The one with the thankful tree

Friday, November 29, 2013
Happy (day after) Thanksgiving!

The festivities of yesterday warrant more than one blog post - too much fun to write about just once. Last night we hosted Thanksgiving dinner for Andrew's family. It was so great to spend time together, eat yummy food, play games, look at Black Friday sale ads, and talk about what we are thankful for.

We are so blessed and have so much to be thankful for, even in a year that has been anything but smooth and definitely not always happy. One thing I have learned a lot this year is that thankfulness and gratefulness is a choice; a choice that you have to make every day. And it is a choice we should make. Because even when your family is rocked by a bad diagnosis, or when a five week old baby keeps you up all night, we are still incredibly blessed and can find peace and rest in the arms of our heavenly father. I fail at this often and constantly need reminders to re-set to this mindset.

Andrew and I talked yesterday about how much difference a year can make. This time last year I was very "great with child." We were busy preparing and anticipating the arrival of Perry. We were thankful for a healthy pregnancy and the blessing of having a baby. This year we are chasing around a lively, smiley, healthy 11 month old little boy that is the light of our world. We are so thankful for him and our family of three. We are also thankful for our bigger family and all their love and support and help they have given us this year. We are thankful for good jobs, amazing friends, a nice home (with heat), and plenty of clothes and food to eat. We are thankful for Gary's response to treatment and that he was not only physically able to complete all 12 rounds of a grueling chemotherapy, but that the chemotherapy (and the great physician) worked amazingly and his cancer markers have continued to drop (to an all-time low of 120 this week). We have so much to be thankful for; not just on the fourth Thursday in November, but each and every day.

We took some time last night to write some things we are most thankful for on cut-out paper leaves and hung them on branches, a tradition we started last year.



Here is what we wrote:
Andrew: God's blessings
Kelly: A family of three
Gary: For my family, cute grandchildren (Ben's suggestion), friends, and 120 (an all-time low CA19-9 cancer marker level)
Ann: God's grace and peace, and granddaddy doing good
Matt: Gary's response to treatment and God's grace
Emily: Jesus and family
Ben: Mommy and Daddy
Kate: Everything that God made

My prayer is that as we move from Thanksgiving into the Christmas season (if we weren't already there) that we would keep a sense of thankfulness for all of our blessings and the birth of our savior.

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