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Monday, November 19, 2007


Thanksgiving is upon us, and now is as good a time as any to reflect on the many blessings in my life. I can't believe this year is quickly coming to a close. Where did the time go? I can remember sitting down on New Year's Eve and thinking how far away Christmas seemed and how long the year would be, and it's already over - just like that - a blink of an eye. I woke up on January 1st, blinked once and now it's November 19.

Sometimes I feel like Adam Sandler is playing around with my remote control of life ("Click" reference for those of you who haven't seen that movie). The only difference is that I don't want my life to go by in the blink of an eye. I want to deal with all of the everyday "inconveniences" that slow me down a bit and make me reflect on how short and sweet life truly is. I want to sit down at my desk and write another check for a bill and be grateful that we have a wonderful house to call home and bills that we have the ability to pay because of our jobs.

Life is made up of millions of inconveniences, millions of menial daily tasks that we'd rather avoid - those few moments of pure bliss, those unforgettable seconds of time, those are few and far in between. Why wait around for those moments to happen and ignore the sweet filling in between? Call me crazy, but the best part of cake is the filling in the middle - the actual cake is just a bonus.

I am thankful for the arguments. I've been married for four years to a wonderful man. We have our moments, our marriage is far from perfect, but through each argument, I feel like we learn more about one another. I feel like we mark our battles down in some invisible, unspoken history book and learn from our mistakes. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. I am thankful to have a husband who loves me and knows me and still accepts me for who I am even with my many faults.

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. is a blessing. Why would anyone want to be greeted by the irritating beep of an alarm clock and be pushed out of a warm and cozy space? That's easy. It's a blessing to me because I have a place to go, some place that makes my life worthwhile, a true blessing to work where I work and for whom I work. A job that pays my bills and gives me some extra spending money when I just "need" that new "insert whatever gadget is popular now-a-days". An incredible boss who goes above and beyond for his employees. Great co-workers who are funny and smart and good people. This is what life is all about. This is the good filling.

Airing up my tire is a blessing. I've had a nail stuck in my right front tire for the past 6 months. Why haven't I replaced the tire, you ask? It's a matter of principle. I just had all four tires replaced and within a week's time, the nail became embedded in my tire. Kinda aggravated me, so I still drive on it since it's not that big of a deal. It causes a slow leak that I have to fix on a weekly basis. Air it up, I'm on my way. How is that a blessing? Because I have a car. It may not be the latest and greatest or even considered middle-class, but it gets me from point A to point B, and it's always pulled through for me whenever I needed it to. It's paid for. It drives well. It's my car.

My family. The entire dynamic of my family has changed. My maternal grandparents are gone, our holiday get-togethers are at different locations and not all of us can make it there anymore. I had the sickening realization the other day that after my generation is gone, no one on earth will have ever had the opportunity to know my grandparents in life. They'll never get to hear my grandmother's voice, or see the beautiful wrinkles in her hands or hear The Price is Right music playing in her kitchen early in the morning. They'll never know that my grandfather loved to eat bananas and how he used to wear mechanic jumpsuits just to piddle around the house. How he worked on crossword puzzles daily and how is eyes turned a weird shade of blue once the cataracts got too bad. They'll never get to hear them say "I love you" and to know how good it felt to be loved and embraced by them. We can pass their memory along to our children and our children's children, but it will never be the same. They will never know.

This makes me want to hold on to my loved ones even more - to embrace them and cherish them and love them because they won't be around forever. When they're gone, that chapter of life will close. No video or picture or funny story will ever depict just how wonderful they were. I am thankful for them.

I am thankful for my pets - all three of them. If you've never owned a pet, especially a dog, I highly recommend it - if for nothing more than the therapeutic value. My dog is my psychologist. He's my sounding board and my rock at times. I had an emotional day a few days ago. Hey, it's OK to cry, right? My dog was intently chewing on his bone and stopped immediately once he knew I was upset. He came over to me and kneeled down right next to me and just let me lean into him and cry on him. He's a 2 year old lab puppy, so this was a huge feat for him. When I pulled my face back, he looked straight in my eyes and licked my face as though to say "I love you, I'm here for you." I know that sounds stupid, but it's like he just knew. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life. How can something so uniquely different from me be so connected to me on so many levels? My cats are the same way. If I'm sad, it's like they know. They follow me around more, sit on my lap more, head butt me more, whatever they can do to make me happy. I am thankful for them.

I am thankful for all of you and thankful for the many everyday blessings that may not necessarily seem like a blessing. It's time to start focusing on the in between moments, the filling of the cake, the sweet part that is often hidden from the naked eye but makes your life incredible once you reach it. It's the in between moments that count. Let's make them count.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Betcha Can't Eat Just One.

I'd just gotten finished eating lunch and inadvertently placed the Ruffle's chip bag on the counter within Como's reach (he's a serious potato chip freak). I walked back into the living room and heard some rustling in the kitchen. When I walked in, this is what I found:

Betcha can't eat just one!

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