One year ago, this week, I went back to work after the girls were born. Oddly, I remember that week quiet vividly.

In particular, I remember writing my dear friend– and fellow-mother-of-twins–Amanda an email message about the shock of being back at work. I searched for that email message this morning and re-read it. Here’s how it started:

November 15, 2006:

I tried to write you Monday but I started to get teary so I stopped.

Yesterday I was swamped (welcome back!)

This morning I thought of you, too. Here’s what I was thinking…

Have you ever seen that McDonald’s commercial where the lady in the minivan goes through the drive through window and orders some breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. She looks over at the passenger seat and there is her 12-year-old kid and two more in the back. The tag line is something like, “It wasn’t until Pam took her first sip of McDonald’s delicious coffee that she realized that she had three kids and was late for soccer practice.” I guess the coffee is so good that it shakes you out of the mind-numbing stupor that is your life to make you realize that your really a mother of three with motherly duties. That’s me. Except I haven’t had the coffee yet.

On Saturday night, unlike the “Saturday-nights-before-Nora-and-Tessa”, I went to to grocery store after the girls went to bed because it was going to be the only time that weekend that I could get the grocery shopping done and Chad stayed home to listen for the girls and worked on his sermon for Sunday morning. As I turned down the coffee aisle at the store, I was reminded of the terrible batch of coffee sitting in my pantry, and so I opted for something new–a Seattle’s Best something-er-another…I don’t know what it was. Over-priced, for sure, but it was coffee, it was already ground and we needed some. Badly.

So, today, this morning, I’m driving to work in the morning dark with my regular large mug of coffee. And I get to about halfway to work and it hit me.

I am so thankful for this life.

I am so thankful for Nora and Tessa and for our families who have been able to share with us the greatest joys of our lives.

I am so thankful for the laughter and the squeals and the tickle-times and the songs and the singing and the games of tag and the ring-around-the-rosy and the meals and the milk and the books and the air and the parks and the wagon-rides and the words and the hugs and the kisses and the endless endless endless love.

One year later and finally I feel like I’ve had my coffee–that I am awake to the life and the love around me. And so I give thanks.

Here’s to another year of thanks…and to good coffee.