Since Sarah Jane tagged us, we’ll offer our Thanksgiving message — from A to Z. (And we shamelessly steal the acrostic idea from our friend Kelly, but she stole it from the Psalms first, so it’s OK.)
Here are things we’re thankful for, dating back to last Thanksgiving.
A is for Apollo Chorus. Ann spent many Monday nights last year rehearsing with Chicago’s legendary Apollo Chorus. She even got to sing the second-soprano solo part of Bach’s B minor Mass with the big shots in concert!
B is for birth. Hmm, whose could we be talking about? :) We’re so grateful Lucy was born on April 25, 2006! And we’re extra grateful that the whole birth experience was so positive for mother, father, and baby alike. (Ann still needs to edit and post her labor story, doesn’t she?)
C is for cooking. Ann simply loves to cook, and it’s been great for her to get back into it now that Lucy’s a little older. Not only that, Lucy seems to really enjoy watching Mama cook from her front-row seat in the BabyBjÃ¶rn, so we might have an intergenerational thing going here.
D is for the Daily Lucy. The Daily Lucy gives us the opportunity — no, the imperative! — to observe the little nubbins closely and take lots of pictures. We’re so glad we get to watch her giggle, growl, and grow!
E is for exersaucer. The exersaucer has been a God-send to us: Lucy loves it, and it means she can sit with us in the kitchen during meals or hang-out time without getting fussy or bored. (Well, usually….)
F is for forty. Jon’s fortieth birthday was this September, and he’s glad to be here. Life doesn’t look hardly anything like he figured it would when he turned 30, but it’s very, very good. So go figure — that’s God’s providence for you.
G is for Grace Covenant. Grace is our local church, where we’ve been attending since 2002. Our much-loved pastor, Deb Gustafson, moved on this year, and we’ll miss her — but we’re so thankful for the ministry that continues in the Grace community.
H is for half a dozen years of marriage. Ann and Jon celebrated their sixth anniversary this October, and we’ve got to say it’s been such a joy being married. How are we so lucky we get to live together and have such a best friend? Keep it coming.
I is for InterVarsity. We’re both really thankful for our good jobs, good colleagues, and great opportunities for ministry with InterVarsity. Ann‘s pushing ten years on staff now, and she’s loving the chance to serve more than ever. Jon‘s work this year on such cutting-edge projects as StudentSoul and Open for Business has been a real charge.
J is for jazz (and all other music). We love music — making it, listening to it, getting up and dancing to it. We’re thankful for all the ways that’s possible for us, from the humble iPod and all those folks who taped Grateful Dead shows over the years to knowing awesome friends in the music business and worshiping in a church that values music, too.
K is for knitting. Ann’s not only back to cooking, she’s back at the needles, too. This super-relaxing (not to mention practical) hobby of hers is a refreshment and a stimulus for her creativity. And how fun it is to make something for someone you love!
L is for little lovable Lucy. Duh.
M is for mother’s helper. Our young friend Rosalie comes once or twice a week to help take care of Lucy, clean the house, and generally keep things bright around here. This helps us all keep plugging away at everything else that’s going on — and wow! we don’t know how she gets the sink that sparkly.
N is for North Park University. Ever since Jon finished his doctorate in history and didn’t take a teaching job, he’s wondered whether there would be another opportunity — and this fall has been a great one, to teach U.S. intellectual history to a class of earnest undergrads at our neighborhood liberal arts college. (Next time, he’ll insist on 8:PM, not 8:AM.)
O is for Opening Day. This year, the Boyd boys continued their 12-year tradition of visiting new ballparks for baseball’s Opening Day by catching two openers (the White Sox’ and the Brewers’). How glad Jon is for such a great brother, and for this tradition that guarantees a couple days’ quality time together every spring.
P is of pounds gained and lost. Y’know, when you’re pregnant, you grow this whole human inside you. There’s some weight-gain. Ann blossomed lusciously over Lucy’s 40 weeks’ gestation, and has done fabulously afterwards, staying healthy as the pounds “just melted away.” (Yeah, right.) Now if only Papa could lose his sympathy weight!
Q is for quiet suppers. We’re home-bodies, and not ashamed of it. Some of the moments we enjoy most are sitting down to a tasty home-cooked meal together. And now we have the pleasure of setting Lucy next to us and sharing the denouement of the day together.
R is for reading. We should probably do a year-end wrap-up of best books of the year, so let’s not spoil that here. But what would we do without the miracle of how books speak right into our hearts and enlighten our minds?
S is for St Lou. “St Lou” is what we call our little bungalow Boyds’ nest here on Saint Louis Avenue. We try never to forget what a blessing it is to have a cozy home of our own. We’re glad the Lord gave it to us, kept out the burglar this April, and gives us so much joy here.
T is for the trip to the zoo. Seriously, this one day in September was one of the year’s highlights for us. Lucy got to see all the animals for the first time (though she didn’t seem to think even the strangest of them any stranger than the rest of this crazy world), and we took home happy memories and some great photos.
U is for uncles, aunts, a niece, a nephew, and grandparents. How good our family has been to us this year — and what a blessing they’ve been to Lucy in her first months! They’ve held her, dressed her, encouraged her, started her college fund, and loved her so much it makes us cry. (How did Cousin Violet come to love “Lulu” so much? We’re so glad she does.)
V is for vasectomy. Ha! Faked ya! We are not yet ready for the scissors, since Lucy has opened our minds to new horizons for our family. Will she get a little sibling sometime soon? Only the Lord can say. But we’d be willing to receive one.
W is for The West Wing. We’re the biggest TV addicts ever who don’t have a TV. We’ve spent all year watching episode after episode of seven seasons of the unparalleled NBC drama. Aaron Sorkin has proven to us that great writing is just as possible (though perhaps just as rare) in television as anywhere else.
X is for X chromosomes. Lucy’s got two of ’em, one from Mama and one from Papa. That’s what makes her a girl. We like girls. Hooray for Xs!
Y is for you. Aw, now we’re getting mushy. But we are so thankful for you crazy people who have kept reading Boyds’ Nest News! Our traffic here is freakishly loyal: 95% return visitors and the majority of our visits are by folks who have visited over 100 times! Thanks for your sustained interest, and for contributing so much to the value of this conversation.
Z is for zzz. We have always valued our sleep, but never before as we have in 2006. We still don’t get enough of it, but we’ve started to imagine there might be a day when all three of us get eight hours straight in the same night. We dare to dream.
Speaking of which, I’m feeling a bit sleepy now myself. Good night, and happy Thanksgiving!