1. God- I chose this picture because this is my favorite season and I love how God uses it to show how meticulous He is when He created this world. There are sprinkles of yellows, oranges, reds, browns, and greens that no human could ever completely re-create. I am thankful for God and all His many blessings. I am thankful for all the detail He put into every little thing in this world. I am thankful that I can see His fingerprints on everything.
2. Husband- I am thankful that 16 years ago I traveled about 14 hours away from my family to Harding University to meet this guy a couple years later. It is funny how God can take you on brilliant journeys that you never saw coming or would never plan and then all of a sudden it hits you like a ton of bricks why He did it the way He did. These past 13 years haven't always been easy...some of it has been downright hard, but I am thankful that we are both determined to make the hard and difficult times more in tune with God's will.
3. Which brings me to this: My parents. This year has been a little bit harder for Curtis and I and some things we had to face. My parents have been loving, supportive and encouraging on this journey. They watch our kids every night for us while we go to Celebrate Recovery. They even watch them over night which allows Curtis and I to go out to dinner alone afterwards, and then in the morning we have an early session of marriage counseling. I am thankful that I have these two people to go to when I am hurt and broken. And I am thankful Curtis has them, and the girls.
4. Ava. This was a child we prayed for and took us a long time to see that prayer answered. But, again, God has perfect timing. My imaginative, endless cycle of abounding energy, silly, finds all the potty humor in movies and thinks it wildly funny, sensitive, people pleasing, God loving child. She is such a sweet girl who hates to disappoint. Her prayers are sweet and innocent. Her smiles are beautiful. Her love for family is warm. I am thankful for this sweet, sweet, beautiful blessing. She has made being a mommy a fun one.
5. Sally Oh man, this girl makes being a mommy an adventure (sometimes a very exhausting one). My loving, stubborn, strong willed, goofy, twirling, chatterbox, sunglass wearing, picky dresser and eater. This girl really loves life. She is full of herself. She has HUGE meltdowns, but there is another incredibly sweet, loving, snuggly side of her that is so refreshing. She is more relaxed, doesn't always have to be doing anything and enjoys a good cuddle on the couch with me every day. I am thankful for the lessons she has taught be about myself (especially me realizing I may have an anger problem that can keep me from shining God's light into their life.) I am thankful for her coming 14 months after Ava...SURPRISE! She is the BEST surprise ever!!!
6. Evelyn. If I could express her in one word it would be, JOY. She is happiness to me. Her smile lights up my life. I am so thankful I had her in one of my hardest years yet. Her love for me is what helped me get up many mornings and keep going. She is such an action packed child who Ava calls "Handsy" because she always has her hands on everything. But, I am thankful that God decided it was good for us to have another one. She is such a blessing and I can't imagine life without her.
7. Weight Watchers. Like I have said, this year was hard. Hard on many reasons and on many different levels. Another setback to this year was coming to terms that my weight gain was getting out of control. I am thankful God finally woke me up to realizing this and motivating me to do something about it. While I still struggle with my eating and motivation, God has shown me that I can do this, that it doesn't have to be that way.
8. Speaking of Weight Watchers, I couldn't do it without the meetings. The only meetings I can make it to these days is during the week. Thankfully it is on a day where they girls usually have preschool so I only have to take the baby. This picture is Evie at the Weight Watchers meetings building up her immunities on the floor of the store. I am thankful that these sweet women (and men) have accepted her into the group and don't get upset when she isn't 100% cooperative.
9. These three as a whole. They get along well (most of the time) and they are truly buddies. They wouldn't know what to do with out the other. The smiles and looks on these faces is truly indicative of the way they feel about each other and I love it and I am thankful for it.
10. Living close to my family so we can take day trips to the mountains and have fun, new experiences with each other. I am thankful these girls are so loved by so many, especially their Mimi and PopPop.
11. I am thankful for pictures that capture moments like this. Moments you may never have seen without the camera. These days where those little hands are so willing to be held and that fit perfectly inside our hands is fleeting.
12. Mountains. This pictures doesn't capture the beauty of it, but I am so thankful that I live so close to the mountains and we can drive up there any 'ol day and have a great time. So beautiful.
13. Eating healthier. I think this goes without saying but I am thankful for the difference this has made in my life. I am thankful that I live in a country where food isn't scarce and where we have such modern conveniences.
14. Games of "hide and seek". This picture makes me laugh because they actually think they are hiding which also brings me to...
15. This sweet age. They are so innocent and fun and I am thankful for it.
16. I am thankful that this wasn't worse. It could have been and there were many things on that day that I had to be grateful for. One, Curtis was home when it happened. We had the ability to get to where we needed to get to . We have places to go to in times like this. Calm doctors, sweet note on my car from a complete stranger at the urgent care, a sweet friend who made us dinner, and a very brave girl.
17. Days to unwind. This season has been cram packed with stuff do almost every day. The introvert in me was really struggling with that. I am thankful for some days where we have nowhere to go and nothing in particular to do.
18. Visting Skytop Apple Orchard. I am thankful we were able to do this and that we had such a great time with everyone. And, another added bonus, was delicious apples to enjoy!!!!
19. My van. Never thought I would be a van mom. Never really wanted to be. But, oh my goodness..it has been wonderful and so convenient. Thankful we were able to do this and thankful I have a safe, reliable car to drive us all around in.
20. Delayed eye surgery. It has taken me a bit to get here and be thankful for this because I really just wanted it out of the way. But I am thankful her doctor wanted to ensure her safe health in delaying her eye surgery. And who knows, maybe there were other reasons it was delayed that we will never know. I am also thankful we were able to reschedule it before we have to start paying our high deductible again in Jan.
21. Wise Acres Pumpkin Patch. I am thankful we have this so close to home and thankful for the family that decided to create this for our community. So many fun things for them to do here.
22. Health. When I see this picture it makes me thankful for our health. If we weren't healthy, this sweet girl may not have gotten to swing on the airplane swing at Wise Acres.
23. Preschool. I am thankful these girls love preschool and their teachers. I am thankful that they have other adults who pour God's love and light into them. I am thankful for teachers who love these girls for who they are (even if they are stubborn, strong willed and sassy).
24. Another day. This picture makes me thankful that I am here another day to be surrounded by these gifts from God.
25. Braveness. I am thankful that Sally showed such bravery during a scary time in her 2 years of life. She was so good and easy while getting stitches and here in this picture, getting them removed. She amazes me with her cooperation at the doctors. Yesterday she got a shot and flinched but shed no tears and was proud of her booboobaid (bandaid).
26. Sweet Frog's. Frozen yogurt, sprinkles, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Need I say more?
28. Thankful when sheer joy is captured on my girls faces.
29. I don't think this one needs ANY explanation.
30. Friends who take great pictures for us.
The list could really go on because the fact that I have this moment, at 4:30 am to be here is something to be thankful for. I am thankful for so many prayers answered this year, so much growth and change in my marriage this year. So much. So much to be thankful for. Praise the Lord.