Let Us Be Thankful

26 Dec

Several years ago, I ended up on some antibiotic that made falling asleep next to impossible. So at about 3a one night, when I was researching ‘tips for falling asleep quicker’ for the umpteenth time, I came across a Christian blog that suggested closing your eyes, relaxing every single muscle in your body, and then going one by one through all the good things that happened that day. Then, if you’re still awake, you expand the practice to the things you’re most thankful for in your life. To this day, I go to sleep doing this every single night. Sometimes I only get to one thing before I drift off…Others, I get much further down my list. Regardless, I really do find it to be a wonderful way to fall asleep each night…and a wonderful reminder to focus on what’s most important and let go of what’s not. So in honor of this wonderful Christmas weekend, I want to share with you just a glimpse into my list. And tonight when you go to sleep, I invite each of you to give it a try. Don’t worry about the order, the organization or trying to sound eloquent…Just start with, ‘Thank you for…’ and let it flow. ❤

Thank you for another day. One that I was able to wake up, to see this beautiful Earth, to hear all of its musics, to smell everything from the rain getting ready to fall to the aromas drifting down the street from the bakeries. Thank you for helping me to remember that each day is a privilege, not a given.


Thank you for belly laughs. The good, deep down, stomach-hurting, tears-rolling, almost-pee-myself laughs.

Thank you for John. I have no idea what I did to deserve him, but there really are no words to express just how thankful I am to have him as my husband. We are such opposites in so many ways, but when you strip away all the little things, we’re so much alike on the big things. It is because of him that so many parts of my life are full, complete…alive. He is the yin to my yang, the macaroni to my cheese, the heart to my soul.



That moment when you’re lunching with a girlfriend and realize that the hot guy you just noticed on the other side of the restaurant is actually your husband. #fancyseeingyourhere


Thank you for the most awesome kid on the face of the planet- for letting me be her mom. She is a handful and she keeps me on my toes (just about) every minute of every day, but she is amazing. She is sensitive and sweet and has the biggest heart. She has the enthusiasm and charisma you usually only see in movies. She is as stubborn and determined as a mule and as curious as they come- that’s how I know that there’s nothing she can’t do. She’s genuinely funny and she’s silly- her laugh…oh, her sweet laugh. Yes, thank you for making her my daughter.


Thank you for a good cry every now and then- the kind that cleanses my soul and leaves me feeling relaxed and renewed.

Thank you for one terrific family. And for making it possible for them to be here with us this holiday season. This Christmas proved to be more challenging than I’d anticipated in that everything was just…different. Holiday routines, shopping, delicious haunts…even the mundane chores felt off. But what was reinforced was something I already knew…As long as we’re together, we have it all.  My family may be small, but we’re all we’ve got and it’s more than enough. Love like ours- bonds like ours- are to be cherished.thumb_IMG_6861_1024


Thank you for this. ❤


Thank for cheese. And for making even the most gourmet bricks of it cheaper than a Happy Meal here in Europe.

Thank you for Game of Thrones. My latest obsession. I ❤ Tyrion Lanister.

Thank you not only for making this chapter of our lives possible, for giving me the strength and courage to do it. I wrestled for so long over whether or not this was the right path for us, so to have that sense of peace knowing that we made the best decision is just awesome. Thank you for reminding me of what a gift we’ve been given with this opportunity and to live this life to the fullest for as long as we can.


Thank you for Girly Day Trips to the Black Forest…


Thank  you for dispelling the myth that the French know how to do bread. Truth is, Germans know bread. 300+ delicious varieties and I intend to try every single one.

Thank you for my two seriously awesome dogs. Wallflowers just couldn’t have cut it in this house. Despite all their snoring and tooting and sometimes-questionable habits, we hit the pup jackpot. Snuggly, playful, and full of so much personality.




Thank you for all of my friends back home. Being away from friends and family has been the single hardest part of this new chapter, but the simple fact that they go out of their ways to keep in touch and that they continue watering the garden that is our friendship, makes my heart so full. THANK YOU. I truly believe what they say is true: distance makes no difference in true friendship.




Thank you for bringing such good people into our lives since we got to Germany. It has made all the difference in the world, not just meeting people so we don’t feel alone, but making friendships we truly see lasting a lifetime.

Thank you for giving us three years off from doing our own yard work.

Thank you for my grandmother. The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I am- to have my grandmother with me on this Earth, to consider her such a dear friend, to watch my daughter make memories with her great-grandmother, to have her travel all this way just to be with us…




Thank you for our awesome gift to ourselves, our new indoor cycle.

Thank you for letting this Commissary sell grits. And Krispy Kreme.

Thank you for Christmas Markets all over the place. They are awesome.


Thank you for all the advancements in technology…FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, social media, Apple TV, Hulu…I have absolutely no clue how people did it before these were available.


Thank you for letting our house truly become a home this holiday season. For filling its walls with our people…With love and laughter and the smell of coffee brewing before I even come down the stairs…With bed time hugs to go around and dinners prepared in groups.



Thank you for Elli B., best life coach on the planet.

Thank you for healing my Dad and my Grandmother and for keeping them healthy and cancer-free. Hard to believe that just two Christmases ago we were in a terrible nightmare.

Thank you for making this Christmas a very special one. Yes, it was different (first one I’ve ever spent not in my parents’ living room on Pine Grove!), but it was still us. And it was still the most perfect mess in the middle of our floor and the most delicious food on our table. Thank you for making these things possible.





Thank you for bringing Kathrin into our lives to help make our transition as smooth and seamless as humanly possible.

Thank you for allowing us to cross off ‘Holidays in Switzerland’ from our Bucket Lists. Bright and early tomorrow morning, we will hop on a southbound train in search of snowy peaks, warm fondue and candle-lit alleys…

Thank you for all the many blessings that we have, including all the ones we take for granted day in and day out. For the roof over our heads, the clothes on our backs, and the sun on our faces. Thank you for keeping us safe, healthy and moving in the right direction, whichever way that is for each of us.

And finally, thank YOU to each and every one of you who has joined us on this journey. Thank you for stopping by our blog, for keeping in touch, for keeping us in your prayers and sending us well wishes. It means so much.

Wishing you the merriest of Christmases and a wonderful 2016.


2 Responses to “Let Us Be Thankful”

  1. Eleanor December 26, 2015 at 10:50 PM #

    Have a wonderful trip. I know your Dad was excited about it. Don’t forget to let me know of his return plans. I can pick him up.! I loved your Blog. We have so much to be thankful for each and every day. Sometimes we all need to be reminded of everything and everyone we have. We will talk when you return. Have fun and Happy New Year to my dear friend and her loving and caring family!

  2. Robin December 26, 2015 at 10:50 PM #

    On my thank you list, you are at the top, Beautiful Christmas blog – thank you.

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