All I Want for Christmas is...

Every year I see commercials about how Christmas is the season of giving and to do good for your fellow man. They are typically interspersed between ads for department stores' one day sales (until next week's one day sale) and places opening at 2am for people just getting out of bars who want to drunk shop. Every year I think "Yes. I am going to do some good," but never do anything. This year, I'm actually going to do something about it.

I have a really good life. I may not be the 1%, but it's still pretty nice. I buy myself things all year long so Christmas has never been a spend-hundreds-of-dollars-on-presents binge for me. Even as children, my parents spent a moderate amount on gifts for my sister and I. I plan on doing that for E, especially since his birthday is so close to the holidays. I can't really think of anything I want for Christmas this year anyway. I have a healthy baby boy, a wonderful husband, family who loves me, a small but great circle of friends, and a job that allows me to work less than 40 hours a week if needed. I am lucky.

This year I have told D and my family to give me cash instead of gifts. I'll be donating that cash to causes that are near and dear to me, things I feel very strongly about. With the exception of one, they will all be smaller organizations or individuals. With the larger organizations, there is always the question of where the donations actually go and how much truly trickles down to those the organization helps. There's actually a very famous charity that I will not be donating to because of their stance on homosexuality. While they do a lot of good for people, there are even more that could use their help but are being denied because of their sexual preference. See here and here for more about that. The only donation they would get from me would be to adopt a child/family from their Angel Tree.

I have been using GuideStar and Charity Navigator to help me figure out where to donate to. They're a great resource for smaller charities and to see exactly what a charitable organization does.

And in true little sister style, my kid sister is doing the same thing. This is one time where I don't mind her copying me. Hopefully reading this has inspired you to do something as well.

30 DoG: Days 23-30

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...

So here I am at the end of November! I may not have blogged every single day, but I did the best I could.

    23-30 November: I am thankful for...
  • Family who is able to fly in for Thanksgiving
  • My sister who is my best friend, worst enemy, confidante, and shopping partner all rolled into one.
  • Family who is generous enough to help make E's upcoming birthday party a great one!
  • Friends who introduce me to people in high places.
  • Things changing at work for the better.
  • Having 30 days of things to be thankful for!!

Thankful

Since today is Thanksgving, this week's Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is I am thankful for.... I've been doing 30 Days of Gratitude in November - I've been posting what I am thankful for every day (or every couple of days if I couldn't get an entry in every day). Since it's getting close to the end of the month, I think I can summarize what I am thankful for.
  • I am thankful for my job, no matter how much I complain about it.
  • I am thankful for my smart, handsome, funny, kind, and supportive husband. We've been together for 10 years and he still makes my heart beat a little faster when I see him.

    Us, earlier tonight - post turkey cheesiness.

  • I am thankful for breastfeeding my son. Despite our rough start and me wanting to quit, we persisted and are now thriving. Nursing has finally given me something to be passionate about and helped me realize what I want to do with my life. It's also brought some wonderful, strong women into my life.

  • I am thankful for my loving and funny family. Despite being 1800 miles away, we are closer than ever.
  • I am thankful for my health, wealth, and happiness. I have a pretty nice life.
  • I am most thankful for my sweet, beautiful, funny son. Watching him grow and learn has been the most amazing experience of my life thus far. It's only been 11 and a half months, but life before him seems to be hazy and I cannot imagine life without him.



30 DoG: Days 19-21

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...
    19-21 November: I am thankful for...
  • The peace and quiet I got yesterday while at work for a few hours. I got a lot accomplished!
  • A husband and a budget that will let me go shopping for something to wear for family pictures because I swear I don't have anything in my closet on the morning of said pictures.
  • Heated seats. It's been very cool the past few mornings!
  • Making new friends while out to dinner.
  • Family who will be in town for Thanksgiving.
  • The way my husband looks at me after 10 years together - the same as when we first started dating.

30DoG: Days 17-18

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...
    17-18 November: Today I am thankful for...
  • Realizing what I want to do with my life 6(!) years after graduating college. Takes some people a lot longer.
  • People who have enough faith in me to help me make it happen.
  • Listening to my gut and it being correct.
  • The way my husband looks at me and that even after 10 years, he still thinks I am the hottest thing on Earth.
  • The unwavering support he gives me.

30 DoG: Days 8 and 9

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...
    8 and 9 November 2011 - I am thankful for...
  • Fenugreek and Mother's Milk tea
  • Phyto lacca
  • Philosophy's Purity Made Simple face wash
  • The ability to unsubscribe from people on FB (again)

30DoG: Days 6 and 7

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...
    6 and 7 November 2011: I am thankful for...
  • Free samples and really nice SA from my local Sephora
  • Realizing that some friendships cannot exist when they are forced. The ones to hold onto are ones that seem effortless.
  • It's okay to move some people from the friend category to the acquaintance category.

30 DoG: Day 5

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...
    5 November 2011 - Today I am thankful for...
  • Indian restaurants
  • Mid-afternoon naps
  • Not waking up hungover
  • My leopard print Toms

30DoG: Day 4

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing... I know it's technically day 5 right now, but I had a bit of a late night...
    4 November 2011 - Today I'm Thankful For...
  • Pitchers of Cuervo margaritas
  • Margaritas in general!
  • Girlfriends and giggly talk
  • New friends who are world famous birth photographers
  • Being able to disagree in a very respectful way, having conversations about opposing viewpoints, and remaining friends after the fact
  • My breast pump
  • A husband that allows me to stay out until 2am without question ♥

30DoG - Day 3

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...
    3 November 2011 - Today I'm Thankful For...
  • Heated seats. It was cold this morning!
  • Losing a pound and a half since last week's Weight Watchers weigh in, even though I did a crappy job of tracking.
  • My marriage that has lasted for 2224 days, or 30.875 Kardashians

30DoG - Day 2

For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...

    2 November 2011
  • I am thankful for Facebook allowing me to "unsubscribe" from people. It's much better for my blood pressure and less drama than actually unfriending them ;-)
  • I am thankful for nursing E at 11 months. Those times with him (even in the middle of the night) are the best parts of my day.
  • I am thankful for coffee.
  • I am thankful for the cooler, more fall-like weather that just blew in.
  • I am thankful for my patient dog who doesn't snap when E pulls his ears and allows me to humiliate him in the name of Halloween.

30DoG - Day 1

Lately, I've found myself wishing that something in my life was different. I have been wanting instead of appreciating what I have. This is not limited to material things - earlier today I wished that I did not have a job so I could stay home with E. Of course I wasn't having the best day, but I should be glad to have a place to go Monday through Friday that is flexible enough to let me cut back on hours so I can spend more time with my son. It's not an ideal situation, but I am trying to make the best of it. Anyway, I have been having an awful lot of these thoughts lately and have been trying to figure out what I can do to break this habit.

A few months ago, Emily at Pretty and Poor mentioned that she was going to start a journal listing things that she was thankful for. I thought it was a great idea and wanted to do the same, but of course I never got around to it. Today I saw that my friend Joy has started a blog where she will post what she is thankful for every day in the month of November. I think it is a great idea. For the month of November, I will (try to) post a daily list of things for which I am thankful. I really hope this will be a reminder to me of the wonderful things in my life and help me redirect my focus from what I don't have to what I do. So here goes nothing...

    1 November 2011
  • I am thankful for my job. I may complain about it, but at the end of the day I am lucky to have a place to go where I am a valued member of a team (even if it doesn't feel like that sometimes).
  • I am glad to have the few good, close friends I have. You know, the ones where you can be yourself and say really dumb things and get a laugh. They're ususally the same ones where you don't have to fill the silences with awkward conversation, you're okay with the quiet. I am thankful for you ♥
  • I am thankful that my car battery didn't completely die over the weekend.
  • I am thankful for my husband cleaning and putting my pumping stuff together every morning. I hate cleaning my pumping stuff even more than I hate pumping.
That wasn't so hard. Let's see if I can keep this up for the next 29 days...