I had a bad day the other day. Sometimes I worry so much about Lucy it makes me sick. She’s getting into some bad habits we can’t seem to help her kick no matter what new whiz-bang tactics we try. Sometimes it gets me so sad because she’s been doing so well for so long. And you know when you start on feeling sad about something like that, things snowball. I started getting so frustrated with myself about being late for carpools. Continually. Why can’t I pull myself together? And I’m so far behind in my scripture reading…and book club reading. How are my kids going to turn into book worms if I’m not reading in front of them…and not even reading at all? And I can’t find a new piano teacher for my kids since ours retired last year (I’m the new “teacher” and it’s working better for some kids than others.) I can’t keep up with emails from teachers and I can’t find a system that works to help the kids be as conscientious with homework as I want them to be nor can I help them all at the same time. Have I trained them to use their time wisely? How can I do that if I can’t do it myself? And then I get comments on this blog like I am some sort of superwoman and it stresses me out because they don’t know the real me: the one who is frazzled and gets ignored by her children on a regular basis. Things don’t always come together like they seem to on blogs. We do have some great systems but they don’t work seamlessly all the time. We do not go skipping around in sunsets (most of the time:) or live in perfect peace and harmony all the time. One daughter hit another in church on Sunday. Right in the middle of sacrament meeting. Lucy is getting shunned by friends at school because they are realizing she is different. I get mad at kids for not doing their jobs (because they don’t…often). The kids get huffy and slam doors when they’re mad (they take after their mother). I sometimes get huffy at Dave even when he’s trying to help. But luckily that bad day happened to be “Thankful Tree” day. Our traditional beginning-of-November-Family-Home-Evening night when we put together our Thanksgiving tree to help us remember our blessings. There’s nothing like that to help whip you back to your senses. As we cut out branches and leaves and filled them with things we loved and were so very thankful for, the thick air of gratitude started swallowing up my sorrow. I didn’t even care that my kids were on the counter with dirty feet. …we added “Clorox disinfecting wipes” to our leaves of gratitude 🙂 Lucy’s careful writing mingled amidst the other leaves made my heart swell. She can write. She is learning so much. Usually we just do a few leaves the first night and add a few more at breakfast each morning but this year we just couldn’t seem to stop. Dave and Max looked ever so helpful over writing up a storm on their own thankful leaves… …but this is what they were really doing:(along with their leaf-writing) …which meant a good time was had by all 🙂 How grateful I am for this month of gratitude and Thanksgiving. Life is far from complete harmony and continual rainbows and butterflies. But how grateful I am for this good, imperfect family of mine and for all the valleys of hardships and deep worries among the gorgeous mountaintop vistas of goodness that come our way. I adore them despite all the craziness and they forgive me and adore me right back despite all my indecisiveness and commotion-causing-hustling. I feel like the luckiest girl ever that they’re mine and I’m theirs.