Last week, I shared two of my most-cherished Thanksgiving traditions: Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Whiskey Pecans and The Thankfulness List. In fourth grade, my wise teacher assigned us to write out 100 things for which we were thankful. I have repeated the exercise every year since.
In the spirit of sharing, I proudly present: The Thankfulness List 2013. One hundred things, silly and sweet, for which I am blessed and grateful.
The things that make me who I am
1. The family to whom I was born—two loving parents and two wonderful sisters
2. The family I never envisioned but now can’t imagine my life without—my step dad, step brothers, and step sister
3. This guy: My patient, loving husband, best friend, and partner-in-crime, Ben
4. The people who came with #3—My in-laws. I hit the jackpot.
5. My faith
6. My education
7. Growing up with all four of my grandparents (and having them alive today!)
8. Being a Midwest girl
9. Totally over-the-top holidays at home. Two full Thanksgivings? Why not.
10. Parents who raised me to strike out on my own without forgetting my roots
11. Etiquette. I didn’t appreciate my mom’s forcing it upon me at the time, but I’m glad I know it now.
12. Living in a country where I can think and act freely
Friends old and new
13. The ability to call my two sisters my two best friends
14. New friends made in Madison
15. Twin Cities friends (thanks for letting me crash on your couch when I come visit)
16. High school pals. No one knows me like you do.
17. My Notre Dame friends. Still feel closer to you than ever.
18. My new brother-in-law (see #55 below)
19. My blogging buddies. I have met some amazing, talented people through this crazy hobby of mine.
20. The women in my prayer group who inspire me each time we meet
Stuff I love
21. Cheese curds, particularly when deep fried
22. Long runs along the lakes
23. Chubby baby cheeks
24. Strangers who help push your car out of the snow
25. The smell of cinnamon rolls baking
27. Hot chocolate on cold days
28. The person who lets you cut in the grocery line because you have fewer items
29. Cheesy Christmas movies
30. The first warm day in March
31. Free city concerts
32. Half price truffle fries at Tipsy Cow on Mondays
33. My small but mighty collection of cookbooks
34. Board games
35. Good grammar. I know; I’m a geek.
36. Kansas City BBQ
37. That moment when you turn on your car and the radio is playing your favorite song (or “Roar”)
38. Dance parties
39. Snail mail
40. Lazy weekend mornings
41. That moment when you pick up the phone to call a friend, and she calls you first
42. Stories about my parents growing up
44. Laughing so hard my abs hurt
45. When people ask, “How are you?” and actually pause to listen to your response
46. The guy who pauses to let you make a left turn
47. My Kitchen Aid mixer. I love it, and I’m not ashamed.
48. My Dutch oven. Same reasoning as #47 above.
49. Watching The West Wing and eating ice cream with Ben
Fun happenings and bright futures
51. Friends coming to visit us in Madison
52. Decorating Christmas trees
53. Long chats with girlfriends over margaritas and/or wine
54. Potlucks and dinner parties
55. My sister is a married lady! Isn’t she a stunning bride?
56. Ben graduating next May. Whoo hoo!
57. Exciting travel plans ahead (France 2014 baby! Oops, I mean La France 2014 bébé!)
58. Returning home to Kansas again in a few weeks to celebrate Christmas
59. Road trips
61. Notre Dame on a football Saturday
62. My kitchen (tiny or not, it’s my haven)
63. The Madison Farmers Market
64. Our neighborhood cheese shop (in dangerous walking distance)
65. A comfy arm chair with a good book and glass of wine
66. Trader Joe’s
67. The dance floor at a good friend’s wedding
68. Real-deal bakeries
Beauty around me
69. A perfect first snowfall
70. The way the sky turns pink at sunset
71. The two big lakes around Madison
72. Watching the sun come up on a run and feeling like the only person in the world
73. The Madison lakes
74. Twinkly Christmas lights
75. The way a single candle can brighten our entire apartment
76. The crunch of fall leaves under my shoes
77. A solid day-job
78. Good health
79. A safe, warm home
80. Food on our table each evening
81. My sturdy winter coat (a true blessing in Wisconsin)
82. The opportunities I have had to travel
83. The feeling of making every green light on the way home
84. Access to affordable, healthy foods
85. EVERY SINGLE READER. Yes, that means YOU!
86. Every comment
87. Every Facebook like
88. Each Twitter follower
89. Every email subscriber
90. Every time one of my posts is shared
91. Every Pin
92. Each time a reader tries one of my recipes
93. Every answer to my silly Facebook questions
94. Each like on Instagram
95. Notes of encouragement from those who have survived grad school (directly or by marriage)
96. Emails along the lines of, “I think we would be friends in real life!”
97. Anytime anyone has said something nice about one of my photos
98. Anytime someone shares that they enjoy my writing
99. Every time the words, “I love your blog!” have been steered in my direction
100. Your support of Well Plated!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What are you thankful for today?