But it's very important to me to count my blessings. I know in the past when things were tough I sat down and forced myself to find the good in my life, and some years it was so tough. This year though I am absolutely overflowing with reasons to be happy.
For one, last Thanksgiving, Mr. Wonderful was in Kuwait, mid-journey home to the states after 4 months of being away and having a long distance relationship. We spoke briefly over a crappy internet connection and daydreamed together of what our Thanksgivings might look like in the future. I remembered this yesterday as we sat together on our sofa, my girls snuggled up in his lap, my son filling his future stepfather in on all of our holiday traditions. This is exactly what we dreamt of but honestly weren't sure would ever materialize. We watched the Macy's parade together, he knew every Disney and Nickelodeon character after months of learning to be a dad on the fly. We all sat together as a family at my grandmother's Thanksgiving lunch, the girls hiding behind *him* when they felt shy of one of my extended family members. And then later, me at his parents' home, feeling like I had known them all of my life and laughing at his father's stories. I looked up at him absolutely overwhelmed at this life that is so damn near perfect. And woke up in his arms this morning more in love with him now than I ever could have imagined possible. I am so thankful for my soulmate, that the bad times in my life paved the way to this amazing time. I am so thankful for my ring that symbolizes a life together, FOREVER. I'm thankful for my children, how much they love Mr. W, how open they have been to having him in our lives. And I'm just grateful for them, each of them and their unique personalities that make them each so special and make life so interesting. I'm grateful for every hug, every kiss, every snuggle, every tear, every moment. I'm grateful for my career and the flexibility it allows me, that I can make money AND be here for my kids. I'm thankful for my father who continues to get better and work towards becoming whole again, and for his wife who never, ever gives up on him. I'm thankful for my mother who loves me, worries about me, loves me and my kids, would defend me to the death, and tries so hard even though I'm 34 to be the best mother she can to me. I so thankful for my brother, who inspires me and cracks me up, for his wife who is one of my best friends and also an inspiration. I'm so thankful for my friends: ALL of them, but especially my 4 inner circle friends, who loved me when I was impossible to love, make me laugh, and support each other through thick and thin. Other women would kill to have my group of friends and I do not take that for granted. I'm grateful for my health, for my passion for exercise and fitness, for the drive I found to transform my body into one I am seriously proud of and that makes me feel strong every day. I'm thankful for a home that I love in a neighborhood that I adore, and for the children on the street that laugh and play in my yard with my kids all afternoon until dinner. I'm thankful for my future in-laws, who have opened up their hearts and home to me, even though the thought of never having blood grandchildren was hard for them. It takes a special family to raise such an amazing man, and when I'm around them I see exactly why he turned out so exceptionally. I hope to have as strong of a bond with my own family the way theirs does.I've had enough hard years in my life to know that years as amazing as the past one are special and rare. If the ones in the future are half as good as this one, I'm a lucky lucky girl.