Post-Thanksgiving Gratitude

I wrote a post on my social media that I want to add here, because it is an accurate snapshot of how I feel at this moment. Anna, walking around in her footy-pajamas, hair in a big fluffy bun, playing with our advent calendar… yes, I’m beyond grateful today.

I will also be writing a few more blog posts to cover the month of November, but most will be password protected because there are some privacy concerns that I’m keeping in mind. If you know me and feel I’d be willing to give you the password, send me a PM/IM/DM or a good-old-fashioned email. I’ll respond as I have time.

(Why write and have it password protected? Because this is my family journal, documenting our family’s journey. I want these documented where I always document our story, but they’re not really stories for public consumption. So… my blog. My rules.)

For now, here is a bit of my life that I am willing to shout from the rooftops:

Another house for Christmas number 25 together. 🏘

It all started in 1995 when we were just 17… by our first Christmas together we were both 18 and were grieving the sudden loss of Matt’s father. We started a tradition then of buying an ornament each year that represents something unique about that year. We have lots of “baby” themed ornaments!  


Our first several years as a married couple we had real trees, then a few weeks before he deployed to Iraq we splurged on a fake tree and we’ve been using it ever since. It sheds more than it should (seriously, I don’t know how it’s not bald) but it’s still more full than those we’ve seen in stores this year.


As I put up the extra special ornaments (in a particular order/way – kinda picky about that part) I am drawn back through the years. I know Thanksgiving is over, but I’m so thankful for this life I’ve been given. If given the chance I’d go back and do it all over again, stressors and all. Even if I had to endure the loss, debt, and deployments again, being Matt’s wife and these kids’ mamma every day has been the greatest gift someone could receive.
Finding where the tree will go in each new house is a challenge, especially when we already had to downsize the seating for our large family because this living room is smaller than our previous one… and maybe the love seat is in an awkward position, but it fits, the tree is up and lit, and the family is together and healthy. I know there won’t be too many more that all seven of us live under one roof and I’m soaking up the extra time, praying I love my kids well during the short years they’re living with us.
November has not been perfect. In fact, there have been some struggles that I won’t share publicly but I add this in here so that I can assure you that my joy is not because of an absence of pain or heartache. My joy is in spite of and through pain and heartache. My joy is not dependent on my circumstances. And in light of the pain/heartache AND happiness, I can say that November has been the best month of the year, by far.
This morning as I sit by the tree (in the quiet before the family wakes, listening to Christmas music, and drinking hot coffee), I am all in my feelings. 


And I am grateful. 

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in brothers/boys, family, marriage. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Post-Thanksgiving Gratitude

  1. serianna3 says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    I enjoy reading your posts & seeing your beautiful family!

    I would be grateful to get the password to your protected post, as I look forward reading about your life events & journey.

    I’m thankful that I can still feel connected to you, it brings back memories of your childhood with Kelly & HFBC.

    Love & blessings,



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