it’s not about turkey

In 1863, when Abraham Lincoln set our Thanksgiving to be a national holiday, he said (in part):

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God… No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy… It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens…

And 147 years later, we are still at it.

Besides the obvious…

my husband…
our son…
our daughter…
our parents…
our remaining grandparents…
the ones who went before them…
our 8 siblings and 4 siblings-in-law…
our niece…
our friends…
our house…
my husband’s new job…
the fact that we didn’t drown in debt while he was laid off for 10 months…
food on the table…
and even the dog…

…I try to make a point of – all the time – being thankful for the “little” things…

enjoying a movie with my kid…
a nice sunny day…
the rain when we need it…
that my kids get along great 99.9% of the time…
a baby’s laughter…
helping friends and family when I can…
that my boy cleaned his plate 3 times today, even vegetables…
the praise I received about a photo I printed for my grandpa…

etc.

To me, Thanksgiving is not a day where I specifically give thanks, I do that year-round. But today was a nice day to get together with my immediate family and some extended family. I was disappointed that my sister and brother-in-law couldn’t be with us, BUT I am thankful that they both have jobs, even if that means we didn’t get to see them today.

I encourage you not to take things for granted the rest of the year. Take each little blessing and comfort and necessity, and make each day of the year a day for thanksgiving. Really, it’s not about turkey.

digiscrap day

The day before yesterday, I went to my friend Kate‘s house for a scrapbooking day! It was so much fun! I go to occasional scrapbook nights at another friend’s house, but there, though there might be 7 or 8 of us, I am the only one that does this stuff on a computer. So I do believe that Kate is my first friend that I know “in real life” that does digital scrapbooking, like me! We seem to love it for all the same reasons: it’s easier, cheaper than paper, and I know I am more creative with this than I ever was with paper. (Maybe in part because all those elements and thing-a-ma-bobs are so expensive!)

We gabbed so much I only got 2 layouts done. Ha! But that’s ok, it was nice to work on something of my OWN for a change. Lately I’ve been doing so much on the computer but it’s been someone else’s website, someone else’s photo editing, someone else’s book to put together, etc. I feel like I haven’t scrapped in a long time. Heck, when I got home that eventing, I had to sit down and use photos I’d taken of my friend’s kids to design her a Christmas card!

100726-Kayleigh 100710-ElijahBirthday

So, when can we do this again? :)

back to work

On Wednesday, one of the unions where Steve signed on as a traveler called him to go to work. It’s a great opportunity and he jumped on it. It’s not any farther than when he was working in downtown St. Louis and it’s away from the city, which he likes. Good pay and hours and if things keep going like they are, it could be long term.

What’s really interesting, is that this is one of the unions that he had to leave the hospital to go re-sign at on the same day Kayleigh had her surgery. He has to appear in person every 6 months and that date fell on her surgery date. So he called the two unions that he had to go to and one of them (this one) said it was fine for him to come in the day before but the other union refused to budge so he had to just go visit them both on that day. When he re-signed that day, he was somewhere in the upper 100’s for his line position for a job. That is why it was so important for him to go. Then last week he started checking the job board and found he was #86. This company called something like 70 electricians.

We are just both so excited. I can still hardly not believe it. Honestly, I guess I’d gotten to the point where unemployment was life. I have been trying to get this photography business going good with my friend, so I had been really busy, but life became what it was: Steve not working.

Of course, there are no guarantees. We plan to live on as low a budget as possible and save the rest for the time that this may happen again. Somewhere around 2007 we were finally able to start a small savings account and though we were never rolling in it, there’s been a little something to save us during this time when we needed it. And we needed it at least once a month during the lay-off, usually when the Jeep and the mortgage and the electric were all due at the same time.

There’s also a downside to everything, I know Kayleigh is going to be upset. She’s already a daddy’s girl and she’s not going to like this at all. Plus I know Steve will be tired. But I’m not going to complain, we will all adjust. It’s just going to feel like a completely new life at first though.

But a big plus is we’re going to keep our health insurance! With no time off! Eye and dental, too. I’m psyched about that, lol.

So now, after more than 10 months of no work, he went into the union today and got his paperwork sorted out and is good to go!!