During November my social media is constantly inundated with daily adorations. People share each day one thing they are thankful for. I always think this is lame because by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, they have run out of things they are truly thankful for and share really weird things, I mean who cares? So instead of participating in this tired ritual I channeled my inner David Letterman and came up with my Top 10 Reasons I am Thankful — 2015! This may get a little long and mushy, but I will only do it once a year so whatever.
My parents — Okay I know a lot of people start with their parents because everyone’s parents do so much for them. Mine do as well, they are the best and I couldn’t imagine getting through this thing called life without them. That’s not why I am thankful though. My parents are the type of people everyone needs in their life. They are my loudest cheerleaders, staunchest supporters and always have my back (even the few times I may have been in the wrong). Nobody could ask for better squad members than Plano John and Kit Kat. My mom has this insane quality of reprimanding me while at the same time plotting the demise of those who wronged me; she still harbors resentment towards a girl who was mean to me in high school (15 years ago). My dad, who most of the time I think tunes me out, shocks me with what all he knows about me. After telling him that a friend wants to dress up as Taylor Swift for Halloween, he shows up four days later with “the perfect gun holster” for her costume. All in all, they are awesome.
My Brother — While many people would lump “family” into one, my brother totally deserves a special shout out. Red is by far the most influential person in my life, which is not easy for someone who only speaks 5 words. Every major decision I have made can some how be traced back to this guy. Without him I would not have the heart, patience or compassion that I do. Sure, I have to lock up my toilet paper, but every sibling relationship has their issues. (Of note: my brother has autism which explains the lack of conversation skills and my need to walk around my house with a key around my neck).
Jaime — Everyone needs a ride or die chick in their life, not just rappers, and Jaime is mine. Jaime is one of those people that always has a plan for a good time. While almost everyone loves going to a movie, she finds ways to make even the most boring movie an “event” with wardrobes, props and tons of pictures. She is more than just a fun time though, she is an incredible listener, finds ways to fix the unfixable and is truly one of the strongest people I know; just don’t cross her. Just for the record, she is completely exhausting but I suppose in the long run, she is totally worth it.
The H Team — One of the highlights of my job (more to come on that) is the fact that I get to meet and know so many amazing people. While I have become close with many people at the ECEC, nobody is more special to me than my favorite 5 year old, Harper. First off, Harper is awesome. She is clever, exuberant, seriously funny and has the sweetest soul you can ever have the privilege of getting to know. When I met Harper she was 18 months old and walking across a table like it was her personal catwalk. I knew I loved her instantly. Little did I know, more than three years later I would be picking her up from kindergarten and listening to her read to me. She loves life and makes everything fun and exciting. While she loves all things girly, she is also creative and loves building and learning. Although I would love to take credit for this (I was an amazing Mini Tot teacher after all), Harper has an incredible family. Her parents have infused her life with love, encouragement and opportunities to learn, explore and create. Sure, they are busy (we are talking serious power couple here), but they ensure she is surrounded by people who love and support her. They have allowed me to become such an integral part of her life, simply because she loves me. They always include me in her special events (birthdays, graduations, random Valentine soirées) because they recognize she would want me there. While this may not seem like that big of a deal, it really is. Simply put, Harper (and her family) are awesome.
ECEC — Before I worked at the ECEC I was homeschooling a girl with autism and I was miserable. One day while venting to a friend of mine over sushi, she mentioned the school she was working at was looking for a few staff members. I applied instantly and was fortunate enough to be hired a few weeks later. I know many people claim to love their job, but I REALLY do. Not only did the ECEC lead me to Harper, it is a genuinely great place to work. Everyday I get to come to work, see some of my best friends, play and snuggle with young children and help families find ways to best meet the various needs of their children. I can’t really ask for more than that.
Nicki Minaj — Okay this might seem kind of random, but bear with me. This summer I my Uncle Bill passed away. I am not going to pretend that we had the relationship where we talked everyday, we didn’t. We had the type of relationship where every time Apple released it’s new line of iPhones, we would text back and forth about whether or not we just HAD to have it (we almost always did). It worked for us and I always loved him. He passed away suddenly in July and my dad and I went to Chicago to start the never ending task of dealing with his estate. “Hey Mama” by Nicki Minaj and David Guetta was the song of the summer and each time it came on the radio, I would turn it up and tell my dad how much I loved it (again, my dad is awesome for simply letting this happen over and over again). On my last night in Chicago, I was looking through his computer and realized that he had purchased “Hey Mama”. Hidden in the various 80’s country songs he had in his library was this little gem. I wish I knew what lead him to buy this and I think about it a lot. Now, every time I hear this song, I get an instant smile on my face. For that reason, I will forever be thankful to Nicki Minaj.
Hulu Commercial Free Plan — I am an incredibly busy person. I have a full time job, hang out with Harper at least two nights a week, and I am enrolled in a full time Ph.D program. Because of this, I love mindless TV. I love just vegging out in bed with shows I don’t need to think about, which is why I was devastated this summer when my favorite show, The Mindy Project was cancelled. I was nearly inconsolable for the 48 hours it took for Hulu to announce they had picked it up. I quickly subscribed and discovered that they air commercials (I hate commercials with a passion). This was made even worse when I realized I couldn’t even fast forward through them. I was miserable watching these shows, unable to fast forward and worried that I was going to have to cancel my subscription and lose Mindy. Shortly after subscribing Hulu announced a commercial free plan and it is amazing. It allows me to catch up on so many of my favorite shows (including General Hospital) without being interrupted with pesky commercials to fast forward through. It is the best $3 I spend each month.
My Competitive Spirit — As I mentioned, I am working on my Ph.D. I am, without a doubt, the worst doctoral student. I really hate going to class, and would always rather read about new eyeshadow pallets and Korean skin care than evidence based teaching practices. The only thing that keeps me going down this Ph.D path is the fact that I am incredibly competitive and want to be the first one of my (real world) friends with this degree. My competitiveness also makes it nearly impossible for me to quit things, no matter how hard they are!
Ulta Rewards — Obviously, I write a beauty blog and I can not let Thanksgiving go by without being thankful for something cosmetics related. I am obsessed with Ulta’s Rewards program. If I’m totally honest, Sephora carries way more brands and items that I love, but I rarely shop there. Instead, I shop almost exclusively at Ulta, checking my app each day to see if there are bonus offers to activate and hoard points so that I can purchase big ticket items like my Clarisonic Opal and T3 Interchangeable Styling Wands at hugely discounted prices. Seriously, start investing in the Ulta Rewards program!
This #Basic Life — I can’t lie, I have an awesome life. Sure, I have my problems, everyone does but I am also blessed with incredible people and opportunities. My family is wonderful and make my life better in more ways than I will ever share with them. I have fantastic friends who like to do lame things, such as seasonally appropriate photo shoots in pumpkin patches, tulip farms and bluebonnet fields (just to name a few). I have an awesome job (or two, or three) and actually get paid to hang out with some of my favorite people and do fun things! I don’t think I could ask for any more than that!!!
**Bonus thank you to my friend Jennifer who is the biggest supporter of my blog. She is the one who hounded me until I finally resumed writing and proof reads each and every blog I publish (except this one). She never gets the thank you she deserves, but I am truly grateful!