Getting ready to be thankful

15 Nov

This day next week we’ll be celebrating our first Thanksgiving in the US. We’ll be celebrating with my in-laws in southern NJ and I’m very excited about the prospect. Turkey and mashed potatoes and time with family and pie. It sounds like my kind of holiday!

It’s been such a hectic few months that I’m looking forward to the break and the chance to be together as an extended family – it’s the only chance all year that we’ll all be together as not everyone can make Christmas. Whenever I feel stressed and tired it helps to take a breath and reflect on the good things in life, to see how life is when I look at the big picture. With Thanksgiving coming up, this seems a good time to pause and reflect on what I’m thankful for:

My daughter. This was the year that my incredible baby girl joined us and I can’t remember life when she wasn’t here, with her gummy smiles and lovely, smooshy cuddles. She’s thriving, charming everyone around her with her beautiful smiles and belly laughs. Today she pulled herself up on the coffee table for the first time and delighted herself with her effort! She is sturdy and healthy and gives me so much joy. I can’t believe she’ll be 8 months soon…

My son. He is now a proper little boy, independent and curious and beautifully tender with his sister. He’s learning things like how to share (which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t!) and knows so many colours and letters and his speech develops every day. He loves to scoot along as we walk to the park, stopping to drop leaves into the river from the bridge and wave to the fire engines. He’s funny and caring and great company.

My husband. His patience and good humour helped make this move almost effortless. He is the funniest, most intelligent and caring person I know and I still feel unbelieveably lucky to be sharing my life with him. Raising kids with him is the most exciting adventure yet! The upside of Sandy is that he’s working from home as the trains still aren’t running into his office, so we can have lunch together every day as a family. It’s great!

Autumn. The fall colour has been spectacular here. We live in a very leafy town (even the name, Maplewood, is leafy!) and are close to the stunning South Mountain Reservation. Vivid oranges. Bright reds. Mellow yellows. It’s been a great first season in beautiful northern NJ!

Kretschmer wheat germ. OK, this may seem like a random one but it’s a taste of childhood. My father used to let me eat this off a spoon as a young child and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s hard to track down – at least in London it was, but here in Maplewood our local grocery store stocks it. I was so happy when I found it! So I can now heap it onto my morning Weetabix and hope that one day my own young children love it as much as I do.

I know this is pretty cheesy but I really do find it helps me stay sane to spend a little time thinking about this. When I’m stressed and anxious and trying to keep my cool with a tantrumming toddler and over-tired baby it definitely helps to breathe and remember the good stuff…


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