First off, I admit I suck at keeping up with things like those 30 days of thanks. Not because I am not thankful, because believe me I am. I am thankful for more then 30 things... But mainly because I get busy, pair that with no internet and well there ya go. I am at the mercy of availability of one laptop and a nap or a moment of peace. So all that being said how about I just put my list all in one place, right here? Works for me.
Here it goes: (In no particular order...)
A forgiving and loving God, with whom all things are possible.
1.) My children... My Godchildren who taught me how to love someone other then myself, and my own babies Addison and Blake who fought for their lives and teach me more about life and what's important then I could ever imagine.
2.) My husband and our marriage... We've had our fair share of triumphs and defeat but we somehow always come out on top. Together. Some days he makes me crazy, but most days he is there to lift me up and make me smile. He is our provider (and a darn good one at that). If not for him and the sacrifices he was willing to make I would not be able to do what I do on a day to day basis. I couldn't possible love him more.
3.) NICU Nurses, Neos, OBs and MFMs who don't play around and get the job done. Those doctors and nurses who took care of my tiny babies when my body no longer could. It takes a special person to do what they do. They see live at its most fragile, and their fair share of heartache too. The staff at UMMC and Mercy will always have a place in my heart.
4.) Our family, each and everyone of you has impacted our life greatly. Our parents who have been the pillar of strength and encouragement in our lives, my grandmother who is simply amazing and who I am very greatful to still have in my life. Sisters, Brothers, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins...all of you. What hasn't divided us has made us stronger. I am so thankful to have each and everyone of you in our lives.
5.) Advances in medicine, treatment for Cancer, the amazing medicines like Surfactant that played a huge role in Addison and Blake's survival. Steroids that helped Addison finally come of a ventilator (not once but twice), and steroids that I was given to help mature their lungs while in utero. I wouldn't want to know how they would have done without them. Antibiotics, I think between my pregnancy and the twins NICU stay we've tried them all. They were key in our survival. IVF and medicine that helped us get pregnant.Things that we didn't have 20 years ago, which would also mean I wouldn't have my babies.
6.) Amazing friends. Lets face it, I am tough to handle sometimes and I've got some pretty amazing friends who love me at my worst and help me back to my best. Friends that welcomed my family into their lives as if I was their own family. Friends that without a second thought offer to help us out on adventures when Jake is working, and keeps me from loosing a kid in the zoo or at the park ;) I can never repay you for that.
7.) My preemie pals. The group of mom's who has supported me and cheered us on, thru the NICU and beyond. They say it takes a village to raise a baby, they are my village.
8.) Preemies! (Not just Addison and Blake)...These fragile, tiny, fearless, amazing, courageous little people who show us the true meaning of life. Taught us to never take a single moment for granted because in a moment it can all be gone. Taught us to celebrate even the tiniest of triumphs. Nothing is too small in the preemie world. I can certainly say that having two preemies of my own, I absorb so much more and notice the little things.
9.) My furbabies. Unconditional love and slobbery kisses and cuddles. That bark that possibly saved our lives when our neighbors hows was broken into months ago. And the exercise ;)
10.) Sleep. The fact that most nights Addison and Blake sleep 10-12 hours. And I still get a decent 2-3 hour nap during the day, when I can nap myself or take care of things that are sometimes hard to do with babies under foot.
11.) Our home. A house is just a house without a family to fill it with love. I am glad for the love we have within these walls and the amazing surrounds at our new place. So thankful for this opportunity.
12.) Jake's job. Yes his job takes him away from us for lots of long hours and several days a week, but it makes us cherish those moments together more, and gives us an opportunity to have the situation that we have now. This is the same employer who two years ago, gave Jake a lot of time and worked with him when our family needed him most. Because of his job and the amazing people he works with, he was there for every appointment during my pregnancy, to hold my hand thru the fear and uncertainty. He was able to be home in the evenings when I needed him most while on bed rest, and most importantly he was able to be there when the babies were born and that first week after. Not many employers would have been so understanding. I can never thank them enough.
13.) Our troops, who sacrifice it all to defend our nation and keep us safe.
14.) Cell phones....a modern convinence that can allow me to share instant updates on the babies and keep our family connected (Man that sounded like a commercial for AT&T, lol).
15.) My dad, who even though is no longer with us on earth, still impacts our life by watching over us and I can't help but believe that he still leads us in his own way. He taught me what hard work and sacrifice was about and sat the standard for the men in my life (I have to say that I think Jake is hitting that mark and beyond).
16.) Having just enough... Enough food to fill our bellies, enough money to pay the bills and keep us warm. Enough to be able to make ends meet no matter the circumstance.
17.) Memories. Pieces of my childhood, family that has since "went home", all things that warm my heart and remind me just how lucky I am.
18.) My Godparents who spoiled me rotten growing up and shared part in many of my life experiences.
19.) Addison & Blake's Godparents who took a vow to help us raise them right and shower them with love from near and afar.
20.) Playdates that allow Addison and Blake to interact with other kids, nurture and encourage their learning and growing.
21.) Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade... A fond memory and tradition that I get to share with my children. It's nice to have one constant in this ever changing and evolving world.
22.) Online shopping that allows me to avoid crowds at stores, and have bulky gifts delivered to our doorstep.
23.) Kindness of strangers. Walking into the mall and a person stops to hold the door for the BIG A$$ stroller lol. The receptionist at the doctor's office who goes above and beyond and offers to walk me to the car and load (at the time) two infants into their seats.
24.) Tears that cleans the soul and need to fall in order for me to pick up and move on.
25.) Being able to watch my daughter take her first bite of food, and then her second and third...etc. And knowing that as we gather around and give thanks today, she will share our dinner with us and finally all the pieces will be together finally.
26.) Heartache <---- who would be thankful for heartache, but seriously. It's molded me into who I am. Without heartache and struggles I wouldn't know how to appreciate what I have.
27.) Sunshine, because seriously, sunshine makes everything better.
28.) Wine & bubble baths - sometimes us mommies just need to relax.
30.) Cuddles and "love yoouu" 's - I wanted a long time to hold my babies, and even longer to hear them cry, unsure in the beginning if we'd even get the chance. (I'll never forget the first time I heard the sound of Blake's fragile cry, that tiny little whimper similar to a kitten cry), and now to be able to cuddle with them in our bed, or on the couch, or anywhere we please. And to hear Blake mumble "Lub uuuuu" and Addison mumble "ub". True love. <3
I hope each and every one of you have a great holiday and take a moment to count your many blessings. If you are traveling stay safe...... HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE PASCOE'S.