Why I'm Showing Extra Gratitude This Year

One of the reasons why I love Thanksgiving is it is a time to reflect on all of the things that have happened over the past year, and pay tribute to all of the things that I have to be grateful for. Another reason I love this time of year is that my birthday always falls on or near Thanksgiving– and this year it happens to actually fall on Turkey Day! So in honor of this double whammy of a day, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my past year and think about how far I have come (with all of you on this journey) and create a list of the things I am grateful for.  

Showing gratitude doesn't always come as second nature to me, so this post took some time and effort, but it was very meaningful for me to write!  It is important for me to remind myself of the many things I have to be grateful for. And let me tell you, this was an exercise well worth the discomfort.

After you read my list, I have a challenge for you too– take some time today, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, to come up with a list of things that you're grateful for. If it doesn’t come naturally, don’t let that stop you from still giving thanks. There is still much to be thankful for, no matter the circumstances. In no particular order, here is my list of what I am grateful for this year:  

  1. I am thankful for my health- for being able to travel as much as I do, to move the way I do and being able enjoy all of life's indulgences (pizza, cheese, olives, whipped cream frosting, did I mention pizza?)
  2. I am thankful for working in an industry that is constantly evolving. In the past eight (EIGHT?!) years that I've been working as a model, the opportunities for my peers and I have significantly increased.
  3. With that said, I am thankful for ability to share my work with you. With just a hope of inspiring one person, my passion is sharing thoughtful content that is MORE than just beautiful pictures. 
  4.  I am thankful for my circle of friends and mentors- those who inspire me, motivate me and challenge me to be the best version of myself. 
  5. I am thankful for my future groom, Brian. I'm thankful for finding a partner in life that makes me laugh, challenges me and believes in me. I look forward to a lifetime of laughing, growing and learning with him.
  6. I am thankful for the house that Brian and I have made into a home.  It's where we've built the figurative foundation of our relationship. It's my safe place- where I can be 110% myself. 
  7. I am thankful for my rescue dog, Walter. We're coming up on two years since we adopted him and he forever changed our world. Walter has taught me the true meaning of second chances, unconditional love and forgiveness.
  8. I am thankful for my supportive and loving family who continue to support my career- no matter what. Also grateful for divorced parents who have put their differences aside to be friends. It means the most to me that they can spend the holidays with my sister and I so that we can be a family... especially on vacation this year! Grateful to be writing this post from Florida this holiday.
  9. I am thankful for living in a town full of creative people and opportunities in Buffalo, NY. A town full of friendly neighbors, family, friends and good food.
  10. I am thankful for all of the excitement and opportunity that was in 2017. Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief when I realize that it all is happening to me. Not sure what I did to deserve this incredible life, but I'm excited to see what unfolds in this 25th year of life coming up!

What is on your list of things that you are grateful for? I'd love to hear, please share them in the comments!


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