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I’m not sure how much time we’ll be spending in here, especially at first. But…it has been a good experience to decorate a space just for Graham. The look for the nursery is vintage (thrift store/Goodwill) meets rustic (handmade) meets Pinterest (I wish)! Its a semi-farm theme. Blues, burlap, and white, with flashes of red. (I wanted more flashes of red, but oh well).
We have felt so loved and taken care of during this entire pregnancy. I had my third baby shower at work last week. I haven’t returned/exchanged a single thing that I’ve received as a gift. I’ve loved everything and received duplicates of nothing. And…we have pretty much every single that we need. So thankful.
I’ve been lovingly militant (Gregg’s word, not mine) about washing all the new outfits and blankets that we’ve received for Graham. I’ve washed everything as instructed, so it will be be ready for him when we gets here. What did I find when unloading his goodies from the washer to the dryer this weekend? A dead mouse. Decomposing. With my baby’s clothes. Pout face. I’d been so careful about washing his clothes, and then I run them through the washer with a dead mouse. Go figure. Don’t worry, I re-washed them. He’ll have a very healthy immune system from farm-living.
I just finished another Anne Lamott book. Its her new one Help Thanks Wow. (This has been the year of Anne Lamott for me.) I got home last night after work and was Chatty Cathy with Gregg, rambling about what I had learned over my lunch break when I read her Thanks chapter. I thought I would relate more to her Help chapter, since I recently sent an email to my girlfriends asking for post-baby help. But it was Thanks that got me.
Thanks was different than I anticipated. She actually wrote a lot about looking out for the good when circumstances are not. She doesn’t write about being thankful for the hard or tragic circumstances, but about trusting God in the middle of them and searching for what you can be thankful for afterwards: what you learned, who was brought close to you, etc.
There’s a lot of sad going on right now. Even though its Christmas and its the season for joy and family and friends, but, along with the school shooting which the entire nation is mourning together, there have been a handful of tragedies closer to home. To be thankful for the tragedies doesn’t seem right. But, maybe her point is to recognize God in the middle of them and to know that good will come.
She also writes about thanks in action. The whole “to whom much has been given, much is required” thing. She says that this does not just apply to the Kennedys and the Romneys. I like that. Its us, we should give, even the smallest kinds of giving can mean a lot to the recipient.
Example. My grandmother is one of the most generous people that I know. This year for Christmas, she gave each of us grandkids a gift that was even bigger than her usual. To say thanks and Merry Christmas, I sent her some sweets and a scarf that I had knit (she’s a knitter, too). My mom said that she was overjoyed with the package, especially the scarf. She said she’s knit for other people her whole life (she’s 92), but no one’s ever knit anything for her. It was not a big deal for me to knit her a scarf with some white, lacey yarn that I had had around for awhile. It was almost silly to me that she was so excited, since, compared to her gifts to her 5 grandchildren (she also has 3 children and 8 great-grandchildren,) the scarf and candies were beyond miniscule. But, as small as it was, my thanks made a difference to her.
P.S. I’m getting really annoyed by the use of the phrase “a lot.” I’m open to substitutes if you have any suggestions.
A BFF came to see me this weekend. What a treat! Gregg made us pizza on Friday night. Sam (her 16 month old) got to run around with the dogs, cats, and sheep. Did I mention our (hopefully) pregnant sheep are finally living with us? We also roamed around a town yard sale on Saturday. That’s right, a whole town came out to sell their stuff in a yard sale. We racked up. I got a necklace, a pile of lace for crafting, some Christmas ornaments, and a leopard print coat for a six month old girl(I have a hunch okay). [Comment on animal print: I never have worn animal print except for a snakeskin tube top I owned in high school. Was that even me? Not sure. Animal print is just not my thing, but on a little girl? Come on, that’s going to be adorable. Gregg was not a fan.] I didn’t pay more than $2 for anything (better than Goodwill!). E, Jeff, and Sam got an array of classic boardgames.
The best thing about this weekend was being known. Even for just 24 hours, I had friend in my house who has known me since I was three years old. (Wow.) We knew each other as little kids in preschool, as Freshman year roommates, as newly married friends, and, now, as moms and moms-to-be. So, so thankful. These kind of friendships are rare. My college friendships are rare, because they are lasting. They have a future and a past. I heard that the average friendship only lasts 6 years.
Meeting friends on the Eastern Shore, we’re starting right where we are, in the present, that is. There’s no past. Only a now and a future. In a place where people already have long-standing friendships with handfuls of people, nobody really feels like they need a new friend. They’re all lived here their whole lives, or so it seems.
This brings me to my resolution. I want to be welcoming to new people in the future. This resolution is stemming from our experience here so far. It seems like our friendships are two steps forward and one step back.
After getting settled in my community (in college, in San Francisco, in Knoxville), I have been pretty hesitant to reach out to new people. Small talk is hard and exhausting. But making people feel welcome is really important.
I prayed for a friend this weekend, after E left, and God began to answer me. At Sunday school, the girls were really excited that I was pregnant. Its fun to connect with people over an unborn baby. Its like insta-connection.
What I’m thankful for…
Pumpkin spice lattes AND Gingerbread lattes from Starbucks. (I usually get decaf, ok?)
Birthday money, including a gift certificate to Gap.
Two dogs, two cats, and a sweet husband.
A BFF coming to see me this weekend with her husband and baby.
A job that’s my most favorite that I’ve ever had.
A baby and a belly that’s just starting to poke out.
Holidays coming up where we get to see family, both coming to us and going to them.
A free dinner tonight, thank you drug rep.
Plants purchased at a discounted price (anything purchased at a discounted price!).
Connecting with my friends that live on the other side of the country (Meg and Julie).
Talking to other pregnant girls about being pregnant (especially about maternity clothes).
The beginning of my 29th year.
Scarves, sweaters, knitting, fall colors.
Its sometimes hard to get started, but once you get going, more things to be thankful for just keep coming up. This was effective therapy, since I felt like I had been too negative lately. (Example: a post entitled “woes.”)
Last week before my friend Julie left for Mozambique, she asked me if I had been able to trust that God has a good plan for me. I had a hard time responding. Sometimes I can trust. I depend on my circumstances and my feelings to be reassured that I am being taken care of. I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. How?? How can you be content whatever the circumstances? I know that people have been giving thanks and counting their thousands of gifts lately. I’m sure that they are onto something.
I’m thankful for my dogs.
I’m thankful to live by the water.
I’m thankful for time to write.
I’m thankful for the desire to write.
I’m thankful that Gregg has the chance to farm.
I’m thankful for treasures to be found on the beach.
I’m thankful for my first friend date that I had yesterday.
I’m thankful for feeling close to my friends even though they are far away.
I’m thankful for the sunshine and the blue sky.
I’m thankful that my family is safe and healthy.
I’m thankful for this sunroom and for this space heater.
Confession: my thought after the tenth gift was: is that how you do it? Did I do it right? Silly.
I’m thankful for time, which I hardly ever have, but I have now.
The more I give thanks, the more thankful I am. But some things just suck. One time my small group in San Francisco gave thanks for what was going poorly in their lives. After each person shared, we questioned if giving thanks was the correct response. I don’t think we came to an answer. Sometimes, I’m sure that give thanks for poor circumstances is the appropriate response, but what is making a change or asking for a change is even better?
I’m thankful for coffee. Really.
I’m thankful when Gregg and I just be together.