Today I join Ann in looking back on the previous week and giving thanks. She’s traveling with Compassion International to Ecuador this week. Follow her trip every day on her blog.

We dodged a stomach flu bullet last week – only one of the five in our family caught it. I had to reschedule quite a bit so I could spend two days on the couch with a feverish little one. We emerged from that tired and a full week behind on everything, but like I said, it didn’t take down the entire family. Everyone else has sniffles from fall allergies or colds, but it’s manageable and no-one has missed any school so far.  I’ve been trying something new to manage my fall allergies and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well it is working. I even talked my daughter into trying it. (#551-556)

We spent Saturday visiting with my in-laws and despite my vocal protests at all the Christmas stuff out already, I accompanied them to a local greenhouse’s Christmas open-house and enjoyed it. The kids spotted Santa immediately, and were drawn like a tractor beam. While sitting on Santa’s lap, my youngest couldn’t think of anything to ask for Christmas (stunning considering that he’s been working on his birthday wish list since his most recent birthday) because he had a much more important question. (#557-560)

“Santa,” he asked. “What did you dress up as for Halloween?”

Santa replied, “I was Santa! I went as myself!”

My son, proud owner of at least 6 different costumes, looked amazed. “Is that only suit you have?!?!?!?”

Later, he followed Santa around the store peppering him with wish-list items. Clearly, you can’t force inspiration.

We returned home with a trunk full of firewood and lit our first fire last night. I love a warm crackling fire. Sadly, I was too tired to fully enjoy it despite turning our clocks back. As my friend Matthew wrote on Facebook yesterday, “When you have kids, turning your clock back one hour doesn’t give you extra sleep, it gives you jet lag.

I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early for a fire, so I relit the fire this morning and snuggled up with my coffee. My goal for the day is to keep it going til bedtime. (#561-563)

Sunday was a difficult day for a number of reasons, but that difficulty revealed a few good things. I tweeted one of them yesterday:

tweet about crying

(Yes, that’s an attempt to look at the bright side. It sort of worked.)

Another good thing is the way my husband loves and loves and loves, even in my most unlovable moments. I hope to never take that for granted. He listened and comforted and didn’t dismiss my concerns. (#564-567)

relevant conference roommates

Emily, Sara, Abby, Ashleigh, Genevieve, Maggie, Elizabeth Esther, and me. photo credit: Elizabeth Esther

These dear friends, my roommates at The Relevant Conference last week, they are like sisters. (This isn’t everyone: Erika was a honorary roommate but she had to leave to beat the snow storm.) I love these women and and am so thankful to have a tribe, even though our homes are scattered from one end of the U.S. to the other. We pick each other up, hold each other, and pray for one another when life hurts. (#568-580)

Another friend spent an hour on the phone with me. Friends who love in both the happy and the hard places are a true gift. (#581)

Today is a new day, and this week is a new week. I’ve found some new blogs by women in seminary (girl power!), I’m starting some new books, and my husband and I are eagerly anticipating a little getaway this weekend just us. (#582-586)

What are you thankful for today? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever said to Santa?

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