Happy Thanksgiving! In the 4th grade, my homeroom teacher assigned our class to write down 100 things for which we were thankful, and I’ve repeated the exercise everything Thanksgiving since. Back in 2013, I published my “Thankfulness List” here on the blog, and it was so uplifting to be able to share it and to hear from you that I’ve published it every year since.
Truth time: every year I think about not writing this list. The week leading up to Thanksgiving is categorically hectic. The nagging, doubting voice inside my head also likes to insist that no one will notice if I skip it.
Then another, stronger voice reminds me that if I can’t take some extra time to express gratitude on Thanksgiving, it’s time to reprioritize.
It doesn’t matter if anyone reads this list or not. It matters that I write it.
But, guess what? YOU ARE READING IT, and it makes me SO HAPPY. Let’s pretend that we are all squeezed together at a big table filled with our favorite sides. We can go around in a circle, and each of us can share something for which we are thankful this year. Deal?
I’ll go first.
Thank you for keeping me accountable and for allowing me to share these blessings with you year after year. If you’d like to share one of your blessings (I LOVE YOU PLEASE DO), you can leave it in the comments section below the post.
2017 Thankfulness List
1. My smart, sexy, fun-loving, hardworking, dish-washing husband, Ben. He inspires me to be the best version of myself, knows me better than anyone on this earth, and loves me anyway.
^^He also read this list in advance and wanted me to tone down the adjectives, which I flatly refused to do. Author’s prerogative.
2. My two younger sisters, whom I am blessed to call my best friends.
3. My parents, especially my dad, whom we lost too soon.
4. My wonderful grandparents. I was blessed to grow up with all four of them and to have all of them with me into adulthood.
5. My grammy, who first taught me to bake and whom I still look forward to calling every week.
6. My in-laws, who love and care for me like a daughter and a sister, and whom I truly love too.
7. My wonderful group of Milwaukee girlfriends. We’ve been friends two years, and I can’t image life in this city without them.
8. Being able to wake up every morning and know that, no matter how mundane my tasks are that day, I’m pursing a career I truly love.
9. Related: the internet.
10. My furry coworker: TEDDY.
11. My health.
12. Inspiring teachers.
13. Ben’s extended family, all of whom are so welcoming and fun.
14. My sweet niece Genevieve.
15. My stepdad and stepbrothers and sister.
16. Holiday meals that leave you reaching for your stretchy pants (one of which will be happening today!).
17. The opportunity to travel. Since January, I’ve been to Italy, Paris, Israel, Utah, Hawaii, and a dozen other cities in between. Each experience has impacted me in its own unique way, and I am beyond grateful.
18. Our warm home.
19. Any and every time someone makes one of my recipes.
20. Access to clean water.
21. My new brother-in-law. Welcome to the family, Joey! Seriously: HOW CUTE ARE THEY??
22. Customer service representatives who are actually helpful.
23. Discovering a new wine that costs $7 but tastes like $17.
24. Podcasts (latest favorite: How I Built This).
25. When you are waiting for your bag at the airport and it comes out right away.
26. My education.
27. The free birthday drink at Starbucks.
28. Pulling off a successful feat of parallel parking, especially if someone else actually witnesses it.
29. Street food. Throughout my travels, this has been one of my favorite (and most enjoyable) ways to get to know a culture.
30. Finding an extra $5 in your jeans pocket.
31. Showers with strong water pressure.
32. When the restaurant offers you a free appetizer while you wait for your table.
33. Sunsets, especially over the lake in Ben’s parents’ backyard.
34. The smell of freshly baked bread.
35. The taste of freshly baked bread.
36. Particularly delicious butter.
37. Game nights.
39. Finding an old photo.
40. Short lines at the grocery store checkout.
41. When you drive by a police car while driving a little over the speed limit…and the officer does not pull you over.
43. Early morning walks with Teddy.
44. Sturdy coffee mugs.
45. My cookbook collection.
46. Comfy, oversized sweatshirts.
47. Warm, toasty wool socks (these lightweight wool ones are especially amazing).
48. Hilarious group texts.
49. Power naps.
50. Football tailgates.
51. Rainy days when you were secretly hoping to stay inside anyways.
52. Uber, Lyft, and other shared ride options.
53. Trader Joe’s dark chocolate salted almonds (and the dark chocolate peanut butter cups too).
54. Farm-to-Table Dinners…especially ones on the farm. How cool is that?
55. A warm bowl of oatmeal on a chilly morning.
56. The clean, fresh scent of the air after it rains.
57. My dishwasher.
58. ’90s sing-a-longs.
59. Sleeping on freshly washed sheets.
60. Silly dancing, especially at weddings.
61. Homemade pizza.
62. Also, delivery pizza.
63. The sound of the ocean.
64. Puffy white clouds that float across blue skies.
65. Hitting every green light on the way to your destination.
66. Anytime someone else washes the dishes.
67. Bouquets of flowers.
68. The opportunity to play tour guide when friends come to visit.
69. A good night’s sleep.
70. Free wifi.
71. Beat-up, worn-in pairs of boots.
72. Good hair days.
73. Staying up too late talking with best friends.
74. Farmers market hauls.
75. Books so engaging, they keep you turning the pages far past bedtime.
76. Instagram stories. I love seeing little behind-the-scenes moments in friends’ lives.
77. Puns. The worse, the better!
78. Coffee dates.
79. Laughing until my stomach hurts.
80. Running outside.
81. Road trips.
82. Having access to health care.
83. Green smoothies that make me feel like a well-nourished superhero.
84. My grammy’s apple pie.
85. Every lost object I’ve ever found. This is a daily occurrence.
86. When the seat beside you on the plane is empty. Score!
87. When the seat beside you on the plane isn’t empty, but the person turns out to be incredibly cool, and you make a new friend, if only for a few hours.
88. The crunch of fall leaves underneath my boots.
89. A cool breeze on a hot day.
90. Cheeseboards (and pretty much any dish or recipe that’s super easy but makes me feel fancy).
91. Flip-flop weather.
92. Cute old couples holding hands.
93. The stars in a clear night sky.
94. Camping trips.
95. Silly moments that make you feel like a kid (favorite example: when Ben and I spent an afternoon riding waterslides).
97. Potluck dinners.
98. An unexpected phone call from a friend, just to say hi.
99. Book/wine club.
And, today and every day,
THANK YOU. My blog would not and could not exist as it does without your support. Thank you for being here, for allowing me to do what I love, for making my recipes, for sharing them with friends, and for making it to the bottom of this blog post. I am deeply grateful to be able to do what I love every day, and I truly could not if it were not for you.♥
Now, let’s go eat some pie. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
In case you were wondering….
- As a practice, I don’t go back and reread old lists before writing the new ones, and if you slip down a Thankfulness List rabbit hole and read through a few, you’ll see overlap. I don’t mind. I hope I never lose gratitude for my blessings large and small, and if that means writing them year after year, all the better.
- These points are in no particular order. Some are silly, some are serious, and all are sincere.
Thankfulness Lists from Other Years: