Yep, today it is time for me to count my blessings. 38 this year! Where did this past year go? I really think it was just yesterday I was in San Francisco writing out my list of 37.
Well, as you may or may not know, this list is my yearly birthday tradition. Instead of focusing on how old I am feeling (which some days is REALLY old), I take some time to think of what I appreciate about my life. These are in no particular order, and there are actually many more I can add. These just happened to come to mind at this point in time (and pay no attention to how many involve food :). (I also do not look back at previous years so many may be repeats :)
38. Hearing the waves crash against the sand as I lay in bed at our beach house/townhouse...
37. a long, uninterrupted Sunday afternoon nap
36. Shrimp tempura rolls, a regular treat for the two of us...yum!
35. digital cameras...I love to take pictures, crop, edit, delete if needed. Such a fun way to capture the memories
34. Weekend excursions to Branson with my family
33. Ice cold Mountain Dews...yum!
32. A hot bath and a new magazine= time to myself to relax
31. Farmtown. Yes, it is probably a silly little game here on Facebook, but it is a great way to unwind and feel like I have accomplished something for the day. Plus, it is a special time when I get to meet up with my sister (who doesn't live here) and chat.
30. My students. I love the honesty and enthusiasm of kindergarten students. They are so eager to learn and MOST days make my heart smile with their childlike perspectives and sweet spirits.
29. Friendships...some friends I have had for years, others have developed in the last year even through difficult circumstances. I am so thankful for each of them.
28. my i-Touch. I enjoy being able to listen to my music while I exercise or sit out in the yard with the kids, do a quick e-mail check, or play a game. Fun stuff!
27. Michael W. Smith's latest CD...A New Hallelujah. Every song. I love EVERY song. My favorite is "The River is Rising" which is one of his most upbeat songs yet. Any time the mood in the car turns sour, I just turn it on and up, and soon we are all singing along.
26. Our youngest daughter's servant heart. As I put laundry in or fold clothes, she is right there to help.
25. A new box of 24 crayons (which you can get cheap this time of year)...oh, the possibilities! And midnight blue will ALWAYS be my favorite color.
24. Rainbows. I only see one or two a year, and every time, they take my breath away. As I look at the beautiful colors, I cannot help but think about God and His promise to us.
23. Losing myself in a book. I don't let myself do that often because I get SO lost in it, I forget there is life around me.
22. Our dishwasher. It is a pain to empty and fill one to three times a day, but I am so thankful I am not doing it all by hand!
21. Tax refunds. I know, I know, we would be better off not withholding so much but it is still a sweet treat in the spring!
20. White lilies. They are just so graceful, so pure, so lovely.
19. Conversations with my oldest son. He can have the most in-depth conversations for a young one. He is a neat kid with many interests and a lot of knowledge. I especially appreciate that he walks to his own beat of the drum...completely!
18. A big heaping serving of Mostaccioli...that will be my birthday dinner tomorrow!
17. My souvenir t-shirts (Destin, Gulf Shores, San Francisco) that remind me of the wonderful times I have had
16. A husband who gives me weekend giveaways, a full tank of gas, and toothpaste on my toothbrush nightly...it is the little things he does that shows me how much he loves me.
15. Mornings I DON'T have to set my alarm and can just sleep, well, at least until little people wake me up.
14. Facebook. I love getting to keep up with the lives of my friends (from all phases of my life) in the quiet of my home once the kids are in bed.
13. God's comfort. It seems like each year God shows Himself in different ways. This year, He has been the God of comfort as I have witnesses too many friends walking through difficult times. I don't know how to help, though my heart aches for them. I can only pray for His comfort to bring peace and rest to their lives (and to mine in our own struggles)
12. my parents...they are such a model of servanthood, love, and a Godly marriage. I am blessed.
11. The joy of our youngest boy. He can be a bundle of energy but he brings a smile to my face daily. It is hard to explain...you just have to experience it for yourself.
10. Organizing. It is a neverending process at our house, but when I can get at least one little area organized, I feel SO much better inside.
9. Target pajamas (cotton bottoms with a tee on top). They are comfortable, modest, and fun!
8. Online banking and automatic bill pay. One less thing to keep up with in life!
7. The sunset. I am never up for sunrise, though I am sure it is beautiful too. But sometimes at night, I stare at the sky in amazement at the blending of colors. God is such an artist!
6. Our oldest daughter's sense of humor and quick wit; I love her outlook on life!
5. Ghiradelli's Dark Chocolate with Caramel squares...a little taste of heaven each day.
4. Family walks around our neighborhood after dinner
3. weekend getaways with my husband, rare but always a treat. We just have a good time together!
2. Two birthmothers in Guatemala I have never met but truly appreciate for the beautiful gifts they brought into the world. We are blessed!
1. You! I am thankful for friends and family who love me in spite of who I am! Thank you for being a part of our lives!