So here goes - I'm sending my thanks and gratitude out into the universe because even in the hardest of times, I have so much in my life that I need to remember to be thankful every day because my life wouldn't be the same if these blessings did not come my way.
I'm thankful for my children. They have taught me so much every day about being a mom, a better person, and patience. They have taught me never to give up and to keep trying no matter how hard things get. They have taught me that it is possible to love unconditionally and without hesitation. They have also taught me to overcome my fears and to put up a fight when I see things that aren't right. They have also taught me compassion and forgiveness and the ability to just relax and enjoy the simple things in the world around me. I love my littles...for as far as the universe stretches, it still cannot contain the love, admiration, and gratitude I have for being blessed with those 6 perfect pieces of my life.
I'm thankful for Mr. Big. I cannot express in words how grateful I am for having him in my life. Its as if a light was shining my way when I was feeling at the darkest in my life. He is by my side unconditionally and without judgement. Yet he is honest and straight to the point with me - I needed that. He has reminded me that I am a strong person who can do anything as long as I want to do it. He has shown me that its okay to cry but then put my big girl panties on and dust myself off and move forward because life is short and there is just too much going on to worry about what I can't control. He has also taught me that love comes in many different forms and I am worthy of it. I love this man more than I ever thought possible. I am so thankful that he loves me and wants me as part of his life.
I'm thankful for my parents. I'm not going to say that my childhood was an easy one and the teen years were no picnic either but its the choices that they made - the good, the bad, the WTF? ones that made me who I am today. Made me the parent that I am and the woman that I have become. Through strained and not-so-perfect relationships, we are finding a way to mend broken bridges and come together, one day at a time. I'm also grateful for the opportunity to do so.
I'm thankful for my sister. She gives me the emotional ass kicking that I need, when I need it and brings me down a notch if I get to thinking too highly of myself. She is rough and harsh and blunt and I love that about her. She doesn't take shit from anybody and is not afraid to do the same with me. She doesn't judge - she just tells me how it is and I know that if I need her, she will be by my side and fight just as hard for me as I would for her - even though she still says that my mom found me in a Wendy's dumpster and felt sorry for me so she took me home ;-)
I'm thankful for my brothers. My oldest brother has always been there to make me laugh and just listen to me rant and rave and go nuts while just blankly staring. He has been one of my biggest supporters and just best friend. He opened his doors to me when I needed him without hesitation. And it also helps he can fix my computer! My little brother has taught me that life is not so easy and that we are all products of circumstance and that we make of our lives what we choose.
I'm thankful for my cousins. My oldest cousin is more like my mother - she has never turned her back on me and treats me like her daughter. Whenever I need a shoulder to cry on, someone to yell at, or someone to make me laugh, she is there. I call her for every milestone, set back, and just whatever moment goes on in my life and she is there - always answering and always listening. I love her to the moon and back! Her daughters, they are my sisters more than cousins. They love unconditionally and even through years of time spent apart, when we are together its as if we have always been together. We share in the joys of family and love and I just can't imagine my life without them in it. My other cousin, she's like another big sister - honest and sweet and just a bundle of laughter and joy - she makes me smile with everything she says, even when she is cracking jokes at my expense.
I'm thankful for my friends. I can honestly say that I can count with maybe both hands how many true friends I have and I don't need any more than those. They have stood by my side during the hardest times in my life and never judged. They just laughed and cried along with me or passed the tequila, wine, or vodka when the time called for it. Even the simple texts or phone calls to just say "hi!" mean more than they will ever know.
I'm thankful for my ex-husband - yes, him too. Because if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have the blessings of my children in my life. I would not have been the mother that I am and the woman that I am today without his contribution to my life; the good and the bad. I just hope that the future will hold a time where we can let the negativity go away with the tide and be in a more positive place for the sake of our children.
I'm thankful for a dear and unexpected friend in the kids stepmommy. Who would have ever imagined? There is no possible way to say or tell her how thankful I am that she is in their lives and loves them as if they were her own children.
I'm thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me so that I can grow and learn. These opportunities have given me the path that I have traveled, the path that I am on, and the paths that are coming before me. I have learned about so many things and opened my eyes to the world around me. If I had to do them all over again, I would do them the same because the place where I am now, well, I can't imagine a better place to be in.
And last but not least - I am thankful for you, my readers. The ones who sit and read and comment and just "get it" along with me. Who give me little bursts of hope and laughter and don't go running and screaming when I am going all emotional and ape-shit at times.