Everlasting Memories Blog About Life, Loss and Everything In Between
Holy butterball - can you believe that Thanksgiving is one week away? Our first snowfall in New England is due to come in tonight (YAY - said me NOT), Rob is due back from an unsuccessful/successful hunting trip (i.e. Bambi alluded him again but quality time with his dad and brother) and I am wrapping up projects and starting to attack the squalor in my home that has firmly implanted itself while I’ve been glued to my computer. My male trollies roll in on Friday and Saturday and my girl trolly troll slides home on Tuesday. Gone will be the days of eggs and protein shakes and eggs for three square meals as I get ready to meal plan for seven (the boys easily account for two adults) and embrace the chaos of all that comes with teen and adult children coming back to the nest. Can I get a whoop whoop!
In the midst of all of this planning and prepping and cleaning and typing and I’m exhausted alreadyness, I received a message on social media. Asking me where my yearly grateful posts were. And it kind of stopped me in my tracks. For the past several years, every day leading up to Thanksgiving in November, I have done some sort of gratitude post. Some long, some short, some funny, some loving but all of them - full of gratitude. And this year…well this year I did not.
I don’t know to be honest. Can blame it on a lot going on with family. With my troll babies. With change and reconfiguring my compass. It’s not that life has been a lot lately but life - it’s been A LOT. And I don’t know if I figured y’all don’t want to get on social media and do the eye roll and say, “Oh look - ANOTHER grateful post…yawn…” or if I lost sight of upholding my have’s. And instead have been grumping about my have-nots.
So that’s changing NOW. Instead of doing a day by day of gratitude posts, I’m going to lump them all together into one spectacular read. Here. Today. Thanksgiving falls on November 22 this year and I have a list of 21 things in my life that I am grateful for. Some funny. Some long. Some short. Some loving. Some not so much. But each of them - full of gratitude.
21 Things I’m Grateful For
Bath and Body Works Candles
Given that I live in a house that is primarily testosterone filled as well as full of doggies, let’s just say at times my house can be odiferous. I’ve tested and tried every candle under the sun and far and away, the very best candles are the ones from Bath and Body Works. They mask almost every smell and literally ‘smell up’ the entire house. I light one every morning when I come downstairs and every early evening.
I love my ringtones and am so grateful for them. Each of the trolls, Rob and my mom all have their own ringtone. Doesn’t matter if they text or call, when those ringtones go off I know whom is calling or texting me. And these are especially helpful if I don’t feel like answering them - no need to give them that ‘read’ receipt on the text if I’m giving them the cold shoulder.
Old worn out furniture
Most of our furniture is pretty worn. And for the days that I struggle with wanting newer and nicer furniture, more days than not I am grateful for those old worn out couches. Scratched tables and coffee tables. Because it means that I don’t stress when my dogs are on the couch. When Gus Gus makes himself at home on the coffee table. There will be a time and a place for newer furnishings. But I’ll take what we have and why we have it.
GIFs, Memes, Emojis
Oh good lord do I love a good GIF. A funny Meme. A well placed and played Emoji. Sometimes one of the three or a combination of all have said exactly what I wanted to say but couldn’t quite put into words.
Boy oh boy…being a mom to a daughter is not easy. And it’s so easy. And I learned from the best. My maternal grandmother was an amazing woman. I used to call her every night and we would have a glass of wine together on the phone and I would fill her in on my day. Rarely did I miss a night believe it or not. And my mom, she was the apple of my grandmother’s eye. She loved being her daughter as much as my grandmother loved being her mom. And you don’t understand that until you have a daughter of your own. That is bright. Beautiful. Articulate. Inspiring. Tenacious. If I could’ve written to the stork and said, “Hey, when you fly me over my daughter could you A. Be careful and B. Give her the following attributes...” I hit the jackpot with my girl and although she can be highly emotional like her dad (hahahahaha) and at times a little snarky, she is her mother's daughter and I wouldn’t have her any other way. I love being her Momma.
Persistence is a gift and one that I am eternally grateful for. It has given me more epic successes because I have chosen to be persistent. To not take no for an answer. To pick myself up and try again. Not to say that I won’t have a quick tantrum before getting back up but eventually, I’m back at it. I rarely (if ever) take no for an answer.
I love my Tito’s. Tito’s is made from corn. It is the only good thing made from corn outside of cornbread. So thumbs up to corn.
I typically am not a fan of surprises because I maybe have some control issues. And surprises don’t normally fall into the realm of being in control. However, I am a work in progress and the surprise visit of my brother and sister-in-law last month is a gift that I will always be grateful for.
Insults with a smile
I was doing burpees yesterday. Do a burpee, jump over the rower. Counts for one rep. Had to do six and then it was your partner's turn. Trainer yesterday looks at me and says, “Two minutes left. Just enough time for Hallie to finish her burpees.” I had a quick two word comeback (use your imagination). He laughed and I got a fist pump when I was done. Because he understood that I needed to just feel normal.
One of the best things about the holiday season coming up is the Christmas cards. To those of you that send them to me, that put the time into making them perfect, know that I LOVE them. I truly do. And I love sending ours out. And this year, I made a second with one of my girls. With another one of my girls directing the chaos. And not only did they turn out spectacular, but it was an afternoon that was enjoyed by the three of us. Where some memories were made.
I have really ugly feet. A broken bone that I never got fixed has resulted in a claw on one foot, big ugly bunions, yuck. But I can rock a pair of four inch heels like nobody’s business. And Aldo shoes fit me just right, hiding all the ugly and showing off my best feature…outside of the rope climb scars on my right shin. Are they practical? Of course not. Me no care. I love them and I’m grateful for them.
I have such gratitude for being understood. I am not an easy person and am very aware of said fact. I deliberately poked the bear last night with my Rob. He's away hunting which is so important - not because of the hunt but because of the time with his dad. I'm just tired and lonely and tired of being home by myself. I was a grump via text and had about a four minute tantrum - you know those ones where your fingers are typing faster than your brain is firing. No good comes of it. He called to apologize to me (happy wife happy life). He knows me inside and out and knows that my tantrum has little to do with anything other than a long week home alone. Understanding what I need when even I don't know what I need.
My MyZone Belt
Life works in mysterious ways and my MyZone Belt - let’s just say it has impacted my life significantly. Might even go far as to say it has probably been life saving.
A spit shine
I have a pair of Harley Davidson black motorcycle boots. They were a totally frivolous expense and are probably one of the nicest things I own. I take good care of them and every winter, my Rob takes an hour out of his day and he gives them a good spit shine. And when he’s done, they are so beautiful. It’s an old fashioned way to shine a shoe but when done right, there is nothing like it.
These are legitimately the dumbest dog toy ever made. And the best. It’s a large furry ball with eyes and a squeaker. And I will buy one a week for the next several weeks and put them in a big box for the dogs to open on Christmas day. My puppies love them and it makes me laugh to see them chase each other. And it takes them awhile to destroy them so win win.
I obviously am the last person on the planet to discover this little bottle of deliciousness. Oh. My. Lord. If you haven’t tried it, try it. On everything. Little drops of heaven in a bottle.
What a journey I’ve been on when it comes to friends. This past year in particular. And it has been a precious reminder that your friends, your tribe, your inner circle - it is crucial. My Rob is the love of my life but he is not my best friend. That’s not his role. My girlfriends, my ride or dies, my confidantes, my go-to’s - they feed my soul and let me be me in a way that only true friends can. From the morning texts to the inappropriate GIF’s to the drinks and deadlifts and so much more, I. Am. Grateful.
Peppermint mocha creamer
Only comes out this time of year. And I love almost everything and anything peppermint. Won’t touch ice cream but peppermint stick ice cream? Get me a spoon! Those buttery peppermint candies that melt? Yummy. And yes, every year this time of year, I don’t care about the calories or the dairy and I add peppermint mocha creamer to my coffee.
There is nothing quite like the way a mom loves her sons. Maybe it’s because she will always and forever be their first love, the first girl in their life that they cherished. And those boys of mine, I know that someday I will have to turn them over to someone else, let someone new be that most important person in their life, their soft place to land. And it doesn’t matter that they tower over me and outweigh me considerably and have facial hair…in my eyes, they are still my little boys. And each day I say a thank you for being allowed to be their Momma.
They say that laughter is the best medicine and I believe that. Throw in a couple drinks and I think me and my girls have come up with the solution for world peace as well as a cure for every ailment. Sometimes you have to let the demons out and laughter is a great way to open up those floodgates.
It is a lifeboat of five. With four little doggie preservers and a rescue tinder. The biggest four gifts in my life, the four most perfect things I have done right, my home base, my pride and joy, my everything. Grateful doesn’t even come close.
Find your gratitude
True story…when I sat to write this out, I wasn’t really sure what direction it was going to take. So I sat down and actually wrote out a gratitude list. It took me a few minutes to get going but I started looking around my house, reaching inside myself, thinking about if this were my last ride on the merry-go-round what would I be grateful for. And one by one, they came to me.
Our time is so finite and we are so quick to get wrapped up in the minutia of life. Trust me - I’ve been immersed, drowning even at times in that minutia. And it’s toxic. And negative. And you get mummified with its presence. Unwrap the layers and take the time to find your gratitude. There wasn’t anything on my list that cost a million dollars. Most of it cost nothing at all. And it is those intangibles that are life altering. And gratitude inspiring.
I made my list - what about yours? Write it down. Embrace it. Live it. Be inspired, thankful, joyful for all the haves in your life - because they are there, I promise you. Gratitude is where it’s at, peepers.
Gratitude...it changes everything.