Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. (But it's tied with 4th of July, so I have two.)
There is just something about there being no gift pressure, no decorating pressure, no 'sending out the cards' pressure, its just about food and family, which happen to be two of my favorite things!
Each year I like to write a little blurb about what I'm most thankful for. It's crazy how as I age like a fine wine I'm finding the things I'm most grateful for are things that have been here all along but I never really could fully appreciate.
So without further ado, here are 10 Things I'm Grateful For This Year
This body. I can honestly say I've never taken better care of myself than I did this year. A LOT of body acceptance and love has happened this year for me. This body, it's amazing. It is my temple. This grateful attitude is not without its tough moments, where I was frustrated or thought my body wasn't working the way I wanted it to. But at the end of the day, its pretty freaking amazing that after all I've put it through (um, College eating habits anyone?) it still gets me out of bed each morning, moves me through my day and makes me feel good. Pilates, eating a mostly organic / no hormones diet & treating myself right mentally have made all the difference. So yeah, a woman who is nearly 6 feet tall and wears a size 14 can really love her body, it's beautiful, its mine and I think its lovely.
My woman tribe. Dear lord, what would I do without my women. My bests. The ones that 'get me.' I'm continually amazed at the power of female friendships. I'm not talking about the girl who you say hi to if you are in Meijer if she's in the same aisle. I'm talking about the girl who if you see her in Meijer you're talking for 45 minutes with your carts pulled to the side and one of you is crying and blowing your nose in a box of tissue that the other one ripped from the shelf and opened. I'm talking about your bests who sit on the beach with you in Florida and crying one minute and laughing the next and saying things outloud you haven't ever said out loud and you don't really care what time your husbands are done golfing because 'it's like they aren't even here.' My women get me. They lunch with me. They text with me. They cry with me. They celebrate with me. The ones in my inner circle, it seriously feels like a part of our souls are shared. I'm grateful for them. They are incredible creatives, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, business owners and more. And they know who they are. And they literally kick ass.
The seasons. Northern Michigan isn't here to mess around. The seasons are fierce. Fiercely beautiful and very much require you to be prepared. This is NOT the place for you if you wanna wear a polo shirt each day. But it is the place for you if you wanna wear a polo shirt, a pair of carhartts, a snowsuit, and shorts all within the same week. The seasons of our businesses allow me to ebb and flow with the weather and I'm grateful for this. I'm grateful for blustery days in November that remind me to slow down and for the upcoming frigid days in winter that require me to not move much. The seasons impact everything I do from what I'm cooking to how much I'm working. Its awesome.
My family. My family is weirdly close. I am so grateful for this. We have NO PROBLEM expressing our emotions, calling one another out on our shit, loving on one another extra hard and spending lots of time together whenever we can. Many of you know that my sister and brother-in-law were at the festival in Las Vegas were the shooting happened last month. This terrible, gut-wrenching week reminded me how precious everything is. My family keeps me sane. Tells me when I'm being ridiculous. Rolls their eyes at me when I'm being dramatic and laughs at my terrible jokes. They are the best. They are weird and artsy and creative and hard working and annoying and they are all mine.
Our brides. Our clients push me to work harder, create more beauty and strive to an even higher level. They also happen to be some of the most loving, kind, beautiful people on this planet. They get what its about. They are not divas, they love their families, they love Northern Michigan and they love flowers that are not roundy moundy. I'm grateful for them.
Wreaths. There are sometimes people who attempt to give me snark ass shade about the wreath thing. "Wow really into those wreaths aren't ya?" (dead serious face during reply) "I actually am, I love them, wreaths are the international symbol for 'welcome' and have been used for centuries to hang on the door to let people know their home is a place of peace, love, and can provide food and shelter to all." (snark ass commenter) "oh wow. ok. yeah. keep up the great work." Wreaths make me happy. It is important to have one during the holiday season especially. The act of making them is very meditative to me. Plus I believe that literally everything is in a circle. Seasons. Life. Relationships. So the circle is big to me. That's it.
Matt. If you've met Matt you know how different we are. But as the first decade of our relationship wraps up, I find us becoming so similar in ways, growing together. Matt, you are the greatest light of my life. No one makes me laugh harder, is a better audience, understands me better, or loves me more. You bring me so much damn joy that at times it feels unfair to me that not everyone has a Matt. Thank you for being you. I'm so grateful.
Our community. Northern Michigan is made up of a few simple ingredients: natural beauty, freshwater, kind people & unique places. The people who surround us up here are those who appreciate the best things in life; family time, lake time, a beautiful sunset, food and fun. There is no more 'Up North' moment than when a grill is sizzling away and you're playing yard games with your siblings and drinking a beer and your lake hair is still damp and dogs are everywhere and no one is sucked into a screen. That's my northern Michigan. That's my community. In the winter when it slows down up here I find community in my monthly "Ladies Night at The Farm" events, spaghetti and board games with friends and a slow pace of life. Get up here, you'll get it.
Saying No. I got reallllllll freaking good at saying no this year. It. Was. Amazing. I'm grateful for this skill that seems to have taken me 28.5 years to perfect. Saying no to projects, commitments, photoshoots, pop-ups, trips, events, etc has helped me create a calendar filled with things I'm excited for. No more coming up on an event only to be crying in the studio the night before. Say no.
The TV job. It's been almost 10 months since I left my full time job as a television reporter to flower and lavender and teach and write and do all this beautiful stuff for a living. I am so grateful for that job. The 6 years I spent in television news taught me more about myself than perhaps any other season of my life, and it gave me invaluable skills. I never realized how 'trial by fire' live news is until I started running my own businesses. In addition to the skills, the life experience, the friendships and the stories I met along the way helped me to be who you read each day. I'm grateful for this beyond words & the people who gave me believed in me during that season.
I hope that your holiday is one filled with things you're grateful for. Its that simple. I'm so grateful for you being here and reading these words. I write them to remember this crazy story we're crafting and you taking the time to absorb them is just an added bonus.