Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful Thursday

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since we were all sitting around the table enjoying time with our families.  I look back to last year and Thanksgiving seemed no different than the years before.. we got together with friends and family, ate and drank too much, and enjoyed some football.  This year Thanksgiving seems a bit different. The true meaning of the holiday is definitely resonating with me.  It's more than a time to just eat delicious food around the table with family. It's more than competing in the local 5k.  It's more than watching a parade filled smiling souls march by.  

This time of year is a time to express gratitude for all of life's blessings. This past year has been one filled with ups and downs for my family and me, so needless to say I feel like I have more blessings to count than ever before.  

 Launching my career as a young professional #Blessed
In the matter of a year I have began my life as a young professional.  This time last year I was embracing the last month of my college career while wondering what in the world I would do next.  My next adventure was a combination of day to day substitute teaching followed by a three month stint as a math long term substitute teacher.  The summer was was a frenzy of filling out job applications and attending interviews.  I think at one point I attended ten interviews within a fourteen day span.  With only a couple of weeks left in the summer, I was hired for my current position.  The past three months I have had the opportunity to teach in my own classroom. I've learned so much in such a short amount of time.  I feel lucky to be so young and have the opportunity to begin the career that I have dreamed about for so long. I am blessed to be surrounded with co-workers who support me, children who crave more knowledge, and the chance to make a difference. 

A new chapter of life is starting #Blessed
In case you haven't found out.. Todd and I got engaged the first weekend in November.  It is an exciting time as we begin this new chapter of life together.  I couldn't be happier to take our relationship to the next level.  We are in the very early stages of planning, but so far it has been lots of figuring out how and with who we want to share our special day with.  More details on all of this will come very soon!

Being able to make big girl purchases #blessed
My professional experiences have also allowed me to make my first "big girl purchase".  This time last year I was recovering from my first anxiety attack, and grieving the loss of my first car. It had broken down on my way home from student teaching.  
Disclaimer: it was the car my parents kindly gave me when I turned sixteen. It was the car that held many high school and college memories. 
It was also my source of transportation to Student Teaching and work.  Thankfully, my parents let me use their spare car for the following few months.  I am grateful to have saved enough money to purchase my own car.  With a rather long commute to work, I am reminded every day how lucky I am to be able to drive a reliable vehicle. 

My family  healthy #Blessed
The number one reason to be thankful this year...good health.
In January 2017, my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  You can read about where things were in March/April here. As a family we have gone through quite the number of ups and downs, and her diagnosis has truly put life into perspective for us.  On March 1st, my mom finalized her treatment plan. Her surgery was scheduled for March 17th. The first two weeks of the month were filled with more doctor appointments and preparations for her to be out of commission for awhile. I helped her shop for items she would need after surgery and prep some food that we could freeze for future meals. March 17th came, and she endured a six hour surgery. Her surgery went beautifully! A few days later she came home from the hospital and her road to recovery began. Her spirits were high considering everything that had happened. Less than a week after her surgery, we found out that they had successfully removed all of her cancer (insert happy tears here). The month didn't end as she had hoped. Complications from surgery forced her to return back to the hospital. The second half of the month my dad and I took over all house responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, taking care of the dogs, taking care of my mom, grocery shopping, etc.). I didn't realize how much my mom actually did for us until she wasn't able to do these things anymore. The following eight months she patiently awaited to have her exchange surgery.  Two weeks ago she finally has her last surgery.  The process was not as easy as we had imagined, but she is now feeling much better and on the road to survivorship.  Through all of this I have definitely learned to appreciate the little things in life, cherish relationships, and not to sweat the small stuff in life.  It has also taught me who my real friends are too.  The amount of support my family has gotten this year has been overwhelming.  This a big thank you to those of you reading who have helped us. We are looking forward to starting the upcoming year healthy and filled with more gratitude than ever before. 

I think it is important to take the time to step back and count our blessings.  With the hustle and bustle of life it can be easy to forget what is important.  When life gets stressful, I encourage you to take a deep breath and remember how blessed you are.  I always enjoy reading what people are grateful for, so feel free to share a comment with your blessings! Think about it-what are your current reasons to be blessed right now?


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