Sibling thanks

If you had asked me 35 years ago whether I was thankful for my little brother, I am rather certain that the answer would have been a decisive “No!”. In the words of his first grade teacher, he was rather incorrigible.  When she shared this with him, Matt’s response was, “What does ‘incorrigible’ mean?” (At least this is what the said teacher, now retired, tells us with a smile.  It does sound like something he’s say.)

It didn’t take too long, after those first few years of big sisterhood, before I began to find more than an annoying sibling in our household, but a friend, playmate, lego building companion, fellow adventurer and imaginer extraordinaire. Granted, I may have appreciated this aspect more if his imaginary friend hadn’t developed a habit of sneaking treasures from my bedroom, but I did appreciate the fact that the snatched items usually appeared in his same drawer. (or at least empty candy wrappers went there… invisible friends have to eat also, you know.)

So today is Matt’s 37th birthday. And in this month of thanks, I am thrilled to share five things that make me thankful for my little brother!  (And yes, Matt, you’re five inches taller than I am, but you’ll always be my little brother.)

Day 10 – 5 reasons I’m thankful for Matt 

1. childhood play – you joined with me unabashedly (usually) to jump rope, play ball, ride our bikes, and explore the woods. It was with you that I discovered the huge vine swing, where we seemed for a moment to be removed from the world around.

2. a shoulder to cry on – when our car was in an accident on an icy day home from school my senior year, you helped keep me steady and calm, and when we arrived home, you let me cry on your shoulder. (We’ve had other moments since then, and I’m sure there will be more.  Thank you.) moving on…

3. laughter – somehow, you always find a way to make me laugh. It just takes a certain expression, a raised eyebrow, a dry comment of some sort… but you can do it. It has taken years for my husband to reach this level – you set the bar high. Perhaps it’s because of the reruns of SNL we used to watch together, or maybe because you’re born on Bill Cosby’s birthday. I don’t know, but you have that knack.

4. your wife – Chanda is beautiful, patient (as one would expect – she married you), smart (ditto)… and she tolerates your extended family with a smile. This is certainly a plus. Nice life choice there, Matt – we love you, Chanda!

5. you as a daddy – you have always been wonderful with children, but it is such a blessing to see you with your two beautiful, smart, talented daughters. Watching you grow as a loving, wise and caring father makes me proud to be your sister. (The girls have enough of you in them that they may be asking a teacher what “incorrigible” means… but have probably told them already.)

So happy birthday, Matt – I’m thankful for YOU!

p.s. note to Chris – this doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for my older brother, but your birthday is in January. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Today’s thankful thoughts

As my “thankfulness journey” continues, I find myself planning ahead, anticipating what I can include the next day’s post. I know that every day is different, each is special, and how on earth am I to showcase appropriately? A daunting task, but, as I remind myself, the day’s choices aren’t the key.  Rather, it’s the journey of thanks that is. So what things am I experiencing right now that should elicit thankful thoughts?

Day 9 – Angie’s five thankful thoughts

1. zucchini – this abundant sign of summer produce can really be quite tasty, and we really enjoyed it last night!

the internet – in relation to the above, Other recipe websites have good vegetable prep ideas, but last night’s zucchini alfredo was fantastic. (if I do say so myself)

3. unexpected treasures – as I cleaned my nightstand this morning in search of a missing earring, I found a different pair of earrings, a dollar in change (quarters – hooray!) and a hair barrette. Didn’t yet find the other earring, but I’m sure I will.

4. celebration anticipation – T.R. and I celebrate our eighteenth anniversary next week, and we’ll be in different towns on that day, so TONIGHT we’re going to a favorite restaurant. And to a movie. Without children.  🙂

5. visit from Mom – I’m very blessed to have my mother (or Dad, when Mom cannot) visit each week to help with various “stuff.” Today, groceries are taken care of, so we’re cleaning out the fridge. After lunch, though, we plan to be “crafty” with polymer clay, one of the few areas where I can actually teach her. Maybe I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

Normal Blessings

Day eight is here – and like yesterday, I keep thinking about what I’ve come to take for granted. If today is to be a “normal” day, what constitutes normal? What should? As I ponder briefly, I can’t help but look more deeply at my own daily journey. God sometimes uses a bit of a “jolt,” so it seems, to help me realize just how much He’s giving me each day. So below I’ll share another list, as I learn to embrace stillness and ponder. And pray.

Day 8: Angie’s five normal – or not-so-normal – reasons for thanks

1. tuna salad sandwiches – when I wasn’t feeling my best yesterday afternoon, my loving husband decided that we needed tuna salad sandwiches.  And he would make the said salad and toast the bread.  Then make the sandwiches, complete with fresh tomato.  (This is the best kind of sandwich, I think. Grilled cheese was the other option, if it had been chosen, THAT would have been the best type.)

2. laptop computer – I am thankful for THIS one, but I know that these are lifelines for many men and women in many ways. This one was a very treasured birthday gift.

3. legs that walk – this is certainly something I used to take for granted. On nights I awaken to numb or unresponsive limbs, it is frightening, and on days heat or fatigue strike them, I am also reminded of the gift I have. And that it can change.

4. glasses – they help my eyes distinguish letters, shapes, colors, movement, faces and expressions. Severe myopia (near-sightedness) continues, and I’m so thankful that specially molded plastic lenses can bend light so that what would have been an indistinguishable blur can be so much more.

5. fingers that move independently – they may not be super fast, but they can type. And pick things up. And pick out a melody on the piano.

I knew more “MS-sh” things would hit my lists sooner or later. But I think they’re also what woke me up to the need to express thanks…

Habit of thanks

It’s a little hard to believe that this is the seventh day of my “30 days of thanks.” This is certainly becoming more of a habit, as well it should. In honor of the forming of the said “habit,” I plan to focus five things I’ve come to take for granted… a habit, I suppose. Some may be considered commonplace, but should they be?

Day 7: Angie’s five thankful thoughts

1. cell phones – two decades ago, would I have imagined that I could have a phone in my pocket that could be used to call anyone, anywhere? And that this would be the norm?
[This particularly fits the seventh day, as my loving husband was able to arrange the number —7777 for me, years ago when one could choose from a list of numbers available. He thought I’d be less likely to forget my number this way.]
2. literacy – I’m so thankful I can read. Not only do I have a card for our local library, but I am also blessed with personal shelves of books that have become friends in their own right.
3. running water – we can bathe, cook, clean, irrigate the garden, and even adjust the temperature.
4. music – that I can hear music, and that I can make it also. And that I can appreciate it along the way. (The girls’ piano teacher just shared a wonderful music happening – joyful, indeed!)
5. a working car – amazing indeed, thinking back less than a century. And a garage with more than one vehicle – we are rich indeed!