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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

    You know when you’re young & older people always say things like, “They just grow up so fast,” or “Time just goes so fast.” These are things we never really felt true until we have had our own children and realize those sayings are sadly SO true. It seems we were just enjoying the summertime heat in the pool and watering our flowers. Then we watched the leaves turn beautiful colors of fall that are suddenly gone. Now we have full schedules of Christmas programs at school, holiday parties, Black Friday flyers & shopping lists to knock out...and we haven’t even cut our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie yet?! Seriously, where does time go?

     Throughout the year it is often difficult to remember all of the things we are thankful for until Thanksgiving is upon us. We would like to take just a moment to reflect on things that we are grateful for…some obviously more precious than others.

Family & Husbands.
We can remember the days when we prayed for what we have now. Family is SO important and obviously our main concern in our lives. We are so happy that our parents, siblings, parent in-laws, and extended families live nearby and we feel fortunate to have such tight relationships with them. We are so blessed with healthy, bright, energetic and beautiful children (with an addition to the Barnett house & family). So, so thankful for our hard working husbands who seriously sometimes have the patience of saints with our crew of wild young boys. There is nothing sexier than a man being a good dad & we have some manly men who also aren’t afraid to be sweet with their kids. Even on days when it seems the universe is out to get us, we would be lost without our husbands and families.
 
Small town country living. We honestly love being small town girls and are grateful that our kids get to grow up in a town where nobody is really a stranger (at least not for long). Where kids can ride their bikes in the street, bus drivers have parent cell phone numbers, or where your car, dog or cattle are quickly identified and returned home before you knew they were even missing. There are just some things about growing up in a small town that you cannot get living in a large city...smell of freshly cut hay, cowboy boots that have actually stomped through manure, county fairs, church picnics, old barns, farmers markets, sunrises, sunsets & starry nights where you literally hear nothing for miles. Living out on the ranch, some might frown upon a twenty-minute commute to town daily. For Chels, these are moments for precious conversations with her son headed to school or times where Whit’s husband points out to his growing boys who’s crop or cattle they are cruising past.

Hot baths/showers. You never think much about it until your hot water heater poops out!

UGG slippers. These babies are the coziest thing a tired mama can slip on after a long day. Whit actually gave Chels a pair for her birthday years ago and they are a must! (Guys out there...you can thank us later for helping you out with your Christmas shopping for your lucky lady!)

Smut TV. These are shows that have no relevance to life, nor do they assist in any daily rut except for the simplicity of enjoying watching others portray their “lives”. For Whit, The Young & the Restless has been her go to fix for entertainment. Meanwhile, Chels enjoys Real Housewives of Orange County & Beverly Hills. These shows are supposedly reality, but they are seriously anything but housewives, at least the ones we know. We keep saying we are going to do a Real Housewives of Kiowa County...the ladies of the OC would flip & freak over the “rough day” or “reality” we face. Like I say, it is just entertaining to watch how the other half live in cities, ridiculous wealth, pampered beyond belief... you get the idea.

Concealer.
Let’s be real...those pesky dark circles under the eyes are never too attractive. Especially when you pull an all-nighter with a sick kid or lie awake at night with a mom brain that refuses to shut down.

Cream Cheese. Seriously a staple when cooking! We truly add cream cheese to more dishes than Paula Deen! Dips, potatoes, jalapenos, desserts, smeared on a bagel, and the delicious list goes on. I guess you could say we are grateful for the clothes that fit a little snug because that means we have plenty to eat?!

Alarm.
Yes, that annoying alarm clock that goes off early each morning reminds us that we are healthy and alive!

Internet
. It’s almost bothersome how much we rely on the Internet daily. Communication & keeping up with family, friends, work colleagues, shopping, or our familiar phrase “Google it” when we don’t know the answer. “Just don’t believe everything you read on the ‘net,” famously
coined by Abraham Lincoln. (History nerd joke!)
 
Our children’s teachers. It’s safe to say the ACGirls have a sweet spot for teachers. As a former junior high teacher of ten years, Chels always tries to keep in mind those selfless souls that often times spend more time in a day with our school age children than we do as parents. It truly takes a special person to handle young people on a daily basis, especially when these lil’ darlings are in a mood, tired, not engaged or sorting things out within their own growing minds & bodies. Thank you, thank you & God bless our educators!

Friendship. There really is no replacement for a loyal & genuine friend. Over the years, people come in & out of our lives, but the best ones never leave. Best friends are family members that we chose for ourselves. These are the people you have as an emergency contact for your kid at school, or who are just as delighted as you are when you have a celebration in your life. These are whole hearted people you can call when you are having a less than awesome day, need advice/vent session or just a kind word for a pick me up. We are so blessed we now live, work and get to raise our families together. We are so thankful and grateful for so many gifts in life...not just objects, but each other and the people we love...and pray that time slows down!