Monday, November 26, 2012

The Thanksgiving Tree

Thanksgiving is a beautiful time of year.  The weather is starting to cool down (well, as cool as it gets in Okinawa!) and we are filled with some of my favorite fall foods.  It's very unfortunate then that turkey day seems to be skipped these days.  It seems that the stores go straight from halloween to christmas decor, skipping such a wonderful holiday over.  Thanksgiving has become a day for people to stuff their faces with unhealthy, fat and carb loaded foods to the point of stretchy pants!  Not for us.  As much as we do enjoy our healthier alternative on the thanksgiving feast, there is so much more to this holiday.  It's an important holiday to me because it's a time for us to reflect on just how lucky we are to be living the life we've been given.  Instead of worrying about the calorie rich foods that we could consume this thanksgiving, I instead chose to focus on the true meaning of thanksgiving- giving thanks!

It started with a bare tree hung in our kitchen.  Each day, someone in the family got to put a leaf up with what they are thankful on it.  We all got to give thanks for many of the things in our lives.  They could be anything, with a simple or deeper meaning.  It really made us all realize just how lucky we are.  Though my life came out very different then I envisioned, it takes looking at our beautiful fall tree to realize just how lucky I am.  Though it's not on our tree, I am very thankful for this holiday to get me to realize that.  
Here are the things we are thankful for, in no particular order:

Elijah: Today I'm thankful for walks in my Ergo carrier.
Zach: I'm thankful for all of my wonderful friends.
Daddy:  I'm thankful for the Marine Corps- past and present who fight for our country's freedom and values.  Semper Fi! (written on the Marine Corps birthday)
Mommy:  I'm thankful for sweet little boys who know how to make someone's day.  (A random little boy at the grocery told me I was beautiful that day)
Elijah: I'm thankful that my mommy feeds me so I can grow!
Zach: I'm thankful for my new squeaky shoes and my matchbox car!
Daddy:  I'm thankful for grilled turkey, friends, and my beautiful family on this holiday.  
Mommy: I'm thankful that my boys got to spend 4 wonderful days with their grandpa Steve!
Elijah: I'm thankful for being able to meet my grandpa Steve!
Zach:I'm thankful for Tylenol, Barney, and blankets to snuggle into when I'm sick.
Daddy:I'm thankful for my wife saying yes 4 years ago today.  (This was written on the anniversary of his proposal)
Mommy: I'm thankful for days I can workout.  I am a far better Mommy and Wife when I can workout!
Elijah: I'm thankful for generous friends who help soothe me!
Zach: I'm thankful for playtime at the park with Mommy and Eli
Daddy:I'm thankful for my friends turned family in Okinawa
Mommy: I'm thankful for long walks with my boys.
Elijah: I'm thankful for velcro swaddles
Zach: I'm thankful for Disney movies!
Mommy:  I'm thankful for the beautiful life I've been given.  It may not be what I expected it to be, but it's so much better!
Elijah: I'm thankful for my mommy, daddy, and big brother!
Zach: I'm thankful for the love that my family and friends give me
Daddy: I'm thankful for my healthy, happy, and wonderful family.  Even the Fur-ball!

As you can see, we have a lot to be thankful for this year.  We are truly a blessed family.  This crosses off the final thing on my fall five list- A thankful tree!  

What are you all thankful for?  I'd love to hear!  Spread some thanksgiving cheer!