Thankful: Days 11-15

Day 11: Our military men, women and their families.

{photo taken at the World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA}

A chilling representation of the armed forces of the three major powers going into World War II.  There are no words to describe my gratitude for those hearts.

I cannot explain my depth of gratitude for our military.  It is deeper than being an Army wife, or an Air Force daughter.  Yes, our life, or a large portion of it is determined by the Army, but even more by his soldier's heart.  It is something hard to explain, the heart of someone in public service, but it is a heart that is selfless, that longs to help others, and yes that often has trouble when it is 'just at home'.

I thought about enlisting, after high school.  I knew that my parents had saved for my college education and that they would do what they could to support me financially throughout college.  There was something very appealing about having college paid for and then being paid to attend.  But my heart is not a soldier's heart;.  I have a deep compassion for others and a desire to make a difference, but there is no way I could do what our incredible men and women do on a daily basis.

So I am thankful for their service, their sacrifice and their hearts.  They are the backbone of this country.    They are freedom embodied in a uniform, the soldier's creed, and in the hearts of their families.

Day 12: Financial stability.

We spent Veteran's Day (the 11th) a little differently than we had planned.  Our jaunt to Seattle to visit our best friends was delayed a day by a freak snowstorm over Snoqualmie Pass.  We made the most of it and stayed in a seedy motel, watched House Hunters, ate convenience store snacks and slept in separate beds (I can completely understand the twin beds of the 50's by the way; it was pretty awesome sleep).

Even though it put our trip behind schedule, I was so thankful that we were not one of many slide-offs that night and that we had the financial stability to be able to stay at motel (even if seedy) when we forced off the freeway.

Day 13: Girl Talk.

Sometimes I am an introvert, sometimes an extrovert, but I live for conversations with my girl friends.  It can be the simplest things or really big things, there is just nothing quite like a good talk with your girl friends.  Especially with your bestie.  We needed to kill some time before she dropped me off at the airport (I flew home, the Mr. stayed an extra day to watch an NFL game and then made an equally frightening journey back over the pass) and kill it we did.

What is it about Forever21 and Fuego that spark stimulating discussion like the appropriate amount of sequins for New Year's and "Are ear muffs a fashionable accessory, or am I just delusional because of the amount of sequins my eyes just took in?"

Day 14: Noah's Bagels.

                                           Source: smittenkitchen.com via Season on Pinterest

After reading this recipe, I appreciate my bagels even more.  That is a lot of work!

Oh. em. gee.  They are all that is good about the Northwest.  As much as I love going to see my bestie, my trips to Seattle are just as much about feeding my bagel addiction and my craving for assembly required Swedish furniture (that's right my mecca, the IKEA).

Oh how I ;&hearts thee, Noah's Bagels.  For breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It doesn't really matter.  Pizza bagel?  Why certainly.  Bagel bites? Say what?!  Need to take the edge off that stressful shopping you've been doing?  Peppercorn bagel.  Box of bagels?  Amy, please, get this for me for Christmas.  Seriously.  I would love to open a box of Noah's Bagels and cream cheese on Christmas morning.

Day 15:  Thoughtful Teenagers.

Real life started again.  Buh-bye vacation.  We started front loading To Kill a Mockingbird today.  One of my favorite activities to do with the students is to read them a series of controversial statements/themes from the novel we are about to read.  And they must either agree or disagree with it.  They cannot 'be in the middle'.  They physically move to one side of the classroom or another and then share their reasoning for their idea.

"All men are created equally".  This is the part of the activity where students struggle with semantics.  "Created or treated?" "Created".  This prompt lead to an hour of really. incredible. discussion.  Don't underestimate what is going on in a blossoming young adult.  We got onto the discussion of people born with exceptionalities.  "Everyone has disabilities and flaws, some people's are just visible to everyone else".  Wow.  These moments are why teaching (yes, even teaching teenagers) is awesome.

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