Thursday November 21, 2012; Thankful for Today, and Every Day

Today was a really fun day and, tonight, our feet once again hurt.  I think that's a good thing when you're visiting New York because it implicitly means that you worked hard that day!  We started out early.  We tried to leave at 6:30 to get to the grandstands for the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  While we had tickets, we were still told to get there between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. to make sure we got seats.  We ended up getting out of the hotel by 6:50 and to the grandstands by 7:30.  The parade started at 9:00 but the time flew by.  The only thing that wasn't perfect was that I forgot to think about bringing drinks with us.  And there was a concession stand taunting me less than 100 yards away, but outside of the gate we were inside of once we got to the stands.  It turned out to be okay because no one complained the entire three-and-a-half hours we were there.  We loved the parade.  It's one of those things that seems like it may not be that fun and then it turns out to be great, even for adults!  Ingram loved the floats, especially Buzz Lightyear, Papa Smurf, Spiderman, and the Power Ranger guys.  His eyes were glued to the road as floats came by.  Lindsey's favorite was probably the U.S. Women's Gymnastic team, including Gabby!  My favorite was the Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team, a group of 20 guys in suits who marched like they were Marines throwing around briefcases instead of guns! 

After the parade, we rode the subway home which was fun because it was completely jammed up with some of the 3.5 million people estimated to have been along the route.  Once we got back to the room, we hurried back down to the St. Jude lunch with five other St. Jude families.  After we ate, Ingram and the girls played with Helen, Mae, and Bailey in the hallway.  It was fun watching them giggle and laugh on their own.  Lunch was great, but it definitely wasn't the same as being at home with family.

After lunch, we came back and let Ingram take a nap before heading back out to go to the Rockefeller Center.  However, a block from the hotel, Madison yelled out, "Hey look, it's Ingram!!"  Sure enough, that little joker is on another billboard in Times Square.  This one, however, is in the middle of Times Square.  I sat there for over an hour trying to take pictures of the sign.  Unfortunately, I figured out that the ad shows up every half-an hour. 

Seeing the new sign made us a few minutes late for dinner and we never made it to the Rockefeller Center.  We had a great time with the Tully family.  The Tully's are from Latvia and their daughter, Helen, is five and is battling rhabdomyosarcoma.  We had so much fun that I thought we might be asked to leave the restaurant at one point, but the little baldies always get a little more latitude thankfully!

As I reflected on Thanksgiving this morning, I thought about the things I am thankful for and figured I would share them.

First, I'm thankful that God loves us more than we can understand, and because of that we have reason for hope even in the middle of life's darkest days.  I'm thankful that it hurts Him more for Ingram to hurt than it does me, which is hard to fathom.

Second, I'm thankful for God's grace, because no matter how much it seems like we have it all together on the outside, I don't and I need His grace every day.

Third, I'm thankful for my family and how strong they have all been, and how everyone has leaned on God for the past seven months.

Fourth, I'm thankful for all of our friends, and acquantances, who have been there at just the right time with just the right things to say or do.  God has used these people in our lives to meet us right where we have been, every day since April 3rd.

Fifth, I'm thankful for St. Jude, for all of the people there who have dedicated their lives to saving children's lives, and for all of the people who have sacrificially given over the past 50 years to help fund this battle.  

Last, I'm thankful for every day that I get to spend with the people I love.  We've seen from so many of our friends this past year, not all of them children, that we never know how many days we have with each other.  Don't ever get too busy to make memories! 

What a surprise!
Ready for some floats!

Yes, Madison is reading... a book she has already read once.

Here comes one of his favorites...


And here comes the Olympic gymnastics team.

Dismuke and McNally kids after lunch.

Dinner with the Tullys.

Still eating after everyone else is done!

Lindsey and Helen

Crazy faces!!

Walking back with the Tullys

Ingram and Martin.  Notice that the elevator has been scheduled for quite a few stops somehow!

Caught!  Helen!!!!!

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