I have spent Thanksgiving in a variety of exciting ways over the years. Growing up, we hosted the festivities at our house. It was always so exciting to come home from school on that Tuesday and make all the last minute preparations for all the out of town relatives' arrival on Wednesday. We counted down the hours until they arrived and then didn't want them to ever go back. I will always treasure those memories - my cousin, Kenneth, and I starting the 9.5 lb club, our family Rook tournaments...complete with trophies, Earthcake, the Broom game. I could go on and on with all the fun we had when I was younger.
Unfortunately, I grew up.
In college, I worked for our football team. We were good. Like National Champion type good. As a result, I spend a couple Thanksgivings with huge feasts with my Tiger Football family in Georgetown, Ky. (My immediate family was able to be there as well.) It was a great time!
|Coach Cronin and current GC Tigers. (Photo via Georgetown College Athletics)|
|My (sad) family on Thanksgiving a few years back using a Madagascar penguin as my stand-in for the family picture...haha!|
Somehow...I have found a way to make the best of it.
One year, my parents came to the city for the Macy's Day Parade.
One year, I ran in a turkey trot.
One year, Chris and I went to the Bengals-Jets Thanksgiving night game.
|After stuffing ourselves at his parent's house in Long Island.|
And this year, I worked as a monitor for the Texans-Lions game in the office.
|Our pre-game feast!!|
In the end, the one thing I have learned over all these Thanksgivings is that no matter where I am or who I am with, it is easy to be thankful for all of the blessings in my life! Instead of posted one item I am thankful for each day on facebook like I did last year, I decided to keep a list of the top 30 things I am most thankful for at this point in my life and post it here today.
I am thankful for...
1 - my relationship with the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and his saving grace!
2 - the love of my life, Christopher! I'm not sure where I would be without him. We are such a great team and continue to make one another better people every day.
3 - my parents. They have been there for me from the beginning. I couldn't have asked for a better mom or dad.
4 - my brothers. They are two of my very best friends! My life would be incomplete without these two awesome guys!
5 - my sister-in-law. She makes my brother so very happy...and she has given me one of the best gifts ever in my little niece.
6 - my niece. When I'm having a not so great day all I have to do is look at a picture of that little girl and everything seems to turn around. She is such a joy. I love her to pieces!
7 - my friends. Old, new, borrowed, and true. They are all important and very much needed. So blessed to have such a wonderful support system both near and far!
8 - the good health of my family and friends. And that when illness does strike (as it has with a cousin in Alabama) that we are there for each other.
9 - my apartment. It might not be much, but it is shelter from the elements. That is really all that matters in the end.
10 - my job. I might get frustrated and annoyed with various aspects from time to time, but it does allow me to use my God given skills and talents and provide for myself.
11 - being debt-free. I finally paid off my student loans this year and couldn't be more thankful for the blessing of not having to worry about monthly loan payments anymore...especially living in one of the most expensive city in the world.
12 - growing up in a small city. Being from a small town has shaped me into the person that I am today. That sense of community is irreplaceable.
13 - football. Without it I wouldn't have some of my most fond memories, a job, or such a fun fall.
14 - being able to travel. I love going new places. Fortunately, my parents took us on many vacations when we were kids. This sparked the flame for the love of travel that I now possess.
15 - my extended family. Lots of wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins!
16 - Christopher's family. They have accepted me exactly as I am from day one. I am particularly thankful that they have welcomed me to their wonderful Thanksgiving feast for the past three years!
17 - being able to run. It is nice to have a hobby that is healthy and relatively inexpensive.
18 - this blog. I know it isn't very big, but it has been wonderful to begin to build some community with other bloggers. Plus it is a great outlet for me.
19 - books. Reading is truly a gateway to another world. And has the potential to be so eye-opening.
20 - music. It often has such a therapeutic effect for me. And I love listening to the CD my dad made of him playing piano. It takes me right back to my childhood.
21 - having plenty. To be honest, there is not one single thing that I need. Ever. That is an amazing blessing. I am so thankful that I have everything I need.
22 - opportunity. I have so many options and paths that lie in front of me at this time in my life. I am blessed to have so many opportunities even if it sometimes seems overwhelming to have to choose.
23 - my Mamaw. Even though she has been in Heaven watching over me for several years now, I think of her so often. She truly left a lasting impression on me. She was and always will be my hero.
24 - choosing Georgetown College so many years ago. My experiences during college not only set me up for my current career, but they also shaped me as a person. I truly do bleed orange and black!
25 - a competitive spirit. I am super competitive with my brothers, but I have also learned how to be competitive within myself over the past few years. It is a blessing that causes you to continually challenge and improve yourself.
26 - the arts. I am fortunate to be able to attend many movies and shows throughout the year. These art forms serve as another way to take eye-opening adventures. I am so thankful for the ability and means to be able to enjoy them.
27 - differences. Life would be so very boring if we were all the same.
28 - humor. Sometimes all you need is a good laugh!
29 - public transportation. I complain about it A LOT, but without it I would have a much more difficult time being able to see Christopher.
30 - being able to cook well enough to not starve. I get frustrated when things don't turn out exactly like they should, but I do have the ability to make some tasty dishes that keep my belly full.
Hope you had a blessed day with your family and friends! Happy Thanksgiving!