being thankful for a year.

Posted on: Monday, December 9, 2013


I am so glad your trip to Michigan went well. Did it make you miss Michigan more? I hope it rejuvenated you. I hope you were able to absorb some love from your family and friends. I am so happy you got some snow, too! And I am so glad that you are back.

My Thanksgiving was pretty unconventional, as it always is. Ever since marrying Aaron, our Thanksgiving has been unimpressive and very nontraditional. Year one was spent getting drunk at my cousin's house. The next year was awkwardly celebrated with Aaron's friends while he worked [one of the attendees turned out to be a former skinhead which gave me nightmares for a long time]. That third year we... God, I have no idea what we did that year. The fourth year he was traveling back to the States after a deployment and I was a bundle of emotions, as you may remember. Last year was spent with my sister! And this year I conned Aaron into picking up a pizza on his way home from work [9PM] because I had spent the entire day cleaning.

You know, now that I think about it, it was very modern-American of me.

But yes, please. Let's talk about what we're thankful for.

First, I am thankful for this crazy family that I am somehow blessed to know. Genetically and by marriage, my family is pretty incredible. Like any other family, they drive me absolutely bonkers, but I really do love them. They are selfless and over-exuberant in the love that they give Aaron and me. They teach us lessons both knowingly and unknowingly. They have infectious laughter and incredible life experiences to learn from and bear hugs that make us feel just how strongly they care for us. They make our life beautiful.

Top photo: my mom, me, Aaron. Northwest Trek.
Bottom photo: Mike (Aaron's brother) and Aaron. Museum of Flight

Secondly, I am incredibly grateful for the adventures 2013 gave our little family.

Chuck & I in the Badlands.

Third: Aaron. We discovered this year that it's a lot harder to get pregnant than they ever tell you. And I will also say that infertility has taught us more than anything else this year. It has taught us how strong we are as a couple and as individuals. Infertility has taught us communication. Infertility has taught us patience. It has taught us the limits of that patience. Infertility has taught us what anger is and what disappointment feels like. It has taught us to laugh more and to cry more freely. It has also taught me that Aaron is my man and he is mine alone. I am so happy with my decision to make him mine--babies or no.

Fourth, I am so thankful for the ability to laugh. Through the years, Aaron has taught me the beauty that is a beautifully crafted dirty joke. And I have shown him that I have been paying attention; I am an expert at delivering the surprise dirty joke. Aaron has taught me to laugh at myself. Because I can be an idiot. And I have learned to laugh at not just what Aaron says, but what he does as well. What is life without laughter? A waste. That's what I've learned.

I'm all, "Let's take a photo!" And he's like, "Okay." And I'm like, "Smile!"
And he makes that face.

Fifth, I am so, so grateful for friends. Like, incredibly grateful. I could write a book about this, but throughout this year, I have had to lean on friends for advice and laughter and hugs. All of which requires vulnerability, something I am not good at showing but something that my friends are great at receiving. I love my friends. I love the old friends I've had since I could barely walk. I love the friends I acquired in college [Mallory!]. I love the friends I have made from our moves. I love the friends I have made through the internet.

Kate Yo & I celebrating Fourth of July.

I'm getting a bit choked up. This year was a good year for growing. For learning about myself and Aaron and the world we live in.

It was a good year.

I am so thankful for you, Mallory. I think you are the person I have talked to most this year [aside from Aaron]. I'm not necessarily talking about quantity, but more so quality [even though we do talk every day]. There was a day during the beginning of the year. I was working at the art museum, guarding a gallery and speaking with patrons. I could feel something brewing under the surface all day. There was a lump in my throat and my eyes felt especially watery. I wanted very badly to find my supervisor and make up some lie about a stomach bug or an emergency. It just was not a day to be around people. I took a lot of bathroom breaks to hide in the stall and collect myself. There was no specific reason for this emotional tumult. I just was. Thoughts of babies and questioning the future and stress [always stress]. And I was sitting in this chair in front of a closed gallery. I was texting you about what was happening and you were so patient. I know you were working and probably didn't appreciate my text messages, but it was one of those days where I needed someone. I needed someone to talk me down and listen and talk me through it. And you were that person--you always seem to be that person. And I just lost it. I remember jumping up from the chair and finding a corner of the gallery where the cameras wouldn't see me, and I just broke down. And I don't know if you knew, but you never stopped texting me. You just listened. You never called me crazy. You were sympathetic, even in your inability to know how much and how badly I was hurting. A week later a box of caramels arrived at my home and you had included a note that said something like, "These are for bad days." Because you knew it wasn't a constant hurting. You understood that it tends to build up and bubble over and leave me breathless. A few weeks after that you sent me a Mother's Day card. There was a brief note on the inside that said something like, "I can't imagine how hard this day must be for you. I'm thinking of you."

Thank you so much for being so genuine and handling my vulnerability with a gentle heart. This year would have absolutely blown without you. The universe seems to have known that I needed a friend like you during all of this, and I am just so impressed that they found a friend for me who seems to get me so well.

Thank you for sticking by my side through a truly tough year. Your friendship means the absolute world to me.



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