In retrospect...this makes me a little sad. Birthdays are great...no matter the age...considering the alternative. You are only as old as you feel, right?
SO, in honor of my 33rd birthday, I thought I would share a list of 33 things I am grateful for today...and everyday!
1. My savior. Without Him, I am nothing. I am so thankful to know Him, to grow closer to him everyday. I am forever grateful for His grace and forgiveness. It is my true desire to honor Him in all that I do.
2. My life, aging and all. It ain't always fun, but I believe that is always, always, ALWAYS beautiful.
3. My health. Despite my worries and fears...I am very healthy..and for that...I am grateful!
4. My husband. He is my rock and my most favorite person in the world. I am a mess and he loves me anyway...he is a good, good man!
5. My marriage. I am beyond blessed to be married to a good man who loves AND respects me.
6. My parents. Without them, today would be kind of lame. I love them (mom, stepdad and dad) SO much!
7. My grandparents. I am so grateful for them, and thankful for my continued time with them. Missing my Noni, but so grateful for the 27 years we shared.
8. My sisters, brother and sisters in law. I've come a long way from being an only child!
9. My nieces and nephews. Charlie has 10 (5 of each) and I have 2 (one of each) and a new little niece on the way this fall. I also have one great nephew and another on the way this December. WOW!! They are all so fun and such a blessing! One day...they will all be WONDERFUL cousins to my children!!
10. The rest of my family. In laws, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. I could go on an on. And...I am grateful for that. I come from an amazing, crazy, fun, sometimes annoying bunch of people. I wouldn't have it any other way!
11. Friends. New and old. Those that I see regularly and those I don't see enough. Real life friends, and those I've met online. I am so thankful for the role that each and every one of them play in my life!
12. Aslan. My little fur baby. He drives me crazy almost as often as he is sweet...but I love him and he constantly brings me joy. Nothing says unconditional love like the love from your pet.
13. My freedom. I've never known anything other than freedom...and it is easy to take it for granted. But, I am thankful that I can be who I want to be, dress how I want, worship however I chose and live the life I want to live.
14. Texas. I love my state. It's a beautiful state, with beautiful people. Seriously, you can't beat the scenery, food, music, or sports her. God Bless Texas!
15. My car. I love my little Jeep. Love that she's paid for, runs good, and has been a great car the last year.
16. My apartment. I complain a lot about renting an apartment (I'm not kidding, a lot of complaining!). BUT...I am so thankful to have a nice place to live and the little home that C and I have made for ourselves.
17. My school. I am SO happy with the decision to go back to school (or more, to recommit to school). I'm so grateful to have been led to DBU, I think that my time there was a real turning point in my spiritual journey. I am looking forward to going back this fall and finishing my master's degree.
18. My debt. True story. I have a lot of it (see #17) and I look forward to the day it is paid off. BUT, I am choosing to be grateful for it, and the lessons it is teaching me (mainly: have no debt!). I do think my outlook on money is/will be completely different because of this struggle. I am grateful for this lesson!
19. Forgiveness. Not always easy, but always, always, ALWAYS worth it.
20. Walks. Seriously, my daily (well, almost daily) walks are my key to sanity. I walk and pray, walk and cry, walk and sing, walk and think, walk and laugh. I also enjoy the walks C and I have been taking. We have shaved 10 minutes off of our mile (I'm not even kidding, I was a turtle 4 months ago). I will credit at least 20lbs of my weight loss to the miles I have logged.
21. Fruit. Love fruit. It has been my saving grace with this new diet/lifestyle change. It's good, and a lot better for you than fruit flavored candy. Just saying.
22. Weight loss. How many years have I prayed for and promised myself that by next bday I would weigh less? ALL OF THEM. This year, I DO!! This has been a hard journey...but it is paying off and I am a better person for it. I can't wait to see what happens during the next year!
23. My church. I will be honest and say that we don't go every week. BUT...every week we go...I am recharged and feel like the message and the music was made just for me. Worshiping is just about my most favorite thing to do.
24. Good tv. This is kind of silly, but c'mon. Good television is fun. I have several favorite shows...and I love catching up on them at night with the hubs (or without...as sometimes...his idea of good is not the same as mine). Ha.
25. Books. Oh, how I love books. My grandmother (Gin) was my school librarian in 1-3rd grade....and I think that might be where my obsession began. I haven't been reading as much as I wanted in the last few weeks...but today, I wandered down the book aisles at Target and my heart got all fluttery!
26. Technology. Seriously...how different are things (technology wise) than they were even on my 21st birthday. It both excites and scares me to think of what it will be like on my 50th!
27. Hopes and dreams. Oh how I love to daydream. I just love the idea of always thinking of things to do, places to go, goals to achieve. Sometimes I get depressed that I haven't accomplished a lot of those things...but they are still there...ever changing and growing...just like me. I love that I live in a world where I can continue to hope and dream...and know that I can chase and achieve them.
28. Vacations. I haven't been on vacation in years (see #18) but I have been blessed to go to a lot of places that I may never have had the chance if I hadn't met C. Mexico, Canada, Cape Cod, Vegas and Niagara Falls are just some of my favorite trips we have taken. I'm also grateful for the list of places on our bucket list...just waiting for us to explore!
29. Meeting some of my favorites. I'll be the first to admit...that as cool as I like to play it...I totally get starstruck! I remember playing pool with my friend Jennifer one night and Lou Diamond Phillips walked in. I was actually a teenage girl at the time...but I completely lived up to my age! Ha. In the last year I have met Sean Lee (linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys) and as of this past weekend, I met Pat Green! More on this later!
30. Pictures. I carry my camera around in my purse. It's not so good for the camera (scratch city)...but I love that it is always there to capture a memory. Now, I just need to get better about getting them printed and documented! More on this later too!
31. Graphic design. My undergrad area of study. I love all kinds of design, but I especially love creating my own designs...whatever they may be. I have taken the last few weeks off from ALL design...and I'm missing it so much. Looking forward to getting back to work soon.
32. My flaws. Oh do I have them. Sometimes I get wrapped up in comparing myself to others...which is never safe. I am learning to just accept that I am flawed. And, that it is okay. There are so many things to learn from our flaws....and a lot of times...our flaws are actually attributes....if we just get that right in our mind.
33. Love. I'm not sure I can say enough about being blessed by love. I think it is SO easy to take this for granted. But, it is such a beautiful thing. I'm talking about all forms and degrees of love. I love cherry (diet) coke...and nothing is quite as sweet as that first sip...but I also love my family. I had lunch with Dalton today and anytime I am around him or Teagan I get this overwhelming tug at my heart and catch in my throat...and I am just overwhelmed with how much I love them.
Speaking of love, the greatest love of all is the love from my Heavenly Father. I am not as excited about 33 candles being on the cake as I was with 21, but I am so grateful that He loves me and has blessed me with another birthday. God is so good.