Monday, November 29, 2010

What are YOU thankful for?

Now that we have moved we take turns with holidays as a lot of families do.  This year Thanksgiving was spent with the Slocums.  For years we have done it the same way, with the same dishes and a whole lot of family including any and all extras they bring along.  There have been Slocum Thanksgiving's with more than 50 people there.  To some this sounds like nothing but chaos but to those of us who know it and grew up with it, it is nothing short of heaven.  It is exactly how Thanksgiving should be.

Thanksgiving "dinner" which is served at 1:00 PM has been at Aunt Beth and Uncle Steve's for quite a few years.  They live in a beautiful home with plenty of room and lots of adult toys and flat screen TVs.  Perfect for a large family full of men who never grew up.  Their home is conveniently located "61 seconds" from mom and dads.  This made travel easy for our little family that drove over 5 hours the day before to get home. 

This year Thanksgiving was unusually light for the Slocums.  Sick kids, changes in tradition, and family quarrels are just a few of the reasons there were empty seats around the table.  However, our family is large enough and loud enough that even about 25 of us made for a fun and lively afternoon.  Presley enjoyed her first Thanksgiving meal.  She ate like a Hall and made her daddy proud.  She ate so much in fact that she settled down for a long nap in the middle of Aunt Beth's bed for the rest of the afternoon.  Scooter played the arcade games, sang songs for Nana, raced the race cars, rode around the house on a motorized jeep and ate more creamed corn than anyone else in the house.  Doc and I played shuffle board, visited, laughed, marveled at the new toys Uncle Steve had added to his family fun room and snuck extra bites of dessert when no one was looking . Wait, that was me not Doc. Ssshhh. 

It was a nice change of pace to have one of mine asleep for a little while and about half of the people there to visit with.  It gave me chance to stop and breath.  A chance to smells the food and enjoy my glass of sweet tea.  A chance to really look around and see how much I had to be thankful for and what a blessing this family really is.  I stopped for a moment and praised Him for all that surrounded me that afternoon. 

I was thankful for my Nana who was sitting at the table singing Jesus Loves Me to Scooter while she stuffed herself full of creamed corn.  I was thankful for my Aunt Patty who has loved me like I was hers for as long as I can remember.  I was thankful for Uncle Steve and his generous and loving spirit that made his home the perfect place for our celebration.  I was thankful for Aunt Beth, who despite all of the  hell she has been through in the last year, still made this Thanksgiving just as yummy and wonderful as all of the others have been.  I was thankful for Uncle Garland who is by far one my favorite people in the world and loves my babies so much that he sent us home with some of his creamed corn for Scooter to enjoy all the way in TN.  I was thankful for my daddy who makes me laugh and makes watching football fun for me.  I was thankful for my cousin Zack and the fact that he was there with us after the recent scare he had with his health.  I was thankful for my mom and the way she loved me enough to stop eating her food and chase Presley so that I could eat and enjoy mine!  I was thankful for my healthy beautiful babies that were lighting up every room they went in.  I was thankful for my brother and his friendship and the way he loves me.  I was thankful for my cousin Jenni (Biz) who blessed our food and praised Jesus with so much love that she brought us to tears.  I was thankful for Doc, for every single second of my life with him.  I was thankful beyond words and for just a moment I took it all in with all of my senses and praised Him.  It was wonderful. 

Then it was over.  Just like that.  I looked at Doc when we got into the truck and said "well there went Thanksgiving!"  It was wonderful but fast, just like our lives have been for the last 5 years.  Wonderful but too fast.  I am so grateful for all of my blessings and for moments like I had at Thanksgiving where I get to take a minute and really appreciate them.  I am going to pray for more of those in this fleeting moment of time we call life.  I am afraid of I don't get them, I will miss it, all of it. One day I will wake up and my girls will be grown and my body will be old and when I do I don't want to wish for the time back, I want to be thankful that I enjoyed every second of it! 

I pray that your holiday was full of thanks and family and love!!  Not so long from now we get to celebrate the best day of the year, Jesus' birthday.  Make a cake, sing a song, do whatever you do to make birthdays fun but remind your family what Christmas is all about friends!!  And don't forget, Santa is watching ;).

Love and Blessings,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sick and sick of it.

I have two sick kids.  I am sure you are thinking, "yeah so what? You and half of the country have two sick kids, it is the middle of November".  I know that you are right but in my world, at my house, sick kids are not only abnormal they are typically absent.  We don't have sick kids.  I have two girls, one will be three in January and the other is 18 months.  Up until two days ago neither of them had ever taken anything over the counter, prescription, or homeopathic for any kind of ailment (other than a few teething tablets on the worst of days).  Not today my friends, today my kids are running around this house with dripping noses and dry coughs as they fight off what is commonly known as the croup.  They are loaded up with elderberry syrup and drosera tablets (you didn't really think I was going to say robitussin and tylenol did you!?) and down for a nap an hour and a half early. Thank God. 

I have realized over the last four days that there is a reason God paired me with a man that was educated enough to know that with the right food and proper spinal alignment you can prevent a lot of the everyday kid crud that most families fight all winter.  I am certain that the reason I was paired with this man known as Doc is because if I was married to someone that did not know this and my kids were sick all winter, I would lose my mind.  Don't get me wrong, I feel so bad for my little people!! They are pitiful and I have juiced more oranges and wiped more noses than I ever thought possible in the last week and will continue to do so until they are well.  I am just praying that comes before I need a straight jacket to keep me from drowning myself in the kitchen sink that is constantly full of dirty water and the parts to the juicer. 

The purple skirt. 
I am just being honest here friends. I love my life, I love staying at home with my kids and wouldn't trade it for the world.  However, staying home with two healthy fun toddlers is completely different than staying home with two sick and whiny kids that cry or scream every time you say no, or yes, or anything for that matter!  I have an 18 month old that feels so bad that if you look in her direction she slings whatever she is playing with at you and walks off crying.  I am not kidding.  And the meltdown of the day goes to Scooter who realized, today of all days, that her purple skirt that she wears almost everyday no longer fits her comfortably.  Which doesn't seem like a big deal except for the fact that this is apparently the ONLY outfit in the entire house that allows her to dance freely and goes with her red sequined shoes.  I tell you what, if I had a little more Janet in me, those shoes would have been flushed down the toilet at 8:24 AM this morning.  Just sayin'.  
The red shoes (and a really cute kid in a blue bow).

So here I sit covered in snot and elderberry syrup, fantastically sleep deprived and sipping on a decaf cup of coffee that my favorite person of the day brought to me when she dropped off the soup that became Doc's lunch.  There are angels among us friends, and today mine is Presley's favorite Ms. Anita.  So, that's it in a nut shell.  I can't decide if I am going to nap or do yoga but whatever I do I better do it fast before the croup screws up my few moments of sanity I have been gifted (not because I deserve them I assure you).  I am off to stretch out one way or the other.  It's November, the month of Thanksgiving, and today I am thankful for a smart husband, a great friend and hot coffee.  Have a blessed day friends!