|(OK, so my cake-decorating skills need some work.|
Fortunately, Miss Anne didn't seem to mind!)
Continuing my gratitude list, here are some things I'm thankful for today:
#28: First birthdays
#29: Chocolate buttercream frosting (Anne is thankful for this, too.)
#30: The sight of a one-year-old eating her first birthday cake
#31: The first snow of the season
#32: My crazy Yankee (Ohio) husband who never wears a coat
#33: My sweet niece, Ella, and the friendship she's already begun to develop with Baby Anne
#34:: Chicken and sausage gumbo
#35: A big brother who comes through in a pinch
#36: The way the snow brings everything--particularly the tree branches outside my bedroom window--into such sharp relief
#37: Used baby clothes
#38: Digital cameras
#39: Camelbak water bottles
#40: Warm, heavy sweatshirts
#41: Time to snuggle with my husband and watch part of a movie (This weekend, it was the last half-hour of "The Godfather"--we started watching it quite a while ago!)
#42: Getting lost for weeks in a thick masterpiece of a novel (I just started reading Anna Karenina again this week, and will probably be reading it well into the new year.)
#43: Time to play piano
#44: A sweet two-year-old niece who shows an interest in piano (speaking of piano ...)
#45: Early-morning snuggle-and-nurse sessions with my baby girl. I'm appreciating them even more now that she's beginning to wean herself.
#46: Pop-up books
#47: My little brother (actually, half-brother), Jonathan, who celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday. We didn't meet until we were adults, but I knew, from the moment he first tried to "mute" me with the TV remote control (the first time we met, no less), that he really was my brother. I love you, kid.
I have a few other friends with December 12 birthdays:
#48: Karen ("POG"), whom I met through the online hiking community over ten years ago. It's hard to believe we've known each other that long. She met her sweetie, Ed, at a Walkin' Jim concert years ago; Dan and I were planning to go, so I invited my friend Karen, and Dan invited his friend Ed ... and the rest is history. I'm so glad we could play a small part in her happiness.
#49: Mrs. Shirley. I just love Mrs. Shirley. She's one of my favorite people in this whole world, and has been for, oh, about 40 years. She's one of the most musically talented people I know, and she has played the organ at First Baptist Church in Plaquemine, Louisiana (where I grew up) for who knows how many years. She always makes me smile, and I always look forward to seeing her when I make my (unfortunately) rare visits to Louisiana.