Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Give thanks.

"In all circumstances give thanks."
-1 Thessalonians 5:18

This time of year is a crazy hustle and bustle of Santa visits and holiday programs and gifts and lights and parties and go, go go. It's easy to lose sight of the important things. That's what I love about Thanksgiving. It's the precursor to the craziness. The breath you take before submerging under water and coming back up for air in January. I love the holidays. I buy into all of it, and I am just as excited as any kid. But there's something to be said about Christmas' quieter cousin holiday. I like the idea of consciously taking a moment to tally all the things you are thankful for and make a record of them. We hung our blessings on a Tree of Thanks that topped our dining room table most of November. Jesus. Jobs. Family. Friends. Puppies. Thomas. Blankies. Beds. Hunting. The boys got sillier and sillier as we compiled our blessings, but it's something I look forward to doing each year.

This year on the eve of Thanksgiving we thought we'd try something new. The boys wanted a sleepover. At bedtime we tucked both boys into Spencer's little bed, their wiggly legs barely contained under the mountain of blankets and loveys, their mischievous grins spread wide across their faces, and their promises to stay in bed sung in high pitched voices. We placed bets on how long it'd last, and we aimed high. Way high. They didn't even make it to the hour mark we so generously whisper-wagered behind their backs. Twenty minutes. They made it all of twenty minutes before we had to separate them, sending them back to their own rooms in their own separate beds. Maybe next time they'll make it 30 minutes.

The morning of Thanksgiving the boys grazed in their undies watching the Macy's parade for the very first time while Dave and I packed for our trip. We hit the road with packed lunches, coloring sheets, and DVD players, and made the three hour trek to my sister-in-law's. Once there, we made an amazing discovery. Our kids are finally at the age where they can entertain themselves for long periods of time while the adults talk without someone tugging at our leg, whining in our ear, fighting in the background, begging for a snack. It's one of those novelties you almost forget about. I think I'll add that to my Tree of Thanks next year.

The day after Thanksgiving we had a surprise date planned for the boys. For weeks I dangled this surprise in front of them, taunting them with the secret. Their guesses ranged from Walmart trips to lunches at McDonald's. Obviously we treat our boys to only the best kind of dates judging by their guesses. So, naturally, they were quite surprised when we arrived at the Disney Live Pirate and Princess concert. Ashton gasped when he discovered a poster of Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but when he saw a neighboring poster, he exclaimed: Princess Sofia!! When Princess Sofia came on stage, he was so excited that he asked Daddy to hold his hand. He was shaking. The $12 bag of cotton candy came with a souvenir crown, and he has not taken that thing off since. Spencer was just as excited about the pirate portion of the show. I'm fairly certain he sang the opening Jake and the Neverland Pirates song louder than the pirates on stage. Now our puny Walmart and McDonald's dates are going to seem so boring in comparison.

We ended our Thanksgiving weekend at my mother-in-law's for another round of stuffing ourselves silly. While we were there, she so kindly took a few family pictures for our Christmas card.

December is upon us. Bring on the festivities!

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