Wednesday, November 30, 2011

50 Gratitudes

So my lovely sister Amy posted 50 things she was grateful for. As I've always copied everything she does (hello - we had the same major, did the same sport, listened to the same music, the list goes on and on) I'm going to list my 50 things I'm grateful for.

1 - My job. I've been at my job for almost 12.5 years. In June I will have spent as much time there in my life as I did in public school. I love what I get to do - mostly playing with Excel spreadsheets and looking at data, with a little bit of writing & editing thrown in for good measure. I feel at home there and I feel so, so lucky that I get to go to work there each week. They've even let me be part-time for over 10 years - how cool is that.

2 - My house. I'm glad I have a warm place to sleep at night. I'm glad I have a place for my stuff and my kids stuff. I love the memories that we've made here. It's still strange, living in a different house, but I feel incredibly blessed that I get to live where I live. My kids have the same friends and go to the same school and I'm in the same stake.

3 - Shane's job. He is so happy at his new job. The last job, while not ideal in many ways, forced him to grow in so many positive and amazing ways. It gave him a confidence that he didn't know he could have. He's taken that confidence into this new job and it's so exciting to see him succeed. Plus, it's only 3 miles from driveway to parking lot. He has an extra 1.5 hours now in his day that he used to spend driving to work. I love it. I'm excited to see him grow even more with his new company.

4 - Running. I can't say much here that I haven't already said. In my previous life, when I was young and single and free, I danced. When I quit dance, I didn't think I would ever find an activity that would make me feel as connected to my body, but I did, thanks to running. It makes it so I can drink soda. It makes me happy. It gives me freedom that makes me feel young. I am a better person after I get my run over. I can't imagine life without it and I hope hope hope I never have to live without it.

5 - Grandpa Bob. I have married into some very wonderful grandparents. I have spent more time in my life talking with Shane's grandpa than I ever did my own grandpas. I talk to him every Monday night. I love him. It is an amazing thing to have a grandpa. Their love is unlike any other. He misses his dear wife so much, and although I will miss him very very much when he goes, I will be so happy for him to reunite with her.

6 - My iPod. I've talked about the progression of my listening attire before. But for the past year I've been running with a nano and I love it more than I can say. I love that I have every song in my library. I love that I have songs on it that I've ran to or that are from my past or that I'm still making new memories with. I use it to keep track of my runs (love the Nike+!) I would be a sad sad girl without my iPod.

7 - Thomas. He pushes me in ways that I didn't know I could be pushed. We are so much alike sometimes I want to scream. And then other times he reminds me exactly of my dad - they eat the same, they have the same carefree attitude. I love him so very much. I am grateful that he is patient with me, because I am still learning how to be his mom. I worry that one day he will be a grumpy teenager and my happy-go-lucky boy will be all moody and lose that special spark that he holds. He has a very special mission to fulfill in this life and I am very grateful to be the one to watch him.

8 - Benjamin. Ah, Ben. He is the sweetest, meanest child alive. He can kill you with his sweetness and then turn around and kick you in the shins for slighting him in the smallest way. He is a hard worker and is motivated to do things well. He is still (and will always be) my baby. I am proud of him in the past few months with learning to read. I will miss the days when we don't sit together and read the sweet little books he brings home from school.

9 - Prayers, and that they are answered. Nuff said.

10 - My mom. It is interesting how our relationship has changed and grown since my dad's passing. I feel this responsibility for her that wasn't there to the same degree when my dad was alive, even when he was in the rest home. I am grateful for all the things she has taught me to do in this life, and for the mom she has been. I love her.

11 - Sewing. I haven't sewn much at all this year, but I dearly love it. I love making something out of pretty fabric. It is wonderful having a creative outlet and developing my talents.

12 - Technology. Back in the 80's they had the Book of Mormon on cassette tape, but today, I can walk around my house listening to them on a device not much bigger than a stamp. And thanks to the website, I have access to all the scriptures to listen, read, or both. I love that I have listened to the Book of Mormon more than I have actually read it. I try and listen almost every day at work which is a lot more successful than my reading them on my own at home. I am so grateful that I have the ability to listen in a way that works for me. It is also how I listen to Conference, since I am very bad at getting through all 4 televised sessions. I listen to them on my own time. It makes me happy.

13 - Grocery stores. How lucky are we that if we want or need food, we only have to drive a little ways and get some? On Thanksgiving, I ran into a neighbor waiting in line for an X-box. He and the people around him laughed when I said I was there for butter. It's true that there were no long lines last Thursday for butter, but there are people who wait in lines for food that is less appealing than butter and are grateful for it. I hope that me or my children never have to stand in a line for hours waiting for butter or bread or flour.

14 - Vacations. There isn't any better family time than time on vacation. Sure, the kids get tired of being in the car. Sure I end up spending way too much money on something. But the togetherness and lack of outside distractions make vacations a little bit of heaven. I am so grateful we have had some nice ones in the past few years.

15 - The arts. Dance, art, music, photography - I love it all. I used to debate the arts against sports with my friends at work. I know that both are necessary, but I love how the arts enhance our lives and help take us to a different place, a more refined space.

16 - My sisters. I love them all very much. I have spent most of my life looking up to all of them for different reasons. I love that I can call them and tell them what is on my mind without filters. I love that even when we don't see eye to eye we still love each other. I am grateful for each of them and for the way that they have enhanced my life for the better. Michele, Suzette, Amy - I love you. I am glad we get to spend our lives with this most special of relationships with each other.

17 - My nieces. Kayci, Lyndsay, Jacqui, Britteny, Breann, Haley, Madison - they are all so beautiful to me. I have watched these little girls grow up nearly my whole life (I was only 11 when the oldest was born.) I have loved being their aunt. I was able to spend a lot of time with all of them before I got married, and I treasure those memories. I've played barbies with most of them. I've changed each of their diapers. I am grateful for each of them.

18 - My nephews. Zack, Jake, Nathan, Kaleb - they are awesome. I have watched them and tried to imagine my boys at their ages. Coming from all girls and all nieces for the first 20 years of my life - boys were an eye-opening experience. But I am so glad that each of them have come into my life. I love all of them for their very boy-ness - rambunctious, wild, loud, and incredibly sweet though they may be.

19 - Reading. I would be lost without books in my life. It is troublesome when I am without a good book for an extended amount of time. I love all the worlds that books have allowed me access to. I feel that I am a better person, that I understand a bit more about the human condition thanks to books. I know I will never ever read all of the wonderful books out there, but I'm going to leave this world doing my damnedest to try.

20 - My dad. I immediately think of my dad when I think of my love of reading. He would read about anything you put in front of him. He's the only person I know whose actually read Les Mis, unabridged. I am glad he was my dad. I see the pictures of him from the last days and months of his life come up on my computer all the time. I don't recognize that man - I've almost forgotten how we was when he was when he was sick. I remember the real him a lot better. I recently read some letters that he and his best friend wrote to each other over the course of a few years. I sobbed the entire time I was reading, because I finally heard his voice again. I finally could remember how he sounded and his quirky humor. Reading those few letters made me wish so much he had a journal I could read. Not so I could know his secrets, but just so his voice could live on after him. It was like that scripture from the Book of Mormon when they talk about a voice crying from the dust. I miss him. I hope he left this world knowing that I was grateful to have had him for a father.

21 - And to follow that up, I am grateful for writing. I don't often write in my journal, but I do make an entry here and there on a Sunday when I'm bored in Sunday School. But, I am still grateful for my blog and the journals I do have and for the opportunities I have to write. I hope that one day my leftover words will bring me back to my loved ones. But even if they don't, I love that writing gives me a way to really express myself well. I can write something I feel much better than I can ever verbalize it. I'm not afraid of writing.

22 - My great-nieces and nephews. Grace, Jayven, Angel Glenn, Claire, Lukas, Kaisen, Lucy, Christian, Josie, Oakley and Grant (who I haven't met yet!) remind me of their moms so much. I think it is extra special to get to see the little people you knew and loved become big and obtain their own little people. I know that I can't exactly duplicate the relationships I had with their moms, I am still so happy that each of these sweet spirits came to earth to be in our family.

23 - Hot chocolate. Every morning of my life I drink a cup of hot chocolate. I love its chocolatey goodness. On mornings when I run first thing, I usually will drink a cup right before I head out. It gives me a little bit of energy and keeps me from feeling sick or hungry. My favorite way to drink it is after my kids are at school when I'm curled up on the couch with a cat and a blanket, looking at the internet (oh wait, I'm doing that right now!)

24 - My girls in SDBBE. As other posts have mentioned, we have a special bond. I love each of these wonderful ladies. Thanks for keeping my secrets Britt, Amy, Isabel, Jeanette, and Apryl, and thank you for sharing yours.
5 of the 6 of us SDBBErs.

25 - Blogging friends. I love the relationships I've made with complete strangers over the years. The windows into others lives that blogging creates is awesome. It's expanded my world in so many ways. Even when I don't comment, I am happy to be a part of so many wonderful people's triumphs and heartaches. Thanks for sharing your lives with me.

26 - Rebecca. I don't think there will ever be a time in my life when Rebecca isn't my friend. We have stuck together through high school, college, our 20's and now over half of our 30's. I can tell her anything and she will still love me. I love her and am so glad our friendship is intact, despite our distance.

27 - Melanie. Melanie and her family are almost like my family. We have spent countless evenings together, watching shows, talking, baking, eating, complaining, and laughing. They are the perfect couple friends for us. They will be moving this summer and I am so sad. But I know our friendship will weather this, although I will dearly miss watching her children grow up. Melanie and I understand each other in a very unique way and we lean on one another so much. I am so glad I have her in my life.

28 - Shelly. I once called Shelly my "neighbor" and I never heard the end of it. She used to be my neighbor, but it was always much more than that. Her kids were my kids default playdates for most of their lives. I am so glad I have a friend in Shelly. We never have to be polite with each other (although we usually are.) But we understand if someone has to race to get off the phone, mid-coversation. I can tell her when I think her ideas are wacky and she reciprocates by telling me mine are too. I still hate that she moved across the valley from me. But I will always have a friend in her, and I'm so glad.

29 - Online banking. I know - it's kind of weird, but I love that I can see my checking account from the comfort of my home. I can balance my credit card statement without any paper or pencils. I think all this technology is the best thing since sliced bread. Not that I was old enough to remember a time before sliced bread, but I imagine things sucked back then in the olden days.

30 - The library. My library branch is one of my favorite places in the world. I am so grateful for a county library system that is so convenient, technologically advanced, and rich in literary gems. I love that I can download songs for frees and not be ripping anyone off. I would be lost without it.

31 - My cats. Sure they hack up fur balls on my carpet when they are 1.5 inches from a hard surface. Sure I have one that eats paper and leaves it for me as offerings of her love. Sure they meow crazily in the middle of the night. But I love my three furballs. I am glad they roam my house and let me pet them once in a while.

32 - My kids friends. They are wonderful at entertaining my children. I should seriously pay them.

33 - My babysitter. Heather - you are a lifesaver. I don't know what we would have done over the past year without you. Heather jumped in to take care of my kids without a moment's hesistation. I love that we have a friendship and an understanding with each other. I love that my kids are happy at her house and that they have fun while they are they. It warms my little working-mom's heart to know that my kids are well-taken care of while I am otherwise engaged.

34 - My cell phone. Not the phone itself, but what it allows me to do. I can text my sisters. Texting requires no introduction, no blahblahblahblabbityblahblah before you get to the point. It's okay to just ask for what you need in a text, give a thank you and a sideways smiley face and go on your way. But it's also a fun and entertaining way to stay in touch with others. I also love that I can talk with my loved ones while I am driving the kids to karate or on my way to work. Cell phones are the bomb-diggity.

35 - Central heat and air. Life would really suck without these. Even though this guy says we should open up our windows to save the planet, I'm still glad I have access to both. Call me selfish.

36 - Karate. My kids have been doing it for a year now, and I'm very grateful for it. It gives them a reason to be active. It teaches them discipline in a way that I can't. I just like that they are invovled in something - my experiences growing up in gymnastics taught me concepts that I have allowed me to succeed in life. I am hoping that karate will do the same thing for my children.

37 - Nice days without wind. The wind always blows at my house. I love it when we get a calm day.

38 - Music. Songs are like little time capsules. They can take me back to a moment so clearly. A good song nearly almost always makes me want to run fast - and how cool is that? It gets me through my hard times, my bored times, it feels my home with a special spirit, and helps me complete my housework. Life would be dull indeed without the wonderful influence of music.

39 - My neighbors. I have some great neighbors here in my new house and I had many in my old house, too. Neighbors are your first line of defence - they are the ones with a can of chicken soup when you need it, with a minute to grab your kid off the street when you are running late. I would be lost without my neighbors and I am grateful for each of them.

40 - Service. I am a better person when I get out of my comfort zone and do something for someone else. It makes me happy and I love the blessings that come from giving service.

41 - Cafe Rio's Vanilla Coke. It is the best mixture in the entire world. I crave it on a daily basis.

42 - Dining establishments. I would be lost without places like Cafe Rio, Costa Vida, Sampan Chinese, 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, Chilis, and Iggy's. Eating out is like a ritual for us around here, and I am so blessed that I have so many awesome choices close by.

43 - Flannel. There is nothing better than cozy flannel for making a baby blanket. I also love my flannel sheets, my boys flannel blankets, and anything that makes me warm and comfy.  My husband claims I cannot do anything if I am the least bit cold (and he is partly right. I hate being cold.)

44 - Shane. I love him more than I can say. I am so proud of the person he is. He is my very best friend and I'm so glad that the universe conspired so that we could meet and (eventually) get married. He is a great dad and a great friend and a person that I love and respect a lot.

45 - My Nike fleece jacket. It is like my armor. I have worn it as much as humanely possible since I got it almost a year ago and I still can't get enough of it. I love the thumb holes in the sleeves. I love that it zips. I love that I can wear it on a run and attain the perfect temperature. I wish I had about 5 more so that I could wear a freshly laundered one each day. But the one I have is perfect. Thank you, Nike, for making such a marvel of jacketing technology.

46 - My running shoes. They get me where I need to go. I abuse them weekly and they don't run away from me.

47 - My church. I love it. It's the perfect church for me. I am so glad I get to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. I believe in it with all my heart.

48 - Jesus. I will never be able to repay him. I am so grateful for the life he has given me.

49 - Ragnar. It's my Christmas in June. I look forward to it each year with every bit of myself. I can't wait to run it again this year with so many people I love, and some new friends too.

50 - Flip flops. Winter, summer, spring or fall - they help my feet get through it all. And really, as long as there aren't 10 foot snow drifts, there aren't many days that you absolutely can't wear flip-flops. You know you agree with me.


Isabel said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing.

(There is no way I could come up with 50. Not that I'm not thankful for 50 things, it would just be hard to put into words!)

Thomas Family said...

Ok this blog was great! I loved it but for real!? Shane ranked 44?? Jesus 48?? lol I think you have your priorities wrong or twisted.. hehe and James is wondering if he can be #51?? ;)
I love you.. i'm glad that I was mentioned in there! :)

Anonymous said...

Wait...Melanie is moving? I hadn't heard! Why and where to? Besides that surprise, your list was lovely. Thanks for sharing.