Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top 10 Things I am Thankful for in Life

Each fall, I am reminded of a biblical passage about thankfulness. It's the story of the lepers. You may remember that I wrote about this important Bible lesson last Thanksgiving, but I am feeling grateful and think it's worth repeating. 

As you may recall, 10 guys were healed from leprosy by Jesus, but only one returned to say, "thank you." Do you think the other nine lepers were unappreciative?

I am sure that the nine lepers who failed to say "thank you" were grateful to be healed from leprosy, which causes painful and disfiguring sores to appear all over the body. 
But, maybe the lepers were so amazed and so interested in sharing their good news through song and dance that they simply forgot to take time to thank the person who healed them. The thought of saying "thank you" just slipped from their minds.

Not saying "thank you" is nothing new. It happens often. In fact, it's one of my biggest pet peeves, particularly when it comes to gift-giving. I can't count the number of times in which I have sent or brought a present to someone and never received any type of acknowledgement -- let alone a thank you note or even a call. We all learned how to say "please" and "thank you" at an early age, but in real life situations, we often forget to use these simple words -- or put pen to paper. 

I try very hard to be thankful for everything I have been given. And, I am working to teach my preemie-toddler, Emily, how to say "please" and "thank you." We have a lot of work to do since she is just beginning to say a few simple words, but I'm hoping to instill these important phrases into her vocabulary early on. 
I've also come to realize that there may be times in which I may be like one of the nine lepers who didn't say "thank you." I might be so caught up in the activities of life -- such as well baby checks, therapy sessions, laundry, cooking, and Mommy and Me classes -- that I have simply forgotten to say "thank you" for all of the incredible blessings in my life. 
I am thankful for so many things that it's hard to pick just a few for the purpose of a blog post. Nevertheless, below is a list of the top 10 things in which I am thankful for in life. This list is by no means comprehensive, it's just a first step in expressing gratitude for a wonderful life. 

Top 10 Things I am Thankful for in Life
(1) My Daughter: I am thankful to be blessed with my beautiful and heroic daughter, Emily. She fought to enter the world and struggled to breathe on her own. She is now running, climbing the dining room chairs, and even scaling the dining room table. She amazes me and makes me proud each and every day. I'm grateful to be her mom and to have the opportunity to watch her grow and learn. 

(2) My Husband: I am thankful for my wonderful husband, Craig, who helped me through my pregnancy, hospitalization, and our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stay. He understands that Emily is not suitable for daycare and works hard so that I can stay home to care for her. Craig makes me and Emily a priority. He is smart, calm, rubs my back after holding Emily much longer than I should, and loves me unconditionally.
(3) Our Parents: I feel blessed to have supportive parents. My mom flew cross country to be with me during my hospitalization, c-section, and recovery. She drove me to and from the NICU, did our laundry, cooked our meals, and even took care of Bentley. My loving stepdad, John, has been supportive every step of the way. They have even served as babysitters during our post-NICU journey so that Craig and I could spend some alone time together.

I am also thankful for my in-laws, Ginny and Sonny, who provided Craig with moral support throughout my pregnancy. They also visited Emily, Craig, and I in the NICU. And, they continue to offer advice, support, and prayers now that Emily is home.

(4) Family & Friends: I appreciate family and friends who provided us with comfort and support through our NICU journey and beyond. (You know who you are!) Even though I'm no longer roaming the halls of Capitol Hill on a daily basis or hobnobbing on K Street, it's nice to know that I still have reliable friends and that I haven't been forgotten.

(5) Animals: I am thankful for Bentley. He's a great dog, a loyal companion, and a good big brother to Emily. Bentley always has a smile on his face. He tolerates having his ears and tail pulled, being stepped on, and attempted pony rides. When I leave the house, he watches for me out the front window of our home and anxiously awaits my return. And, he's like Velcro during the day -- always on my side.

(6) Health Professionals & Medical Advances: I am thankful for medical research, and especially for advances in the care of high-risk newborns. It's incredible to know that every year since 1960, the survival rate for premature birth has improved by one week. In addition, I am grateful for the doctors, nurses, and the multiple therapists who have helped Emily get where she is today. 

(7) My Country: I am thankful for the servicemen and women who work to protect our great nation.  We are the land of the free because of the brave.

(8) Special Moments: I am thankful for special moments -- my first kiss with my husband, Emily's first word and first steps, and many other memorable experiences.

(9) Laughter: I love to watch and hear people crack up! I especially love to hear Emily giggle after receiving a raspberry kiss!

(10) You: I am thankful that you are taking time out of your busy day to read this Preemie Blessings blog post and other sections of my website. Your readership, thoughtful comments, and genuine feedback keep me motivated to continue blogging. 


  1. Those are all great things to be thankful for. Amber N

    1. Thank you for your note, Amber. We all have so much to be thankful for in life!

  2. You have so much to be thankful for! It is great when you realize what you really have.

    Michelle F.

  3. These are wonderful things to be thankful for; thank you for sharing them with us.

    We Are Earthformed