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It started to get cold in DC a week ago.
That’s a clear sign that the holiday season is here!
Those holidays seem to warm up our hearts and our house in this freezing weather.
Maybe it’s a way nature is trying to compensate us for the harsh weather.
No cold weather equals no holiday fun (unless you are in California and other all-year warm places).
I personally love seasonal change.
Without fail, whenever I get tired of the summer heat, the cool wind starts to come and brings winter with it.
When I get so sick of the freezing cold, the sun will rise and signal a hot summer of multiple picnics and fun activities.
Overall, I love four seasons. It makes life more fun.
Related: How To Save Money In The Spring
Thanksgiving is just around the corner.
This is the second year our family is together after years of living in different places: Mr. FAF and I are in the US, and our son in China.
This year, we also welcomed a new member of our family, Baby F2, who is now about three months old. I have a lot of things to be thankful for. And below are just five of them.
1. Our baby girl
Have I ever told you how happy I was when I found out our baby was a girl?
I was in my office when I saw an email from the doctor office. It was the genetic testing results, and I opted to know the gender early.
Before I opened the email, I felt like I just couldn’t breathe properly. I would be happy with another boy. But I was really hoping for a mini copy of me who I could pass down my genes to (our son already looks so much like his dad!).
When I saw the word “Girl,” I had to cover my mouth with my hand so that I wouldn’t scream with happiness.
The mine months I was pregnant with our second baby, I was happy yet exhausted with back pain and multiple trips to the bathroom at night. Let’s just say a good sleep was rare.
Sometimes I was scared something would happen to her in my belly or that the delivery wouldn’t go well. Fortunately, everything went well. You can read more about my labor story here.
Mr. FAF said now our family has two teams: a boys team and a girls team. Mr. FAF showed his nervousness about having a baby girl for the first time in his life with questions such as:
— When should I stop kissing our baby girl (implying she’d hate it at one point)?
— Who will give her a shower and do her hair when you go on a business trip?
Mr. FAF has five cousins that he’s close to, and four out of five are boys. He confided in me one day that he didn’t know much about how to take care of baby girls, and that the only girl he was close with growing up was his female cousin.
I told him everything will be ok, and that he will learn everything there’s to learn about being a dad of a boy and a girl. And eventually, when our kids are teenagers, they will not like our kisses or attention no matter what.
2. Our full-time jobs
Sometimes I feel like it’s a miracle that Mr. FAF and I both have a full-time job and can live together in the same city.
Before he got a job offer, we were seriously considering doing long distance for a couple more years until both of us could find employment in the same area.
Things just started falling into place after us being in a long-distance marriage for 4.5 years.
Us being physically together also meant that our son could come back from China, and that we could have our baby girl without worrying too much about daycare, long drives, and short visits from either parents.
I know many people hate their jobs. There are times when Mr. FAF and I wished we could be doing something different. But overall, to us first-generation immigrants in this new country, having a good job that pays well is a privilege and a dream come true.
Mr. FAF has had a couple of hiccups in his career this past year. But he got through it and is working towards his next move. I am proud of him and want to support him every step of the way.
3. My father-in-law (FIL) helping us
After my mother-in-law (MIL) brought Baby F1 back to the US from China, she stayed with us for a year and left DC in June. 2018.
We planned to have my mom come in August 2018 to help us with our second baby. However, she couldn’t get the visa to come to the US.
Mr. FAF and I told ourselves that we would be ok. We ended up handling everything by ourselves for the first month after our daughter was born. I
t was a lot of work, and through that experience, I could see how hard-working, family-oriented, and dedicated a husband and a father Mr. FAF was when our parents weren’t around to help us.
I am thankful that our parents are always there for us when we need them.
4. You all
Yes, that’s right. I am grateful that although my blog has been active for 1.5 years, many of you still follow my site and frequently leave thoughtful comments on my posts.
You all are the reason why my blog is growing and why I am still blogging despite episodes of burnouts and thoughts of quitting.
5. A home, warm clothes, AC, delicious food, etc.
There are so many other things I am grateful for but don’t have enough space in this post to mention.
I feel privileged to live in America, one of the most developed and powerful nations in the world where basic necessities such as clean air, clean water, warm clothes, good food, and peace can sometimes be taken for granted.
Growing up in a poor family in Vietnam, I know what it’s like to not have running water or to have power outages on a regular basis. I know what it’s like to worry about having enough to eat every meal.
I know what it’s like stretch one egg as a side dish for a family of four to eat with rice instead of having multiple eggs for breakfast for only one person.
I realized that I am indeed very lucky. I might not have millions of dollars under my name, but I seem to have had millions of things that others don’t have. And for that, I am grateful to everyone in my life for making it happen for me.
In a nutshell, I am thankful I have the chance to write this post.
It means that I am still alive, and that I have a laptop, access to internet, a table and a chair to write this post at, and wonderful things in my life to write about.
Sometimes I wonder who came up with so many holidays in a year. And then I realized those are the times we are reminded of all the things that we have, and that life is indeed wonderful no matter what challenges we might face in our lives.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving everyone! 🙂