2. 2. A big, big house with lots and lots of room. Plus a big, big yard. For hosting lots of family.
3. 3. Stomach stuffed full from a skillet breakfast that IHOP would die for.
4. 4. Silence in the house. Sleeping babies.
5. 5. Abby’s giant sparkling eyes and toothless smile that cheer me up. Always willing to help with a smile, especially with her baby brothers.
6. 6. Rachel’s LOUD belly laughs and hollers that help us take life up a notch every day. Long blond hair and legs growing longer every day. And reading!
7. 7. Baskets of clean laundry folded on the floor.
8. 8. Being at peace with the messes that I can see in every direction in my house.
9. 9. The furnace clicking on.
10. 10. Bigger paychecks, so balancing the bills and savings is less pressing and less depressing, especially in winter.
11. 11. Danny and Jimmy, strong and healthy enough to climb up almost everything, to bang pans loudly, and to make a serious addition to my grocery bills.
12. 12. The babies making each other laugh.
13. 13. John on the floor with 4 kids climbing happily all over him. Bringing home (bigger!) paychecks. Listening to me. Moving me around the country. Throwing me on the bed any chance he gets.
14. 14. Brothers-in-law to make us laugh louder and more often.
15. 15. Mother-in-law visiting peacefully and doling out love and presents to all. Free dates!
16. 16. Father-in-law hanging around. Having random discussions about religion or politics or whatever that are easy and interesting.
17. 17. Skyping with my own extended family, all of them, for a glimmer of my own family over the holidays.
18. 18. Boys sleeping through the night. Enough energy for me to run a bit again, cook a little, play a little.
19. 19. Views of the hills and so many trees out my window.
20. 20. Touring new things around the area. Time in Baltimore/on the east coast to explore.
21. 21. Dates with John to the doughnut shop and Panera.
22. 22. Not a thought given to work for two weeks.
23. 23. Girls having fun with their relatives.
24. 24. Ticking clocks, humming refrigerator, passing traffic. Sounds that were strange 5 months ago and are now “home”.
25. 25. Friends waiting to call up after the holidays. No one was waiting 5 months ago.
26. 26. A little bit of sun peeking through the clouds. Zero snow on my sidewalks.
27. 27. An impromptu visit with friends from far away.
28. 28. A husband, children, and in-laws that give me such a sense of belonging and family. And eat the food that I make them.
29. 29. A refrigerator, cabinets, and kitchen permanently bursting with food.
30. 30. Thought-provoking and civil discussions about nihilism and religion. Bible stories told a little bit differently that keep me thinking.
31. 31. The end of this year. Babies turning 1, exploring and loving Baltimore, moving to Maryland with jobs, a summer with Dad and Leslie in California, 7000 miles, John graduating, house selling, Danielle helping, money in the bank, Abby thriving at a new school, Rachel learning to read...