I know that I am about a week late, but I felt compelled, just now, to share some of the things for which I am supremely thankful. I guess that, for me, it is a good lesson that we (I) should be more present in the now and therefore more grateful every day. Maybe not all day every day–we are human after all–but grateful every day, nonetheless.

About six months ago, an old friend (whom I just so happened to have met recently; chew on that…) gave me a very special gift. At the time, I posted a photo of this on Instagram and I have not taken it off since.

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As it says on the tag, the bracelet above instructs me to think of one thing for each of the four pearls for which I am grateful,

every single day.

And, I will tell you, I have not missed a day of doing this. I did it just now. The note says, “In one year, if followed, you will be aware of a profound change in your life.”

I realize that the above quote sounds a bit like a fortune cookie, but I believe it.

There is something meaningful and touching about placing my hands on each pearl and thinking purposefully about the blessings in my life. Often, my thoughts are the same. Sometimes I am grateful for small things. Occassionally, I am grateful for huge things. But, no matter what, it keeps me in that frame of mind.

And so, I will share with you, proudly, the things for which I am grateful.

1. I am grateful for my husband. Without him, I would not be here. There is so much that I could write about him and all that he has done for me in the past 2 years of struggle (and, really, in our decade together), but I don’t need to. It is evident. I am here. He has given me this life that is something next to normal. I am grateful that we still make each other laugh until our stomachs hurt. I am grateful for our dance parties after the kids go to bed (we even have names for our signature dance moves).

I am grateful that he has stuck around.

I am grateful that he provides for our family, supporting us in every way imaginable. I am grateful for his hugs, his deep understanding of me and my needs and his willingness to step out of his comfort zone so that he can help the three of us, the family that he created.

2. I am grateful for my children. They astound me every single day. They are cute, they are sweet, they have rebellious streaks, they are musical, they are fun and they are the best of friends.

They are everything.

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3. I am grateful for my mom.

This year has been an evolution for us, as my mom started to work, in an incredibly high powered position, making her days long and hard. I am grateful for the example she sets for me; this is her first real office job of this caliber and she started at 52 years old; she inspires me.

I am grateful that my mom loves me unconditionally, and I believe that, truly.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.09.20 AMI am grateful for my mom’s strength, as it is quiet and beautiful. I am grateful for her soul.

I am grateful for the love she shows to my family–my kids–and that they get to have her as incredible model of selflessness, nurturing and fun.

I am endlessly grateful that I can call her mine.

4. I am grateful for my dad.

He is a rock star.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 10.42.38 AMI am grateful for my dad’s help, and the knowledge that he is always there. I am so thankful for his ability to solve problems; and I am thankful for his ability to assuage pain when he can’t.

I am grateful for his cooking!

I am grateful that my dad carries all of us, supporting each one of us (and there are many of us), bearing the weight on his own shoulders. Thank goodness he has broad shoulders. Literally. He broke them when he was being born, as they were too big to fit as he was coming out.

I am grateful that my dad is teaching my kids to play sports, as he shuttles my daughter to weekly tennis lessons and has already mapped out my (giant, coordinated, left-handed) son’s athletic career.

I am grateful for how much our relationship has grown. He is one person with whom I can communicate in such an effective and helpful way.

I am grateful for his hugs. Because he’s my dad.

5. I am grateful for my family. There are too many people to name, but let me say that I am blessed to have living grandparents who are absolute champions, a star of a sister and the best cousins, aunts and uncles imaginable.

My sister teaches me a lot about perseverance. She challenges me. She gives me bragging rights. She makes me very proud.

And those grandparents I talked about up there? My children adore them. My children have extremely close relationships with their great-grandparents. That is extraordinary.

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6. I am grateful for my friends. My team. My tribe. My friends build me up. My friends set me straight.

My friends are my family.

I am thankful for their understanding and their forgiveness. I am thankful for the joy that they bring to me.

I am grateful for #teamMEA.

7. I am grateful for those who believe in me.

8. I am grateful that I am beginning to believe in myself

There is so much more, but I will save the more for another post on another day. For now, I have a bracelet to hold and pearls to turn.

For what are you grateful?

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