I apologize for being such a slacker with my blog lately. I feel like this year is flying by before my very eyes and it seems like the time to get on here can never be found. But alas, I thought I would get into the spirit of Thanksgiving week and join in on the Thankful posts. The daily thing on facebook is a bit much for me but I thought I would compile my list here. I'll tackle a few a day throughout the week..
Sometimes we get so complacent throughout the year and around the holidays it really gives us time to sit down and think about all of the wonderful people and experiences that we have in our lives. Sitting here thinking about everything now honestly just puts a smile on my face because I do feel so blessed and happy...People always say that they don't want to get older but I am having the best time with this phase in my life. I feel like for myself and my friends...we've all made it to that point where we are settled into our adulthood. We're not the "fresh out of college" group anymore. We've settled into our careers and our routines, we're getting established and promoted. We've bought houses and cars; taken big vacations that we've actually paid for. We've had real life struggles and slowly but surely made it through. We've "paid our dues" and are now on the upside. It makes me so proud to see the growth and success. Will we have more hard times, undoubtedly! But we've proven that we have what it takes. Two weeks ago Winthrop had it's homecoming basketball game and a bunch of my college friends came into town for our annual girls weekend. I love that we have that one weekend a year that we know we can count on to get all of our schedules aligned and get together. It was our first year having our own alumni tailgate. We learned about a few things that we will change for next year but it was definitely a great decision and we really enjoyed it. Now, if only Winthrop's basketball team would get back to the greatness of our Freshman and Sophomore years at Winthrop! It was so funny to see how much things have changed, but how happy we are with that. Looking at the groups of friends and WU Alumni who are in their 30's, all meeting up with their little kids and tailgating...realizing that in what seems like a few short years that will be us. It doesn't make me scared for the future, it makes me excited for it!
So I guess with all of that in mind, here's my list...
1. I am thankful for Jake. I am thankful for who he is as a person and who he is as a partner. I am thankful for the way that he balances me and the way that we work together. I'm thankful for our differences and our similarities. While we both thought that we were headed down different paths in life, I'm so thankful for God's greater plan helping us find our way to each other. I'm sure that you are thinking "Duh" right now, but it's a feeling of thankfulness that I never knew existed until we got married. While we were dating of course I was thankful and felt so lucky to have found someone who I thought was so perfect for me, but after getting married small things just started adding up and made me find this whole new level of appreciation. Even though we had been together for almost five years by the time we got married, and even though we were already living together, there is something that changes. I guess it's because "forever" actually becomes reality and for the first time that actually sinks in.
2. I'm thankful for my big family. The one that I was born into and the one that I married into. As a kid I remember doing a project in school where we were writing down the number of siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. in our families. My Mom has a big Italian Catholic family and my Dad was adopted, and later in life he found his birth parents so that makes for a huge family. I remember writing down that I have over 20 first cousins, and how some of the kids in my class only had one or two, or none at all. While it can get crazy trying to coordinate schedules, especially around the holidays, I can't imgaine not having a house full of people celebrating together.
3. and 4. Reece and Kona. You just do not even understand how much I love my furbabies. They are my first and second children, they are spoiled rotten, and I would not have it any other way. While I know dogs are nothing like real children, they have definitely helped prepare us for our future little ones by giving us responsibility and letting us know that the world does not operate on our own personal schedules.
5. Friendships. Old and new. I've always been the "social butterfly" as my parents called it. Maybe it comes from moving a few times growing up or maybe that's just me. Yes, I was one of those crazy people who had a ton of bridesmaids in my wedding. I've never been the type of person who had only one best friend. Each one of my friends "gets me" in a different but completely perfect way and I'm so grateful that I have those people who know everything I want to say with just a look.
6. Our church. After buying our house we found Allison Creek Presbyterian Church and it could not be a more perfect fit for us. I've never felt more welcome or at home in a church, and Jake and I laugh about it because honestly we are probably the youngest couple in the small congregation by about 10 years, with the exception of one or two others.
7. Art. For my ability to do it and for the way that it allows me to express myself and connect with people.
8. Our country and our military. For freedom, pride, and patriotism.
9. Education and teachers. Especially for the teachers who have had a great impact on my life, encouraged me and inspired me.
10. My job. For doing something that I enjoy with co-workers that are fun to be around. I definitely learned through previous jobs that this is not always the case and it is such a blessing when you find it!
11. The medical field. For the advances that it has made and for the talented doctors working towards cures for cancers and diseases. For the technology that they have developed that makes things like my Lasik surgery possible :)
....that's all for now, more to come!