I love winter. I really do. I think I've told you that... lots of times. You are probably tired of me talking about it.
But its been sorta hard.
I love it, but its hard.
With so much snow all at once, that meant there were days and days of dealing with it. Pushing snow in the stack yard to get to the hay, pushing snow in the field to feed the hay, pushing snow around the ranch just to get around... and then pushing snow for our neighbors that really couldn't handle it without a tractor.
God bless that rancher of mine and his tough, sweet heart because he spent nearly a whole day plowing snow for everyone in the valley just because he could when there were so many other things that needed to get done! He's good man.
Back to the snow... You get my point that there has been lot of work because of the snow. Aside for the physical fatigue of dealing with it, I feel like we have been emotionally fatigued as well. Maybe its just me, but I feel drained. Super drained.
I think I have the winter blues...
And I don't like it.
I'm a happy person. I'm the glass half full kind of girl.
So to battle my bit of winter blues, I'm going to count my blessings. Ready?
Actually, I have to tell you something else first... When I came home from my first year of college I thought I had died. I was happy to be home and happy to be back working on the ranch, but in some ways my life was over. None of my friends were around, our little town of 300 people had nothing going on and I was sure that I wasn't going to survive the summer. Dramatics of a 19 year old girl, I'm sure... So I decided that the only thing I could change was my attitude. And I decided that the best way to change my attitude was to be thankful. From then on, everyday I was determined to find one thing to be thankful for and I was going to write it down and make a collage out of it.
It worked, friends. By the end of the summer, I had this huge piece of paper with so many things that I was thankful for and it was beautiful and inspiring. And I was happy.
So when I'm starting to feel down, I try to be thankful. Because when I'm feeling down, epecially about myself, I start making a different list. Something like an I-suck list... You know, the ones of "I can't keep up with the laundry" and "the house is always a mess and I can't keep up with it" and "I'm so behind on this project" and "I just burnt the 12th piece of toast this morning"... Those kind of lists can happen without us even knowing it and they can really beat us up.
So here goes!
1. Messes... Yep. It means that my kids have been busy playing and growing and being creative. And that is a mom-win.
2. Snuggles, especially from my older babies that are not babies anymore.
3. Propane. We ran out last week so I couldn't have a hot shower before bed. Now it is full again and I'm thankful!
4. Snow... rain... MOISTURE! Our livelihood depends on it and although it makes life hard sometimes, we need it.
5. Cows. They make me laugh. They are cute. They are tasty.
6. My bed. My warm, snuggly bed. Its like a magic reset button.
7. Exercising. Its almost as magical as my bed for a good reset, but it takes a lot more work. But really, exercising keeps my body strong and healthy so I can enjoy so much more of life!
8. My home. Its still not finished. I have tape over the stairs that has been there for 18 months. But it is mine and I LOVE it.
9. Snow clothes. We couldn't have made it the last few months without them. They have kept us warm and dry and saved my washer a lot of dirty clothes!
10. Hot chocolate. This is almost its own food group at my house. My kids drink it every morning. And I almost love it as much as them.
11. MY CAMERA! I love photography and the different perspective it has helped me look at life. Especially when I have had to stay on the sidelines- something I don't do well!
12. My kids. Of course! They are messy and crazy and busy, but they are also sweet and helpful and kind. I watch them and in so many ways I wish I was more like them.
13. School. I know that everyone has there own opinions about school for their kids but I am so thankful for the little school I get to send my son to. He has learned so much that I couldn't have taught him from home. No, its not perfect. There are issues. But when I see his growth, I'm so thankful that I can send my little boy to school.
14. The gator... Silly, I know, but its the best way our family of 5 plus 5 dogs can get around the ranch together. And it is a much smoother ride than any 4 wheeler.
15. Soup. Nothing is better than a warm bowl of soup at the end of the day. Or in the middle of the day. I think I could even handle soup to start the day.
16. Me. I am thankful for me. My determination, my endurance, my emotional side... (it keeps things in perspective, right?), my body and how it can nurture my family. I'm hard on myself a lot, but that's because I have high expectations of myself.
17. Me bed. Oh... I already said that... Still thankful! Do-over... My boots! I have worn the tread off of my favorite boots. There are holes and cracks but they are my favorites. They have walked a lot of miles and gotten a lot of work done.
18. Music. I turn on tunes everyday. And all sorts of kinds. It has a way to drive and inspire me.
19. Books. I don't have a lot of time to read these days. But it is an escape to adventure and excitement without ever having to pack my bags or leave my cozy bed.
20. My husband... My good, hard working, giving husband. He does so much for so many. And he loves me for being me. That right there is something so worth being thankful for.
21. Home made bread... it goes great with soup (haha). The smell of bread baking in the oven in the smell of comfort and home.
22. God. I'm a religious person. I believe in a higher power and that without it, I don't know where I'd be today. He inspires me, He comforts me, He guides me and He loves me.
23. Good friends. Everyone needs a support system and I am so thankful for mine. Especially when you live so far from civilization, each other is all you have. And having friends that have farming/ranching husbands is an added blessing because they get it. They know what I'm going through.
24. Technology. Its actually a curse and a blessing. But today I'm going call it a blessing. It helps me pursue my passions. It helps me stay connected with old friends and far away family.
25. Winter.... Yes, I'm so thankful for winter. It is beautiful. There is a sort of renewal and cleansing that comes from the snow and cold.
I could go on. There are a lot of things to be thankful for! We take for granted so many of the luxuries we have and taking the time to remember them is good for the soul. What are you thankful for today?