In 2009, I'm thankful for...
1. My Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Good Shepherd and Friend, Jesus Christ. Where would I be without You? Thanks for helping me fall head over heels in love with You again this fall.
2. My wonderful husband, Curt, because you "get" me. You make me laugh every day, you love me in ways that minister to me, and you're so darn handsome. And did I say how HIGHLARIOUS you are?
3. Grant Andrew - you have changed so much this year. Your "fashion preferences" make me smile. Who knew a boy could be so opinionated about things? But I love that you know what you like. You've become so responsible this year and regimented as you take on all the academia of 3rd grade. Your vocabulary makes me laugh, your singing and guitar playing are so fun to listen to, and your tenderness melts my heart. What a sweet boy you are.
4. Kaitlin Joy - sweet little princess. Your kindness, sweetness and dramatic flair add so much to our family. God did a marvelous job when He made you such a unique blend of girly girl and tough chick and I love you so much. What would I do without you twirling and whirling around the house?
5. Alyssa Claire - life would be much duller without you. I'm thankful for your feistiness (even on the days when you exhibit a lot of it) and your ability to show compassion will always melt my heart. You have matured so much in your behavior this year and I'm REALLY thankful for that!
6. Paige Elizabeth - oh the baby of the family... I'm thankful that you decided to abandon diapers and be a big girl so early in this year. I'm thankful we all survived the transition to no more nukie. Your three-year-old labeling and pronunciations have made me laugh so hard. I will miss you when you go to school next year, and I'm thankful to have alone time with you in the mornings.
7. Dr. Sewell for repairing my knee so capably and God for aiding in the healing process.
8. Learning to meander and slow down has been good for me. I'm thankful for my recovery time this year, the things I learned about myself, and the wonderful network of friends and family who ministered to me and our family during this time.
9. Old comfortable friendships with history and layers. Memories and comfortability. I love you all!
10. New friendships that are developing for me, Curt and the kids. Getting to know the layers and layers of amazing people right here in Newberg and at Solid Rock. I want to know you all RIGHT now, but am enjoying the "getting to know you" process too.
11. My Mom and Terry for how they pour into our kids and do such fun stuff with them.
12. My Dad and Marcy being close enough to visit regularly and all the fun that we have together, especially at Pacific Crest.
13. That Curt had the chance to spend some time with his family doing all the things he loves about the midwest.
14. My girls weekend with Sony. What a great "sister" you are!
15. Monday night play date dinner nights that Kelly and I set up for Grant and Alden, but in reality, I think we look forward to them more than the boys!
16. The creation of the Stilpstabers and all the fun we've had together this year. I'm sure we'll be making memories together for years to come.
17. Brothers and Sister-in-laws and the roles they play in my life. I'm so grateful for relational growth that occurred and excited to see how our relationships will continue to morph in the coming year.
18. Adding Hadlock's to the family roster this year. Ben and Kursti, Jon and Maggie, Rebekah and Michael and all your sweet kiddos, it's been so fun to get to know you this year.
19. Knowing we don't have to move again for a LONG time. It's so wonderful to be settled and not saving boxes.
20. Solid Rock, a Jesus Church. Wow! Such great teaching, amazing worship, wonderful people... God is moving here and I am thrilled to be a part of that movement.
21. Curt's jobs and how hard he works at them to provide for our family.
22. The Good 'Ol Gal, our Jeep. You may have cost us some money this year, but what a reliable vehicle. I'll be sad to see you go, whenever that time comes (and may it not be within in the next two years since we just spent so much money on you) She's a good ol gal!
23. My Mini-Van. Never wanted to be a mini-van driving mom, but now that I am, what I would do without remote controlled sliding doors and all that space? If only you were 4-wheel drive to get us safely over the pass and back without stopping to put on chains...
24. God's creation. Could Newberg be any more beautiful? I pinch myself every day that I get to live here.
25. The ocean. I love the storminess, the grayness, the rain. The waves pounding the shore. The wind whipping through my hair. I love the pleasant surprise of showing up to a sunny day at the coast and how stunning a blue sky and bright sunshine changes the appearance of the waves and the sand. I love watching the grass on the dunes dance in the wind. Hearing my kids' laughter traveling on the wind.
26. Laughter. We laugh so much at our house and it's one of my favorite things about our family.
27. Dusty. Even though I like to grumble about how much work having a dog is and how I am the ONLY one who ever picks up your poop, you are most likely the nicest, most well behaved dog on the planet and I love you (but don't tell anyone).
28. Nap time. It's such a sweet reprieve from the busyness of the morning and my time to spend with God. I look forward to it every day.
29. Health. I am so grateful for a healthy family and bodies that work the way they're supposed to.
30. Running. I'm doing it! I'm running again and it feels so good to be back.
31. Conquering my fear of being underwater. I still don't love swimming, but I'm getting more relaxed in the water and I feel so victorious for kicking that fear to the curb.
32. The majesty of being hemmed in by mountains on every side. I love that everywhere I drive, I see foothills, distant mountain ranges, and on a clear day, snow capped giant peaks. I love how the weather in the mountains changes so quickly. I love exploring Parrott Mountain on foot. I love basking in the glory of the views from the top, the sweat-inducing struggle to reach the summit, and the eye watering rapid descent back to reality. It's one of life's simple thrills.
33. The Dillons for all that you do and are to our family. I can't really put it into words.
I'm sure I'm thankful for so much more, but my quiet time (see number 28) is rapidly winding down. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!