I’m thankful…

…for all the women in my life.  Those who are close, those who haven’t been a part of my life for long and even those I don’t know yet.  Those who are mothers and daughters and sisters and friends.  Those who have children and those who don’t.  You have all helped me to be the mother I want to be.  To all the women who lift up other women, I send you love this week, this Sunday and always.

You are a mother

You are a daughter

You are a sister
You are an aunt
You are an “aunt”
You are like a mom
You never tried to be a mom
You are a friend
You want children
You want more children
You don’t want children
You have had infertility issues
You have had a miscarriage
You are celebrating with your mother
You are missing your mother
You have taught me
You have learned from me
You have loved me when I needed it
You have told me the truth when I needed it
You have listened to me vent
…And told me to shut up
You have laughed with me
You have heard me cry
You have held my hand
You don’t mind a little sarcasm
You give it right back
You have had wine with me
Or tequila shots
Or a quiet cup of coffee
You believe in me
You love my children
…and they love you
You love me
…and I love you.

Thanks, friend crush.

1. A friend who inspired me 

25. Trader Joe’s sparkling lemonade

42. Going to Target alone

347. dropping Nina off at school and watching her play with friends

I have a friend crush. What’s a friend crush? Think elementary school- innocent, sweet- meeting someone and wanting to be friends. I met Jessica when my first baby was just 2 months old and ever since, I’ve had a bit of a friend crush. Jessica is kind, supportive, funny, smart and artistic. She is a mom who has made it through these first hard years and has been open to listening, chatting and having coffee when our schedules allow. She has also inspired me to be grateful in an everyday kind of way.

One of the things that almost anyone who knows Jessica knows is that she loves the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.imgres This book, above all else, centers on a message of finding the joy in our every day lives. Now, it is a religious book- there is a whole lot of Jesus- so if that’s not your cup of tea, proceed with awareness. I will say though, I have read this book cover to cover, and as a person who grew up in an interfaith home and continues to question everyday, I put the religion aside. That wasn’t the point for me. The point was to find large and small things that make me happy. The point was to find 1,000 things that I am grateful for.

5. coffee

30. summer thunderstorms

31. screened in porches to watch thunderstorms from

128. FaceTime double date night with my brother and sister-in-law

143. wine and chocolate

For the past 2 years, I have been keeping a list. It is on my laptop desktop and every now and then, I open it up and add a few items to the list. Sometimes I just add one; sometimes I add a few. I’m not as far along to reaching 1,000 as you might think. As of today, I am thankful for 428 things. I don’t do it everyday but I am also not in a rush. I try not to repeat things, but let’s be honest…I’ve got two small children, I’m sleep deprived, and I have 428 things…coffee is on there twice.

11. Nina’s “battle cries”- they won’t last forever and they’re fantastic

30. evening walks with my family

138. Feeling my little boy kick 

149. laughing until it hurts

256. having a really good cry

I started keeping this list as a result of a conversation I had with Jessica two years ago. I was exhausted, cranky, and feeling frustrated. For a lot of reasons, I was having a personal pity party. I happened to see Jessica that day and she, without knowing how ungrateful I had been feeling, told me about a talk she would be giving at our mother’s group meeting. She would be talking about this book and her own personal list making. I set out to investigate and ended up starting my thankful list to remind me of all the good there is in my life…even when I’m low.

415. flowers from my mother in law

428. sugar free vanilla soy lattes from Starbucks

I’m not there yet, but I think about hitting 1,000 things and get a little sad. This has been a great exercise. It’s also sort of a time capsule of my life- I read the list and think about what inspired each thing. Maybe I’ll go for another thousand.