2. I am gainfully employed and readily hired in a rewarding field: Here's a true story: I am a better mom when I can get out and play with grownups now and then. No offense to my SAHM/D counterparts (you guys are true rockstars and don't let anyone tell you otherwise) but I need to feel like I'm out there getting my hands dirty and justifying my shiny, fancy degree from a top-notch school. Just call me Dr Working Mama ;)
Oh, and I also happen to love my job...when I'm not getting peed on (occupational hazard with toilet transfers and incontinence -- it happened Tuesday). I get that warm, gooey feeling from watching a patient take their first steps after a stroke or seeing them 'graduate' from inpatient rehab (or when my shoe gets covered in urine). Yup. Warms my damn heart.
Can I also mention that I am a bit of a job-collector? This week alone, I had a job interview and a request for a resume from two separate companies. This quality keeps our tax-preparor on his tippy toes when I send him eight or ten W-2 forms every winter.
3. I have an amazing and supportive, hard working husband: It would be a crime (and downright crazy-pants) to omit my gratitude for the man who keeps our ship sailing smoothly. This dude is rocking it 24/7 and doesn't expect one ounce of credit. How many husbands would put in a 17-hour day (spent almost exclusively with teenagers armed with noise-makers...I mean, instruments) and offer to snuggle a screaming baby at midnight; all while staring another 12+ hour day in the face? I would venture to say, not many.
He's been pulling twice his weight since July. His band is growing and thriving, landing within 4 points of the best bands in the state at their last competition, and I could not be prouder (more proud?). He steps into daddy-duty so I can sneak away for a run without batting an eye. He cooks most of our meals (lord knows, we'd all be dead of starvation or cereal overdoses if it were up to me); and he keeps our yard looking trim and manicured despite the fact that I keep killing our flowers. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Back off ladies. It's not like he has the time for you anyways, but know that I wouldn't hesitate to throw this baby weight around and knock a bitch out if needed. This guy is spoken for.
4. I am healthy: I was just talking with a mama who had the flu when her kiddos were young and it made me feel incredibly grateful for my health. I may be running myself totally ragged sometimes but I'll be damned if my immune system hasn't been pulling it's weight. Remind me to get it something nice for Christmas.
5. We have a beautiful home: I'll be honest, I did not love our house when my husband decided to purchase it five years ago. The curb appeal was minimal, the wall-to-wall carpet was atrocious, the bathroom was committing a crime against porcelain with it's blue tub and toilet, and it looked like someone had barfed wood paneling all over the place. But hey, we were just dating at the time, so who was I to stand in the way of a man with a vision? Well, as it turns out he had vision and determination (also a Lowes addiction and a lady-friend with fabulous taste).
Now, we have a really beautiful house complete with curb appeal -- minus the dead flowers. I will cry when we eventually move, no question.
6. We have dependable transportation: I hesitate to even mention this because I know how the universe can be a real dick sometimes, but as of today, we are blessed with two reliable modes of transport. I have driven some pretty gnarly vehicles in my day (my favorite being a 1994 Chrysler LeBaron convertible with a hole in the roof and minimal shocks -- felt just like driving a boat around town) so I know what it's like to be in the habit of saying a prayer each time you turn the key. The Ford pickup is a blessing and a burden (truck owners get real popular with friends and family needing favors) and when I'm not hitting parked cars, I feel like a badass behind its wheel. My little Mazda (her name is Izzy Zoom Zoom) is still really fun to drive with her manual transmission, decent gas mileage and pretty blue-lighted dashboard. The backseat might be crowded with rear-facing car seats, but she still makes me feel cool. Plus, she gets me where I need to go and was my first 'new' car so she'll always have a special place in my heart.
7. I have a supportive family: I'll keep this brief because frankly they deserve better than what I can offer with my measly blatherings. My parents are awesome, my little brother and his wife are simply amazing, my other brother spent most if his life gracefully tolerating my stupidity, my aunts, uncles and cousins offer endless encouragement, and and words won't do justice to how much I love them all.
8. In town in-laws and eager babysitters: Most people would probably tell you that in-laws can be tricky. In a way, your relationship with your spouse's family can initially feel a bit like being trapped in an elevator with strangers. Like, you didn't exactly choose them, but now they're right there and sh*t is getting real cozy, real fast. You have no choice but to make friends, just in case you all go plummeting to your deaths the next minute. As it turns out, I got pretty lucky and this elevator happens to be filled with some pretty friendly and helpful folks. My MIL is one of the sweetest, most eager-to-please ladies you'll ever meet and my FIL is nothing short of hilarious (he called me once when I was pregnant to tell me he'd just learned to do the heimlich on a pregnant lady, so I should give him a buzz if I was choking). My SIL and BILs are pretty great too. It doesn't hurt either to have eager babysitters just minutes away for those last-minute work commitments or just an evening away from spit up and temper tantrums. Nope, not a bad elevator. Not bad at all.
9. Amazingly flexible and convenient child care: Working parents will probably agree one of the worst parts of early parenthood is finding adequate child care. My insane working circumstances didn't make it any easier during our search. Apparently, most child care settings frown upon being 'canceled' at the last minute, or not having a set schedule to follow. Luckily, we found a sweet young gal with two precious little munchkins just down the street and around the corner. She's been tolerating our chaos for over a year now and I honestly have no idea what we'd do without her.
10. Great friends: I saved one of my favorites for last. My friends have always been important to me, but over the past couple of years they've proven to be even more essential than I could have imagined before. They've offered hugs and Kleenex and greeting cards and beer during some pretty hairy sh*t. They've given us comic relief and visited hospitals and sent facebook messages and texts from hundreds of miles away; coaxing a smile from even the darkest of places. I love you guys. Really, truly.
I don't always have the deepest faith in God or whomever is running things up there, but I am truly blessed by something and I am grateful.