I’ve been inspired by many of my friends who have been writing, each day so far in November, about what they are thankful for.  The last few days, I’ve been a little down — I’m missing home, and all of my family and friends there, very badly, and I’ve been struggling with a bit of a grumpy and frazzled mood.  I’d been working on this list, adding one each day so far this month, with the intention of posting it at the end of the month.  But, I think I could do with a bit of focusing on what I have to be grateful for, instead of what I’m sad about.  So in honor of Thanksgiving Eve, I am thankful for . . .

. . . having two wonderful, beautiful, sweet, darling children.

. . . having an amazing, loving and supportive mother, father and step-mother and for having 5 of the best siblings anyone could possibly ask for.  I also have a wonderful (and huge) extended family.

. . . a loving and dedicated husband who works with me every day to build a strong life together.

. . . my friends at home who jump to help someone they don’t know, just because I asked.

. . . my sister Jo, for being here and giving us the opportunity to do some things that would have been so much harder (or impossible) otherwise.

. . . the wonderful Post Office (both American and Austrian) for helping me keep in touch with my loved ones at home, get the things that I need, send gifts across the ocean and get all of my bills paid from thousands of miles away.

. . . not having to work.  When Benjamin was born, I knew within hours that I wanted to be home with him instead of going back to work.  I never expected to feel that way, and I am so grateful that we were able to actually make it work.

. . . even more amazing friends at home who are STILL helping me manage things (dresses, horses, clothes for the kids).

. . . public transportation in Austria.  It is wonderful to get where I need to go simply, promptly and reliably.

. . . Christmas markets.  Pure festive awesomeness.

. . . this inconceivable opportunity to live and travel abroad with my family.  The things that we have done and seen in the past year and a half astound me.

. . . the kindness and patience of the Austrians I’ve met.  Given my frequent cluelessness and general butchery of the German language, I’m kind of amazed I don’t encounter more irritation and rolled eyes.

. . . the people here who have been open enough to offer me their friendship.

. . . the good health of my entire family.

. . . technology.  Having Skype, Facebook, and email, plus a camera and super computer in my pocket that keep me connected to those I love at home.  I am so grateful for being able to share in new baby pictures, to see my family all the time, to share a laugh with a friend, and to be able to share this with everyone at home, even though we’re so far apart.

. . . the ability to write and express myself . . . and that some of you actually READ this!  (Some of you every day!)

. . . my own ability to change, grow, accept when I’m wrong, learn a new way, let go of things that don’t serve me, and evolve in order to make life better (for all of us).

. . . my body, which nurtured and protected my kids while they were growing.

. . . Christmas lights and all festivals which celebrate our strength against the darkness.

. . . Bailey, the best dog in the world.

. . . horses.  All of them, everywhere, but particularly the ones that I’ve been lucky enough to know and love well in my life: Cricket, Ellie, Shadow, Gretchen and many, many others.

That’s one for each day in November so far, but I think I could go on (and on, and on).  I have so much to be thankful for.  Life is pretty awesome.

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