I have a few minutes of unusual calmness while the littles nap and my eldest runs barefoot on the golf course in 45 degree weather trying to get a close-up of the deer (what does he think this is, a safari or something?) and thought I'd steal away to reflect on what I'm thankful for this year.
Everyone keeps talking about how shitty 2016 was - between celebrity deaths (I know people who literally cried when Prince died), more mass shootings and then the icing on the cake, effing Donald Trump being elected to serve as the leader of the free world, I get it.
But from a personal perspective, 2016 was a pretty incredible year for us. We moved into a house that we literally dreamed up and built from scratch. Our daughter was born on one of the happiest days of my life. We made countless new memories with our friends and family, taking trips to Hawaii, Cape Cod and Austin. And we welcomed a new brother to the family when Thomas and Aunt V got married in October.
We have so much to be thankful for and although we should try and remember that throughout the year, sometimes the hustle and bustle of everyday life gets in the way and it's hard to see the bigger picture. So, on this Thanksgiving week, here are some of the things I'm most thankful for this year:
Our health. For the most part, everyone in our lives is healthy and that will always come number one on the scale of what's important and what's not. I battled a pesky kidney stone again this year and just being off my feet for a couple of days was a good reminder of how important your health is. It was a wake up call to take my health more seriously and since then, I've made a conscious effort to drink more water (for reals), get back to the gym (well, in my case, Cardio Barre once a week - baby steps) and take better care of myself.
We have a roof over our heads (and a nice one at that!). We built a house on a darling street in a good neighborhood a block and a half away from an amazing elementary school. Because of that, our kids can partake in the sorts of things all kids should be able to experience during their youth - block parties, trick-or-treating, twinkly lights and cheesy blow-up santas on lawns around the holidays. And it's pretty amazing that this little slice of suburbia in the big city means we're still within walking distance to a Starbucks and a decent thai place - the whole reason I like living in a huge city like Los Angeles in the first place!
Our kiddos. When Henley arrived earlier this year, our family really felt complete and I am so thankful for my boys AND my girl. Watching the relationship grow between Hayes and Greyson has been fascinating. I always remind them that they could be each other's best friend if they wanted to be and for the most part, they heed this advice. And Henley is just such a joy to be around - not only is she as delicious as can be, her temperament is so amazingly easy going, I truly enjoy her company.
Grant. It's been 17 years since we first stole a kiss at that Cypress Hill concert and although there are an incredible amount of distractions that we face in our daily lives, I'm happy to wake up next to him every morning and couldn't have chosen a better partner to navigate this crazy life with.
Our nanny. We had a rough go of it this year when our longtime nanny, Lolo decided to leave to pursue another opportunity and experienced a little bit of nanny turmoil trying to find her replacement. I truly believe that all of that happened for a reason - had we not gone through that turmoil, we never would have found Colisha, who has been the perfect addition to our family. The kids love her, we love her - and we're incredibly lucky that Grant and I can go to work every morning knowing our kids are in good hands.
And finally, work. I've been working under the same roof for 13 years now, 11 of them spent with my boss, Jeffrey, whom I consider a dear friend. He's patient with my crazy schedule and makes me feel like a valuable and integral part of the team. Not to mention he keeps me sane by allowing me to continue to escape the craziness of being home with 3 kids! I am truly lucky to be in the work situation I am in and will be forever grateful that I was able to spend these important years of my kids' lives not feeling like I was missing out - and also loving what I was doing when I was doing it.
This week, we're up at my favorite place, Angel's Camp with Grant's extended family. As I sit here typing, the smell of delicious pulled pork simmering away in the slow cooker wafts through the air. Hayes is helping his aunt and great grandmother make a coca cola cake. The sun is starting to set, casting a glow on the gorgeous Fall leaves outside on the trees.
And there's a Nasty Woman t-shirt hanging in the front yard.
There's nowhere I'd rather be and in this moment, I couldn't be more thankful.