Wednesday, November 23, 2016

12 Things I Am Grateful For // Happy Thanksgiving! // 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a nice week, and that your week is a short one too!

As we go off into the holidays, I decided to skip the big travel post for today and just share a few things that I am grateful for.*

Overall this year, I have made so much progress on really important things like self-care, personal goals, etc. but I haven't done the best job of focusing on gratitude and happiness. It's certainly a "baby steps" type thing, and I can't begin to do it all at once (no one can), but I am hoping to make some good progress back in that direction for 2017.

Here we go!

1) I'm grateful for KC. 

He's been my best friend for almost 10 years, and my husband for almost 5. He's the most selfless, most caring, funniest, smartest guy I know. He works so hard in all things, and I truly appreciate all of his efforts. -this doesn't even begin to cover it... I mean who else would bring me my whale mug while singing, "BALEEN! BALEEN! BALEEN! BALEEEEEEEN! I'M BEGGING OF YOU, PLEASE DON'T EAT MY KRILL!" - LOL (inspired by the White Stripes cover, as much as we both love Dolly!)

2) I'm grateful for Gilmore Girls

Oh, Gilmore Girls! You have such a big chunk of my heart. I "grew up" watching this show... meaning I watched it through High School and college, when I did a lot of my "growing up". I've seen it so many times and it doesn't fail to make me laugh, smile, ugly cry, etc. We have been working through the series with a close group of friends. We're not even close to done... but it's been so nice to start watching it through again. When they announced the revival I couldn't believe it was really going to happen... and I cry every time I watch the trailers (no judging!!). To say I'm excited is an understatement.We have a second Thanksgiving on Friday, when it comes out, so we plan to get up and start watching at 6am (with coffee #obvs), powering through until noon. We should still be able to make our 1:00 plans! People keep asking if I am nervous, or stating that they are. But I think 1) this will be so satisfying after so many years, 2) it's a separate thing in my mind... so I think I can keep them separate if need-be. 3) (the musical is the only thing I'm not sure about so far...), and 4) season 7 wasn't great anyway. It's got to be better than that! (though I did like that love rocket episode)

3) I'm grateful that my parents taught my sisters and I to be kind, compassionate, and understanding. They taught us to think for ourselves, which is one of the most valuable things a parent can teach. 

Ignore OE's super scared looking face. I promise this is my sister and not a captive child.

Even if they may not agree with my thinking, I'm grateful that I never have to question whether I believe something because it's my truth vs. because it's what everyone else is thinking.

4) I'm grateful for kittens, even when they're wiley.

I'm extra grateful when it's cold outside... because they're extra cuddly. (less grateful when they destroy my couch (see pic), and pull part of our IKEA collapsible drying rack out of the laundry room wall...) <--- nbsp="" p="" stories.="" true="">
5) I'm grateful for good books, and friends who pass along their recommendations.

Even though I haven't read much in the past month, reading again has had an immensely satisfying and therapeutic place in my life within the past 1.5 years, and I am so grateful for that. (less grateful for the goodreads addiction that immediately followed.. but pros and cons, folks!)

6) I'm grateful for the diversity of the world and the ability to travel to see it.

I know that travel is not a possibility for everyone, and that I will never take it for granted. This year alone we have seen so many beautiful and inspiring places... I can't wait to see more. I'm glad that this is currently possible for us! (& that KC kept his promise that we would travel! :P )

7) I'm grateful for family, a pretty big one at that, and what they all bring to the table.

uncles, amiright? :P 

Growing up with such a huge extended family was such a treat. I had friends in my cousins, I had so many adults to look up to and get to know. I'm the oldest of 7 girls on my dad's side! On my mom's I'm the oldest of 6 girls and 1 boy.

Now I also have KC's family to call my own. Did I share this photo last Christmas...? I can't remember... My MIL made these shirts! Oh to have crafty fabric skills! It's fun to appreciate both of our families close and extended to compare and contrast. They are very different, but they all bring something to the table. I'm grateful that they're there when I need them, that they teach us things we may not have seen otherwise.

8) I'm grateful that my sister has become a really good friend.

As you get older, life undoubtedly gets more difficult and complex. Jess and I fought like cats and dogs when we were kids, about everything, but I'm so glad we are friends now. She's one of the sweetest, kindest, most easy-going people I know. We still get caught in giggle fits late in the evening, all we have to do is look at each other and we completely lose it. She's helped me navigate adulthood, and also the challenge of being far from our parents and OE. We even have a code word for if things get too stressful. It's good to know I can talk to her about anything, anytime. Um, and also she's making me an aunt! SO excited for that as well. :) :)

9) I'm grateful for clementines.

Yup, those small oranges. They're my favorite.... and 'tis the season!

10) I'm grateful for planners.

Investing in planning and organization in 2016 has been a life-saver for me in so many ways. It's helped me juggle a hefty schedule, practice self-care, and take back a little bit of control during my often chaotic weeks. The more I use it, the more I love it, the more I am benefiting from it.... I'm so grateful for this evolved way of planning and organization.

11) I'm grateful for snail mail and my stationery business.

This has been my second year of running Simply Alexandra Stationery. I love working with brides, new parents, families, etc. etc. to create small pieces of memorabilia for their life milestones. I love being creative, and sharing in special moments of people's lives. I can't wait to continue in 2017! And of course I am grateful for snail mail because it makes my day, other others' days when they receive it. I mean, any day that it's not all junk mail and bills is a great mail day! I also love that it allows me to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away. :)

12) I'm grateful for other creative pursuits...

a) This year I've begun project life and photo documenting. I get so much satisfaction from creating these albums, and working with my hands. I can't wait to share some of these videos with you soon!

b) I'm also grateful for cooking and baking more again. It's been so fun and therapeutic. :)

c) I'm so grateful for the outlet that this blog creates! For the friends that I have met through blogging! You guys are the greatest, and I am so lucky to know you via our little online world. Thank you so much for your reading, comments, posts, etc. this year. It's been so lovely to get to know you better!

So there you have it, 12 things I am grateful for, and that's a lot to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

What are you grateful for? Big or small, I'd love to hear!

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

We'll be prepping pies, cranberries, and watching the t-giving episode of Gilmore Girls...

... and then some of the New Girl ones. KC dies laughing when Nick digs that hole in the one where they go camping. BAHAHA

Other Posts on Gratitude: Gratitude Journaling Year Round, That Year I Was Quarantined for Thanksgiving..., Love is An Icy Tumbler.



*Thanksgiving is a bit of a questionable holiday in it's roots, and there are still some things that I am pretty concerned and grumbly about... but focusing on gratitude is really important to self-care and happiness... so this post was born.

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