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Every year so far in my blogging life, I’ve listed 50 things I’m thankful for. But I was pretty sick on Thanksgiving, so I didn’t end up getting to make my list.
I thought about maybe just skipping it altogether, but several of you said you look forward to it each year and were bummed not to see it.
So, I thought I’d write up a list now, because it’s not like thankfulness has an expiration date.
And as always, these are not in order of importance, because that requires way too much thinking on my part.
(reusable plastic bag from Grove.)
I am thankful:
1. that my nose is in good shape this year. Last year at this time, I was recovering from my nose surgery, and my nose feels much better this year!
2. that my breathing is so good. I breathe through my nose ALL THE TIME now, which is miraculous compared to pre-surgery, when I breathed through my nose almost 0% of the time.
3. for my new counters and backsplash. We’ve had the original counters and tile since we bought the house 12 years ago, and this summer, we took the plunge and replaced them. Now my kitchen looks so spiffy!
4. for Mr. FG’s job. Because a paycheck is a fabulous thing.
5. Mr. FG’s flex hours. Longtime readers will remember that he’s had some kinda nutso work shifts, and now, he gets to pick his own hours as long as he’s there for core hours. So fabulous.
6. for health. My family has minor, everyday sorts of health problems, but nothing serious.
7. for my house. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that I adore my house (the design is, like, my least favorite ever), but we’ve made it a lot nicer since we moved in, and I am content with it, even if I’m not in love.
8. for Hungry Harvest. I love the work that they are doing (feeding hungry people and saving food from being wasted). So often, it seems like cool programs such as this only exist in hip areas such as the Northeast or the Pacific Northwest and I’m super happy to have it in my neck of the woods.
9. for our king-sized bed. Mr. FG wanted one forever, and my frugal self was resistant. But we sized up when we replaced our mattress last year, and I must say, a king-size is quite luxurious.
10. for our cars. Even during our leanest times of life, Mr. FG and I have always had reliable, safe, and relatively up-to-date vehicles.
11. for my van. I have to add a separate line-item for this one, because I do still really love my van. It’s a 2012, so it’s not exactly brand-spanking new. But I still kind of think of it as my new van, despite the scratches and wear and tear. And I think it still has LOTS more years of life in it, so, relatively speaking it is still sort of new.
12. for my trip to South Dakota in March. It was bittersweet, to be sure, but I am SO SO SO glad I went.
13. for 20 years with Mr. FG. Not everyone gets to have that long with their spouse, and I’m grateful.
15. for the stage of independent kids. There are very lovely things about the more dependent stage too, of course. But since I’m in the more independent stage, I’m going to revel in that. And if you’re in the dependent stage, you can revel in all the upsides of that.
16. for the friendships that I’ve had in the last few years. By the end of this year, two of my besties will be living multiple states away, so I’m sad about that. But I am grateful for the time that they did live here.
17. for Lisey’s sweet heart. I love to see her compassion for others.
18. for Call the Midwife on Netflix. It’s gotten me thru several rounds of sickness this year!
19. for my book club. I’ve never been in one before, but a friend from church invited me to hers, and it’s so much fun. Also, it’s making me read books I’d probably never pick up otherwise.
20. for a 3-year gap between Lisey and Sonia. Because that means I soon get a break from teaching a kid to drive! Joshua and Lisey are 19 months apart, so I barely finished with Joshua when Lisey got her learner’s permit. But once Lisey gets her license, Sonia won’t be eligible for another two years. Woohoo!
21. for driving times in the car. I am indeed looking forward to a break, but the upside of a learning driver is that you get lots of one-on-one time in the car. Maybe not always the most high-quality one-on-one time, but it does get better the more hours the kid drives.
(The first 10 hours are a little….whoa.)
22. for hugs from Mr. FG. Pretty much my favorite thing in the world.
23. that the shortest day of the year is almost here. I really hate the dark days of winter, so I’m comforting myself with the knowledge that the days will start inching toward summer-length in just a few weeks.
24. for the joy of having nearly-adult kids. Joshua and Lisey and Mr. FG and I have some fun times late at night these days.
25. for the love of God, which isn’t dependent on my behavior. I’d be in trouble if it was!
26. for my therapist. She’s helped me through some tough stuff and I am grateful for that.
27. for lovely blog readers. I’m really lucky to have you all reading here. And commenting! Supposedly people don’t comment on blogs anymore, but you guys do, and I love it.
28. for my height. I’m 5’8″ and I love it!
29. for how capable Joshua is. He’s driving, holding down a job, (and learning new skills at the job), handling a full load of college classes, playing in the band at his church, saving most of his paycheck…just being quite an all-around responsible person. Which is such a lovely thing to see as a parent. Yay!
30. for our fire pit. My dad helped* us build it a year and a half ago and we’ve used it a lot since then. Super fun.
*by which I mean that we helped him, really. He brought all the brains and skills.
31. for kids who want to work. Sonia and Zoe aren’t old enough for formal jobs yet, but they happily accept babysitting and pet sitting jobs when they come along. And Joshua and Lisey both were motivated to get jobs without any shoving from Mr. FG and me. Yay for motivated kids!
32. for Sonia’s creativity. She’s always knitting, baking, or otherwise coming up with something to make.
33. for Zoe’s sincerity. What you see is what you get with Zoe, and as a people-pleaser/chameleon myself, I respect that about her. Also, I love that she thinks about things seriously and asks honest questions.
34. for the sun in my climate. We do get more gray days than I’d like in the winter, but there are a number of sunny ones mixed in there. And overall, we get a fair amount of sunshine. I really, really do not think I’d do well in a predominately cloudy climate…I’d be crabby all the time!
35. that Joshua’s coffee creation won a contest. His coffee shop carries seasonal created-by-employees beverages, and he’s created a drink every single season since he started working there a year ago. None of his attempts won in the first year, and even though it wasn’t fun to be rejected, he kept picking himself up and trying again. Super proud of him for that! This season, his submission finally won and it’s on the menu.
(Making it especially fun: his drink is based on my grandma’s pfeffernusse recipe. She would be pleased, and probably somewhat bemused!)
36. for vision correction. Sonia and I both have bad eyes, and I’m so happy that we have contacts.
37. for Aldi. I love that we can eat fancy foods (prosciutto! dill Havarti!) and just everyday normal food at super great prices. My grocery budget would be in deep trouble without Aldi.
38. for ATK/Cook’s Country/Cook’s Illustrated. My cooking would be 7000% worse without the guidance of the smart and thorough people over there.
39. that women are currently speaking up about the wrongs that have been done to them. And that, at least to a large degree, they are being believed.
40. for good teeth. Aside from a few cavities, my teeth have been very boring for these last 39 years. And our kids also have had pretty low-maintenance teeth so far.
(Though don’t worry…we do have a savings account in place for orthodontia, just in case. If we squeak by with none necessary, well, then, we’ll just have some money to spend on something else more fun!)
41. for Ting. Even with four smartphones on our plan, our bill is astoundingly low. All the heart eyes.
(Honorable mention to Ooma for keeping our home phone bill so low too.)
42. for my kitchen gear. Slowly, I’ve amassed a small collection of really good stuff (using Cook’s Illustrated reviews for guidance!), and I love it.
44. that Sonia and Zoe have each other. They don’t always appreciate each other, of course (!), but this year I’ve been thinking about how lonely Sonia would be now without Zoe. Joshua and Lisey are gone a lot of the time now, and she’d be here all by herself if we didn’t have Zoe. So, I’m glad we have a pair of younger kids after the pair of older kids.
45. for the way technology bridges geographical gaps. For instance, Sonia and Zoe video chat with their friend in Florida all the time, I can text my friend who moved to Texas, and I can chat with my uncle in South Dakota.
46. my Vitamix. I use this at least 5/7 days of the week, and can puree even things like kale. And raw beets. Totally worth the money I paid for it.
47. for friends and family with babies to share.
48. Dark chocolate. And cheese. And tea. And heavy cream. There are a lot of foods that are my faves.
49. for Milton Vincent’s book, A Gospel Primer. Aside from the Bible, this is the book that has affected my spiritual life the most.
(The cover is boring and off-putting, so you just have to ignore that and press on. It’s worth it. )
50. for another year to do a thankful list. Every year is a gift and not a guarantee.
That wraps it up! I like making a list this long because boy, it really gets you thinking.
If you’d like to join me, you can share a short thankful list in the comments (but maybe 5-10 things, because 50 makes a long comment!)