1. Lindt White Chocolate - What's not to love? You may wonder why I put this at the top of my list, and if that's the case YOU'VE NEVER HAD THEM. So addicting! And I wonder why I'm getting so fat...(no, I don't wonder. I know EXACTLY why I'm getting fat. I'm just refusing to do anything about it...)
2. My garage - Again, you may think this strange. But if you do, that's because you have either had a garage for so long you have forgotten how amazing they are, or you are like the previous owners of this house, who used it as an additional storage area. Not us. We pack both our cars in there, and it's a tight fit! But as I get up to go to work on a cold winter morning, I remember that I don't have to let the car warm up for thirty minutes, and I don't have to brush the snow off of it. Yes, I am VERY grateful for my garage. My whole house too, but let's not get sidtracked.
3. My Paycheck - I know that teachers are underpaid. I know that most of us are way over educated and making very little to show for it. I know that I am making less this year than I was last year, and I will probably be making even less than that next year. Who knows--maybe by 2012 I'll be paying THEM to work. (though one of my students informs me that the world is going to end that year, so I guess I shouldn't worry.) Still, despite how small it is, it is what is keeping us in this house. I am so grateful that I stuck it out in college, and was never tempted to give up. I'm so glad that I got a degree and have a job I love (most of the time!) which also allows me to help support the family while Trevor goes to school. So yes, despite how small it is for how much work I do, I'm grateful for it. Oh, and I guess for a college education, too. Thank goodness for pel grants.
4. Daycare. We were pretty stressed about daycare, wondering how we'd pay for it, especially after 7 months of unemployment. I stressed and stressed. We actually signed her up for a local daycare, but it was $500 a month! Reasonable, but still completely out of our price range. And then three wonderful women stepped forward to help me. I am grateful for my neighbor Brook, who watches Afton with as much love as if she were her own, two days a week. Brook's little girl is only six months older than Afton, and they are best friends! And then my wonderful mother-in-law, who added Afton to the brood of four she already had--my neices and nephew on Trevor's side. And then of course, my Mom, who takes her for free once a week and saves us money we so desperately need. I love them all so much!
5. Afton's Johnny Jump-Up. Man, what would I do without this thing?? I'm so glad Mom and Dad gave it to me to use for her. She LOVES it. She spends forever in it. Though she tends to poop a lot when she's in it. Still, it's worth it to have her happy, contained, safe, and busy while I get stuff done. And now she makes the CUTEST sounds while she's in it--Trevor and I just die laughing. She had no interest in her baby swing at all--what a waste of money--so I was so glad that there was SOMETHING that she likes. She's so good! Hooray for Johnny!
6. Reba. Ok, I'm not actually grateful, I'm pretty ticked. I got really addicted to the show Reba and I watched it every day when I got home from school. Like EVERY DAY. Like SEVERAL EPISODES. I was so grateful to Reba, because it was nice to have something to watch when I got home other than the formulaic and scripted Family Feud. And then? THEN? ION TELEVISION MOVED IT!!! TO 3:00!! DON'T THEY KNOW I DON'T GET HOME UNTIL 4:00??? And they replaced it with GHOST WHISPERER? (I liked it at first, and then it pretty much all became about how wonderful Jennifer Love Hewitt is, and then the ghosts tell her what to tell their relatives, and she totally paraphrases and leaves stuff out. Now, if YOU were communicating with a loved one who was dead, wouldn't you want to know what they said WORD FOR WORD? Stupid Jennifer. Reba is WAY better.)
7. My Friends. Generic, I know, but how can I NOT mention them? I have some seriously awesome friends. Like DeLayna--who comes over and we pig out and watch Battlestar or Star Trek or we just gab about everything from how fat we are/are not, were/will be, or serious political issues, or about nothing at all. She was with me when I went into labor, she counted the contractions with me. And then Heather, my favorite mission companion, who is always there for me and always so encouraging and kind. And hilariously funny! I have four awesome sisters who are best friends to me--so supportive, teasing, but loving too. When I grade the power points my students turn in (140 of them EVERY QUARTER!) they have a "friend" page, and some of them will go on and on about how MANY they have, and how they can't count them all. I've never been like that. But the friends I have I worth more than a thousand acquaintances. Some of them I've known all my life, others are new, and still others I've just reconnected with through Facebook. Yup, I am grateful for friends!
8. Divine Intervention. I am not one to bear my testimony on a public blog, so I won't go on and on I promise. But this year has been full of big changes, trials, ups and a lot of downs. How we were able to survive seven months unemployment, and then a huge pay cut when Trevor started working (yes, it IS more lucrative to be on unemployment than to work, apparently) plus a drop in my pay this year, is beyond me. Just when I thought we wouldn't make it, something always comes along and we have enough. If that isn't Divine intervention I don't know what is. And I don't even deserve it. I have't been to the temple in ages. I skip sacrament a lot, using the baby as an excuse. I haven't done my visiting teaching ONCE. And--worst of all--I have NO FOOD STORAGE! Not even a CAN! It's amazing the Lord can still love me.
9. Aquaphor. How have I missed this one until #9? We orginally bought it, of course, because of the baby. I got chapped lips in about August of '08 while pregnant, and they just didn't go away. I had chronic chapped lips my whole pregnancy. I mean BAD. I figured it was a pregnancy thing. After Afton was born, they STILL didn't go away. If you look closely at my family picture on my blog, you can tell I still had chapped lips--that was taken in August of '09! A whole YEAR of chapped lips! Can you imagine? Then the hygenist at the dentist office told me to use Aquaphor. It saved my life. Chapstick? NEVER AGAIN. I'm all about Auqaphor.
10. Ok, I'll do it. My family. Of COURSE I am grateful for my family! There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't have a thought somewhere along the lines of: "Why am I so lucky?" It was comforting to realize, when I was single, that marriage has nothing to do with deserving it, and everything to do with sheer dumb luck. If that weren't the case, then several of my single friends would have been married ten years ago. My husband is so perfect for me--he's annoying and stubborn and gorgeous and a total Lord of the Rings geek. But he's MY geek, and I love him with all my heart. As for my baby--well, she's absolutely the most beautiful, amazing thing I've ever seen. I am always fascinated with every little thing she does, and she is clearly the most amazing child that ever lived. Don't even try to rebutt that. I'll never believe you.
So there are 10 things I'm thankful for. I know some of them are silly--but sometimes those small things are what makes life bearable! So there you go--a POSITIVE post from me (though I couldn't stay totally positive when I got to Reba, but can you blame me? I mean, Ghost Whisperer?)