Graitude

Amanda over at Let's Take the Metro issued a challenge: on Thanksgiving Day, write a list of 100 things you are thankful for and why. Here goes:

  1. My God: for many, many reasons.
  2. My faith
  3. My parish
  4. Adam, my husband: for loving me for nearly ten years (and many years before that!) even though he knows all my faults and quirks.
  5. Joseph Andrew, my oldest, my big boy, my first son.
  6. Camille Julia, our pretty pink, strong willed, loving princess.
  7. Georgie David, for fighting, surviving, thriving and working so hard at things we just take for granted
  8. Numbers 10 and 11- the grilled turkey on display at the NICU
  9. Cole Robert, my sweet baby bear who brings more delight to us than we ever thought possible
  10. the ladies at the Natural Parents Network, for being my on-line co-workers! You rock!
  11. Adam's grilled turkey
  12. the parents of NICU graduates from "our" NICU for helping, for the fourth time, to put together a yummy Thanksgiving meal for the parents of the current NICU babies. You guys ROCK!
  13. a wonderful faith formation class I am taking at church. I am learning so much!
  14. the awesome kids I teach Confirmation to
  15. my wonderful co leader
  16. breastfeeding my 19 month old. We work hard to get where we are and even though he can be a turkey and nurse alll night long, I am so thankful we made it!
  17. Number 21- my big kid with his nose in a book!
  18. surfactant, that wonder drug that saved my Pie's life.
  19. my ability to speak clearly (most of the time) and have people understand what I mean. It's so natural for everyone... except those with apraxia.
  20. our wonderful therapist through Infant and Toddler Services
  21. Infant and Toddler Services!
  22. Joseph's teacher, who never gives up on him.
  23. My oldest boy reading! At the beginning of  the year, his teacher asked me what goals I had for him and I said I hoped he would pick up a book and read willingly, for fun- and he is!
  24. Girl Scouts, for giving my princess other girls to hang out with.
  25. One of my besties, Jen, who picks me up when I am down, hangs out with me and loves all my children like they are her own.
  26. One of my other besties, Jane, who might have moved away but understands my kids, my sense of humor and my questions about faith. It's funny who two people who are rooted in their two different faiths have so much in common... including faith... but maybe it's not such a stretch after all.
  27. Georgie's godparents, who have prayed for him without ceasing from the day I found out I was pregnant. They loved on us when we were in the hospital and listened to more fears than I ever thought I would spill. They are the family you chose, and we are happy they chose us.
  28. Cole's godparents, who know what it is like to have four kids in five years, be only of the only Catholics in your extended family, love Starbucks and try to find a balance in our crazy life, all while maintaining a wicked sense of humor. They are the family you chose and we are blessed they chose us.
  29. Camille godparents and Adam's cousins, and my cousins too. They have walked the late-term preemie path with us, and then the "full term baby post preemie" path. Their family is extra special to us because of this. They love Camille, treat her like the princess she is and will fill in the gaps (hair, make up, clothes and business sense!) that I miss! Thank you for being there for my daughter even though you live many miles away.
  30. Joseph's godparents were cobbled together from both sides of the family. He has seen his godmother only once but has a photo of her in his room and she sends him wonderful gifts. She truley knows him even though she lives so far away. His godfather is the cool uncle who works for Mickey Mouse and plays the Wii with him. They love him and he loves them.
  31. My husband's maternal grandparents, because they are some seriously awesome people- so awesome, we had one baby on their anniversary and named the other two boys after Grandpa. Thank you for loving us.
  32. My husband's paternal mother. I want to BE Grandma when I am older. She has led a blessed life and has a strong faith in God. May we all be as awesome as Grandma!
  33. My Nana. We haven't always gotten along but she adores my children and is one of the few family memebers who "Gets" what life is like with many small children.
  34. My parents. Enough said!
  35. My in-laws. Also, enough said! In good ways, of course, for number 31 and 32!
  36. PuddinPie's school. They are working him hard in ways I never could and he is beginning to bloom!
  37. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.
  38. A nice hot bath.
  39. heated seats in my car
  40. the ability to just pop in my car and drive to a store knowing I can buy nice, healthy food when I get there.
  41. 38 and 39- I know it looks like Meep
    but it was supposed to be a cow!
  42. chocolate cake
  43. chocolate frosting
  44. cookies
  45. Trader Joe's, which makes shopping for healthy food affordable and fast!
  46. pumpkin
  47. pumpkin muffins... with cinnamon chips!
  48. Moms night out with a friend.
  49. A husband who scores us free tickets to a move.
  50. Dates with my husband.
  51. other stuff with my husband :)
  52. My new "Beauty without Cruelty" shampoo. My hair has a lovely bounce to it and the flakes are gone! Plus, it smells good!
  53. thick, soothing lotion for my poor chapped hands.
  54. apple pie
  55. apple crisp
  56. books
  57. GOOD books!
  58. books you read over and over and over again.
  59. Our blu-ray player
  60. The means to take my son to the soup kitchen to have him help others...
  61. and a child who is mature enough to do that.
  62. our deep freezer...
  63. and the fact that it is filled with yummy food.
  64. friends to share Thanksgiving with
  65. the fact that my baby weaned at nine months old and I had to be a formula feeding mama for awhile. I said I could or would never do it and I did. It's humbling and it made me realize (again) to never judge.
  66. Bear eating foods to help
     cleanse his body of
     toxins- #65
  67. fighting against all I knew and giving my newborn formula. I believe it kept him out of the hospital.
  68. A doctor who supports my choice to delay vaccines AND not do some.
  69. and I am thankful that I have that choice and do not have to vaccinate even though my son had a vaccine reaction.
  70. At the same time, I am thankful for vaccines because I know they have helped save lives.
  71. ... and the knowledge and ability to do reasearch and think for myself, not blindly following what anyone else tells me.
  72. our giant, big, pesky, pain in the arse dog. He once protected my son when he got out of the house. He stayed with him until we came running out, looking for him. (and now we have a better lock on the door!)
  73. our other dog, who died a year ago. She was a good girl!
  74. New paint colors in the house
  75. Christmas
  76. Christmas trees!
  77. going to the train station every year to see the model trains set up. We've only missed one year of doing this, the year George was born, and the kids love it.
  78. Hippotherapy and all it gave my child. Dan the horse rocks!
  79. The kids TKD studio for being so loving, supportive and yet challenging!
  80. My daughter's dance teacher, who is a wonderful person that can get a group of three year olds happily dancing around the stage and listening to her... something I can't manage with one!
  81. My giant crumb filled swagger wagon.
  82. Car seats, that have saved my kids' lives.
  83. Old friends.
  84. Friends from junior high and high school. We've reconnected via the internet and I love "seeing" them on-line. When I think back to where we were when we first met and all that went on then and since then... and where we are now... the mind boggles!
  85. Facebook, which allows me to reconnect with people, organze the  NICU Thanksgiving, keep up with my extended family and offer love and support... even though it annoys me sometimes, I am happy to have this ability to connect with people.
  86. Pinterest, which makes me feel like I can craft or cook anything!
  87. My washer and dryer- you never know how much you love something until it breaks down.
  88. Molly the (Kitchen Aide) Mixer. She makes me a better cook!
  89. The dishwasher....
  90. and fridge....
  91. and stove.... all of which like to have snit fits every once in awhile which reminds me how much I neeeeed them!
  92. My NFP Forum which is always there for love, support, lively debates about the Duggars and answers to the nitty gritty questions about faith.
  93. My camera, which always catches the sweetest and funniest moments about this life.
  94. our new cell phones. Hello, 2011! We now text!
  95. Christmas cards- the braggier the better!
  96. our neighborhood pool
  97. four kids who love to swim.
  98. my slow cooker
  99. Chik Fil A
  100. the iPad, which has all brought us moments of joy... and complete angst!
  101. life
  102. love
  103. happiness
  104. everything :)