DAY 2: I am grateful for friends. True friends... new and old, who have loved and supported me even when there is nothing they can do or say but just "be" with me.
DAY 3: I am grateful to have been taught and continue to learn who I am and where I came from.
DAY 4: I am grateful for forgiveness and it's ability to heal and be healed.
DAY 5: I am grateful for my first born, Londyn Joy Armitage. I was born to be her mother. She teaches me every day that life is about love, learning, joy and service.
Best quotes today:
- We sat down to play a game and she looked at me and said "Now don't get sassy!"
- After seeing a new toy all set up, she said "oh Mom, it's just lovely!"
- My favorite was when tucking her into bed, she said "you're my whole world best mom."
DAY 7: I am grateful for missionary work.
About 2 weeks ago, I found out that my former beauty school instructor is the newest sister missionary assigned to our ward. Reuniting with her has brought back so many good memories of the person I was and the experiences I had 6 years ago, when living in Utah.
Sister Pauga and Sister Knight came over this evening to visit and catch up. We ended up talking and laughing for two hours.
I am so excited to spend more time with them, learning and sharing the gospel!
DAY 8: Today I am grateful for my awesome husband.
We spent the morning raking leaves at Zoe's cemetery. Doing simple yard work as a couple near the grave of our darling daughter was beautiful and therapeutic. I am blessed to have him by my side and in my life, through the good and the bad... for all eternity.
There is nothing hotter than a man that works hard and loves his family. That is my husband!
DAY 9: I am beyond grateful for the life I have been given through the gift of adoption.
It all began with a choice made by a scared and vulnerable mother in Seoul, Korea, trying to do what was best for her family... which was then followed by the courage of another mother in Sherwood, Oregon who was broken and incomplete without her fourth child. Both women sacrificed to give me a life, filled with family, love and opportunity.
Thank you Mom. Thank you Umma.
Happy 237th Birthday Marines! Semper Fi!
DAY 11: I am forever thankful for the veterans and service members who have and continue to fight and sacrifice for this country.
I am inspired by the Marine and veteran that I married over 4 years ago. He respects and honors his men and his country. Our family has been strengthened and blessed by his duty to serve.
DAY 13: I am thankful for comic relief... humor... comedy. Laughter is the absolute best medicine! Every morning I have the choice to laugh or cry. It's okay to cry, but I would much rather laugh!
Londyn comes out in her princess dress of the moment and says "Look at me Mom! I'm a princess... but I don't have a guy."
Seriously?!The worst was when Andrew was looking at the pics and videos that Londyn had recorded on her kid camera... he started laughing uncontrollably. He finally showed me the video and let's just say... she got a WHOLE LOT of ME on camera!
DAY 14: I am thankful for tender mercies and their sweet reminders of who we are, where we came from and what we are here to do. We have received many of those this year.
DAY 15: I am grateful for quality family time. Last night we had fa
DAY 15: I am grateful for quality family time. Last night we had fa
mily movie night with our special Zoe blanket. It's so big, we can all snuggle up with the fourth member of our family. Lulu loved looking at each picture and talking about her sister. A big thank you to my friend Hanna Hales for this amazing gift at Zoe's funeral.
DAY 16: I am grateful for loving and thoughtful parents that love my children unconditionally. Lulu is living it up while sleeping over at Grandma and Papa's house tonight.
DAY 17: I am thankful for date nights with great friends and my handsome man. There's nothing like spending time with people that just get you.
DAY 18: I am grateful for Zoe days. Days that are absolutely perfect in every way.
DAY 19: I am thankful for simple pleasures. Three words DIET COKE & BACON.
DAY 20: I am thankful for Andrew's job and how hard he works to support our family. I love that every other week his weekend is longer than his work week. It doesn't get much better than that. Absolutely splendid!
DAY 21: On a cold and somewhat rainy November night in Oregon, I am thankful to have a warm, comfy and safe place to sleep. I love everything about my bed. I love my pillow, my babies that I have snuggled at all hours of the night in my bed, the naps we have taken as a family in my bed and the husband I fall asleep next to every night in my bed. I am so thankful for my bed.
DAY 22: Today is a day of gratitude and giving thanks. I am most thankful for my eternal family and the promise that we will be together forever and always.
It wasn't too long ago that I thought we would be spending the holidays with our new family of four. I looked forward to being home and out of the hospital. I also anticipated Zoe's healed wound from her second heart surgery and that we would be enjoying her growth and progress at 7 months old.
Although this day was not as I expected months ago, we got through it. We genuinely had a lovely day with family, never once forgetting our beautiful Zoe Grace.
DAY 23: I am grateful that I live so close to my parents, siblings, nieces and nephew. Their service, support and love over the past year has been a great blessing to our family.
DAY 24: I am thankful for the family that I gained when I married my husband. I could not ask for a better family "in-love." Even when Andrew told them we were engaged after knowing each other for only 2 days, they welcomed me with open arms and have shown me nothing but love and support ever since.
DAY 25: I am thankful for photos. Memories are sacred, beautiful and held close in pictures. They make me laugh and they make me cry. But ultimately, they help me remember the special moments in my life.
DAY 26: I am grateful for Londyn's tender heart and the way she holds me when I cry, comforting me without even saying a word.
My poor 3 year old has seen and felt more sadness than most ever have to endure and yet she is the most beautiful, joyful and loving little-big blessing. Children are God's greatest gift.
DAY 27: I am thankful for Londyn's heartfelt prayers.
Every night she prays for Zoe and that she is with Jesus in Heaven. She prays for our family and that we can all be together again someday. She is my little piece of heaven on earth.
DAY 28: I am grateful for my mom and favorite sister. Getting away for lunch and retail therapy with them makes everything better.
DAY 29: I am grateful that when I wake up every morning, it's a new day! The choice is always ours to find joy and do good. Bad days come, but there's always a good one just around the corner! On this new day, I choose joy!
"It's a new dawn... it's a new day... it's a new life for me and I'm feeling good."
DAY 30: On this last day of November, I am thankful for Zoe and the lessons she has and continues to teach me. She was the most beautiful baby, inside and out. Mourning her passing has been the most difficult trial I have ever faced, and yet I would do it all over again if I could hold her just one more time. I love and miss you Zoe Grace.