Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 years of Thankful

For those of you that don't know me in real life, you wouldn't know that my birthday tends to fall on Thanksgiving every few years. It used to pain me when I was younger, but now I appreciate the fact that I get to spend my birthday with loved ones and family near and dear to me. Plus, you can't really complain when your birthday meal is Thanksgiving dinner! I turn 30 years old this year on Thanksgiving day, and find myself being more and more thankful each year for all the things I enjoy about life. It's easy to get caught up in the humdrum of life and focus on the day to day drag of it all, but if I really think about it, the small things are just as important as the big things so it's nice to remind myself of all I'm gifted with in my 30 years of age. So here's my version of the Facebook Month of Gratitude everyone seems to be doing. I read through last year's post, 29 years of thankful, and it made me feel happy and content with my life and the last year of growth, so it's only fitting to do one for this year's milestone birthday. Here goes...

1. I'm thankful for love notes in my purse from my husband. They aren't elaborate poems, and they don't need to be. Finding a random note for no reason does exactly what this Thanksgiving holiday does for me each year...makes me realize how lucky I am to have the love in my life that I do. His notes can literally make my day and turn my attitude around in an instant. I love him for knowing when they are needed the most...

2. I'm thankful to be another year older, as the alternative doesn't sound too inviting! I'm not real stuck on numbers, so turning 30 isn't really bothering me. Why would it? This has been the best, most exciting year of my life, and we have so much more to come! If each year of my life keeps getting better than the last like it has, I don't know how I'll contain myself in the years to come! 30 is going to be great, bring on 31!

3. While I'm at it, I am particularly thankful for the year 2012. I never could've imagined being this happy a few years ago. I've been through other relationships, and Main Man and I have been through a lot ourselves, so being in this place in our lives is such an amazing gift that I don't even have words to describe it. This year has really made me feel the love from all my girlfriends, and family with the showers and special events people planned for us. It makes me feel so special to have so many people that care about me, it warms my heart just thinking about it. So besides getting married to my best friend this year, and celebrating our love together, this year has shown me the people around me in such a beautiful light, that it makes me love them even more (if that's possible). Love, love, love...there's love flying around everywhere!!

4. Wedding planning is over. Life is normal. This should probably be moved up on the list. This has been making me very thankful lately!

5. Thankful we are taking our honeymoon in January. Having a 7 day cruise to look forward to in the heart of the Winter months is something I am really grateful for right now. I'm glad we waiting to honeymoon until life calmed down a little instead of whisking away right after the wedding. It's fun to still have something in the coming months to look forward to...maybe that's why I'm not having the wedding hangover like some brides get after the nuptuals?

7. Surprise birthday parties! My ladies and my man threw me a surprise dinner the other night, that I was not expecting at all (kinda the point of a surprise, I know). It was a great night spend with all my favorite people, and I couldn't have planned it better had I done it myself...

8. I'm always extremely thankful for my parents, but it's been more evident this year after experiencing our wedding day. There will never be a comparison to seeing my dad cry when he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time. He's not an emotional man (at least on the outside), so having the feelings he felt at that moment bellow out of him uncontrollably was an awesome sight and made me realize how deeply our love for each other runs.  Listening to his speech and hearing him talk about my childhood and all they tried to teach me, and giving Main Man and I advice on marriage was something I cannot begin to explain how much it meant to me. I will forever be grateful to have had parents like I do in my life.

9. I am thankful for my job, but I am equally as thankful for my boss. My boss was actually an usher in our wedding and is one of my best guy friends. It's nice to know he's in my corner, and I know he knows I'm in his. It makes the business run smoothly to know we both have each other's best interest involved in decisions as well. I am thankful he values my opinion of how things should run, and is very generous with the flexibility of time off or other obligations besides work. I am extremely lucky to have a friendship with my boss on top of our work relationship.

10. I am thankful for soldiers, their families, and war widows. Let me articulate...I am not thankful that there are war widows, I am thankful for them and their strength. One in particular has a piece of my mind quite often, Amanda and Caydence Justice are the family of SSGT James Justice who was KIA in Afghanistan in April of 2011. I went to college with James, and he was best friends with an ex-boyfriend so I spent a good amount of time with him. He finished school, continued with the Guard, had a beautiful daughter, married a crazy strong wife, and lived literally 5 minutes from Main Man and I. I will never forget the day I got the message that he had been killed...and am forever grateful for his and other people's sacrifices for our freedoms.

11. I am thankful for the nice weather this Thanksgiving week...60 degrees in November? I'll take it!

12. I am thankful for burpees. I'm actually cringing while I type that, but I really am grateful to have the health and physical ability to be able to do 47 burpees on top of our Kosama workout last night. There are a lot of people who are not able to be as physically active as I am for various reasons, and although I may disagree with this statement when I'm dripping sweat and trying to catch my breath, I appreciate the fact that I am able to feel so alive and accomplish the physical things that I do.

13. I am thankful that Main Man's business is seriously flourishing this year. It's the best year he's had since he started 10 years ago, hands down, and it's only looking like it's going to continue. He works so very hard day in and day out, I see his drive and dedication to his success each and every evening when he falls into bed. It's one of the things I have been most attracted to in him as we started to get to know each other, and I'm so happy and proud that his determination is paying off.

14. I am thankful Brother Ben is back from overseas, and was able to be at our wedding, and will be able to be here for the holiday season (Thanksgiving AND Christmas) this year, as it's been quite a few years since he's had the opportunity to celebrate with us. I know it means a lot to me, but it means even more to my mother to be able to have both her children happy, healthy, and in one room to bring in the holidays!

15. I am thankful for my grandparents and all their years of marriage. My grandfather wore a suit for the "first and only" time at our wedding, and it makes my heart smile that he made the effort for his youngest granddaughter. My grandmother has been sick this week, so she is on my mind a lot at the moment. We will miss seeing them at Thanksgiving for the first time in alot of years...but they will be with us in spirit, and resting to be ready for lots of family time at Christmas!

16. I am thankful for Pinterest. Seems kind of lame but besides sucking a lot of my time, it has given me great craft ideas, awesome recipe ideas for this blog, and pretty much planned my wedding. I'm so glad Pinterest was around when I went through the wedding planning stages...TONS of great ideas!

17. I am thankful for my Mama K. My best friend, my favorite person to vent to, and the person who brought me into this world (with the help of Big Dan, of course, but she did all the heavy lifting). I'm not sure where I would be in this world if it weren't for her and her love. She continually gives me different views on life, and I'm lucky to have a little of her mixed in with a little of Dad to make me who I am!

18. I am thankful that I get to send out Christmas cards this year! Add another fun holiday tradition to the list! I didn't have time to make them super cool like I imagined, what with thank you notes, preparing for Thanksgiving and all that jazz, but don't you year they will be primo!

19. I am thankful for my lady friends and their healthy pregnancies. More and more of my friends are becoming mothers, and watching them go through the process of having children and entering motherhood has been such a learning experience for me. Not sure if you all know, but childbirth is one of my biggest fears in seeing all of these girls go through this process and explaining the do's/don'ts/trials/tribulations/pros/cons of everything before we take the plunge is absolutely the best thing in the world for me!

20. I am thankful for photography. I can't get over how awesome it is to document our lives and be able to look back at moments that can bring such emotion just by seeing an image. I looked through the photos of our engagement from last Thanksgiving and it just gave me goosebumps to remember the whole day by seeing the step by step of the photos. Then to look at our engagement photos, and now our wedding photos, is just beyond crazy the feelings that can be brought to the surface on any crappy day by seeing yourself in one of the best moments of your life. Awesome.

21. I'm thankful for short weeks. Seriously. I need this.

22. I'm thankful for the holiday season. I know everyone should feel the love and warmth throughout the whole year, count your blessings daily rather than yearly, do nice things for others out of the spirit of kindness and not just the holiday spirit....but there's something about this time of year that makes me warm and fuzzy inside. It's hard to have a bad day when you're in the middle of the season of love and thanks. I know I'm a huge creep, and some people get very annoyed with the holidays, but I really enjoy the festive, loving, mushtastic season!

23. I am thankful for red wine. I needed a drink last night....bad. Just one of those days, and having a glass of wine while finishing up thank you notes, was just what the Dr ordered. Sometimes, it's the little things...

24. I am thankful I learned to cook. I wasn't always able to throw dinner together by looking at ingredients and seeing what would go well together, and sometimes things still don't come out the best. But I am very thankful that I've kept trying to master the art of cooking, rather than continuing down the path of my 5 specialties in rotation with Lean Cuisines thrown in there for variety. It's a great feeling to put dinner on the table and have Main Man compliment me on it...I realize how domesticated that sounds, but I kinda like that too!

25. I am thankful for my health. I had a little scare at the Dr a couple months ago, nothing serious after a couple small procedures, and is actually very common after doing more research on it, but it made me very aware that things may not always be that way. There is a chance I develop some kind of health problem at some point, especially as we all age, so I'm very thankful to have my health right now, and will continue to try to keep it as long as I possibly can.

26. Speaking of health issues, I am thankful for Main Man and his support through the whole process of something that was very scary to me, even though it is very common. He sat with me in the Dr's office and held my hand through scary procedures even though it makes him weak in the knees to walk into hospitals. He's all the support I need in life, if he's by my side, I can handle anything.

27. I'm thankful for Facebook, and the ability it gives me to keep in touch with friends, new and old. It is an amazing time we live in where people from across the country can keep up with your goings on just as if you were next door neighbors. I cherish the ability to know what is important to them, keep up with their lives, and share my own life with such ease.

28. I am thankful to live in a place where I can see the shift from Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter each year...although I enjoy certain seasons more than others, enduring the not so fun ones make me appreciate the great ones even more. There are bonuses to each season...even though I hate the cold of Winter, the beauty of the first snow and the warmth of the holiday season make up for the nip in the air. Even though the heat of the Summer gets old after a while, the longer days and more sunlight can really up a girls mood throughout that season. Even though Fall is right before the dreaded Winter, it also means gorgeous colors in the trees and football season. And even though Spring....wait, there's nothing wrong with Spring at all. It's the beginning of the best time of year, we've gotten through the cold Winter and are looking down the road to another great year.

29. I am thankful to have the resources to enjoy a full spread of a meal for Thanksgiving with all my family each year. Some people don't have the luxury of being able to provide such a meal for their families, and its something we sometimes take for granted. Breaking bread with loved ones will always be one of my favorite ways to show love...probably why I love the holiday season so much.

30. I'm thankful for YOU! Those of you that come back each and every day, and read about my life with Main Man, our escapades in the kitchen, and all things in between. I never would have imagined having this many followers that I've never met (I really thought only family would follow me), having almost 2 million views from around the world, and having so many strangers with supportive comments that enjoy what I do here. Sometimes blogging can be a lot of work...when life gets busy, it's the first thing I think about dropping. But there's something that always brings me back...and I hope that something never goes away.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a great rest of the week. I will not be around the blogosphere until next week when I have a bunch of holiday recipes to share with you...I will be enjoying good food, great company, and a perfect birthday and Thanksgiving celebration! See you all then....

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