Happy Thanksgiving

I’m the only one up. I’m in tears. My day did not go exactly as I envisioned it should yesterday. When I get grumpy the whole house gets grumpy. I came downstairs to this note.

I used to make the kids make thankful trees. I’ve been thinking it was something we could do today before or after we stuff ourselves. Arleigh beat me to it. 

Ignore the messy Thanksgiving dinner in progress and check out the cards taped to my cabinets.

They read 

  • I am thankful for Mom’s phenomenal cooking.
  • I am thankful for my family.
  • I am thankful for Tucker and Haole.
  • I am thankful for Dad’s meat skills.
  • I am thankful for Grandma’s tremendously wonderful cooking.
  • I am thankful for Grandma’s loud snores.
  • I am thankful for the Arleigh I was named after.
  • I am thankful for our big beautiful home.
  • I am thankful for my saxophone.
  • I am thankful for our cars.
  • I am thankful for the trees.
  • I am thankful for years of piano lessons.
  • I am thankful for our tvs.
  • I am thankful for Nana’s hearing aids.
  • I am thankful for papa’s appetite.
  • I am thankful for papa’s home cooked breakfast.
  • I am thankful for “da bus.”
  • I am thankful for hugs and kisses.
  • I am thankful for God.
  • I am thankful for 5SOS.
  • I am thankful for our time in Hawaii.
  • I am thankful for Jack’s Infinity skills.
  • I am thankful for Hanan’s art and singing talents.
  • I am thankful for Jack’s adoption.
  • I am thankful for all of the laughs we have had.
  • I am thankful for Nana Bonnie’s humor.
  • I am thankful for my parents’ love and support.
  • I am thankful for kitties.
  • I am thankful for my Dad’s service…on land and sea.
  • I am thankful for Bria’s soccer skills.
  • I am thankful for the ocean.
  • I am thankful for Dad’s smelly farts.
  • I am thankful for school. (Sometimes)
  • I am thankful for all the ups and downs.
  • I am thankful for Hanan’s acting career.
  • I am thankful for my clothes.
  • I am thankful for One Direction.
  • I am thankful for Dad’s love of ice cream.
  • I am thankful for all of the birthdays I got to celebrate.
  • I am thankful for Mimmi and DayDay’s good sense of style.
  • I am thankful for Jesus and His sacrifice.
  • I am thankful for Aunt Glenda’s Witt.
  • I am thankful for my mom’s great listening skills.
  • I am thankful for mom and dad’s strong, I breakable marriage.
  • I am thankful for the beautiful women and girls I’m surrounded by.
  • I am thankful for shots that keep us healthy.
  • I am thankful for all the mistakes I have learned from.
  • I am thankful for peace love and happiness.
  • I am thankful for medicine.
  • I am thankful for all the guilty pleasures.
  • I am thankful for tea.
  • I am thankful for my chance to live all over the world.
  • I am thankful for makeup.
  • I am thankful for the knowledge of God, something others do not have.

Ditto Arleigh. I’m also thankful for the strong courageous woman you are becoming. I am thankful for all of my kids and the lessons they continue to teach me. 

Love you Arleigh!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving

For the first time, in well…all the Thanksgivings that I can remember, it’s going to be just our little family. We’re pretty excited about a low key holiday with time to put out our Christmas decorations, wrap gifts, play board games and maybe a little soccer in-between football games. We’re also going to try to remember all we have to be thankful for. In honor of the holiday I wanted to share something with you. 


I just love all the videos from the Holderness Family. This one may be my favorite.

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My Mother

I have something I need to say. It’s probably better written in a journal, but it’s my blog. I can say what I want to… I LOVE MY MOM. She continues be a kind, loving example for me even when I don’t give her enough credit.

In other news, y’all can pray for Ray. He lives with a crazy woman. He worked hard to come up with a Christmas schedule, pleasing everyone especially his bat poop crazy wife who thinks she’s the one trying to please everyone and not doing it with a happy heart. Did you get all that? When you live away from home, Christmas is CrAzY! I love seeing my extended family. Sometimes I just want to crawl in a hole and enjoy my own kids. You know?

My reaction to his plan was ugly. (Sorry Ray.) I reacted by throwing in the towel and going to bed before I allowed myself to wallow and get any uglier. I do need props for praying about it though. 

I made myself sick thinking I didn’t want to tell my Mom his plan. I assumed she would react badly. She hasn’t really celebrated Christmas in a couple of years for good reason. This is her comeback year. I was imagining her aspirations for perfection in my head. I thought I was about to ruin her plans. 

Bless my mama’s heart. I honestly don’t know how she and Ray put up with me. She was gracious and kind. She reminded me of the attitude we are supposed to have for Christmas. She was super thankful for what she was getting. Sigh. When I grow up I hope I can be my mother. I know if you knew me when I was 15 you are shocked to hear those words. 

These two people keep me grounded and that’s a hard thing to do… 

Aren’t they just the best?

Anyway… thanks Mom. I love you. Now it’s time to shake off my grinch and get ready for Christmas. As mom and donkey always say, “Christmas ain’t Christmas ’til somebody cries AND IT’S USUALLY ME!” I hope I’ve gotten my cry out of my system. 

P.S. Ray, I’m lucky to have you putting up with me and my crazy.

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I fancy myself a writer…even though I’ve never been published. Yes, Mom I actually have made submissions. That’s another blog post. I think I learned to love stories because of my grandmothers. I was watching their stories before I could even talk. I know Days or Our Lives, The Young and The Restless, Another World and even Santa Barbara better than most. I still remember my Gran telling me that if I brushed my hair 100 strokes a day it would be as shiny at Renee Dimera’s gorgeous black hair. Yes, I was born and raised to appreciate a good story, even a soap opera.

When Mom was visiting, I introduced her to one of my new favorites, The Walking Dead. Yes, Janice Kendall watched three episodes. Granted, she was peeking from behind her iPad or a pillow most of the time. Don’t let her kid you…she was born with a high appreciation of soap operas stories too. She hated the gore, but she easily loved the characters. 

I love these stories. You love the characters like they are your friends and family. You feel like you are involved in their lives…from the safety of your living room. In the early days when Judith is born on TWD, I would walk out in my alley on a Monday morning and yell, “The baby!” to my neighbor and she totally knew what I was talking about. You become vested in each character and need to know what will happen. Mom was here when one of my beloved characters may or may not have come to an untimely end.

Mom fell right in step with the story. We sat around the family room dissecting the scene. Is he or isn’t he? We watched the The Talking Dead. Mom stayed up late most Sunday nights to watch it with me. Oh my…

Here’s Your Spoiler alert…

Stop reading if you aren’t caught up with TWD.

Seriously…you’ve been warned.

I sent Mom this text.

She asked me how long it took me to set this up. Ha! Like I have time for that… I just have time to troll the internet to try to decide Glenn’s fate.

Mom clearly loves the story as much as I do. I got a voicemail from her a couple of days later that said, “Read Zachariah 14 right now! It’s The Walking Dead!” What on earth, Mom? So I ran and got my Bible out.

Here’s a snippet

12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another.

Maybe Grandma is on to something! Of course I immediately sent a text to my other buddy that watches it. We may or may not be totally preparing for the zombie apocalypse right now. (You might want to purchase stock in Costco. Just saying…)

Am I the only one? Do you love it when a story stays with you? I love for my kids to love books. Arleigh still loves all things Hunger Games. There was a time when Hanan was Fancy Nancy. I’m curious. What stories stick with you? Is there something else I should be reading or watching? Until then, I’ll be searching for Glenn. He can’t be dead. Can he? 

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Veteran’s Day 1015

There are 685 students at Bria and Jack’s school. On Wednesday, Bria spoke in front of all of them and their parents. She told our little Virginia community that her Dad is “Awesome!” It’s something we need to celebrate around here a little more.

 This kid… She’s in 2nd grade. Someone needs to make time stand still for this mama.

After our flag pole ceremony, Ray and I got to join the Littles for a Thanksgiving lunch. How appropriate. We are so thankful for all that he does for us.

I’m always thankful to our country’s veterans. I hope I show it every day. Some pay all, all pay some. It’s always a heavy price. 

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