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November 16, 2014

IMG_3303It’s November.

The past two or three years (or however long I’ve been here), I have attempted to post every single day in November about things I am thankful.  It’s been a good reminder to me to spend my time showing gratitude and it’s kept my heart a bit lighter.  Knowing I will need to be publicly thankful for something at the end of the day made me be sure to find at least one thing to be thankful for (and you know, no matter what your life’s situation is, somedays that is hard).

This year, I am midway through November and I have yet to be publicly thankful once.  I am realizing it’s not just me.  In years past, my Facebook feed would be full of November thankful.  It seems like I am not the only one who has not taken the time to write down my thankfuls.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I haven’t been thankful this month.  My list on my fridge is growing by the day.  The words and energy to write though have eluded me.  Today, there is nothing stopping me.  It’s Sunday.  I have pot of tea made and I am cozy wearing my alma mater sweatshirt and sitting in my adequately heated (and insulated) house.

DSC_4862I have so much to be thankful for this year.  Mostly, I am thankful for my family.  This fall has been a bit of a transition.  From not working outside the house at all to working fall time has been a leap for all of us.  I am thankful beyond words for Curtis.  Curtis has adjusted his schedule to take John to his doctor’s appointments for his broken arm (oh, yes, another broken arm happened this fall) and do Madeleine’s soccer carpools.  He’s played lead parent at school, showing up for events I used to, volunteering for things, and learning to know some other school parents.  He’s encouraged me to go shopping, to update my not-have-to-leave-the-house -more-than-twice-a-week wardrobe, applauding me when I spend more money than I am comfortable with (which, for the record, isn’t a lot…I don’t like spending money.  period.).  In the evenings, Curtis has put up with my hours of school work I do, some of which renders me relatively uncommunicative because I kinda need to think when I’m grading kids’ writings.  On the weekends, he’s transitioned from the slower, lazy weekends of the past to the slightly harried errand filled Saturdays (a family’s got to eat!).  Curtis has supported me in every imaginable way possible, from taking more responsibilities around the house to listening to my overwhelmed, tear-filled occasional breakdowns.  I am so thankful to have had Curtis by my side this fall, being my greatest cheerleader and my greatest support.

DSC_4677I am thankful for my kids as well.   Madeleine, especially, has been very vocal in not being thrilled with the changes in our family’s routine.  Yet, she and the boys have rolled with it.  She and John have become more responsible, completing homework first–perched in corners of my classroom after school–before asking for some computer time before we leave school.  They know it’s their job to unload the dishwasher and they generally do it– in fact, they’ve got quite a system worked out.  Their schedule has been turned upside down–I no longer bring them lunches at school or go on their field trips, but Isaac gets to give me hug everyday when I pass him in the hall after his lunch.  He’s adapted to his after school care beautifully, and I am thankful for his outgoing, social personality that makes that transition so easy for him.

I am thankful for my job.  It happened so fast and it took awhile for me to get used to the idea of going to work every day.  The curriculum has changed a bit (understatement!!!) in the past eight years I was out.  My teammates are beyond wonderful.  They’ve accepted me and made me feel welcomed.  They answer my constant barrage of questions with more patience than I think I have.  They put up with my mistakes and my general cluelessness.  They help me plan my lessons and negotiate through all the new software I am using.  They answer my 6 am texts when I wake up sick and have no idea what the procedures are for calling in sick.  On top of all that, they’re fun, they make me laugh, and I love eating lunch with them every single work day.  I can’t imagine working with a better team.

I am thankful for my kids’ teachers as well.  Every single one of them is fabulous this year.  My middle child, who hated school last year, is thriving this year thanks to his classroom teacher and his reading teacher, finally getting the reading support he needs. My oldest and youngest both have wonderful teachers who love teaching and children and appreciate my kids for the unique people they are.

I am thankful for my friends.  They’ve let me drop off the face of the earth because sometimes I. just.couldn’t.  They went out with me when I told them the crazy idea that I may teach again this fall.  They’ve let me be tired and grumpy and not very talkative sometimes.  They check in with me.  They listen to my teacher stories, which I know really aren’t interesting to many people beyond the teachers that know the kids.  They’ve been there when I’ve been ready to reemerge.  They are patient for me to return their texts until my planning time.  They haven’t let me disappear into the working world.DSC_4715

I am thankful for October and November in Texas, for weather reports being wrong, for cold, rainy days, for perfect camping weekends, and for the chance to be in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in October to see the leaves in their fall splendor.  IMG_3398

Although I may not post every day what I am thankful for, I am still thankful.  My list could go on and on, especially on this dreary cold Sunday afternoon, that John has warmed by lighting candles for me.  The butternut squash is simmering on the stove and we are eating soup again this night.  I think I may even get to bake and I may just take a break from lesson plans to ice those salted caramel pumpkin cupcakes I am dreaming of making.

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