1. The Gospel-- I am so thankful for the strength, encouragement, and direction I receive from my Savior and Heavenly Father. I know that everything following is all tied up in the Gospel. The relationships I cherish are made stronger through the Gospel, and so many other things on my list were brought about by promptings and "angels" whom Heavenly Father sent to help guide me. Every single thing on this list is a gift from God.
2. Family-- I grew up in a WONDERFUL family. I don't know how I got lucky enough to come to them. I have awesome brothers and sisters and amazing parents all of whom offer me so much love and support. I love my own little family so, so much! My boys stretch me to my limit and teach me so much. And even though they are so dependent on me for everything they find a way to give back. I just melt when I see Micah toddle over with a big smile on his face. And just this week Luke gave me a big, big squeeze and yelled, "I LOVE Mama!" And Jared. OH, Jared. I'm just so glad that he's mine forever. And then there is my adopted family who don't actually have to love me, but they do! (You know who you are, and I love you!) And finally my in-laws who accepted me whole heartedly and made me a part of you. Thank you!
3. Friends-- There are so many people past and present who have made me laugh, listened to me when I cry, helped out when I needed help, trusted me enough to ask for help... I am blessed!
4. Jared has the promise of a great future job.
5. Luke's teachers. He has wonderful primary teachers and school teachers who love him and pay attention to him and his needs. They are so good at working with him and teaching him. I am amazed by his progress!
6. Therapists!!! We have met quite a few over the past year. First speech and occupational therapists with Luke and then a wonderful physical therapist for Micah. How amazing that we had these resources that have blessed our boys so much!
7. Dr. Megson (and the Lindsey family who told us about her): Luke has changed incredibly much since our first visit in May. Words cannot express...
8. Books-- I am thankful that there is a book available on nearly any subject, and I have learned so much from books this year as I have read and read as I work and struggle to be a better parent and to help my boys. I am grateful for the books that offer me a break, those that make me laugh, those that make me think, those that make me cry. I love the books my boys love because those are the ones that entice the boys into cuddling up on the couch with me. I just adore books!
9. Education-- I am thankful for all the ways that Jared has grown through his education and for the job that his education allowed him to get. I am thankful for my own education that taught me how to critically analyze and question facts and stories I am presented with, and I'm thankful for the home education that I received as well. I saw how to mother from my own mom, and I try to follow the things that she did. She taught me how to love, discipline, clean, teach, etc., etc., etc.
10. I am grateful for my journal. This year I have done better at writing in a journal, and the contemplation required as I write has strengthened me quite a bit. It's a habit that I am happy to be working on.
11. Probably weird to end on eleven, but whatever. I am thankful for talents, especially the opportunity to build talents. I have loved my piano lessons this year! It is fun to "master" a new skill each week and to lean something I didn't know before. I am learning some Christmas carols right now, and I just love to play them and marvel on the fact that just under a year ago I couldn't even read music...