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Thankful....all year long

I can honestly say that I’m thankful year-round for pretty much everything. Having one month to express thanks – which traditionally is November – seems a bit of a slight to the remaining months of the year. There are so many things to be thankful for; the big things, the not so big things, and all the little stuff in between that quickly passes us by if we don’t stop and take a moment to acknowledge them.

I’ve decided to boycott the idea of expressing thanks for this month only, and instead will offer up my “things to be thankful for” from the previous months:

January: I’m thankful to have reached the milestone of 50. Some are intimidated by that number, but I’ve chosen instead to embrace it. It is, after all, JUST a number. We are the age we feel, and on most days I feel about 25. Except for my knees; they are most definitely a solid 80.

February: Due to my hubby’s erratic work schedule, I can’t honestly remember if we celebrated this past Valentine’s Day together. He’s been gone a lot for work, but I’m thankful for the time we do spend together. I’m thankful he has a good job, especially since he was jobless just a few years ago. Mostly, I’m thankful for him. Always. Every single day.

March: I’m thankful to have celebrated birthdays this month for my hubby and son. Like me, the hubby turned the big 5-0. Also like me, he has days where he waffles between the 25 and 80 year range. My son, now an ‘old’ married man, will always be my little boy….and the sweetest guy in the world (second only to his dad).

April: We took a brief camping trip to one of our favorite spots this month, and as always I’m so thankful our family has discovered a great love of the outdoors. There’s nothing better than sitting out under the stars, fully unplugged from technology, simply enjoying time together.

May: Many things to be thankful for this month. My anniversary most of all. The hubby and I celebrated 27 years of marriage. We are truly blessed. We also celebrated Mother’s Day by buying a new trailer. Sadly we are both so busy with work, long camping trips are on hold for now. We did manage a quick weekend away – just me and the hub – to test the waters of our new purchase. First time we’ve ever been camping alone without kids or anyone else. Felt weird….and wonderful.

This month also saw the completed cover of “Saving Cruz”, and my lifelong commitment to the brilliant Kari Ayasha for her amazing work capturing my beautiful Spaniard.

June: June was the calm before the storm book-wise, and also the birthday month of my baby girl. I know…she’s not a baby, but she will always be MY baby. She’s one of the smartest people I know, keeping me on my toes and calming me down when I start to panic. Which I do…a lot.

July: Total chaos, but much to be thankful for. I sent Cruz off to the editor (not before panicking fully and crying for a good, long time). The cover for Book 2 of the series was completed, and suddenly my dreamed-up family started coming to life. Another lifelong commitment ensued this month, with my complete and utter devotion to the best editor in the world, Maxann Dobson. Something else I was grateful for this month…the 1 year ‘anniversary’ of my second novel, “Loving Emma”.

August: Sent Cruz off to be formatted, and I’m still in awe at what a real professional formatter can do. Stacey Blake can do no wrong, and I’m forever grateful for her beautiful work. Suddenly, my work looked REAL, and felt REAL. I hope I never get used to that feeling!

September: More chaos. This is the life of a writer, I suppose. I received my proof copies of “Saving Cruz”; an evening we celebrated as a family, gushing over the beauty that is this book (not that I’m biased or anything). Book 2 went off to the editor, Book 3 of the series got a beautiful cover, and I had many sleepless nights planning the release for “Saving Cruz”. I admit, it was a bit awkward as I learned to navigate the muddy waters of Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace. I didn’t have the splashy cover release I’d hoped for, but I learned a lot so I’m thankful for that. One final thing to be thankful for this month….the 2nd anniversary of my very first novel, “Losing Faith.”

October: I picked the release date for Cruz specifically because it was my dad’s 85th birthday. He’s such a huge supporter of all that I do, and shamelessly tells everyone he talks to about my books. We had a big family celebration for him the weekend before the book release, and I’m so thankful for all the support I received from everyone.

After a flurried few weeks of trying to manage the book release, my family and I headed off on our yearly vacation; 10 days of nothing but relaxation and sunshine. When we returned from vacation, we celebrated the 1 year anniversary for our son & his wife. So very much to be thankful for!

I’m certain the remaining months of the year will be just as wild as the previous ones have been. Book stuff aside, I truly am grateful for everything I have; my family most of all. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish I had more (more free time, more time to write), but I will always be so grateful for the people who surround me – day in and day out. When all the rest of the chaos falls away, that’s really what is most important.

Happy Thanksgiving! May you always be blessed, kind to others, and thankful for everything…each and every day.

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