Today I am thankful for...
1. a hot shower and my warm, cozy bed.
2. Matt's dad's corny jokes that make me laugh out loud but make his mom roll her eyes.
3. the way that when he tells those jokes, he laughs at himself - A LOT - but it's a silent laughter where you don't hear anything, but his shoulders just start shaking.
4. DVR, so even if you are pregnant and want to go to bed at 8:30 (hey, don't judge me), you can tape the shows you like the most and watch them later. And when you do manage to stay up and watch them in real time, you can pause it and ask your husband what the crap is going on in Lost or Heroes because you may or may not have fallen asleep during last week's episode.
5. indoor plumbing, because, man, it's cold out there and when you go to the bathroom at least 3 times a night, it sure is nice to not have to put on a coat and shoes and ice your tooshy on a freezing cold outhouse seat.
6. Netflix and never ever having to go to the video store again.
7. Deac, who is always so happy to see me to the point of not only wagging his tail, but shaking the whole back half of his body, no matter what a jerk I've been that day in other areas of my life, who always lies with me on the couch, and starts tilting his head back and forth when you make funny noises; whose name is fun to say and insert into random songs that he seems to like very much; who barks and jumps at dogs, other animals, creepy looking people, or scary music on the TV.
8. Raya, who is soft like a bunny rabbit and has a really great personality unlike most ornery cats who think they are too good for you.
9. microwaves, dishwashers, and washers and dryers.
10. Kathryn, my best friend in the whole world, who will come over and be with you, even when you say you don't need her to, but she knows the truth, will give you a certain kind of lip balm for keepsies out of her own pocket just because you've had a hard time finding something that works and your lips hurt, that will help you clean your house just because she doesn't want you to be stressed out or to have to spend too much time alone doing something you hate, who calls you even when she knows you're at work and can't answer just to leave a message to say she is thinking about you, and because she cries for you, your pain and because she misses your son, months later when you're pretty sure most people outside the family have stopped crying.
11. My family on both sides - for my in-laws, Gerry and Debbie, who I want to see and visit and spend time with on a regular basis, who always give great advice, and love me like I'm their own daughter; for Kim who always calls just to check in, who understands my grief because she is a super-wonderful mom and knows how it would feel, and because she misses her own nephew so much, even though she barely got to know him at all; for Andrew who is awesome and does more for me than I even know, who has a heart for people and the love and courage to tell them about the love of Jesus that makes me so proud; for Dad who is always okay with driving an hour down here to fix something else that's just broken in my house for free and never acts like he minds or that it's an inconvenience for him, and pretty much has to do all the work by himself because we don't know what we're doing; for Mom who brings me lots of food and homemade pound cake just because, who always lets me raid her house (and her fridge) without calling first, who buys the new baby lots of new clothes because she is so excited she can barely stand it, and who loves me in a different way than anyone on this planet, only like a mommy can; for Peyton who has always been and will continue to be my hero, who supports me, lifts me up, but is not afraid to tell me the truth even if it hurts a little when I need to hear it; for Amy who is not my sister-in-law, but just my sister who gets fired up about injustice, seeks out helping people and does days of research and planning to help solve their problem, even if she doesn't know them well, and who drives to come see me twice a week with her two small kids, when I'm hurting, just so I don't have to be alone, who makes spending time with me a priority when she has so many other things she could be doing (I'll never forget it), who prints out and helps me address all of my thank you notes, and who shows me love in so many obvious and concrete ways; for Sarah who is so much like me it makes us fight sometimes, but is different in the best ways, who gets mad at people who have wronged me and says she'll go beat them up if I want her to, who I can call and cry to during an anxiety attack, talks me through it, and then distracts me by telling me a funny or random story that makes me feel better, who is growing into someone so great and beautiful it blows my mind sometimes; for Shaina who is by far THE coolest 13-year-old on the face of the planet, who lets her big sister kidnap her off the bus in the afternoons to come hang out so I won't have to be alone, who goes on errands with me so I won't have to go by myself, who helps do chores around my house just because she loves me, and who has a big heart for other people and loves them in a quiet and tender way and who gives great hugs; for Maw-Maw and the wonderful person she is;
12. and for my nieces and nephews who say hilarious things, and seem to always say them right when you need to laugh or stop taking life so seriously. The most recent - Will got to pick his dessert out of his Halloween bag, and his mom read the label to him - "Three Musketeers." He seemed content but then opened it up and said, "Hey, mom, this is only ONE musketeer," in great disappointment... And this ode to Swedish fish by Asher.
13. for Gabe, who touched my life in a way I never knew possible, for giving me the best 37 weeks of my life, who made me laugh and smile, who changed me completely, and helped me feel the arms of my loving Savior in a way I never had before.
14. for our new baby boy who is renewing us every day, for his kicks and movements, and for the excitement and hope he gives us for tomorrow.
15. for Matt - the greatest guy on the face of the earth, and the closest person to Jesus I know; who loves me unconditionally, forgives me over and over again when I definitely don't deserve it, and who knows me better than I know myself; who tells me stupid jokes, likes dumb movies and laughs really loud watching them; who helps with the housework without complaint and without thinking it's not his job; who wants to be involved with his future kids, not just babysit them; who listens to the dumb songs I make up (mostly about Deac and the new baby) and actually appreciates them; who also shakes his butt like Deac when I come home because he is happy to see me; who is okay with me working part-time and making things financially tighter, just because it makes me less stressed and more peaceful; and who makes me happier and happier every day.
16. And for Jesus, who died on the cross, took my sin away, and gives me hope for an even greater life than the one I already have and the promise that I will see my Gabe again.
Psalm 28:7 -
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.