Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tappana Times: Things I'm Thankful For

November is a month I try to spend reflecting on the things I'm grateful for. I have SO many blessing to count, but I'll just name a few here.

First, I'm grateful that this boy turned 11 months. Because that means I get one more month before my baby turns one!

I usually try to delete my pictures down so I don't have a million of Kendrick on the same day in different poses, but each of these capture his personality in a different way so that I had to include them.

He's at such a fun stage. It took longer with him for me to really be able to enjoy a particular age with him, but I'm loving this one.  He's trouble, but fun to watch explore. He's clingy and needy, but SO cuddly - oh I love that. He loves chasing and being chased and his burp rag. Naps are still questionable, and he's super shy. He's getting good at throwing fits but his squeals of excitement, especially for his siblings, come often.

 One thing I want to remember about this age: he is the cutest eater. I don't know what it is, but I could watch his fat, dimpled hands pick up food from his tray and then his chubby cheeks and puckered lips bounce as he chews, all day. I may sound weird, but I'm not the only one in this house that feels that way. We all just sit and watch him eat and adore him. When he spits out food it's literally one of the cutest, funniest things I've ever seen. I'm going to be in trouble when I have to train him to eat what's on his plate, because no matter how hard I try, I can't help but laugh as his little tongue darts in and out until all the food is out and then blows a raspberry to really make sure it's all clear, all while making this guttural sound of disgust. You probably have to be there, but it's hilarious.

Besides Baby Kendrick, I'm grateful for these two:

They are both so helpful, so silly, so smart, and such lights in my life. And boy are they good looking. Ammon is really starting to find his groove in Kindergarten and his handwriting is awesome for his age. His sense of humor just kills me. And Lydia only got raving reviews from her teacher. My favorite was that she is just so KIND. Now that makes me proud.

I'm grateful for my body. This picture doesn't do it justice, but I was playing basketball with my family and my brother's friend, Carter, who is big and tall and skilled. I decided I was going to get the rebound no matter what, and went up against Carter. Bad idea. My middle finger hit the ball and then I was in a world of pain. I thought I broke my three middle fingers at first, the pain was so bad, but after a few hours I could tell my middle finger was just jammed. It swelled up twice its normal size (that's what I was trying to take a picture of, but you can't really tell) and the entire finger was black and blue and green and yellow and purple and red for a couple weeks. I looked and felt really really bad.

When my hand got cold, that finger would go completely numb, and it would often go white. It still feels a little stiff and hurts when I use it to pull my shoes on. But, three weeks later, I was back on the court with my family, killing it at tornado and poison. The body is an amazing thing!

I've also been grateful for my calling. I'm the young women's sports athletic director for our ward, and I've been loving it. I felt a lot of pressure at first because, while I love watching and playing sports, I'm not actually skilled and I don't really know how to coach, but it's been a blast.

Our young women's team even made it to regionals, and while the competition was tough, it was fun to be part of it. Basketball season is next!

I'm grateful for cookies.

Especially babies and cookies. Cookies are delicious.

In fact I'm grateful for food in general.

It tastes good, it keeps the body going, and it allows us to have Thanksgiving feasts with friends and family.

Thanksgiving was good this year. Turkeybowl, where I caught my first kickoff return and had a blast. Games and conversation and food. Time with my niece Amelia and brother and sister-in-law.

Like I said, I have a lot to be grateful for.

One last person I'm going to express gratitude for is this birthday boy.

He's been working so hard and he comes home and still puts in time to take care of things with the family. He still tells me how beautiful I am when I just woke up or stayed in my greasy hair and sweats all day. He LOVES his kids and is a smart, handsome, kind-hearted man and father.

I'm grateful that I can finally listen to Christmas music and that we have twinkling Christmas lights to cheer me up during these dark, gray winter days.

I loved watching my kids (kids here means Lydia and Ammon. Kendrick mostly just whined because I was ignoring him) decorate the tree this year and the glee they had in their eyes and voices. Though, when they turned their backs, I had to hurry and re-disperse their ornaments all clustered in the same spot.

We've got some fun Christmas surprises in store for these three and I CANNOT wait.

I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of it I get to be with these people for forever.

 The grace, healing, knowledge, promises and hope the gospel message brings is the greatest blessing in my life.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and that you were able to reflect on some of the things that you are blessed with as well.

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