Tuesday, November 22, 2011

29 Years of Thankful

Everyone on Facebook is doing the 30 days of Gratitude thing, but I have too much ADD to remember to do a 'thankful for' status each day. Not that I have nothing to be thankful for, and not that I don't try to remind myself often of how much I have in life, but I am just way better at lists so I figured I would do a list of the things I am most thankful for during my birthday week and Thanksgiving week this year. So here goes...in no particular order:

1.  I know I said in no particular order, but he is always the first to pop in my head when I begin to think of how lucky I am.  Justin is everything I've ever needed in a partner, and he gives me more than I would ever ask for every day. He knows how to change my mood in a split second, if I happen to be in a bad one. He is so thoughtful and does all the day to day little things that let me know he's got me on his mind.  A kiss good bye every morning and a hug hello each night goes a long way with this girl...I don't ever feel like we take each other for granted, and think we are both lucky to have had the experiences we have had together, the good ones and the bad ones that make us appreciate each other to the max. I don't doubt the fact that we will spend a whole lotta years together building more memories and having more 'firsts' together each year that goes by...and I couldnt be more thankful for that peaceful feeling he gives me inside.

2. I am so very thankful for my Dad, and this has been even more evident in my mind with recent health issues for Big Dan.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without him, and I can't begin to express my gratitude for the sacrifices and time him and Mama K gave to raise my brother and I into the adults we have become. I know we didn't make it easy, and I only hope that I can instill the lessons we learned from him in my kids someday. I know everyone thinks their parents are the best, but I can honestly say that I would never want to trade mine for anything. Now if we could just get him to eat like I tell him to, we could guarantee his existence for a long time to come!  :)

3. Mama K is just as important to me as Big Dan.  She is my best friend, I can always count on her for an ear when I need her, and I hope she feels the same way about me. She gives me a different perspective on life and is without a doubt, one of the sweetest women I've ever met. I wouldn't be able to live without her...

4. My extended family is just as precious to me as my immediate family. These people all have a little to do with who I am and I would do anything for any one of them. I am very thankful for the relationship I have with all of my aunts and cousins especially, and think it's very important for women to have strong relationships with the other women in their family. I think its amazing that I feel comfortable calling any one of my parent's siblings to chat, or talk about a specific issue without them thinking it's weird.

5. Brother Ben--I won't go all mushy on you, although I doubt you're reading this anyway.  You do know how much I love you is a direct correlation to how much I lecture you on everything from your finances to the girls you associate with, don't you? I am so proud of you and everything you've accomplished, now if you would just listen to me about how you're spending your money, you will be well on your way to being set at the young age of 26!  Love you bunches, brudder! :)

6. My extra poundage gives me great unhappiness most days, but if I truly think about it, the fact that I have never in my life had to worry about where my next meal is coming from is something to be very thankful for.  There are so many people in this world who didn't grow up in as stable a home as I did, and don't get the 3 squares a day that I sometimes take for granted when groaning my way through my workouts.  So I suppose, my pants being tight is a good thing...for now.

7. Justin's family is like a second family to me, I feel so comfortable around all of them and am so glad to have them in my life. I fit right in at the Jamison get togethers and have fun hanging out with Candy when its just us or with the whole family, I am lucky to have such a great relationship with them all...so much so that most of the time, I get the calls and texts and emails before Justin does for family stuff :)

8. My Grandma Theda and Grandpa Benji are my mom's parents and I am so thankful that they are still around as I turn 29 years old. My dad lost all of his grandparents at a young age so I know I am lucky to still have the positive influence, Grandma hugs, and Grandpa stories at my age.  I love you both to pieces, and can't wait to see you this weekend.

9. Speaking of Grandma and Grandpa...my grandparents on my dad's side were also a strong influence on me. I am so very glad that I was given such great examples of relationships from both sides of the family....from grandparents, to my parents, to aunts/uncles, and cousins....my family is loyal and committed and have taught me lots of lessons on how to make it in life, and that there is such a thing as everlasting love.  It's not easy, it's hard work, and sometimes you may not be the happiest...but its worth it when you build a family like the one we've got. I am honored to have been a product of the hard work of all these people.

10. Roo and Sam are def on this list...we lucked out in so many ways getting the best pets in the world!  Roo does not pee, barf, or poop in the house, and is such a cuddle monkey...so different than other cats who just want to be left alone and pee in hidden places to stink the house up. And who knows where Sam poops, I just know he doesn't do it in the yard so we have to pick it up.  Maybe the corn field is his personal porta-john...I don't care, I just thank him.  He is also very protective of me and the house, he is always sitting at attention when I'm home and making sure no one pulls up unannounced, he's the perfect guard dog with a lot of lover mixed in.  I love them both to pieces!

11. Our home is very important to me. It's a symbol of Justin and I's relationship and all the work we've put into getting it to the point it's finally at...we've done a lot of projects together and picked out everything together and I think that's a great building block to our relationship, it gives us a solid foundation to rest our heads on each night.  I feel it's a statement about us, and how dedicated we are to each other, as well as making our house a home. It is by far my favorite place to be....

12. I am so very thankful for all the birthday calls, messages, texts, facebook posts, cards, etc that I have gotten today. You all sure do know how to make a girl feel loved! Makes me smile inside and out...

13. I am eternally grateful for the American troops that are fighting or have fought for our freedom and the freedom of others. We have lost so many great men and women who are far better than a lot of us who take our freedom for granted, and I truly appreciate the sacrifice them and their families make on a daily basis.

14. Although sometimes I get frustrated at people's thought processes, I am happy to have the freedom to have my own opinion as well as my freedom of speech. I am a stubborn girl to argue with but I guess if some people weren't wrong, then I would have no one to argue with...so I suppose I am happy for other people's freedom of opinion too! :)

15. I am superbly thankful to even have a job, as I know a lot of people are in a bad position in this economy. But my job is not just any job, my boss is one of my great friends and I truly enjoy and care about the company. It helps that I have a very flexible schedule and can wear sweaties and slippers when I feel the need too :) I am very blessed to have gotten the opportunity to meet my boss and get in with Acumen Instruments Corp.

16. I have never had any real health issues in my life and that's definitely something to acknowledge...I had a hole in my heart when I was born, but it closed up on it's own and I've been in great health ever since!

17. I am thankful that I am an emotional person...not too emotional, but I am sensitive to other people's feelings I think.  It's important to be able to read other's emotions as well as feel and decipher your own.

18. I'm glad that I enjoy physical activity and am at least halfway coordinated in sports. I love being active and it makes it easier to stay healthy that I enjoy sports and outdoor activities like my running. I am thankful to have gotten the gumption to pick up running, I love the feeling of it and wish everyone would give it a chance so they could feel the accomplishment and thrill of finishing a race!

19. My girlfriends...and I can't say this one enough. I don't know many other people who have such a close-knit group of girlfriends, and feel very blessed to have such a support network in my life. This is very important to me since I don't have sisters, and I feel like each of us brings something different to the table for the others.  We are all very unique but we work well together and I know that we would all do anything in the world for each other. That's a great feeling to have...

20. I am also thankful for my girlfriends' children...I get to learn all about prenancies and babies before I have to bring one home myself.  I should be a pro by the time it's my turn, but even if I'm not, I know I will have a village of helping hands to support me along the way!

21. I'm very glad that a lot of my friends have such great men in their lives, whether they be boyfriends or husbands, there's not one of them that I don't think has my friend's best intentions at heart. It's great to know your friends are being taken care of so well by the ones they love.

22. My love for food gets my pants in trouble sometimes but I am thankful to be able to appreciate the nicer things in life like good food and good wine. I used to be such a picky eater when I was  younger, and am glad that I have really outgrown most of that and broadened my horizens in the last few years. 

23. Some people don't get the chance to get an education like I did. Whether their grade schools and high schools are just no up to snuff, or they don't have the money or grades to get into college, I feel thankful that my parents instilled in me the desire and the need to get a higher education to push myself further in life.

24. My alma mater...yes I am thankful for ISU's victory last week!  And if you didn't see the game, you should feel very unlucky...it was one of the best games I've ever seen and even better that it made my Cyclones bowl eligable when we were predicted to win only 2 games this season! I am SO PROUD!

25. My love of reading is something I will always be thankful for! No matter where I am at or what mood I am in, I can always escape into a good book. 

26. I used to hate art class, and didn't like being creative. Tell me what to do and I will do it, but don't tell me to come up with an idea on my own.  I got into scrapbooking when I was working in telemarketing in college and was seriously bored to death while on the phones spewing my memorized speech to a million people a night. I am so glad that I began this hobby, although it feels like a chore at times and is time consuming and expensive, it is the neatest thing to be able to grab a book and be transported back in time 5 years.  It's also neat to see how I've progressively gotten better with each book that passes. I make a book for each of my friends when they get married and I hope they cherish them as much as I cherish the ones I have made for myself.

27. I am thankful for the holidays, which give us time each year to count our blessings and spend time with those who really mean something to us...family is so important and I realize that more and more each year. No matter what the holiday, Im lucky to have loved ones to enjoy them with! :)

28. Freedom to make mistakes--I am not perfect, nor is anyone else. We all have to make our own mistakes and follow our own paths to get us where we need to be in life. I have made quite a few of my own, but I don't regret anything that's gotten me to this point.  I am so happy with the path I have forged in the world so far....

29. I am very thankful to still be here looking forward to a happy future after 29 great years of learning, laughter, love, fun, and family on this Earth...may the next 29 be just as wonderful! :)

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