In no particular order:
1) Adry. For bringing so much meaning and fullness and love to my life. I’m thankful that he’s healthy, energetic, and curious. I’m thankful that I get to watch him learn, grow and enjoy life. I’m thankful that he loves me and excitedly runs to greet me when I pick him up after work (- great feeling). I enjoy reading with him, snuggling with him, and having conversations with him (- he’s always saying stuff that cracks me up).
2) Keithy. For restoring my faith in commitment and monogamy and giving me my dreams back. I don’t think I’ve ever thanked him for that.
When I met him I had been headed down a pretty wild and self-destructive path. My views had become really warped… My marriage was the fourth marriage, within my group of friends, to crumble due to scandalous secrets and infidelity. I’d been with guys before Keith and they and I had agreed that if we ended up together, an open marriage was the better alternative to secret affairs and family splits. I expected and willingly accepted that that was the way life was and I’d better just grow thick skin and get used to it. I thought, if no one was capable of fidelity anymore then hopefully they could at least stay in a marriage if they were able to have a life on the side. I was twisted, damaged, and just didn’t feel worth much at all.
Keith came along and, I’m not going to lie, it was tough to decide to be in a committed relationship with him. And after I decided it, it was painful to follow through with because I was SO scared and insecure and anxious ALL the time… I’m prettyyyy sure I drove him up a wall ALL the time, too. lol. I was constantly drilling him about why he wanted to be with me, when he was going to stop being happy with me, when he was going to become interested in other people, when he was going to break up with me. “INBUWU” became his boyfriend slogan. “I’m Not Breaking Up With U”. He had to say it so much it became an acronym- not even joking! haha. It took me a long while, but now I believe him when he tells me that he IS committed, he DOES love me, he’s going to be honest, he’s not going to keep anything from me, he is going to be faithful to me, and he’s not going anywhere. He’s been consistent and incredibly patient with me. I love him so much it hurts and I am SO thankful I have him.
3) My parents. For their love and support. For their experience and everything they’ve taught me and continue to teach me. For being excellent grandparents and loving my boy. For all of the fun we have and memories we’ve made.
4) My brothers. For being awesome. For being smart, clever, funny, and talented. For loving me, being great uncles, and making family their priority.
5) JamieBaby. For being my best friend and soulmate. During the absolute darkest days of my life she was the only one who understood exactly what I felt and what I was going through. I do not think I’ve ever been as open or raw or vulnerable with anyone like I have been with her. She knows my ugliest thoughts, insecurities, and struggles. She knows my most painful heartaches and deepest despairs. I honestly do not know if I could have gotten through some of the toughest, most painfully lonely times in my life without her. She’s been by my side through it all, from first grade on.
6) The rest of my awesome friends. For being there for me for a lifetime and making me laugh ALL along the way. I’m amazingly blessed.
7) The beauty and intricacy, patterns and predictability of this created world.
8 ) Music. How it feeds our soul and makes us feel alive. How we use it to experience life and express ourselves.
FIVE IRON FRENZY!!! and the major impact they had on my life when I followed them religiously seventh through twelfth grade, and NOW THEY’RE BACK!!!
9) My home. When it’s clean, laundry is put away, the dishwasher is running, candles are lit, and I feel like I put in a good day’s work and I can rest.
10) General health and opportunities. I’m still young and have a world of possibilities available to me. I hope I don’t take that for granted while it lasts.
11) Pictures and journaling. Looking back. Remembering. Reminiscing. Reflecting.
12) Literature/reading. Getting lost in different worlds. Learning. William Barclay and CS Lewis.
13) Fun girly things. Makeup, hair stuff, nail polish, clothes…
15) Snuggles, kisses, hugs, and back rubs. Affection.
16) Holidays. Setting aside time to observe, celebrate, remember, give thanks, and spend time with loved ones.
17) Good homemade food.
18) Spontaneity and mischief, all in good fun. You have to live a little and break routine and rules sometimes.
19) Joy. Genuine kindness. Goodness. Gentleness. And, well I guess the rest of the fruits of the spirit while I’m at it.
20) Movies. Cozy nights in or the theater experience.
21) Date nights with Keith. We should do it more often.
22) Road trips. I need one.
23) All of my working possessions: car, computer, phone, cameras…
24) Sleep/Coziness. Naps, beds and blankets, fans and nighttime noises.
25) Columbus. The city, campus, surrounding areas, lots of stuff to do, family is all here, etc… Home.