I am grateful for my family. The girls continue to grow and change at lightning speed, and I am continually in awe of them. Watching my husband love them and share in their care brings even more joy. (And his patience with my endless projects, many of which require his help in some form, is unparalleled.) Each time I see my nieces and nephews, they blow me away with their new skills and the energy they have to take the world by storm. I see in each of them the brightest of futures. Unlike the last several years, this year didn't bring any new babies into the family. But I am grateful to know that in just a few months, our family will grow with the addition of my new brother-in-law! (Marriage is apparently the only way boys join my side of the family.)
Our year was not without losses. My grandpa passed away in May, which still takes the wind out of me when I realize all over again that he is gone. I will forever be grateful for his influence on my life. Over the last few years, we have watched my parents and their siblings give so much of themselves to care for their aging parents. I am grateful for the example they have set for us that, truly, family is everything.
We also lost our beloved companion, Austin, early this year. He stood by us, tail wagging, through more than a decade of life. Amazingly, Cricket still talks about him all the time—how he was a good boy, how we miss him. I hear her telling Nora about him. I am grateful that even though she was just over 2 years old when he died, she got a chance to love him and experience his love.
I am grateful for my friends. As usual, many of them have had a blockbuster year filled with weddings, babies, exciting new jobs and adventures. For some, this year has been, to put it lightly, a challenge. I am grateful that they find the strength to keep going—to repair, to heal, to move forward. And I am particularly grateful that one of my wonderful friends finished more than a year of chemo last week.
I am grateful to the online community I joined almost two years ago with this blog and shop. You validate the need I have always had to create, and you inspire me with new ideas every single day.
Also, I am grateful that so much of the time, my girls are doing something like this: