November 22, 2007

on giving thanks...

my thanksgiving list.

Being happily married for nearly two years. Pardon my sappiness, but let's get real here, people. My husband is incredible. I look forward to all we have yet to experience in life, and am so thankful that we were lucky enough to find eachother at this point in life. Right from the beginning we both knew that we had found what we were looking for. And even though marriage isn't all snuggling and Disneyland churros (wouldn't that be nice, though?), the good days definitely outweigh the not-so-good days, and we are constantly trying our best to learn more about eachother and above all, just love eachother. Pure and simple.

My family. At this point in life, when I look at how far we've all come, I'm just in awe. During the holidays I'm always brought back to the days when my sisters and I were young, all living at home. I miss those days more than I can express. If I could relive anything, it would be those care-free moments when I was young, and imagination ruled. I've always been so close to my parents and sisters, and it's difficult to be away from them - especially this time of year. I'm one of those people who have really fought that idea of being "grown up", because I had such an amazing childhood. Still, it's amazing to see where we all are today:

My dad is nearing retirement, currently serving our country one last time in Kuwait, and looking forward to what life has to offer him for the next fifty years of life. (Seriously. He's not allowed to leave this world one day sooner than that, no matter how much he wants me to unplug him at that point in the game.) He's my hero in so many ways.

My mom is busy raising my youngest sisters - homeschooling them and helping to shape them into beautiful, smart and talented women. She is also eager for the family to purchase their first RV and travel the country, just like she's always wanted to. (Yes, I give them guilt that they never decided to do this until after I was gone and married. Evil plan? I think so.) My mom is who I would love to emulate more than anyone. She has so much love and grace.

My older sister, missy, is enjoying her third year of marriage. She's blessed with an amazing husband who is absolutely hilarious as well as insightful, and also has a nice bum. (I had to say it.) My sister is looking forward to starting their own family, and we're all looking forward to the day that she calls us with news that a little babushka is on the way and we can all start screaming and crying and generally freaking out, as we are a family full of females. Her and her husband have always been an inspiration to me, showing me so much love and encouragement and being a model of what a good marriage should be.

My younger sister, K, has been though more in life than she would have cared to experience. She's not even twenty-one, yet she's certainly seen her share of crazy, and is happily in a safer and happier place now! I'm so proud of her for deciding to go to school, and is also busy working at a salon. She has a fabulous boyfriend who shares my husband's name (odd, no?) and is so sweet. I give this one my stamp of approval. Except that he owns an amazing home, and it makes me a little bitter. (But I can get over that, I'm sure.) K is always one to make me laugh and show me so much grace. (And she also reminds me to indulge in my wild side every now and then!)

My (other) younger sister, N, is amazing. I've always considered her my biggest fan. I wish so much that I could be closer to her so I could share this time of life with her. She's nearly nine years old, and has so much going on - school, soccer, theatre, art. It's crazy, because I remember the Christmas we brought her home - she was so teensie. Now she is this girl so full of energy and talent - she can do it all, and is good at everything she tries. She's always been so beyond her years, and brings a smile to my face whenever I think of her.

My youngest sister, Linny, is such a little ball of energy. She's absolutely hilarious. At six years old, she reminds me alot of K, when she was little. Always wanting to entertain! When I was visiting home last time, we had family photos taken, and she was making us laugh the entire time as she grinned and giggled, making jokes. She has a fascination with bugs and reptiles - one that I can't say any of us other girls have shared. She sees the beauty in everything, big and small, and has a heart of gold. I can't wait to see what life holds for her.

My family-in-law. There's no way I could have chosen a more amazing family to become a part of. From the beginning they welcomed me with open arms, and I didn't even feel like I had to work at belonging. Right away, I felt like I'd known them forever. My polar opposite, they are a family of five sons, which I find entirely too much fun when I get to spend time with them all. They are the type of family you look at and want to be like, and I look forward to knowing that someday Jay and I will get to be just that! I only wish that I could spend more time with them, considering the distance.

The besties. M, cricket and Annie Belle. They each are so different, but truly complete me. They each offer so much to my life, things that I couldn't live without. I'm thankful for their love, memories and (but of course) wine nights.

When I sat down to write this, I realized that when it comes down to it...this is it. These are the things that matter to me at the end of the day. These are the people that made me who I am, who continue to inspire and challenge me, and who will be there for me through it all. These are the things I am truly grateful for.

(And we all know my thankfulness for quality programming on Vh1, Martha Stewart's craft line, and Starbucks iced chai latte's, so I figured there wouldn't be a need to put them on the list.)

I'm wishing everyone a lovely holiday with their friends and families! Mmmm, now go eat some stuffing!

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