1. JARED: I love Jared so much. He is an exceptional husband and father. I think he has been under-appreciated lately even as he has stepped up and tried so hard to help me more. I take out my sleep-deprivation on him, but he has arranged his schedule so that I can sleep in most mornings. He takes Micah when he knows I need a break. He helps with Luke when I can't get to him because I'm feeding Micah. And not only that but he tells me I'm beautiful. He lets me rant about my day and complain about my frustrations. He listens to my "deep" thoughts. He laughs at my lame jokes, and he truly loves me back. And most of the time he takes out the trash. I am thankful that we are sealed in the temple. (Consequently I am very, very thankful for temples.)
2. LUKE: I love Luke's enthusiasm for life. Jared said something to me along these lines: How would it be to be so excited for the day that you couldn't fall back asleep-- you just have soooo much to look forward to? For Luke, Jared observed, a blender is enough to make it impossible for him to sleep. I think that kind of enthusiasm is amazing. I (usually) love his enthusiasm for Micah. I love that he is obedient most of the time. I love that he is gentle with babies, friends, and animals. I am thankful that he continues to make progress with speech, etc. It is so fun to see him grow up. And I am thankful that he will (knock on wood) make it to his 3rd birthday without any major illness, injuries, or setbacks in his life.
3. MICAH: I am so grateful that he is a healthy, beautiful baby. As complicated as the whole creation of a human life is- with all the processes that have to take place- each healthy baby is a miracle. I am thankful that Micah is usually a good eater and sleeper. And he is starting to smile! I am so thankful for that.
4. My body. To be honest, I wish it was thinner. But I am so thankful that it works. I made a baby! I got it out! And know I'm feeding that baby. Isn't that amazing? And to top it off all my body parts work. I am thankful that my eyes allow me to see my beautiful family and my ears let me hear them and my hands let me feel them and I can walk to get them, etc.
5. My family of origin. As the Jan in my family I got everything. I had 2 great big brothers, an awesome big sister, an amazing younger brother, and a better than terrific little sister. And in addition parents who love me and who love each other. I am so grateful for all their advice, examples, friendship, and love. I really, really believe that my life is as wonderful as it is because of them. They taught me how to make good decisions, how to (mostly) be responsible, how to exercise faith, how to parent, how to work hard, how to wait, and much, much more.
6. I have great in-laws. After reading The Art of Racing in the Rain I have truly pondered the blessings of having a wonderful in-law family. Mom and Dad Wilkerson were so wonderful to come when Micah was born. Mom sewed crib bumpers, made meals, and taught me some new recipes. And Dad was Luke's best friend for the week. Thank you for accepting and loving me.
7. I am lucky enough to have THREE great families. I have an adopted mom, Debbi; dad, Terry; sister, Jennifer; and brother, Daniel. I guess I also have an adopted dog named Annabelle though I don't think she likes me very much. I am grateful for the love and support I continue to receive from them.
8. I am thankful for Jesus Christ. I know that on the days I consciously try to follow Christ's example I am a more patient mother and a happier person. I am thankful for His example and for His power. I am thankful that I always have the ability, through His Gift, to become better, to repent, and to live again. I am thankful that through Him death is not the end of life.
9. I am thankful for prophets. I am especially thankful this month for the Ensign. I have re-read Elder Uchdorf's talk several times because it gives me comfort and strength. This is my favorite part: "My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most." This advice has helped me let go of the house a little bit, enjoy my children more, forgive myself for the things I just can't do right now, and focus on my blessings.
10. I am so thankful that we made the decision to come to Williamsburg for school. I love it here! We have great friends and a great ward. Jared likes William and Mary. He's had many wonderful opportunities there. It's a beautiful place to live!
And for the others:
11. I am very thankful for modern medicine and that I have access to wonderful modern science. 12. I am thankful that I was born in and live in America.
13. I am thankful for my education.
14. I am thankful that I achieved my childhood dream of becoming a teacher.
15. I am thankful for our safe, clean, warm, and in all ways adequate apartment.
16. We have plenty of good food to eat and warm clothes to wear.
17. I am thankful for the Christmas season starting up. I love Christmastime!
18. I am thankful that Jared has a job for this coming summer.
19. I am thankful for good books.
20. I am thankful for Netflix, especially in the middle of the night.
21. I am thankful for helpful advice. Currently I am especially grateful for the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. It has helped a lot.
22. I am thankful for Chick fil' A-- Luke's favorite restaurant.
23. I am grateful for modern appliances (stoves, vacuums, microwaves, DVD players, etc.)
24. I am thankful for hot, hot showers.
25. I am thankful for friends.