excited to play it, so that will be my reward when I finish.  It is quite the motivator, and I actually got through most of the laundry today, with just a few items left to work through in the next few days.

Part of the reason I was able to get through so much is because my hubby was home, so he was able to help with our son.  During the week, it is very difficult to find time to do anything during the day since my son does not do a lot of napping, and when he is awake, I am spending time with him.  Showering is an accomplishment in itself, let alone cleaning or cooking something.

Even so, I am excited to be off to a good start, and I hope to continue to work towards organization in our home by setting realistic goals and continuing to reward myself when I complete a project.

2014 New Year's Resolutions

I usually completely forget to make New Year's resolutions until New Year's Day, and then I start scrambling for ideas and eventually settle on the classic "lose weight" resolution, which is nice because I never seem to lose weight, so it's good year after year.

This year, however, I have a list a mile long of things I want to accomplish in the coming year.  I talked about a few of them around the end of November, and I have been keeping track of my goals for the last month and a half and am excited to kick off the year right.

I wanted to share them on the blog so I would feel some kind of accountability, even though I think all of about 6 people read this thing. So, without further ado, here are my 2014 New Year's resolutions:

  1. Get the house clean and organized.
  2. Take time to be thankful for something every day.
  3. Learn to sew.
  4. Log 10,000 steps at least 4 days a week.
  5. Finally use up my yarn stash.
  6. Take better care of my skin. (I'm turning 30 this year and am already seeing the crow's feet!)
  7. Read my Bible every day.
  8. Lose weight.
Okay, I had to sneak that weight loss one in at the end because I am still way over where I want to be on the scales.  In my defense, not only did I have a baby, but I have been having trouble with my knees since the middle of my pregnancy, which has made exercise very difficult.  It does seem to be clearing up, though, so I am ready to get back in the saddle and start exercising - especially running - more often.

I also need to do better at taking care of my skin, especially when it comes to using anti-aging products.  I am getting so wrinkly, and I would like to prevent some of that, if possible.  The sewing and yarn goals are lofty.  I mean, really, who has time to be crafty?  I am ambitiously and unrealistically hoping that this year, I can say, "I do! I have time to be crafty."  We'll see.

Reading my Bible is important to me, and I have no excuse not to do it.  I have a Bible app on my phone, and I can always read while nursing my baby.  That one just has to happen.

So there it is.  What are your goals for the year?

Day 1: I am thankful for my husband

Today is January 1, 2014, and it is the launch of my 365 Days of Thanksgiving project.  I am so excited to be doing this, and I am eager for others to join me.  My plan is to not only blog about something for which I am grateful but to also go about my day actively proclaiming my thanks to God.

Today, I am thankful for my husband Jesse.  He works incredibly hard at his job, which has enabled me to stay home with our son, something that means the absolute world to me.  He takes good care of our family, and even though he is often very tired, he spends as much time as he possibly can with me and especially with our little boy.

Jesse will often pick out a treat for me when he goes to the store.  He knows I love to eat, so he will bring home some kind of fun snack.  He always knows just what I will love, and he brings home things I probably would never have found on my own.

He has also put up with my somewhat ridiculous obsession with and addiction to cloth diapers.  I am sure he probably thinks I am nuts, but he has supported my decision to cloth diaper and even changes them himself sometimes.  (Usually, I change the diapers, not because he won't do it, but because I love picking out the next one.  There is something wrong with me.)

Our son Clayton loves his father so much, and I can see it in his eyes when he looks at Jesse.  I thank God that I have a man who works so hard and who loves us so much.  I know it is not always easy for him, especially since he works such long hours, and I do not ever wish to take him for granted.