Sorry if this one gets lengthy. I have a lot to be thankful for.
(this list is in no particular order of most important to least important or vice versa.)
1. Goat Cheese- the nectar of the gods when it comes to cheeses. It's the jack of all trades in my book. Goes great in desserts, great with wine, great on salads, great on pizzas. We have quite the close relationship.
2. Talenti Salted Caramel Gelato- I kept seeing this temptation pop up in my instagram feed from some online friends and I can't believe I resisted the urge for so long because this gelato is heaven in a little plastic container. I'm not much of a sweets person, but if you say the words Salted Caramel, i'm sold. I've eaten containers of this...containers...sans guilt.
3. Family- I may be a little biased in this department but I feel like I win the most awesomest family category. My mom is this kick as, motivated, determined, hilarious best friend of mine and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a close relationship with her, even if that means spending time with her requires waking up at 4:45 in the morning. My dad is the king of humor, the guy who can get me out of any funk and remind me that it's all gonna be alright, the only guy I will ever play the "close your eyes and let me put this random (and probably gross) food in your mouth" game with. My stinky little brother..but really...that brother of mine is an all around, good, solid guy who has done so much with his life already that makes me so proud of him. And though we are polar opposites, I am glad it's that way because it makes our siblingness work even more. And even though she's been family to me for awhile, to all of us really, but now Shauna is officially a Brown and I just love having her as a sister. She just fits right in with our family, puts up and even participates in our goofy antics and I love our girls' weekends together even if we are lame and go to bed at 10 pm. She's the best sister.
4. Jennifer Stambaugh- I know it's hard these days to look past my giant biceps, but if you want to look toned like me, get Jennifer in your life. But really in all seriousness, Jennifer took this defeated, deflated girl, shook the dust off of her and said "I believe in you" and all along the way has just been an incredibly amazing support system. She's not just a fitness instructor, but she's a loyal friend who helps bring out the best in you.
5. Photography- Having found the thing that drives me, inspires me, makes my heart beat, it's hard to express honestly how great it is. It's not just what I want to do with my life, it's how I share my life and share the lives of others.
6. Mistakes- We learn from them. We become stronger. It sucks that we make them, but be grateful we can learn from them.
7. Compassion- You know to have those people in your life who have seen you at your weakest and your ugliest and to still embrace you and love you, yeah that compassion beats almost anything in the world.
8. Glitter- I just love sparkly things. Like glittery unicorns. They make me super happy.
9. Dancing- You have to be a robot if you can't enjoy the simple pleasures of turning up some music and just making a fool of yourself, whether in the confines of your living room, in the drivers seat of your car or out at the club. Dancing can be some of the best medicine for the soul.
10. Lisamarie Pecaut- Even though we spent the majority of the year apart from each other, when she comes home, no matter how brief her stay, it's like we didn't miss a beat. To have that friend that you can just rely on, fall back on, the one who just gets you...hundreds of miles away even...that's priceless. She's seen me through some of my darkest times and now that I'm coming up on top of this hill and back into a good place in my life, I'm so grateful to have had her along for the whole ride. She's my person.
11. My new loft- Being able to live in a space that encourages you and drives you to pursue your dreams, well it's a real blessing. Having MY space, feeling more at home than I've felt in years, it's kind of still surreal to me that I live here. I still have to look around and take it in.
12. The kitties- even as I yell at them for messing with my Christmas tree, or for their incessant fighting with one another, I am grateful for them. People try and peg me as a crazy cat lady like it's a negative thing, but I own it loud and proud. These 3 all keep me company and definitely keep me on my toes. 4 am wake up calls, ruined rolls of toilet paper, and even escape artist Biko hopping on the elevator, I just love them.
13. Chipotle- I mean really, do I have to elaborate?
14. Sunrises- Ever since I started taking my 5:55 am workout class back in February I've forced myself into becoming a morning person and though in the winter months it's a wee bit harder to get out of the comforts of my warm bed, I have loved the beautiful sunsets I see so early in the morning. They are a beautiful reminder that each day is an opportunity to embrace life and live it to the fullest.
15. Forgiveness- I've needed it and I've given it...and though it's hard to give sometimes, sometimes the best healing can be found in forgiveness.
16. Trader Joes- I'm thankful for their cookie butter. The quesadillas I could eat every day for lunch. The samples. The friendly folks. It's just a magical place.
17. Quiet Sunday Afternoons- This is my favorite time of the week. Sleeping in, making homemade breakfast, sipping chai on the couch, mid-afternoon naps, even house cleaning. There's just something refreshing about staying in and enjoying the calm.
18. My Clients- My VSP clients just make my world spin. I love working with them and I love seeing their happiness when they see the moments I've captured during our time together. It's a pretty gratifying feeling knowing that you've frozen in time something so valuable for someone.
19. Music- Oh brother, I could go on for days. Sometimes music can be that extra spunk inducer you need for a solid workout, sometimes it can be a healing salve in a rough time, sometimes it can be the fuel that keeps you smiling on a long work day, sometimes it's like a photo album, taking you back to really beautiful memories in your life.
20. Target- or Terrget rather. I've never been to Disney World, so for now, when I think of a magical place, I think of Target. Andplusalso, they now have a whole section dedicated to Unicorn themed cards in their greeting card section. Uh, hello, amazing!
21. Nikki Border- this broad. Well let me just tell you, this little slice of Philly in my life has brought me a heck of a lot of laughs and awesomeness. I don't know why it is that the people I seem to bond with the most either already live far away or end up moving far away, but I'm sure grateful that either way they are in my life. This chica is the kick in my rear end I need when I need some focus in my life, she's that "You got this girl" cheerleader on the sidelines....and she's that don't mess with this or I will cutttttt you friend we all need. Loyal through and through.
22. TGI Fridays- Haven't worked there in years and don't see it happening again, but this place is like my second family. I spend a lot of time alone, but when that gets overwhelming, I know I can go up to the bar, have company and feel right at home. I will always love my 1874 crew.
23. St. Louis- this city has my heart (and now that we are getting an ikea it has it even more). As much as I dream of tropical places...this place is always going to be home. I will proudly represent my city til the day I die. The best fans in baseball, some of the best free attractions, so many events for people to attend, sometimes there's too many things to choose from and I can't see it all. I love it here and I always will.
24. Bubble baths with a glass of wine- Ahhhhhh. You get me.
25. Good hair days- I always find that the days you don't try are the days people always are complimenting you, but there's something to be said about having a dang good hair day...it just kind of seals the deal on the day and makes it easier to plow through.
I am thankful for many more things. But these popped into my head first. <3