I'm Thankful for Solo Roadtrips, Loud Music and a Husband Who Rocks

I went away last weekend with several of my female relatives, leaving my husband home with the boys to fend for themselves. I loved not being the least bit worried about them -- knowing Chris had everything under control and they would have a fantastic time together.

On the two-and-a-half-hour ride home, as I was blaring Zeppelin at decibels I surely wouldn't have subjected my sons to if they were in the car, I was thinking about all that I was thankful for that weekend, namely:

1. The ability to blare Led Zeppelin (and anything else I wanted, which included Barenaked Ladies and, I am not at all embarrassed to say, Neil Diamond) as loud as I wanted, without fear of popping tiny eardrums or making someone cry (especially my husband, with that last selection).

But also
2. Spending quality time with my sisters, mother, aunts, and cousins, made easier when it's not shared with little ones needing something from Mommy.

3. The luxury of climbing in bed at night and not having to wake up, let alone get up, until I wanted to the next morning. (Because I was fighting a cold, this little treat was extra heavenly!)

4. Enjoying 48 hours of not having to change a diaper/cut someone else's food/dress a wiggly boy/read the same book five times/sound like my mother.

5. The reminder of how it feels to miss my kids. Being a stay-at-home mom means I'm with them almost constantly. I love them dearly, but absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Little did I know that just as I was thinking about thankfulness, so was the rest of my family. When I walked in the door I was greeted with the most exuberant hugs and kisses and smiles and "Ohhh Mommy we missed you!"'s (seriously, it was as if I'd returned from war), and when I rounded the corner into the living room I saw this:

Our Thankful Tree. I'm thankful the playroom wasn't as messy as it usually is when I took this picture.

Our family's own Thankful Tree made by my three guys, thanks to the dual inspiration of my friends Amy and BJ's Thankful Tree tradition and the one Chris noticed outside the preschool room at church. I was already impressed that he'd taken both boys to church by himself that morning, but this sort of put him over the top in my book.

The boys had told Daddy all that they were thankful for, and he'd dutifully written each thing on a leaf and taped it to the tree. Chris said the first thing out of Kostyn's mouth was "God." The second was "Jesus." The third was "Daddy."

Others that followed included "Cookies," "Grammy," "Evan," and "Vegetables." (That last one's a cheap ploy for Santa's approval, I'm sure.) And, of course, "Mommy."

Jesus got a higher branch. I suppose that's OK.

We'll add more leaves to the tree in the next week or two, and then put them all in a bag marked "2010 Thankful Tree" to store away with other holiday decorations until next year. The plan is to do a new tree each year, and to be able to pore over the things we were thankful for in previous years. 

Every time I glance up and see that paper tree on our wall I'm reminded of what I'm thankful for. As you might imagine, I don't even need to read what's on the leaves.


Andy said...

I love your thankful tree. It reminds me of a family who found smooth river rocks and wrote on them with black marker about times that God provided wonderful things for them. They had a big basket of these stones that you could pick up, feel, and read about a blessing of the past. Those sorts of things make a huge impression on kids and visitors.

Robyn said...

I love the river rocks idea! The ability to keep tangible reminders of God's blessings, big and small, around all the time is awesome.

Lyn said...


Anonymous said...

Gotta love the Thankful Tree! Thanks for the shout-out Robyn! - BJ