Giving thanks and being able to have a grateful + thankful attitude and spirit this year was a struggle. I didn't think it would be so hard until the day of Thanksgiving, my second favorite holiday, had finally arrived. 

My sister and I visited Haven's grave site area, picked up a last few minute necessities for our traditional family dinner, I did a simple landscape for the dining table, and whipped up a medium sized fall-themed centerpiece to go with it. Mom did all the cooking and preparing and dad was in charge of the turkey. Luckily this year, my brother was off from work and we ended up dividing our dinner into two parts - the first with Jeff, my brother in law before he went off to his night shift and the second, with Paul when he arrived home from work.

It was a nice quiet and gloomy day -- almost as though it was teaming up alongside my mood.

You were supposed to be here. 

Perhaps in one of our arms, in a swing or bassinet close by our table.

Tossed around the room throughout the day and being so loved on by us all. 

Whenever the Enemy tried to rip and steal more of the joy and peace I was finding myself encompassed in throughout the day that was so graciously given by the Holy Spirit, I thought of you. Immediately believing that you wouldn't want me to waste one of my favorite holidays this way and reminded me that I wouldn't want to remember my first Thanksgiving without you like this. This came in waves today but I took each one, one at a time and reminded myself to be gentle with myself.

Even though you are not here with me, your life reminds me that there is so much to still be and always thankful for ..

// your amazing daddy 

// a husband that knows, loves, and cares for me so well 

// our close knit family, your aunts and uncles, + your grandparents

// your pup brother and pup aunts + uncles 

// a roof over my head + 3 meals a day

// a full-time job serving and nursing others 

// the friends and other family members that have been and continue to be present for us

// an increased love for flowers

// the hope I receive whenever I see or arrange them

// a wonderful internship with a talented person and new friend

// means to transport and travel 

//  several platforms for me to express + share my grief and healing

// Jesus and all the love, mercy, comfort, and peace He continues to grace me with, especially through all the valleys and storms of this year

// the Holy Spirit, for being faithful and giving me heart + mind tugs when the waves of doubt and worry begin to creep in 

And most of all, 

I am most thankful for You.

Because of you, I am a mother. The calling in my life, I treasure, hold so closely + deeply in my heart -- more so because I am learning to do so uniquely because you are in Heaven. Though I am able to go through some days much lighter than the others, this time of the year has been the hardest on me. One day at a time.

I love you. I miss you. You are never far from my mind. I keep you in all things that I do. You are a part of everything I am. I am forever thankful for you, Haven. 

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

                                                                                                                         I Thessalonians 5:18