Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all! I love this time of year, being around lots of family, eating delicious food, crafting, baking, planning parties...

We set the date for the McGaugh Christmas party today, and I officially started work on the Christmas presents I'm making this year. I worked on straightening the house to prep it for Christmas decorations. Life is beautiful and good as we head into the December season. I can't wait!

Then again, I am savoring this week and remembering to take the time for gratitude. I keep a daily gratitude journal, because my heart is always thankful---both for blessings and for the trials that help us to grow and become more who we are meant to be. This is the time of year to make some of our thankfulness more public; November represents the virtue of thankfulness that we strive to keep in our hearts all year long.

So tonight I give thanks. I am thankful for:

* My husband, who protects our marriage, love, and life in our home. He works hard everyday so that I can stay home with our baby. He makes choices that keep peace and stability around us. He makes sure that I have a little personal time each evening. He shields us from drama, conflict, and strife. He has given me the hope of growing our family, and I am hopeful that maybe we will have the gift of another child this year. He makes sensible decisions and is allowing me to live the life I had always dreamed of living.

* My daughter, who everyday is sweeter and sweeter and full of song, jokes, thoughts, laughter, and a helping heart. She loves her family and shows true concern for our feelings. She develops authentic relationships with those around her. I love her sense of humor and her sweetness and her growing ability to reason. We love to sing, talk, cook, and bake together. I love our classes together. I love everything about her, even times when she is having a harder kind of day.

* My family as a whole: Mom, Dad, Uncle David, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. With a couple of notable exceptions, my family members are peaceful and non-contentious, unique and thoughtful, productive and goal-oriented. I can't imagine any family but them! And they put up with me, so thank goodness!

* My best friends, who have always taught me about true friendship and around whom I can totally be myself.

* Toastmasters, which has given me an expressive intellectual outlet this year and a place to push myself to grow in confidence and skill.

* Our move to Temecula, for which I am daily very thankful. I feel so much more at home and less worried about safety here. I love being right around the corner from my generous, loving, awesome parents, and I love that I am able to nourish Katie's relationship with them. I love the trees that grow here, the beautiful backyard, the space in which to grow our own family. When we bought this house, we bought the extra bedroom in the hopes of a younger sibling for Katie. But if that doesn't happen, Katie is truly everything I could ever want. Moreso, I really want to give her the joy of a younger sibling. I love my own little brother so much, and I want her to experience that same kind of love and delight. I love being on this side of town, and I love our home---which is just exactly decorated and appointed as I would want it to be. I would give it up if I could have my Grandpa Don back, as it was his legacy that has enabled this Matics investment...but I try to bring the kind of joy to this house that he would have celebrated. In fact, if you walk into my family room, "J O Y" is in big wooden letters on the wall, as our creed, a daily reminder to try to be a better person than I am. This house is all about my personal growth as a mother and wife, and about our growth now as a family together. I have never been happier than I am right now, except when I was a young child. This house represents that happiness, to me.

* Music, the primary language through which I communicate with Katie. And without which, I could not be whole... Music and song keeps me rolling, eases my stresses. I don't really sing too much around anyone other than Bill or Katie (unless I am in a class or something like that), but when it is just the three of us, I sing almost all day long. I sing my thoughts sometimes more than I just speak them, even something basic like "Breakfast is ready." I didn't realize that I did this until fairly recently. It's pretty weird, maybe, but it is really me. Bill has always made me feel so comfortable about that, and I trust him completely not to judge me. That kind of trust/confidence is pretty rare, for me.

* My blog, which is my primary outlet for my writing, which I also need to do to stay whole and in tune with myself.

* Coffee---need I say more? Each sip is a stolen moment to myself in the morning, even when the morning is hectic. Just the smell of it feels like my own private space in which I can finish waking up even when I am already busy being mommy.

* Naptime: my time to work on real estate courses, cross-stitch, work on my scrapbook, craft, watch a movie, or read.

* All of life's simple beauties...

One of my fellow toastmasters gave a speech yesterday about the importance of becoming a master of investing in people. Taking the time to send the cards on birthdays and anniversaries, maybe sending clippings, organizing get-togethers, taking time to listen to others and make people feel special. I am thankful for the people that do this for me... and this coming year, I am going to work more on investing in others. In the end, the happiness we create with others is part of the legacy we leave behind. I am thankful for all the people who create happiness in my life and who keep their eyes on what is good and beautiful, moral and productive, non-materialistic and inspirational.

I hope everyone has a beautiful feast tomorrow and time with those you love.