Happy November! Holy crap … that’s they first time I’ve said that out loud. How is it November already? It was just New Year’s Eve … and my birthday … and summer. Time sure does fly these days. But, since it is November, I’ve decided to do like many do and give thanks for one thing I am thankful for each day during this month. Some of these things will be mushy, some will be serious and others will be humorous because, well, I am thankful for a lot! (A lot of random things, too.)

I’ve decided to keep a list of my “30 Things” on this post, and link them to my daily posts. To those that follow this blog regularly, I am sorry to blow up your inbox. I promise to keep them brief, and it’s only for thirty days! I am doing this for a few reasons: To challenge myself by writing a post every day; To find out what all I really am thankful for; To let those that I am thankful for know it; And to have something to look back on years from know and see how things have and haven’t changed.

So, here they are. Thirty things I am thankful for:

Day 1: My Dog. I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true. Lexie, my yorkiepoo, is the most amazing pooch in the world. Sure, she poops on the floor, whines when I’m watching a movie, sleeps in during the week and wakes up early on the weekends, costs me more money than I make, tears holes in the carpet when her ball is trapped under the couch, has terrible breath, and barks at the cat non-stop, but she loves me unconditionally and always. She doesn’t judge, doesn’t laugh at my mistakes, loves everyone, and is always happy. She runs to the door to greet me every time I walk in, even if I’ve only been gone five minutes. She licks my toes to say “hello,” snuggles with me at night, and follows me around everywhere I go. She can brighten any day and cheer up any mood. I like to call her my angel. So, here’s to Lexie. My five-year-old pooch that I can’t imagine not having in my life :) .

Day 2: This Blog. Yes, I am thankful for my blog. Well, really for WordPress, the blog hosting site. A strange thing to be thankful for, I know, but think about it. It is allowing me to record my favorite moments in life, write about whatever is on my mind, and share it all with friends, family and whomever else decides to pop in. I’ve been able to share stories about my travels, new family members, my friends’ weddings, personal milestones and life-changing events, recipes I’ve created and tried out, reviews of places and things, crafty projects and so much more. Writing helps clear my mind, allowing me to put into words what I am feeling, all for a purpose. I don’t blog in hopes that thousands of people will read it or my blog will becoming one of the “top blogs” – I do it so that I will be able to go back and reference all of these moments and reflect. So, thank you WordPress (and all of those other fabulous blog hosting sites), for allowing me and thousands of other users to write about what we feel and share it. I am thankful.
Day 3: Ambition. My parents raised me to be ambitious, driven and reach for the things I really want in life, not to give up, not be be discouraged, and to try again and again if I should ever fail. Growing up, I thought it was just one of those cliche things parents were supposed to teach their children and everyone lived life the same. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It amazes me to see how many people don’t go after what they really want, and just settle for what is easy. It might suck going through the hard times, but when you reach your goal the reward is so great that the hard times were worth it. Through grade school, I worked hard to make straight A’s, got accepted into multiple universities that offered me scholarships, and now I have a wonderful career in PR and communications. It’s what I wanted, reached for, and earned, and I will continue to reach for the things that I really want in life. For this, I am SO thankful!

Day 4: Hot showers. It’s something so many of us take for granted. So many counties don’t even have running water, let alone hot showers. I thought about this as I was showering this morning (imagine that), and realized it truly is something to be thankful for. I can’t imagine shaving my legs in cold water … chill bumps + shaving? OUCH!
Day 5: Chapstick. Told you some of these things were going to be strange. But it’s true. I LOVE Chapstick. In fact, I don’t know what I would do without it! I apply it countless times a day, and sort of even have mild panic attacks when I am out or can’t find it. Hey, it’s better than being addicted to smoking or drinking, right?!
Day 6: My Health. It’s something we should all be thankful for. I can think of dozens of things I would change about myself .. I wish I were taller; I wish I had loner, thinner legs; I want to be skinnier. The list could go on and on for all of us, I’m sure. But in reality, I am healthy, happy, rarely get sick, have four functioning limbs, my heart beats as it should and I’ve never had any life-threatening illnesses, and that is definitely something to be thankful for.
Day 7: My Freedom.
Election day has come and gone, and we now have a president for the next four years. I am not a very political person, and don’t rant and rave about my opinions and how I think everyone else is wrong, but I do follow the important issues and vote in hopes that my thoughts are heard. Whether you are happy with the outcome or not, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s still great to be an American. We live in a country where we are actually encouraged to voice our opinions and make our voices heard. We have the ability to vote for what we want, stand up for what we believe, and share our thoughts with others. Can you imagine living in a country where we couldn’t do that? I can’t. I am so thankful to be an American and to live in a country where I am free, and I will forever be proud of it.
Day 8: My Cat.
Most people who meet him, hate him. I don’t blame them – you can’t walk in my house without him trying to attack you or make you bleed. I’m not sure why. I rescued  him when he was just a few weeks old, had to bottle feed him, and raised him like I was his mommy. He USED to be sweet … not sure what happened or where we went wrong. He’s still sweet to me though, and loves to cuddle with me… so that’s all that matters :). I was very thankful for his ‘tude one night last summer, however. Jimmy and I were sound asleep on a Friday night, when all of a sudden my dog started barking and freaking out, and jumped out of bed. I opened my eyes to hear and see the front door open and close. Talk about being terrified!!! I woke up Jimmy, who went in to see what it was. I hear him scream in the deepest, loudest voice I’ve ever heard, “Get out of my house! What are you doing in my house?!” I was just about to call 911 when he turned on the kitchen light and realized in was a guy who lived a few apartments down. He apparently had been drinking a little too much celebrating his birthday and thought he was in his own house. Silly Jimmy left the door unlocked after taking the dog out for the last time before bed. My heart was racing so fast!! But the poor guy … Ozzie (my cat) had attacked him and his arm was bleeding!! I would have felt bad if it were anyone else, but the guy deserved it in my opinion! Hopefully that will teach him not to walk into the wrong apartment at 3 a.m. again. Thank you, attack kitty!

Day 9: My Brothers. They might drive me up the wall sometimes, but they’re the best big brothers in the world! Read more…
Day 10: Laughter. It is such a sweet sound that will lighten any mood, brighten any day and put a smile on any face. Whether it’s the laughter of a child or an adult, it’s always an amazing thing to hear, and I, for one, am grateful that we are capable of such a thing. FYI – Did you know that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile?
Day 11: Beer. I know, it’s a terrible thing to be thankful for. But sometimes … after a long day … you just need an iced cold beer. There’s just something about it that can’t be replaced with anything else. Cheers!
Day 12: My job. I have been SO blessed to have two great jobs right out of college. I came to Jacksonville for an internship at The Jacksonville Landing in January of ’09, and was fortunate enough to get a full-time job out of it. I had the best 3.5 years of my life there, made so many memories, met lots of amazing people, and learned so much about public relations, events, marketing and a million other things. I am now working for an incredible agency representing a great client, and I consider myself very lucky to have been selected for this position. I’m the first in this position and it/I still have a lot of growing to do, but there’s no doubt that things are only going to get even better. I’ve never had to search for a job, experience unemployment, or go weeks without a paycheck. I am very lucky to be able to say this, and to actually enjoy what I do for a living.
Day 13: The ability to love. Can you imagine life without love? How boring! Think about it – We love everything: People, animals, colors, houses, clothes, places, activities, food, smells, TV shows. Okay fine, some of those things we love much differently than the others, but it’s still an emotion that we possess and act on. Love helps us with decision-making and choices, day-to-day activities, and helps determine who we associate with. It can make us happy or sad. It can make us angry or blissful. Love is such a powerful thing, and I am glad that it’s something we all get to experience. My heart is so full of love for so many people (and yes, some things), that sometimes I don’t know how I can possibly squeeze in something else to love. But then a new niece comes into my life and it proves me completely wrong. When I think about it, I get butterflies in my tummy and a smile spreads across my face. I love love 🙂 (It’s a cheesy one … sorry.)
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