I’m thankful for…

It's been quite a few years since I've done a thankful post, so I thought I would write another in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. Sometimes it's more important to rave about the wonderful people and things in my life instead of a product or service I love, so I thought a new updated post was in order.


I am thankful for:

A daughter who makes every single thing magical. When she was first born, I assumed that this magical feeling would wear off and soon I would come to dread the day to day with her, but that feeling never went away and each year I am more and more under her spell. My family jokes that she's like a drug and can make any sour mood disappear within minutes and I have no doubt that it's true. Her positive disposition and her unique take on everything in life truly does make everything seem better. I will never stop being grateful that I was chosen to be this little girl's mama and that I get to experience this magic every single day. 923083_10200591561927954_619237467_n
A son who has taught me so much about life in just 4 short years. When I dreamt of having a son all those years ago he is exactly what I was imagining, only so, so much more. He's sweet, kind, inquisitive, hilarious, intelligent, and always knows just when I need a big hug. I have no doubt that some day he will change the world for the better, but in the meantime, I would like to keep my little sweetheart young forever and enjoy the special bond that happens between little boys and their mamas. I know that soon there will be a day in which he can google all by himself and won't need me for all his pressing life questions, but until that day I'm going to enjoy having him sit on my lap and flip through pictures with me while we learn together and just be grateful that he's agreed to always be my baby. 541558_390566970962328_1671548736_n

A baby on the way that will complete my little family. I can't wait for all those firsts again and am counting down the days until her arrival, but I know that with her arrival starts the first of many "lasts" and it makes me want to freeze time for a bit so I can soak it all in. It really is true that they grow up before you know it, and I'm sure those emotions will be even greater knowing that she's my last baby, but I'm still excited to experience it all again anew. 10702030_10203968401946844_5441819550814117220_nHigh school boyfriends that turn into husbands and then into fathers. I will always be grateful for the fact that he has seen me at my absolute worst – when I was in excruciating pain, during heartbreak, through all the baby blues, and, most namely, the unfortunate black hair dye incident of 1998 – and that he still says he loves me more with each passing year. 10600600_10203745096764354_2747687611265870461_n

Seventeen {!!} years in and I still get giddy thinking about seeing him when he comes home and all the things we still have yet to do together. There is no one I would rather face every day with and I will always be grateful that we weathered the teenage and twenty-somethings to come out even stronger. While I think I will always be young at heart while he's by my side encouraging me to not take life so seriously, there is absolutely no one else I would rather grow old with. 534603_4402847505784_95679571_n
Brothers and sisters who are also best friends, even though many of them knew me in high school. I love that I have a long list of siblings I can call for any reason at all that always know just what to say to help me through whatever life throws at me. I see this same unconditional love when I look at my own children's relationships and it makes me so incredibly happy. There really is nothing like having a sibling who has been through it all with you and understands you at a deeper level than you may even understand yourself, and yet still loves you more than you will ever know. 10688304_10203898363035915_7450842555193912226_o
Nieces and nephews that I get to watch grow up. While I'm sure I'm already hitting that stereotypical "annoying aunt" phase with my older nieces and nephews, I will never stop telling them how much I love them and how much they all mean to me. They may hate it now, but someday they will hate it less… and I can wait it out with the best of them. 299213_2246799605934_591629_n
A Mom who could always laugh through everything. My mom put up with so many more dirty diapers, sleepless nights, kids’ messes and heartache than I’ve had to, and yet still managed to laugh when things were rough. I can only hope that my kids' memories of me have as much laughter and life.

A Dad who always held a safety net. I love that my dad let me figure out my mistakes on my own but never stopped holding the safety net for me, even after I insisted I was fine on my own. Now that I’m a parent myself, I know that there is no net big enough to protect against all of life’s pain and sadness, but that won’t stop me from holding the largest one I can create under my children. And, just like my Dad has done for me, this net will be there forever… especially when they insist they are fine on their own. 

A family tree that is stuffed with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and the “great” version of them all. There is never a shortage of people to see, cousin/friends to go out with, and willing babysitters, and for this we are incredibly lucky. Watching my children bond with each of their branches on the family tree has been truly amazing and I feel like I've gotten to know my own relatives even better now that we see them even more than we did growing up. It's a really fun experience to start seeing your family as friends instead of merely relatives, and I feel like the past few years with kids has made for even stronger bonds than we've ever had before.

Friends who you can call or stop in on anytime, for anything. With many of our best friends dating all the way back to preschool as well as those we have met along the way, I truly think we have one of the best groups of friends I could ever hope to assemble. From random parenting questions, playdates, blogging events, annual Christmas parties that are in the double digits, and dinner dates that we even sometimes let the kids come to, all the way to having someone to pull your own child's teeth when you're far too traumatized to do it yourself, I'm grateful for our group of friends who are always there for us.  10174891_10203662068289141_3108363545993480741_n

All of life's adventures. While we could have an epic adventure simply by hanging out in our own backyard, I love that throughout the years we have explored 5 continents together, continued our annual family vacations at the beach, been camping numerous times with cousins and friends, taken a few hundred road trips, and even endured several nights of sleeping in trains, planes, and automobiles, and still managed to have more fun than we probably should have.  1000720_10201016895561029_1971680627_n
A job that allows me to stay at home and enjoy my children while they are young. When I first started this blog, I was working 40+ hours a week while juggling being a new mom. Although I loved it and enjoyed being part of a corporation and building an office, I really wanted to stay home and have more one-on-one time with my baby. While I still work from in the home in order to pay the bills, my schedule these days is much more flexible and varies from week to week, and for that I'm very grateful.

And, last, but not least, all of our wonderful readers. I appreciate that you take the time to reach out to us each day/week/month with questions, comments, and by sharing our content. Being reminded that we're not here talking to ourselves has made this little blog last over the past 6 1/2 years and makes me excited to write each week. As much as I am so grateful for all of the opportunities this website has afforded our family and all of the fun we have had testing, reviewing, and writing about the fun we have as a family, I never forget that it is our readers that truly make this all possible. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Rave & Review!

Leanne Signature

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