being thankful

Enjoy the Season

“You are going to miss this.”

As young moms we hear variations on this phrase. Over and over and over. If you are anything like me, you find yourself thinking, “Yeah, right.” I am sure there are things I will miss about this stage, but there are many things that I won’t. I am pretty sure I won’t miss constant comfort nursing, waking multiple times a night to take care of someone else and cleaning up endless messes that I didn’t make.

But as the Holidays approach, I find myself thinking about those in my life who have lost loved ones this year. For the first time ever, perhaps, I am hearing the heart behind those words.

Some day when my child is hurting either physically or emotionally, and there is NOTHING I can do to take that pain away, I will miss how simple it used to be to comfort my nursing baby.

Some day when I am up all night worrying about a teenager who isn’t home yet, I will miss being woken up by little girls scared of monsters under the bed.

Some day when my kids are gone and the house is just a little too silent, I will miss the chaos that comes from being surrounded by my family.

Nothing lasts forever and, as my father often reminds me, “This is just a season.”

This too will pass, this is just for a time, and it will be followed by another season and another. Neither better nor worse than the before or after. Just simply a season. It’s a balancing act, not wishing our life away looking toward the next season. Not living in the past unable to let go of the season before. Simply enjoying the here and now for what it is and what we will take away from it.

Enjoy this season, there are things, there are people, you will miss.

So here is to embracing this Holiday season. Here is to making memories, telling stories about the seasons before, looking forward to the seasons to come.

A (Real) Season of Thanks

November. It's that time of year where there's a lot of warmth and coziness and good cheer and smiling faces. I truly, truly, love this season.  Anything that gets people to be kinder to one another, to think beyond themselves, to reach out, is a good thing, in my book.  And the holiday season does that.


There's also the crazed reality of this time of year.  Shopping lists, budget stretches, overtired children, burned side dishes.  I always feel like there are moments where your choice is to either laugh, or cry.

I try really hard to choose laughter.

So in the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share with you my list of things I'm most grateful for. With a little dose of reality.


1. My husband.  A man with many, many talents, not the least of which is his ability to sleep through crying children between the hours of 10pm and 6am.  But!  I'm thankful that this full night's sleep means that he'll get up with them on the weekends.  So he's forgiven (during the daytime hours).


2. My daughter (4.5 years) . She is such an amazing little person.  Inquisitive and social and kind.  I'm thankful that she is also a master humbler: "Mommy, you should take a nap, you look tired.  And why are you wearing that shirt again today?"  She keeps me real.


3. My son (2 years).  A toddler who is ready to take on the world.  So much so that he doesn't want to ever sleep for fear of missing something. I'm grateful that he has healthy lungs that allow him to let me know that he doesn't want to sleep, and that this requires me to spend so much time sitting on the floor next to his crib.  I'm getting a lot of reading done on my Kindle.


4. My power.  I have many superpowers, but in this case, I don't mean my personal powers, but the convenience of electric power.  Yes, for lights and heat and computers and television,but especially for the coffeepot.  I know, I know.  You can make coffee without electricity.  I'm sure Laura Ingalls Wilder did it brilliantly But I need my push a button, ready in 3 minutes coffee.  Sometimes several times a day.


5. My home.  The place that's warm and safe and dry.  But I'm also thankful for the place to hide on the days when I don't get out of my pajamas till 4pm, haven't had a shower in 2 days, and am babbling from sleep deprivation.


6. My girlfriends.  As a wife and mom, these women are my lifeline.  And thanks to modern technology, they are all only a text or FB message (who has time to talk on the phone??) away.  I'm thankful that we can all be instantly connected and supported on the days when we don't get out our pajamas till 4pm, haven't showered in 2 days, and are babbling from sleep exhaustion.


7.  My writing.   Something that is for me, separate from my role as mom and wife.  I'm thankful I have this outlet to pour my energy into.  You know, at 8pm.  When my beautiful children are not climbing my legs or demanding another snack.  So after 8pm.  Did I mention I'm grateful for the ability to make quick coffee?


8. My health.  Three cheers for hearty, German stock!  I'm thankful that I'm blessed with good health.  Because nowhere in my "Mommy Benefits Package" is there mention of sick days.  I guess moms don't get those?

time out step

9. My optimism.  This parenting gig is tough.  It's easy to get bogged down in self-doubt, worries, or fears.  I'm thankful that my outlook is generally optimistic.  Well, optimism with a side of sarcasm.  It works for me.


10.  My humor.  Not just mine, but that of those I surround myself with.  I'm thankful that there are people who are willing to laugh with me, at me (only when they have my permission, of course) and for me.  During those times we're exhausted, hungry, and frustrated because our child is exhausted, hungry and frustrated, we need those moments of laughter to keep going.


Happy season of thanks, ladies. My wish for you is that you  find moments of laughter and thankfulness amidst the everyday chaos.











Giving Thanks

With the changing leaves and falling temperatures, there's no doubt that fall is here! As mothers, we always try to stay a step ahead of the chaos and this month we're taking some time to share our thoughts on holiday celebrations, family traditions and maybe some new ideas about how to enjoy the upcoming season. So grab that cup of cinnamon-spiced coffee, prop your feet up on a pumpkin and enjoy what our writers have to say this month. ~TMC It’s October, which means November is just around the corner.  November, the month of my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.  To me, the holiday evokes feelings of warmth, security, and comfort.  Friends and family gathered around the table, laughing, chiding, enjoying the harvest’s bounty.  Yes, it’s my favorite holiday.  Whether we’re in North Carolina with my family, or at the Isle of Palms with my husband’s family – it is definitely my favorite day of the year.

I can’t help but ponder how this year will work out -

A little background: my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer nearly four years ago.   After three and a half years of “taking it easy” (in the scheme of cancer treatment options), his doctors had a wake up call this year: old tumors, thought to have been thwarted by previous, localized treatments, were becoming more aggressive and reappearing with too much frequency.  Then came the news that tumors were developing in my father’s ureter, and possibly, a kidney (upon being scoped, his ureter was too full of tumors to properly view the kidney).  And so, this summer my father embarked upon chemotherapy.  Watching him come through his treatments has been astounding.  Per his request, my family continued the annual camping trip in the North Carolina mountains.  Looking at my father, you’d never know he left the camping trip mid-week to journey to UNC for his chemotherapy, and return for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.  In the past week, we've received the finalized dates for his cystotomy (bladder removal), with the possibility of a nephrectomoy and prostatectomy (kidney and prostate removal) – scheduled the week of Thanksgiving.

How fitting, I muse, that this surgery is scheduled the week in which we celebrate giving thanks.  I am so thankful to this man, who raised me, and provided me with so many memories.  I was most definitely a “Daddy’s girl,” and many childhood memories evolve around him.  Simple memories – riding in his truck, oldies on the radio, singing, while doing such mundane chores as taking trash to the landfill – evoke feelings of love and comfort.  For me, one of the hardest adjustments to adulthood, has been living away from my father.  Communicating has been difficult, as he is not much of a phone talker (unlike my mother), and so phone conversations seem lackluster.  In his presence though, words don’t have to be said – simply sitting alongside him is enough.  He has been strong, steadfast, since his diagnosis.  Determined to fight, I have been amazed by his strength and attitude.  I sit and ponder, thinking.  My father is amazing. I hope my daughter has that attitude towards her father.

Father and Daughter

The father-daughter bond is something special to behold.  While for a long time (seemingly, forever) my daughter wouldn't let me out of her sight. Now at 17 months old, it’s wonderful to my husband and her together: her excitement at his arrival at home after work, the happiness she gets from a “pony ride” on her daddy, watching her take his hand and insisting he walk with her.  These special moments are forming the bond that will last a lifetime.  It is certainly a wonderful thing to watch and be thankful for.