Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday

As I hear about the storm and tornado damage and devastation and loss of life that is happening across our Nation and the recent after-affects and devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I realize how much I take for granted and that sometimes I can be selfish.
I am thankful that GOD is my Lord and Savior.  I should feel blessed that He gives me another day each morning when the alarm goes off – instead of groaning and hitting the snooze button “one more time.”  He gives me strength and courage, wisdom and safety and love and forgiveness – even when I don’t deserve it.
I am thankful for my amazing husband who treats me like a queen every day; he brings me coffee in the morning when I’m in the shower and prepares my dinner (and sometimes my lunch) almost every night.  He loves me when I have bed-head or a brand new haircut; when I’m freshly showered – or not; when I’m cranky and when I’m happy.  He’s the love of my life.
I am thankful for my three wonderful sons that I adore with my heart and soul.  They have grown into fine, young men and they treat others with kindness and respect and love.  They are each going through their own trials and life issues at the moment and I pray for them every day.
I am thankful for my handsome, smart, wonderfully fun grandson, Christopher Paul.  He’s the light of my life and I know that he will grow up to accomplish great things.
I am thankful for my extended family – my parents, sisters, sisters and brother-in-laws, Church family, Karate family, my blog buddies and friends.  They are there when I need them - to listen, to nurture, to reprimand, to guide, to teach, to hug, to scream, to laugh and cry with.
I am thankful that Spring is here and Summer is on its way and I can enjoy the warmth of the sun, emerging blooms on plants, flowers and bulbs, freshly mowed grass and the fact that I have a home to return to each night when I leave my office – at a time when so many others have lost their homes. 
I am thankful for my pets – Roxy, Calli and Rascal.  My dogs, Roxy and Calli greet me every day when I come home with wagging tails and sloppy kisses.  They keep me warm when I’m cold and cuddle with me when I’m having a bad day.  And even though Rascal is a bird and he barks like a dog when he wants attention and it can be VERY annoying, he makes me smile and laugh when he talks – and it sounds like my husband.
I am thankful for my job.  I love my job.  It’s fascinating, keeps me on my toes and I learn something new every day.
I am thankful for my health.  Yes I’m overweight and I struggle to catch by breath sometimes during karate, bicycle riding, hiking or exercising, but for the most part, I’m fairly healthy – and breathing!
I am thankful that I have enough food to eat and clean water to drink – whenever I want it.
Should I feel guilty because I am so fortunate?  I don’t think so, but I do need to remember that while there are a lot of things happening in the world – and some of them not so nice – there are many more reasons to be thankful.  I can have a spirit of gratitude.  I need to always look at my life with a positive attitude and a thankful heart.  My heart is grateful and I am more appreciative of my own blessings.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

14 and Counting...

Tomorrow, April 4th, I will have been married to my best friend for 14 years. We've been together 17 years. The years have been wonderful and we've had a lot of adventures and an enormous amount of fun.
We've seen our three boys go from kindergarten to high school, watched them in too many sporting events to count (and eaten BAGS o' sunflower seeds while doing so), rented tuxes and bought corsages for their dances, made every Halloween costume, put together bikes on Christmas Eve and tried to wrap snowboards and guitars without them knowing what the present was.
We've kicked and punched our way through karate together - and now Chris is a Sensei and I will be testing for my Black Belt in May.
We've been to Disneyland and all over California, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Washington DC and Okinawa - and in June we are going to Canada.  We've camped in tents, cabins and now a trailer (trust me when I say the trailer - with running water, flush toilets and a bed are the best).  We've ridden bikes (and fallen off of them too), gone fishing and hiking and been through surgeries and life-threatening illnesses.
We've eaten hamburgers and pizza, sushi, BBQ, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Japanese and Italian.  We've drank Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Beer, Tequila, Sake, Vodka and Whiskey.   We've decorated for birthdays, graduation parties, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.  We've remodeled the kitchen, dining room, family room, bathroom and backyard.  We've created birthday cakes and the most awesome decorated Easter eggs ever!

Our taste in music ranges from classical to country-western, to the Blues and Jazz to Christian.  We don't always agreen on television - I don't like to watch anything to do with Egypt or autopsies and he hates home improvement shows and reality TV.

 We've accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and were baptized together in our best friends' swimming pool. 
We've welcomed an amazing grandson, Christopher Paul III, and buried two grandparents and a Mom, some good friends and a dog, a bird and a cat. We've laughed until we've cried.  We've had our share of bitter, sad and angry moments too - but making up takes the cake!

Marriage and relationships and love are a lot of hard work and these last 17 years haven't always been easy.  In fact, they've been downright hard and scary at times.  We've had to put our total faith in God; but through it all our love has remained constant.  We are each others best friend, lover and confident.  It's been one crazy, happy, wild ride and I can't wait to see what the next 17 years brings!  I love you Poppies!