Thanks.

I brought my laptop to my parents’ house so I could get some work done during the down time of the day. Plus, working is a way to easily drown out the chaos of having seven kids running around, occasionally fighting, and playing video games.

But after grading six outlines, it’s time for a break.

My parents are on the phone with my brother–he’s in Colorado–and my sister who lives in town just took her brood back to her house. It’s quieter now, and we are making plans to watch Elf. I will probably grade through that as well.

It was a good day, despite how horrible I feel. My throat is sore and I have a headache. The armchair docs in the family have diagnosed me with exhaustion. They’re probably right.

We ate hours ago, yet I’m still full. I’m always a little embarrassed at the amount of food we have at holiday dinners. It’s so much. And yes, I love leftovers–none of the food every goes to waste–so I have that to look forward to.

I’m violating the cardinal rule of writing: I have no focus.

But I’m thankful for some very serious blessings. Despite my family-diagnosed exhaustion, I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful that my brother finally found a job. I’m thankful that my brother-in-law is safe and got to talk to my sister for 40 minutes today.

I’m thankful for a good family and kind friends and understanding colleagues. I’m thankful for a good ward and a compassionate bishop.

I’m thankful for my ability to bake and play the piano and write–all serve as means of expression when I need an outlet.

Too often, I focus on the things I want–an iPad, a boyfriend, a remote starter for my car–and forget about all the wonderful things that I have. I can’t believe I’ve actually posted every day this month, each day a reminder of the good things in my life.

Time to get back to the grading. Hope you all had a wonderful day, spent with people you care about.

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