Since I will be stuffing my face, watching football, and enjoying time with friends and family on Thursday, here are the top 10 things I am thankful for today and everyday:
1. Faith: As my friends are entering the parent stage of life and I watch them go through their pregnancies, I realize more and more of what a miracle I truly am! Being born at 26 weeks, 30 years ago, I should not have survived. But I did. Granted, I have a disability and walk with canes, but I'll take it! God had a plan for me from the very beginning. I am truly blessed and will continue to walk the path He has paved for me. It's been a glorious ride thus far. The ups and downs make life all the more interesting and remind me that God is in control.
2. Family: My parents and I have so much fun as a little family. We love and support each other unconditionally, but we also like to do spontaneous and adventurous things! Oftentimes, people who are close to us will remark "Only at the Bigbys....". I take that as a compliment. Predictability is not guaranteed at 302 Cambridge, but you can count on us having fun no matter what life throws at us.
My parents have also taught me that marriage is all about teamwork, commitment and sacrifice, compromise and love. With that example, I look forward to having my own family someday.
3. Friends: I always wanted a sibling. A biological one was out of the question. No problem, though, because to me friends are like family. I take friendships very seriously. While I certainly know a ton of people, there is only a small group of people I would truly call my friends. And those people - man, they are amazing!
4. Education: Having a mom as a teacher means education takes priority in my life. I used to hate when I was one of a few select individuals to receive a "perfect attendance certificate". I wanted a fun day off, but that's not an option when you mom is a teacher. My parents were able to afford to send me to some of the best schools in the country. I learned my strengths and identified the areas that are best left to others who excel where I do not. Some information I use regularly. Other bits and pieces I memorized simply to make the grade! Either way, education is of the utmost importance.
My educational opportunities and degrees have led to a job that I really like (to say love is going a bit too far). My income allows me to have all of my basic needs met and more. I am so thankful that I have been able to expand my horizons and am able to support myself and give to others because of my job/education.
5. The ability and funds to travel: You can have the desire to see the world, but without the ability and funds, the desire is often unfulfilled. The last (almost) 30 years of my life have been full of adventures all over the world. I never stop thinking of the next place to explore or when I might be able to go visit a friend who lives far away. Traveling opens my mind, helps me to appreciate what I have, and marvel in the beauty of that that is different from my everyday world. My disability does not prohibit me from jet-setting! I may need help, but for the most part, I am able to be a tourist just like anyone else.
I would spend all of my money on traveling if I could. That's irresponsible, but I am thankful I have extra funds to spend on adventures around the world after taking care of my responsibilities.
6. Laughter/Humor: A day without laughter is a day wasted. Cliche I know, but I do my best not to take life or myself too seriously. One of my friends says when I laugh my whole body shakes! To that I say, give it all ya got!
7. The beach: Sand between my toes, the peace and power of the ocean, gorgeous sunsets, the warmth of the sun's rays, blue skies, pedicures, a tan, strawberry daiquiris --- the most peaceful place to me. What's not to love?!
8. Dresses: Don't even ask me how many dresses I own! I am embarrassed to tell you! In fact, I don't even know. All I know is that you can look in my closet and tell that clothing option is favorite. Why do I love them so much? They are easy to put on and when wearing them, I always feel more put together. Fun, flirty, feminine, a lot of variety. Love them!
For fall, if I pair a dress with tall boots, I really feel like I've got it goin' on! Pants schmants! Those are only reserved for situations where a dress would be inappropriate or I would absolutely freeze my butt off. Gotta go with a dress!
9. Music: Music has always been a part of my life. I have been singing as long as I can remember. Concerts have the ability to put me in a trance because I am so fascinated and moved by the melodic sounds. Music moves me, speaks to me, calms me and makes me dance. I could give up my TV, but heaven forbid, I lose my ability to enjoy music. My favorite is country music, but my taste is rather eclectic.
10. Dessert: No explanation needed. I am addicted to sweet stuff!
The top 10 are things I am thankful for everyday. This Thanksgiving, I am particularly thankful for the fact that my hard cast is off! I am still non-weight-bearing, but December 8th I can WALK! And college basketball...oh the joy and excitement of college basketball!
Happy Thanksgiving, readers! Enjoy the feast with your friends and family and don't forget to wear your stretchy pants!!