Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful month 2011

Like I did in November 2009, this year I posted something I'm thankful for each day on Facebook. So I give you my Month of Thanksgiving, 2011:

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
3. I'm supremely thankful to have a sister, Nadine, who has been my faithful companion throughout childhood (through laughter and battles--and BOY did we fight!) and adulthood (through joy and sadness), and who I will hold close in my heart forever and forever.
With my wonderful brother and sister, October 2011
4. I'm thankful for my artistic, spirited, and genuine brother Stephen...and I'm especially grateful for the sobriety and serenity he has regained in 2011. We are SO GLAD to have you back in our lives, Stephen, fully and wholly. I love you!

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
7. I could never have dreamed up a better suited life partner had I tried. Every day I'm grateful for your kindness, sense of humor, keen intelligence, love, and creativity. Thank you for loving me.
Our wedding day, June 17, 1990
8. This morning I had a dental checkup, which is NOT my favorite thing. However, I am grateful that I can afford to go to the dentist and have access to dental and medical care...furthermore, I am thankful for my overall good physical and mental health!

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
10. Today I'm thankful for my wonderful young man, Chris, who started life (at 1 lb, 6 oz.) with a 50% chance of survival and a 50% chance of having major disabilities. I'm thankful for his kind, loving, and forgiving nature; creativity, talent, and wit; and true love of life, and I'm delighted that he's found a school community where he can continue to thrive. You rock, Chris!
Chris at Rockaway Beach Jetty, August 2011
11. I'm thankful to live in a free country where people have the right to express their opinions freely and believe what they want to believe (even those with which I do not agree). And thanks to all the men and women who have sacrificed their own freedom and lives to keep our country free. On days like today, I especially remember those parents, spouses, siblings, and children with loved ones in the military, who are also making huge sacrifices by not being with--and constantly worrying about--their loved ones.

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.
13. Today I'm thankful for my amazing communities of friends--yes, that's you out there! We had a lovely adult night out last night with great friends... always a wonderful treat! I adore my children, but I also adore those adult-only evenings!
Adult evenings on the porch with dear friends, Holden Village, July 2011
14. Today I am thankful to belong to a forward-thinking, prophetic, and welcoming Christian community, Mission of the Atonement, filled with amazing members/friends and an inspirational rock star pastor. Each of you challenge and inspire me to be a better person and be the change I want to see in the world.
Kieran's first communion with godparents Laurie and Drew, 2010
15. Today I'm thankful for nature's bounty and great local food...such as raspberries, red peppers, freshly picked mushrooms, homegrown tomatoes and basil, pears, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, parsnips, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, delicata squash, kalamata olives (okay, so they're not local), corn, greens, hazelnuts, rosemary, lavender, watermelon, broccoli, chili peppers...what are your favorites?

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
18. Today I'm thankful for Mike's wonderful family. His sister and her two kids came to visit this summer (with my mother-in-law too), and it was the first time we'd seen them in nearly 4 years. Kath and I really enjoyed spending time together--especially going on a few girls' night outs. Mike's brother and family will be visiting us for New Year's (they've been traveling around the world). And then there's all the far-flung relatives out there on Facebook, as well. Very glad I married into the family! I'm very lucky!


Olga and Kath's visit, Columbia Gorge, July 2011
19. Today I'm thankful to have found a hairdresser who not only is within walking distance from my house, but also is nearly $50 cheaper for a cut and color (highlights). I love the hairdresser we've been seeing for many years, but it's hard to shell out $140 (including tip) for vanity.
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
21. Today I'm thankful that Kieran did not sustain a more serious eye injury after getting hit in the eye at his 1/2-day camp at Southwest Community Center...playing DODGEBALL! The National Association for Sport and Physical Education does not support dodgeball as an appropriate practice for PE classes because it uses children as human targets. Why in the heck were they playing dodgeball at the community center? I have always DESPISED dodgeball.

22. Today I'm thankful for the life of Zacary Coy Bentley, who passed away 10 years ago today (11/22/2001)...and I'm deeply thankful to know his amazing and inspirational mom, Laurie, from whom I have learned so much about motherhood, advocacy, grief, and fierce love.
Chris and Zacary, 2001
23. Today I'm thankful for my three sweet nephews and their wonderful father, my brother-in-law David. My boys absolutely adore their cousins, and I'm so glad they have such a wonderful friendship. I'm also thankful that I'm not alone in being the mom of three boys--my sister and I share that blessing (and sometimes burden, when it comes to cleaning bathrooms and such). They are such an important part of our lives, and we are all looking forward to spending Thanksgiving together!

Nadine, David, and the boys, Oregon Coast, August 2011
24. Final thoughts of thankfulness:


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!!

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