For the past couple of years I spent the entire month of November writing a daily thankful post on Facebook. I noticed, though, that the more people posted things they were grateful for, the more others would make comments because they were aggravated that their newsfeed was filled with thankful posts. I try to be grateful year round, but there is something about November that reminds everyone to make those daily thoughts known to the people around you. Just because someone doesn’t spend their time posting how thankful they are doesn’t mean he/she isn’t feeling that way constantly. This year I decided to write one long post of my 30 things….this way, if people want to read it–awesome—and if they don’t, bah humbug 🙂 Obviously, I am grateful for a million different things, but these are the thirty things that jumped out to me today.
1. Chris: Chris is a hardworking guy who also finds time to be an amazing father. Over this past year he has renovated our front room, porch, and kitchen all while maintaining a (more than) 40 hour a week job and being involved in Cub Scouts, church activities, and coaching soccer. He is my number one supporter and always tries to see the good in things (and attempts to make me do the same.) I am blessed to have him in my life for the past 17 years.
2. Maggie: This girl made me a mom. She is such an awesome daughter. She’s kind, smart, artistic, creative, beautiful, and generous. She helps me out at home whenever I need a hand. She takes the time to be a good friend and always thinks the best of people. I love that she stands out of the pack and strives to be her own person. I am so grateful for my Hamilton loving, Warrior cat reading, bassoon playing little mini-me 🙂
3. Liam: Liam is a kind-hearted, sensitive, hilarious, handsome little guy. He is funny without even trying. He loves playing video games and will take any chance to tell you about his favorite games—in fact, it is difficult to get him to talk otherwise. He is quiet (I am not sure he is mine!) and caring. Liam is the best snuggler I know. He is a momma’s boy, which I love and hope it continues for a long time to come. He is crazy smart, but doesn’t necessarily want everyone to know. He cries when his sister is in trouble. He is a genuinely nice kid. I am thankful that I get to see him grow into an amazing man.
4. My mom: My mom is stronger than she knows. It has been interesting to see her grow and change in the years since she lost dad. She is more confident and seems to do whatever she wants if it means she will enjoy a little bit more of life….even if that means getting purple highlights 🙂 Mom has always been there for our family and has been incredibly helpful to us over the years. She will do anything she can for her family. Thanks for being an awesome mom.
5. My granny: What can I say about granny? Granny is the sweetest lady I know. She is the glue that holds our family together. I am so thankful that I still have my grandma in my life and that the kids get to grow up with a great-grandparent. Granny is kind and thoughtful and has been helpful, in some way, to every person in our family over the years. Don’t know what we would do without her.
6. Mt. Pulaski: I have mentioned this a few times in the past. While my address may say Illiopolis, our heart belongs in Mt. Pulaski. We love this little town. We go to school, church, and I work in Pulaski. We are involved in multiple groups here and want to see the town grow and thrive. We have been welcomed with open arms and absolutely love it here. It is amazing to live in a town where you know nearly everyone. You walk into the local restaurant, post office, dollar general and you will run into at least one person you know. This town rallies when one of it’s own is hurting and comes together to fight the good fight. I am so thankful that we stumbled upon this place and we can now call it home.
7. The library: When I graduated with a degree in Political Science, I never would have guessed that I would eventually become a librarian. I thought I would be involved in state and local government—changing the world a little from my piece of the country. Honestly, I wouldn’t change it for a second. I love my job. I love that I get to help people fall in love with a book, help them escape the world for a few days. I love that I have met so many people and get to catch up with people daily. I think, sometimes, I may be the only person some of our elderly community has to talk to that day and I don’t take that for granted. I look forward to many, many years in this place 🙂
8. Our Church: I feel blessed that we found our church home in St. Thomas Aquinas. I am glad that God tugged on my heart and lead us back to the Catholic church. I do not think it was a coincidence that we were lead back a few weeks before my dad passed away. Our church and our church family have helped get me through some of my darkest days. We may be small, but we are mighty. My faith has only strengthened in the past few years and I am so happy with how things have turned out.
9. The gym: What can I say about the gym that I haven’t said in the past few months?!? The gym is my safe place. The gym is where my dreams become reality. The gym makes me feel strong and helps me become the person I want to be. I am so grateful that we have a gym in our town.
10. Danita: I can’t be grateful for the gym without showing my gratitude to the person who opened it. If you have looked at my blog or Facebook page in the past year, you know I have a ridiculous amount of love for this woman. I have said it before and I will say it again, Danita changed my life. Danita made me feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. She lets me complain, but she doesn’t let me quit. She’s my ultimate encourager and supporter and someone I know I can count on to tell it to me straight. I have sent her countless messages over the past year asking for advice and she has never once made me feel like I am a pest. Danita gave me my confidence back and I can NEVER repay her or thank her enough.
11. My tribe: Oh, ladies–where do I begin. It took me a long time to find you all, but I now have this extended group of women who lift me up when I am feeling down. Women who encourage me, support me, and make me want to be better. These women may be in another state, down the road, or with me at the gym….but, each and every one of you have made me feel like I could conquer any goal I set my sights on. Thank you for everything. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.
12. My home: We have been in our house for 9 years, but we never really made it our home. You have all followed along as we have worked on making our house exactly what we want. We aren’t done, but I have never felt at home in our old farmhouse more than I do now. I love our home. It is where we have raised our children, where we celebrate Christmas morning, where we play board games, where we love and love and love.
13. Facebook: There are days when I want to delete Facebook and move on with my life, but for the most part I am so thankful that it has given me the ability to update my family and friends across the country on what is going on in our lives. Facebook helps me stay in touch with people I most likely wouldn’t hear from otherwise. Facebook has helped me get to know my dad’s family better than ever before. I love that we have this format to communicate with one another. I could do without the political bashing and fighting, but I have to take the good with the bad 🙂
14. My dad: As you know, I was a huge daddy’s girl. The day we lost him, something inside of me was lost too. I feel so blessed, though, that I had an amazing dad for 35 years. I know not everyone has that and I am grateful for the years I did have him in my life. I miss him like crazy…I know he would have supported the health journey I am on…he would have loved seeing Liam become a Cub Scout and Maggie choose the bassoon. He wanted nothing more than to see his grandkids grow up. He was an awesome guy and he was a good dad, grandpa, and friend to those around him.
15. Music: There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t listen to some sort of music. Music is in my bones. My dad raised me on music and I am doing the same with my kids. A song can take me back to my most memorable days. Music gets me through the tough times. It sometimes makes me sob on the way to the grocery store because I can’t hear certain groups or songs without thinking of dad. Music is everything.
16. Old friends: Old friends are the best kind of friends. My old friends have seen me through my teenage years, through college, marriage, children, and even deaths. You guys are the ones who have known me at every stage. I am so grateful to have you in my life and to continue to share life’s adventures.
17. My closest friends: I am blessed to have a circle of close friends here in Pulaski. You guys know how to cheer me up. You deal with me when I am having great days and when I am whiny. You have seen me through some dark days and really helped me get through to the other side of my grief. You have been with me through my health journey and been my biggest cheerleaders. I am grateful to have you on my side and in my life.
18. Extended family: I have an amazing, huge family. I have cousins who are like siblings and aunt/uncles who are more like parents. I absolutely love having such a large family. I wish everyone could experience what it is like to have 30 people at Thanksgiving. 🙂
19. Races: Race days used to make me nervous, but I have come to love them. I am thankful for race days because races make me push myself. I always enjoy the excitement and energy of race day. I wish there were more days like race days.
20. Our dogs: I love our dogs. It is a wonderful feeling to come home from a long day and feel the love of our dogs, who are ridiculously happy to see us.
21. Good hair and make-up days: Ever since I started losing weight, I have been spending a little more time on myself. I have been doing my hair and make-up much more often. I am grateful for those days when I like the way I look….a lot can be said about a good hair day 🙂
22. New calendars: If you know me well, you know how much I love to add special dates, meetings, etc. to a new calendar. Getting a new wall calendar is one of my favorite times of year.
23. Weekends with nothing to do: We have been so busy over the past year. It seems like we constantly have something to do. I am so thankful for those occasional weekends when there is very little going on and we can relax and spend time together as a family.
24. Good books: There are few things better than sitting down with a great book.
25. Freedom to be me: I love that I have people in my life who let me just be….who let me say what I feel and be who I am without judgment or complaint. You know who you are and I am so grateful that you are in my life….even if sometimes I can’t leave my phone without coming back to a group message with 20 missed comments 🙂
26. Voting: I love that we live in a country where we are given the right to vote, to express our views about our government and affect change when we see fit. I may not always agree with how the vote turns out, but I will always take part.
27. My camera: You know I love a good selfie—my camera has helped me see the physical changes in myself over the last year. My camera lets me forever remember the important events in my life. I am thankful to have a camera with me wherever I go.
28. Mother nature: I love that we live in an area with 4 seasons. We may not get all four seasons for very long, but it is wonderful to have little glimpses of them. And while sunny days are awesome, rainy days make me happy too. Variety is the spice of life.
29. Speech/Theater: Participating in speech and theater in high school made me who I am today. Most of the friends I have from high school are in my life because of speech team. Speech made me confident in being on stage and speaking in a room full of people. Being on the speech team helped me more than anything else in college. I will forever be grateful that I had this in my life. I love that Maggie is taking after me and is interested in performing. I can’t wait to see what she does.
30. Hills: Running hills suck….they suck big time, but hills make me a better runner. “Hills” in life make me a stronger person. We all rejoice in the good times, but it is those difficult time (things) that shape who we are. I am thankful for the hills in my life.
What are you thankful for?