I always love November. It's the start to officially colder weather, the holidays are upon us, and it's when families and friends get together to celebrate being thankful. And isn't that just a most beautiful thing? And while I'm over here prepping pies and dipping a 26 lb bird into a bucket (read: brining), I just want to say how thankful I am for everything in my life, but a few specific things have stuck out lately...
It often goes without saying that we are thankful for our spouses, but I try to not let it go without saying too much. Tomas and I often joke that we're really friends with benefits. We were friends first, then romance came later and neither has left since we got together. But even beyond that, we're just a really good team. We both work really hard in our own personal endeavors, and we tag team parenting, we both put everything else aside when we need to, and we walk into every day knowing we have each other's backs. I could not be more thankful for my husband and our life together, one which he works hard to help provide, all the support he gives me emotionally, for being my biggest fan, for doing bath time because that's my least favorite mom-job, for being such a good dad, for being my equal, for loving me despite my ridiculous antics, and for being the best man I know.
Never before in my life have I been this tired, had a job this hard, or had people demand so much from me on a daily basis. And my goodness am I so thankful for that role. Momming is hard, but I wouldn't trade it, I wouldn't give it back. My children keep me humble (if not for the yogurt stain on my jeans...). They have taught me more about myself, both good and bad, so that I may be honest with myself and use my strengths to better my family and my weaknesses as motivation to change. They teach me to stop and appreciate the small things, they show me the world in a new way, they teach me that not every battle is worth fighting and not every moment is an opportunity for a formal lesson. They are loving when I'm down, they are patient when I'm not, they are impatient too, and they love us so much. They still let me dress them any way I want so matching is still a thing and for every frustrating moment in the day, they have that many and more amazing, funny, happy, adorable moments. I used to think being a parent was about molding new humans into good people, but it seems it has changed me too.
I'm lucky enough to call some amazing people my friends. Both here in Washington, and back in Colorado... some even further than that. There was a point in my life, not too long ago, where I felt like I knew a lot of people but when it came time to call someone to go hang out with, someone to call when I needed an ear, my mind drew a blank. I really do believe that friends are the family you get to choose. They're the people we surround ourselves with every day, who I call just to chat, who listen when I need to ramble, who are honest with me about anything. People who know my Starbucks order, who have brought me ice cream at 10PM, who send me letters randomly as a happy little packet of cheer in my mailbox. People who cheer me on, who I cheer right on back, whom I love, and who make my life so wonderful.
I don't know what is so different about this house, but it instantly felt like home to us. More than our last house ever did... We've settled in so nicely. We've actually hung photos on the walls. We have the most wonderful neighbors, we're 5 minutes from Target, and our back yard is big enough that I don't really need a trip to the park. And beyond just our house, Washington has brought more happiness and filled our cup more than we ever could have imagined. Things as simple as driving down the lake, as getting a cup of delicious coffee, of trying a new restaurant, of enjoying the rain in the afternoons, basking in the natural beauty everywhere... we really have found home here.
Both this blog and my photography business have come leaps and bounds in the past year, due mostly to really great, supportive people who believe in me (AKA - you, my amazing readers) and also due to a lot of work on my part. I respect to photography, specifically, I've never found another craft that excited me so much, that I loved to learn about to much, and that I felt so comfortable in. It's amazing the support my business has received in its first few months and I am so incredibly grateful for the people who have believed in my work, for my family for being so understanding as I take the time to do this, and I'm thankful to myself for sticking through it even when I was tired.
It's hard to dedicate this specifically to any one person or one category. My life is not perfect, I'm fighting my own battles every day and sometimes it gets really hard. But that's normal and I can still say I am more blessed than I am burdened, by a long shot. I am thankful for my life, for where we are right now in this chapter. We have wonderful family, we have adorable dogs that bring so much joy into our home, we have food on our table, clean clothes and hot water. I mean, seriously - Starbucks exists, and macarons... we can FaceTime anyone in the world right now, and it seems leggings as pants are finally socially acceptable.
I know it's not perfect, but in this time of thankfulness and cheer, of gathering with the people we love most, I just want to say thanks. Thanks to you, the world, our friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. <3