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Tuesday, November 30

Aside from the obvious...

as we drove out of Longmeadow last night,
I thought about a couple of other not so obvious things I will miss.

As I flick on the switch to my gas fireplace,
after wrapping Christmas lights around my Saguaro cactus....

I will be thinking that there is nothing like smelling a wood burning fireplace,
in wintertime,
and looking outside at all the beautiful Christmas lights
reflecting against the snow.

Waking up this morning in Harrisburg Pennsylvania
and headed to Indianapolis Indiana.
............til next time....

or free internet, whichever comes first.


Monday, November 22

Today I am thankful for

having had the opportunity to give thanks these last few weeks.
And that is now coming to an end because
I need to finish packing,
get ready for Thanksgiving up in New Hampshire,
and get back here to get ready to head to Arizona.

The next week will be emotional.  I would like to go off
as if we were all here on an extended vacation.
That this is not good bye,
but more like,
we'll see you next time we visit.
Which we will.

So goodbye to my blog for now.
I'll see you when we get to Scottsdale!

Sunday, November 21

Today I am thankful for

Patience.
And the fact that I have a lot.

How else could I sit on a pool deck for a total of about
29 hours this past weekend, watching my kids and a lot of their
team mates compete??

oh and Love too.
I think that must go hand in hand with the patience part.

I've grown to really love these kids from the Aquabears.

and the fact that the VERY few friends I did make while I was here
was with their parents.

I will miss them.  Swim families have a bond.
One that is hard to explain.  Let's just say, I had a lump in
my throat yesterday, watching my kids swim their last
swims with this team.  I had a hard time keeping it all together.

(these photos are from the Connecticut Swimming Top 16 Banquet.  how
gorgeous are all these kids?)

Saturday, November 20

Today I am thankful for

digital photography.

Because how else can you just sit down,
open a file folder on your computer,
and come across something like this....

and not smile....and then cry because your kids are no longer
cute and actually nice to each other
little kids...???

Or come across this...
and pee your pants because you are laughing so hard...
knowing that THIS kid still does crazy stuff like this???

Memories at your fingertips.
What a privilege.

Friday, November 19

Today I am thankful for

my car.

ok...so that's not my car.

this is....

just kidding....

THIS is my car....
anyhoo.

After being the big spoiled brat I was being after having an accident with my
most beloved Expedition,
I've learned that it's not what you drive,
ok maybe a little...
but the fact that I was able to buy a decent replacement vehicle...
well for that I am thankful.

Come to find out...
it too, is big enough to stash all the stuff in it that we need to stash.
It runs well.
It gets me where I need to go.
Where my kids need to go.
So, I should be and am very OK with that!

There are those who do NOT have anything to drive....
another thing I think I take for granted sometimes.

Thursday, November 18

Today I am thankful for

new opportunities.

New opportunity brings new hope.
When things seem all dried up and hopeless,
dead and dreary.....

the time ALWAYS comes when everything
is fresh and new,
alive and exciting!!!

"Opportunity is a bird that never perches."  ~Claude McDonald

Wednesday, November 17

Today I am thankful for

ummm.....yeah.

Don't know why I didn't think of this early on in my posts.
I am grateful for everyday that God allows me to continue on...

Tuesday, November 16

Today I am thankful for

my webcam....
ok - I kid...I kid.
I'm thankful for my computer.......that has a webcam..tee hee
These days you (we, us, everyone, me) use computers to do most everything.

blog
pay bills
play games
read the news
stay connected with friends by way of Facebook
(oh, that's right....I quit Facebook)
email
craigslist
sell things
buy things
rush order things.......
create
play with photoshop
watch videos
download music

you name it.
I do it.  And I am thankful, because I don't remember
what it is like to NOT do all these things....on a computer.

Monday, November 15

Today I am thankful for

being able to help others less fortunate.
I am thankful for the opportunity to teach the kids how to help others.

As I am packing and purging,
and packing some more,
and purging even more...
I can see that though we have downsized
 tremendously since moving here,
we still have a LOT of stuff.
This time of year we have always made it a point
to go through toys and clothes, and coats
and everyday items - and chose things to donate.
It made me stop and think for a minute,
knowing that I have been extremely frugal lately,
how the heck did we get even THIS much stuff??????

It feels good to let some of it go.
Go somewhere where it will be
needed
appreciated
wanted
loved..

As I went through the kids toys (which are mostly Garrin's toys at this age..)
I had him come upstairs with me and take a look at what was there,
and what we wanted to pack up to move.
He had three or four Fisher Price Imaginext items that I asked if he
wanted to move them to Arizona or donate them..

He told me that he didn't play with them anymore and he wanted to donate them
to some kids who WOULD play with them.  How sweet!
I asked if he knew what "donating" meant.
He said - it's when you say bye bye to something......
And he said it with a smile.

Boy, did I feel good.  He was learning.

And though I can't write a check to a particular place,
I know how nice it will be for some kids...somewhere..
to watch some fun videos,
read some great books,
play games,
sleep on a soft pillow,
wear a warm coat,
have like-new jeans,
stay warm while sleeping on flannel sheets,

stuff that I (we) take for granted every day.

Sunday, November 14

Today I am thankful for


Starbucks - Grande Bold Black
Skinny Latte
Non-Fat Carmel Macchiato

Dunkin Donuts Large Cream and Sugar

K-Cup - most varieties - Bold roast - black

even Hampton Inn in-room coffee

Doesn't really matter...enough said.

Saturday, November 13

Today I am thankful for

music.  It makes everything all better.
Sometimes it makes everything EVEN better.
I love music.  I mean take a look....how can you not?????
OK - well maybe the music isn't always about the singer.....



Music still rocks - don't you think?

Friday, November 12

Today I am thankful for

Spongebob.

Watching Garrin's anticipation for the "new" episode was like watching
a kid get ready for Santa Claus.
We even had the countdown of days until the episode was coming on.
And then we counted down the hours.
And then the half hour......

And watching how thrilled he was.....priceless.
I am grateful for all the little joys that bring a smile to my kids faces.

all over a Yellow Sponge.....
Watching Spongebob for Bill and I is just like watching
the Shrek movies.  Giggling at the little innuendos put in
the show for adult entertainment.....

And it's a nice break from....you know...the day.
So yes...I am thankful for mindless humor sometimes.

Thursday, November 11

Today I am thankful for

freedom.
And I am grateful for all those that make that possible for us every day.

Wednesday, November 10

Today I am thankful for

the fact that Connor only does this at home.....and doesn't go to school like this....

Because, seriously.....

Tuesday, November 9

Today I am thankful for

ok...you sitting?
this is gonna be a long one....

I am thankful for
Instructional YouTube videos for solving literal equations for a variable for 8th grade algebra.

a.men.

Monday, November 8

Today I am thankful for

Lucy.
besides the fact that she is the most awesome dog in the world....

She is loving.
And good.
And eats cat food...

She snuggles.
And is fun.
And get ticks.....

She's put up with the heat.
And the snow.
And Bill......

And we all love her and are glad that we have her.


Sunday, November 7

Today I am thankful for

Bill.
Some that read this might be surprised, but yes...
I am thankful for Bill.

The last year has been a rocky road for us.
And while I am sure if he were blogging,
the 25 days before Thanksgiving he'd be writing on a daily basis
about how thankful he is for ME....(wink wink)...

We both worked really hard these last nine months, and I am so glad
that we decided to do that instead of throwing it all away.
I say that with all the confidence in the world,
that we will continue to work toward making each other
grateful that we did so.

And really..
who else could give a rats patootie
that all we had were taper candles for his cake...

Saturday, November 6

Today I am thankful for

the Aquabears.
Even though my kids soon, will not be walking through these doors anymore,
to join their teammates for swim workout each day,
each and every time I drop them off, especially now,
I know that this team has been an integral part of the kids getting
through this past year.  It has become their place to feel right at home,
when they've known that Bill and I have been struggling in what we
have called home.

The one "given" in this move back to the east coast, is that my kids
would fall into family with open arms.  No questions, no hesitation,
no uneasiness, nothing other than unconditional love.

School and swim were two things I worried about.
The Aquabears became family.
They were unconditional right from the beginning,
and for that I am grateful.
While the kids had come from a huge swim team,
it was a welcome change to fall into a small team.
More intimate. 
Knowing that they are headed back to "bigness" with a new
team in Arizona, I will always feel the comfort of knowing
The Aquabears, and how they have shaped my kids into so much more than
swimmers, these last 11 months.

Friday, November 5

Today I am thankful for

downtime.

Even just 5 minutes.  It always makes the day look up
after a little reprieve from the stress of everyday stuff.
It also means for me, a chance to grab my camera.
Or maybe its the other way around.
Yeah, sometimes it is.
I usually have my camera with me at all times.
So in the midst of errands, or swim pick up, or school drop off -
whatever -
picking up my camera is the start of a little downtime for me.

I like how these posts are turning into more than one thing each day to be
thankful for.  As I sit here and write, being thankful for downtime,
makes me realize that I am thankful for my camera,
and creativity.

Without these things, my life would be a little less fun.
And we ALL could use a little fun.

Thursday, November 4

Today I am thankful for

food.
It bothers me knowing that sometimes I take that for granted.
The fact that we have all the food we want.
And that some do not.

So today I am putting that right out there.
I am.  I am thankful for food.
Food that feeds my kids,
food that brings us together for a meal with family,
food that is responsible for my enormous weight gain...
oh wait, that's my fault...
tee hee

I got a token from Big Y the other day for $10 off a fresh or frozen turkey.
While I am being quite frugal these days, careful how we are spending our money,
with the impending moving looming closer and closer...
I am going to buy that turkey,
and make sure someone gets it
that needs it.

That being said - I am thankful for having the opportunity to do that, too!

oh and that's my yummy pork and pumpkin chili......
Thanks Food Network.

Wednesday, November 3

Today I am thankful for

my older sister Kim.
ok
ok...
I call her Kimmy, not Kim.
oh
and yeah.....I'm older.....

But today is her birthday.
And since I am being thankful for something each day,
I thought it would be appropriate to honor her on her special day.

I am thankful for you, Kimmy.
Thankful that we are sisters....grateful, in fact.
I can only hope I am/have been/will always be
as supportive as you have been.
Thank you.

And Happy Birthday.
I love you.

Tuesday, November 2

Today I am thankful for

NO MORE ORTHODONTIC BILLS..
for at least another year until Connor is due....

oh and I am thankful for my husband - who was able to "provide"
enough to make this gorgeous smile happen.

Monday, November 1

Today I am thankful for

CHILDREN.
Mine for sure...even though when you are 13 you head off to your friends house to
spend Halloween, instead of spending it with your family HEAVEN FORBID.

No ....
but seriously.
These children in particular.
Family.
Cousins.
Nieces.
Nephews.
Because you have unconditional love and patience for them.

I am thankful that even though this may be the last time they share this holiday
for a while, they had THIS opportunity.  One, that most are old enough,
to remember down the road, when they aren't together.