When we were in what seemed to be an endless cycle of deployments it was hard to imagine any other “normal.” We tended to plan the following years activities or holidays dependent on whether or not Brooks would be with us. We, at times, celebrated holidays on the day that made most sense, even if it was weeks or days before or after the actual holiday. As technology improved over the years we were even able to celebrate milestones with Dad over the internet via one or another video conferencing app or website.

It doesn’t escape me in the least that there are many military families this Thanksgiving celebrating separately, if only temporarily. And regardless of that, it still hurts, even knowing that in a few days or weeks you’ll be together and can celebrate then. So I am ever grateful for each day with my beau, even on days when we don’t see eye to eye on things. I am ever grateful for two Thanksgivings in a row together.

I find myself grateful for so many things day in and day out. We practice gratitude around here daily, be it the “small” things or the “big.” It’s the secret to living a life with the glass eternally half-full. Perhaps at times our circumstances aren’t what we would desire them to be. And boy, do things “stink” at times. But those are the moments when I find myself even more grateful. For the dishwasher that allows me more time with my family. For the ability to spend so much time with my Little. For the ability to replace items as they break or to keep our quickly growing boy in clothes that keep him warm and comfortable. I’m grateful every time I purchase groceries, because I was able to. I’m seriously grateful every time I run a load of clothes through the washer. And when the dryer began making crazy squeaking noises of late I was even grateful for the ability to dry them at the laundromat all at once instead of the daily task it tends to be.

Life is so sweet. Sometimes it can be heartbreaking, I’m not naive. Sometimes we ache so strongly for those we love and care about and the circumstances they are going through. In those moments prayer is my refuge because some things are just so much bigger than ourselves and I’m so grateful that our God  can hold our hands and our hearts through them.

So there I sat last night… cheering on the James River Eagles 5th/6th grade developmental team and my heart was just bursting with gratitude, for there stood my beau, coaching his son and his teammates. To see them together, during another season of basketball, was incredibly sweet.

So this Thanksgiving, among so many other things, I am grateful for My Boys and their love of basketball. Win or lose, I’m looking forward to so many new memories made.