I haven't blogged since my last race because, frankly, there hasn't been much to talk about. I've been extremely busy at work- October and November are two of our craziest months. I have been trudging along, trying to finish my 1000 miles for the year, and I have been studying as I am taking a Chemistry course at the University where I work. So, nothing completely "blog worthy."
Today, however, is Thanksgiving. In the past (and still today!), I have looked forward to this day for the 1)food, 2)opportunity to see my family as we all live in various states, and 3) the Macy's parade. Typical, I guess.
This year, though, my attitude has shifted to one of pure thankfulness and gratitude. I am so humbled by the gifts I have been given and by the amazing people that have surrounded me, that I need to give thanks. And since this blog is my platform, I will do it here.
1) I am thankful for God and His son, Jesus Christ. I often don't publicly spout out about my faith (which, trust me, disappoints me) but I can feel a change occurring. I asked Jesus to come into my life on Easter Sunday, 2000. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Since then, there have been some pretty amazing times and some pretty dark times. It was easy to praise God on the good days and it was easy to turn my back on Him when things got rough. The great thing is that He can take it- He still loves me even if I haven't been very nice to Him. Jesus died on the cross for my sins (and for yours) and I can't think of a better reason to tell him, "thank you"- today and every day.
2) I am thankful for my husband. Jason is a gift from God (see point number 1). He, too, loves me even if I am not being very nice to him. His heart has so much love in it that I'm surprised it can hold it all. He's a miracle husband and I still can't believe he's mine!
3) I am thankful for my family. The Haptonstall clan is a tough, funny, loving, and loyal group. I have heard it said that you don't want to mess with one of us because if you do, you're going to face the wrath of all of us.
I am thankful for my dad who doesn't say much (yeah, I didn't inherit THAT), but when he does, you either marvel at his wisdom or are rolling in the floor, clutching your sides because you can't stop laughing. He missed his calling and either should have been a professor or a stand up comedian.
I am thankful for my mom, who is gorgeous inside and out. She's the hardest working person I have ever known. She also always challenges me to be better, even though she loves me exactly how I am. I know everyone says this, but my mom really is the best one out there.
I am thankful for my sisters and brother. While there is an age gap between the three of them and me, I have appreciated that. I have experienced being a kid while they were adults and have had three more protective grown-ups to guide me. Now, though, I appreciate being an adult WITH them. I love laughing with them and reflecting on stories from our past. It's funny to talk about something that I experienced as a kid and hear their perspective on it as adults. I appreciate having been able to watch them grow in their marriages- I have had the best teachers for how to have a successful, loving marriage. I also appreciate that they've given me space to grow into who I am. We live far apart and I am not the best at picking up the phone (I am SO awkward! Trust me, I am much cooler in writing). Honestly, I have needed my space to find out who I am. And guess what- I have found out that while I am uniquely me, I sure do have a lot of the three of them in me!
I am thankful for my in-laws who allowed me to take their son to the other side of the country. I am thankful that they let us grow into the couple that we are, all on our own. I am thankful that they embraced me as their daughter and pour out an endless supply of love to me- even though we are still far away from them.
I am thankful for my nieces and nephew. I have FIVE nieces and one nephew. I haven't seen the littlest girls, my gorgeous Nuss twins, since they turned one. I will see them this Christmas and can hardly wait to see the amazing people I am sure they are becoming.
I am thankful for my two younger nieces on the Haptonstall side. Although one of them isn't with us anymore, I am thankful that she reignited my love affair with God and reminded me to love those around me with everything I've got. I am thankful for my other youngest niece because she is fighting battles everyday, just because of who she is. She reminds me to stand up for the right thing and to always be 100% authentic.
I am thankful for my nephew because FINALLY, my dad will get the engineer that I wasn't cut out to be (just kidding- kind of). In all seriousness, I am thankful that he's embraced his intelligence and reminds me that being smart is cool.
I am thankful for my oldest niece- my first friend and sister. As kids, she taught me to be a little more patient. As adults she's teaching me to be refined by the fires in our lives. She has been to hell and back and has emerged as a woman who has grace, beauty, poise, strength, and a relentless will to survive. She's amazing- point blank.
4)I am thankful for my friends, both old and new. I am thankful for Facebook (yeah, I know- sorry) for allowing me to stay in contact with folks (remember my phone phobia??). I am thankful for the women of Delta Phi Delta, for Kelly and Mary, for 2nd floor Olin, for the cheerleaders, for Wes and my admissions folks, for my SDP family, for my USF peeps (VW, DG, DLM, Midhun, Liam, David, Shelby, Gus, Joel, Grace, Steph, BP, et al), for Brianne and Ben, for Jen, for Shalini, for Justin and Julie,Matt and Beth, Jackie and Ryan, and Jenny and Mike. I am thankful for the new crew of Denver friends that Kelly has introduced me to. As someone who struggled to make friends as a kid, I am blessed to have a long list of people that I have the honor of calling my friends.
5) Finally, I am thankful for my body. I haven't treated it very well in my 33 years and, yet, it's still going strong. I have been 12-120 pounds overweight on any given day. I've abused it with food and alcohol. I have had excruciating injuries to my feet. I have been beaten in the street by a robber and I have been hit by a vehicle. After all of that abuse, my body is strong, powerful, and essentially says to me, "what next? Let's do this." I thank God for my temporary abilities and this body because it is the only one I get and it's a pretty darn tough one.
Honestly, this is just a small dose of all of the things I am thankful for (because to be complete, the list would have to include the Denver Broncos, Sour Patch Kids, Diet Coke, and anything sparkly) but, to me, these are my most important blessings.
I wish all of you a day full of love, laughter, family, friends, and food. God Bless.
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