My Most Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Hope you are all having a lovely time with your family and friends today. Enjoying some delicious food and great time with your loved ones.

I bet some of you are a little taken aback by my thanks. There's one important thing I didn't even really mention and that's because I saved the one thing I am most thankful for for Thanksgiving Day.

Ariana Ralyn, I am most thankful for you, my baby girl!

My daughter is the one thing in life I am the most thankful for and the most proud of. She  is the most beautiful, smartest, funniest little girl with the most personality. I don't know where I would be today if  I didn't have to be her mama back in those difficult days, and I think it's safe to say she most likely saved my life. She provides me with so much joy every day and I don't think she even realizes it. Her laughter and giggles light up my world. When I'm sad, a hug from her can turn the whole day around. She tries to help me out when I'm hurt, she does whatever she can to help around the house. She is my little side kick. She is a constant reminder to me of her dad's love and that yup, he was real! (Sometimes he feels like only a dream). She has his eyes which I can't even describe how amazing it is to me.

So yes, I'd have to say the one thing I am the most thankful for is Ariana. My beautiful baby girl, full of life and joy and hope and youth and awesomeness.

Thanksgiving Eve

Yup, I kind of failed at doing my daily Thanksgiving posts. I'm sorry. Things got a little crazy and then there was the fact that my internet was down for a bit and I am just not fond of blogging from my phone. I sure have been thinking each day of things I am thankful for, though, and remembered often to post on facebook, too.

Today, I would like to talk about how thankful I am for all of the people who were there to support us after Jonathan passed. So many people took the time to send us cards, emails, thoughts, and contribute to Ariana's trust fund. When we arranged the funeral, we decided to say in lieu of flowers our friends and family could donate to a trust account set up for Ariana. We expected nothing from it, we just preferred people not waste their money on flowers. It was a beautiful surprise the donations that poured in to show support to my baby girl. Family, friends, people I haven't talked to in years, and  complete strangers took the time to send notes to the bank for Ariana. I have kept every deposit slip and every note or card and had them compiled into a book for Ariana. I don't want her to ever forget how gracious our nation really is for her daddy and how much people were thinking of her. So to all the people who sent a card, a note, a deposit, an email, a facebook message - anything - Thank you.

I never got to writing thank you cards. That's actually something I've been kicking myself for for a very long time. I don't want any person to think that I am ungrateful for these acts of kindness. Especially from complete strangers or people who  I haven't really spoken to in a so long. To know that we were thought of by those outside of our close circle of family and friends is incredibly touching and heart warming. You guys are amazing, and I hope that all families of the fallen feel as loved and appreciated as you all made me feel.

Speaking of support, these people were going to get there very own post but since I was slacking I'm putting them in here. I am beyond thankful for my mother and father. I know I talked about family already, but my parents are much more to me than family. They are my main support network, my biggest fans, my confidantes, the ones who help me with everything. They are the best parents a girl could ask for and that a grand daughter could be blessed with. My dad is one of the funniest guys I know and I don't know if he even realizes it. He has fought for our country and faced is own fair share of battles. He is a disabled veteran but he doesn't let that deter his spirit. He is the best guy I know and we have such fun together. My mom is my best friend. She, too, once served in the military and did her part. She is outspoken and honest but will be the first to help anyone who needs it. She never gives up and has willpower of steel. She is the strongest woman I've ever met in my life. I couldn't have asked for better role models growing up. They taught me the importance of family, hard work, love, and laughter. They never let me go a day in my life without knowing I am loved. To my mom and dad, I don't tell you often enough how amazing you two are, how important you are in mine and Ariana's life, and how much you guys mean to me. I love you and I hope I make you proud. Mom, don't cry when you read this, you know it's  the truth ;)

Thankful November Days 7 & 8: Care Takers and Comfy Spot

Last Monday, I took a hard fall off one of the horses, Joey. I landed on my back on the left side. The wind got knocked out of me and it hurt like crazy. I got back on Joey for just a short walk to show him who's boss and to help myself not be afraid of riding next time. By Tuesday, the pain was still searing. Zach had to had to stand behind me so I could lean behind him to ease the pain in the election line (but hey - I still voted!) and of course that still wasn't enough to get me to go in to the doctor. But Wednesday the pain had grown and it was hard to stand, walk, sit, cough, poop... well everything. So I finally made the appointment. After some extremely painful x-rays, it was suspected I had fractured my L4 pedicle. Basically, the little arm that comes off your vertabrae, on the left. After not hearing a definite answer yesterday, I popped in today to see what was up. It turns out the L4 fracture is definitely there as well as a second suspected fracture in the L2 pedicle. I am going on Sunday for an MRI to double check that as well as make sure there's nothing funny going on inside that they can't see with the x-rays. Luckily my urine came back okay to show there is no dammage to my kidney, which was the reason I made the appointment in the first place. Mom and I thought I might have bruised my kidney, I didn't even think about breaking my stinkin' back!

The reason I tell this whole story is because this injury made me realize some things I'm thankful for that I might not have said before.

The 7th: I am so thankful for the people who have been taking care of me during this. Mom and dad and Zach and Ari have been awesome. My mom came over and cleaned for me, she's helped me a lot with the baby. Zach's been taking care of the horses and doting on me, making sure I keep my hiney in bed (even though I hate to!). Ariana has been an angel. She tells me, "It's ok, it's alright you're fine," in her soothing little voice, she tries to help me walk, and she tucks me in when I need to lay down. She's been right by my side and just such a good girl. So many of my friends and family have called/texted/facebooked to check in on me and offer prayers and thoughts and volunteered to help out during my days of bed-boundess. The doctors and nurses I saw have been nothing but kind and helpful to find out what's wrong and provide me the best care they can. I know it's going to be a tough road to recovery and I am thankful I am surrounded by people willing to help me so that I can recover properly and not strain myself and make it worse. I am going to talk about support from people in another essence later, so please don't feel like I'm repeating myself (even though I could if I wanted to because I am very thankful for support), however this is support for one incident and then there will be another for something else. Just a heads up ;)

The 8th: I was simply happy for a comfy spot. Often times I think we take our homes and our spots for granted, at least I do. I am thankful that I have a nice warm bed with cozy sheets and my favorite comforter to curl up in. I am very thankful for this home, it's a gorgeous home and I'm blessed to live here. There are many people who unfortunately do not have a home, let alone a comfy spot, and I know I am blessed to be where I am, safe and warm in the country. I'm glad we have such an awesome space for Ariana to grow up, where she can learn the value of land and space, how important nature is; where she can get dirty and run free; hopefully a home and a space that she is proud of and becomes her own in!

Thankful November Day 6: A Voice and a Choice

It is election day 2012! Have you voted yet? There is still time in a lot of places, so if you haven't yet, I certainly hope you find the time to. I generally try not to talk politics too much. So many arguments ensue and these days people really take this stuff personally. So, I'm not going to talk about who I voted or why I chose that person, I'm just going to be thankful that I CAN vote. I do have a choice, and my vote does count. Sure, my candidate may or may not win, but at least I got to be a part of that process that gets to choose. There are so many nations that don't get this opportunity, that have no choice at all, and their voices are not heard. We should be thankful that here in America we do get to make choices and we can make silly facebook memes in favor of our chosen candidate and if we don't like something we can stand up and voice that. Living in a free nation is often taken for granted, and it's time we are thankful for what kind of country we live in. Is it flawless? Nope. Are there still things that can be improved? Of course. But we are pretty far ahead of the game in comparison to many, many other places out there. And with this we can continue to move farther and become better. I really hoped everyone got out and used their right to vote today. I know I did much more research this year than I had any other year and I'm pretty proud of myself for that. I am thankful for the resources to research so I can make what I believe to be the best decision and I am thankful to all those who do that. Even if our opinions may differ, an educated vote is what matters most. Well, that and getting the sweet "I Voted" stickers! (kidding).

To this country we live in, the opportunity to make a choice and have a voice, and to the brave men and women who make it this way, I thank you!

Thankful November Days 4&5: Write and Wrong

I'm a little late for days four and five but I am still going to post about them. On the 4th, my mom in law and sister in law and family headed back to Florida, so I spent the day enjoying their company one last day and yesterday was lawn care day, then I rode and fell off so I wasn't in much mood to look at a computer screen as my back has been pretty sore. Even so, didn't want to skimp out on two days of being thankful and I've definitely thought about which things for the 4th and 5th.

4: I am thankful for the ability to write. Whether or not I am good at it is up for debate. It's not being good that I'm thankful for, just merely the ability. Writing has been one of my biggest comforts all my life. Being able to put what I think into words and to document life. It has not only helped me figure out my feelings and put words to some pretty inexplainable times, it's helped me keep memories and have a way to look back through the years of my life's journey. I have also met some pretty amazing people through the blogging world and different writers' conferences that I will be forever thankful for, one big one is my best friend Mandy, who, without this blog I don't know if our paths would have crossed. More on Mandy and my friends later though. I thank each person who takes the time to read what I've written and who gives me feedback and encourages me to write more. To the audience I have gathered here at A Little Pink, you guys are amazing and you make this blog much more fun and worthwhile. Maybe one day I will fulfill my goal and write a book or maybe more! Stay on the lookout for that one ;)

5: I am thankful for the mistakes I have made throughout life. I know that might sound a little silly, being thankful for mistakes, but mistakes really do help us to learn and grow. Without making mistakes, we would never know which things work and which do not. Of course I have regrets, I wish I would have done things differently, but when it all comes down to it in the grand scheme of things, every mistake, every choice, has lead me to where I am today and that I am thankful for. I am also thankful that I do take the opportunity to learn from mistakes I've made. Sure, sometimes I make them more than once, but being able to look back and inside myself and learn is a big step and sometimes it takes a little more reminding to not do the same things. I am a little hard headed, ya know.

So for the fourth and fifth, two things that have helped shape me, my writing and the mistakes I have made, I am thankful for. To more writing, more learning, but maybe a little less mistakes (lol), cheers!

Thankful November Day 3: Pups

The world would be a much sadder place without doggies. I am thankful today for puppy dogs!!! We recently got a new addition to our family. His name is King and he is a 3 year old some kind of mixed dog. Parts of him appear to be pit but we aren't really sure. He is rumored to be American Bull/Lab, but I think that was just a guess. A friend from high school was looking for a home for him and I just had to go meet him. Luckily he fit in well with our family and that night he came home with us. So far, it's been a great time with King (or Kinger as we typically call him). He is super sweet and such a lovable boy. Ariana adores him. He spends much of his time sleeping and he likes to be close to us always. He doesn't really like to be left alone and he is very curious about his horse brother and sister. He is a serious cuddle monster.  Doggies are the only members of the family who are always happy to see you no matter what, you can lock them in the trunk of your car and when you let them out they aren't mad but instead EXCITED to see you!

Kinger and A

We also had a boxer named Molly. When Zach moved back to Wisconsin, Molly went with him because she was really his girl. I miss her much and hopefully one day we'll have her back with us. I have been blessed to have some great doggies in my life. Precious, Sheba, Keesh, Beau, Angel, Oscar, George. Oscar and George are at my parents and Oscar recently had surgery, so we keep little man Oscar in our prayers for a speedy recovery.

Kinger and A at nap  time

Molly the boxer

Oscar Man


So to my sweet sweet pup babies, you've made my life much more enjoyable, thank you Lord, for blessing us with such wonderful dogs throughout the years!

Thankful November Day 2: Family

Family above all else. 
In a general statement, I am thankful for my family. Ariana and I were blessed with 2 wonderful families to love and support us and I am so very happy for that simple fact. 
Family was fitting today, as my mother in law, sister in law, her husband and their kids just arrived from Florida to spend the weekend with us. I'm so excited to have them at our new home in Maryland for the first time. Ariana seems to be very excited to be spending time with her cousins, especially Mikey who is only a few months older than her. It is awesome for her having a cousin close in age, as I have many a good memories from my cousins that were close in age to me and our visits. 
I'm thankful that I am back in Maryland and close to my own family. I am thankful that there are many places in the United States I can go and have family to visit! It's pretty awesome reconnecting with family in a new place. 
I am also thankful that family sometimes extends beyond those related by blood or marriage and my family has grown to include some very special friends that I refer to as my brothers and sisters, as if we were born of the same parents. 

Cheers to family, and thank you Lord for the wonderful family Ari and I have been blessed with!

Thankful November: Day 1, Chosen

With November upon us and Thanksgiving looming in the not-so-distant future, it is that time to take a moment and be thankful. My goal this November is to write one thing I am thankful for each day of November. I'm very grateful for the timing, because lately all I want to do is whine and complain and be sad, and I know you guys expect more from me than that, so the timing just couldn't be more perfect.

I know you might be tired of hearing this, but November 1st being the day Jonathan asked me to be his wife (the first time), is the day I will recognize how thankful I am that he chose me. Of all the women in the world, he picked me, he asked me to be his wife. I could not be more thankful to have met this man and to have been able to call him my fiance on this day 4 years ago (four years - wow has it been that long?!). I could not have found a better man to be my husband and the father of our daughter. While our engagement was pretty random, it was perfect for us and perfectly us. We knew that we wanted to be together forever it was just a moment of making it "official." I still have the small chain that he put on my finger that day 4 years ago on the dog tags I keep with me. Man, was I proud of that chain. Sure, the first proposal wasn't exactly planned and it certainly wasn't anything big and fancy (the second time with the diamond was planned and it was low key and perfect for us, as well) but it was just right. And there was no question in my mind when I said yes, I would make him the happiest man in the world. His words, not mine. If they were mine I probably would have said Stink, I'll probably make you the craziest man in the world, and maybe sometimes a miserable one... but to him, he was the happiest (and he did know just what he was getting himself into - wild, right?!). And I was certainly the happiest gal in all the land.

He chose me and I can not thank the Lord enough for that.

Stink, I Love You. To the moon and back, forever and ever, babe. Thanks for choosing me, of all people, to be your wife.

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