Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Candy Corn Gratefuls

For the first time since I can remember, I didn't take the opportunity during yesterday's Thanksgiving dinner to follow the Nelson-Norris family tradition of announcing what I am grateful for before eating each of my allotted candy corns.  In part, this happened because Dylan came whining for more candy, and it was easier to just give him mine.  And in part, it happened because we were seriously outnumbered by people who didn't necessarily understand the more generic traditions of turkey and mashed potatoes (the three Nepali families who joined us for Turkey Day) and weren't necessarily in a position to need their meal interrupted every few moments by everyone announcing what they were grateful for.  I decided I'd share the candy, wait a day, and make up for the missed two gratefuls with a post-Thanksgiving grateful list, similar to the daily Facebook grateful lists in which I refuse to participate.   So here it is: 30 days of grateful in one convenient (if wordy) list.

  1. I am grateful for every word Dylan says.  I recently overheard Adam, frustrated because the soda he'd left on the counter was surprisingly empty.  Adam: "Did someone drink my soda?"  Dylan: "Yes."  Adam: "Who?"  Dylan: "Me."  
  2. I am grateful for my sister, Michelle.  She recently took a few weeks off from watching my kids (because she had a baby), and although my interim nanny (one-"l"-ed Michele) did a fantastic job, that extra "l" seems to make a difference for my boys.  It has been great to have her in my ward, in my home, and a lot more in my life.
  3. I am grateful for a husband who, while so many were likely seated with feet up enjoying a football game, worked side-by-side with his wife, sister-in-law, and mother-in-law for three hours to prepare Thanksgiving dinner.  And for the very long list of other things he does around here.
  4. I am grateful for new friends. especially for this year's addition of Logan Gifford and Ben Meredith to the ranks.  Just as it takes a village to raise a child, sometimes it takes a whole team to preserve my sanity.  
  5. I am grateful for my talents.  I get to do so many cool things with so many great people, and I owe that to a combination of divine blessings, a mom who pushed me to achieve, and hard work.
  6. I am grateful for my stuff.  My house.  My car.  Laptop.  Kindle.  SmartPhone.  Xbox Kinect.  iPod.  I am so blessed, and I have so much!  
  7. I am grateful for missionaries and missionary experiences.  It has been amazing to feel how my focus has changed since sending a few close missionaries out this year.  It seems like the gospel is a bit more present in the forefront of my mind as I think frequently of the experiences Jack is having in Bolivia and Skyler is having in Portugal.  
  8. I am grateful for the modern technology that allows me to communicate with far away family.  It would be a lot more difficult to have Lisa living across the country if I had to spend extra money to communicate long distance.  I am grateful for texting, free long distance, and Skype, and all the things that allow me to reach my sister whenever I need her.
  9. I am grateful for my job.  It's been a bit difficult this year to keep up the energy I need in order to do what I do.  But I can't complain.  I get to work only 20 hours a week doing something I love, making a difference, getting paid, and being in the same environment as my kids.  
  10. I am grateful for heat.  I have already been very cold this fall/winter, and I cannot imagine how unbearable it would be for me without the modern convenience of heat.  Also, I am grateful for hoodies.
  11. I am grateful for safety.  I've read several war books lately, and I've been watching Revolution.  So with that combined historical and fictional perspective, I am more acutely aware of the blessing it is to not have war on my front steps.
  12. I am grateful for music, especially in my children's lives.  When Adam sits down at the piano to play "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," and Alex joins in to sing, I am grateful that what I consider to be a family tradition is already putting down roots in the hearts of my boys.
  13. I am grateful to have parents/grandparents so close.  My children are incredibly blessed to have all four grandparents healthy and accessible.  I am grateful for family dinners so frequent that Adam can't see what's so great about Thanksgiving.  We eat and gather like that all the time!
  14. I am grateful for every opportunity I get to play games.  Thanks to everyone who has ever gathered with us around our table our theirs for strategy and inside jokes.  "Come when you're full."  "None shall pass."  Okay, most of our inside jokes seem to be with the Michaelises.  So thanks, Kevin & Alicia.
  15. I am grateful for blogging.  I need the written outlet it gives me, and I like getting to share my life with others.  Thanks to everybody who reads and makes me feel like a rock star.
  16. I am grateful for in-laws.  It is the coolest thing to get to have more family, especially when you get the kind of more I've gotten.  A whole new family that accepts me for exactly who I am at any given moment, plus great additions to my biological family who, I'm certain, were already my best friends in the preexistence.
  17. I am grateful for modern medicine, and especially that my gallbladder removal was as noninvasive as possible.  I am glad my dad is recovering from his hernia surgery, and also that there are still a few more options for Grandma Casdorph who is battling cancer.
  18. I am grateful to have a new niece, especially since Alex thinks she's his little sister.  One of his candy corn's this year was spent on, "I'm thankful I have a new little sister."
  19. I am grateful to be included in the adventure of my parents' mission.  Kuron, Damber, and Sumon are a positive addition to our lives, and the awareness of the situations of the refugees has brought a whole new perspective of gratitude in my own life.
  20. I am grateful to work closely with both of my parents.  I am lucky to work with my mom four days a week and for my dad on the fifth, and even more lucky that they both seem to enjoy doing Dickens with me.  When we all get so busy, it is great to be busy together.
  21. I am grateful to be a part of the Utah Theatre Bloggers Association.  Tonight's date night at the Desert Star Playhouse is courtesy of that opportunity!
  22. I am grateful for all the chances I get to be "the boss."  I am grateful to direct both EYT and Dickens, to be the Ward Choir director, and to teach at NPA.  I need some straight up bossiness in my life, and I am so grateful to all those who put up with said bossiness.
  23. I am grateful for television moms who inspire me, console me, and amuse me.  Whether I want to be like them, want to not be like them, or have to laugh (or cry) because I'm just like them, I really appreciate the presence of the Braverman women, Claire Dunphy, and Frankie Heck in my life.
  24. I am grateful for social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram.  I appreciate the ability to stay connected and to share in an efficient, get-to-it-when-you-can forum.  Some may consider it impersonal.  I consider it perfect.
  25. I am grateful for education - for the foundations I received at Challenger, for the opportunities my kids get at NPA, and yes, even for my degree program at the University of Phoenix.  
  26. I am grateful for money.  No, we don't have enough of it (who does?), but I am grateful for every dollar we earn and for every dollar we get to spend.  
  27. I am grateful for three consecutive weeks in Relief Society, and particularly grateful to the members of the back-row crew.  We may be irreverent and probably even a bit disrespectful, but thanks to those ladies who've filled my cup on the back row.
  28. I am grateful for my sight reading skills.  (read: I am grateful I rarely practiced the piano)  I am so fortunate to be able to sit at a piano and play while my friends or family sing. 
  29. I am grateful for the ability to download eBooks from the library.  So great for a procrastinator, and I love that when I read on the Kindle, I can click on a word I don't know to see its definition. Geek?  Yep.
  30. I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who has given me everything I have and the chance to be all I am.  I am grateful for the knowledge that numbers 1-29 are all because of Him.
I have may have missed the around-the-table gratefuls, but only because - like usual - I had too much to say.  Now where's my 30 candy corn?!