Giving Thanks Part Two

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After a wonderful weekend spent in Cape Cod and Boston seeing members from both sides of our family, I made up a list of things that I am truly thankful for this holiday season. Where the last one was a little silly, this one has veins of sap and syrup. I am always known for a good warm and fuzzy now and again but this one might require some Kleenex.

1. My job. I feel very blessed to work with children. Children (yes, even teenagers) renew your faith in the human race. You see people grow, mature, figure themselves out and laugh at themselves year after year after year. I love that I get to do all that while also reading and writing (and well, getting people to listen to me in the front of the room). But really, it’s about the kids that I work with not the content of what I teach.

2. Mommy. My mother grew up in a small town in rural New York. She was abandoned by her own mother at the age of four. Raised by her grandmother and stepmother. At 19, she had my brother. At 25, my sister, and me, lagging behind (because of a second marriage) at 37. Name it, my Mom endured it as a single Mom– twice. But that woman has more love for me and my children in her little finger than some people see in their lifetime. I am lucky for the little, the sweet, the amazing Tessie Holmes. Without her, I would not be half the mother I am today.

3. Books. This break, I read a great book. When She Woke by Hilary Jordan. I am thankful for the love of reading my parents, brother and sister instilled in me and also I am thankful for libraries and bookstores that keep me reading more and more. It’s easy to get sucked into the virtual world of social networking and blogging and forget about the wonderful world of fiction. Without my love of reading I would not have #1 or #5.

4. My Home. My husband and I bought our house when we had been dating barely two years. I was 25, blurry eyed and in love. It was our “little” project that has turned into our big project and has stalled out many times over the years. It’s smaller than I would like and does not really hold all of our family for holidays. But it’s ours. It’s the first home we made our own and where we brought home our children from the hospital. It’s where we knocked down walls and hung sheet rock. It’s where I found out I was pregnant both times and where I shared the news with Michael. It’s not a page out of Pottery Barn. There’s no attached garage or finished basement. But there’s a whole lot of Gallagher love all over that house. And there’s no other place I’d rather be.

5. This, right here. When I started this blog, it was a pet project. I worried about it “taking off” or “reaching readers.” Now I just focus on the words and making them fit together to produce some meaning and value to anyone, be they a friend of mine or a stranger. You might stumble upon this blog every once in a while for fun or you might be a dedicated reader when I have a new post. Either way, you keep what I am writing relevant and meaningful to me, which is all I have ever needed. This blog is my outlet. It quiets my mind, helps me to feel I am productive and articulate. And it gives some semblance to the random thoughts I have all week. Very often a post idea will wander around my head for a day or two before I write it down and when I do get a chance to write, it’s like I have opened a vein. Blogging suits my life as a Mom, teacher and lover of all things reality. Shortcut Girl is the pretty cool lens through which I now regard my life. For years I have been looking for something like a blog to harness the pathological need to write and be heard. And here she was, right in front of me the whole time.

Hope you had a great weekend everyone. Let the holiday season begin!

Giving Thanks Part One

We head to my sister’s in Cape Cod, MA tonight. I am beyond excited. Here’s a little tongue in cheek list of things I am thankful for this week.

1. Knowing that because I am traveling so far for Thanksgiving, I don’t need to play bumper carts in the grocery store Wednesday night.

2. Carbs. It’s been a long road without them getting rid of my baby weight (can you actually call it that 14 months later?). Looking forward to rolls, potatoes and pie. And gravy. Not in that order.

3. Naps. I am always thankful for naps and know that I get more of them than the average Mom. I think of it as cheap Botox.

4. A day when lounging is encouraged but also dressing up. Figuring out the right laying-on-the-couch-expandable-waist-formal wear is always a fun fashion challenge.

5. Turkey sandwiches. See #3, #2 and #1.

Happy Thanksgiving Shortcut Girl readers!

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