November Gratitude Challenge

There are so many things I love about this time of year. The cooler weather, the overabundance of holidays and time with loved ones, the opportunities to reflect back on the year we’re soon going to be bidding adieu. Strangely enough, something else I love about this month is the mass participation in what’s become known as the ‘#Gratitude30’ or some variation of such by title, but ultimately yields the same end result. Across my various social media newsfeeds and timelines, I’ve seen people posting the things they’re thankful for daily this month – and I absolutely adore it! I take inventory of my blessings pretty regularly to myself, and it makes me so happy seeing others share the same. Even at my best, I seriously struggle posting online every single consecutive day, so I seriously applaud those who actually carry out the task as intended. There’s so much in this life to be thankful for that can’t simply be contained to a few moments before diving into Thanksgiving dinner. While I’m a little late to the game, today I’ll be sharing my own 30-day Gratitude Challenge condensed into one post.

I am so very thankful for (in no particular order):

1. My dreamy husband.

He’s seriously such a gem, and my best friend in the entire world. He just makes everything better, and always makes me want to be better, too. I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else.

2. Our perfect fur babies.

Kado and Harlow brighten my day no matter what kind I’m having. They love us unconditionally and are always so happy to see us – and the feeling is pretty mutual. They’re the best babies we could have prayed for for this stage of our life.

3. The incredible tribe God picked for me.

I couldn’t be more grateful for the family God chose for me. From near and far and everywhere in between, I’ve been blessed with the very best home team by birth. Every single member has had their hand in making my life today what it is and I’ll never be able to thank them enough for that.

4. The bonus family I gained by marrying the love of my life.

Getting an additional mother, father, grandmother, etc. – I didn’t know one could get so lucky. Not only was marrying him like winning the lottery of life, but gaining so many more wonderful people to call my own, too, is a blessing far beyond anything I anticipated.

5. The friends turned family we’ve since found and made for ourselves.

Online, in person, through any stage of our life; if we click, we’re in this for the long haul. Adult friendships can be difficult to maneuver, but when we find them, we hold onto them and transform them into additional family members – forever growing.

6. Our guardian angels.

We’ve unfortunately lost some pretty incredible people in our young lives. It goes without saying that we’d rather have them here with us, but the time we did share is made that much more special. When someone you love becomes a memory, those memories become treasures, and we cherish them always.

7. The house we’ve made into our first home together.

It isn’t perfect – far from, in fact. But it’s ours. And that is more than enough for me.

8. My job.

I’ve always worked to provide for myself and contribute my part for our family, relieving that burden from resting solely on Tim or anyone else, and I like it that way. I’m so grateful to have found a(nother) position that not only allows me to do just that, but that I also genuinely love doing, as well.

9. My sweet daycare babies.

My days would be so dull without these precious little people. They bring so much more light to my life than they’ll ever understand.

10. Our good health.

Could it be better? Absolutely. But these bodies carry us through it all, even despite their imperfections and that is certainly not taken for granted.

11. Constant adventures.

Life is so unbelievably short, so I’m grateful for any and all of the opportunities to live it as fully as possible and make as many forever memories as we can.

12. Coffee (specifically iced).

I’m not entirely sure who I’d be some days without it.

13. Nice weather.

Sunny days when it’s been ugly and yucky, cool days when it’s been excruciatingly hot, rainy, do-nothing snuggle fest days. Every day is a beautiful one in its own way.

14. Hugs.

I’m not sure anything warms me from the inside out quite like embraces from those I love.

15. Abundant laughter.

I feel like I spend a vast majority of my time laughing and smiling. And that’s exactly how I like it.

16. Good days.

It’s hard not to completely beam when everything that can go right, does. Am I right?

17. Bad days, too.

All of your worst days so far have come to pass – even the ones you weren’t sure you’d survive. If that doesn’t make you feel invincible, I’m not sure what will.

18. My Passions.

“Life without passion isn’t living, it’s merely existing.” So I’ll sing and dance even if I’m no good at them, I’ll write my blog posts even if I struggle with it from time to time, I’ll love those around me as deeply as I can, and I’ll continue to chase my dreams without fear of the future. Because that, my friends, is how I choose to live: by really living as unapologetically as possible.

19. Nature.

The natural beauty of this world is unlike anything else. From mountain peaks to the river banks, to the desert to the oceans, and the sunrises and sunsets, this planet is an awe-inspiring gift in itself.

20. All things Disney.

Films, books, music, parks – any and everything Disney and its magic will always be held near and dear to my heart.

21. Staying young.

If not in body, in heart for sure. So much in this world today does enough to harden even the softest of souls, holding onto childlike wonder and awe is a beautiful gift all it’s own.

22. Growing older.

This is a luxury not provided to all. And that fact is never forgotten, which is why we prioritize making the most of and reveling in this beautiful life.

23. Music.

Therapeutic, moving, captivating; the universal and uplifting common ground that breaks all barriers and bonds all people. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without music.

24. Food to eat.

Whether I’m doing the cooking or someone else does it for us, having food in our bellies is something I am always grateful for.

25. Those mornings you don’t have to set an alarm.

Even though my body physically prohibits me from sleeping beyond 8 hours or so, being able to take the day at your own pace is a beautiful, often under-appreciated thing.

26. Alone time.

As much as I completely love getting dolled up, heading out just about anywhere, and a good cocktail, I also absolutely adore wearing ugly clothes, doing nothing at home, and getting enough (borderline too much) sleep. It’s all about balance.

27. Words.

Whether spoken, written, or read, the English language and my love of it has changed my life for the better in so many ways.

28. Challenges.

Without struggle, there is no progress, right? Challenges push us outside of our comfort zones and force us to grow in all of the necessary ways – even if/when we don’t want to – and that is a pivotal part of excelling.

29. Photographs.

I’ve been blessed with some pretty spectacular sights and experiences in my life, and while I always stop to capture a moment myself, to completely take it in as it happens in real time, I also love being able to take snapshots to relive them over and over again, as well as share it with others in ways storytelling cannot.

30. New Opportunities.

New beginnings and ventures can be intimidating, but are also intriguing. As much as it makes me a little sad to be preparing to say goodbye to another (wonderful) year, I am so eager to see and am ready for what the next one has in store for our family.

I feel like I could go on forever (and maybe I will, in a post for a non-Thanksgiving time of year), but I guess that about sums up the first ones that came to mind. What are you thankful for?

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