30 Days of Thankfulness

Day 30: I'm thankful for Christmas Carols. Yes, I'm the one who can't wait to hear the first 'Deck The Halls' on the radio. I'll admit I got the warm fuzzies when I heard the BC Clark jingle on TV on Thanksgiving Day.  My blood starts pumping re and green all the way til Christmas!  Yes, I'm aware of how big a dork I am. But as far back as I can remember, every single Christmas we have packed our ENTIRE extended family into the tiny den of my great grandparents to sing Christmas carols before opening presents. It's a family tradition spanning more than 40 years now.  You may think that Justin Bieber's Christmas album is the best thing since sliced bread, but that's because you've never heard the Muse Clan (all 75+ of us) belt out 'Silent Night' opera-style or invent new hand motions to 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' on the fly.  It's a truly magical (and comical) experience. And so very close to my heart. There will never be another moment on this earth that continually reminds me just how special family really is besides a good ol'fashioned Christmas carol.  Yes, even 'Grandma God Run Over By A Reindeer'.

Day 29:  I'm thankful for Flat Irons. Let me just make this very clear. I have jungle hair.  My flat iron is the last living saving grace for helping me to appear somewhat civilized.

Day 28: I'm thankful for This Blog. Nothing feels better than being able to put into words what I try to mumble outloud everyday. For some reason, it all just flows a bit better when given that extra moment in my head before it comes springing forth into the air. A lot of what I say outloud lacks a certain level of tact. (Not that it doesn't happen on paper too!), but I tend to be more thoughtful about things that I know are permanant engrained in cyberspace. For the past few months, I have been able to think more clearly, having this venue to voice my worries and rants and snarky comments.  It has given me some extra sanity. It also gives me a creative outlet and a reason to write. It also keeps me from watching the Kardasians.  

Day 27:  I'm thankful for Law & Order. That's right, I'm thankful for a television show. But listen to my reasoning ...There is some terrible stuff going on in the world today. Every time I turn on the news, it's frustrating and terrifying and disheartening. It's hard for me to believe that people who can, say, stand by and watch a 15-year-old girl get raped exist in the world. What's worse is that sometimes our justice system seems bound and gagged by its own rules. The bad guys don't always get punished; and the good guys often lose. But not on Law & Order. I watch the SVU brand (oh, that Det. Stabler!), and yesterday I caught a marathon, including a couple of my favorite episodes. "Slaves" (the girl in the box one) and the one where Det. Munch cries. The wonderful thing about settling down for a formula drama like L&O:SVU is that all the frustrations I feel watching the evening news are soothed. The bad guys ALWAYS get caught. The good guys ALWAYS triumph. Everything (except for the episode where the college student had the affair with her art instructor) is black-and-white. The actors even take time to patiently explain the background of the episode's issue each week. It may not be real, but it sure does help me survive the evening news sometimes!

Day 26: I'm thankful for Grandparents. I have to admit that I have blessed beyond belief in the grandparent department.  In my own life, I had the most amazing Grandma.  One who lovingly nagged me about everything from slamming the screen door to eating my vegetables. But she loved me something fierce. She probably learned that kind of unconditional love from my great-grandparents.  My Maw-Maw and Pa Pa were glued to each other's side for over 75 years.  They loved 4 generations of grandkids in our family, including my little guys.  On top of that, my kids are the luckiest little guys in the world to have two sets of grandparents that worship the very ground that they walk on.  Those little monsters do no wrong in their eyes. Bryan's parents are a never-ending encouragement to me on what a godly marriage looks like and what it means to love without condition.  I couldn't have asked to marry into a better family.  And my mom has and always will be like a second mother to my boys.  She's been there even when I wanted to give-up this mom-gig a time or two, rushing in to rescue them! Honestly, I think a big reason why we have such sweet little men is in a large credit due to the investment their grandparents have made in their lives thus far.  Such a great legacy, since I would say the same about my life. Grandparents are God's gift. One that includes love, attention, affection, encouragement, inspiration, loads and loads of spoiling and sugar highs, but a definite gift, nonetheless. Thank you, God, for grandparents.

Day 25: I am thankful for Elastic Waistbands. Today is a great day to spend in my pajama pants. I had a really hard time just trying to fit breakfast into my still stuffed belly...it was a great Thanksgiving!  Although, I will say that I really am a sad excuse for an American because normally Thanksgiving food does little to excite me. Turkey is not my favorite meat, I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, all those casseroles are really iffy, and cranberries just make me think of a UTI. This has actually been a good thing for me in the past because it meant that I was the only person not engorging themselves to the point of sickness. With all that said, my mom-in-law introduced us to a fabulous twist on Thanksgiving food that had me unbuttoning my pants and heading for seconds! Italian Cuisine for Thanksgiving! Brilliant idea! Tonight's lunch (and dinner) was amazing, and I happily did my part in eating like a true American.

Day 24: Today, I am thankful for my bathroom scale. Note that I didn't say I liked it.  In fact, at the moment, the scale and I are not on speaking terms.  However, just like a good friend who is always going to tell you what you need to hear whether you want to hear it or not, that bathroom scale never lies.  And this morning it told me to quit eating so much junk.  Which is why I'm not currently speaking to that friend.  I am, however, back on my diet after this Thanksgiving holiday. Oh, joy.

Day 23: I’m thankful for my dirty car. Not just my car, mind you.  Truthfully, it's not the pinnacle of the MILF-mobile I was originally after, but it fit the correct needs at the time of purchase.  And yes, it's DIRTY.  You can ask my husband.  It's ALWAYS dirty.  But that's just because we spend a bang-load of time in it.  The next two days, for example, with the Thanksgiving hoop-la finally upon us, we will be loading up the rugrats and "to grandmother's house we go!" First my mom's tomorrow, and then on to the in-laws on Friday. A total of 3 hours and 30 minutes will be spent be-bopping and singing our way to the festivities. To the mere mortal, that doesn't seem like a lot. But when you start with two adults (who are incompatible from the get-go by gender alone) who have POLAR opposite tastes in music (his taste is the inferior, by the way), then toss in two high-strung toddlers hell-bent on singing the theme song to either Dora the Explorer or Superman every five seconds, PLUS all there "accessories" (helmets, superhero action figures, swords, V-Tech noise machines, stuffed animals, favorite-can't-live-or-breathe-without-them blankets, apple juice boxes, Ziploc baggies of cheerios, etc), and you have got the makings of the brand new movie "Driving Miss Daisy Pants to Drink".  I know we'll survive.  But barely. And all because of my wonderful, marvelous, DIRTY, very-lived-in, hoopty-ride.  Thank you, God for SUVs.  

Day 22: I'm thankful for my Messy House. I know this is going to sound weird…but I’m really thankful tonight for my messy house.   Do I love having junk all over the floor?  No.  Do I enjoy stepping over cords and shoes and swords and sticks (who brought those sticks into the house, by the way?)?  Not really. But the mess proves that there is fun and life and chaos and love being active throughout it everyday.  I must admit, the mess makes me a tad bit crazy sometimes. And I would be even more thankful for the mess if these men that I live with would learn to help straighten up (God forbid!), but we can just enjoy the messes and live life around them.  My time with these two precious little boys will be over way too soon and I need to remember to make the most of each and every day with them.  The messes will still be there tomorrow…and we can tackle them all eventually (probably starting with those sticks!).  But looking at our busy-ness, which there is evidence of in every room of our house, makes me smile tonight.  I’m thankful for my crazy household.  I’ll take this over a spotless house any day!  I truly am living my dream…

Day 21: I'm thankful for Deoderant. If you have ever been in a meeting with someone who has newly arrived from, say, India or Belgium, you know firsthand the benefits derived from living in a society that holds deodorant in high regard.  If you have ever had the misfortune of having to walk into a classroom on a warm spring day-a classroom full of prepubescent-emphasis on "scent"-children whose parents have yet to acknowledge that their little Prince or Princess really doth STINKETH, you know the abominable magnituede of stench in which I speak, that can easily be remedied by this niftiest of inventions called deodorant.  I applaud you Suave, Arrid, Secret Ultra Dry, and even you, Old Spice and strawberry scented Teen Spirit.  For you, I am truly thankful.  

Day 20: I'm thankful for Facial Hair. Yep. It still does it for me. Every time. (Well. . .not every time. Don't make me google images.)

Day 19: I'm so thankful for True Friends. I have the most wonderful, precious, loyal, and inspiring friends anyone could have.  Ones that are always there when I need them. . .and those that are there along for the mistakes, mishaps, and mischief that I continuously step in.  You are all the best and I thank God for you. (end sappy moment now. *tear*) 

Day 18: Today I am thankful for chaos. . . .dance parties in the kitchen. . .books strewn all over the living room floor. . .arms, legs, heads all jumbled and thrown around me. . .to remind me that I am not alone.

Day 17:  I'm thankful for Free Panties! That's right, I got another Victoria Secret Free Panty offer in the mail today. (Okay, so maybe what I'm really thankful for is FREE GIFTS. . .) And above all else, I love embarrassing my husband by saying the one word that makes his entire skin crawl. . .PANTIES! He loves it when I call our sons underwear “panties” by mistake. Ha! But anyhow, I have to say that if these mail offers keep coming like they have, I may never have to use money to purchase panties again in my entire life. Eventually I'll be on TLC or HGTV showing off my fancy panty drawer with all my thousands of panties that I got for free. Extreme Couponing: Panty Addition. (did I use the big-bad-ugly word enough for you, BC? LOL)

Day 16:  I'm thankful for Unanswered Prayers. If I had just 5 minutes of Dolly Parton's time, I would want to tell her that when I was a little girl, I used to stuff blankets down my shirt to create Dolly Parton boobs. I would tell her that I used to pray that I would have big boobs when I grew up. (I am so very thankful for unanswered prayers!) I could also thank her for the books my son has read through her Imagination Library program. And maybe if she had time she could give me a makeover too.

Day 15:  I am thankful for Books. They are my escapes; My most well-loved form of immersing myself. Also, currently, the only way in which I can afford to travel. Which is okay, because at least with books I can travel to other cities, countries, nations, continents, and through the space time continuum.

Day 14: I'm thankful that I was born in America. I'm in no way downing other countries.  I just feel very fortunate to be an American and live in a country where I can say what I want, worship God how I want, and eat as many french fries as humanly possible with no legal repercussions or the possibility of flogging. Although if I gain any more weight the burqua thing may start to seem like a good idea to me. 

Day 13: I'm thankful for what I Do NOT Have.  I complain about a lot.  Now I realize that I should appreciate the things that I complain about because inevitably we always want what we can't have.  For example, if you have curly hair that you've always complained about, give thanks; there are many people with straight hair that would trade you in a heart beat.  If you aren't rich, give thanks. There are many rich people who go crazy, go into rehab, or just plain end up being miserable.  Like the missing piece, there's nothing left to hope for. If you're single, embrace the independence.  If you're married, learn to love each other's differences.   The grass is NOT always greener on the other side.  It still has to be mowed. I'm very thankful that I'm right where I am with exactly what I have.  (But I still reserve the right to complain once in awhile.)  ;)

Day 12: I'm thankful for Bugs. Let me specify. I am in no way, shape, or form referring to anything of the arachnid family.  They are not bugs. They are Satan and they all must eventually find the bottom of my shoe.  No, I am speaking of the more delightful bugs that have been the focus of many of my little boys most memorable moments to date.  To the butterflies that swarmed them at the botanical garden this fall, to the ladybug that landed square on Stinker's nose this summer at the zoo (causing Mr. Grouch to WHACK! him in the face with his Popsicle in order to "save brother's life" from said ladybug), to the many memories that we made scouring Grandma's backyard for "bug clothes" (locust shells).  I can't wait for them to experience fireflies next. We <3 Bugs.

Day 11: I'm thankful for G.I. Joes. If it weren't for them, boys (and girls, for that matter) may not have grown up with an innate desire to siege and conquer and guard and protect and shoot large machine guns. Truthfully, I am so very thankful for everyone I know, and those that I do not, who have felt the calling to serve and protect our country in the armed forces.  I am amazed everyday by the ongoing sacrifices that they (and they're families) make so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do. After all, where would I be without my freedom of speech and sarcasm?   

Day 10: I'm thankful for the Disney Channel.  Now I am not one of those moms who sits her children in front of the television all day every day.  But I have to say, Phineas and Ferb and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has saved my life a few Saturday mornings when I desperately needed "just 5 more minutes" of sleep.  I, myself would love to be a Disney princess. . .mostly so that random animals would help me with my housework. I know using television as a babysitter is controversial.  How bad can Disney be really??  Snow white lived with 7 men, Aladdin was a thief, Pooh Bear has an eating disorder, Piglet has anxiety, Eeyore has depression, Tigger has ADHD, Repunzel ran away from home with a random boy, Pinocchio was a pathological liar, Phineas and Ferb consistently build things in the backyard that, should they explode, could take out the world. . .not a whole lot of role models in the mix as I see it.  But I guess it teaches my boys that even those with major issues can overcome impossible odds and come out on top.  Don't they all in the end? I personally have learned some of lives greatest lessons from my friends at Disney:
"Always let your conscience be your guide."  --Pinocchio
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. . ."  --Finding Nemo
"Even miracles take a little time."  --Cinderella

Day 9: As trivial as it sounds, I am super thankful for Toilet Paper. Not just any TP, mind you. Definitely not the flimsy two-ply bull. . .but the Angel Soft double plump triple-ply that could double as a paper towel. . .as has plenty of times when my two-year-old has had an "escaped tootsie roll" on my hardwood floor. Or during my nightly visits to the bathroom with my four-year-old after hearing "MOOooooomy!  Coooome wipe my bottom!" being screamed from the hall.  Bless you Angel Soft.

Day 8: I am thankful today for Social Media. Without the invention of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and the like, I would have gotten WAY too many meaningful things accomplished this year.  I might have written a book, gained a few extra credit hours at the online community college, or devoted myself to petty service projects. Instead, my life has been blessed by the eternal "time suck" that is social media. Without it's eternal blessing in my life, I may actually have missed out of the following life-changing moments: The Bed Intruder Song, The Kardashian Marriage/Divorce Debacle, that amazing 11-year old boy who can sing Hallelujah with the voices of angels, Justin Beiber's controversial Baby-Mama Scandal, The Never ending Brangelina Saga, all the different photos of my friend's friend's cousin's baby sneezing for the very first time, who's statuses went from single to married to divorced to in a relationship to single again (and you know I have to get it right!) and how many people are "fuzzy apples" or a "naughty nurse" or a "purple corvette" or whatever other kind of adjective that is supposed to get people to remember breast cancer awareness month. No really, I've enjoyed my social media.  And every last one of you 643 friends of mine that I get to converse with on a daily basis.

Day 7: I'm thankful today for the fact that I'm potty-trained.  It has definitely come in handy.  What I really mean to say is that I'm uber thankful for all the time my mom has invested in me.  Some energy, like potty-training could have been out of a selfish desire to not have to wipe my stinky booty anymore, but it's memories of us doing things together that I hold most dear.

Day 6: I'm sooooo thankful for Excedrin. I have two toddlers and a musician for a husband. Must I elaborate?

Day 5: I'm thankful forrrr. . . POCKETS! Without them, my toddler boys would have to carry those bugs and rocks in their hands and put them in the laundry directly instead of letting mommy find them when I sorted the clothes on wash day.

Day 4: I'm thankful for Dusk and Dawn. . .they don't last long, but I love it when I'm aware of those times, especially when camping or running.  Dusk and dawn have their own special sounds and smells.

Day 3: I am so thankful for Fleece; my favorite thing to pull over, up, and on.  Fleece tops, fleece jackets, fleece pants, fleece PJ's and sometimes fleece socks. Oh, and fleece blankets, sheets and pillow cases!  Have Victoria Secret come out with fleece panties yet?

Day 2: I am thankful for Sanitation Workers. I mean, can you imagine if no one did those jobs?  In fact, this goes for anyone who does any job I wouldn't or couldn't do, because I know I benefit, directly or indirectly in some way.  So doctors and nurses, police officers, accountants, clowns, professional fishermen, animators, paramedics, gynos, comedians, and strippers are all included too, along with many, many more I can't think of right now.

Day 1: I am thankful for WOMEN Inventors.  Bless your bits, ladies who invented the dishwasher, the bra, and the trash can with a foot peal.  Without your efforts, we would be filthy people with soiled dishes, disgusting cans, and unruly breasts.