Monday, November 12, 2012

A month of gratitude, part une

The season of being thankful has begun, kicked off by Veteran’s day here in the United States, the official holiday honoring armed service veterans. The 11th is the official day of remembrance, and it should be distinguished from Memorial Day, which honors those who died while serving. Last year we visited the D-Day beaches in Normandy and with the memories from that trip still so vivid, the holiday seems particularly poignant this year. And so today a thank you, from our family to all those who serve and protect the country that we call home.
The American cemetery in Normandy, France
November 11th is also Lāčplēša diena, the Latvian commemorative holiday marking the anniversary of the Latvian national army's victory 93 years ago today. Although independence was proclaimed November 18th of 1918, Soviet and German troops still occupied the country until the decisive battle almost a year later. Lit candles are placed in windows throughout Rīga to honor the freedom fighters who fought for Latvia’s independence.

It isn’t just the holidays and the approach of Thanksgiving that has me reflecting. I have a score of things to be grateful for, each a reminder of the multitude of people and things in my life that fill each day with love and happiness.

The first came a few weeks ago when we finally left our temporary apartment to move into our new home. Our belongings arrived soon after, and the comfort of having our clothes, our kitchen, our furniture quickly superseded  the temporary inconvenience of boxes piled high throughout the house. After the 6 months spent waiting on our apartment in Clermont-Ferrand, I am immensely grateful to be warm and cozy in our own home before the holidays, so quickly after our move.

The second gift arrived a week ago in the form of my mother. Her assistance has been invaluable; the unpacking, cleaning, cooking and care of Lauris and Mikus seemed insurmountable before her arrival, and in only one week we have gotten so much done that it seems like we’ve been living here for months.

Photo credit: my mom
The third came as somewhat of a surprise to me – Mikus has taken his first steps. On the 10th we counted ten unassisted steps, tiny but distinctive nonetheless, and once we get a good video I shall be showing it off.

It isn’t often enough that I slow down and take stock of all the blessings bestowed upon me and my family. Especially recently, after moving back from France and during all the chaos that has ensued, I have taken for granted the family and friends that have been there for us every step of the way. This month I have decided to take some time every day to think about how very fortunate I am to have been blessed with a wonderful husband, two healthy children, a foyer to be a femme to!

* Today I wish to mention how thankful I am that my sister and her family in Brooklyn were spared the fury of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent nor’easter, and how very proud I am of their volunteer efforts to help their neighbors and those not as fortunate.



  1. Un es esmu bezgalīgi pateicīga par tavu priekšzīmi - kā māsa, kā sieviete, kā māte... Sūtam mīļas bučas un siltus apkampienus!

  2. So great you are settling into your new home. Looking forward to Mikus' walking video!


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