Thankful For: 21 – 30

My Thankful For: 11-20 list was published just hours before we discovered Baby #2 no longer had a heartbeat and we experienced the Art of Losing a Baby. Despite the sadness these past days have brought, my heart is full. And while reflecting, I became aware of little moments of beauty I may have otherwise missed. Why is that it usually takes something bad happening to make us realize just how good we have it? This past week has served as a not-so-gentle reminder that having a heart full of gratitude is necessary for a worthwhile and purposeful life.

Today, I am thankful for…

21. my family, friends, and blog readers who took time out of their day to pass along words of encouragement. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.

22. cuddle time with the little guy.

23. family vacations and road trips. We left early this morning – depending on when you’re reading this, we could be in Oklahoma, Missouri, or Illinois.

24. bar-b-que. wet and sloppy bar-b-que.

25. podcasts. We’re listening to Go Fork Yourself, Doug Loves Movies, Mohr Stories, and Stuff You Missed in History Class while driving north through America’s heartland.

26. having a comfortable bed to sleep in at night.

27. chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting I made for bible study on Wednesday night. Delicious.

28. thought provoking bible study books, such as The Christian Atheist.

29. red nail polish.

30. dawn. It just may be my favorite part of the day. Is it because of the opportunity and hope that lies within the early morning sun? I’m not sure. But boy, sunrises sure are good for the soul.

See Thankful For: 1 – 10, Thankful For: 11 – 20

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Pure Michigan

Back when I was a full-time working gal, I was privy a strange phenomenon in the American workforce – the guilt associated with using vacation days entitled to us through our benefits package. Furthermore, there was an aura of pride that surrounded the idea of being too busy to take a vacation. Now that I am older (and dare I say wiser?), I realize the importance of taking a break and  stopping to smell the roses. And because we would much rather spend money on experiences than ‘things’, Clay and I have gotten into the habit of taking one big vacation each year in addition to trips to visit family back in North Carolina and Georgia. Money well spent, in my opinion.

Montreal – 2005

In the past, we’ve done Montreal, the Bahamas, San Diego, and Alaska among other places as our big cheese vacation and now this year we’re heading to northern Michigan. So now this is where I point out that I am sure some of you are thinking Michigan?

Glen Lake – 1990

Yes – Michigan. This vacation will be slightly different  than ones in the past because we’re joining my parents and siblings in Glen Arbor, Michigan for a week-long rental on Glen Lake. You see, Glen Arbor is a special place for my family because we went there every summer growing up and it became a home and away from home. Having spent 10 years of my childhood in Phoenix, Arizona, the summers in Michigan were a welcomed break from the heat. My mom’s family had a cottage in the area so our days were filled with hikes along the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, swims in Lake Michigan, kayaking on the Crystal River, and bike rides around Mackinac Island. I am sure some of it has to do with childhood memories but northern Michigan is truly a magical place. Maybe even more so than Disney World. And you know what? I am excited to finally share it with Clay and Weston.

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Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

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The Cherry Republic – Glen Arbor, Michigan

Cherry soda? Yes please!

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Mackinac Island

We’re off tomorrow. And because we’re those type of dog owners, we’re driving to Michigan so our little girl could accompany us. She is not one to pass up a vacation on the water. And you know what? Neither are we!

Are you taking a vacation this summer? If so, where?

Any place as exotic as northern Michigan? 🙂