Living Life



I could write a list. A book. A series.

I could write for days and decades; I could write and never stop.

I could ink my words of thanks into my skin, covering every inch from head to toe, and still never properly convey how thankful I feel to be here, in this, with my people, doing these things. So thankful.

Sometimes I’m grouchy. Sometimes I physically hurt. Sometimes my brain spins off in directions I don’t expect. Sometimes it’s hard, the parenting and working and running and staying positive even when it sucks and loving and trying to be everything to everyone. Sometimes I’m not really good at saying no. Or yes. Or maybe. Or anything.

Sometimes I’m not great at vocalizing my thankfulness, saying thank you when I mean it, when it’s warranted. Sometimes I don’t seem thankful, don’t act it in the moment. But even when I wake up and my hips hurt and my back aches and it’s still somewhere in the middle of the night and I’m awake again because it’s what my body seems to do, I am thankful to wake up.

Today as I held my newborn nephew, as I ate good food, as I walked back The Farm, as I rode the quad with my dad, as I drove my sleeping boys home through the dark of night, I felt full of thanks. Full up. Filled. And it felt good to feel that way. To feel thankful and in one piece.



It Doesn’t Affect You in Any Way

It Doesn't Affect You in Any Way

My husband grumps around the Internet right now. He grumps around the neighborhood, the stores, the radio, the television. He grumps around, non-shouting things about “honoring the turkey” and “Thanksgiving comes first!” I just roll my eyes at him. I’m pretty good at rolling my eyes at him.

After he grumbled at a photo the other day, I said, “Others decorating for Christmas doesn’t affect you in any way.”

We laughed as he tried to claim that it did; he’s never really serious about these things. He likes to talk a big talk, but the show is mostly for me. He likes to push my buttons. He’s really a big softie for Christmas, but don’t tell anyone.

I happened to tweet what I said about others decorating for Christmas, and another friend replied she’s going to save that for any number of things people complain about in daily life. I thought about it, and it seems a really fitting thing. I’ve tried applying it to any number of complaints as of late. I’m finding it to be quite handy.

Plain red cups don’t affect you in any way; neither do ones with snowflakes or ones that say joy.

The clothes other kids wear or claim as cool don’t affect you in any way. This goes for adults, too.

Whether a girl or woman wears leggings as pants doesn’t affect you in any way. (Someone taught me that one.)

Our open adoption does not affect you in any way.

“Mommy blogging” does not affect you in any way.

Secular celebrations of Christmas do not affect you. Neither do Christian ones. Neither does Hanukkah. Neither do any of the winter celebrations. There’s really room for us all.

Here are things that do affect you—and us all: Kindness, or the lack thereof. Charity, goodwill, and hospitality toward others. Hate. Fear of the unknown or differences. Prejudice. Bigotry. Homophobia. Religious intolerance. Open hearts, willing to love. Open minds, willing to learn.

I’m looking forward to the slippery slope of the holidays. With BigBrother’s birthday just two days ago, the boys’ dual birthday party on Saturday, LittleBrother’s birthday on Tuesday, Thanksgiving two days later, and then, well, Christmas, I’m feeling all kinds of things. Part of me understands how other people dread the season because of any number of things. I have my own. But I’m trying to deal with them in the moment (it’s new! I like it!) and focus on the positives in the moment, too (it’s new! I like it!).

I’m enjoying starting to plan out our decorations, our events, our gifts, our time. I’m feeling excited about the little things we’ll do together as a family. Yes, I’m already listening to Christmas music and don’t turn off holiday movies when they pop on the television.

When it all comes down to it, what others do, or what we do with our time and our home and our family, doesn’t really affect you. But the things we do and say and believe and feel as part of a larger community make all the difference.