My 2019 self would never have believed some of the items on my 2020 Gratitude List. So much has changed this year. Nothing seems normal anymore. But there’s much to be thankful for in this season.

My Top 10 Quarantine Gratitude List

  1. Extra toilet paper. Need I say more?
  2. A full grocery cart (and the work it took to get there). There were moments in the Spring when I wasn’t sure what I would find when I ventured out to the grocery store. I felt like I had truly accomplished something just by brining home a trunkload full of groceries. And I know that it only happened because of the efforts of so many essential employees who rarely get any gratitude at all. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!
  3. Curbside everything. From carry-out pizza to Sam’s Club to pet medicine, great businesses have adapted to meet the needs of their customers. And I hope we never go back!
  4. Sidewalks. Getting outside is a necessity for us, even though me wrangling three kids on bikes, one in a stroller AND the dog is sometimes quite the sight! I’m so thankful for a neighborhood with great sidewalks and gracious neighbors.
  5. The Internet. Screen-time for all of us is up by a gazillion percent. But, man, am I thankful for the opportunity to stay connected and to find new ideas and adventures. We’ve virtually visited museums and National Parks, followed step-by-step drawing lessons, and researched all kinds of randomness. Thank you, Internet.
  6. An hour’s drive to South Padre Island. We’ve escaped to this Island a few times during the last few months, and it has been just the respite that my soul needed. The wind and the waves kind of tune everything out and I can momentarily forget about all of the worries and anxieties that seem ever-present and overwhelming in this season.
  7. Four kids. Having four kiddos during quarantine has certainly meant a LOT of dishes and a LOT of mess. But truly, it has been a blessing. My kids have had others to play with, to imagine with, to interact with, to fight with, to make up with, and to learn with. We’ve barely done anything with anyone else, but I’m so glad that their human interactions haven’t taken more of a hit.
  8. Schools. Who knew that they did so much?! They educate our kids. They provide social interaction. They feed them. They know what to look for when it comes to delays. Schools are awesome! And I’m so thankful for how they’ve adapted to the times that we’re in. My kids are distance learning, and while it’s crazy most days, I’m so thankful for all that schools do for our kids. And, I’m thankful for curbside meal pick-up – can I get an AMEN?!
  9. The medical community. COVID hit the RGV hard. And the nurses, doctors, and medical staff were on the front-lines. I’m immensely grateful for all that they do.
  10. A slower pace of life. I seriously didn’t realize how much time I spent in the car taking people places. Nor did I realize the amount of time I spent getting everyone ready to get in the car to take people to said places. Sippy cups. Snacks. Shoes. Diaper bag. And the list goes on. I know that life will pick back up again (hopefully) soon. But for now, I’m really thankful for the chance to stay home and stay safe.

RGV Moms, what are you thankful for this year? Would it have made your list last year?

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Christy Swaringen
Raised in North Carolina, Christy loves sweet tea (think watery syrup), lightning bugs, and fall leaves. After ten years in South Texas, she now considers herself “from the Valley,” and can’t seem to get enough of mango raspas, afternoons by the pool and, of course, botanas. Her family has ridden the roller coaster that is foster and adoptive parenting for the last seven years and they are much the better for it. Christy loves doing life with her husband, Caleb, and their three kids. Nate (10) is a master storyteller, Kamila (7) is a curious fireball, and Eli (4) is always close on everyone's heels.

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