Friday, September 30, 2011


Well, I got close... I started the list on my birthday and worked on it till now... not too shabby for a mama of two! Just a couple days late. :)

the new list is one I can easily finish today *hopefully*.... it won't take me all year to complete it. I'm hoping to chop away at it between feedings, diaper changes and naps

the 29 things i am most thankful for... (in no particular order)

1. Hubs.  I can't imagine doing life without my best friend by my side. I can't imagine raising our daughters without this man next to me encouraging and challenging me.  We've tested some rough waters these last two and a half months.  I wasn't prepared for how unstable I would be emotionally after delivering our daughters and Hubs just never waivered in his support for me.  He has sacrificed for me time and time again the past two years and especially the past two months.  I really believe he is my "better half".  We've been tested in our patience and understanding towards one another yet, I'm never afraid to approach my husband and express my heart.  He is a safe place for me to be myself.  I love him more today than ever before.

2. my daughters. They are so full of life and yet, I am just getting to know them.  There is so much to discover about each of them and experience with them.  I love that they are mine and I get to spend my life learning about them.  They are the most precious gift I have been entrusted with.

3. my mother. I can't express to you how much I love and appreciate my mother.  She has held me and comforted me through many tearful moments in these 29 years.  She has rarely missed an event in my life that I would deem "important" and has always stood on the sidelines cheering me on towards my hopes and dreams.  I have never loved her or appreciated her more than I do after having my own daughters.  It makes me want to apologize, throw my arms around her neck and thank her for the sacrificial love she poured onto me and my brothers.  Seriously, mothers work hard and receive very little thanks.  I'm not saying that because I'm a Mom. I'm saying it because I know realize how much my mother has done for me... even after two months.  It's hard work!

4. my dad.  I love watching my father love his grandbabies.  It warms my very heart to see them respond to him and to know that they are getting their "love cups" filled by the man I love and admire so ardently.  He challenges my thinking, encourages my learning and supports my dreams and desires fully.  He is such a great man and I appreciate him.

5. my brothers and my sister-in-laws.  i'm beyond thankful for the family God has given me and the way that they have reached out to me (long distance) during my life.  I have always been supported and encouraged to live life to the fullest from my brothers and their wives.  In fact, I have a box of letters my brothers had written to me while we were growing up.  I was still at home and they were off on their many adventures in college or the Air Force.  I have a huge respect for and admiration as well for my brothers who are godly men with protective hearts.  They have always loved me to the fullest and given me a platform to jump from.  On all my adventures in life, I knew that I was able to do those because my brothers had gone before me paving the way so that I could follow and then go beyond what they had done.  I always knew I would have a home with my brothers and a place where I would be accepted.  My sister-in-laws have become real sisters to me and have encouraged me to become the woman, mother and wife that I am.  I have enjoyed texts, skype and phone calls throughout these years to talk and relate with one another on a deep level.  I can't imagine my brothers without their wives nor my life without my sisters.

6. my nieces and my nephews. laughter shared, chubby hands being held, milky mustaches, giggles, questions asked, dirty faces... these are some of the precious memories and moments I've shared with my nieces and nephews.  From the moment I became an aunt~ a proud moment for me since it's my only natural delivery experience to date (not my own, but i was there)~ I knew that there was almost nothing better (i imagined and now know that becoming a mother is much better).  being an auntie has been a thrill.  I've laughed harder than ever before and thought about life in new ways as little ones ask me questions I'd never thought of.  Now that they are getting older I am also receiving advice.  For instance, today my sweet Waveland advised me on the type of cake I should have and what it should look like.  I can't wait to continue learning from and passing on my own life's experiences to my sweet nieces and nephews.  I am also grateful that my children will have such awesome cousins to play with and learn from as well.

7. this might seem random but here goes~ I am honestly very very thankful that I live in a country where I was able to deliver my daughters in a healthy way.  50 years ago (or maybe not even that long ago) I would not have been able to deliver my daughters via a c-section and there could have been many many complications with their delivery and their health.  God is sovereign and as much as people like to have opinions about c-sections (don't worry, I was one of them. Remember? I prayed and prayed and prayed that I would NOT have one) I am now thankful that I live in a country where they are available if you should need/want one.  One thing delivering taught me? Not to form opinions or judgements on what people choose/don't choose.... sometimes you don't have any options and every person's story is different.

ok, i gotta make this quicker or i'll never finish...
8. friends who brought us meals when we weren't functioning the first two months of baby life.
9. texts from LMSN who kept me going when I was struggling and feeling alone.
10. my doctor who saw me as more than just a patient
11. the friend who came to see me and set aside time each week to serve me. (I will take you up on it, soon, I promise!)
12. little moments I've been given to "take time for myself"
13. other twin mommys
14. JK and all the texts I sent her way with multiple multiple questions (get it? ha ha)
15. the Word and how it has met me in the quick 5 minutes I have to read here and there
16. being able to provide food for my babies
17. the warmth of a fireplace on a chilly fall day
18. getting to experience a midwestern fall
19. all the women who shared their own struggles and hard lessons learned
20. pumpkin spice lattes... is it bad that i have one almost every day? eek!
21. LT and all the bottle questions she answered.  I'm also very thankful for the way you and your hubby have loved on my little girls.  Thanks for already babysitting once and doing it with excitement.
22. warm showers, blow dried hair, and a little dab of make-up.... sometimes it's nice just to feel like a woman again and not have spit-up or poop on me for an hour.
23. salvation, grace and the knowledge that I will never be perfect but that's exactly the way I am accepted and expected to be.
24. hot coffee with my bible and journal in the mornings... hope to etch out some time like that again someday
25. family time, grace from our npo that we needed to focus on family first and adjust to life... no pressure to perform for them or get back in the grind before we were ready...
26. freedom to cry and be myself with so many people
27. fall leaves, nature, a slower pace to breath deep and let my shoulders release their tension
28. tender mid-night feedings. part of me wants these to go away and wants my daughters to sleep through the night, but another part of me enjoys holding them and having a quiet moment of "just us" 
29. especially for the Lord and the way He has shown me how I am never alone nor will I be.  He continues to meet with me and speak to me through His Word and through others encouragement.  He has given me identity when I felt lost and given me purpose and desire in the midst of wandering/wondering if I would ever meet with Him passionately again.  Don't ever take for granted if you have the time to sit for an hour or more and meet with God.  It might not always be so.


sarah said...

i love this list, joanna! love you, sister!!

jamie said...

love it jo and i will keep answering your multiple multiple questions! i love helping you friend! and so thankful we get to do this together!
only the LORD knew years ago that you would be with me when simeon died and 2- that we would have stinking twins together ahhhh love it!

Anonymous said...

appreciate your honest thoughts...these are struggles we all have... we so need the lord to scoop us up and give us an extra dose of love and encouragement.