this week has been super crazy getting my family ready for Thanksgiving, deadlines and just the everyday hustle bustle of holidays.. but this morning, as I sat in husbands comfy chair, reading the paper and listen to the sound of well... nothing. I realized it's the little things I am truly grateful for.
For weeks now I have been working my butt off trying to get deadlines done so I could enjoy this week with my family and enjoy our trip to boise.. to see Ben's family who we haven't seen in just about a year. It seemed the harder I worked, the more deadlines seemed to creep in.. that I had either forgotten about.. or just new ones that hadn't surfaced yet. Anyhow.. at the end of last week.. it was VERY apparent that I would not be able to finish everything before we left for Boise on Wednesday.
The biggest hurdle was that I am leaving next week to teach in Puerto Rico and while most of my deadlines weren't due until December 5th.. I will be gone almost all of next week.. it meant I would need to have everything done by this weekend. So I started looking into flights from Boise to here. My new plan was to go with ben to Boise.. and spend thanksgiving day with my family and his and then fly home friday morning, to finish up my deadlines. (boise is on the western side of the state and we are on the eastern) but wow.. living in a small town.. the price to fly from boise to here.. was nearly $350 dollar one way! that just seemed ridiculous.. so after much talk and thought, my husband and i decided it would just be best if I stayed home and worked.. got everything done and he and the kids would go to Boise. He offered to stay home too.. but I said no way. His brother, whom he hasn't seen in a couple of years was coming.. and all but one of his 8 brothers and sisters would be together.. I was not making him stay home for me. Allie offered to stay home with me too.. but I just knew she really wanted to go. She loves her aunts and cousins and hardly ever gets to see them and she has been talking about how excited she has been for a month now to go.. so I said. no.. TRULY I will be okay.. im a big girl. It's life right? Sometimes we overcomit and underestimate the time it will take us to do things.. and one thing about being an adult is owning up to those mistakes and learning from them.
Yesterday I have to admit was AMAZING. My family pulled out of the driveway at 1:30 pm.. to head to Boise and for the rest of the day.. until about midnight.. I got more done than I have ever in an entire day. The house was quiet, the house STAYED CLEANED.. there were no meals to cook, no "mom I need this" or mom he's being mean" .. no little fires to put out..i was getting ataste of being single and alone. My friend Margie lives alone.. her kids are grown and so she has her house all to herself. Every time I go visit I marvel at how everything is in its place and things are so well kept and life is so quiet and easy going.. and I always say to her.. how lucky she must be to just have so much peace and quiet. She always says.. "you just wait.. someday it will come to you when all your kids are gone and then you will miss it".. and I laugh and say.. um yeah NO. lol
Well this morning as I woke up.. I lookedover to see where my husband would normally be.. I kinda missed him not seeing him there. I swear I complain every morning when he rolls over and pretty much "attacks" me like we are little kids in a wrestling match.. He's like a kid at heart and loves to just bug the heck out of me each morning.. by "loving" me to death. He'll quietly roll over.. put his arms around me.. and just when I think we are going to quietly lay there snuggling.. he attacks! lol.. he'll start making fun annoying noises and kissing my neck, my ears.. my face.. and he always has scruff and he just thinks it so funny to tickle me.. and i HATE being tickled and so I am constantly laughing begging for mercy for him to just stop and snuggle and he laughs and does it even more because he knows it bugs me. and some mornings I think.. man I wish I could just sleep in an wake up in peace.. and SOME mornings.. even though he always means well and fun.. some mornings.. well I am not so nice about the way I say stop either. oooh.. don't catch me in a bad mood when i've woken up on the wrong side of the bed. My poor husband.
Well last night as I went to bed I was thinking how I would get to sleep in peace this morning.. wake up when I wake up.. instead of being woke up by him snuggle and nuzzling in my ear. But as I rolled over and saw that emply spot.. I actually kinda felt a little sad.. it's thanksgiving after all and the one thing I am probably most grateful for.. is not right there beside me.
Then I came down and sat and read the paper in Ben's big comfy chair and again.. looked around at the house.. so quiet and clean and still... and I realized.. what I am most grateful for is the mess and the noise and the hustle and bustle and the sound of kids annoying each other and needing their mom to figure things out. I am grateful for the crazy little chaitoc moments of having 6 kids, a husband who works at home with you and the messy house and crazy life that comes with it. I am grateful for my imperfect wonderful life.
I knew today would be somewhat lonely for me and while I did have a lot of friends who offered to let me come to their house for dinner.. I decided last week that I really wanted to do something different this year. Something that I would not be able to do on any other thanksgiving just because I do have family. I thought the one thing I have always wanted to do was go serve thanksgiving dinner at the local homeless shelter and go visit those elderly at the care homes that don't have family. Take them a little gift basket or something. I decided I was going to spend part of my day giving back... serving. Well even that hasn't turned out just like I had planned.. as I called around to the local shelters and left messages on phones.. I wasn't getting any responses.. no phone calls back.. no "sure we would love you to help" being left on my phone!.. and finally when I did get a hold of someone.. I found out that most of those places actually have a WAIT-LIST of people who want to serve and you have to volunteer months in advance to get on the list to come in and serve on thanksgiving and Christmas! I was annoyed at first.. but then I realized.. wow.. what a great community I live in! A wait list to SERVE!! that rocks! Then I called the elderly care center here in Shelley and asked them if there were people who didn't have family or weren't leaving for the holidays that I could come visit.. bring a gift basket too. I asked them if they could tell me their names or a little about them so I could make a fun basket that would be just personal for them. The first thing that they told me was that most of them were leaving as they did have family.. but even the ones that weren't.. had family coming to visit them.. and they told me that even besides that, they couldn't give me any personal info as I was not family.. so while I could stop by and say hi to people, I couldn't have any info about them before hand. Which totally make sense.. saftey first.. but this morning as I sat in that comfy chair I had to laugh as all my great plans to serve others today.. and spend the day doing something totally different.. just was NOT working out. So funny. and what a good lesson. I suppose if I was lost in service today, i probably wouldn't be sitting here being able to listen to the quietness of this day.. and realize what I am truly grateful for. I suppose there is a reason for everything.
So today, as a mom and a wife.. I just wanted to say.. that I AM GRATEFUL for that gift.. it doesn't always seem like a gift. Marraige is NOT easy.. it's hard infact.. it takes commitment and forgiveness and push and pull... and being a parent isn't easy either.. kids are not easy. Kids make messes and cause havoc and need you constantly for things. and make decisions that make your hair fall out.. but in the end.. it's those little things that seem to require the most of you.. and take the most out of you.. that you are grateful for and would miss if they are gone. Today I am grateful for those things which take the most out of me but also bring the most joy I could ever imagine. Today I am grateful for the everyday... my family
I hope all of you get to spend today with family and friends .. even if it seems like a crazy day of chaous and messy dishes and family in every inch of your house. Today I am going to go visit my dad at the cemetery and then work on these dang deadlines that kept me home in the first place.. so that the minute my family walks in the door saturday night I can spend the entire evening with them.. kissing on them, snuggling with them..annoying the heck out of them.. (hehe).
(this was a picture taken a few years ago at An amusement park.. just love it.. one of my favorites)
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope today is wonderful!