As I'm sure y'all are aware, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this here is the obligatory Thanksgiving post for 2011. I'll be honest. I'm having a hard time this year with the thankfulness. I'm still very much feeling like something is missing in my list of "what I'm thankful for," despite the fact that the list itself is long. It's an emotional Thanksgiving for me, and will likely be an emotional holiday season. But for today, I will set that aside and remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life.
This year, I am thankful for:
Dan. First and foremost. My husband, my very best friend, my rock. Without him, life would be more dull, more quiet, and far less wonderful. I can't say enough great things about the person who is always at my side, ready and willing with a hug. He knows what I need - a hug, a laugh, a smile - often before I even do. As much as 2011 has been trying for me, it's been hard on him too. Only, he doesn't let it out, because he's the stoic one. We're in this together, he and I, and as much as I knew that when I married him, this last six months has shown me without a doubt that he's exactly who I was meant to spend life with. I am thankful for his strength and for his never-ending drive to make our marriage the best it can be.
My parents. I will never say it enough. Who are we without the people who raised and loved us? My parents have given us so much love and support this year. Without my mom, I may not have had the strength to tell myself it's okay to go to counseling. As painful as it is for her to know she may not be a grandmother to my children, my mom's ability to accept and comfort me in our likely childlessness meant more to me than she'll ever know. And my Daddy. The hardest working man I know, and the most kind and gentle soul you could ever meet. So many things that I love about him, I see in my own husband, and I know that my father taught me how to choose a great husband, even though they look drastically different on the outside. I am thankful for my parents and that they taught me to be strong and loving.
My sister. We've been through good and bad in our life together. I carry much guilt for the way things were when we were young. She's an incredibly gracious and uplifting woman. She's selfless and loving, tender and wickedly funny. She's so much of the best parts of my mom and dad, just as I am, but exemplified in different ways. She's got so much in her that I admire and hope to be someday. I love my little sister more than she'll ever know, and I'm thankful for how our adult life has brought us closer than I could have hoped for just 10 years ago.
My friends. Old and new, near and far, real-life and virtual, I can not express enough gratitude for the family I've been blessed with of people who were once strangers. Their love, laughter and support has been immeasurable and I am thankful for the wonderful ways in which they've enriched my life. I can only hope that I can give it back in their times of need.
Our home. I'm so incredibly thankful for our house. I love that it's becoming more and more what we envisioned at first sight every day. It's given us an outlet for creativity and hard work, and has been a source of pride in its transformation. I love that it's become a place of memories, a place where our friends gather. It will be the place of mine and Dan's first Thanksgiving as hosts tomorrow, and I can't wait to watch that unfold.
Our health. I have to set aside the negatives again here and remind myself that generally speaking, we are very fortunate. Things could be far worse. We are able-bodied and living a full life. We are not hindered on a day-to-day basis by chronic illness or pain. We are not in medical debt or suffering. We are, by all intents and purposes, healthy and happy.
Our pups. Last but not least. Without speaking words or sharing in my tears, Clover and Paisley have shown such empathy and comfort. In the last 6 months, Clover has transformed. She went from disinterested to loving and compassionate this year. She gives kisses and cuddles in all hours of the day. Where I once felt frustration, I now feel nothing but love. And my Paisley. She always seems to know when I need some love. She's the first to crash onto the couch and climb up onto my tummy when I lay down. She'll lay with me for hours, wagging her tail and warming me with her devotion. We are so thankful for their love, health, and energy in our home.
We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you're surrounded by people you're thankful for tomorrow and every day.