Thanksgiving has come and gone, and no matter how I tried to pull myself in to this computer and express my complete gratitude for so many hoards of blessings I just couldn’t peel myself away from the craziness to do it. So I’ll just sum up a couple things I’m thankful for now that it’s all over:

1) Extended family…the ones Dave and I grew up in. We couldn’t have had better examples and love growing up and it just keeps going. How grateful I am for those relationships, and the chance we had to nurture and build some of them this past couple weeks.
2) Our family. I must admit, as much as I absolutely adored having so much family around the last couple weeks, I am SOOO thankful for my own little family and the peace we had last night as we added the finishing touches of our Christmas decorations together and read our first real Christmas story under the tree in just the lights gleaming from it’s branches. Despite Elle not being able to sit still for more than a minute and Lucy trying to pull off Christmas decorations and Gracie being distracted about a hundred times, we read “A Christmas Carol” and the real spirit of Christmas started descending gracefully around us as we nestled there together in the twinkling lights of the tree. Just for a minute, because interruptions are enough to jostle that spirit away pretty quickly, but I felt it inching it’s way in. Now if we can just “be still” for long enough in all the hustle-bustle of the season I’m craving that spirit to spread over us like a warm blanket and help us remember the true meaning of this season.

It’s been a fun/crazy couple weeks. Starting out with Dave’s sister’s visit, then Dave’s Dad’s quick stop-over, then my sister and her family for a week and a half overlapped by my parents, my brother’s family with three kids, my other brother and his girlfriend, and my little sister. Needless to say we utilized pretty much every couch, pillow, nook and cranny of this house. Our cupboards are bare, our fridge is dismal, our floor feels like you are walking around on puddles of dried lemonade and I have stacks of papers and laundry everywhere, but man, we’re missing all those wonderful people SO much already. I just love family. We had some great talks and good bonding stuffed in here and there amidst the chaos. More details on that sometime soon…

Now it’s later and I’ve got to get to bed. I’ll just say I wanted to kiss this new cleaning lady when she showed up today with two helpers and armfuls of cleaning supplies. I’ve been fighting against getting a cleaning lady for a long time now because I want so much to teach my kids the value of hard work, but the way my heart jumped when I saw one of those sweet ladies scrubbing my baseboards made me think there’s enough work to go around for us and a cleaning lady. Our house feels amazing tonight after a good thorough scrub.

So, as I head off to bed I’ll add one more thing to my thankful list:
3) A house that’s clean all at the same time. Not just the upstairs or the downstairs or just the bathrooms, but everything together. Man I’m thankful.

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  1. I am so happy you got a cleaning lady. I am going to add that to my list: 1. I am thankful that Shawni has a cleaning lady.
    Love the photos… need to see some from the zoo, too. Or was Josh the one with the camera? Anyway, we had a perfect visit with you guys. Its totally worth the drive to come see you. As soon as you recover from this time, we will come visit you again!

  2. I’ve always said I’d rather have a cleaning lady than a new car! Which reminds me, I have a new car and no cleaning lady right now. What am I thinking???
    Loved your thoughts about those moments of peace too! They are so precious!
    Thanks again for a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday. You made it all possible! The feeling of passing the baton once in a while is almost as fun as the cleaning ladies showing up at the front door!

    Love you,

  3. Aren’t we always cleaning? I think cleaning ladies are such a blessing to help keep up with our never clean houses. I use to get so bummed when I would spend all day cleaning and then two seconds later it was dirty. At least now we can save ourselves some time and put it into other productive things. We can always find some jobs for the kids and it lightens our loads.
    Great pictures Shawni! I love the one on the train tracks. You are getting better by the minute. I need some lessons.

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