This year, I’ve thought a lot about Thanksgiving. More so than usual. There was the usual daydreaming about pies and leftover turkey sandwiches and Black Friday shopping. But there was also this immense feeling of gratefulness, almost unworthiness, for things in my life. Today is one of my favorite holidays (mashed potatoes, duh.). I think it is so incredibly important that we take a day each year to truly reflect and be thankful for what we have and I firmly intend to do that between forkfuls of stuffing.  But, I don’t want to forget so quickly, become ungrateful so swiftly. So, I’m writing it down to have a reminder, a list of a few things in my life I am really and truly thankful for.
Thanksgiving 2000. Enjoy those crewnecks, folks. 
In no particular order…
1.     Friends. For friends that are like family. For friends that have come back into my life. For friends that have left my life. Each one has taught me something. For new friends who have helped me open up and for old friends that have kept me honest.
2.     Family. For family that has never stopped believing in me. For family that will never stop believing in me. For the family that was chosen for me and the family that I chose. I have so many people in my life who truly love and support me. All too often I let myself feel isolated and separated, when I’ve got a small army behind me. They drive me crazy and keep me sane, and I love them all.
3.     The feeling of putting on laundry fresh from the dryer.
4.     For music that touches the soul. The kind that speaks to me when my head and heart cannot form words. The songs that can change an entire day. The melodies that feel like they’re being played for me alone. The songs that evoke memories once long forgotten.
5.     Freshly ground coffee beans.
6.     Harry Potter.
7.     Grace. Unending, enduring, everlasting grace. Grace I certainly don’t deserve but will humbly accept. 
8.     Smiles from strangers during morning runs. Sometimes they’re the only thing that keep me going.
9.     Wool socks and thick blankets.
10. Philippians, Corinthians, & Romans.
11. School. I complain about it incessantly when I should be praising it constantly. My education is going to help me reach any and all of my goals – the ones I’ve already set and the ones I someday will. This place has given me more once-in-a-lifetime opportunities than I’ll ever fully realize.
12. Writing. I too often take for granted this gift I was given (as I do with so many) and don’t realize how powerful words can be. It isn’t just stringing words together (semi) coherently or eloquently, but it’s a part of who I am.
13. The Barnes and Noble cookbook section.
14. Chocolate.
15. Cream cheese frosting.
16. Those small moments of unexpected peace. Whether it’s driving back home, waiting in line at the grocery store, or stretching after a run, when that feeling of complete calmness grabs hold of my heart, I know that someday, someway everything will be ok. I feel a closeness with God in these small moments that is unparalleled in any other way.
17. Whoever invented cookie butter. You have my lifelong gratitude.
18. For second and third and fourth chances. So many that are undeserved. 
19. My body. We don’t always get along, and I often resent it or am upset with it. But, it can do SO much. I can run, jump, flip tires, and swing kettle bells with this amazing machine. I put it through the paces and it comes back stronger. It (literally) carries me through my days.
20. Being able to listen to my grandma’s stories about growing up in 1940’s Chicago.
21. You. Every single one of you who reads this blog. If it weren’t for you I’d just be some weird girl taking pictures of cupcakes and babbling to herself on the internet. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much, you have no idea how much it means to me.
This list is not all encompassing, it isn’t even partially encompassing. I really and truly have a very blessed life and firmly intend to (and need to) appreciate it more. 
Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!
What are you thankful for?

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