This year has definitely given us more than enough things to complain about - and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones - but I d...

Giving Thanks

This year has definitely given us more than enough things to complain about - and my heart breaks for all who have lost loved ones - but I do believe there is good that comes from every struggle and challenge we face.

It has been 261 days since we made the decision to stop attending in person classes, eating out, visiting with family and friends indoors, or visiting at all with more than a handful of people at a time. It hasn't been easy but I am thankful that we are in a position to stay home and do our part to lesson the spread of the virus. I'm thankful for my amazingly supportive husband who has donned his mask and done all the grocery shopping for us...and a million other things. I'm thankful to my children for always reminding me of what's most important and for keeping things interesting. I'm also thankful for what I've learned and experienced during this time.

Being home has forced us to get creative about how we have fun. It has led to at home fairs, scavenger hunts and obstacle courses, nerf wars, family movie nights and sleepovers. Also, pizza, a LOT of homemade pizza.

Staying safe led to the realization that outdoor playdates and visits are so much fun! It makes me want to have all our playdates outside from now on (unless the weather is really brutal).

Without the sudden reliance on video meetings for everything, I don't think I would have ever had the idea to do a zoom lesson on coral reefs with my friend who's a marine biologist across the country! Or to have video playdates with friends and family who are too far to visit often in normal times.

I also believe that Cardboard Mom wouldn't exist without the struggles of this year. It really highlighted the need for positivity and love and compassion and inspired me to start the Read and Rise Book Club. It also gave me that little bit of extra time I needed to get things going here.

Being home has given me the time to reflect and understand where my strengths and weaknesses lie. Without the excuse of busyness, I know I need to take responsibility for my shortcomings. And being home has also given me the chance to try and break some of my bad habits. So here's hoping I come out the other side of this storm better than ever. I hope you all do too <3

I wanted to leave you with my favorite Thanksgiving story. I discovered "Giving Thanks" by Chief Jake Swamp 15 years ago and since then I have read it every year - first in my preschool classroom and now in my home. It's a beautiful reminder of all the earth provides that we often take for granted. I love taking a few moments to reflect on all we have to be grateful for before we dive in to our Thanksgiving feast.

Featured story: "Giving Thanks" by Chief Jake Swamp and Erwin Printup, Jr.