Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday by far. Christmas and Easter shape my life but have become way too commercialized and, in general, we’ve lost the meaning. There’s not much pressure with Thanksgiving though. Wednesday I’ll turn the music up, bake some cookies, pies and bread. I’ll enjoy having the kids’ help once in awhile (especially with the cookie part) and then Thanksgiving, this year, we’ll head to hub’s family gathering; sixty to seventy of his closest relatives. No fuss, just family.
I also love taking the time to enjoy what we are thankful for. This year, at dinner, we have gone around the table each day and said something we are thankful for. We’ve heard good things like, fish (our “pets”), friends, new opportunities, recess, autumn leaves. We’ve talked about finding the good in the bad sometimes too, like conflict (& resolution!). November has been a great (and very important) lesson in thankfulness.
- My husband. He is my rock. period. (and a mighty sexy rock too… just saying)
- The many positive people in my life. Because there is way too much negative news, negative vibes, sour apples in the world today.
- My Small Group friends. The couples in my life that we fellowship with weekly, the people that accept us for who we are, the gals I consider confidants and the guys who can simply enjoy hanging together when the girls need their own night.
- Our soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines and coast guardsmen. Veterans. Families. I don’t support the troops just because it is ‘in fashion’. I do it because I know it means something. Everyone needs encouragement and if we can help local businesses encourage military families then we have done our job. If my writing encourages just a few military families when they need it then I am happy. If our Facebook posts, Pins and Tweets add a little levity, smiles and empowerment then ‘Mission Accomplished’ (and we’ll continue working). It is all from the heart.
- Gardening. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, peas, lettuce, carrots, herbs and watermelon. Gardening is such a wonderful way to (a) eat healthy, (b) enjoy the fruits of our labors and (c) work the ground when I just need a stress relief.
- Decisions of the generations before me. Their decisions shaped my life immeasurably. My dad decided to join the Air Force in 1972 and my mom joined him in his new adventure. My grandfathers and grandmothers chose to love each other through thick and thin. My great-grandfathers (and generations before) chose to move their families to the United States for a life with freedom and promise. From small decisions to big decisions they shape my life and will shape my children’s lives.
- Coffee. Can I get an amen? (Ode to the Coffee Bean)
- Prayer. Any time, any where for anything, and it will be heard by a God whose love & mercy endures forever.
- The chance to learn from our mistakes and then act on them. We’ve all made mistakes, misguided decisions, poor planning on our part. But I love that we can make those mistakes into opportunities to do better in the future.
- Motherhood. It gives me unspeakable joys. As the saying goes “The days are long, the years are short” is becoming more and more real, especially the years are short part. J, E, C, & L are the blood that keeps my heart beating.
- The ability to laugh. (and the good endorphins it pulses through me.) Need some inspiration? Just makes me chuckle
- Mothers. My mom! My mother in law. My friends that are moms. My neighbors who are moms. New moms and moms of the teenage years and beyond and all of us in between. Moms that I have met through MOMSNext and moms that I met years ago through MOPS. It feels good to be part of the sisterhood.
- Fathers. The men in our children’s lives that exemplify the spirit of God. Strong. Loving. Open arms. My husband, my father and my father in law are all three so very different and, yet, all walk this path. There are other men in my own boys’ lives too; uncles as well as Hubs and my friends that want to be a part of our lives. I am so thankful for all of their strength.
- Wine. I have a whole board on pinterest devoted to wine. I have a serious love affair with it. A glass a night is just what the doctor ordered!
- Toddler nap time. It rejuvenates me, it rejuvenates him. I’m not the kind that does house work when the baby sleeps. This is /my/ time. My time to write, read and maybe even nap myself. I don’t know how much longer we will have nap time around here but I’m savoring every minute.
- New opportunities. We have one before us and it is under wraps but 2013 brings a change to the Kocsis Household. Isn’t it fun to have something to look forward to. Complacency is so boring, change is inevitable and I will embrace it.
- When things break. Ok, in a perfect world things don’t break. But right now we don’t have a dryer. “Egads!” you may think. It may be easy enough to run out and buy a new $500 dryer (on the cheap end) that we hadn’t budgeted for right before the holidays (of course) or I can appreciate the fact that it sure is a luxury (and not a necessity) when it is working. So I hang our laundry on drying racks (we have two) and have them over our heating vents. It takes about 8 hours for a load to dry so I just have to pace myself. But I will so appreciate it when we get a new one now!
- A clean kitchen. It is so rare and I am so thankful when I have one.
- Feeling like part of the team with my children’s education. This year has been the year of projects for my boys, especially the 4th grader. Papers, reading reports, even math-work that is due two weeks out. I really am thankful for this work because we have the opportunity to get in the habit of doing a little bit at a time. The teacher assigns and then I break it down into chunks and we work a little bit every night. I hope they are learning the power of ‘getting it done’ versus the frustration of ‘procrastination’. It is such a life lesson.
- The changing of seasons. One of my favorite songs by Nichole Nordeman is Every Season: “I will offer thanks for what has been and what’s to come”. Kind of sums up life too. I’ll appreciate what I have and look forward what is to come.
- Social Media. Sure it has its negatives. But as a military-brat with family spread across the country it has been a blessing. There is nothing like face to face contact but if you can’t have that it is a great way to keep up with friends and family.
- Good Medical Care. We had a rough summer. My youngest was in the hospital (for days at a time) a few times for MRSA, I had a few medical tests done, and our oldest had his share of ER trips. Plus, all of the regular medical appointments. Tricare has been good to us. We pay our monthly fees, pay our deductible and contribute as we need. In the long run it is all worth it, because thousands of dollars out pocket would have put us in the poor house. Added bonus the care we do receive, the doctors and nurses, hospital staff and office staff are top notch in NE Ohio. We have it so very good.
Now available online! Starbucks K-Cup Packs
– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com