First of all, I haven’t drowned in a river of coffee – - – though, what a way to go. I haven’t been on Self Help Daily in quite a few days simply because I’ve been a busy bee, buzzing around everywhere else. I had a few blogs that were demanding a great deal of work. Plus, well I’ll just be honest, I got a lot of cool kitchen appliances, pans, gadgets, and gizmos and I’ve been having the time of my life cooking and baking.
It reminded me of Christmas when I was a little girl, I’d get so many Barbies (along with Barbie airplanes, cars, and houses) that I wouldn’t know where to start – I’d just plop down in the middle and lose myself for hours. Seriously, sometimes I’d forget to eat.
A few (he he he) years later, I took the same approach – perched myself in the midst of fajita makers, iron skillets, a huge new griddle, gadgets, bowls, new dishes, etc and lost myself for hours. And hours. And hours. Somehow I don’t forget to eat these days though…
During the holidays, I noticed a number of things that I’m particularly grateful for with my family; traits that each member has that I love even more than kitchen gadgets. I may be biased because these are the people who hung the moon and stars, but I think there are certain things we can all learn from each, so here goes – My I’M GRATEFUL FOR list that has a few lessons hidden in its midst:
- I’m grateful for a husband that gets along beautifully with our daughter’s boyfriends. He doesn’t look down on the young men for enjoying video games – he just tries to beat them! I’m also grateful that he not only keeps my vehicle going and checked over, our girls’ cars going and checked over… he even looks out for their boyfriend’s cars. I think that’s too cool for school. It makes the family dynamic so much sweeter and funner when everyone looks out for one another. The fact that all of the kids love spending time with us and around us will make my life a lot happier for years and years to come. Family is the most important thing in the world to me and when mine’s around, the sun shines brighter, the coffee’s warmer, chocolate tastes even better, and the birds sing a sweeter song.
- I’m grateful for my oldest daughter (Emily) who genuinely loves spending time with her mom. We go shopping, we eat out, we look at clothes, we talk for hours in the kitchen, we go to the library, and we most definitely do the whole Starbucks thing. She’s an absolute joy to spend time with and I’m grateful that she considers “mom” cool enough to hang out with. She’s a ridiculously bright girl who keeps me on my toes.
- I’m grateful for my youngest daughter (Stephany) who is the most spirited and, beautifully strong willed person I’ve ever met (right up there with my husband/her father). She will take nothing off of anyone, and has a way of putting them in their place that simply amuses me. With this girl, I know someone may offend her once, but they won’t do it twice. I love her spirit and I love her strength. She is, at once, incredibly sweet-natured and very petite but also strong-minded and strong-willed. Like her father, she doesn’t suffer fools well and that keeps them at arm’s length…. and out of harm’s way.
- I’m grateful for my middle daughter (Brittany) who amazes me with her grit and determination. If the girl wants something, she makes it happen – whether it’s a car, her education, a job… she’s a fighter in every sense of the word and sometimes it’s just fun to sit back and watch. If she came home today and said, “I want to go to Hawaii for two weeks next summer,” I’d buy her a cool new pair of sandals and tell her to bring me back a coffee mug. I’d also sit back and enjoy watching her make it happen.
- I’m grateful for my daughter’s boyfriends. Dill (Emily’s) never fails to make me laugh. His personality is larger than life and to know him is to adore him. When this kid opens his mouth, you tend to stop what you’re doing because you know it’s going to be priceless. I don’t know where he comes up with the stuff he comes up with, but the world’s a funner place because he does. When he and my husband are watching a game together or playing Madden football, the rest of us just listen – they’re a couple of characters and laughter always follows them. Rusty (Stephany’s) quite honestly lights up the room when he comes through. He’s full of life, fun, and (like me) never met an animal he didn’t love and want to name. Left to our own devices, we’d surround ourselves with more animals than Noah ever saw. Rusty and Steph are hilarious with gifts. They (without fail) always give me gifts early.. whether it’s for Christmas, my birthday, Mother’s Day or just a day they wanted to buy me something… they’ll come through with Cheshire grins and I know I’m about to get a goody! The concept of making others happy makes them happy. Come on, how cool’s that? Chris (Brittany’s) is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. You hear that saying thrown around a lot, but this kid lives up to each word. He keeps me armed with Starbuck’s cards, but he’s such a sweetheart I’d think the world of him even if he didn’t! I’ve never heard him raise his voice to anyone and can’t even begin to imagine him saying anything bad to or about anyone or anything. My mom and dad and my in-laws would have adored each of these boys and they would have been popping-at-the-seams proud of their granddaughters.
- I’m grateful for my cats – each one makes me melt when they look at me!
I’m not boasting or bragging with these words, just stating facts. The people and cats around me rock. These are just a few of their wonderful traits that I’ve been thinking about lately – they have countless more. They’re just beautiful people, inside and out.
The thing is, I’m willing to bet the people around you rock too. If you haven’t thought about it in a long time, think about it now. What traits do they have that mean the world to you? Do they make you smile? Do they make you laugh so hard you have to double over? Do they seem to know just the right thing to say at just the right time? Spend more time with positive thoughts about your loved ones and refuse to let the negative ones hang around. Really, nothing good comes from them. In fact, I”ll tell you what DOES come from negative thoughts: Negative words and negative actions.
If you keep thinking negative thoughts about the people in your life, how long do you think it’ll be before you say something negative to them or about them. Something that’ll only lead to tension, unhappiness, hurt feelings, and misery for everyone.
Negative begets negative. Positive begets positive. Mark it down.
If you have people in your life who smile when you come into the room, you have all the riches you will ever need. It’s my hope that you will truly appreciate them, treasure them, look out for them, love them, and smile at them so often they think you’re up to something.