1. Feeling thankful that I get to write, edit, plan, and actually use my English degree every day...and get paid for it!
2. I'm thankful to grow up in a nurturing home with phenomenal, loving parents who encouraged me to be myself and pursue my passions. We might not have had a lot of money growing up, but our house was full of love and laughter.
|Mom and Dad in Astoria, August 2011|
|With my wonderful brother and sister, October 2011|
5. Today I'm thankful for global connections (met a coworker/friend from Calgary at the airport this morning for coffee--so glad to connect in person rather than by phone!!)...and for monthly bluegrass jam sessions and an excuse to practice my mandolin.
6. Today, All Saints Day, I lit a candle for all the littlest saints who didn't grace our presence long enough in this world...Zacary, Parker, Olivia, Jacob, Grant, Jenna, Chloe, Jonah, Quinn, Tarun Ebling, and all those children whose names I cannot remember or who never received a name but who are loved, mourned, and remembered daily.
|Taize service, Holden Village, July 2011|
|Our wedding day, June 17, 1990|
9. I'm thankful for our 40+ bonus baby, Nicholas, who has brought so much music and laughter into our lives! I can't imagine our family without him. This morning as I left for work, he held the back door open for me saying, "Here you are, madam...your car awaits."
|Visiting me in the craft cave at Holden Village, July 2011|
|Chris at Rockaway Beach Jetty, August 2011|
12. I'm thankful for my dramatic middle son, Kieran. He was our second miracle baby, born after we thought we would not have any other children (after four miscarriages). I love his wonderful spirit, passion, and creativity. When I tell him that I love him, he argues "I love you more!" In this photo, he's holding the mug he made for his second grade teacher. He's been working terribly hard during the last month, and I can't wait to see him on opening night (less than a week away)!
|Kieran as "The Little Monster," Frankie Jr.|
|Adult evenings on the porch with dear friends, Holden Village, July 2011|
|Kieran's first communion with godparents Laurie and Drew, 2010|
16. Today I'm thankful for books. I'm thankful to live in the #1 book-loving city in the country, my online book group (goodreads.com), my real book group (which meets this evening), Multnomah County and Washington County libraries and librarians, all my great teachers and professors who shared my love of books, local bookstores like Powells and Annie Blooms, and a book-loving family!
17. Today I'm thankful for medical technology and highly skilled doctors and nurses, who saved the life of my oldest son when he was born at 24 weeks gestation. If Chris Gettel-gilmartin had been born just a few years earlier, he probably would not have survived. He will always be my hero, just as those who cared for him (and us!) during those 17 weeks will always be our angels. Thanks also to those of you who supported us through the biggest crisis of our lives. And I also feel enormous gratitude for all the amazing friends we have made...those who also endured the NICU experience and lived to tell the tale. You are such a blessing! You know who you are. Love all of you!
|With dear, cherished friends (and NICU moms) Kristin and Catherine, several years ago|
|Olga and Kath's visit, Columbia Gorge, July 2011|
20. Today I'm thankful for MUSIC--which lifts my soul, makes me want to dance, brings a smile to my face, and warms my heart. It's hard to imagine a life without music. I am thankful for my guitar, mandolin, voice, stereo, and iPod, and the opportunity to make music with talented musicians. I'm also thankful for my kids who are constantly singing. I'm listening to Nicholas sing right this moment--of my three kids, he's the one who seems to most frequently have a music track running through his head.
|Making music on the Holden Village ark, July 2011|
|Chris and Zacary, 2001|
|Nadine, David, and the boys, Oregon Coast, August 2011|
Today I'm thankful for my extended Gettel & Allen family members--both the ones I will see today and the ones I will not. :( I feel lucky to live near so many of you--and stay connected via Facebook. Love you all!
I'm thankful to live in this lovely Pacific Northwest, filled with funky, fun culture, fresh food, and scenic beauty.
And finally, I'm thankful for life itself. It's a true blessing to be cherished.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there!!