10 things I am grateful for this holiday season

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

1. My husband: In addition to these 35 things about my hubby that I absolutely adore, I have practically grown a second heart full of gratitude for Jeff’s diligent and dedicated support of our family. He works at a wonderful company with a fantastic team of people, but his job also causes him a high level of stress. Jeff works very hard, and it is this effort and commitment on my husband’s part that keeps him in a position to be the sole supporter of our family right now so that I can be a stay at home mom to 17 month old Baby, the love of our lives. My husband is giving us all the most special gift possible – the time to raise our son in the best way that I know how.

2. Getting laid off: If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know how much I cherish the gift of being a stay at home mom, but before Baby was born, I had no intention of leaving my career as a special ed English teacher. Getting laid off gave me the opportunity to open my mind to a new possibility – a situation that has become the ultimate experience of my life. I will always be thankful to this blessing in disguise.

3. My son: Baby is the best teacher I have ever had. I have learned to be present and to live in the moment, thanks to Baby, and this seemed like an impossibility for me for pretty much every moment of my life leading up to Baby’s birth. I often think of him as my little “time lasso-er” because this tiny superhero seems to have the power of keeping my mind calm, centered, and at peace with the moment at hand.

4. My blogging world: When I launched I Thought I Knew Mama on January 3rd, 2011, I had no idea that it would enhance my life so much. I am so thankful to my readers for inspiring me to write – a passion of mine since childhood – on a nearly daily basis. I am also grateful to all of the bloggers out there that provide me with much needed information, laughter, tears, smiles, and hope every day through their writing. And of course, I don’t know what kind of mama I would be without the support of my blogging friends, many of whom are also part of the Natural Parents Network community.

5. My health: One of my biggest reasons for committing to creating a green lifestyle for my family is to provide us with long and healthy lives. With my 28 year old brother beating Hodgkin’s lymphoma twice in the past three years, my 22 year old cousin and close friend passing away suddenly of a brain aneurysm two years ago, and several other close relatives being inflicted with cancer – including my amazing dad who beat kidney cancer, I can’t help but worry about my family’s good health being taken away at a moment’s notice. Each day, I feel thankful for another day of having health and the awareness and dedication to do everything I can for my family to keep us healthy and enjoying this beautiful world. For tips on how to keep your family healthy, visit Healthy Child, Healthy World.

6. The baby in my belly: I publicly announced my pregnancy yesterday, so I can now officially share my gratitude for this tiny baby who has hung in there with us despite the doomsday opinions of medical professionals. Stay tuned for my misdiagnosed miscarriage story in the coming week.

7. Experiencing the holidays through my son’s eyes: There is nothing like making the holidays come to life for a young toddler to bring all of the magic back for you. Last year’s holidays were very special as we shared our first of each holiday with Baby, but this year is incredibly fun in a new way since Baby can understand certain aspects of the holidays. We have been singing Christmas songs, reading Christmas books, and attending holiday events since early November, and Baby is already a full fledged Christmas fan even though it is not even officially December.

8. Family: We are so lucky to have family members who support us in every way possible. Baby has six grandparents who will come from out of state to babysit any chance they get. They also do everything possible to enrich Baby’s life and our lives.

9. The different stages of childhood: I used to dread the time that Baby would turn one year old because I thought it could never be as exciting as Babyhood, but I was so wrong. I now realize how special and fun and magical each stage of childhood is, and it really makes me look forward to every aspect of Baby’s future.

10. This face:

toddler covered with blackberry juice

Even when covered with blackberries, this face makes everything perfect in my life!

Please note that the first five items on this list originally appeared in a guest post that I wrote for Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro. If you like the idea of sharing five things you are grateful for every week, or reading what others are grateful for, Amanda hosts a link up for gratitude posts every week.

What are you grateful for this holiday season?

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