Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've noticed a number of people on Facebook putting up daily statuses about what they are thankful for during the month of November. I haven't done this, but lately I have been thinking of things I'm especially thankful for this year. I usually put a lot more mental energy into complaining than being thankful, even though I have a great life. I don't want to just pull out the thankfulness when Thanksgiving is near, but I love this holiday that is dedicated to being grateful (well, and eating a lot of food). So I have made a list of 24 things (for each day of the month leading up to Thanksgiving) I am thankful for right now. It isn't in any particular order and certainly isn't comprehensive, so if you aren't mentioned, don't get offended.
  1. I'm grateful that our university is willing to provide an extra “mother's class” for the 3 mothers who can't attend the regular department classes. Meeting with a tutor is great, but having a actual teacher and class-time and classmates is so valuable!

  2. I just love my baby! It's ridiculous, but I find myself often feeling jealous of people without children. Being able to go on dates with their husband or not wake up during the night. Or there would be so much more time for studying Chinese. But actually before Juliana was born, I was often jealous of people who did have children. Classic case of 'grass is greener' that ridiculous discontentment. Having a baby (em, toddler) isn't always easy but I am so glad to be a parent.

  3. I'm glad to live in a city where we can get fresh milk (skim and whole) each week, have easy access to cheese, and have a yummy western restaurant (with pizza and milkshakes!).

  4. Speaking of food, I'm really glad to live in a country that has awesome, inexpensive food. It would stink to live somewhere with gross food or someplace with great food you could never afford.

  5. While there is a definite convenience in having a car, I love being able to bike most places. I am also grateful for the abundance of bike repairmen whom you sometimes end up visiting every other week.

  6. I am glad to be surrounded by so many people. That was definitely something I struggled with first coming to China, and I do still love to get out of the city, but lately I have appreciated being in a place where the streets and sidewalks and stores and neighborhoods are chalk full of people moving around and hanging out outside, even in winter. No isolation here!

  7. I'm grateful for the people in the community I see every day: the teenager who works at the hair-shop at the bottom of the stairwell and runs out to greet Juliana, man who sells local honey outside the gate and always smiles when I bike through, the grannies and mothers and little kids living around us who all know Juliana, the vegetable sellers who give us good prices, the workers in the supermarket who now know Juliana.
  1. Skype! Juliana gets so excited and starts waving as soon as we bring out the computer and microphone. She loves getting to see her grandparents and family, and they love seeing her show off her newest tricks. It's hard being so far away from family, and things like this make it a lot easier!

  2. I am thankful for the Chinese I am learning! There are days I feel like I don't know anything, but I know a LOT more than a few months ago! I can actually carry on conversations with my tutors, and I couldn't read or write anything before. Every bit is so helpful.

  3. I love our A-yi! Maybe not quite as much as Juliana, who still gets so excited whenever she comes, but I do like her a lot. It is really great to have someone I feel comfortable leaving Juliana with.

  4. I am thankful to Kevin for giving Juliana breakfast so I can sleep a little longer when she wakes up ridiculously early, washing the dishes every night, getting down on the floor and playing with Juliana, supporting me in language study, and sharing similar parenting ideas.

  5. I am really enjoying being around other families this year! We can commiserate about how many times we were up last night and how hard it is to find study time and where to buy the cheapest diapers.

  6. Chocolate. You know that had to be on the list.

  7. I love my Kindle! Probably the best purchase (or my parent's best purchase, anyway) in the past few years. I have read a LOT of books on it over the past year and most of them were free! It's pretty much the best thing a book lover living overseas can possess!

  8. Clear skies! I love that we can see the mountains out our window almost every day, and when we walk outside the air doesn't feel unhealthy to breathe.

  9. I am excited that my parents are coming to visit in January!!

  10. I so appreciate sleep. Juliana is still not an amazing sleeper but it has been SO much better than the first year of her life. It is still wonderful to wake up in the night knowing you have slept longer than 2hrs, and even more phenomenal to wake up and realized it's morning!

  11. I am thankfulness for our apartment, which though not as nice as our last one, is a good size for us, is really convenient to classes, and is a great price.

  12. I am glad to live on the sixth floor because we have a good view over the campus, we get lots of light, and we are forced to get exercise every day.

  13. I appreciate how happy Juliana is! She really has a zest for life, and we smile and laugh so much more with her around.

  14. I am grateful for heat, because every winter I remember how cold I was in Yangzhou and know better than to take central heating for granted!

  15. I'm thankful for all the people who encourage and support us being in China (even though they miss us terribly, of course :)

  16. I am happy it's time to start listening to Christmas songs.

  17. I'm thankful for many good Thanksgiving memories... many years of waking up to the smell of turkey and the taste of cinnamon rolls, using the crystal glasses, china, and real silver, and eating tons of amazing a few strange China experiences - crackers on a train with Team YZ, dinner in a revolving restaurant, KFC in lieu of turkey...
    Happy Thanksgiving to All!

1 comment:

Mallary said...

This is a great reminder for me of how much we have to be thankful for in this season of our lives in China!