Being Grateful After A Rough Year

2016 hasn't exactly been a picnic. I'm a bit terrified for 2017 to be honest. The days following January 20, 2017 to be exact. Not that things were perfect before - nothing is ever perfect. But I'm especially afraid for what is to come. The night of the election I wrote this: How Do I Explain This To My Children? and I still feel the same way.

Anyway, I'm making myself sit here and find 12 things I'm grateful for from last year because I need to focus on the positive and put in the effort to move forward and find the peace within me for myself and for my children.

1. I'm grateful that we have gotten rain. We live in Southern California and we are in a really bad drought and we desperately need rain. So grateful for the rain!

2. I'm grateful that a site like exists because we have finally found more information about my dad's side of the family. He grew up in an abusive, broken home and spending quality time with family and relatives telling stories about the old days and keeping track of who was who wasn't really what they did. I was actually able to trace back to the late 1600's and find full-blooded Cherokee Indians in our bloodline. My 9th Great Grandmother was an amazing Cherokee woman who I could actually read about on google!! Her name was Quatsy of Tellico (of the Wolf Clan) and one of her sons was a man called Standing Turkey (Old Hop) who also has fascinating stories about him.

3. I'm grateful for rainy, gloomy, lazy post-holiday weekend days where the whole family is home and I'm sitting around writing, still in jammies, drinking lattes all day long which is perfectly acceptable on a day like this.

4. I'm grateful for summer beach days with friends or with family. Where we get there early and spend the day digging in the sand, finding crabs hiding out on the pier pilings, boogie boarding in the waves, drying off to eat a sandwich and maybe catching a small cat nap on a towel in the sun. After a long day of beaching it up I'm always grateful for our favorite Mexican restaurant next to the pier where we spend the evening eating tacos and eating chips and salsa reminiscing about our beach day while planning the next one.

5. I'm grateful for kids who crack themselves up silly while watching cartoons. Those days pass quickly, so it's fun to hear kids being kids who enjoy slapstick comedy like only a kid can.

6. I'm grateful for holidays filled with yummy homemade food made from recipes that have been passed down, lots of family who share funny stories, (even if they are the same funny stories year after year), kids running through the house and even the happiness and calmness when everyone gets the heck out at the end of the evening so I can finally decompress!

7. I'm grateful for dancing babies. Especially my own who will dance to any music, any time of the day or night. Even in his sleep.

8. I'm grateful for my sweet 6 year old child when I see him playing on the playground just before I pick him up from school and I observe him being a good friend to others and a helper to his teachers - even though he doesn't know I'm watching him. There isn't anything better than watching your child enjoy their childhood.

9. I'm grateful for my daughter. She is an amazing big sister (most of the time - I mean she is human after all!) and she has such a caring heart and a sweet, spunky soul. I love watching her create art because she enjoys it so much and she has really become such a great little artist at only 8 years old. I hope to collaborate with her someday on a children's book and have her be my illustrator. I also love to see her interacting with animals. She has a real gift when it comes to animals.

10. I'm grateful for my husband who is on this crazy journey with me, who makes me laugh daily and who is always doing funny accents to crack us up. He's a great dad, a great husband and a hard worker. And we both share the same crazy dream of being organic farmers someday too. We already have the house full of animals. Our 8 and 1/2 year old daughter, our 6 year old son and his 2 year old toddler brother who is like 10 animals in one.

Happy New Year! Be safe and please call a cab or an Uber as opposed to driving drunk. My husband lost his very best friend 11 years ago this January due to a drunk driver hitting him and killing him. He was only 31 years old. I hope the coming year is good to you and your family. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to practice more gratitude. Especially during this year of the "terrible two's." As I type, my 2 year old is currently face down, crying uncontrollably, feet kicking while he's screaming because daddy put his favorite chair back at the kid table and he wanted it at the kitchen table, even though you can't see him at all when he's sitting in it because the table is too tall....Oh wait, now he's running in the other room laughing at a ball his big brother just threw. Thank goodness for the easily distracted toddler! All is right with the world.

Unless you move the chair again. #momlife


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I'm grateful for having an entire beach to ourselves!

Family day at the beach.

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