Thankful 31

Thanksgiving was last month but it’s not until after Turkey Day that I really settle into a cozy wintry holiday feeling. That said, I took December to come up with 31 things I’m thankful for. I feel like it’s a good way to round out the old year and begin the new year on an optimistic, happy note. I will admit… it’s hard to come up with 31 things without some of them being a bit off-the-wall so bear with me.

I am thankful for…

1. My husband! Shouldn’t this kind of thing come first? He is so kind and supportive! I was looking through some of my old journal entries from before we were even together and it’s obvious I’ve been totally head over heels for this guy for years.

2. My pooch! Mosey comes second–he is an important part of our little family and is my constant companion! When I’m sick he cuddles with me and keeps me warm, when I need to go outside and get exercise, he is my work out buddy!

3. A job! I have been gainfully employed at my church since mid-July, and had an awesome job at a local cafe for almost a year before that. I know that some people can’t get or hold a job and I’m blessed to be regarded as responsible and competent enough to be called a good employee.

4. My previous job that allowed me to learn a lot about cooking and meal preparation. Rule #1: don’t be scared to experiment! Rule #2: Cooking is really easy, and if you’re nervous about meat, just make vegetarian meals!

5. Christmas… What a great time of year. We can celebrate the birth of Jesus and gather around those close to us. Giving gifts is a great way to show those around us we care for and appreciate them. I had a great time picking out meaningful gifts this year.

6. My sister has been visiting from CA since Christmas eve. but I really appreciate her visiting this time of year especially since I can’t go out to see my parents this year.

7. My house–since I’m renting from my in-laws, who trust my vision for home decor, I really have more freedom to decorate and experiment in this house than I would be able to if I was renting from anybody else. Backyard–I am coming at you once spring rolls around!!

8. My brain. I love getting pop culture references, knowing where countries are located, and being able to understand a lot of cause and effect in this world. Sometimes it is frustrating, and yes, ignorance is bliss, but creating for yourself an opportunity to do something about it, as I occasionally do with my soapbox posts here on the blog is even better.

9. My husband’s band, I Heard A Lion. Yes, it’s so hard to give him up on two valuable evenings every week, but I think it would be even worse if he didn’t have an outlet to cultivate and release his passion for making music. Oh, and they’re really good, too. And looking to book shows in Kansas. Hint.

10. Food. Is it weird to be thankful for food? It sustains my life. So many people in the world don’t have enough. I am privileged enough to go grocery shopping for what I need, and then some (except for the end of the month, when it’s ramen and canned chili–not together–until payday…).

11. Meat. Going off of #10, I am thankful that the human body can process such an unfathomable variety of food. I have contemplated the idea of vegetarianism a number of times over the years, for health reasons, financial reasons, ethical reasons, but unfortunately it always comes down to this: chicken is delicious.

12. Sweets. I love treats, especially fancy ones like I got to eat at Amics when I worked there. Too pricey for everyday but soooo good for a special treat.

13. Girlfriends. Although I’m kind of a lone (and lonesome) wolf a lot of the time, I do have a group of female friends I can get together with if we all put the effort into it. And they’re all smart, hilarious, and down-to-earth, which are hard-to-find qualities in a lot of females these days. Including, but not limited to: Katie, Libby, Liz, Kellory, Lisa….

14. Guy friends. Guys are so much more laid back than girls and will eat anything I feel like making them!!

15. A functioning heater. In our loft we had a late-70s model that worked sometimes and constantly ran our heating bill sky-high. Vents on/near the floor (as opposed to at the top of the wall near the ceiling) are counted in as part of this as well. One of my favorite things, from when I was a little girl to now, is standing right by a vent when the heater is on and letting the hot air blow on my feet and legs.

16. Having a backyard. It was a royal pain to take Mosey downstairs when we lived in the apartment and it’s so nice to just let him out the back door :)

17. Gluten tolerance. Many people I know either online or in real life have given up gluten for health reasons–for some it is not an option but a necessity. I can’t imagine a world without cookies, pasta, bagels, cereal, sandwiches… Kind of a weird thing, but wheat is (evidently) a big deal for me!

18. Spotify. I do not feel weird about claiming a computer application on this list. It truly is a necessity that makes the workday sail by and adds some added ambiance to my work station. I prefer it over Pandora because I can choose several albums and create a play queue that I have complete control over. Did you notice Pandora likes to play the same songs several times in an 8-hour work shift?

19. Having a car! In a big city with good public transportation, a person can get away with not having a car. In rural Kansas, not so much. I do know some carless people who make it work by living near work and biking to slightly farther places, but I’m grateful for the use of my vehicle.

20. Being raised by smart, kind and patient parents who helped me grow into a well-adjusted individual.

21. My coworkers who have been patient and helpful as I have adjusted to my new job :)

22. Great times!! Going to a New Years Eve party this evening and totally looking forward to it. Also, hosting people at my place for the I Heard A Lion party was such fun. I think we should come up with reasons for a monthly party.

23. Days off from work :) Monday is going to be a sleep-in, hang out, get some housework done day (and yard work if the weather is as nice as it has been lately).

24. Good health (sneaked a serious note in here, kind of late in the list). Glad I don’t have to juggle doctors appointments and treatments in my everyday schedule, and of course to be free of pain and discomfort, or secret health issues that people can’t see or sympathize with…

25. Glasses. Can you imagine if glasses had never been invented? I don’t know the percentage of people who have glasses, maybe Libby knows… Anyway, a LOT of us would be so screwed!! I wouldn’t be able to drive or work or order food at a fast food or coffee shop (I’d be ok with a paper menu in front of me so I wouldn’t starve). Man, I love thinking about stuff like this. Lol.

26. Flannel. A rugged look that compliments almost everyone, a much nicer 90s trend to come back into vogue than could have been the alternative–swishy jewel- toned jogging suits.

27. Instagram! Expect me to post more pics on the blog in the near future since my phone makes it so much easier to take cool-looking pictures.

28. The ankle-pant trend. This falls into the “off the wall” category. I have short legs, so I always have to hem or (when I’m lazy, which is all the time) fold up my pant legs. This trend makes my awkwardly-folded-up-pants look trendy instead of silly.

29. Cardigans. What an easy way to mix and match and make it look like you have waaaay more outfits than you really do. Also, because it’s cold in my office all the time.

30. Great weather today! 60 degrees in December is such a gift! We threw open the doors and windows to fill the house with fresh air and I cleaned my windows. The house will be heading into the new year sparkling clean!

31. Last but not least, my blog. I may not be the most consistent, sophisticated, or popular blogger, but it allows me to catalog my projects and maybe even inspire someone else to try something they hadn’t thought of.


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Staci blogs about travel at

One thought on “Thankful 31”

  1. The glasses thing–I think about that all the time. I am constantly grateful that I have glasses on my face to direct my eyes to see one image instead of two. It makes me feel confused/ frustrated with my patients who take their vision for granted by thinking that they can just get by with cheap, over the counter readers when they have astigmatism or the people who come in saying, “Yeah, I found these under the couch a few weeks ago–can you fix them?” It just blows my little mind.
    I don’t know the percentage of people in corrective eyewear–but I do know that number SHOULD be a lot higher than it really is.

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