Sometimes there are days when I get seriously overwhelmed. I have a lot on my plate right now- planning a wedding, working full-time, trying to find a house, learning how to build a business, preparing to go for my Master’s degree. I realize all of these are miniscule “problems,” but if you’ve ever been there, you get what I’m talking about.
When I have those moments when things are piling up faster than I can get them done, and I feel like throwing myself a pity party, something always happens to put everything in perspective.
Like a mile-wide tornado that rips apart a small town.
Or a beautiful little girl getting diagnosed with cancer.
Or seeing that old man with a cardboard sign on the side of the road.
It all makes me realize that I really don’t have it that bad at all.
So in the spirit of reminding myself of how lucky I truly am, I give you the top 10 things (in no particular order) that I am thankful for:
1. A loving, caring, providing husband-to-be.
If you would have told me seven years ago that I would be marrying the guy I met at a random football game my sophomore year of high school, I probably would have laughed in your face. That guy was weird, kind of a jerk, and had a lot of growing up to do. However, somehow God took that boy and turned him into a great man. I will always be thankful for everything he is and does for me: from killing the spiders to making sure I have air in my tires to being my shoulder to cry on.
2. Ridiculously adorable furry creatures.
Ok, make fun of me all you want, but I love these two to pieces. Hailey and Hannah have become mine and Seth’s “children” over the past few years. There is more personality packed into these two animals than I have seen in some people. I am so thankful for their unconditional love. They still want to snuggle even if I did forget to scoop the litter box or am too tired to go for a walk. And their playfulness is one of the best things to come home to after a rough day.
3. A job I honestly love getting up to go to in the morning.
I’ve had a lot of random jobs since high school that were never anything more than just something to pay the bills. However, I now have something that I look forward to going to every morning and that makes me feel like I’m really doing something worthwhile. The kids I work with day in and day out completely wear me out by the time I get home, but it is completely worth it. Those kids teach me more about patience and how to really see the world than many adults I have known.
4. Amazing younger siblings.
This is going to seem weird, because I have 7 siblings, but I have a special connection with these two. Zach and Emilie are the ones that I really “grew up” with, and honestly I’ve done a lot to help in raising them. I love watching these two grow and I am incredibly thankful for the awesome kids they are turning out to be.
5. A great family.
I didn’t want to leave anyone out, so rather than search for pictures of every single person, I’ll just say this….
While we certainly have our differences sometimes, I am so blessed to have a family that has always supported me and been there when I really needed them.
6. An Education
From an early age, it was engrained in me that I was going to college. It was something I’d always wanted and when I finally got that Psychology degree from VCU, I felt so accomplished. I’m a closet nerd, and I love learning. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go to a wonderful university and reach my goals, and to open my mind to the world around me.
7. The Opportunity to rebuild a relationship with my mother, and all the women who stepped up in my early years to fill that void.
First, yes, I know that’s not a really awesome photo. I was a nervous hot mess, so sue me. Anyways, as many of you know, I grew up without my mom. Without getting into the long story that it is, suffice to say it wasn’t an easy thing. However, I had MANY women growing up who really worked hard to make sure I never felt like anything was missing. From my Mamaw, who is so much like a mom to me, to all of the adopted mothers of my friends…I really don’t know where I would be without them.
I am also thankful for the opportunity here lately to get to know my mom and my other siblings. This is truly something I never thought would happen, so I am thankful for even the smallest of baby steps.
8. Friendships that can pick up right where they left off.
I was 10 when I moved with my dad from the only home I had ever known in the itty bitty town of Claysville, Pennsylvania. I had so many friends and I was so sad when I left. Luckily, I am still close with a few of the girls I grew up with. These are ladies I have known since I was 3, maybe 4 years old. While we sometimes go months, even years, without seeing or talking to each other, we can always pick up right where we left off, and we still completely get each other. I am beyond thankful for that kind of connection.
9. The chance to follow my dreams.
When I started my business this time last year, I had no idea what I was doing. I went back and forth with myself about whether or not I should take the plunge. Looking back, I’m so glad I went out on this limb. I am slowly building something real here, and I can’t wait to see where the next few years take me. I am so incredibly blessed to have the chance to make my dream a reality.
10. My God
Last, but certainly not least. I am still learning more everyday after a very long hiatus from trying to be a Christian. I have always been a believer, but I never really knew what I was supposed to DO with that belief. That’s another blog post for another day, but to know that someone loves me as feverishly and unconditionally as He does is a tremendous blessing.
So tell me, gentle reader, what are YOU thankful for?