Years ago, I was working with a family whose son had Autism. I was helping them through a lengthy IEP process with their public school. We all sat in a hot classroom with linoleum tiled and institutional beige tiled walls while the administrator talked, the teachers talked and I talked about the fate of a boy who could not talk. During all of this talk, the boy's father leaned over to him and said, "Thank you for being my son."
In that moment, time stopped. I knew what type of parent I wanted to be. I wanted to be the parent who told her kids she was thankful for them. And ever since that moment, all those years ago, I have tried (sometimes successfully and sometimes not) to tell the people closest to me know how thankful I am to have them in my life.
So today in keeping with that sentiment, I'd like to publicly say I'm thankful for these guys…
They laugh at my corny jokes, dance with me and let me sing at the top of my lungs without rolling their eyes (most of the time). They allow me to be my truest self.
And I'm thankful for you, Jane. Thank you for offering me this space to share what means so much to me. And thank you for your support as a friend and as a fellow creative.
Thank you so much for joining us Jennifer and for sharing your story with us (it got me all teary!). What a small thing it is to say "Thank you", but what a BIG payoff!
Be sure to stop by Classic Play for much more from Jennifer and her team...
We are joined by Amy, of This Heart of Mine today for our "thankfuls" post. I love going to Amy's blog because it is always filled with such yummy "eye candy"! She's got amazing style, great eye for details, and can turn the simplest things into something beautiful and amazing! Not to mention she's got loads of yummy looking food too...these apple beignets...yum...must make with the apples that we've still got leftover. Here are the things that Amy is thankful for today...
Gratitude and giving thanks is a value I hold high. I've been a quote collector my whole life and one of my most favorite quotes is from Albert Clarke and goes like this:
"In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful but the gratefulness that makes us happy."
I wholeheartedly agree. I am thankful for my babies, even though they aren't very baby-like anymore. They have changed my life, my person, my heart and my soul. I am thankful for their noise. There are days when it is deafening and threatens to overtake my mind but when it is absent, the world doesn't seem right.
I am thankful for my husband. His blue eyes, his ridiculous sense of humor, his steadfastness and support. I'm thankful he accepts who I am, completely.
I am thankful for creativity, imagination and curiosity. I revel in unlimited possibilities.
I am thankful for togetherness. Snuggling is the best.
I am thankful for the world wide web. Yes, I can order anything my heart desires but the relationships I've made and a community I get to be a part of is only possible because of it.
I am thankful for the woman I've become. I spent a long time not liking who I am and how I'm made but I look back now and see all my missteps and failures where actually stepping stones to bring me where I am today. I am thankful for the beautiful life we have. It's loud and messy and crazy and prone to periods of pandemonium. It's hard on the heart and soul. But the laughter, the snuggles, the moments of pure sweetness and joy are well worth the other parts. It's a great thing to be alive.
Thank you, Jane, for having me today. I'm so thankful to know you.
Thank you so much for sharing those things that you are thankful for today Amy! I love that quote! And, I too, am thankful for the world wide web, without it I would never have found so many like minded people to make connections with and call friends!
I've known Jane for a bit over a year now and was struck, immediately, by her generosity and care. So I was delighted when she asked me to share my own thankfuls, as she does all year long. It's amazing what happens around this time of year - perhaps it's the changing weather, the coldness ushering us in and encouraging a bit of self reflection. Perhaps it's a self-defense mechanism, bolstering us up for the commercial onslaught the holidays seem to inevitably bring! But whatever the case, it's nice to take a moment - or a month, or even better, like Jane, to do it all year long - to reflect on all we have to be grateful for.
Today I'd like to share a tradition my mom started a couple year ago. Similar to thankfuls, I'd like to share some musings on what really is important.
Thank you, Jane, for having me today - I'm oh-so thankful for friends like you!
Thank you so much for sharing those things that you are thankful for today Andrea, a great list! I too, am thankful to have friends like you!
Welcome Melissa, from A Happy Stitch to begin this week of "thankfuls". I first met Melissa when she and I helped to host (along with many other fabulous bloggers!) Rachael'sCovert Robin gift exchange. It wasn't long before she and I were emailing each other back and forth, which then, eventually, is how BAC began! What a fun summer series that was, I am truly thankful for all of those amazing projects!
When Jane asked me to share what I am thankful for as a part of her blog series I thought first of the typical things...my home, my loving relationship & family, my kids, my health and friendships. The longer I reflected on her request, however, the more I kept coming back to a certain Snapple bottle a friend of mine once dropped on the sidewalk. Thing is, I'm so thankful for everything I have already listed it's just that, too often, little inconveniences get in the way of my pure appreciation for those big things and I lose perspective.
That's where the Snapple bottle comes in.
One weekend,when I was in college, I was walking with two friends. One of them was holding a paper bag in one hand a full glass bottle of Snapple in the other. We were walking quickly, on our way to get somewhere, when she shifted the paper bag in her hands and the Snapple bottle slipped, fell, and hit the pavement. It shattered immediately. Syrupy juice and the tiniest pieces of glass (I still marvel at how many pieces of glass can come from one bottle of Snapple) flew everywhere. Once we assessed that no one had been cut or injured we quickly realized there was no way to clean up so many tiny pieces of glass. We were surrounded by government buildings and every one was shut down for the weekend. We just stood there looking down at the glass, the tiny dangerous bits, all over the sidewalk.
My very conscientious friend who had dropped the bottle said, "I can't believe I did this. This is the kind of thing I hate. If I stumbled across this I would imagine someone selfish and sloppy drunk purposely shattered glass on the sidewalk." And that is when my other friend provided the most amazing insight. "Well," she said, "I guess we can be thankful then. Next time we see shattered glass we will be able to imagine it was just an accident by a well-meaning person."
This literally rocked my world. If this broken glass bottle could be something to be thankful for...well, then anything is a treasure, every annoyance can be turned on its head to provide a way to see the world with as much hope and quiet forgiveness as possible.
With this in mind, I wandered through last week collecting my own versions of broken glass on the sidewalk. Here is what I came up with:
1. I'm thankful for my ugly commute....
It reminds me that I have work and am making money doing what I passionately love. It's also my chance to listen to the radio programs that are often in the background while I sew but don't get my true attention. I'm particularly thankful that this week I got to hear R.E.M.'s Orange Crush. I hadn't heard that in a long time and it would have been even longer without the ugly commute. (Did you know it was the 25th anniversary of their album Green? Me either. Thanks again commute. No thanks for making me feel old, though, could have lived without that.)
2. I'm thankful for a husband who forgets to make the bed...
It often provides the perfect opportunity for the cat to jump and toss herself around (when no one is looking) and that reminds me that sometimes there is great joy in disorder.
3. I'm thankful for the unquiet in my mind lately and the upheaval and change leaving me in need of guidance and consult...
It compels me to plan dinner with a beloved friend whose listening skills provided just the right kind of anxiety-quelling comfort and reassurance. Without that dinner we never would have started to exchange chapter books for our boys. And without that book exchange, I wouldn't have had this treasure dropped in a mailbox alongside a thoughtful note that left me feeling surrounded by support and understanding.
4. I'm thankful for some challenging reviews from teachers at school...
It reminds me to slow down and attend to the little people in my life. Reminds me to stop assuming they are fine and will be fine and do fine at school. They need me to be aware that sometimes they need my assistance and want my support. Just because nothing big is going on, doesn't mean I don't need to vigilant and aware of all aspects of their life.
5. I'm thankful for a hectic and busy week....
It makes the rare quiet moment so much sweeter and appreciated.
6. I'm thankful for my naturally impatient nature...
It makes small accomplishments feel like huge hurdles I have overcome.
7. Finally, and this is the hardest one to admit, I'm thankful for a reprimand from a fellow parent when something I said hurt her feelings.
It reminds me that we all have pain on the inside, a little closer to the surface than it sometimes appears from the outside. It also reminds me that even well-meaning people (like myself) sometimes say stupid things without realizing it. A little bit like a Snapple bottle that slips out of our hands and leaves a big, ugly mess we can't clean up. And even then, at our worst, we all deserve a little bit of grace and forgiveness.
Thank you so much for sharing wtih us today Melissa, I love the idea of being thankful for those "broken glass on the sidewalk" moments alongside the more typical ones. I am so thankful that we "met" each other and hope that someday we get a chance to actually meet in person!
I'm Jane, thanks for stopping by! I hope you take your time and take a look around...If you do you'll our adventures in sewing, creating, crafting, gardening and exploring...it's what gets us through the day and fullfills us!
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Questions? You can find out more about me, email me, and learn a bit about the name Buzzmills on my About Me page (found at the top of the page)