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I know it’s a multi-meaning term.

2004 Football Movie (which I loved).  2006 TV series (which I entirely missed?!  Hello?  Netflix?!).

But tonight?

And in my list of ten weekly thankful?

I quite literally mean Friday Night Lights.  My husband and I were getting our four and almost two-year-old ready for bed when a thunder and lightning storm broke.



Because it was warm, instead of going to bed, we all went out on the porch to watch the storm.  We were warm in our sweaters and rain boots; and dry under the porch.

We sat in comfort; snuggled; and watched the lightning; and listened for the thunder (thankful #1).

We counted how far (far!) the storm was.

Our kids ran in and out of the house for about an hour.

It was well after 9:00pm when we finally got them to bed.

Before that, we had played hide and seek/throw them on the bed as a family for a good hour (thankful #2).  Given the overtime my husband has been working this week, it was fun to spend silly time together as a family.

He’s been working so much overtime because his coworker’s father was first ill, then passed away.  There are only the two of them in the office and we know him well.  My heart goes out to him and his family.  I’m glad we’ve been able to adjust and make things work for the past three weeks to help him deal with the whole situation and spend the time he needs.  And, selfish as it is, I’m so thankful for my parents good health, because – while I don’t think you are ever ready to lose a parent – I know I’m really not ready yet (thankful #3).

In mixed and weird related thoughts, I’m thankful (odd thankful) that my husband has already been through this loss so he can be so helpful to others in our circle when they experience it (thankful #4).  That said, I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet my father-in-law.  And I wish he’d met his grandkids.  I would have loved to know him and his grandchildren would certainly have loved to know him.

Given my husband’s new work commitments to cover-off, I’ve stepped it up on the home front and – honestly? – have been thankful for the solid reason to have to leave the office.  I had the energy to go swimming with the kids and my mom on Tuesday and we even had time to hang at the park before dinner one day this week (thankful #5).

It ain’t just this week – but every week – that I’m thankful for my mom (thankful #6).  This week?  She helped by coming swimming with the girls.  Next week? She’ll babysit so I can make an after work meeting.  Beyond physical availability?  She “gets” my eldest on a level I really don’t play at.  They play “tiger” together.  It’s an elaborate “make it up as you go along” imaginary play romp with plot development to rival Vampire Diaries or Gossip Girl.  I can’t keep up.  But my mom?  She’s got that.

I’m beyond thankful and beyond honoured that my husband and I were asked by my brother and his wife to be the Godparents to our brand new nephew (thankful #7).  In true “Hayes” tradition, he was born last week, and we’re baptising him in early June so he can fit into the baptismal dress that multiple generations of our family have been baptised in.  I dutifully cleaned it and passed it along after our girls were baptised.  I’m also thankful that my meeting next Wednesday evening was cancelled because that’s when baptismal prep is happening at the church.  I’m not one to pause often and consider God’s greater plan, but that worked out nicely.

I’m thankful for an okay week at work that could have gone differently (thankful #8).  Work has been difficult lately for a combination of reasons.  An additional challenge was added last week.  I’m thankful for my colleagues.

I’m thankful for spirited daughters (thankful #9).  I know I should lecture them when they “misbehave” as measured by the standards of those I charge with their care (and I do – because I realize I’m sharing the raising of my children with those I entrust to care for them while I work and we all need to understand the rules of the society we live in), but I’m mostly thankful they need lecturing (if that makes sense?).  My daycare provider (forever thankful for her) sent me a message today to tell me my eldest got a “warning” on the bus for not sitting even though she was told over and over by the bus driver to do so.  She was previously scolded this year for not staying in her seat and moving to the back (where the older kids are).   Given we had a bullying issue with older kids very early this year on the bus, while I gave her a stern talk about safety and listening to those in charge, I couldn’t help but rejoice a bit at her obvious (now) comfort in her environment.

And my youngest?  At 21 months and female, in a largely 4+ year-old and male home care, apparently she started hitting and kicking this week.  Not acceptable.  Granted.  She also bit me tonight.  Which was equally non acceptable.  We dealt with that promptly and she understood it was wrong.  We’ll deal with the fact that hitting at daycare is wrong.  That said, I can’t help but think she’s trying to figure out how to “stake her ground” and not be pushed about by a group of (wonderful and well-intentioned) older kids.  We need to teach her how to do it.  But I can’t help envisioning her just slightly as Gizmo vs. kids twice her size in the battle for cookies/attention/time on the slide/whatever.  We’ll dissuade the hitting.  But the fact that she’s doing it?  Almost makes me happy in that it reassured me she won’t be a push-over.  #badparent&okwithit

Finally?  I’m thankful for time with my girls this week (thankful #10).  The thought is a double, but the instances are not.  I’m thankful for reading the Hungry Caterpillar with both of them tonight before bed.  I’m thankful that, despite the judgement from opinions of fellow shoppers (whole other post I should do), I can (in my opinion) successfully grocery shop with two kids under five and end the experience just fine (Performance measure: no one injured, dead, or crying).  Despite unsolicited voiced concerns by other patrons, no child fell out of a cart; no child stole any gum or candy; and no child was permanently injured via “red welt” from a banana sticker they enjoyed pasting on and ripping off of their cheek).

On this same point I am thankful for weekly movie night with my girls.  My 4-year-old was determined that we rent Pocahontas this week.  So we watched it last night (and will memorize it prior to returning it next Thursday).

I have to admit, I do a bit of tweeting as I watch Disney with the girls, because I’m curious what others have to say on the movies we’re watching (Aside: huge fan base out there for Disney Tarzan). But here’s the tweet I noticed for Pocahontas:

So, aside from the fact that I intend to look into the whole 11-year-old-28-year-old dynamic (because …yeah) I figure this is one of many conversations I can have with my girls, based on their having watched – and remembered – this film, when they’re older.  Until then?  I’m rather hoping they embrace the message of the following song, which really, is to appreciate and try to understand those different from yourself, and then go out into the world and spread the openness and acceptance of others that is innate to who you are and how you understand the world is and should be:


This is my Ten Things of Thankful Post this week as part of Lizzi’s Blop Hop.  Please check out the others here: