Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011: I'm thankful for...

Today, Thanksgiving 2011, I've been contemplating the many things I have to be thankful for in life. The more I thought about it, the more the list grew, and I began to realize how truly blessed I am.

Crystel and I took the entire week off of work and decided to forgo our usual globe-trotting and spend some quality time with our family. The first part of the week was spent with my family in Booneville. Here are a few of the things I got to enjoy this week, all reminders of my blessings.

Spending time with my dad and grandfather... pictured here starting the fish cooker for an excellent mid-day feast.

Being fortunate enough to have a dad who gave me the skills to make this...

Look like this.

He also gave me the confidence that I can make this something you'd want to drive.
I was also reminded of how thankful I am to have a brother to lend a hand to make all of this happen. I'm thankful for a loving mom who taught me more than she'll ever know. She taught me the right way to treat people and how to be loving and compassionate. I'm thankful for my sister for her unconditional love throughout the years and for showing me (along with my brother-in-law Josh, who I'm also thankful for) by example how to be a good parent. I'm thankful for my niece Eliza for thinking I hung the moon and making me want children of my own a little more every time I see her. I'm thankful for my grandparents who allowed me to travel the country with them when I was younger and showed me things I otherwise would have never seen growing up. They're like a second set of parents to me, and I can never repay them.

Being in Booneville, and spending time with my family reminded me of all these blessings. On Wednesday, we headed to Oxford to spend time with my in-laws. While there, I noticed how fortunate I am to have such a loving extended family. Fred and Julie allowed me to marry their daughter almost 4 years ago, and I'll be forever grateful. They have welcomed me into their family unconditionally. I'm especially thankful for Julie who cooks a feast fit for a king every holiday. I'm also thankful for my sister-in-law Lauren and her boyfriend Chris who round out the group and complete the family.

A few more things I'm thankful for:

I'm thankful that I fell in love with her, right here, way back in 2003.

I'm thankful that I got my education here.

I'm thankful for our little family in Memphis.

I'm also thankful for all of my aunts, cousins, grandparents, mentors, friends, co-workers (past and present) and instructors that I haven't specifically mentioned, including the overseas friends and family I've met because of Crystel. I'm thankful for our jobs and the comfortable lifestyle they allow us to enjoy. I'm thankful for our health. I'm thankful for our service men and women, past and present, for keeping us safe at home and abroad and allowing me to feel safe when I sit here writing this blog. 

I'm thankful for my wife Crystel, the love of my life. As we near our 4th anniversary, I can't remember life without her. She's made me a better person in every way and I hate to think about where I'd be without her.

Most of all, I'm thankful to God for making all of this possible. I try harder every day to live my life in a way that's acceptable to Him, and every day I fail, but that's part of being a Christian. That's why I'm thankful that we are given forgiveness because Jesus died on the cross for our sins.

What are you thankful for?

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