Today is my 31st birthday. A somewhat ho-hum birthday in the list of birthdays to look forward to, but a special day none the less. It's a day I appreciate a bit more now that I am a mom myself. And since my theme of thoughts this month is gratitude, I thought I'd share my top 31 reasons to be grateful on my 31st year.
[dropcap]1[/dropcap] Pete. My rock, my heart and my little bit of crazy. We started dating when I was just 17 and 14 years later, we enjoy each other's company and ridiculousness just as much, if not more than we did in the "younger" years. He's always had my back, understanding my business and my art and helping me shape myself to be a better wife, mom and business owner.
[dropcap]2[/dropcap] Lincoln & Scarlett, my amazing children. They are right when they say children change you in ways you can' t expect until you are living it. Linc and his sense of humor, slightly OCD tendencies and his amazingly big and empathetic heart. And Scarlett, my little love who blossoms more each day. Linc tackles her on the ground and she laughs, she is the sweetest little baby, and is quickly becoming more and more independent every day.
[dropcap]3[/dropcap] My mom Eve. Such an amazing support to our family, watching and teaching the kids every week. When I tell Linc it's Nana's day, I quickly turn to chop liver and all he want's is for her to show up. The amazing help she has been in working around Pete's and my crazy schedule and being able to take the kids on a moments notice when a last minute shoot comes up or Pete gets unexpected overtime. And my dad Phil who works so hard driving metro buses that allows my mom to be retired and so helpful with the kids
[dropcap]4[/dropcap] Pete's dad Mark. He's been here 2-3 days a week since the week Linc was born helping out. He gets up early and watches the kids when he knows Pete and I both worked past midnight so we can get just a little more sleep. He's an amazing man and a generous Dampa to the kids. Life around our home would be strange without his presence. They don't joke when they say it takes a village.
[dropcap]5[/dropcap] The amazing place we call home, and while we don't own this home, I think we are fortunate to have some of the most amazing landlords. It's a place we've grown from a married couple to a family of four. These walls have seen years of rocking babies to sleep, late nights working downstairs, laughter and many movie nights with friends. Lots of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal tempered with anime movies I fall asleep to and as many two star Instant videos Pete can force on me. It's seen first steps, first smiles, first sleepovers, has been my first studio and is amazing.
[dropcap]6[/dropcap] Oreos and wine... Because, let's face it.... I wouldn't be able to make it through wedding season without both of those things... but definitely not together!
[dropcap]7[/dropcap] My brothers for their uncanny ability to make me laugh... and to point out when I say something stupid and laugh at me. I'm fortunate to be able to
[dropcap]8[/dropcap] My sisters in law, Karine and Erica that are like true sisters. I honestly forget to say the "in-law" part regularly. I grew up without sisters, but have found two amazing women who fill the role of sister so completely. Without judgement, with lots of laughter, and being two that I can confide in, it really is something to be grateful for!
[dropcap]9[/dropcap] Shelley. We were glued to each others hips from 5-9th grades. Truly an amazing friend, as I moved across country the summer after 9th grade, and 16 years later, when we see each other it's like no time has passed at all.
[dropcap]10[/dropcap] My clients. The people who year after year trust me to document the amazing moments in their lives. The moments that are pivotal in their life and I get to be there sharing the moment with them... It's truly an amazing feeling knowing that the images I create bring the type of happiness they do!
[dropcap]11[/dropcap]My girlfriends. I'm not one who has gobs and gobs of friends, but the friends I do have mean the world to me, and I know I can. Count on them for anything. You know who you ladies are.
[dropcap]12[/dropcap]My "photo friends". The friends who I can geek out with about business , photography, industry and bad jokes. These are the friends who I see during the summer when I am MIA from the rest of my life and I only make it to work related outings. These are the folks who are my support system and guiding force to being a business woman and photographer.... And lover of bad jokes:)
[dropcap]13[/dropcap] The Seattle wedding industry. We are quite Ana maxing group of entrepreneurs and givers. I have four words : get hitched give hope . Enough said
[dropcap]14[/dropcap] The Shooting Skirts... A group of photographers got together to support and help us all grow. This is such an amazing place of learning laughing and community in my life.
[dropcap]15[/dropcap] Sushi. No explanation needed. Except that my mouth is now watering and I want some ASAP.
[dropcap]16[/dropcap] Amazon instant video for binge watching while editing wedding season.
[dropcap]17[/dropcap] Truly honest industry friends who care about us all succeeding vs competing with each other
[dropcap]18[/dropcap] Extended Seattle Summer, as I was actually able to enjoy camping with my family a couple times late this summer!
[dropcap]19[/dropcap] Consignment stores for kids clothing. Because I don't know how people can afford to cloth children with new clothes when they grow out of them so darn quickly.
[dropcap]20[/dropcap] Health. I know of many who are sick and struggle with illness and discomfort daily. I know I am fortunate that most days I wake up to complete health.
[dropcap]21[/dropcap] Linda and BJ for always being there
[dropcap]22[/dropcap] Port Susan, where we bought our own camping spot. A place we can take the kids that will be their "summer getaway" and a great escape from life only 45 minutes from home.
[dropcap]23[/dropcap] mismatched socks. Duh
[dropcap]24[/dropcap] Mac products. .. But to be fair I liked the Steve jobs era better than where things are going. I'm a mac user for life though
[dropcap]25[/dropcap] Learning. I have a drive that runs deeply in me to always be learning new things. I love business books and learning how to be a better business person.
[dropcap]26[/dropcap] Coffee. It's my crack
[dropcap]28[/dropcap] Pixifi. This is my customer service management software and literally keeps my head from spinning while trying to keep things all together
[dropcap]29[/dropcap] The # of days I wake up happy. It is 99.9% of them, and I know that that is rare.
[dropcap]30[/dropcap] Flexibility in my schedule and my ability to raise my kids at home
[dropcap]31[/dropcap] My life in total.
Tell me in the comments. What is the thing your are most grateful for at this moment in time?