I know, it's pretty cliche to make a list of things I'm thankful for at Thanksgiving, but there's a reason things are sometimes cliche - they are good and they are right. There's no bad time to make a gratitude list, so here goes mine:
I'm Thankful For:
1. Steve. He pretty much dominates this list. He is the best man I have ever known, better than I deserve. Steve is sweet, strong, smart, sexy, sure, silly, and simply stupendous. (That list wasn't intended to be all s's but once it got going, I went with it.) We really are a good team, best friends, and intense Skip Bo rivals (I recently had a 12-game winning streak). I trust him completely and feel comfortable being myself 100%. He sees me at my best and my worst...and he doesn't think my worst is all that bad. We don't really fight, but we don't always agree. I feel happiest when I'm cuddled up next to him with his arms around me. I'm so thankful for the man he is, for the woman he makes me want to be, and for the life we share.
2. Our home. We have officially been in our house for a year now, and I can't believe it. In ways, I feel it can't possibly be just a year, in other ways, it feels like we've lived there for years and years. From the moment we moved in, it felt like home. I know a big part of that was because I was there with Steve, but it really does fit our preferences and personalities. It's large enough to fit houseguests, has some nice, distinct quirks, and it is in a pleasant, quiet neighborhood. There are a lot of places to walk in our neighborhood, and I love that most of the neighborhoods around us are quite festive for all the holidays. I feel like we like in a small town, but we're really close to big towns with lots of shopping and eating options. It's pretty darn close to perfect.
3. My job. Working at the Student Health Center at Weber State University is pretty darn close to being the perfect job while going to school. I don't work too many hours so have plenty of time to do homework and spend time with Steve, it's close to home and really close to my classes (one building over), they are really accomodating if I need to take time off to take a test or talk to a professor, and I get to do homework at work if it's not busy - which is quite often. An added, and important, bonus is the great people I work with. They're all very nice and I enjoy chatting with them. I'm very fortunate to be in the position where I can afford to work this job while going to school instead of needing to work a full time job in order to pay the bills. I'm thankful that my husband has a good job and is happy to support me while I go to school. I hope to return the favor someday.
4. My mom. I have a wonderful mother. She taught me how to be a lady, taught me to be strong and independent, and taught me how to work and be proud of a job well done. My mom is beautiful, inside and out, and I'm proud when people tell me that I look like her or that they see her in me or vice versa. Mom came to visit us last month and I really enjoyed spending time with her. She didn't come for any other reason except to see us and to go to the places around our home that we love. One of my favorite times was window shopping on Historic 25th Street in Ogden. We stopped at all the stores Steve and I enjoy, discovered an Argentinian bakery with yummy pastries, and bought chocolates at a cute, unique shop. The whole time, we laughed and talked. It was wonderful being with her. I'll always remember that weekend and how special she made me feel by making a trip up just to spend time with me and Steve. That's the kind of wonderful mom she is. I'm thankful she's my mom and I'm thankful for all the lessons she has taught me (even when I wasn't willing to learn from her).
5. My family. I grew up with three brothers. They were great. We fought, of course, but we had a grand time playing with each other too. They taught me to be strong, to stand up for myself and not be pushed around by boys, and they taught me a little bit about what kind of man I wanted to marry someday (they probably didn't realize they were teaching me this). They tolerated my bratty phase, my bossy phase, and my distant phase. Now we're all really good friends. And, they married, or are about to marry, good women who I really enjoy spending time with. One of my favorite traditions that I'm afraid is disappearing now that I live away from Cedar is making Christmas candies with my sister-in-laws. We spend all day making delicious confections to pass out to friends. This year, I'll be doing it on my own and it won't be the same. I'm thankful that we get along so well and have such loving relationships. I'm especially thankful for my brothers' kids. I love being an aunt and I have the most adorable niece and nephews in the world. I love them so much. I'm also thankful to be gaining a new niece and nephew in a couple weeks when my brother gets remarried. They are cute kids and I'm excited to get to know them, be a part of their lives, and to learn to love them.
6. My dad. I have an interesting relationship with my dad, but no matter what, I love him and am thankful for him and for the things he has taught me. When I was younger, he taught me that I should expect to be treated like a lady by the men in my life, he took me on practice dates, and he taught me not to settle when it came to choosing the man I would spend the rest of my life with. I married a man who has all the same wonderfully good points as my dad yet who is also unlike him in all the ways I wanted. I'm thankful that my dad's second wife is nice and who has treated us well from the beginning. I'm also thankful to have a cute little sister. She's closer in age to my niece, but she's my sister and I love her and marvel at how great she is.
7. Friends. I have always been blessed with wonderful people in my life. Angels disguised as friends. These friends have been with me through thick and thin times (literally and figuratively); we've shared dreams, secrets, tons of laughs, and our share of tears. I've met my friends at school, at work, through other friends, and a few of my closest friends are cousins of mine. Our lives have sometimes taken us away from each other, but our spirits remain close. I don't see my friends as often as I used to or would like, but every day some memory or thought about one or more of them comes to mind. I pray for my friends and hope they're doing well and are happy. And, when we actually get to spend time with each other, it's as if no time has passed and I'm just as at-ease and happy with them as ever. My mom once told me a true friend is one that you can reconnect with as easily as if you were never apart. That is how it is with my friends. I'm so very thankful for my friends. I am who I am in large part because of their influence and example.
8. My body. Even when I was obese, I had a healthy body; I could walk, hike, play tennis, swim, and other fun activities, though often with lots of huffing and puffing and a red face. Now I really appreciate my body. I am thankful to be able to run and ride a bike again and to do other things that I hadn't done when I was so heavy. I'm thankful that my body is more healthy now - not just because of the lost weight but also because of the increased activity and healthier food. I can comfortably fit in theater seats, airplane seats, office chairs, and that I don't worry about breaking flimsy-looking chairs at restaurants or people's houses. I don't limit myself any more - I live my life to its fullest. I even went skydiving last year. Yes, I'm very thankful for my slimmer, healthier body and all the activities it allows me to do.
9. Sadie. I was a little nervous about getting a dog. I knew it would change our lifestyle. And, the first week or two, I had a few rough patches. However, I really enjoy having Sadie in our lives now. She is such a loving, well-behaved dog. If you need a smile, come over and see our crazy dog. She will warm your heart with her big welcome - a furiously wagging tail and maybe even some rare greyhound kisses. Petting her releases happiness molecules that travel from your hand all the way up to your head and heart. An added benefit of having Sadie is having to walk her a few times every day...even if it's blistering hot or freezing cold. And, taking her for a quick two-minute walk to do her business isn't going to cut it. That girl doesn't do anything until she's been walked for at least 10 minutes, so you get a good walk in.
Well, I'm done with work and off to class, so I'd better end this post. I hope everyone has a wonderful turkey day with family and friends.