Bean woke up and shuffled into our dark bedroom an hour ago, at four in the morning.
I'm thankful my daughter's getting so grown up and fearless.
We went back to her room, snuggled under her covers and read a story together.
I'm thankful for all the books we could ever want, right around the corner, FREE, at our beautiful little barn-shaped public library.
After the story, I lay with her for just a minute, pressing my cheek against hers, kissing her forehead, holding her close.
I'm thankful for her smell, her softness, the remnants of babyhood that still stubbornly cling to her big girl self.
Then I went back to bed and curled up into my sweet, warm husband who slept through all that but still immediately wound an arm around my waist and tucked his face into my neck.
I'm thankful for my best friend, the way we fit together, the way he's always kept me warm and safe in one way or another since the day we first met.
I lay beside him, willing myself back to sleep, but with my head full of excitement and plans for the day ahead. The week ahead. The month ahead. Sleep wouldn't come.
I'm thankful for these moments of quiet thinking without interruption, pretty much whenever I can get them.
I got up and lifted a few slats in the blinds, and looked out the windows to admire the season's first snow, having fallen silently overnight, frosting everything I saw: the homes of my neighbors and friends, the sidewalk and street, the trees.
I'm thankful for this, our prairie life, so different from what I've known, yet so much a home to me now.
I thought of my parents' waking soon down South, probably for their last Thanksgiving morning in my childhood home.
I'm thankful for my parents. Plain and simple.
I reflected on Thanksgivings past. Where I was, who I was. What I have learned and how God has shaped me in my lifetime. The simple miracle of growing up and becoming that accompanies aging.
I am thankful for every part of my history, even the painful parts.
I await the sunrise now and the start of a new, busy, happy day. I anticipate an afternoon of delicious food and family time with my sweet friends and their children.
I'm thankful for the blessing of having a deep, valued old friendship made new again, and the chance to spend this day celebrating together with our families. How the past and the present meet comfortably, and our children's laughter now mingles with our own.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody.