Happy Turkey Day! Hope everyone has a safe and fun day, filled with the joys and headaches of family. I awoke between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. today and took time to think about all of my blessings. Then I turned on the Today Show and started writing.
I am spending my entire Thanksgiving Day in Northeast Iowa – far Northeast Iowa. I arrived at Dad and Jo’s house in rural Postville last night, ate some Mabe’s Pizza, and had great conversation. At around Noon today, I will go to Uncle Irv’s house in Waukon for the Fosaaen family Thanksgiving feast. And it will be a huge feast, always is. Then I will conclude my day at Amy, Jason, and Jaxon’s house near New Hampton.
Spending an entire day with people I care about is what makes each holiday so great. The food, activities, and everything else are added benefits.
In no particular order, the things I am thankful for on Turkey Day and every day:
1. Jag – My fat orange tabby cat, now 8 years old, likes to plop down on my lap and convince me to stay still for just a little bit longer.
2. Gabriel – My 17-month-old nephew shows me how to appreciate little things in life and is a constant inspiration to me.
3. Sarah – My one and only sister is my biggest cheerleader and a best friend. The six year age difference seems to be less and less each year as we grow older. And yes, she is the YOUNGER sister. 🙂
4. Jen – My best friend from Simpson College gets the raw, uncut version of Mel each day and loves me anyway. She is also that friend who seems close enough to hug, even when we have lived across the country from one another.
5. Lexi – Having lived with Lexi for three and a half years, I know she is the real deal when it comes to friends. We also discovered wine together, which is HUGE!
6. Amy – My best friend since high school days, Amy is my best email buddy right now. She also keeps me in the loop on the Burg news and is my partner in crime on Black Friday.
7. Mom – Yes, she gave birth to me. More importantly though, she didn’t kill me during my mouthy teenage years. Thank you, Mom!
8. Stepdad – He dealt with me insisting that his marriage to my mom was “our” wedding, and has shown incredible patience with me every day since then. He is also a straight shooter and demands respect.
9. Dad – So many of my traits come from my dad: red hair, the gift of gab, and self assurance are just a few. Any time I do something a little or a lot crazy, my dad is there telling me to blow the doors off and blaze that new trail.
10. Jo – My stepmom takes care of my dad and has lived with him longer than anyone else. She has incredible strength and patience. Jo is one of the sweetest people I know.
11. Work – While my work places have varied throughout the year, they each have provided money in my checking account. And, we all need a little bit of money.
12. Seasons – I crave change and newness to keep things fresh in my life, and seasons naturally provide that. I hated winter before I moved to Houston for two years, but now I choose to live in Iowa so embrace the snow (most of the time).
13. New People – Everyone new I meet blesses me with new information and/or a new perspective. That is priceless.
14. Health – Being healthy makes everything else work.
15. Jesus – While I’m not into preaching and I respect everyone’s religious views, my faith is a huge part of my life and is the root of everything I have to be thankful for.
16. Mitch – My one and only brother listens to my rants, provides some of his own, and is a good confidant. He also provides great random funny text messages (original – not forwards) and is my unofficial fix it man.
17. Jeremiah – I only wish my brother-in-law had an older brother for me to marry. I love his family. And Jeremiah is pretty cool too. 😉 He and I have some of the best conversations ever.
18. Kate – She is my surrogate sister in Houston. And Miss Kate was the first hand witness to my sophomore year college transformation – kind of a Son In Law type of thing.
19. Shy – A bundle of joy and love, Shy is the model Christian in every way. She and I taught preschool in Houston and have been good friends ever since.
20. Josh, Jo & Aaron – I group these three together, because they all brought me into the SendOutCards family and were great hosts during my San Diego vaca in August. Josh and Aaron knew me when I had scary braces and ugly hair, but they still talk to me.
21. Busy-ness (the good kind) – Filling my days with quality things to do is what life is all about.
22. Potatoes – Yum!
24. Coffee – If it weren’t for coffee, I wouldn’t be half as productive as I am. It’s so amazing.
25. Wine – With all of the coffee I drink, it’s necessary to have something relaxing to sip on at the end of the day.
26. Beaches & Palm Trees – These are beautiful works of nature, and I will reunite with them more often someday, when I have a beach house.
27. Type A & Slight OCD – Like it or not, these traits make me effective at what I do. I also try to leverage these things to help others organize and plan.
28. All Friends & Family – I do think it takes a village.
29. iPhone – This has literally revolutionized how I do things, and I haven’t downloaded many apps or much of anything yet.
30. Smurfette – Yes, the cartoon character is cool, but I’m referring to my trusty blue 2004 Chevy Cavalier.
31. Target – It’s one of my favorite stores, and also an employer. I truly learned a lot and enjoyed my time as an HR exec there. And now I work part time in Optical – so fun!
32. The Area Beyond My Comfort Zone – Often underestimated, this is where I find my strength and true self.
I’m sure I will think of many more things I am thankful for today. How cool is that? We just need to remember these things every single day – not just on Thanksgiving Day.