This year I'm grateful for...
39. Coffee. Especially in the winter. I still long for the best cup I ever had on August 8th of this year at Glencoe Roast Coffee. It was a vanilla latte that can never be surpassed. Wish I lived closer.
38. Living in a little bit of country. The fog through the trees and over the cornfields at sunrise is amazing. Better with coffee.
37. Writing. The real stuff. It feeds my soul.
36. The fact that shirts got longer. I'm sure they'll cycle back again, but I love hiding the belly bulge.
35. My minivan. Who would've guessed?
34. DVR. It may just be the single best invention during my motherhood. I can finally relax at bedtime on Thursday nights.
33. Our bed. Good for so many things; there is no better feeling than falling into it at night.
32. Autumn. I really do like everything about this fleeting season. From the colors to the smells, it is everything that I love.
31. Feeling proud of my kids. The effort they put into most things is admirable and they deserve to feel great about themselves. They certainly make me feel great about them.
30. Crest Advanced Whitening White Strips. Seriously, these are the best. Nothing improves the
wrinkle-scene more than brighter whites.
29. Good quotes. I'm one of those people who they truly inspire.
28. Working in the dirt. I'm just a novice, but I love it. Need a bigger gardening budget.
27. Cooking. One of the most important things I do. Complete peace comes over me when I'm deep into it. Just need to learn not to take it personally when it doesn't turn out!
26. Lindt Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt. MMMMM.
25. The fact that Mike likes to clean up when we entertain. It's one thing I almost never need to worry about.
24. Good dogs. I've been lucky every single time.
23. Good doctors. They're far and few between, but it's worth the research to find them.
22. The way Finn plays with two items. Whether they're cars or birds or spoons, he retreats for a few moments to his own world.
21. How doing the right thing gets easier with age. Are we just too tired of the hangover? (Whatever kind of hangover it is?)
20. Logan's unstoppable excitement. I wish I had her happy energy. It does seem to be somewhat fueled by chocolate though.
19. Our vacation to Napa Valley. Still one of my most treasured experiences. I go back in my mind often.
18. The resiliency of adults. People say kids have it, but I think they just carry everything - it's all they know. Adults have no choice but to let go.
17. Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin. The Indigo Girls - I love they they make me think, for a moment, that my voice knows what it's doing.
16. Riley's athletic prowess. What a thrill she gives us each time we watch her compete.
15. Being blessed with both daughters and a son. I love learning about their differences, good and bad, each and every day.
14. Good friends: those lifetimers that have been along for the ride for a while, and those met only recently. Life would not be complete without any of them.
13. Family, the whole Logan - Anderson lot. The great, the good, the bad and the ugly. They're
mine, they're perfect and they're treasured.
12. Extra dirty Grey Goose Martini's with blue cheese olives.
11. Good food. Of any variety. For me, eating is one of the greatest pleasures in life!
10. Unexpected great times. We recently had a Sunday dinner with friends that turned into
what felt like an eight hour scene from The Big Chill. Great music and all.
9. Hosting Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday, hands down. Full of eating, cooking and all that's fall, it has none of the holiday hustle and bustle stress. And it's ALL about the gratitude.
8. Finn's uber cuddly-ness. He literally melts into your body and will stay for hours. I get a little anxious thinking about how I'll feel when it ends. I guess it would be weird if it didn't, huh?
7. Mike's strength. Physical and emotional, he has it all. When I wear out, he holds it together. Where would I be without him?
6. Dinner for five. Most nights, we accomplish this and don't take it for granted. As I hear rumbles about the TV going off or call them to the table for the tenth time, I do get frustrated. But once we're all seated and stories of the day are unfolding, I feel I have succeeded at something very important. I will hold on to this with both hands.
5. Logan's songs. They are a direct line to her soul and although they sometimes scare her Daddy with their adult-like topics and candor, her dedication to writing several per day is resulting in quite the little songwriter.
4. Riley's adult-understanding of most situations. It's like she knows a lot about everything.
3. The health of my kids, my husband and myself. It's true, "When you have your health..."
2. Logan, Riley, Finn and Mike. They all must sit here on one line, because without one, family, as we know it, would not exist. They are my reason, my purpose, for everything.
1. Making it this far. For all these blessings, quirks, loves and wonders bestowed on me and the many more that didn't make the page, I am grateful to the core. I am blessed, lucky, in the right energy field, whatever you want to call it. And I've made it this far!
Here's to another 39 - at least!