So back to being thankful. In no particular order, here are things I'm especially thankful for over the past year:
- Our families and friends. The support, prayers, and love they have given us. Some of the best love we've been shown has been from online friends we'll likely never meet! And some online friends we've met have become so incredibly special to us. Then there's the tried and true friends who have always been there, and who always will be. Our families, as always, continue to be so amazing and supportive. I wish everyone had the experience of love that we are fortunate enough to have.
Celebrating 10 years since graduation! I've known them since 5th grade, middle school, and 9th grade so at the very least we've been friends for 15 years!
My cute mom and dad in town to celebrate my birthday.
- Our jobs. It's been another tough year for our nation job-wise, and when we complain, we are quickly humbled by realizing that we are so blessed to bring home a paycheck and be able to not only cover our bills, but save for the very near future.
- Our vocations. Though we haven't totally figured out the financials of my staying home (down to the wire, amiright?), we trust that God will take care of us as long as we continue to do His will and to discern that will, whether it changes and whether we like it or not. I'm so thankful that we have discerned what we feel God is calling us to, rather than just simply what we want, which is largely how we lived in the past.
- My doctor. To say that he and Naprotechnology has saved the life of our baby is no understatement in the least. I am constantly thankful for modern medicine and for the unique care Napro provides. If not for that, Penny would not be here kicking today.
- Of course, for Penny! This little baby is loved beyond what we ever could have imagined, not just by us, but by everyone who loves us. I am so thankful for the gift of carrying a child in my womb and I don't take a second of it for granted.
- Redemptive suffering. I've had a lot of challenges in this pregnancy, as most of you well know. But I'm so thankful for the gift and knowledge of redemptive suffering so that my suffering has not been in vain. I've been offering it up for those of you attempting to grow your families. What a gift to be able to serve others in that way! I don't think I really got redemptive suffering until this year.
- Our house. I know you don't need to own a home to have a baby, but I'm excited to bring our baby home to our house that we scrimped and saved for and bought, and then worked our butts off for 2 months to make it feel less like a dirty short sale, and more like a cozy, personalized home. I so love our house and love the room we are preparing for our baby (that he or she will likely not use for a long time lol!). I love our little piece of yard, our house, our front porch, our neighborhood, and our town. A year and a half later, we still express to each other how fortunate we are to have found the deal we did and how perfect living in this area of town has turned out to be. We are home for a long, long time I hope!
An old picture from before we even bought the house, because apparently we don't take pictures of our house often! Baby's nursery is the very left window ;), living room is the middle, and our room is the right.
- My marriage and husband. We have grown so much in the last year and a half, and I know we'll continue to do so. I love my husband for pushing me to be a better Christian and person. I love how much we have learned from each other, even the hard lessons you learn when you share a house and life with someone else! I love the blessings we feel pour into our marriage daily. I love having my best friend as my husband. I love living every day life together as a team. I just love him!
My cute hubby getting ready for baby!
- Last but not least, of course I am so thankful for God. Whether I like it or not, He gives me what I ask for! I have been amazed to see His works in my life, especially in the last 3-4 years. I asked Him, no petitioned Him, for a spouse and he brought Steven. I asked him for Steven to consider Catholicism, but for himself, not for me, and Steven made the journey, then converted. I asked for a sweet baby, we went through some emotional experiences, and we are expecting. There are lots of less pretty things I'm thankful for, too. Like asking for humility and struggling through it when God granted it to me. Or asking for His will on something and flat out not liking what that is. But I'm thankful for it all because it brings me closer to Him.
Steven the day he converted! This was 6 days before our wedding. As the priest said, he likes to get his sacraments all at once ;).
On our wedding day (obviously ;) ). The Easter lilies were a total bonus. They left them in there for us since they were still in good condition!
Our sweet little baby, 13 weeks ago!
I'd love to hear what you're thankful for this year. If you blogged about it, please leave me a link! I hope you all have a fun, happy, and tummy stuffing Thanksgiving!