Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! I decided to write about all that I'm thankful for and share it just before the holiday.

Today, I am flying to Washington D.C. to spend Thanksgiving with the entire Egan family (40 plus people), some of whom I'll be meeting for the first time. I'm so excited to be going. Apparently, there is a ton of food and drink, a hot tub, and a dance party involved. I think it will be my most eventful Thanksgiving yet (probably topping the time I stayed with my Dad in Austin and he burned the Turkey and we ended up at Katz's-never-closes-deli, though that was awesome Dad).

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I enjoy being with people I love, the good food (especially pies), and I adore watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. The short work week is a bonus too :) Mostly though, Thanksgiving reminds me to stop and reflect on the good things in my life.

I'm thankful for Brendan and my family, which this year, now includes a lot more people from Brendan's family too. I define family as anyone who loves and supports you, and since I met Brendan's family in December 2010, they have been a big part of my life. I think the more people a person has to care about, the happier he or she is, and I'm so glad to have Brendan and his family added to my list of people I adore, they have helped make this past year so magical, especially our week long trip to Maine and their time in Louisiana are two of my best memories from the year. I've been able to spend a lot of time with both sides of my own family this year as well. I was there for my cousin's senior high school opera recital, my other cousin's 8th birthday, a family reunion, and I've been able to visit family in La Marque, San Angelo, and New Orleans this year. We've had exciting news in my family in 2011: two of my cousins on my mom's side welcomed baby girls to their families (Harper Leigh and Kinley Lane), and one of my cousins on my dad's side became engaged (congrats Stephen & Casey!). Anyway, I'm pretty darn proud of everyone in my family, it just keeps growing in so many ways and that's pretty cool.

Brendan & I's family (most of them).
Austin family reunion-June 2011
In New Orleans-April 2011

Oh yeah, and I'm thankful for those cats too.

I am thankful for my job situation. That I was able to find employment in the same city as Brendan is pretty darn cool, and I'm thankful that I am treated so well by all the faculty and students at Midland College. It is a good place to work, and I'm happy there. I also feel (on good days) that I am really making a difference in the lives of my students. Writing is important to me, and I enjoy teaching other people how to write more effectively, which makes working fun. 

My living situation has never been better. Brendan and I mesh on every level it seems....our lives together involve cooking dinner together most every night, watching movies, going on weekly binge cleaning sprees, and being there for each other. I usually get us up in the morning, Brendan makes the coffee, he writes at night while I'm sleeping, I write in the afternoon when he's at work. In other words, we've found our stride, and I'm thankful for that. 

I'm thankful for my friends, old friends, best friends, and new friends, especially those I've found in Midland, who make this place more like home.

I'm thankful for my health and the health of my family and friends, I've been lucky this year, and I've developed more appreciation for my body, which got me through my first and second 5Ks. I've taken up yoga again since I moved to Midland, and I'm loving it.
Free to Breathe, Lake Charles, LA, April 2011
Caleb 5K, Austin, TX, July 2011
I'm thankful to live in this country. We have our fair share of issues, especially this year, but I'm grateful for all the opportunities that I've had because of where I live, like an amazing education for one. I don't know where I'd be if it wasn't for my ability to read and write.

I'm thankful for the basic necessities: a place to live, food to eat, and a bed to sleep in, these are all things I appreciate even more as an adult providing for myself because I realize how lucky I am even to just have the basics. The older I grow, the more I feel the desire to help others. I've donated and raised money for several causes this year (click here to find out more) and given donations to organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. I try to "give back" to my community by shopping locally and to the environment by buying used goods when I can. I always feel the need to do more, and I'm thankful for that motivation.

I hope my reflections and the spirit of this holiday inspired you to reflect on what you're thankful for. Happy holiday and safe travels!

Here's to giving thanks,
<3 S, B, L&Z

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