among the many things i’m thankful for…

There’s a thing going around facebook. Maybe you’ve seen it. People challenge each other to write three things they’re thankful for every day for a week. It’s a great idea. I’m all for counting blessings and whatnot. Being thankful for what you have is arguably the best foundation to being happy.
My cousin Moriah tagged me in day three of her challenge. I appreciate it. Unfortunately, I am a bit of a disorganized mess. I’m a listmaker, but not because I’m type A… because I don’t remember things I don’t right down. I guess I’m flaky or something. I don’t know I’ve never been good at organization or schedules. In short,  I have already missed a day of the challenge.

You can ridicule me at New Years if you need to, Mo, but I’m going to cut this thing short (sort of) and just make my list here. There’s more space. There’s less pressure to remember something else every day. Plus, to be perfectly honest, this week of depressing news has me a little down and I’d kind of like to spend a little while jotting down things that make me happy.
I’m done ramblng, now. Here’s my list:

1. My sassy little dog. The girl has so much attitude. She is honestly a little “bitch” (sorry, mom and dad), but I love her. She’s stubborn. She won’t learn new tricks. She hates other animals. She demands a ton of attention, but she’s mine. She’s cute, She’s sweet (to humans), and she is always excited to see me. She’s the most obnoxious thing I’ve ever loved and I don’t like to think about a world without her.

2. Workdays when everyone is in a lighthearted, laughing mood.

3. The kids in my life. From campers, to my 10 nieces and nephews.. I’ve never met a kid I didn’t like and that’s the honest truth. There’s something unbelievably refreshing about kids. They’ll wear you out, god love ’em, but watching a kid discover this world is the most amazing thing.

4. A guy who voluntarily carries my hot pink purse around in public just so I can give my nephew a piggy back ride.

5. The fact that my legs don’t just work, but work well enough to let me run whenever and wherever I want.

6. Insanely hot summer weather — I mean the kind that makes the pavement burn the bottoms of your bare feet. That raw heat that makes you feel like you might pass out for the first few seconds you spend in your car, before the AC kicks in.

7. Tank tops. I don’t have anything else to say here.. I just love tank tops. All the kinds, y’all. All of them.

8. The baby giraffe that is taking its sweet time making an entrance at the Greenville zoo. I love that I can watch the mom roam around her pen anytime I like on

9. The heartfelt responses to what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri this week. Everything is easier to handle if you can find the people who are responding with love and kindness and a push to make the world better.

10. My family – mom, dad, brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews – every single one of them teaches me how to be a human, how to love, and grow, and be thankful for what I have.

11. Funny typos. I don’t have a great example at the moment, but I just love typos that make sentences funnier than they should ever be.

12. Blueberries – nature’s candy

13. Candy – human’s candy

14. I know I’m late to the party on this one, but coupons! I’m no hardcore couponer, but the target cartwheel app was just introduced to me and now I understand how good it feels to see a total, scan a coupon, and see that total drop dramatically. Saving money is clutch, y’all.

15. Yoga – I don’t know how to explain this one to y’all, because either you get it or you’re a doubter like I was. Honestly, I thought yoga was a little silly and even when I started I thought of it purely as physical exercise. The mental stuff was overrated. Now I believe it’s actually worth something. The mental peace that comes from yoga practice is worth a whole lot more to me than the physical benefit. This is real talk. Yoga has made me a better, more flexible runner. More importantly, it’s helped me understand what it’s like to take a mental break and focus on whatever I need to feel peaceful inside.

16. Appreciating quiet – this is a new thing for me. I’ve always been a little afraid of silence. I’ve never liked being alone, and I’ve really never understood the value of focus on nothing but what is happening in my mind. Yoga helped me break down some barriers and now I find it not just easy but refreshing to spend a mental energy on bettering myself. Sometimes you have to shut out everything the world tells you about yourself to really figure out who you are.

17. My wild emotions – I don’t live any emotions lightly. I never have. If I’m happy, I’m exuberant. If I’m sad, I’m morose. For a long time this felt like a handicap in the real world, now I realize that some people have to live passionately and I’m one of those people.

18. Marking days off my calendar — not as a reminder that I survived, but as a reminder of what I accomplished — another day in the books.

19. Wine. Is it okay to list wine? I like it. Not more than is appropriate, but I like it.

20. Handwritten notes from anyone at anytime. Even if they’re just on a post-it note.

21. Anything homemade from my mom and dad’s garden. Salsa, jellies, vegetables, eggs. The ability to get fresh, good, real food from people who really love me is something special. And my parents are incredibly generous with the things they grow. I hit the parent jackpot, somehow.

22. Here’s an extra one for good measure: Julia Roberts movies. I’ve never met a Julia movie I didn’t love. Cheesy, sad, romantic, sappy, I don’t care. Julia is my original girl crush — since I saw Pretty Woman at an age that can only be considered entirely too young. I just love her. I hope she never stops making movies, ever. DO YOU HEAR ME, JULIA?

It’s 11:15pm on a Friday night. I am waiting for 11:30 to hit so I can head home from work. Give me a little break on the lameness of this post. This list is a little silly at times, but completely honest. It killed some time, and made me smile just thinking about so many things I appreciate. If you seriously made it all the way to the end of this, I hope you’ll now consider writing your own list… because everyone could stand to feel a tiny bit happier.

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