Happy Thanksgiving

I'm going to be honest with you. This has been a rough year for me and my family. Truth be told, I will be especially grateful when it's over...and will be hoping for a much better year to come. However, as our U.S. holiday creeps up on me, I've been able to reflect over the wonderful things in my life and wanted to share with you what I am thankful for. Since I'm in a silly mood, I will do it as I spell out the word "Grateful"! (Bear with me.)

Gospel teachings. Heavenly Father is my rock. To try to live day to day without His wisdom, His guiding light, His comfort, His peace, His forgiveness is unfathomable to me. There have been many times in my life, and throughout this year, where I have turned to Him for help, comfort, or direction in my life and He has always been there for me. Also, I am thankful for Jesus Christ- for His example and especially his great atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. I'm thankful for the knowledge I've gained and an increase in my spirituality this year. I'm also thankful for my trials because they push me to be better than I am.

Real friends are far and few between for many, but I have several. Some live closer to me than others, some I've only met in internet world, but all of you have touched my life for the better and have stuck by me through good times and bad. I want you to know that your constant support and encouragement is greatly appreciated. I consider myself so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. You all are the family that I chose!

A love of reading, of music, and of the arts. Books take me to far away places and let me explore life through the eyes of thousands of characters. I'm grateful that I love to read and that my daughter has grown to also love to read. Music touches my soul in a way I can't describe. I love all forms of music, dance and expression and I'm so grateful for not only my musical talent, but for the talent of all people in this world who have grabbed my heart with their music and movement. I love many forms of the arts and am grateful that so many of you share your artistic talents with me through the internet.

Toddlerhood. Zoe is my greatest gift. I love being her Mother. I love the laughter and joy that she brings to my life. She pushes my buttons and exercises my patience but, no matter how frustrated she makes me, I love her just the same. She is so smart and sweet and lovely. She continues to be my little miracle. I have enjoyed watching her grow and learn as she went from baby to toddler. I'm grateful for the sweet moments when I get an unexpected show of affection, a silly laugh, when she dances to the music, when she talks...I could go on and on. I thank Heavenly Father every day for entrusting her to my care. I love you Zoe!

Employment. My heart aches for those who don't have jobs or who are having financial troubles because of lowered wages or effects of the economy. It's easy to think of only yourself and your troubles...and I have been up until recently. Then I realized how incredibly blessed we are just to have stable employment. I am especially grateful for my work-from-home job. It allows me to prioritize my life the way I need to as a Mother and I couldn't be more thankful. Our jobs may only pay the bills and little more, but because of them I have a house, food, a car and the necessities of life. That is truly a blessing right now.

Family. I have a great love for my family- which includes the one I married into. I have been blessed with so many wonderful people that I call family. People that will be there to help me, no matter my need. People who love and accept me for who I am. People who love my daughter as much as I do. To my blood family, thank you for dropping everything when I come home so I can get in as much time as I can with you, thank you for your love, your support, your friendship, your phone calls, your concern and for always being there when I need you. To my in-laws, thank you for stepping in as my family lives far away, for providing me sisterly/brotherly love and advice, for accepting me into your family as one of your own, for babysitting, for your friendship and for your service and support. To all of you, I wouldn't be where I am without you and I love you all dearly.

Unceasing service from others and for the opportunity to serve. This year has presented me with so many wonderful opportunities to serve and receive service. Whether through church, to a friend or from a friend, to or from neighbors, to or from strangers, I have seen so much selfless love this year. Service is a way to help people feel loved, relieved, supported, acknowledged and cared for. I pray I will have many more opportunities to serve my fellowman and to experience the kind of love for every person that Heavenly Father has.

Love is my partner in life, he is my best friend, my lover, my confidant and my shoulder to cry on. Without him, my life would be incomplete. He treats me as his equal and loves me more than I ever thought possible. He supports me in my decisions and encourages my growth. He is an amazing Father. To watch him with Zoe is a constant joy to my heart. He works so hard to take care of our family. I'm so grateful I am married to him for ETERNITY! I love you, Love!

I hope each of you take a minute to express what you're grateful for this year, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. I hope those of you that do celebrate have a great time with your families and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

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