29 Thoughts on Thankfulness

This year my birthday lands on Thanksgiving. It's pretty common in my family to have a birthday on Thanksgiving or right around it. We have four November birthdays in my immediate family, and usually mine or my brother's falls right on it or within a day or two.

I turn 29 this year, which I am kind of indifferent about. I don't usually get too excited about my own birthdays, and this one is no different. It just seems that I will be 29 and it is right. But, I have a lot to be thankful for, and I thought it would be a fun twist on my Thanksgiving birthday to list 29 things that I am thankful for. Some of these are deeper, and some are more frivolous, but all are things for which I am thankful.

1. Jake- I could write a book about why I am thankful for this man. I am so grateful to be married to this wonderful man. He may not be perfect, but he is perfect for me. He can always make me laugh (hard) and is an amazing provider and hard worker. He can figure out absolutely anything he puts his mind to, and he is always learning something new. He is trustworthy and honest. He knows me better than anyone and he "gets" me. We have this connection that we can (usually) communicate without even speaking, and are usually on the same page. We are so opposite in so many ways but we have blended together nearly seamlessly. I could wax poetic on this subject forever, but the bottom line is, I love this man more than words and am so grateful to be spending my life with him.

2. Our baby on the way- I am thankful for our baby boy on the way. I couldn't be happier that he is a boy, and I look forward to going on this new adventure of motherhood with him.

3. A healthy pregnancy- I am very thankful that my pregnancy has been incredibly healthy. Sure, it's been uncomfortable a lot of the time, but I am blessed that everything with me and the baby is healthy.

4. Charlie- I adore this dog more than words can say. Until this baby on the way, Charlie has been my baby. The joy he brings me on a daily basis is indescribable. I love snuggling with him, holding him, and just being around him. He cracks me up daily with his quirks. His love is unconditional, and I'm so thankful he's in my life.

5. Tex- Tex is the sweetest dog with the most tender heart. He is so big, but he is a big baby. He loves to snuggle with me too, and he thinks he is as small as Charlie. He makes me giggle on a daily basis as well. He has grown into a very good dog, and I am so thankful he's in my life as well.

6. Our house- I love that our house is truly home. It is the place I feel the most safe, the most comfortable, and the most happiness. Although we may seem to always be working to improve it, I am so content with it. It is us, it is beautiful, and I feel very, very fortunate to have such a lovely home.

7. My mom- My mom is one of my closest, if not best, friends. We talk every day and she loves me unconditionally as well. It hasn't always been this easy (due to me, mostly), but we have worked hard at our relationship and I'm so glad for where it is. I tell her most everything, and she is my confidante.

8. My dad- My dad is like my knight in shining armor, next to Jake. He will help me/us through any situation that needs his help. He will drop anything he is doing and come over if we have some sort of house issue, and always knows how to fix it. He is such a Godly man, too, and so loving. I'm so thankful for my daddy.

9. My (middle) brother and his wife- I am very close to my brother; he is also one of my best friends. I can tell him absolutely anything and he helps me through it without judgment. He is also brilliant and an amazing businessman and entrepreneur. The example of how he has grown himself is amazing and inspiring. He is also married to the most wonderful woman, whom I love so much. She is funny, smart, kind, and also "gets" me. I can always talk to her as well. She is such a perfect pair for him. Jake and I hang out with them (somewhat) frequently and always have so much fun. I am so thankful they are in my life.

10. My (oldest) brother and his family- I don't get the opportunity to see my oldest brother and his family too often, but am thankful when I do. Especially since I have been pregnant, I have really enjoyed talking to my oldest brother about parenthood. He has had some exceptional insight into it, since he is a father to my six year old niece.

11. Jake's family- They say when you marry a person, that you are also marrying their family. That is absolutely true. I am fortunate to have a wonderful set of in-laws as my second family.

12. My job- I have an amazing job, and I count my blessings daily for it. As with any job, it is work, but it's a great job to have. I work for a wonderful organization, have a great boss, a good relationship with my co-workers, and I like what I do. Every aspect of the job is something to be thankful for.

13. My benefits/insurance- Thanks to my amazing job, I have great benefits and insurance. I feel like this should be a line item of it's own, because of how impactful they are to my life. They are both wonderful, and make our quality of life so much better.

14. Friends- I am fortunate to have some really great friends. I may not have as wide of a friends network as some, but I do have a handful of really amazing people in my life.

15. Texas- This may seem broad, but I love my home state. I love the landscape, the people, the southern qualities, and so much more. I love the music here and the things to do. I firmly believe it's the best state in the United States. (But that's normal for a Texan, right?)

16 . Pedicures- Here's a more frivolous one! But something I am very thankful for, nonetheless. I have always enjoyed pedicures, but since I have became pregnant, pedicures are one of my most favorite things. My feet hurt constantly while pregnant, and having the luxury of someone tending to them for 45 minutes to an hour is ah-maz-ing.

17. Hair straighteners- While I'm on the more frivolous vein, I am also thankful for hair straighteners. I have naturally (very) curly hair, and usually wear it curly. However, since becoming pregnant, my hair has been even more wild than normal, which is pretty wild. I finally started taking to straightening it last week, and it's a world of difference.

18. Thanksgiving- Thanksgiving had to make this list, being on Thanksgiving and all. I am thankful for the holiday, for the time off of work, for the time with family, and for the delicious and abundant food. I love this time of year.

19. Christmas- Christmas is right around the corner, and I am so excited. I am thankful for it for many of the same reasons that I am thankful for Thanksgiving, but also for even more. This is the day we recognize as our Savior's birth, and is probably the most special time of year. But I think the best way to describe it is being thankful for the joy and the feeling of the season.

20. All holidays- Thanksgiving and Christmas are so large that they get their own line items, but I am thankful for all holidays. My mom always made holidays very special when we were growing up, and that is something that has stuck with me.

21. Living somewhere with mild weather- I already spoke briefly about Texas, but I am so thankful to live somewhere with mild fall/winter weather. One of my best friends is a transplant from Minnesota, and we compare weather stories frequently. Plus, I see all sorts of weather conditions from other parts of the country, and I am very grateful for our winters.

22. Scrapbooking- Scrapbooking is probably my favorite hobby. I am thankful for the joy it brings me both during the creative process, and after the fact when I can look back on our memories. I have so much fun scrapbooking.

23. Having a craft room- I am fortunate enough to have an entire room to craft in. Both Jake and I had a spare room in the house to ourselves, and he was the one to volunteer to give up his room for the baby nursery. I so love having my own space to go and create. I can't explain it, but I feel like I need to create like I need to breathe. So, having my own space to do that is such a blessing.

24. Our bathroom remodel- Although it is moving very slow, and has given us plenty of frustration, I am thankful for this renovation. We are getting close to the finish line, and it will be one of the nicest rooms in our house. I am thankful that we had the means to do it, and for Jake's incredibly hard work and DIY skills to achieve this.

25. Blankets- Here is another frivolous one. I love blankets and throws. I love snuggling up on the couch in the evening under a super soft blanket.

26. Blogs- I am thankful for the world of blogs. I have several favorites that I ready daily, and several others that I check in to from time to time. Blogs (especially DIY/home ones) have opened a new world to me and empowered me to do even more things in my home.

27. Having everything I could want- I can honestly say I have pretty much everything I could want. I have an amazing husband, family, friends, home, dogs, job, and much more. But Jake and I are very fortunate (and thanks to hard work!) to be able to have the things we want. Of course, no one has absolutely everything they want, but I feel like we come close. We have nice things, can go out to eat, and can make purchases if we want to.

28. God- I am more thankful than ever for God, with having a baby on the way. I am constantly trying to steer his future in a Biblical manner, and I am thankful for my relationship with God to do this.

29. Going into my 29th year, soon to be 30's- Everything I read lately seems to be about how the 30's are the best decade yet for those who are in theirs. I can see how this is true. Most people are more settled by their 30's, in their relationships, careers, choices, etc., and I feel that applies to me as well. I'm not afraid of my 30's- bring them on! (In one more year).

This turned out to be a very lengthy list, and I may be the only one to read it, but it was very cathartic for me to write. It also brought many more things to mind that I am thankful for, and this is by no means a complete list. But, it sure is nice to reflect on these 29 things that I am thankful for. To another great year!

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