Alright, I'm telling you straight up, there is no rhyme or reason to the order of my gratitudes. They are completely random in order...no time line, no perceived level of importance or relevance in my life...just random.
First the "what", then the "why"...
1. My Mom (okay, maybe mom being number 1 is not random): for the obvious reason of giving me life but also for putting up with me and my bullshit, for generously giving to me and my children no matter what. My mom is amazing.
2. My Dad: Probably the reason I am having such a hard time finding Prince Charming. It is hard to come close to being as amazing a man as my father. Dependable, loyal, good looking, successful, funny, smart, patient, kind, affectionate, good with kids...I could be here all day. I swear, when they were passing out dads I got the best they had! Hands down, I don't care what you say.
3. Natalie (my oldest daughter): no other person in the world has taught me more about life, love and myself as a person, a woman, a friend and a mother. She changed me.
4. Negril: The one place in the world where I truly escape from everything. Negril also reminds me what a great life I have and the need to appreciate the simple things in life and just be happy with what I have.
5. Michael: "The Catalyst." Michael was my sanity, my happy place when I made the leap to get divorced. He was definitely the catalyst that made me get off the fence...I am forever grateful to him for being my "cape finder" during the most challenging time of my life.
6. "Knew You When Friends": You know, those people who have known you so long that they really know who you are deep down in side.
7. Chad: My boyfriend when I was 25. Chad gave me two amazing gifts: 1) he taught me about really great sex and 2) he introduced me to hiking and I was forever hooked (and yes, the two do go hand-in-hand). The boy who was brave enough to take me out in the woods for days - and I LOVED every minute of it.
8. Good Skin: my skin was a wreck when I was younger. I never thought I'd be one of those people with really good skin, but here I am at 36 with great skin, tiny stretch marks I can count on one hand...even after having twins. So to all the cheerleaders who teased me in high school for my acne and are now sporting wrinkles...Take that bitches!!! ;)
9. My Eternity Band: My ex-husband gave me an eternity band for our 6th anniversary. It was the only piece of jewelry I ever really wanted...but was thinking I might get it at the 10 year. Why am I grateful - the eternity band is a reminder that almost nothing in life is for eternity and it certainly can't be found in a ring of diamonds.
10. Brett: For teaching me about good wine, travel, and 3 amazing children....and unknowingly teaching me so much about myself and what I'm worth and what I'm willing to accept. And especially that with the next guy I should definitely have "his and hers" bank accounts.
11. My Body: I thrash on this body, I tear it up and over the course of my life have done some really unkind things to it, but it loves me back anyway and always does whatever I want. Not to mention, it's kind of badass with the whole reproductive thing. Thanks body!
12. Jigsaw Puzzles: Therapy during some of my challenging times. I did puzzles for days on end after I had my miscarriage. It helped me process, it helped me cope. It was sort of similar to what cardio is for me, mentally. When I was waiting for the twins to get here I couldn't move, but I could do puzzles and pass the time and it busied my mind. Interesting that the puzzles helped me cope with my loss and then again became therapy at the end of my twin pregnancy.