Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I get up early on holidays, but I have a reason.  This morning I’m up so I can be ready to run our local Turkey Trot at 8am!  Some amazing people have put together the 8k before you eat race through my small town.  I ran this last year in the snow, today it’s raining!  You never know what you’ll get in Michigan, that’s for sure!

So, I’m up and thought I would just write a little bit before I go about Thanksgiving and what it means to me.  I have a lot to be thankful for every year, and this year is no exception. (Sorry, this is long!)

I’m thankful first for my family.  I have been married to my love for 21 years, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.  I was just a kid when we started dating, but I knew he was the one, I just knew.  Together we have two beautiful boys who are way too quickly turning into young men.  They have been the source of so many joys, heartaches, such laughter and tears.  They are my heart and I love them more than I ever thought possible.

I’m lucky enough to have a mom who is there for me no matter what.  She was strong enough to raise my sister and I to be strong and independent women and loves us unconditionally.

My father passed away 22 years ago already, which is still surreal to me.  He was a very loving father in his way, I know his grandkids would have loved him.  We miss him every day, but I know he’s here and I’m thankful for the rest of that side of my family, my cousins and Aunts and Uncles.  They are always so supportive of me and I’m forever thankful they are my family.

I’m not sure I could have said this even 10 years ago, but I’m thankful for my step-dad.  He and my mom have been married for 34 years, I was just a kid back then.  It wasn’t always an easy road for us, but I’m thankful that in the past decade or so he has truly turned out to be an amazing husband to my mom.  He’s been going through a lot lately and I just pray for his health because my mom needs him.

I’m thankful for my husband’s family, my own family now.  His parents have been the absolute BEST in-laws I could have ever asked for!  They love me as a daughter, they are the most amazing grandparents to my boys.  I truly do not know where we would be without their love and support.

I’m thankful for my sister.  Growing up I didn’t understand how my little sister could ever not annoy me, but we are truly the best of friends now.  We can tell each other anything; I go to  her for advice often; I respect and adore her.  Plus, she’s a ton of fun to hang out with and we have similar tastes in almost everything!  We just love to hang out!

I’m thankful for friends.  I have had a few friends since my childhood.  These girls have my back.  We know secrets that will go to the grave and I love that even if years have passed, when we get together it’s like we saw each other yesterday!  I also have some amazing friends from college.  We are sisters to the core and are there for each other in good times and bad.  Even across the world, there is a bond there I wouldn’t change for anything.

I’m thankful for my church family.  The pastors and staff care so much about their flock and I am blessed to lead worship often with the band.  Truly meaningful worship happens in that place and I am so thankful I found them when I did!  Those connections have been an amazing source of support through a few very difficult years.

I’m thankful for employment.  My husband had to change careers six years ago and that was a scary time.  We have a new normal now with him on the road driving truck, but even though he isn’t home every day, he’s there for us and working so hard to provide for us.  He loves his job and I’m so proud of him!  I’m also employed and am thankful for my work family.  They have blessed me with friendship and support beyond what most employers would ever extend.

I’m thankful for my Beachbody team.  Joining Team Ripped four years ago was the best decision, even though I had no idea at the time what I was getting in to!  The friendships and support have not only changed my health for the better, but have also changed my future!  I love being a coach and want nothing more than to have my team succeed in every goal they set!

I’m thankful for my running friends.  Two years ago I decided I needed some extra accountability for my running, especially in the winter.  I found the Gazelle Sports Run Camp team and it has changed not only my running, but my life.  The friendships that have come from running all those miles with people have connected us on a very deep level.  It’s hard for me to run alone anymore, thanks to them!  I wouldn’t trade them for the world!

I’m thankful for music.

I’m thankful for books.

I’m thankful for seasons and holidays and life.

I am thankful you stuck with me and read all this!  I hope you are all counting your blessings today.  There is just so much to be thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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