So, instead, I've made a point to look back on the last year and reflect on the things I'm thankful for... both big and small.
1. Jade. Obviously, she has been a huge blessing. I am so grateful for a healthy pregnancy and a wonderful delivery and healthy baby.
2. Friends. Although I have struggled somewhat to find close friends here in Virginia, I have been super-blessed with friends around the country. Georgia, Tennessee, Alaska, Texas, Arizona (Afghanistan...). And not only do I have those great friends, but I've been able to see them numerous times this year... way more than in any other. Probably has something to do with the fact that I don't live in Alaska anymore :) And although I don't have super-close friends here in Virginia, I have been blessed with an awesome church family that has left me with no shortage of people to do things with and I am looking forward to getting to know some of the ladies better in the coming year.
3. Neighbors. In the past year, we've had 2 families move in that are awesome. Both have helped me with Jade when I've been in a pinch and one family even shoveled a foot of snow off our driveway while we were out of town. It doesn't get much better than that.
4. Chuck. I am so blessed to be married to my best friend. Of course we have our issues, like any marriage, but the good far outweighs the bad and I can't wait to see how the rest of our lives unfold.
5. Dogs. Our dogs make me smile on a daily basis. They're so much fun to have around.
6. Weight loss. Ok, this might sound vain, but I am extremely grateful to have easily lost all of the massive amounts of weight I gained when I was pregnant. I never thought it would be this easy and I'm pretty dang happy about it.
7. Family. When Jade was born, both sets of grandparents came to town to help out. Since at that point Jade was sleeping pretty much all the time (hard to remember!), they helped around the house. Cooking, cleaning, planting a vegetable garden, cleaning out overgrowth in the yard, cleaning out the garage, etc etc. They did a LOT of work. And of course I'm grateful for family for other reasons as well. But mainly the work ;)
8. My vacuum. Call me crazy, but I have to vacuum daily (see number 5), and having one that works well (Dyson Animal) makes me happy.
9. Chuck's job. There's a lot of uncertainty out there, but we never have to worry about Chuck having work. Not to mention the insurance, etc that comes with it. I'm very grateful for the security we have in his job and the freedom it has given me to stay at home with Jade.
10. My blog. I've always kept a journal. I'm the type of person that needs to write my thoughts down to really make coherent sense out of them. But for whatever reason, in the last few years, I've gotten really lazy about doing that. My blog has helped me to start writing again... it's nice to be able to look back and see what I was doing a few months ago and I can't wait to see what the new year brings for the blog. I'd like to write more about life in general and not just Jade, so we'll just have to see.
Ok... I'm gonna stop at 10, even though I know I could go on and on. Bottom line: despite knowing that I could also make a list of things I'm not grateful for, I have been overly blessed this past year and I think focusing on those things is super-important.