Hello blog friends! I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving filled with friends, family, and perhaps most importantly, gravy.
Despite being sick as a dog on Turkey Day, I truly enjoyed spending the holiday with Scott, Jolie, and a good friend who visited from Seattle. Sure, my sinuses were more congested than a Los Angeles freeway and I nearly coughed up a lung or two during the meal, but I didn’t let that stop me from stuffing my face with all the scrumptuous cuisine that laid before me. (Such sacrifices in caloric intake are necessary when you have three pies for three people.)
It’s safe to say that out of all those gathered around our table, Jolie had the best time of all. After napping beneath a cave of throw pillows for eight consecutive hours, she emerged to feast on a turkey heart, liver and pair of kidneys topped with gravy before retreating back to her snuggle spot without having to was a single dish. She was spotted later gorging herself on approximately two pounds of pie crust.
This may not have been the best idea before a long car ride in an extremely cramped Toyota.
Unfortunately, the power of 10,000 air fresheners couldn’t make a dent in the stench of her gizzard-inspired flatulence.
Aside from the doggie indigestion, it was a pretty wonderful holiday and I truly had a lot to be thankful for.
Which leads me to today’s post.
I’m sure many of you have seen or even taken part in the 30 Days of Thanks challenge. For the month of November, participants post one thing they are thankful for each day on the social media outlet of their choice. According to the website, “The thing for which you give thanks can be big or small–it doesn’t matter, because even 30 small gratitudes will add up to something awesome by month’s end … What you’re thankful for can be anything at all–as long as you’re consciously thankful for it. That’s the key.”
While I adored the idea of this challenge, I think we all know I sometimes have trouble committing to something like this for more than a few days. (Cough!…cough!…The Outfit Project!…cough!) It is for this reason that I’ve chosen to spew all my nuggets of thanks on you in one fell swoop. Grab your macaroni people — it’s about to get cheesy up in here.
30 Things/People/Ideas/(And okay…fine…accessories!) I’m Thankful For
He’s my best friend. He cooks me fabulous gourmet pizza and forgave me for soiling his favorite board shorts on a trip to Hawaii. (Long story.) In our nine years together we have changed so much, but we’ve done it together. While he constantly reminds me I have horrible taste in music, television and iPhone cases, he can’t deny that I have impeccable taste in men.
I went from being deathly afraid of all things canine to allowing one to sleep in my bed and lick the sweat from my face when I get home from the gym. She is a snuggly, real-life teddy bear, and I couldn’t live without her. Also? She doesn’t care if I go a day or two without showering. (I actually think she likes me better on those days.)
3. My family
They say you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. Still…if you could pick your family, I’d pick the one I was born into. They’ve somehow managed to put up with me for 28 tantrum-packed years, and miraculously love me in spite of it all. They’ve also taught me to appreciate things like eating an entire jar of pickled herring while watching The Sound of Music on a tiny sofa packed with three other people.
4. My in-laws
I really lucked out here. While most people can complain about their in-laws ’til the cows come home, I truly enjoy spending time with Scott’s family. A good majority of the time I actually like them more than I like him. (No offense, Scott.)
5. My job
Where to begin? I love my coworkers, love the organization we work for, and love the work I get to do on a daily basis. It’s basically a giant love fest. I’m also deeply grateful that I was able to keep my job and work from home when we relocated to ‘Sota. I’ve always gathered a great deal of satisfaction from the work I do, and feel so blessed to have a career that challenges and fulfills me.
6. Scott’s job
Moving to ‘Sota when Scott changed jobs was a huge risk. We both felt apprehensive and vulnerable, but decided to go for it anyway. Nearly one year later, I am so incredibly glad we had the courage to do what we did. Much like myself, Scott is lucky enough to work with a group of really terrific people. His new job is a perfect fit on a variety of levels, and it makes me so happy to see the joy and contentment he experiences as the result of his work.
7. New friends
I can’t even begin to tell you how much the new group of friends I’ve formed in Smalltown means to me. They are funny. They are fabulous. When I sprained my cankle in a random parking lot, they dove toward the pavement to save my Louis Vuitton purse. They put up with my craziness. We have so much fun together, and they are easily one of the best aspects of my new life in Minnesota.
8. Old friends
Let me just clarify that I mean “old” as in “been friends for a long time” as opposed to “wrinkly skin and Werther’s original candies”. That being said, one of my favorite things about moving around so much is the awesome network of friends Scott and I have built in the process. To all of our peeps in Washington, Nebraska and New York — we miss you!
9. My brother’s safety
I’m so appreciative that my younger brother, who is currently serving our nation overseas, is doing well and staying safe. I’m beyond proud of him and happy that we’ve been able to receive frequent updates!
10. My side-gig at the gym
Teaching fitness classes at the local gym is a huge source of joy, stress-relief and socialization in my life. Sometimes I still can’t believe I actually get paid to work out and meet new people. (I also sometimes can’t believe people come to me for fitness encouragement/advice as I have a serious Double-Stuff Oreos Problem.)
11. Double-Stuff Oreos
Trans fat never tasted so good.
12. My health
While I’m battling a terrible cold-flu-sinus-infection-hybrid as I type this, I don’t have any major health problems that limit my lifestyle. Although the Oreo problem could possibly change that…?
13. Living in Minnesota
The more I live here, the more I grow to love it. In my not-so-humble opinion, ‘Sota is kind of the most awesome state in the Midwest.
(Warning…this is the part where I ran out of meaningful things, and stuff starts getting shallow.)
14. My Keurig
It may have been the best investment we’ve made all year.
15. The Internet
It helps me with the important things in life: working from home, keeping in touch with loved ones, and Googling how much Kim Kardashian weighs. (116 pounds. I keep visualizing her back side and can’t help but feel that something isn’t adding up with that number.)
16. The Four Seasons
No, not the hotel. (Although if I could actually afford to stay there, I’m sure I’d be very thankful for it.) Believe it or not, I’m glad to finally get to experience four distinct seasons of weather. After three years in Seattle with nine month rain spells which were briefly interrupted by quick glimpses of summer, I’m relishing things like humid summer nights, changing leaves, and even the snow I formerly refered to as Satan’s dandruff. Sure, it’s 5 degrees outside right now (yes, literally 5 degrees), but I kind of don’t mind it…?
It’s healthy, hearty and perfect for a 5 degree day like today. It also has a nostalgic element, as it reminds me of my childhood in the Pacific Northwest.
There’s no disputing the fact that Target is on pretty much everyone’s list of favorite stores. There’s also no disputing the fact that the presence of a Target in Smalltown is at least 34% of the reason I’m enjoying my existence here.
19. Our vehicle
Sure, it’s lacking a hub cap, a leather interior and features like keyless entry and cruise control…yet it somehow manages to trek through the snow with all the gusto and stamina of a Northern Minnesota moose. It also averages an economical 37 miles per gallon on the highway. And while Scott and I do have to share it between the two of us, we’re both thankful it’s at least been paid off.
A simple pleasure that brings me great joy and makes watching football tolerable.
21. My church
I kind of feel guilty for putting this after wine…but I honestly forgot to mention up at the top of the list, and I didn’t want to go back and change the order/renumber everything. (Does this make me a bad Lutheran? The Lord will understand…right?) All jokes aside, I’m really glad to have found a church community here in Smalltown where I feel welcome and spiritually fed.
I wanted to put him in here again…for emphasis. (I also forgot to mention earlier that he loves Nordstrom Rack just as much as I do…that in itself justifies a second mention.)
23. Apple TV
Even if the screen saver is out to humiliate me, I’m thankful to have hours upon hours of free entertainment streamed through our wireless internet. I’ve been milking it for all it’s worth — which basically means I’ve burned through 115 hours of Gossip Girl in the past 30 days. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
24. The view from our apartment
Spending all day at home requires an environment that makes me feel inspired and comfortable. Our incredible prairie vista accomplishes both.
I feel as if youth is something that goes unappreciated until we’re older and it’s too late. While at twenty-eight I’m no spring chicken, I’m also not dead yet. I’m trying to be aware of this, and grateful for it.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s five degrees outside right now. Central heat is a very good thing.
27. Free time
I’m thankful for the moments I have to spend reading, cooking, crafting…and let’s face it…watching Gossip Girl.
It’s pretty much the best website ever.
29. This blog
I’m passionate about telling stories through my writing. I care deeply about this blog, and am excited each day to invest my time in it. It is a wonderful creative outlet, and a giant source of delight in my life. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun.
30. You guys!
The fact that people actually choose to read this little blog of mine is something that never ceases to amaze me. I am beyond honored that you spend time here. I appreciate the support, feedback and camaraderie. I relish reading every single comment, and dig hearing your side of things. I love when you tell me I’m being ridiculous. I love when you tell me I’m not being ridiculous. Heck…I love when you tell me pretty much anything! What I’m trying to say here is thank you. Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for supporting my blog. I’m very thankful for each and every one of you.
(I’m also thankful there’s only 30 days in November…not to sound ungrateful, but I was kind of running out of ideas.)
Main image by Jon Ashcroft
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