1. I am first and foremost thankful for my family and God. I love them beyond words. They sometimes drive me nutty, and I sometimes yell, fight, and breakdown and cry. Isn't that what family is? They are people you can be yourself around. The ones that know you inside and out and love and accept you just how you are. I'm blessed with my two beautiful daughters, my husband Matt, and my two fur balls, that are more work sometimes than my kids.
2. Every Tuesday night, for the last 5 or more years we have been having dinner with my parents. The meals started when my husband started taking karate. In the beginning, we took the family class and it was all of us. After I received my second belt, I decided that I didn't enjoy it. Keira was little, and not into it anyway, so she followed me when I left. Shortly after her third belt Faith quit. So, Tuesdays we all have dinner with my mom, dad, and sister, and then Matt leaves us for a few hours while he goes to his class. My mom is a great cook and it's so nice. We all get excited to go over there every week.
3. My daughter Faith has been interested in animals since the age of two. She has enjoyed horse back riding, when we can afford it. She never wants to get involved in too much else. I believe in not pushing her into something and letting her be herself. Anyway, when she wanted to try out for one of the 15 positions in Tomorrow's Leaders at her school I was kind of surprised. She wrote a great campaign speech and did an excellent job talking to the other kids. Out of 200 children, she was given a spot. It's kind of like student council. I'm so proud of her for putting herself out there and making it happen.
4. In early spring, we put our house up for sale. We were planning on moving to take care of a relative. Events led up to us backing out and staying where we are. A few hours after we took the house off the market an offer came through for full asking price for our home. I was excited that it went for full asking price in two days, but I am ever so thankful that I get to raise my kids here for a little longer. We have something rare in our neighborhood. We have a subdivision that is full of wonderful, caring people.
5. I am so thankful for this blog. Two years ago, when Stephanie and I were having lunch we came up with the idea. I would have never dreamed that we would end up with this many fans. We have been able to do so many fun things this year. I love traveling, so the Cedar Point BloggyCon weekend was fabulous. We get to try out so many cool things and visit awesome places that I probably wouldn't get to otherwise. We make a great team. I love to write and Stephanie is great at finding deals and being able to do the computer tech stuff that I have no clue about.
6. We moved into our house close to 11 years ago. I love it. My husband is handy and has worked hard on it. Anyway, when we moved out to Westland from Berkley I knew it would be stressful for my husband because he has a 45 minute drive to work when there is no traffic. All summer, while 96 was closed, it would take him 2 hours to get home on some days. I am thankful for these years that I've been able to live close to my parents. My husband makes a big sacrifice.
7. It is precious to me watching my girls grow up. My oldest is almost 12 years old and no longer a little girl. She looks like a teenager. She is stunning. When they were little, I would sit and wonder what their personalities would be like. It seems like overnight I went from having a little girl to a tween that has very strong opinions and knows exactly what she wants. I am so thankful that I have been here to watch. I love them to a million pieces.
8. I don't remember how many years back we started this, but every Friday night we have family movie night. It's such a great way to start off the weekend. We rent or buy a movie each week, that we all can watch, and we have pizza. I look forward to it.
9. We have a timeshare in Florida that we use every other year. The girls love being able to pick what amusement park they would like to visit. It's great that it's every other year because it gives them time to dream. We are not going again for well over a year, but they are planning where they are going the next time. Being able to dream about your trip is almost as fun as going. I want my girls to enjoy the "in between time." It's not always about the destination but the journey.
10. I am thankful for the date nights my husband, and I share. We don't get them often enough in my opinion, but when we do get a few minutes alone, we enjoy the moments much more. I know the time is coming in the next few years were my oldest will be able to babysit for a few hours, but for now, I will enjoy these moments.
11. Earlier this year I purchased a Fitbit. The previous year, I had injured my knee and decided to give up my Lifetime membership to take my intense workouts down a few notches. Since I made the Fitbit purchase, I try to walk 10,000 steps a day. I have noticed that it's been much easier to stay at or near my goal weight. I was shocked that I wasn't moving as much before, as I needed to be.
12. Once I gave up my pricey gym membership, I also joined Planet Fitness. I am so thankful for their hydro massage beds. They are pure heaven. Since, I'm talking about workouts I also want to mention that I started going (well, when I have the time) to Fit Camp at my church. It's super high energy, free, and a fabulous workout. The best thing is these super kind ladies donate their time to run this. Highly recommend checking it out.
13. I have two friends that I consider "close friends." One of them quoted me a quote from Grey's Anatomy, "You're my person." How cool is that to know that you're somebody's person. I thank you for your friendship this year. There have been so many changes that I have had to make, and I'm glad you've stuck by me.
14. We had so many great times on the boat this summer. I took one day a weekend off of work all summer, so I could enjoy the time we have left in our home. We went boating just about every weekend that we possibly could. I have always been terrified of water since I'm a weak swimmer. This summer I got over the motion sickness of being on the boat. I was so proud of myself for getting used to being in the deep water when we would anchor and just go for a swim. We made so many great memories with some of our friends this summer.
15. Around seven years ago we put in a pool. I was so nervous about it, but my girls are very comfortable in the water and swim around like beautiful mermaids.
16. I am thankful for my church and my Bible studies. A few years ago this church completely turned around my marriage. I know I am not there "every Sunday," but usually five days a week I enjoy the presence of spending time with God. When I keep with God and study, I feel so much better. I always seem to know when I need to get back on track.
17. I feel like I have great luck. God truly blesses our family. I'm always winning things and getting cool opportunities, like going on TV. Seriously, my life is so cool. With all the great opportunities I receive it makes me appreciate down time. I'm totally an introvert and when I've been too busy I know I need to go inward to find peace. I am thankful that I know that about myself.
18. This is Matt's and my last year of our 30s. It's a time to celebrate living. I have so many dreams that I would love to see happen this year. I plan on celebrating our 40th birthdays in a tropical location. Who knows if it will happen, but I will have fun planning it and seeing where life takes me.
19. As I'm sitting here and typing, I look around and see all of the golden leaves on the ground. It makes me feel so small in this beautiful majestic world. I am grateful for all of the beautiful artwork God gives us. The beautiful sky, the crash of aqua waters, and the warm sun blazing. So many beautiful things to be thankful for.
20. Yes, this is my last one. I was planning on writing 29, but this has turned into a novel at 20. I am thankful for life. It is a gift. A gift that so many people take for granted. People often complain about what they don't have. Look at what you do have. I am going to work hard this coming year on only coming to God with my complaints. Seriously, no one wants to hang out with or listen to a Debbie Downer. We want friends that fill our cup, not empty it and take from it.