This is the time of year for top ten lists. I didn't watch enough movies or read enough books to give you a top ten list for those. What I will give you is a list of ten blessings I've had this year. In no particular order (for the most part):
1. Emma - It has been such a pleasure to be your mommy this year. Your development has been simply amazing to behold. Now you are jumping, counting to 15, recognizing letters and spelling your own name. You're clever and funny and a joy to know. You are my most special little Pooh Bear.
2. M - My best friend, my steadfast friend. You stand by me through thick and thin. Each year we grow in our understanding of each other and life together grows more harmonious. You make beautiful babies and you're a terrific father to Emma. We were destined for each other as we're not fit for anyone else ;)
3. Noni and Popi - Who are our friends as well as my parents. We enjoy your company. You take such good care of us and dote on our baby. Your giving hearts and unconditional love are a bedrock for my sense of well-being. You must never leave me.
4. My brother's family - You're home. For now. And we'll squeeze every moment of togetherness and fun out of it as we can. It's such a pleasure to watch the relationship grow between our children. We'd rather spend time with you all (and Noni and Popi) than anyone else. You "get" us.
5. Extended family - You keep us rooted in the present as well as the past. All our dysfunctions make us a perfectly normal American family. Our inability to communicate forthrightly seems to contradict the intense pull we feel to be together on a regular basis. But there it is. Blood is thicker than water and spans generations. We're fulfilling our part in the narrative of our family line.
6. Grandma - Through the trial of Mary's rotator cuff surgery you were our savior. It just took us a while to get around to asking. We had no idea you wanted so badly to be asked, and now we know. It's been a pleasure to watch Emma's attachment to you grow. You're our safety net and our foundation for our lives here in the mountains.
7. My friends - This includes my mommy board friends and the regular readers of this blog. All of you contribute to my perception of myself as a mommy, both good and bad. I appreciate your comments, contributions and feedback on everything from serious problems to the most mundane minutiae. You all keep me sane and make me feel loved. You are a blessing to me.
8. Freedom from debt - The credit cards are paid off. No car payments. No house payments. No one is holding our chain. (Except maybe Uncle Sam...taxes and death, you know)
9. Travel to Europe - Seeing Germany and Ireland was a wonderful opportunity which we'd have never had if it weren't for my brother being stationed in Germany. They were terrific hosts and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. I particularly enjoyed being immersed in a different culture and seeing things so foreign to my own experiences. The people we met were a lot of fun and the whole experience will be remembered fondly.
10. Christmas - We've been blessed with some tremendously generous gifts this season. Starting with a big fat Christmas bonus at work. Family members have been so generous and we are humbled. I'm a big kid who loves Christmas from start to finish and this year was an extraordinarily fun one.
2006 was an excellent year for us. Let us pray that 2007 is even better!