I haven't posted much around here. Not a thing for the month of November, and really, there is only so much looking at my daughter hanging up side down on her birthday that a person can do. I worry when I read posts from my blog from 2008. I wouldn't remember to remember many of those things, had I not posted them. And time keeps passing, and not getting documented. And what if I lose those moments. There is no time to catch up, only time to move forward. In the month of November I decided to do the Facebook thing where you say what you are thankful for each day. I decided to really think about it. By day 5 I could feel the change that gratitude was making in my heart. I was looking around each day thinking about *what* I could list for my thankful thing today. Wow, you know what? When you look around and have to get to choose one thing...the gratitude MULTIPLIES! So the whole month, my heart was full. And I want to remember that. Even as I went back to post my gratitude posts here, I remembered how I was feeling each day to post these, and my cup runneth over...
November 1: I'm thankful for my health body and for a healthy family. During this season of stuffy noses, I'm thankful that my noses aren't running this week, and thankful that even when they are, and it's sure to happen...these are things we overcome with little worry. I won't take the luxury of health for granted.
November 2: I am thankful for my mom. She is kind and truthful and selfless and is so full of love. I can't imagine who I'd be without her love and nonstop encouragement. My forever cheerleader, even at 36. I'm so thankful that we got to take a trip together last month, just us, it was wonderful making new memories with her and enjoying who she is. Thank you, Mom. — with Elane Dickenson.
November 3: I'm so thankful for my Lawrence. I'm grateful for everything that fell apart before I met him, so we could fall together. We have an amazing love story and I'm thankful to be living it. I'm thankful for our 13 years to love each other, 8 years of parenting, and each day of life still ahead of us. — with Lawrence Herman.
November 4: I'm thankful for the last 55 hours, our family of five was together the whole weekend, not apart for a moment. The fall has been so busy with soccer and birthdays and other school stuff, we are so often in divide and conquer mode, but I loved being together and at home for these few days. I love us!
Day 5: Gratitude multiplies in my heart. Just thinking about what to be thankful for, I'm bursting with more things to be grateful about. Today I am most thankful for where I am right now with my faith, and where I am going. There were years that I merely 'believed' in God but my faith was not strong, I wished I had strong faith I saw in others, to be bold for something, but I would roll my eye
s because I...just didn't have it, so I didn't understand it. And yet He was patient and loving with me, blessing me each day anyway. Waiting for my faith in Him to grow, loving me like crazy, just as I was. I'm just so thankful for the peace and joy Jesus brings me and for gentle, loving patience. He is love!
Day 6: I'm thankful that my company gave us Election Day off. It allowed me to volunteer in Kindergarten, vote, have lunch and go shopping with Addie, and get my hair done. I'm thankful for getting to do each of those things.
Day 7: I'm so thankful that our New Jersey family all got power back as of yesterday in time for these next few days of weathering freezing snow storms. I'm also thankful that they had minimal damage compared to some who have lost so much. I'm thankful for the way tragedy reminds us to be grateful for what we have, reminds us of what matters most, and reminds us to reach out and say I love you to the friends and family who mean the world but with whom we lose touch as a result of 'busy'. We love and miss you!
Day 8: I'm thankful that my daughters have a sister. I'm thankful when I find them hovered/tangled together over the heat vent in the morning. I'm thankful each time I eavesdrop on their way after bedtime whispering. I'm thankful when they want to dress alike. I'm thankful as they wave to me, their smiling faces next to each other on the school bus each morning. And I'm most thankful when I see one reach for the other's hand and the other accepts its comforting grasp. I know that we have years of ups and downs with these beautiful sisters, and I'm thankful for every day I get to witness the incredible intense relationship that is having a sister.
Day 9: Today I am thankful for a childhood BFF. ShanRae was diagnosed with Melanoma one year ago today. I'm grateful that she encouraged me to get my skin checked, and that she was there for me the day I got my diagnosis of a much less serious skin cancer. She has helped/saved hundreds of people by sharing her scary story so openly, bringing awareness to the seriousness of melanoma and skin can
cer. She is an advocate for health in every sense of the word. Read her status today if you haven't already - an amazing woman; everyone who knows her is thankful that she is in their life. Nine months after the surgery to remove my own skin cancer, I can honestly say that I'm thankful for that time, because I have never felt more loved in my life. I am thankful that even though all things are not good, God can and will use all things for good if we are open. I am thankful for ShanRae's life and courage and health and for all the good she has allowed to come to the world through her struggle. Keep flapping those butterfly wings, my friend.
— with ShanRae Hook Hawkins.
November 10th: I'm thankful for birthdays, for the the way they make you feel special. I'm thankful for Facebook and how it connects us. I'm thankful for my family, for the loved ones I got to see today and for those I didn't. I'm thankful for feeling loved. Because I really, really do. I'm thankful for a good day, for 36 good years. I'm thankful.
Day 11: Today I'm thankful for my baby brother. I'm thankful that after a year in Iraq he came home to us safely. I'm thankful that my original little family of three had him in it. I'm thankful for the day he came into the world and mad
e me a big sister, a role that taught me so much about love. He is a wonderful uncle to my children, a wonderful son to my mama, and a wonderful brother to me. He is kind and thoughtful, and I am grateful for the man he has grown up to be. Love you Matthew Dickenson!
Day 12: I'm thankful for the strong-willed and beautiful girl who made me a mother, the life-title that I will be forever proud of. Lily is smart and funny and crazy and weird and stubborn and sneaky and loving and tenderhearted. She thrives in routine and while laughing and doing math and her heart breaks when her expectations aren't met. She loves school and her siblings and her mama and dad
dy. She hates it when things come to an end, whether it be a vacation, a play date, a recess, or a day. She could do without bedtime. Somedays I feel like I am looking in a mirror, when I look into her heart or discipline her misbehavings. Just when I think she can't make me feel more crazy or more loved, she does. I'm grateful for the reflection, and for what it teaches me about myself. She's also a crafting machine and I'm certain that we'd have 99% less riff raff in our home without her. She's taught me that a house full of riff raff is a house full of love. I'm thankful for my Lillian Audrey and for having another soul in our family that is so similar to mine.
Day 13: I'm thankful for photos. Lawrence and I just cleaned out our crawl space and I found two huge boxes of old pictures. I'm thankful for the way a photo can remind you of a moment you totally forgot about and bring a big smile to your face. I'm thankful that I have such a love of documenting! Now if I could find a million more hours in the week to stay on top of all the good stuff that happens.
Day 14: I'm so so thankful for my sweet little Addie. My oh-so-middle child who I was certain I could keep from doing any middley child type things. I am thankful that she was the happiest baby who ever was, that she slept through the night early on, a welcomed gift after her nonsleeping sister. She is her daddy's "buds". I'm thankful that my tiny little thing can fit in your pocket - always.
Addie is the best cuddler ever, she sneaks in and snuggles like a missing puzzle piece. And as long as she has her BFF "bear-bear" in hand all is good in her world. Unless she's losing at a game. She has a competitive streak like nothing I've ever seen...she's a game board flipper big time, but she will work her tush off for a little praise. She is the biggest helper and the biggest trouble maker in our family. I always say that Lily made me a mama but Addie made me a GOOD mama, a confident mama. I was a better mother to two than I was to one (and truth be told I was a better mother to two than I am to three!), I'm thankful that Addie has lit up my life every.single.day. since she was born. I could never put that smile, that laugh, that voice, even her adorable red-faced tears, into words. She is my Addie. People always tell us that we look alike, and my friends, you could give no bigger compliment. Thank God for my beautiful Adeline Faith.
November 15: I am so thankful for this beautiful day. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful city. The fall colors, the blue sky, the buildings, the leaves raining down and dancing on the road, Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens appearing out of nowhere on the horizon, the waterfront sparkling and the architecture of the bridges...it all makes for an amazing drive to work, an amazing way to start the day. There is so much beauty to be seen, and I'm thankful for the times that I truly open my eyes, because the beauty overwhelms me. The fish on the radio, hot coffee in my hand, AND THE SUN SHINING IN NOVEMBER...it's good to be alive. Thankful!
Day 16: I am very thankful for my littlest BIG blessing, Bryson, who has kept me on my toes every second since he was born. He came into the world to keep me humble, to make sure that I didn't think I had this whole mothering thing figured out by now. From his days of early colic & rsv to his never ending days of escapism to more dangerous ground, this little guy shows love like no other, Every
emotion he has he shows with his WHOLE self. I'm thankful that on most Tuesdays and Fridays I get to start working late and after we get the girls on the bus, we have Mommy-Bryson morning time, with our coffee and milk and books and cuddling. He tells me how the world works and sings songs between the slurps from his sippy cup. I'm thankful that my little boy has such an ear for music and speaks so clearly with so many thoughts and opinions (thank you in part to two big sisters, I'm sure). He is a pure delight to put to bed, we sing "you are my sunshine" and he loves to climb in his crib. At almost three, my climber-extraordinaire can, but does NOT, climb out of his crib. I'm oh so thankful for this miracle. I've run miles and miles chasing this little boy during his short years, and I will gratefully...gladly run many, many more. I'm thankful to be my son's mother and for the gift this experience brings for a lifetime, whatever it may be.
Day 17: Today I'm thankful for a wonderful day of college football with my family. I'm thankful to have a college education and love being an Alum of The University of Montana. The Griz didn't win, but we still had a lot of fun celebrating the rivalry tradition with new and old friends!
November 18: I am so thankful for so many good friends. It's as simple as that. I cannot imagine this life without you!
November 19: I am so thankful for our wonderful nanny,Jennifer, she is amazing with our kids and totally helps make the Herman show go round. She has a beautiful heart and she takes such good care of all of us, me included. While there have been times over the years that I wish I wasn't a working mom, I'm thankful that I get the opportunity to employ an incredible person. This job has brought
some great people in to our family over the years, and we have built a community of young ladies whom my children will treasure for the rest of their lives. I'm thankful that my kids are excited to see her arrive in the mornings & aren't ready to let her go each afternoon. I'm thankful of how sure we are that we have the right person taking care of our most important blessings each day! Love you Jenny!
Day 20: I'm thankful for how angelic babies look when they sleep. I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about sleep in the last 8 years. The best lesson would be that as you look at your sleeping babe, every single hard thing melts away. Every moment is worth it. You see it so clearly when you have a moment to watch them be still. For example:
November 21: today I am thankful for TWO huge blessing that came into the world seven years ago. This was the day we got a niece AND a nephew! Happy birthday Ty and Cass. We love you!
November 22. Thanksgiving. Thankful! Gratitude is the attitude! I loved sitting at a table full of love with my friends and family. This view out the window. Good food. Good conversation. Good people. I. Am. Blessed.
Day 23: So thankful for Grandmas and old friends from way back when who know me best. Thankful for the relationships that build between my peeps and my hubs and my kids...and their kids every time I come home! I love the way it feels to be from and in this place.
Day 24: thankful for getting to support small businesses in Joseph today and for our fun family tradition- the "Jingle through Joseph" parade
November 25: Thankful for my own bed. Thankful for good roads and my safe driving husband to get us home. Thankful for Mandy and Joe Nelson, who always make time for us no matter how busy life is. Thankful that my mama still lives in Joseph. Thankful for my long time friend,Dawn, who has a birthday today, Happy Birthday my friend, I'll love you for another 20 years! And then some!
Day 26: I'm thankful for so many great teachers in the world. I'm grateful that Paula S Kurtz & Shelly Trueblood Orchard welcomed my girls to preschool and elementary school, giving them such a positive start, and I am so lucky to consider them both my friends. Katy Pauls, Melinda Lathrop Garcia, Robin Rose, Sharon Duty Pieloch, Stefani Schaefer Sellers, Jenn Hunter, Amy Dato Mills, Jason Ritter,
...the hard work you do does not go unnoticed! The kids who get to spend their days with you (including your own) are blessed! Thank you for all that you add to my life, I am a better parent because of you. (And seriously, Shelly, that Kinder FB page makes me light up every day at 11am...sitting at work with notifications to see how much fun my Addie had today. I LOVE IT!) For all the other teachers on my friends list, and I know there are a lot of you, I am thankful that you work hard, fight uphill battles, and chose this profession for all the right reasons. I'm thankful that you do this even without the recognition and compensation you deserve. There are multitudes of parents who will be forever grateful for the difference you make in our families! Please remember our gratitude when you have a hard day!
Day 27: I am thankful for Lynn Hansen, she is such an encouragement to me and when she talks to me her voice sounds like a hug!
Day 28: Thankful for my early release from Jury Duty, meaning I get a few hours with my kiddos before date night. How cool is that? Thankful for date night and accompanying the #1 fan to the Springsteen concert tonight. (Not sure if he is number one, number one, but number one this side of the Misssissip for sure!)
Day 29: I'm thankful that my kids have such great Grandparents. Lawrence's parents are visiting them from NJ for the 4th time this year. I'm thankful that my kids get to really "know" their Grandmas and Grandpa! I have wonderful memories and feelings of being loved by all of my Grandparents, and feel so fortunate that my kids have very close relationships with all 3 of their Grandparents.
November 30: I'm thankful for being thankful. Gratitude really is the key to contentment. It turns what you have into more than enough.