Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I Love My Neighborhood, Thankfulness, and Choose Joy

We live in a city that lies almost exactly halfway between Orlando and Daytona Beach. It is a city. Smooshed between other cities. 15 minutes drive and I can be at one mall, or in another direction a different mall. I can give directions to 4 different Wal-Marts that are all between 15-20 minutes away, each in a different direction. I couldn't even tell you how many grocery stores or shopping centers or McDonalds surround us. There's too many!
BUT the neighborhood we live in, the very same one I grew up in and moved so very many miles away from and back, is like a slice of the country hiding away amongst the traffic lights and big businesses.
A walk down our road is like being in a different world entirely than what is just a mile away from the neighborhood.

A twisted, arched tree... maybe the entrance to a Fairy Realm?
Barns. A plethora of trees. Horse stalls. And tucked away, a river.

A view of the river. It keeps stretching in either direction...for miles!

You can see horses and cows owned by different people that live down here.

Moo! "More! MOOOOO!" Says my little girl. She wanted to pet the cows.

But she did not want to pet this beautiful guy. Silly girl.

I am very thankful for all the beauty that surrounds us.
And the fruit that naturally grows in abundance.

Sweet, delicious kumquats.
All pictures were taken with my phone while taking a walk with my toddler, so please excuse the lack of quality.

I'm so glad my family gets to enjoy this beauty year-round. That we get to have a breath of fresh air (literally!) amongst all the traffic. I'm thankful for our health, welbeing, and a roof over our heads. We do not have much money, but we do have 3 meals a day, and love for each other. I have a husband that works extremely hard while still going to school. Honestly, sometimes it's almost like I'm raising our girls on my own right now. He will leave the house early in the morning to go to school, come home around lunch time, then leave only a couple hours later to go to work. He doesn't get home until late (early!!), and at times he doesn't get to see our children for more than a few minutes in a day. Sunday is his day off. No work, no school. It's spent with his family - usually while we run errands. But I'm very thankful for the time we do get to spend together.

I'm thankful that my parents have let us live here while we go through all of this....Both of us in school off and on. It's like we're taking turns, without really meaning to! That just so happens to be the way the school schedules have worked out so far. And I'm thankful that they have. It has meant that we have not needed daycare or after school care.

I'm thankful that the universe has granted us these amazing children to love and care for. And I am oh so thankful for their health. There are issues our youngest has that have to be dealt with, but so far they have been very mild and minor compared to what they COULD have been. She is truly amazing. One of these days I'll share the story of her life to date here. And our other two are equally as amazing. Extremely intelligent, talented, and beautiful. And I'm not just saying that because I'm the mama. ;-)

I know Thanksgiving has already passed, but I try to make note of what I'm thankful for every few days. Even if it's only mentally. This mental note of what I'm thankful for really started about 1.5 years ago because of our youngest daughter, but a great reminder of how blessed we are is reading about Ashley of Lil Blue Boo. Her frequent updates on what has gone on in her life the last few months help to keep perspective in my own life. It's not easy to keep that perspective. So I'm also thankful that she keeps us all updated so often and reminds us to always Choose Joy.
And finally, I'm thankful to my readers. Right now there aren't many, but I'm glad I have any at all! I truly enjoy reading the comments you guys leave.

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