What I’m Most Thankful For in 2016

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is already upon us! Where did the rest of 2016 go?

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Well, as this year draws to a close, it’s time to look back and think about all the things I’m thankful for. Compared to 2015, this year has been a great one. No, it wasn’t  perfect, but it definitely had more ups than downs. I gained a new nephew, I made significant process on my novel, I got a new job, I paid off my car and student loans, I met some amazing people…The list goes on and on. But, the things I’m most thankful for in 2016 are:

New Job

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I knew going into 2016 that at least one major change would occur: a new job. With no promise of tomorrow at my current one, it was time to move on…even though I really didn’t want to. I liked my job. No, it didn’t pay great, and no, it wasn’t close to home. But, I loved my co-workers, and I could call myself a writer by day and night. Unfortunately, the reality of my situation couldn’t be ignored. If I lost my job, I’d be in deep trouble. So, after a few months of frantic searching, an opportunity all but fell into my lap. Within a week, I had a job offer,  and after many tears and a severe case of denial, I accepted it.

Looking back now, I’m so, so, so grateful I was forced to leave my old job and accept my new one. Even though I no longer get to write during the day, I’m learning a lot, I’m making more, and I’m less than ten minutes from home. And I love–LOVE–the people I work with. It’s been a fantastic change and I’m so thankful God put me in the situation he did. If He hadn’t, I might never have had the motivation or nerve to leave my old job.

Family 

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Yes, they’re loud. And, yes, they’re a little crazy. But I absolutely love my family. Not only are they there for me during the good times, but also the bad. As kind as 2016 was to me, it still had its rough patches, and  I couldn’t have gotten through those moments (job change, heartbreak, bad days, failures, fender benders, etc.) without my family. They’re always there to pick me up, brush me off, and say, “Everything will be okay.” And they’re always there to make me laugh, especially my nephews and niece. There’s nothing that can bring a smile to your face faster than a child. The things they say, the hugs they give, the laughter they create–it’s magical.

I’m just so blessed and thankful to have so much support and love in my life, day in and day out.

Writing Group/Friends

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Writing is a lonely job.  But, it’s a lot less lonely when you find a tight-knit group of writers to share the experience with. And I found that with an online writer’s group a few years ago.

Now, when you think online, you don’t think it’s going to be very helpful or personal. But, this group is exactly that. Not only have they made me a better writer, but they’ve been there for me during the high and low points in my life. In fact, I’d consider many people in the group some of my closest friends. We talk every day, we offer each other constant support and encouragement, and we laugh, cry, and vent together.

I’m so thankful for these amazing friendships (and the ceaseless support for my writing).

Health

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In early 2016, I had a slight–SLIGHT–health scare. It thankfully turned out to be nothing, but the fact that it could’ve been something made me stop and think how lucky I am to be healthy. To wake up every day free of aches and pains (well, mostly), to exercise as much as I want, and to move about my day with ease. And, most importantly, to not suffer–mentally or physically. So, I’m very–VERY–thankful God has blessed me with a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

Faith 

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Above all else, I’m thankful to my Lord and Savior. I know not everyone reading this is a believer, but I am. And, I must say, He’s the one I turned to the most during 2016. When I refused to believe I had to get a new job, He pushed me into getting one. When I couldn’t tell my family everything because I didn’t want to worry them, I told Him. When I feared I might be sick, He kept me calm and sane. I could not walk through life without Jesus Christ by my side, even if I sometimes ignore Him because life gets busy or I lose sight of what’s truly important in life (oops).

So, that’s my list for 2016! It’s a bit more serious than usual, but this was a semi-serious year. A good year, yes, but one loaded with significance. How about you? What are you most thankful for in 2016?

Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it. Be safe, eat lots, and take a moment to consider what you’re most thankful for.

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P.S. I’m also thankful for Gilmore Girls and the show’s decision to do a revival. I’ll be hunkered down the day after Thanksgiving with some friends to watch all four episodes. Eeks!

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Photo credits: giphy 

 

What I’m Thankful For

Of course I’m going to celebrate Thanksgiving with a little dance. What else would you expect?

Well, since it is Thanksgiving week here in the States, and since so many of us will be taking a few days off, I wanted to do a special post before I sail off into Crazyville.

And, trust me, things will get crazy. Mostly because of my family.

They’re total nut jobs.

And LOUD!

I usually end up at the dinner table doing this:

…Or trying to yell over everyone else, because my story is the funniest one of all–ha!

But, you know what? As wacky as my family is, I’m so thankful to have them in my life. For better or worse, they’re always there for me, and they always understand my slightly eccentric ways and passion for writing. Well, most of them do. My grandpa would rather see me married off and giving him grandbabies than pursuing my dreams.

…Yeah, I basically handle that situation like this:

Okay, okay. I don’t spray mace in his face. I tend to take the less sinister road of grinning and bearing–and perhaps cracking a joke to distract him. But, in my head, I go all Black Widow on his grumpy butt 😉

Besides my family, there are many things I’m thankful for. Actually, there are so many, I can’t list them all here without risking putting you in a coma. So, I’ll just list the ones that come first to mind!

Faith

I don’t talk about this much here on my blog, but I am a girl of faith, and I do claim Jesus Christ as my savior. Without Him, I wouldn’t get through most days, especially on the writing front. Let’s face it, being a writer isn’t always the easiest thing. There’s constant rejection, criticism, and naysayers to deal with. If it wasn’t for my faith, I don’t think I could bear the negative burdens.

My favorite verse is from Mark 4:40: Why are you so afraid? Have you no faith? Whenever my fears, anxiety, and/or doubt becomes too much, I quietly repeat those words and immediately feel stronger, lighter, and calmer.

Nephews and Niece

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I know I’ve already mentioned family, but I’m specifically thankful for these four goobers. They claim a large chunk of my heart, and I can’t bear to think of life without them. Their smiles, laughter, imaginations, hugs, kisses, silliness, and wonderfulness light up my world. Even on the darkest days, they have the power to make everything better.

Thank you Dane, Harley, Cy, and Rees for bringing such joy to my life. I love you with all of my being.

The Internet

I know, I know. General and laughable. But think about it! What would we do without the internet? No more information at the tips of our fingers. No more easy access to friends and family. No more opportunities to meet new friends. No more blogging. The internet has opened the world in an amazing way, and I’m so grateful for the way it has opened mine.

You!
I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, she has to say that cause she’s writing this on her blog.” Wrong! This blog and those who follow it have made a huge impact on my life. In fact, last August I wrote an entire post about it. The words I said back then remain true today. So, thank you for being you, for supporting me, and for letting me ramble on and on…and on… 😉

Chocolate

Need I say more?

 Writing and Passion

Besides friends and family, writing is my heart, my dream, my everything. And I’m so thankful to have that kind of passion in my life. There are many people in the world who never figure out the answer to the eternal question: “What do you want to do with your life?” Well, I know what I want, and I’m so grateful to have that type of clarity.

Coffee

Again, duh!

Okay, I’ll stop there. It’s frightening how many more things I could list that I’m thankful for: Friendships, watermelon gum, the Colorado mountains, my 9-5 job, books, breakfast, music, health, lip balm, the roof over my head, The Mindy Project, clean water…Sheesh. Amazing how many things you realize you’re thankful for when you stop to think about them. I encourage you to do the same, and not just this Thanksgiving, but on a daily basis.

Anyway, have a happy, blessed, and safe Thanksgiving! Be sure to eat lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. And, my personal favorite, stuffing.

P.S. To those who must deal with pesky, nosy, obnoxious relatives this week…

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Photo credits:

http://www.mtv.com/news/1964584/friends-netflix/ 

http://www.crushable.com/2014/01/09/entertainment/sofia-vergara-jimmy-kimmy-mean-internet-comments-video/

http://included.co/5-reasons-why-coworking-beats-coffee-shops-for-getting-work-done/

http://www.tonpetitlook.com/en/2014/07/08/healthy-crustless-quiche

http://streets-of-monte-carlo.tumblr.com/

http://www.insideoverneath.com/2014/06/rest-in-company-of-love.html 

http://pentharis.tumblr.com/post/34547566915/baaaaaaaaaaaaaaatman-visitingfan 

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/being-nice/images/9073064/title/group-hugs-photo 

http://ilovereadingandwriting.tumblr.com/

http://hellogiggles.com/running-out-of-chocolate  

https://sarahmarieh.wordpress.com/tag/lorelai-gilmore-coffee/  

http://weknowmemes.com/2011/12/emma-stone-yum-gif/ 

http://memeguy.com/photo/49031/mrw-my-computer-freezes-up-and-starts-making-loud-noises

Happy Thanksgiving. This year, I’m most thankful to you

The clock is counting down to the start of my Thanksgiving holiday. Phew! I’m so excited to kick back and relax for a few days. My plans are basically the same as most here in the states: Gorge upon turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Be lazy. Spend time with family and friends. Be lazy. Pull out my Christmas decorations. Be lazy. Go shopping. Be lazy…Sensing a trend? 😉

Thanksgiving is always a great time to stop and reflect upon what you’re most thankful for. Personally, I’m thankful for: God, my family, books, my typing fingers, laughter and chocolate. This year, I’m particularly thankful for this blog and the new friends and community I’ve discovered with it. A few months ago, I’d hit an all time low with my writing and I began to fear I’d never get anywhere with it. I was alone, lost, and in general, feeling like a humongous failure. But thanks to you guys, that has all changed. My writing and attitude have transformed, and I’m feeling like I’m finally on the right path. I’ll never be able to express how grateful I am for to you and your positive comments and ongoing support. I wouldn’t be in this happy place without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now, let’s go eat some turkey (and, my favorite, stuffing…yum!). If you wanna see what it’ll be like at my house, just watch this:

Happy Thanksgiving!