On Gratitude

2009 has been a hard year.  We have been blessed beyond measure, but stretched in a more readily tangible manner as well. Looking back at the challenges is much easier: the months I slept away at the beginning of the year, the 60 or so ultrasounds the insurance made us pay for outright (though they counted for deductible), the dead stove/car part/washer, 3 trips to the vet with the clumbsy cat, the sleeplessness, the struggles with breastfeeding, and did I mention the sleeplessness…

It’s so easy to focus on the negative.  So easy to bury myself in blankets and cry.

But I will choose gratitude. I choose looking at the good things and saying thank you. Glossing over the bad bits with joy in what was good, right, and holy.  The unsaid thanks you’s of last year:
104. Derek’s boss and boss’s boss fighting for his raise last December despite the bank saying they would allow no raises that would start in the new year.
105. A steady paycheck for me last January.
106. Money from the Furman Ropes Course which I was still earning 6 months pregnant which kept us afloat when Derek needed a root canal and paid for at least 3 ultrasounds.
107. Working at Miracle Hill for the final season and passing the torch to another, but getting to see some boys grow first.
108. Watching Brayla play basket ball and teaching her to play Othello.
109. A growing friendship with Nana Stevens and her face when she saw the two babies on ultrasound pictures after hearing Derek tease endlessly about twins.
110. My sister’s frantic phone call when she got the card announcing the twin’s arrival.  How excited she was despite having “the worst day of her life”.
111. Both set of grandparents rejoicing in the little lives.
112. Being able to sleep non stop February through early April. During that time my body built an amazing placenta.
113. The girls not developing TTTS even though their doctors completely missed a shared placenta.
114. The girls being born 1 oz apart even after being told that Aeralind should be a pound or less.
115. The reassurance of Dr. Alt on the one day I actually cried at the OBs.  Any other person would have probably prescribed me drugs.  But she had been through a twin pregnancy.
116. Playing Ultimate Frisbee at Score up until May when Score ended. I loved that!
117. Going to Helen, Georgia with Derek before the girls arrived. Loved playing putt-putt, walking all around, swimming, and window shopping in that beautiful town.
118. Being invited to stay with Kent and Jen in Gatlinburg the following weekend.  And witnessing the epic chicken game between Kent/Gary(his son) and Derek/Gary’s friend.
119. Spending time alone at the grocery store with Jen.  She passed so many nuggets of motherhood wisdom to me in that short time 😀
120. The MoM club!  I really enjoyed going during the spring/early summer.  And loved hearing from Katie just seeing how things were going at 3 weeks old.  Now I’m loving Marcie’s Under One Crowd and all the great women I’ve met through it!
121. A neighborhood with a pool. Loved being able to sit in the water like a bouy when I finally did have “please don’t exercise or be on your feet too much” restrictions.
122. Finally being able to breathe, stand, and sing all at the same time at church on Sundays!
123. Being able to hug my husband without the giant watermelon between us!
124. Hearing both girls cry/whimper in the operating room.
125. Being able to hold both girls on my trip from the operating room to my room.
126. Falling asleep so many times in the early weeks with both girls snuggled on either side of me.
127. Meeting Sara at the St. Francis Breastfeeding Support Group (even though her boys/my girls have known each other since the girl’s second day of life)
128. The St. Francis Lactation Consultants.  Love them. Love love love them.
129. Meals delivered.  I don’t know how we would have ate those first 3 weeks without so many generous meals.
130. People being in my house that just let me nap without worrying about baby care.
131. The MFM office being so generous with payment (unlike my OB).  Their pay something/anything you can payment schedule saved our financial lives over and over again!
132. TWO babies.  Half the sleep but twice the fun.  I can’t imagine not holding one while Derek holds the other. It like a gift for both of us and I have to learn to share 😀
133. What an uneventful pregnancy! (well, besides the dramatic entrance)
134. Such easy going babies.  Even in their crazy reflux insanity time where they screamed for 30-90minutes all they really wanted to do was wake, eat, play, sleep. So easy!
135. The privilege of watching Daylin’s 3rd birthday!
136. Meeting Marcie and Amber at Bouncing Babies.
137. So dairy free items that I could buy and snack on without worry: Sunchips Original, Synder’s Pretzels, Crackers.
138. Grapes and Pineapple.  Oh, how I could have eaten just these two things those first few weeks at home!
139. Little girls.  Two boys would have panicked me :-p
140. Sly smiles, sneaky smiles, satisfied smiles, good morning smiles… okay…really any baby smiles.
141. A husband sacrificing so much of himself in those first few weeks when I could hardly get out of bed to pump, or manage not to cry in sleep deprivation.
142. A husband who has yet to grow weary of sacrificing so much of himself and who admits that his real work begins when he gets home to us.
143. Laughter and teasing.
144. Patient babies.
145. A new sewing machine.
146. Derek’s dad fixing my old one!
147. So many hand me downs that I’m almost never in need of anything.
148. Baby monitors.
149. Cloth diapers
150. Generous people.
151. There are too many good things from last year to list before the next feeding time… which is now!

I pray you recognize the blessings that came disguised in hardships last year!

holy experience