imthankfulSometimes, I’m guilty of being a Debbie Downer. Meh, not sometimes, A LOT. I don’t do it on purpose, in fact, I have a lot to be thankful for. I am just one of those people who has to constantly remind themselves that the glass is half full. I decided for Thanksgiving this year, I’d count twelve things (because that’s my favorite number) that I’m thankful for THIS YEAR. Not just in general, but twelve reasons I’m happy, grateful, thankful, and just all around glad I’m living my life this year. I’m so fortunate for so many reasons, and this is a day I’m glad to reflect on all of my blessings.

1) I’m so grateful for our friends in Washington. We don’t have many, but they make living here a little more tolerable. We’ve already lived two places in this great state so far, so we have to travel to see people, but they make it ok!
2) For that matter I’m also VERY grateful for our friends who don’t live in Washington, who have kept in touch with us on a regular basis and go out of our way to see us when we make it home. Some of them have even flown out here to visit us, which means more to me than I can even describe.
3) I’m thankful that I get to stay at home with my daughter. She is such a beautiful, smart, brave little girl, and I am so lucky to get to spend every day loving on her rather than sitting behind a desk or teaching at a school. We have a blast together and I just love her to pieces.
4) I’m grateful for my husband’s job. Although he works incredibly long hours at work and it can be very hard to have him gone 60 hours a week and sometimes more, it pays the bills, and allows us to make headway on some of our debt. It also puts a roof over our head, and food on the table. Someday, (a seemingly very distant someday) we may be debt free because of those long hours. 
5) I’m thankful for my husband. We’ve had our rough patches, but everything we’ve been through so far has just made us stronger.
6) I’m very grateful for doctors of all kinds. When Jocelyn was born, she needed her tongue clipped in order to latch so she could breastfeed. She also had another surgery this summer on her tear duct that kept clogging. This summer, she had to go under, which was scary for me as a mom. Everything went so well under the skilled hands of her doctors. I’m also grateful not only for doctors that take care of physical health, but also mental health.
7) I’m so very glad a dear friend of mine is embarking on a weight loss journey and she’s seen great success with her lifestyle change. She has been a major inspiration for me to turn around my bad food habits, and a great help to me when I’m looking for better food choices or help in giving something up that I know I should! Also related to food, I’m grateful I discovered eMeals this year, which has totally changed the way we eat in our house. I haven’t used it in about a month, but after Thanksgiving, I’m going to start again strong!
8) I’m so thankful we were able to save our dog’s life this year. He was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor in his eyelid, which is extremely rare in dogs. Through the power of prayer, my aunt won money that she was able to donate for his initial surgery. I lost track of how many surgeries he underwent to repair his eyelid, but there were several over the span of 9 months. Although very very expensive, I’m grateful things went down like they did, because today, he sees out of one eye and he is doing just great. 
9) I’m grateful for blogging, and all the opportunities it has afforded me. I’ve discovered so many great products that I may never have known about, have met many great people in the blogging community, and have had the chance to creatively throw myself into projects on a daily basis. As someone who is a musician and a teacher, but not currently utilizing either skill, it feels so good to be able to create something every day. I also love being able to financially contribute (however small) to my family through my blog. I love beauty, bath products, fragrance, and all of the things I write about, and I’m so glad I have people that come to my site regularly to read about this stuff. I am thankful for YOU, reader, for visiting my site, so this could all be possible!
10) After going through a lot in my personal life in the last few years, I’m grateful that I finally feel like I’m coming out on top. I’ve weathered the storm and I’m a better person for it. It has not been easy getting here, but I’m grateful for the journey but most importantly what I’ve learned about myself along the way, and best of all that I feel like most of the difficulties are behind me. 
11) I’m grateful for hand me downs. We’ve received so many great items of clothing and toys from friends with babies. It has saved us so much money reusing the clothing our friends’ children wore. When we’re done having kids, I will most certainly be paying it forward and gifting our childrens’ clothes to anyone who needs it. 
12) I’m thankful for various online publications that I read on a daily basis that help me be a better person. Me, I don’t really write about anything life changing (well, maybe your self confidence could get a little boost from that new undereye concealer or perfume) but so many blogs and Facebook pages online have really and truly helped me:
Momastery– although I’m not addicted to alcohol or drugs, so our backgrounds are very different, this woman speaks to my soul in almost everything she writes. If you haven’t bought her book, you should. I read it in one sitting!
Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies– I mainly follow Melissa on Facebook, but she also has a blog. She has lots of advice on raising kids without gender stereotypes, and with lots of self confidence. If my kids end up being as brave, outgoing, outspoken, and kind as her kids are I will know I did a good job. I have a lot to learn, but I love when she posts her real life scenarios with raising her children on Facebook, because I just learn so much through her interactions.
Brave Girls Club Daily Truth Emails– some days I don’t know what I would do without my Daily Truth Email. I subscribe to this totally free service that basically emails me daily to tell me all kinds of spectacular things about myself. Here’s a snippet from a recent one…“Here’s a permission slip, friend, to drop EVERY SINGLE LABEL except the one that says that you are a SOUL, a beautiful beautiful just-right soul. Everything else is just clothes to try out, experiences to have and lessons to learn.” Because even though I might know that I’m an alright person, some days I just need a reminder.  

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