I just wanted to say a huge, ginormous, crazy-big thanks for all the amazing support I received in response to Alex’s post. I am truly humbled. It was SO incredibly important to me that people know the very special person he was so that hopefully he will be remembered. And I feel so grateful that my post may have helped with that. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read it and comment. It was very difficult for me to respond to your words (so I held off for the most part), but just know that I cherished every single comment and read them more than once. I shared them with my parents and they loved them as well. You guys are so great.

And for those who mentioned that you’ve also lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you. That may sound cheesy, but it’s true. Sadly, until I’d experienced it myself, I never really understood the profound effect an event like this has. Of course, I realized it was big. Life-changing. But the entire effect is something that can’t be truly understood until you’re there. Now, I totally get it. Entirely. And I empathized with each and every one of you who were so kind as to share your story with me.

I’ll eventually be back to my DIY stuff. I know Alex would’ve encouraged it (he playfully made fun of me about it…”Larry the TABLE GUY???!!!” Haha!! Damn straight. He thought I was such a nerd for thinking that up. But I embrace my nerdiness. And his reaction made me laugh. I’m pretty sure he was a secret lurker.). But, I probably won’t be back to my regularly scheduled program until after his funeral and things calm down. As passionate as I am about this blog, my family takes top priority, especially now.

I thought one thing that might help make things easier, with Thanksgiving fast-approaching is to focus on things that I’m thankful for. Obviously, I’m grateful for my brother, Alex, and everything I mentioned in my last post. He is a huge part of why I’m the person I am today. And I miss him terribly.  And always will.

I’m also so fortunate to have such special people and things in my life to be thankful for. And that’s where I want to focus the rest of this post.  So, without further adieu, I’m thankful for…

1. Lucas. We are so lucky to have been blessed with such a smart, funny guy. There’s not a single day that goes by that he doesn’t make me smile. Or amaze me with the new things he’s learned. He is the best son we could’ve asked for.

2. Joey. (Although he and Lucas tie for first on this list) My brilliant husband who has never been anything but supportive of me and my (sometimes out-there) ideas.  He’s been such a rock throughout this whole ordeal. He’s ambitious and funny, responsible and caring. I can’t imagine a better partner in crime. (Andyourehot. Justsayin.)

3. Our families. Equally awesome. Equally fun. And when mixed together the fun-factor definitely exceeds the sum of its parts. We are lucky to have such fantastic grandparents for Lucas and a terrific support system if we ever need it. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us!!!! All of you.

4. My friends. Oh, my friends. You guys rock. Always good for a laugh. There when I need you. I can only hope to be as great of a friend in return.

5. Our house. Without which, this blog would not exist. Thank you, dear house, for providing shelter, warmth (or cool), versatility and low utility bills. And for having patience as I constantly change your decor and paint your many surfaces. I’m sorry about all the holes behind the frame wall. You didn’t deserve that.

6. This blog. Operation Home has been such a great, therapeutic outlet for this DIY fever that I seem to have contracted along the way. And writing about Alex helped me in a way I couldn’t have imagined. I feel just as passionate today about writing posts as I did on day one. I hope that shows.

7.  You!  Dear readers. Nay, dear AWESOME readers. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my little blog. It means more than you know and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. There’s more to come so I hope that you continue to join the par-tay.

8. My job. I haven’t mentioned it on the blog yet, but I have a day job three days a week.  I’ve wanted to keep the two (blog+job) separate because it’s work vs hobby, but it would be remiss of me to not express my gratitude. For helping to pay the bills and being so rewarding. I feel very lucky to have you, dear job, and hope that we continue to be together for a long time (Knock on wood. Fingers crossed.)

9. Coffee. ‘Nuff said.

9a. Virtual coffee talk…


(P.s. We’re sad because we miss each other. That’s my cousin, Kim, BTW.) UPDATE: these pics were taken months ago, just FYI

10. Team Umizoomi. Your high-pitched voices and mighty math adventures distract Lucas long enough to allow me to get a few things done each day. So, thank you. And thank you for teaching me to embrace my “Pattern Power”.

11. Our grill/smoker. For inspiring my husband to grill/smoke to his hearts content. So, I don’t have to cook. You’re the cat’s meow.

12. Christmas time. You’re fuzzy and warm and I love you. I’m so excited to get my decoration on and watch Lucas enjoy all the activities of the season. Now, if only you’d shop for me. That’d be sweet. Just throwing that out there. (I’ll still love you if you can’t. I totally get it.) 😉

13. The wealth of inspiration out there. Pinterest, Polyvore, Ikea, Goodwill, Target, DIY blogs, etc. Your eye-candy/goods get the wheels turning, and I’m grateful for that. You make thinking up (*cough!cough!* or copying — with proper credit given, of course) and completing DIY projects easy.

14. Mistakes. Yes, I’m thankful for mistakes. Everyone makes ’em and I’ve learned so much from ’em, I can’t help but be grateful for them and the wealth of knowledge that they’ve imparted. Like in The Great Sofa Adventure. On that note, thanks Kivvy for being the best couch ever.

15. Stretchy pants. For allowing me to consume an unhealthy amount of Thanksgiving food. Which I will. And it will be superb. And I will savor every bite.

16. Coffee. (Again)

17. And this is definitely NOT last in terms of importance. In fact, it’s way up there. Thank you to every soldier out there fighting for our country. You are all amazing and I appreciate every last one of you and hope you return safely to your families.

So, I hope everybody has a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving. What are you guys thankful for??


2 thoughts on “Thankfulness(squared)

  1. Christine

    I am so sorry for your loss. I just can’t imagine what you are going through. My son STSSG Dustin Moore shared your story with us. He had this to say about your brother ” he was a great soldier and a good man. I didn’t ask to many question the day my son called a few weeks ago. He just said he was going to a memorial for some soldiers. I know he was heavy with sadness. I assume he was serving with your brother in Afghanistan. Thank you for sharing this awesome story of your brother. Again I am truely sorry for families loss. I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Love you so much honey….thank you for the words you take the time to write and the spectacular tribute to a spectacular brother!!

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