1. A one-of-a-kind dad who will leave me the following voicemail (imagine Alan Arkin’s voice, look and personality in Little Miss Sunshine) from time to time. “You are my daughter. You are beautiful and I love you. You and me Cher. You and me. Call me if you need anything.” If you know him, it makes perfect, wonderful sense.
2. In-laws who know how crazy I can be and still love and accept me for it. To be fair, they created the person that makes me a little loopy from time to time so it is partially their fault.
3. The possibility of hope and the courage I found to keep following our big dream, which is still a work in progress.
4. A husband who loves me in spite of my worst qualities and always comes back for more. No one knows what it is like to be us and experience what we’ve shared over the past few years and no one ever will. We may not always get through it with grace, but we do get through it and are always stronger for it.
5. Friends that distract me when I need it, give me a swift kick in the ass when it’s called for, and come to my defense like Shirley Maclaine in Terms of Endearment when I’m wronged.
6. My brother and his wife for giving me a niece and nephew who bring so much light into my life. Like when my six-year old nephew rubs my arm until he falls asleep or when I find a sweet note on my iPad from my niece telling me what a good mommy I’d make someday because I take such good care of her and her brother.
7. A two-income household and good health. Given the hardships many have endured, I would be remiss to not show my gratitude for our jobs and the good health of my family.
8. A strong, supportive mom who has never, ever let me down. The fact that she is pretty cool, always stylish, and once coached my softball team in full makeup, skin tight Jordache jeans, and high heels is just a bonus.
9. The rediscovery of this blog and the ability to express myself in a new way
10. The little things like DVR, Breaking Bad, our holiday trip to NYC, La Colombe coffee, good books, and red wine