Thanksgiving this year was SO different than Thanksgiving last year.
Last year at Thanksgiving we had only been parents for a little over 3 months. We still had a decent language barrier going on with Noah and Samuel. We were just coming out of the newborn phase with Tristan. We were a mess. A hot mess. My house was never clean. Heck, I was rarely clean.
My Dad was here last year on Thanksgiving and that was awesome. Seeing him get to meet Noah and Samuel and interact with them was special. Very special. He had met Tristan when he was just a few weeks old when we were stuck in Florida trying to get to Haiti to get the twins.
This year no one woke up until 7:30. What a blessing! A year ago my days ended late and started early with many wake-ups inbetween. Our Thanksgiving meal was cooked by 2:00 and I had everything cleaned up by 3:30. Everyone but me napped from 4-5... and Chuck and the twins napped until 6! I spent that hour relaxing by myself looking at all the sales ads. Then Tristan and I hung out until everyone woke up. We had turkey sandwiches and pumpkin pie. Then the boys watched Up while I took a bath.
This year was relaxing. I'm so thankful for that because a year ago my life was anything but relaxing. And I just thought it would always be like that. I had no concept of how things might change and get easier. I just assumed things would always be that hard.
But so much has changed. We sleep... most nights all the way through. Tristan might get up earlier than I like, but he sleeps in long stretches now. We are able to communicate effectively with Noah and Samuel. Their understanding of words, phrases and concepts amazes me. It is extraordinary. And the biggest change is that I've relaxed. I was hypervigilant last year. It's like I couldn't catch my breath. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop... constantly. I was just so afraid. We were thrust into parenting unlike most people (though I'm not sure how parents of multiples do it in the beginning... I can't imagine having more than one infant!) and we just had to find our way. And I'm so thankful that we have. I can breathe again. I'm not waiting for the other shoe (or anything else for that matter) to drop. And for the most part, I'm not afraid like I was. I can remember lying in bed at night last year thinking through all the scenarios of what could go wrong and how I would respond. Going places with all three was an event. Getting them all to church on Sunday mornings without Chuck's help (remember, he works there so he goes in early) was HARD. I just look back on all of it with a giant sigh of relief. I'm so thankful we are in the place we are now.
I'm thankful that we are all pretty much healthy. Sure, we've had a few infections here and there, but overall we are a healthy bunch. Even Chuck's chronic cough was figured out this last year (allergy to milk). I'm thankful for how God provides for all our needs. And He even gives us some of our wants, too. He has provided us with some pretty awesome friends as well.
I'll end with the friend I'm most thankful for. I'm thankful for Nicole. I've known Nicole for years, but we've gotten close over the last 18 or so months. Nicole started coming over once a week about a year ago. She has dinner with us and hangs out with me after the kids are in bed. Every week! She has been the only consistent person besides us in our kids' lives. They pray for her nearly every night. And she has stood by me through some really hard times. She's the one who would get the phone calls at 9 p.m. from me saying, "I'm just so scared all the time." And she'd listen and share some of her own experience with fear. And she'd tell me that I was going to be okay when I wasn't sure I would be. Nicole has been Jesus to our family during some really rough times. She listens and she doesn't judge. I'm so thankful I have a friend like that (and I stand in complete denial about moving away!). Nicole, I love you and I thank Jesus for you! You will have to take many trips to Las Vegas!!
So, what are you thankful for this year? I pray that your day was full of thanksgiving!