Skip to Content

My 2016 Thankful List

Every year on Thanksgiving, I publish a list of things I’m thankful for…small things, large things, things in-between.   Fifty of ’em, because fifty is just enough to make me have to think.   These are in no particular order, except the order they popped into my head.

I’m thankful…

1. for the love of God, which is mine because of Jesus, and which I can never lose because it’s not mine due to anything I do or don’t do. And I can never gain more of it; I already have the maximum amount because of Jesus.

2. for my little group of best friends.   They mean the world to me.   And they listen when I have existential meltdowns via text and in person. 😉

3. that I live in a place where I have access to really great medical services, all within a pretty short drive.

4. for all the kindness people showed me last week when I was recovering from my nose surgery. So many people helped my normally busy self stay on the couch where my doctor told me to be, and I am grateful.

meds with a bow

5. for kids who are helpful.   Lisey especially was fantastically helpful last week, and it turns out that she’s quite good at stepping in and doing things I normally do.   Yay, Lisey!

6. that Mr. FG sympathized with me and encouraged me when I was feeling discouraged post-surgery.

7. for so, so, many kind and encouraging comments/emails from blog readers during my recovery. You guys are lovely.

8. for texting. I think that’s possibly my favorite thing about having a smartphone! It’s such a convenient way to check in on friends and family to see how they’re doing.

9. for chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. And that Aldi carries them now.

how to store chipotle chilies

10. for the knowledge that God is working in my life, and that the hard things that cross my path aren’t accidents, but are part of his loving plan for me.

11. that functional rhinoplasty, even one as involved as mine, is way less painful than a tonsillectomy.

(related: that people only have to have a tonsillectomy once at most. That is quite enough.)

12. for dark chocolate.

anniversary chocolate

13. for Joshua’s new job. He’s so happy working at the coffee shop.   Yay!

14. for teens who want to work. Lisey’s job is over for the season, but she’s busily hunting for new jobs now, of her own accord. And I don’t have to drag Joshua to work either…he cheerfully gets up at o-dark-thirty and heads off to make coffee.

15. for my house. It’s not my ideal, but it holds us all and we can afford it, so there’s that.

16. for the recessed lights in our office. We had florescent tube bulbs for 11 years and just replaced them with recessed lights, making the office an 87.5% more enjoyable place to be.

17. for LEDs. I really dig how affordable, long-lasting, and not-harsh the new LED bulbs are.

downton abbey maids

18. for Amazon Prime streaming. Two seasons of Downton Abbey helped me kill time last week!

19. for four seasons. I might not dig the extremes of winter and summer, but I do like that where I live has a pretty good mix of all four seasons.   The weather doesn’t get boring that way.

20. for library books. Seriously so awesome.

library books

21. that Joshua and Lisey are both doing great in their classes. They’re being diligent and independent and they’re both getting A’s…all of which makes this homeschooling mama’s heart thankful.

22. that we learn things as we get older. I’m grateful that I understand more things now than I did 20 years ago, and also that I’ve learned life is more nuanced than I once thought.   Everything seems so cut and dry when you’re twenty, you know? And then you learn that it’s not that simple.

(I know when I’m 80 and writing my thankful list, I’ll look back and be grateful I’m not as dumb as I was at 38.   I haven’t arrived yet. But hey, I can see growth since I was 20, and I am thankful. 😉 )

23. that some things are simple, like the fact that kindness is pretty much always the right choice. That’s a helpful thing in simplifying parenting, you know?   It’s good for parents to be kind. And so much parental instruction has to do with teaching kids to be kind.   That goes a long way toward raising kids who will be good students and good co-workers and good friends and good community members.

The world always needs more kind people.

24. for Aldi. Super grateful that I live near one!

25. that Joshua has his driver’s license. Sure, there’s some nervousness involved on my part, but it IS really super handy that he can drive himself places now.

26. for my minivan. I have kind of a thing for it.

In Praise of the Minivan



27. for the car we were able to buy for our kids to use. Cheap enough to pay cash for, safe enough for us to feel good about our kids riding in it. Yay!

28. for Joshua, who is kind and thoughtful and is handling his many new responsibilities so well.

29. for Lisey, who has grown in so many ways this year.   Love her. <3

30. for Sonia, who has enough imagination for about 10 people.

31. for Zoe, who provides us with endless hilarity.

32. for Mr. FG’s steady job.

33. for the fire pit that my dad helped us make. By which I mean: we helped and he deserves most of the credit.

gravel around fire pit

(when it was in process)

34. for breathing through my nose. I’m not at 100% yet because of the swelling, but I’m getting a taste of what it’s like to have a functional nose.   I am a fan.

35. for chai. It’s a lovely thing for those of us who don’t dig coffee.

36. for waterslides and roller coasters. The faster and taller, the better.

37. for friends at Kung Fu. This year, we met two new families there and we now hang out outside of class.   Schweet.

38. for sleep, and how a good night of it can make life feel a lot more manageable.

39. that Mr. FG’s work contributes to his 401(k). We didn’t have that for almost our entire adult lives, so it feels pretty luxurious now.

40. for blogging. I love the way that blogging offers me a way to help people without having to do public speaking.   Writing > talking for me!

41. for hugs from Mr. FG. They are my favorite.

42. for mornings, which are a fresh start and a clean slate.

43. for the cheap theater. It makes movies so much more possible for our family of 6.

regal summer movie

44. for a healthy me and a healthy family. We’ve had a tonsillectomy, nose surgery, wisdom teeth removal surgery, and more this year, but none of that is serious or chronic and I’m grateful.

45. for the way my parents willingly share their pool with us and so many others.

46. for crustless pumpkin pie. So easy, so much better for crust-haters like me.

pumpkin pie with whipped cream

47. for a less-tight budget. More money doesn’t fix every problem, but when you go from barely squeaking by to having some extra money, it does feel pretty awesome.   It’s been some time since our squeaking-by years, but I still remember them well!

48. for podcasts. I’m not an audio learner (visual is best), but I can learn from audio if my hands are busy.   So while I’m painting or driving, podcasts are great for me.

49. for the sense of smell. I spent a week smelling nothing while my splints were in, and while that does save you from bad smells, you also miss all the good aromas.

50. that there are always things to be thankful for. Sometimes they’re harder to find than others, but so far, even in the lowest moments of my life there have been small mercies to be found.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. It would be easy to read this list and think my life is nothing but marvelousness all the time.   That’s not true, of course, but this is Thanksgiving, not Complaintgiving, so, you know, the list is going to err on the perky side. 😉





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Wednesday 30th of November 2016

Those Rtiier marzipan bars are definitely on my thankful list!

Skirnir Hamilton

Saturday 26th of November 2016

Posted my list for the third year in a row. :) Had to read back through my previous lists. Do wish we had an Aldi's here in California. Loved shopping at Aldi's.


Saturday 26th of November 2016

"Lisey especially was fantastically helpful last week, and it turns out that she’s quite good at stepping in and doing things I normally do. Yay, Lisey!"

Uh-oh. I think Lisey is about to learn that the reward for a job well done is ... another job.


Sunday 27th of November 2016 got her a trip to a frozen yogurt shop with Mr. FG. Heh.


Saturday 26th of November 2016

I always love to read your Thankful List! You certainly do have a lot to be thankful for. I hope you continue to heal and recover 100% from surgery. Regarding Aldi, you have me quite intrigued about this store ~ I read about your love for Aldi often. Sadly, we don't have one in San Antonio. Looks like the nearest location is Houston. Bummer...


Saturday 26th of November 2016

What a happy post and so true. We sponsor a Compassion child which we totally didn't expect to do but sort of fell into it at church. He would not be in school if we didn't help his family. I realize how much I take for granted that he has to depend on strangers to get. May I never take my good fortune for granted ever again! He's been a blessing. Insert shamelessly plug for sponsorship here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.