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Thankful Thursday

“Let us pray for hearts that see beneath surface problems and into the soul of human need.  May we love others for who they may become in Christ.  May we befriend the friendless, love the sinner, and accept those with different points of view.  And as we walk in today’s world, may we represent the Christ well.”
~ Gracie Malone, Unafraid: 365 Days Without Fear
Happy Thankful Thursday!  Sorry taking last week off, but it’s been around these parts.  I’m happy to be back on the wagon this week.  I need to be mediating on all of the positive things going on in my life right now with the way this week has turned out.
Earlier this week I had an issue with my furniture delivery that has now resulted in an injury for me.  I didn’t see myself spending my weekend on bed rest, but it looks like that’s what’s going to be happening.  It’s frustrating to say the least.  As a busy mom of two, having an injury that has me sidelined isn’t ideal because Mommy Duty doesn’t have specific hours.  I’m on-call 24/7.
I’m thankful though that my family has been praying for me and has offered to help in anyway that they can until I’m all better.  I’m also grateful that all of the furniture has arrived.  That’s one less thing that I have to worry about right now.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but I do think our Spring weather has arrived!  I’m grateful that the weather has been nothing short of lovely this week.  The kids and I got a head start on our gardening.  We planted tomatoes and watermelons and will be adding basil, parsley, lettuce and strawberries in the coming weeks.
So far gardening has been a great bonding experience for us.  The kids wake up every morning asking to water their plants.  The enthusiasm on their faces as they race to the balcony to see if their plants have sprouted yet is the cutest thing!
Lastly, I’m thankful for supportive friends, especially Makeba from MELISASource.  I had been silently following her blog for a while before we finally met in person last year at private event hosted by Coca-Cola.  We ended up seated next to each other during a presentation and clicked instantly after realizing we had so much in common.  
I can’t express how great it is to have friends who support what you do/your dreams.  We all need someone to cheer us on and remind us that we’re not in this alone from time to time.  If you don’t have anyone in your circle cheering you on, it’s never to let to make new friends.
What are you thankful for this week?

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Thankful Thursday

“For the Lord will not abandon His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.”

~ Psalm 94:14
Happy Thankful Thursday!  Is February coming to a close already?!  I can’t say that I’m sad this month flew by because February is a bit of a bittersweet month for me.  It’s the month my Ma was born and died in.  Unlike the past few years, I wasn’t depressed on her birthday or the day we held her funeral.  
They say time heals everything and six years later I can finally say that I feel like I’m healing from the devastating blow of losing someone who meant so much to me.  I know that I was extremely blessed to have aunt who doubled as a second mom and loved me like she had given birth to me.  My kids have this same relationship with my baby sister and I’m so grateful for that.  Whenever she comes to visit, I love standing back and just observing the way the three of them interact. There bond is so amazing.
I’m thankful that Moo got invited to her first Big Girl party this week!  This is a huge milestone for both of us.  I have a pretty big family.  So she’s been to plenty of family birthday parties for cousins, but this one is different. (Did y’all know that not many parents these days throw parties for their kids?)  For starters, she won’t be related to anyone at this party and it’s a book club party!  Y’all know how much we love books.  I can’t wait to see her in elements and making new friends this weekend.
This week I’m most thankful that since the second week of this month the Mr has been able to spend a lot more time with the family, especially the kids.  They love having him home more and not just seeing him in passing in the mornings.  I’m loving all the extra family and couple time.  Since having him home more there has been a noticeable change in our relationship.  
Listen when I tell you that it makes a difference when you make time to be with your spouse.  Before his work schedule had him on the opposite of our schedules.  In the mornings when our day was starting, his was ending.  Then he was leaving for work before school let out which meant Moo was only seeing him in the mornings and there were some mornings when she wasn’t seeing him at all because he’d already gone to Sleep Land by the time she got up. 
JJ got quality time with him the afternoon before he prepared to go to work, but it was kind of rushed.  Now we can pick up Moo up together, he’s here when we wake up and when the kids go to bed.  I’m trying not to get too used to this schedule because I know it’s going to change again sometime next month, but it’s so hard not to.  I’ve been brainstorming ideas of ways to bring in enough passive income that we can keep this schedule for the long term.
What are you grateful for this week?  Let me know in the comments.

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Thankful Thursday


“The making of a saint doesn’t occur in a laboratory but in the field of experience; we do not grow in spite of pain but because of it.”

~ Gracie Malone, Unafraid: 365 Days Without Fear

Happy Thankful Thursday folks!  This week has been looonng!  I am one tired/drained/sleep-deprived mommy.   I literally feel like I’m hanging on by threads.  Remember I mentioned in last week’s Thankful Thursday post that Moo had a bad cough/cold?  
Well, her cough/cold didn’t go away over the weekend like I was hoping it would.  It actually got worst and I ended taking her to the pediatrician on Tuesday after she complained of being dizzy and “seeing spots.”  Turns out she had two congested lungs and was on her way to getting pneumonia!!  Here I was treating my child with over-the-counter cough syrup for what appeared to be a common cold and cough, but was really something more serious.  Also, her oxygen levels were low.
I really wanted to beat myself up for not knowing she had something more than a common cold.  However as her doctor pointed out, she didn’t have fever and she wasn’t complaining of chest pains.  She did have to use her inhaler a few times, but she asthma and that usually flares up here and there, especially when she has a cold.  So, there’s no way that I could have known what was really happening.
In a way, her dizzy spell and persistent cough really helped us to catch this before it was too late and I’m grateful for that.  I’ve heard horror stories about how rough pneumonia is on kids and I’m glad that we catch this in time before it turned that.  We’ve decided that since her body disguises serious issues like a common cold, it would be best if whenever she starts to show signs of being sick to bring her in ASAP and they will diagnose whether or not it’s a common cold or her body playing tricks on us again.  I feel incredibly blessed that my children have a pediatrician who understands our struggle.  We don’t WANT to be that family who goes to the doctor for every little thing, but we have it because the risk is too high otherwise.
She was very patient and did her best to soothe me as she explained Moo’s condition the seriousness of it.  She knows that I’m one of those emotional moms who internalizes things.  At the end of the day, I just want both of my kids to have one year without something major happening to threaten their health.  If I could take away all of their allergies, their asthma and everything else, I would because it just doesn’t seem fair.  Nevertheless, Moo is home and she is feeling better.
She’s on steroids and breathing treatments every four hours to help her lungs and praying that we get good news when we go back for her recheck.  A hospital stay is not in the cards for us right now.  Through this all my family has been amazing.  They’ve been calling and texting to check on all of us around the clock and my mom even volunteered to take some time off from her job and come to sit with us.  I’m beyond thankful to have such an amazing support system.  My village holds me down and I wouldn’t have gotten through these last few days without them.
I’m grateful that JJ is healthy and am praying that he doesn’t catch anything.  I’m thankful that we may have more Snow Days coming.  There’s a snow storm that’s supposed to be coming our way and I’m open to the idea of being snowed in with my family so that I can catch up on some sleep.  Some news reports say we’ll more likely get a few flurries and freezing rain while another said that we should expect to see a few inches and stay inside.  I guess we’ll see what happens this weekend.
Lastly, I’m thankful for reconnecting with my besties.  We’re all busy working moms and spouses.   So, it’s been hard to really keep in contact, but this past weekend we talked about taking a girls’ trip to Mexico and I’m super excited.  I’ve never been to Mexico and can’t wait to go with my besties.  One of the pictures I put on my vision board was a passport with the word ‘Travel’ on it and it looks like that vision is already manifesting itself into reality!!

Have you ever been to Mexico?  What was your favorite place to visit?  Don’t forget to let me know one thing you’re grateful for this week in the comments!

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Thankful Thursday

It’s Thankful Thursday YUMMs!  I’m starting today off thankful that our air conditioner is fixed.  It went out over the July 4th weekend and oh my goodness was hot it.  Thankfully, the apartment people were on it and got us back up and running in a reasonable amount of time.  They also provided us with a portable air conditioner to help keep us cool as well.
While I’m on the topic of repairs, I’m also thankful that the floor in our kitchen is finally repaired as well.  When we moved in that was pretty much the only thing that need to be fixed.  So, this morning a small floor crew came and fixed the large soft spot we had.  They even took up the flooring in one of the bathrooms and replaced it as well.  After our two disaster rentals it feels great to have a property management team that gets on repairs in a timely manner.  We’ve been pretty much stress-free since our move and I don’t take that for granted at all.  Environment is everything sometimes.
I’m also thankful that JJ has been trying to add new words to his vocabulary.  Although, we are having an issue with his speech therapist (I’ll go into detail about that in a separate post), for the most part I’m continuing to see small changes in him.  We’ve made more progress with potty training.
My trip to New Orleans got cancelled as I mentioned a few posts back, but another door for a trip opened up later on this year and I’m super excited.  I’m thankful to my friends who reminded me that not being able to attend the Essence Fest trip wasn’t the end of the world and that God had another door He was going to open up.  I’m grateful to have friends who remind me to stop sulking and trust God when it seems like my faith is wavering a bit.
Lastly, I’m thankful that my baby sister has finally launched her blog and brand Chatting With Cat!  I’m super excited for her as this is a new chapter in her life and I know it will only bring great things.  For a while now she’s been too nervous to get into blogging and writing period despite really wanting to.  I’m glad she took the leap and hit publish on her first post (check it out here).  You can also follow her on Twitter (@ChattingWithCat)!
What can you expect from her blog?  Well, she’s very opinionated, especially on social issues.  She loves to cook and I know for a fact there will be some recipe posts.  I can definitely see her posting about fashion here and there.  I’m sure they’ll be tons of personal/self-reflection posts.  My sister is a very creative person and she writes beautifully once she gets out of her head.  So, I’m excited to see where this will take her and hope that you all with show her some support as well.
What are you giving thanks for today?

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Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday YUMMs!  I’m very late getting up this week’s Thankful Thursday post, but for good reason.  We’ve been spending some much need time as a family (including the Mr) and that is the thing that I am most thankful for this week.  We all slept in kind of late thanks to the Mr waking up JJ by taking the loudest shower ever.  Of course, JJ is like me and gets very cranky when his sleep is interrupted.  So, he woke in kind the the fit of crying rage.
I had managed to get him settled and then the Mr came out of the bathroom talking loudly and JJ woke up again.  Long story short it was a long night.  Anyways, once everyone woke up in better spirits, we decided to make a dash for the pool before anyone else could take it over.  The kids were too excited that we were finally going to go.  I kind of wish we had a camera crew to have captured the moment.
The smiles of pure joy and delight that lit up their faces was priceless.  At first, my little man was not a fan of the water when we got in.  But then he adjusted and didn’t want to leave.  Moo was the complete opposite.  She was a big fan of the water until we actually got in and then all she wanted to do was hold down the steps.  She was not sad in the least when it was time to go.  All in all, I’m thankful we had a good time.  We all got tans too considering we stayed in the pool for almost two hours.
I’m thankful Netflix.  I’ve been overdosing on all the awesome BBC America crime shows.  Like why didn’t anyone tell me about Luther with Idris Elba?  I just got hooked on it and just like that it’s over.  They aren’t making anymore seasons, which I figured since it was just designed to be a miniseries with about 4 to 5 episodes for each season.   I did see that they’re supposedly working on a movie though so that fans get one last fix.
I’ve also fallen in love with a show called The Fall featuring Gillian Anderson formerly of The X Files.  Love her!  I’m hoping it got picked up for a season two.  I’ll have to search and find out.  Anyways, it’s been nice to have some great tv shows to keep me company as I continue to finish up my books.
Speaking of books, I’m thankful that the ideas have been steadily flowing.  With the move and everything, I was starting to get writer’s block and anxiety about Forever Branded and LBB.  Now, Forever Branded is well over 100 pages typed and I still have pages that I’ve written by hand to type up.  As much as, I love LBB, Forever Branded is definitely the story that I connect with most emotionally.  The characters’ struggles and pains just feel so real to me and I just hope when it’s published that I will have done a great job at portraying that to the readers.
I’m also thankful that I’m not as anxious about the kids starting school, especially JJ.  I’ve been praying a lot and just focusing on the good things like them making new friends, all the cool parties they’ll have, getting to be class mom, etc.  My attitude rubs off on them and so I have to be positive and optimistic about this new journey they are about to embark on.
I’m thankful that a new travel opportunity opened up for almost immediately after we found out we couldn’t go to New Orleans because of the Mr’s job.  I’ll be posting more on that later, but it looks like our family vacation will be happening the end of this year.  I’m excited because this will also be a trip that will that help me as a blogger and mom.  A little business, a little pleasure.

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Thankful Thursday

“There’s a lot of joy to be found in the big moments of life.  There’s even more to be found in the small things.  Ask people about the happiest times in their lives and they will most likely pause, search their minds a second or two, and mention a significant event their lives.  The day they were married.  . . . Then ask these people what makes them the happiest and you’re likely to get simple answers.  They’ll reply with things like good meals with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, catching a movie, watching a ball game, or listening to music.”

~Jud Wilhite, The God of Yes: How Faith Makes All Things New

It’s Thursday, YUMMS!  Today, I woke up with a massive headache behind my left eye and to the news that one of my great cousins on my father’s side passed away yesterday evening.  She had been battling breast cancer and while I’m sure everyone was trying to remain hopeful that she would pull through and it would go into remission, it didn’t.  She died just a few hours before her daughter’s birthday, which is today.
So, today I’ve just been so focused on just reminding myself of all the little things I need to continue to give thanks for.  And while being among the living isn’t a little thing, we often go sleep and just take for granted that we will wake the next time. I’m grateful that my family and I were able to see another day today.  I’m grateful that my husband has returned safely from work every morning this week.  His job is very dangerous and he puts his life on the line daily.
I’m thankful for being able to enjoy simple moments.  For example, yesterday the kiddies and I pigged out on popsicles and watched The Witches last night.  I was sitting on the couch and just thought to myself these are the moments I want more of.  There are times that I just get so caught up in trying to be the perfect parent, wife, sister, daughter, writer, etc. And all I forget to take time to just be with my loved ones.
I’m thankful that I got a chance to finally trim JJ’s hair down.  We’re still not going to get it cut like a fade or anything, but I trimmed his curls down quite a bit because it’s like mega-hot down here.  My poor baby has been sweating and scratching his head left and right whenever we venture outside.  I’m hoping he’ll have some relief now that his scalp can breathe a little bit more.
We will have been in our apartment a month next week and I’m so thankful that all been well.  It’s been so nice to have quietness and be back closer to my favorite stores (LOL).  I love that the library, bank and grocery store are two minutes away.  The less time it takes me to get to our favorite places, the more time we can spend hanging out there.  
I’m thankful that the kids have been enjoying participating in the Summer Reading Program through our library.  We read every night among other activities. Seeing them so fond of books warms my heart.  Reading is a big part of learning and knowing that they love it reassures me that they will be do well in school this year.

What are you giving thanks for?

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Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday folks!  I’ve kind of been a funk since Tuesday night when the Mr called me from work with some bad news.  I don’t want to bore your guys with a long story, but our family vacay to Essence Fest is off.  Long story short, you guys know my husband works in a dangerous field and his team has taken hit with two his coworkers having died this month (one murder, one suicide) and last month a few were seriously injured on job and have chosen to not return.  So, to make up for being under staffed, all vacation time has been suspended until further notice.
And although he put in his request a long time in advance and it had already been approved and we’d already made plans for this trip, his job could care less.  They pretty much told him to choose between the trip or job.  And well, job won obviously.  To say I was frustrated and upset was understatement.  Not only was this a family vacation/family reunion trip, but also a business trip for me.
I moped the rest of Tuesday night and most of yesterday.  To escape from my bad mood, I decided to finish one of my inspirational books I had started and I’m thankful that I did.  The passage that I had picked back up on felt so right for what I was going through and has helped me to not be so pissed about this debacle.  In it the author talked about how sometimes situations don’t work out as we plan because God is working out something better.
Now, I don’t know what better God could be working out in this situation, but I’m choosing to not be a Negative Nancy try to find a bright side in all of this.  As much as I really, really, REALLY dislike my husband’s job at the moment I am thankful that he has one.  I understand this situation is out of control.  All I can do at this point is pray that something else works out that at least allows me to still be able to uphold my business end of this trip.  
I’m still sad though because this was our only chance to finally take a family vacation as a whole family and it’s not going to happen.  The kids and I have traveled quite a bit, but it’s always been minus the Mr.  It sucks that his job is not family friendly and that he’s missed out on so many memories.
Moving on, I’m that the kids and I have been having a great week otherwise.  JJ is becoming quite the chatterbox, which a good sign.  Much of what he says is in gibberish, but at least he’s trying to talk more.  He’s also gotten really good at his signs.  Hungry is favorite one. LOL.
We’re in the process of switching their schools and it’s easier than I thought it would be.  Not too many hoops to jump through.  We also signed up for the Summer Reading Program at our library and so far we’ve read close to 15 hours as a family.  I’m thankful that both of my kids have inherited my love books.  I read them at least four stories a night and then I read for at least two hours after I’ve put them bed.  It’s my way to unwind or take my mind off things that are stressful.
I’m also thankful that I was able to locate a package that had been lost in the mail because it went to the wrong address.  Nothing like having a company send you something and then it doesn’t arrive.  Thankfully, I was able to recover it.  Lastly, I’m thankful that I’ve been connecting for with some pretty awesome ladies here in the blogsphere.   I feel truly blessed to be making such wonderful blogger friends.
What are you thankful for this week?
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Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!  So, I had every intention of posting yesterday because I was going to film a vlog to share with you guys.  As soon as it got quiet enough to film without any background noise from the kiddies, JJ decided it would be a good time to running around the apartment letting out high pitched squeals.  I was like really?  You have to do that right now while I’m trying to work.
Then when he did get quiet again, it started storming very loudly again.  So far we’ve had rain almost everyday for the past few days.  I’m starting to think that I got my hopes up that we weren’t going to have a rainy summer for nothing.  As long as it doesn’t get as bad as it did last year and rain for over 20 days straight at a time, I’ll be good.  We definitely had a bad case of cabin fever last year.
Thankfully, though on the days that it hasn’t rained we have been able to get out of the house.  I’m absolutely loving our new library.  We’ve been to quite a few of the libraries here in the QC and our new library definitely makes it in the Top 3 in terms of having an excellent area for kids.  They had a great selection of books, DVDs and the play area was amazing.  I’ll have to take pictures next time we go.
I’m also thankful that we’re not too far from a small playground.  We’re about to stop with the training pants and start underwear training JJ.  So, it’s great to have all these amenities so close to home in case he has an accident or something.  Speaking of JJ, the Mr got him to say his name for the first time on Tuesday.  He would only say it once, but I know that we just have to keep working with him on it.
As I watch him get more independent and start to have more spurts of new words, I get less and less nervous about him starting preschool this August.  I can’t wait for him to make friends and see how he interacts with the other kids.  I’m thankful that I’m learning to let go a little more.  It’s a struggle to not want to spend 90% of my time around my kids.  Especially, with JJ, if I’m away for them even for a few minutes I fear missing out on a new milestone and that for me is one of the most rewarding parts of motherhood.
I’m thankful that we are getting closer and closer to our trip to New Orleans!  So, stoked to be finally taking a family vacation with the Mr in tow.  While this isn’t my first trip to New Orleans by any means, it will be my first time at Essence Fest.  I’ll be posting about my top 5 concerts I want to see while I’m there next week.  I can’t wait to see my sister and the rest of my extended family and get my grub on!  Fresh seafood here I come.
I’m most thankful this week that my brother’s surgery went well.  He had a non-cancerous tumor removed and everything went well.  It was a routine procedure and he got to go home that same day, but still I was nervous because you just never know what will happen during surgery.  I’m happy to report that he is doing well and his incision spot is already healing nicely and the swelling is going down.

What are you giving thanks for this week?
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Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday YUMMs!  I’ve missed you guys and blogging something awful.  We were all setup to have same day installation of our internet and other services, but because their was a last minute issue with the carpet install on the apartment we were originally supposed to be in that threw everything off track.  Apparently, with Time Warner even if you’re just moving to a different apartment in the same complex, you have to start back from scratch again.  Crazy, right?
Anyways, we literally just got service connected to today and that is what I am most thankful for this week!  I’m also thankful that we are all moved and settled in.  It was big rough when we got here because we had to wait for them to switch us to a new apartment.  And then it was just the Mr and I on this move and that was very challenging, especially when it came to maneuvering two couches up three flights of stairs.  We definitely had some banged fingers, toes and legs.  And I ended up bruising the muscles in my lower back, upper left shoulder and upper thighs.  
Today is the first day that I am moving about without severe pain.  I’m thankful for that because kids don’t understand that you’re stuck in bed because it hurts just to lift your head up.  We have come to conclusion that we will be hiring movers to move the chairs, tvs and beds next time.  I’m thankful our neighbors are much quieter than our previous ones.  In fact, the first night here it felt too quiet, but I’ve adjusted to having silence again.
We are literally right around the corner from the library and the school the kids’ will be attending this fall!  We’re close to my favorite store, Target, as well as Walmart, my bank and our favorite restaurants.  Most importantly, the Mr is closer to his job.  There’s a lot of wildlife when it comes to birds here and Moo has enjoyed watching the birds come and rest on the balcony.  We’ve seen tons of cardinals, wrens and even a few woodpeckers so far.
We haven’t had a chance to make it to the pool obviously, but I’m sure we’ll visit it this weekend.  I’m thankful that we’re in a bigger place.  The kids’ room is huge!  They also have a bigger bathroom than we do in the master.  Overall, I’m just thankful to be in a neighborhood and have a place that meets all of our needs as a family.

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Thankful Thursday

I don’t think I’ve been so excited to see a Thursday than I am today.  It’s our last day and night in our current apartment and I couldn’t be more excited and thankful to be hightailing it out of here tomorrow morning.  Y’all know it’s been a struggle to get this day, but God worked it out and we’re moving on to something better-two bathrooms, a dishwasher, pool, gym, tennis court, 24/7 community security and on-call maintenance workers!  
When I say that I will never again take for grated the comforts of living in an apartment owned by a corporation and not an independent owner, I mean it!  We have had three bad experiences with renting from independent landlords.  While I did like that we had an actual front and back yard with decks in our previous apartment before this one and will miss having more an actual “neighborhood” feel, it’s a small price to pay for having professionals who will fix issues in a timely manner, especially things like leaky pipes, broken windows and mold.  Also, it’s a relatively quiet area and y’all know how I feel about loud neighbors.
I’m thankful that the kids were very helpful with the packing process and haven’t complained about having to live amongst a hill of boxes this last week and a half.  I’m really thankful that JJ is excited about this move.  I was a little apprehensive about how he would respond because big changes don’t sit well with him.  However, I’ve explained in a way that he can understand that we’re moving and we did take him to see the new apartment and he loved it.  So, I will say that’s a good sign.
We are having to move one of his therapy sessions back in time but I think that’ll be okay considering he’ll be changing days completely once school starts.  And while we’re on the subject of school, my cousin found an old preschool picture from when we celebrated her birthday at school and sent it to me on Facebook.
Y’all, I’m pretty sure I dressed myself that day because I have on a white and lilac shirt with sea foam green windbreaker pants that had a black, green, red and yellow waist band.  I’m pretty sure if the waist band had been all black or the pants a softer more muted green, it would have gone with the shirt.  I’m glad I can’t see my shoes because who knows what color they probably where.  And see the guy in the red outfit with the lime green dotted circle around his head?
That was my first male best friend.  And aside from family members, he was the first guy I ever loved.  He asked me to be his girlfriend right before Thanksgiving break and then we had our first of many kisses.  We both road the same bus and usually always sat together on the way home.  Yea, we were only in preschool, but we had promised to get married and everything.
Then over spring break he got hit by a car and died.  I was crushed to pieces.  That was the first time I had ever loss anybody that I really cared about and I didn’t take it well at all. I cried for weeks and skipped his funeral.  At our preschool graduation, I sat by what would have been his chair, but instead it had a ribbon and a red rose on it.  Then, we went outside and the principle planted and dedicated a tree in his memory. 
I remember my mom holding my hand and telling me it was ok to cry if I wanted to.  Life just didn’t feel the same anymore and kindergarten felt a little lonely when school started back that following August.  Our families knew each other well and I’m forever grateful for the short friendship (and courtship) that we had.  I’m so thankful that my cousin sent me this.  
While Bill’s death was hard for me to take, I have to say that some of the fondest memories of my childhood with my entire family are from my preschool year.  That was before my parents’ marriage got rocky and they split.  Things just seemed good.

What are you thankful for this week?

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