On the surface, most would assume Christmas is my favorite holiday. I am one of the first to break out the Christmas carols and crack open my National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” DVD. I’m the type that wears holiday-themed sweaters and socks that jingle (and not as a joke), but people who know me really well know that I actually think Thanksgiving is the bomb-diggity of all holidays. First of all, Thanksgiving basically kicks off the holiday season. Every Thanksgiving morning in my memory has been spent glued to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade anxiously waiting for Santa to make his grand entrance. Then, after jumping up and down at the sight of Santa in true Buddy-the-Elf-like fashion, the rest of the day has been spent with loved ones eating, talking, laughing, and reflecting on the things in my life that I am so thankful for. This always includes family, friends, freedom, food on my table, a roof over my head, etc. But a lot has happened so far in 2013, so here are 10 things I am especially thankful for this year.


New babies: My family grew from three to four this year, and I could not be more thankful for my two beautiful, healthy boys. Many of my friends also welcomed new additions, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to see their joy and so many new lives beginning.

My husband: Ok, so I’m thankful for him every year, but this year we’ve really grown leaps and bounds. We welcomed our first baby together in January, and that alone has created an extra bond between us that I didn’t realize was missing before.

My mom: Again, I’m thankful for her every year, but she deserves a shout out every year. She’s my best friend, hands-down. She’s my personal trainer (literally), my therapist, my shopping partner, and so much more. A million years would not give me enough time to thank her for all she does for me.

My career: I took a huge step forward in my career this year. When the opportunity arose, I felt hesitant, wondering whether it was the right move for me and my family. It has turned out to be better than I hoped for, and I am thankful that I have a job that is both interesting and enjoyable.

Online support groups: I was introduced by friends to several online support groups this year, particularly focused on breastfeeding and healthy living and parenting. I am thankful for their advice, kind words, and the friendships that have developed through them.

My busy schedule: Believe it or not, I am extremely thankful for my hectic life, and with a new baby and a new job this year, it got even busier. I don’t function well on idle, so going from work to baseball to swim lessons with a baby on my hip and a household to manage keeps me feeling optimistic and empowered.

Rest days: Even though I thrive on having a lot on my plate, I make sure to take some time to relax here and there. I am so thankful for those moments spent at home in my pajamas with a journal and a cup of coffee.

Dave Ramsey: My husband and I recently went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and it has changed our lives and our relationship forever. Up until the class, it seemed we were always on opposing teams when it came to our finances. We are finally on the same team, and we have a plan for our financial future.

Big Bang Theory: You might laugh or roll your eyes, but I mean that. For Christmas last year my mom got me a season of the television series on DVD. It never fails to put a smile on my face. Even when rolling out of bed for the fourth, fifth, or sixth time in the night to calm a crying baby, I can’t help but giggle at Sheldon Cooper’s shenanigans.

Good health: I used to suffer greatly from allergies, asthma, and a shoddy immune system. Through changes in our diet and lifestyle particularly over the last couple of years I have seen significant improvement in my health as well as the health of my family.

What are you thankful for this year?