Thankful

Sometimes you just have to stop what you’re doing and be thankful for the people and the things that surround you. The past couple of weeks I have been overwhelmingly thankful for Roman and the joy that he brings to my life. It’s more than joy. Its comfort, understanding, encouragement, love, laughter, kindness, forgiveness, spiritual companionship, friendship. It’s really just so much.

Yesterday he and I went for a quick walk at Dillon Beach before we went to dinner and watched a movie. I found myself feeling content, happy. For a long time I’ve wondered what a happy relationship feels like. People will always say do whatever makes you happy and for whatever reason I was really stumped by that.

Dillon Beach Dillon Beach 2

I enjoy lots of things. I craft, I crochet, I sew, I spend time with my sisters, I tell stories, I laugh, I sing, but those things aren’t overly fulfilling to me. Mostly…I love to love. The issue I’ve always had is that I spend my time and energy loving people who don’t love with the same capacity that I do. The other HUGE factor that has changed recently is my spirituality. I spent several years struggling to be persistent in my relationship with God. Past relationships smothered my passion for Christ and I’m sad to have to admit that I wasn’t strong enough to battle that.

So, I’m ABUNDANTLY thankful for Roman–for the peace, love, joy, encouragement, rest, understanding and laughter that he brings to my life.

I’m also very thankful for my sisters.

SistersRecently I’ve spent more time at home being around them. It’s not always about doing something special; just being in each others’ presence is sometimes enough. Several nights the past month my sisters and I have ended up smashed into my queen sized bed, coloring, watching netflix, telling stories, sharing random vine videos and laughing. Just yesterday Abby and I were on opposite floors texting each other links to funny videos. I could hear her laughing a floor beneath me and I’d chuckle to myself wondering what video she would send me next.

Last week I took Charis to get her nails done for the first time.

Charis

I watched her make faces as the nail technician used the various filing tools. Amazement…PAIN. (I remember what it feels like the first time.) At one point she jerked her hand back and screamed “Owww!” The nail technician proceeded to tell her “Well, if you’d relax you’d get hurt less.” After we left Charis says to me “That was totally not my fault!” I told her I knew. For whatever reason the nail technicians always make it your fault. These are little moments that seem trivial or irrelevant, but when I take time to reflect, I realize that these are moments I am able to share with each of them that I will never forget, and I will never get back.

August 8th Abby and I will be taking a trip to New York City together.

New York

It is something that the two of us will remember for a lifetime. The 9th is her 19th birthday, which makes it all the more special!! Making memories is what life is all about and I am so excited to be making this one with her. I’ve already bought us tickets to see Wicked and we are SUPER pumped. We’ve had two solid months from Hell and we absolutely deserve this trip.

Abby

She is a fly by the seat of her pants kind of chick; she’s always been adventurous and loves to push the limits. I’m a nervous nelly. Period. Just the other night we decided to look up where our show was in comparison to other places we wanted to visit. There was slight panic (ok more than slight) as she said “Well, it’s on a island”….I go into immediate PANIC MODE! “ON AND ISLAND?! How are we going to get from New York City to an island?! Are we going to have to take a ferry?! OH MY GOSH! We’re only in the city for 12 hours! We will miss our bus home!! Or we won’t get to see everything we want to seeeee!!!” If I don’t come back from NYC, Abby has left me on a street corner because I have stressed her out too much. *Correction- If I come back without Abby, she has decided to make a life without me in NYC and insisted that I go back immediately!

And of course there is my sister Bethany.

Bethany & Eli

There aren’t enough words to express the love that has happened to all of us the past year. She has opened her house to all of us for the past 5 months. My nephew has brought so much joy to all of our lives and we all drop in and invade her space to smooch his cute little face. I remember finding out she was pregnant and I was devastated for myself. I had been trying for several months to have a baby and it just flat out wasn’t working. I will never be able to repay her for the incredible kindness and sensitivity she showed me even in my most selfish moments. Looking back everything has happened for a reason. I quickly jumped on board with the pregnancy, but the first few weeks were difficult and she showed me love and compassion that was immeasurable, and to be blunt she didn’t have to.

Since then baby E was born and I’ve watched my sister become the most loving mother. She is HILARIOUS with her son, which I also love. One of my favorite things to watch is when baby Eli is just throwing and all out FIT and she picks him up, puts him eye level and says “Ohhh my gooodnesss…”, in this weird, silly voice. He continues to scream and she’s just baby talking to him. I’ve enjoyed watching her mother and I’ve loved watching her and Patrick become a little family.

 Bethany and Eli  bethany family

Her persistence with breast feeding even when it was the most emotionally and physically exhausting thing has been inspiring. It’s a role reversal. I’ve done a lot and experienced a lot of things first. I can say without a doubt that I am the one learning from her every day. Parenting is hard. There is no other way to explain it. From an outside perspective, it’s hard. I know there is incredible joy. I know she is the happiest she’s ever been and that love is overflowing, but I also know she has put in the hardest days and nights of her life. If ever I doubted her strength, she has BEYOND proved that she is the flat out bomb-digity. There’s just no other words to say it.

Behind all of the things and the people that I am thankful for, is a woman who has fought to stand her ground all through her life. I get angry, I want to scream and yell and carry on. I want to live her life for her, or ship her out to live her life somewhere else at times, but there is no denying that all of us are who we are because of our Mother.

Mom

It’s where Bethany gets her mothering and her persistence. It’s where Abby gets her curiosity and adventurousness. It’s where Charis gets her sensitive spirit and her attitude. It’s where I get my passion for people and my nostalgia. Life isn’t easy. In fact life is probably the hardest thing we’ve all had to endure, but who we are has a great deal to do with who has influenced us. Without her, we’d be nothing. God gives each of us people in our lives that we are to influence. Her job was to raise 4 daughters. Daughters who have gotten her head-strong gene. Daughters who have learned to challenge authority and think for themselves. Daughters who were encouraged to have minds of their own and to chase their dreams. Daughters who were taught to be creative and innovative. Daughters who were taught to look to God for answers. Daughters who were taught that “sisters are forever”. Daughters who were taught to be kind to one another and to always defend each other. Daughters who were taught to love with a ferociousness that not everyone has. Daughters that were taught to have a compassion for all people. These are all qualities that have been facilitated and given from her. 

Even in the darkest times, there is no denying that we are who we are, because God gave her a specific mission and she accepted it wholeheartedly.

I am thankful.

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