20 Reasons to Be Thankful

GratefulHeartIn celebration of my last 20-mile training run before I start tapering for the Richmond Marathon, I’m counting down 20 reasons to be thankful.

Some big, some small. Some silly, some serious.

But they all have one thing in common: they fill my heart with gratitude.

20. Fountain Coke

Especially after a long run. There’s something about that perfect combination of fizz and caffeine that hits the spot.

19. Hot Showers
Again, nothing is more rewarding after a long run than standing in the shower until all of the hot water is gone.

18. Story Time with My Girls
There is nothing sweeter than Monkey snuggling in my lap and asking ‘More’ after we finish a story. Unless it’s having a discussion with Bean about the merits of a story.

17. Financial Security
I’m so thankful I don’t have to choose between turning on the heat in my house or putting a meal on the table. I know there are countless families who can’t say the same. I never want to take that for granted.

16. Faithful Friends.
It’s hard to make friends when you work from home. But I do have a small group of close friends, and they mean the world to me. I may not see them as often as I’d like, but they are a constant source of support and encouragement.


15. My Health
I’ve had enough scares with loved ones to know the importance of health. It’s part of why I run. I want to be around for my girls for a very long time.

14. My Parents, In-Laws, and Extended Family
I have the most amazing parents and in-laws. I’m so glad my girls know their grandparents and are building lasting memories with them. And I’m incredibly happy my girls have fabulous aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins, including one on the way!

 13. Dance Parties
Even though Bean requests some questionable tunes (I’m not sure Moves Like Jagger is entirely appropriate for a four-year-old!), I can’t deny my precious girls when they want  to dance, even if my moves are most definitely not like Jagger.


12. Blue Bell Ice Cream
Still sold in the half gallon cartons. Sweet!

11. Working from Home
Sure, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns, but it’s pretty close. I get to work in my sweat pants, after all!

10. MacAfee
My four-legged baby and the best big bro Bean & Monkey could ever have.


9. Blogging
What a rewarding journey! In six months, I’ve already met so many incredible people. And contributed to a book!!

8. Running
If you’re a runner, you understand. It’s a way to relieve stress, to let go, to carve out ‘me’ time. It’s all of those things and much, much more.

7. Runner’s Metabolism
I like to eat. A lot. Thank goodness running torches so many calories. That reminds me. I’m hungry.

6. Our National Park System
America’s Best Idea. There is no place I’d rather be than on a trail, soaking up nature’s splendor.

5. Hokie Pride
My alma mater is so much more than a diploma.

4. Family Meal Time
It’s rarely a gourmet meal. It’s far more likely to be take-out or frozen pizza. But it’s time spent together, and it means the world to me.

3. Love
I’m incredibly lucky to have and give love in my life. Love comes in many shapes and sizes, and we should embrace and share it more.

2. My Immediate Family
My ultimate source of joy.

1. Another Day
Any day above ground is a good day. Every day can’t be picture perfect, but each day is a precious gift.


What are you thankful for in your life? Have you told someone how much they mean to you today?

70 thoughts on “20 Reasons to Be Thankful

  1. Aw! This was just the best and most positive way I could have imagined to kick off my day. I love every single thing on your list.
    You’ve made me feel so good and hopeful this morning! I DO need to tell the people I love how much they mean to me…and taking a moment to think about all of the things I’m thankful for is just the greatest and exactly what I needed today. I can’t thank you enough for this post! :) –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…Pinterest Nightmare #488: Baby BangsMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Lisa! I’m glad this was a good way to kick off your day. Whenever I start to feel grumpy or crabby or in a funk, thinking about the wonderful people & things in my life is a sure fire way to set me straight. Have a great weekend, my friend!

    • Eating is critical for a happy, healthy life. I should have put DESSERT as its own item on this list. Well, I guess I had one number dedicated to ice cream. Ha!

  2. Lovely. :-)

    I had almost forgotten you have a Vizsla. Aren’t they MARVELLOUS? Mine is 9 months and more adorable by the day.

    When I think of what I am grateful for, I come up with this: I’m grateful I was born in the right place, at the right time.
    HappinessSavouredHot recently posted…Shortish ThursdayMy Profile

    • Being born in the right place, at the right time. That is definitely something to be thankful for. I often think the same thing for myself and for my daughters. Yes, Vizslas are the BEST!! MacAfee turns 10 next month. I can’t believe it! I’ll have to post a recent pic of him. He’s quite the distinguished gentleman with his white face and paws now.

  3. I did tell Des how much he means to me today!
    I love your list.
    It’s been a week of health scares. I wake up with such a renewed appreciation for life and love every day. Every minute, sometimes. Like I said, it’s been a very tough week although not within my own family.
    I don’t have runner’s metabolism but I have my father’s metabolism and I am grateful for that.
    I’m so thankful for our book and our blogging world and for YOU, my friend.
    Would love to get a fountain Coke with you one day. And I don’t even drink soda. I would with you!
    Tamara recently posted…Anything Can Happen On Halloween.My Profile

    • Hang in there, Tamara! Sorry you’ve had a rough week. Hope you have a fabulous weekend and can enjoy some well-deserved R&R. When we finally get the chance to meet, you can pick your poison. Drinks on me, my friend!

  4. Such a great post! I think that’s another benefit of running – it always forces to me to stop and smell the roses and be thankful for the very basic things: my health, the people in my life, the ability to run and for each new day. You are going to rock your 20 miler!!! Enjoy the taper and eat as much pizza as possible :) Happy Friday!
    natalie @ fit.fun.femme recently posted…Happy Friday!My Profile

    • Thanks Kerry! Hope you have a great weekend too. When I’m feeling low or crabby or just bleh, I think of all of the wonderful things and people in my life. Nothing snaps me out of a funk faster!

  5. This was such a great list of big and small things! I think running in general helps me be appreciative of so much in my life. Too funny that Monkey likes to dance to ‘Moves Like Jagger’!!

    Is MacAfee a Rhodesian Ridgeback? He’s cute :)
    Meagan recently posted…Snow!My Profile

    • Bean has several ‘questionable’ songs she loves, including some gems by Flo Rida and Adele. It’s pretty hilarious to hear a four year old belting out ‘Rumor Has It.’ Yes, sign me up for Mother of the Year. MacAfee is a Vizsla, but he had a Rhodesian Ridgeback buddy when he was a puppy. Do you know if people still take their dogs to the field behind the vet school at VT? We used to take Mac there for puppy play dates. I also remember his first snow. We took him to the drill field, and he was up to his nose in snow. So cute!

  6. Ah yes fountain Coke after a long run! I craved those all Spring while marathon training. The fizz and the syrupy was all I wanted and I rarely drink soda.

    Don’t feel bad about your music selection for a dance party. Last week my kids wanted music to dance and all I could find on the radio was Aerosmith, Love In An Elevator. Great parenting award right here please! ;-)
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…I Think I’m An AddictMy Profile

    • I can’t tell you how many times I stopped after a long run at the gas station to buy the most ridiculously oversized Fountain Coke. And it was soooo good! I skipped it today because it was so cold – snow flurries in October, YIKES – but I know I’ll indulge after Richmond! And we can be co-winners of the Mother of the Year Award for our music choices!

  7. What a lovely list of lovely things. Found myself nodding to a fair few of them, but I loved them all. Great positive post that’s left me feeling all fuzzy inside. Thank you. :)

    • Yes, we need to plan our post-race get together. I know Miss Zippy, Cori, and I will be there. Do you know anyone else? Want to pace me the last few miles after the half?

    • Eli, we should make an effort to tell those special people in our lives what they mean to us, even if they can’t fully comprehend the impact they have. Isn’t it amazing how people come into our lives just when we need it, even if we weren’t expecting or even looking for them? Now that’s something to be thankful for!

  8. Another day!! Yes! I’m so thankful it’s a new day. Love this list and truly love where your head is at. During my disastrous trip yesterday the light was meeting strangers who were so nice and sympathetic throughout our journey. Sometimes the kindness of strangers goes such a LONG way.
    20 days baby!! Can.Not.Wait. :-)
    Allie recently posted…Airline HellMy Profile

    • Isn’t it amazing how strangers are willing to step up when we need it most? I’ve had my fair share of travel delays, nights in roach motels because my connecting flight arrived so late that all of the decent hotels were booked up, and other frustrations. But there were always people willing to share a kind word. Yes, it makes a huge difference. Good luck this weekend. ROCK IT, MAMA!

  9. What a great list!!! I love lots of your 20 reasons to be thankful!!!
    Family dinner time is one of my favorite and I’m appreciating it even more now that the boys are older and we have to be creative lots of evenings (sometimes it is just pairs but still…).
    Kim recently posted…Proud MamaMy Profile

    • I can only imagine how difficult it becomes to arrange family meals around all of the various activities and events. I’m hoping we can keep up the tradition, even if it’s not every night. It’s amazing how many funny, sweet, and poignant moments we’ve already shared over a meal together.

  10. This is a big ole dose of Positivity to take me into the weekend – after a week of dealing with sick kids. boy – I’ve been Hanging Tough (ha!) all week. This.Is. So wonderful.
    And tonight, I am grateful for that frozen pizza, a husband who has the weekend off, kids in bed, popcorn, a good movie -and a loveseat perfect for getting close :)
    thanks for stopping by! :)
    Rorybore recently posted…4 Fill In Fun: A Little Sick EditionMy Profile

    • Ha ha ha, Hanging Tough! Love it! Step By Step was one of my personal favs. Kids in bed, popcorn, a movie, and snuggle time with the hubs are DEFINITELY things to be thankful for! My girls are napping right now, and that is always cause for major gratitude!

  11. Ah :)….whenever I get down about something I just take a second and regroup…I have a lot to be thankful for! Many of the same ring true for me too…but for me it is canned pop, a can of Diet Coke to be precise! YUM! I tried to quit, I failed…oh well :)! And Edy’s ice cream :) YUM!
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…A weighty issue…My Profile

    • I’m the same way, Jen! It’s hard to keep me down for long. I just think of all of the wonderful things in my life, and I snap right out of my funk!

  12. <3 this post!
    Have you heard the Blue Bell Jingle on the radio? For me, it's enough not to buy it! In all seriousness, however, I just buy whatever is on sale… I'm a boring ice-cream-buyer.
    I am thankful for a Marathon Finish. I did come in a little faster (very little) than last time, but I succumbed to the heat and had to walk/jog what could have been a major PR. Hm. I'll be thinking about it lots, I'm sure.
    I'm thankful for my husband and these last 36 hours alone together. It's nice to reconnect!
    Stephanie@nowirun.com recently posted…Almost time for #2!My Profile

    • Stephanie, CONGRATS on another great marathon finish! Sorry the heat robbed you of an even bigger PR, but don’t let that take anything away from your accomplishment. And, YES, the Blue Bell jingle is so annoying. But the ice cream is so good, especially when it’s on sale!

    • Thanks, Ilene! There’s a GIANT fountain Coke with my name on it somewhere in Richmond, just waiting for me to cross that finish line in less than three weeks! Yikes!

    • Thanks Crystal! Yes, it was a huge relief to put that 20-miler in the books! I can’t believe I have less than three weeks to go! I’ll defintely enjoy a HUGE fountain Coke and long, almost-scalding shower after the race!

  13. What a truly positive, beautiful list, Nicole.
    I am thankful for my children, my husband, my in-laws (they are such a huge help when my husband travels for work, which is frequent), blogging, favorite TV shows, our coffee machine, and for friends.
    Alison recently posted…Moments – #iPPPMy Profile

  14. Only number 14 and then sharing with the whole family? Ugh! Had the best weekend at the right time. Thanks for lunch, Love, PapaQ

  15. What is it about those darned bubbles + sugar that are SO appealing? I’m not a big soda person, but after a long, hot run (and let’s face it, they’re ALL hot out here), there’s something that carbonation does for me that nothing else can. I’ve even taken to putting my Nuun in soda water, in an attempt to avoid the sugar and up the ‘lytes!

    Today, I’m thankful for a supportive husband, for my coaching mentor in Rochester, and for a plane ticket to New Jersey for Thanksgiving!!!!!

    [Oh, and for the fact that I’ve been released from Comment purgatory! :)]
    Holly @ Run With Holly recently posted…Stretch of the Week: Kneeling Plantar Fascia Stretch (Feet #1)My Profile

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