i love to escape throughout the day to nurse mary to sleep.  i get this special time with just her before her two naps as well as her last feeding of the evening.  nathan and lucy have, (for the most part) figured out that being self sufficient and quiet during those quick ten minutes is expected.  and i take full advantage of those ten minutes to grab my random bouts of social media with my iphone: facebook, instagram, pinterest, and texting .  or, if the day is calling for it, i pray for a little more patience as mine seems to be dwindling.

today’s special mary  “me” time was spent rocking in the glider, with my eyes closed, smiling, as i began to tally up my THANKfuls.  i made note of them and am more than happy to share.

THANKFULS: (and this only touches the surface of how incredibly thankful i am)

*my faith.  would suffocate without my daily help. 

*my five member family.  and truthfully, i could stop there and my list would be more than overflowing. 

*my nephews and nieces.  i have such an auntie’s heart and i feel blessed to have two separate batches of them.  my three older sisters and step brother have children that are all either young adults or approaching that age soon.  and then i have another awesome batch of little people from josh’s family that are all little and vibrant.  i have a great connection with each little heart and love them all so incredibly much.  and i love seeing that love reciprocated.  such a cool bond.

*that i am a stay-at-home-mom.  i can’t imagine filling these precious, fleeting days with any other focus.  i’m tearfully thankful for this.

*my husband.  i can’t fathom picking any other man to spend my forever with.  he knows me better than i know myself.  and not a day goes by that he doesn’t make me feel like such an incredible person.

*that my mom underwent her very last chemo treatment today.  i’m thankful that she is a survivor.  i’m thankful that she is my mom.  i’m prayerful that her results come back with a clean bill of health in the next few months. 

*bloomington, illinois.  this little town is packed with so much family and it has brought the five of us so much closer as a family unit.  i’m thrilled to be here.  but i do miss my sunshine state.  always will.

*friendships.  i’m thankful to those women (you know who you are!) who have allowed me to be a part of their life.  i need them.  i love them.  i cherish my lady friends.  so much.

*my hobbies.  i’m thankful that i have passions aside from being a wife and a mother.  i’m a runner, a fitness instructor, a writer, and a thrift shopper.  all these little areas produce a great amount of joy in my life.  so i do them.  and i’m thankful for all these little avenues that make me happy.

my list could continue for years.  i’m a big fan of thinking on the good, but today, i upped the ante.  i marinated in thankfuls.  and trust me, it was not a bad idea.

i woke up monday with a holiday adrenaline rush.  i am so ready for candy canes hanging off each little corner of my home, holly berry flung though out, and little stockings draped across my non mantle. 

but i swear i’m not trying to steal thanksgivings thunder.  i really do love the month of november.  maybe not as much as december, but it’s a close second.  why am i feeling like i just hurt november’s feelings?  it’s not like i just announced that i have a favorite child or something.  i’m allowed to favor december, right? 

november sort of paves the way.  it brings about clean slates, thankful hearts, traditions, and the faint whiff of peppermint begins to clutter end-caps. 

november also makes this marshall crew on our a-game.  we seek out random acts of kindness for each day of this month.  my goal is to make this tradition something that is so deep in their blood, that it is carried out for generations to come.  nothing would make me happier than hearing lucy call me on the phone in twenty plus years telling me her list of kindness she has on her agenda. 

lets see, i left off on day 11 in this post. 

day 12:

i was so very sick and the husband was working.  we were ‘kind’ enough to stay inside all day to not infect the town. 

day 13 & 14:

we brought nanny a homemade craft.  hand delivered by the actual artists. 

as well as a special delivery to more cousins: hope, charity, and israel.

day 15:

we had a play date in the park and i grabbed two packs of fruit snacks and prompted nathan and lucy to pass them out.  what i loved about this was how my children didn’t care that they weren’t the ones getting a fruit snack, but happily gave them away.  so sweet.

day 16:

this was unprompted by me, whatsoever.  i had originally planned on having the kids help me clean the backyard-which they did, but there i sit at the indoor mcdonalds playplace, and i notice my son lying flat on his belly as he’s transforming his body into a stepping stool for his sister.  he continued to do this with each step. 

my heart was so full.  i love when i see them love each other like this.

day 17:

was dedicated to lucy.  she’s two.  two-year-olds have sharing issues.  we focused extra on her sharing.  we talked about how it was ‘kind’ to share and how happy it makes people.  it worked.  sort of.  not really.  we are trying.  i’m still proud of her.

day 18:

i had nathan run up to an elderly woman in walgreens and say, “i like your shirt.  have a great day!”.   and i wish i had a picture of her giant smile.

day 19:

we brought chocolate chip cookies to the childcare workers at the gym.  nathan and lucy each had a baggy that they handed over to each girl.  

day 20:

my favorite act of kindness to-date.  we visited josh’s, (but can’t i claim them?) grandparents in the nursing home.  they didn’t know we were coming and nothing can brighten up a concrete-floored nursing home like three little people.  we certainly made them happy.  not going to lie, especially mary.  grandpa was digging on her today.

we brought them chocolate chip cookies too.  i used an empty canned good container, spray painted it with chalkboard spray paint, wrote a little message on it and sealed it with twine.  it turned out lovely.  

i’ve never witnessed-except by watching the actual movie, the notebook, something so precious.  so selfless.  so good.  grandma and grandpa have been married for fifty-nine years as of this past week,  and grandma has dementia.  grandpa shows up at the nursing home every morning, at 8 a.m., to eat breakfast with her.  he does not leave the nursing home until 10 p.m.  every. single. night.  he refuses to leave the premises unless she is in tote. 

he loves his bride. this was them at their 59th wedding anniversary this past sunday as they were watching their life though pictures on the big screen. 

grandpa’s face did me in.  sweetest man ever!

and yes, i am proudly a part of a family that started with people like that. 

look at their legacy. 

pause button please!

*PLEASE ‘LIKE’ MY BUSINESS PAGE OF FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/BeautifulHabits


  • ElderFL

    Made me tear up…bright an early in the morning :) You live a beautiful life, thanks for sharing!

  • k.mart

    So many sweet nuggets, sweet little bits. Toss up somewhere between Nathan as the brotherly stepstool and that beautiful "young" couple there at the end. You are so incredibly blessed! Happy Thanksgiving, precious friend!!

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