Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Week of Thanks: Blessed Wednesday

Before I dive into day 3 of my Week of Thanks, I must share that I went for a run today.  I'm not going to lie, I really didn't want to because it was so cold.  Mind you, I have run in the snow and sleet, but today's mid-20 degree weather was not appealing to run in.  At least the sun was out, though.  I did a quick out and back in my neighborhood and got 2 miles in.  My pace was really great (about 10:30/mi) and I'm sure it was because I was so anxious to get back and get warm!  My mom gave me a little push to get out the door and go for a run, so thanks, Mom!

Speaking of my mom, today I am thankful for the two people who gave me life, my parents.  You know who won the parent lottery?  This girl.  I have the best Mom and Dad a girl could ask for.  They are the role models for the type of parent I aspire to be:  supportive, accepting, always available to talk and listen, and firm, yet fun.  They've been there for me through thick and thin and taught me so many valuable lessons about life.

When I was growing up, if there was something I wanted to buy, my parents would agree to pay for half if I saved my allowance for the other half.  I remember saving up for a pair of roller skates, a tennis racquet, and a Gameboy and learning a lesson about the importance of saving money (and not making impulse buys, which I should keep in mind as an adult, too!).  The roller skates and tennis racquet were fairly easy acquisitions, but let me tell you, it took quite some time to save up for half ($45 circa the late 80's - early 90's) of the Gameboy.

I also remember always writing thank you notes for my birthday and Christmas presents before I was able to play with them.  As a kid, I was not a fan of this practice, but as an adult, I am thankful my parents had this rule. They taught me how to write a thoughtful note of thanks and the value in being appreciative and grateful. I plan to have Nick and Jack do the same when they are able.  I do finally feel as though Nick is of the age to understand the concept of a thank you note and of the ability to write a short, sweet notes of thanks, so I'm sure we will begin this practice very soon!

When my Mom and Dad stopped being Mr. and Mrs., I could always count on them to come together and support me in my various adventures in life.  Whether it was my high school graduation, my sorority initiation dinner in college, college graduation, my wedding day, holidays, baptisms and birthday parties for the boys; I always have them by my side.  I'm sure it isn't always easy, but it means the world to me that they are by my side every step of the way.

I think I get my love of history and foreign languages from my Dad.  I remember visiting him one summer and he took me to a local Russian round table discussion.  He wrote a brief paragraph in Russian for me to say to the group and I still remember how to say "My name is Laura" in Russian.  In fact, my senior year of college, I took Russian as an elective because of the interest in the language and culture that my Dad sparked in me.  Dad and I have also visited our share of museums and Matt can attest to the fact that going to museums with the two of us is not a short endeavor.  We like to read the plaques.  All of them.  There is a lot of good info on those plaques, folks.  Just a note for you in case you ever venture to a museum with us.  When my Dad was stationed overseas when I was 3 or 4, he would send us cassette tapes so we could hear his voice and we would send tapes of us back to him.  He would read stories to me and tell me about his life overseas.  I still have the cassette tapes and listen to them on occasion.  From the time my parents got divorced until I graduated college, my Dad wrote me several letters a week, of which I still have many of them.  He'd send articles he thought I'd like and tell me about what was going on his life.  I can talk to Dad about anything although sometimes we both have to temper our conversations about politics. :)  A little friendly debate never hurt anyone!

I wish Dad and I didn't live so far apart, but we always have a great time when he visits and we were lucky enough to make a trip this summer to see him and my Grandparents!  Love you, Dad!

My mama is my partner in crime; we could tell you some stories, that's for sure.  We've had countless adventures together and just as many memories.  Sometime I'll tell you about our adventures in New Orleans and Nashville, but those are posts in and of themselves.  I talk to my mom several times a day and she is often the first person I call when I have news to share or need comfort.  I am 31 years old and I still need my mom and that is ok by me!  My mom is one of my best friends and I don't know what I'd do without her.  I can talk to her about anything and she always listens and guides me in the right direction.  Growing up, she would often put little notes in my lunch, even in high school when she would stick a good luck note in my lunch bag on the day of a test.  Or she would make a smiley face in mustard on my sandwich because she knew I loved smiley faces.  Every so often, I will stick a note in Nick's lunchbox, too, just like my mom did for me.  She and I love to travel and shop and we can do both until we drop!  She's an amazing woman and I only hope that I can grow up to be half as amazing as she is!  Love you, Mom!

I am lucky to have such wonderful parents who are now amazing grandparents to my boys!  I'm grateful for all they taught me (and will continue to teach me) and for shaping me into the woman I am today.  I love you both more than I can say!

What are you thankful for on this eve before Thanksgiving? 

"It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings."