Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

Happy Thanksgiving

I saw this on Brandie’s site, Running on Words and Wine, and thought it would be perfect for today, the one day where we all take the time to express our gratitude and contemplate everything for which we are thankful.

A New Friend: My hair dresser/ dance instructor/ friend – I have known Megan for six years now, but it was not until she decided to branch out into her own studio where we truly became friends. I love how happy she is, and I admire her supremely close relationship with her sisters and her mother. She is a hard worker. The hours she puts in at the studio and at the salon are intense. She is someone I want to see succeed because she deserves it, and she makes the world a little brighter just by being here.

Something shiny: My car – It seems silly, but I love my car. I drive a 2014 Cadillac ELC, and if you have never heard of it, there is a good reason. It is by far the most expensive one we have ever owned, but the fact that they only made 2,000 of them eases the pain of the monthly car payment – somewhat. We got a killer deal on it because the dealership could not sell it, but it’s still hurts to write that check. My friends call it the space car because there are only buttons to get into and out of it. I love that I can drive around town for the day without using any gas. I love how it looks. I love that it is rare. I love that it is greener than normal cars. It is not perfect. The downfall of it sitting in the lot for a year means that we have had plenty of issues with electronics and other things. However, it is mine, it is electric, and it is beautiful.

Something ordinary: Coffee – My love affair with coffee began when I was sixteen and working at Gloria Jean’s Coffee Bean right around the time Starbucks was just beginning to take off around the nation. I learned to love coffee while working there and have been a fan ever since. It doesn’t just wake me up in the morning. The ritual of drinking coffee in the morning, either at my desk while working through email or at home while reading a book, is a comforting one and important to my morning. Days without that ritual tend to be chaotic and anxiety-ridden. Coffee is one of those things that keeps me grounded and helps me prepare for the day ahead.

A person you’ve known a long time: My husband – We’ve known each other since February 1994 and have been together exclusively for about that same amount of time. He knows almost everything about me, and vice versa. He has seen me at my worst and still remains my biggest champion.

Somewhere you go every day: My job – I might have issues with one or two coworkers, but I love what I do and I do enjoy the sense of family I feel with everyone else. It makes the long days much more palatable. Plus, I will never shake the feeling that I am way overpaid for what I do, and if I cannot be grateful for that, then I don’t deserve my job.

Someone who’s taught you something: My daughter – Watching Holly with her dance over the years has taught me more than I thought possible about not quitting and finding that passion in your life. There were so many times where it would have been so easy for her to quit, especially after being ignored in dance classes for four years and being overlooked for just about everything. Instead, she let her love of dance rule the day and kept doing what she loves no matter if she was rewarded for her efforts or not. We should all find something in our lives as consuming as that, where it doesn’t matter how well we do or if others recognize us for it.

A far-away place: Asheville, North Carolina – Have you ever visited a place and felt at home instantly? This is how Jim and I feel about Asheville, NC. Jim and I first visited Asheville on our honeymoon and fell in love with the area. We have been back a few times since then, and it remains one of our favorite places to visit. There is something about its liberal nature, its charm, its beauty, and its location that makes us happy. We decided on our honeymoon that it is one of the only areas where we would consider living upon retirement. This has not wavered in twenty years.

Something that’s saving your life right now: Cross-stitching – It is one of the best hobbies I could start doing again these days. The precision of it soothes my soul and provides me a modicum of control in a world which feels very much out of control. I can spend time with my family, watch TV, and make pretty pictures all at the same time.

Someone you see every day: My daughter – Holly makes me so happy. Even when she is acting like the teenager she is, just knowing she is my daughter fills me with pride and joy. She is so beautiful and doesn’t even realize it. Plus, she is hilarious. She has a wicked sense of humor, and her laugh has always been infectious. She is intelligent and committed to anything she signs up to do. She is a fantastic friend, conscientious, and caring. I don’t know how she is my daughter, but I am thankful that she is every single day.

Something you enjoy doing: Reading – Reading is life. It has been since I was about three years old. I will never understand anyone who says they don’t like reading or don’t have time for it. Reading is as natural as breathing to me. When I don’t read, I can feel the anxiety and stress build in my body. I am so thankful my parents fostered my love of reading, that I met a man who loves to read, and that my two children are equally likely to have a book in their hand as their phone.

Someone female: My tap dancing, Irish dancing friend – My darling Julia has shown me that friendship is not limited by age. Holly may find it weird that I am best friends with her tap and Irish teacher, who is 14 years my junior, but Julia and I have never let that bother us. She instructs me about dance and reminds me to be young, and I provide her with that helpful shoulder necessary for young mothers and wives. Together, we have gotten through many a dance recital, rehearsal, and competition, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

A special place: Home sweet home. I love my home. I fell in love with the backyard view upon first walking in the door, and honestly, I never want to leave. The house itself isn’t perfect. There are plenty of changes I would like to make to it. But the location, the view, and some of the little touches that exist throughout the house make me happy to come home every single day. It is my sanctuary, and I am so grateful we took a chance on it all those years ago.

Someone male: My son – Watching him talk about his first semester at school, hearing him share his experiences, and seeing him grow into an adult before our eyes is the absolute best. He was never the easiest child; his intelligence, stubbornness, and independence made it almost impossible to discipline him, which made his high school years nothing but misery for all of us. Yet, seeing him now and seeing how comfortable he is sharing everything with us means we accomplished exactly what we set out to do eighteen years ago. We raised an intelligent, thoughtful, conscientious, and independent adult who enjoys our company and feels comfortable coming to us to talk about anything. It’s quite the feeling.

Something warm: My dog – She makes for the best blanket, and her heated weight is the best anxiety reliever you can get. Plus, her unconditional love makes all of my problems disappear.

In addition, I am thankful for all of you!

I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

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