Giving Thanks

As the year is starting to close, we’re finding ourselves being bombarded with Christmas advertisements and nostalgia-inducing holiday movies. I feel as if most Americans this year have forgotten about Thanksgiving and are skipping straight ahead to Christmas.

I hate it. I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving! It’s always been my favorite holiday. I love the message of appreciation and thankfulness. I enjoy spending time with my family. And before I found myself to be a stay-at-home-mom I loved the four day weekend.

This year we’re blessed to be spending Thanksgiving not only with my parents, but also with Carlos’ mom and stepdad. They came to visit from Miami and it’s been great having them around. PJ has really taken to them–minus the angry peeing but that’s a story for another day–and I’ve been grateful for all the extra love.

It’s inevitable to make to the last week of November and not find yourself thinking of what you truly appreciate and value in your life. And this year is no different. So here comes my list of things I’m thankful for this year.

Things I’m Thankful for in 2015

  1. My family. As cliche as it sounds, my family has been and always will be my rock.
  2. My health. After the MS scare last month I’m definitely thankful for my health and am making it a point to really care for myself.
  3. My salvation. If it weren’t for my relationship with Jesus I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t be as aware of who I am or the consequences of my actions.
  4. Living in Uruguay. I love that Uruguay isn’t as materialistic or as work-centered as other countries are. It’s a country that focuses more on family and over all just being ‘chill.’
  5. Rekindled friendships. No explanation needed.

I hope that everyone had a Thanksgiving full of love, laughter, and family. Take the time to reflect the things that really matter and know that just because we collectively celebrate our thanks today, we should take the time out of each day to appreciate even the tiniest blessings every day.

 

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Happy Birthday PJ!

I can’t believe my baby is two years old. I know that every mother looks at their child and wonders where the time went. It feels like just yesterday Carlos and I were bringing her home from the hospital.

But here we are…two years later. So much has changed and yet everything is still the same.

Our days are just as busy as ever, having moved from two hour feeding schedules and nap times that never lasted long enough to rolling over, tummy time, standing, crawling, and now running and jumping in muddy puddles. I can still remember her newborn cries and it surprises me how her cries have changed so much since then. When she was first born she looked so much like Carlos but now she looks like neither of us. She’s her own person with her own distinct voice, traits, and views of the world.

It’s crazy how much has changed in the four~ days since she turned two, as if a switch turned on internally alerting her personality of the “terrible twos.” She started doing this fake cough/cry mix when she wants something where she slyly opens her eyes to see if I’m buying her crocodile tears. Or how about she used to be so good about telling us when she was done eating but now would rather throw everything onto the floor, climb out of her high chair and try to jump off?

Would you believe me if I said that I love this stage though? I love seeing her personality shine through. I love how she laughs at things she finds funny, how fiercely independent she is/wants to be, how fearless she is, and especially how she shows her love. Every time I see her face light up when she sees me, every unprovoked hug or kiss, or even when we’re watching tv and she holds my fingers, those tiny moments make my heart swell and it’s as if I’m seeing her for the first time all over again.

No pictures please.
No pictures please.

This little girl has completely changed my life. I always thought I knew what unconditional love was and that I was the type of person to lay my life down for someone I cared about but nothing prepared me for motherhood. Giving birth to her was the first step in learning the true meanings of grace, patience, love, and kindness. And there are days when I feel like a total failure and have to constantly remind myself that I’m doing the best I can and I wouldn’t change this job for the world.

Happy Birthday to my Dove, my guiding light and peace.