Monday, December 2, 2019


This year, starting on November 1st, I made an Instagram/Facebook Story about something or someone I was thankful for. I called them my Thankfulness Posts. It really did help me center myself and realize how much we take for granted, be it that friend who is just always around, to having a house that has a roof and running water.

I saved my posts, and here they are below.

Words cannot express how grateful I am that Breaky came in to my life. My experience in this crazy ride called existence would be glaringly different had we not met. From introducing me to a bunch of great new people whom I now call friends, to letting me be a part of his family, and to showing me the love and support I had been wishing for all of my life; thank you Breaky! 

I am so grateful and still in disbelief that this child is the product of two crazy kids so in love and that she calls me "Mama". So thankful that she made me a Mom. 

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Not only is my sister my best friend, she is also a kick-butt Aunt. Thank you sissy for being an awesome support and an awesome role-model for our BabyCPK.

I am so grateful that I was raised by two wonderful parents. I do not thank them enough for being wonderful role models, not only as parents and partners but as honestly good human beings. 

I am grateful I can live in a country that gives me the right to vote and let my voice be heard. It's easy to disagree with policies, politicians, and the way things are, but to be able to have the chance to actually make a difference is not something everyone gets the chance to do. 

You read that right. 15 years of f
endship with the penguin. She has been one of my best friends since Freshman year of college. When she met her penguin handler I knew she had finally found happiness. I owe both of them so much. Thank you for being great friends!

I don't know what we would do without this lovely little family! Hollicakes made our cupcakes for our wedding (and pretty much every event/party/shindig we've hosted since) and she's been a great support as a Mom friend as we're both new Moms. Dylan is responsible for all the great photos I get to post on my blog and FB page. Not only those things, but they are great friends and would do, and have done, anything we need at the drop of a hat. Oh, and the little shark monster is BabyCPK's best friend <3  

Both of these great friends had been with Breaky and I had from the beginning of our relationship. From standing up in our wedding, to going to Blizzcon with us to countless ups and downs in life, these two are sparkling examples of what friendship truly means. And they have a cute fluffy dog named Zoey, who is DogCPKs best friend.  

Breaky and I got Lily aka DogCPK when she was about 1.5 years old. As much as she is a spazz, she is equally as cuddly and loving. She is incredibly gentle and good with BabyCPK. We coudln't have asked for a better dog. We are thankful for you Lily Bug

If you follow football at all, you must think I'm nuts for being a Lions fan. Well, not all teams can have a winning record, but when we do, I can stand tall and say I was a fan from the beginning. Plus, let's be honest, this team taught me at an early age that disappointment is a normal part of being an adult. 

This post was made on Veteran's Day. I have two good high school friends who served, as well as some family members. Unfortunately I did not have any pics of the family members in uniform, but I made sure they were aware their service was appreciated. Out of my two high school friends who have served, only one is left. I wrote about my friend's passing here. 

I was a student ambassador for Western Michigan University for 4 years. I gave tours, answered and made telephone calls, worked in the office and planted the seed for my love of higher education. I owe my current status and job to the student ambassador office. Without them, I know I would not be working in higher education for sure. This isn't the first time the Student Ambassador Office made my blog. Check out my Butta Boys blog post. 

I made this post on the anniversary of my aunt's passing. I wrote about here in this blog post. In this picture is my aunt and my grandmother, whom we lost in 2012. Both were immediate family to us and it is still hard to deal with both of them not being here anymore. Aunt Bette got to meet Hedea, and I know she would be so incredibly happy to see what a smart, capable, tenacious little curly-haired force of nature she's become.  And I know my grandmother would be head-over-heels over her first grandbaby. How incredibly lucky i am to have had loved these two characters that left such a big hole in my life. Sounds counter-intuitive, but regardless of how hard it is and was to say goodbye, it was worth it, because of how much better of a person you both made me. 

Sometimes, people can make or break a workplace. I have worked in many, many different offices, with many different people and for many different supervisors. Our office may not be the biggest, but we are good at our jobs and man, we work well together. Between just being in sync and making each other laugh when we need it, I couldn't have asked for a better work environment.

One bachelor degree, two minors, one master's degree, an in-progress graduate certificate, 4 years of student employment, and 6 years of real-world employment. Saying that WMU had an impact on my life is probably the biggest understatement of the decade. Add to that the legacy of 2 immediate family members being alumni as well, it is safe to say our household flies the WMU flag proudly. 

This post happened the day our little family went to the Kalamazoo Holiday Parade for the first time. Seeing the community and the spirit of the season made me realize how incredibly lucky we are to live in such an amazing place. Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo! 

I wrote about our good friend who helped us get our new house. We are so grateful not only for that, but for being fantastic friends. Whether it is a dinner date, or watching our DogCPK, they are always willing and able to help and participate.  

No house is without challenges, so it is always a good idea to be grateful for a roof over your head, a warm house, running water and a place to lay your head. Yes, we've had some plumbing issues, but those were resolved. We are on our way to making our final organizational adjustments, but just having BabyCPK and Breaky under the same roof makes it our home.

I will probably do a big blog post (or two) to describe what my Dad's choir in high school meant to my family and me. But to summarize, I grew up with Venner (which means friends) and it was a huge part of my life. I have met so many great people, learned life skills and have a strong relationship with my family as a result. We are doing a Venner Reunion in June, so if you are reading this and are a Venner Alumni, be sure to mark your calendars!

Speaking of high school, I was fortunate enough to attend one of the best public high schools in the state. Now, it is one of those situations you aren't thankful for that until after you graduate, but I realize now how extremely good my education was. Small though it was, the teachers and staff were and are exceptional.

If you are aware of the drama and what happened to and with S2 Games towards the end, you may be surprised to hear me say how thankful I am to S2 Games. Well, without that company, and the resulting Frostburn Studios, I would not have met Breaky, or a good number of friends that I've mentioned in this blog post. I certainly would not have had such great Halloween parties, or had such a great support system when BabyCPK was born. So thank you S2 Games, for introducing me to Breaky and his wonderful, geeky world.

I am thankful for my second family! So very happy that BabyCPK can grow up with wonderful cousins and supportive family warms my heart. We are so lucky to have a great support system.

I made this post on my sister and Dad's birthday. Yes, they share a birthday. Normally, their birthday happens on or around Thanksgiving. In fact, my sister was born ON Thanksgiving. This year was a little different, with Thanksgiving falling a week later. So we were able to share a low-key birthday celebration in my hometown.

I will forever be grateful for these two for raising such a wonderful man, who turned in to such  a wonderful husband and father. They may be farther away, but between visits and sending packages, they somehow manage to send us love and support every day.

I have talked about my Facebook "Mom Group" on this blog before. But man, I do not know what I would do without my Mamma Llamas, I tell you what. How lucky can I be for having such a great group of women that I can turn to with questions, concerns, feedback, or just plain silliness.  

I am thankful for my entire family, but to try to thank them all at once with one post would have resulted in like, 20 + tags and far too many people. 

My Mom's side of the family has always been close. We lost our grandmother the year I met Breaky, but I think the loss brought us closer together as a family. Though we are separated by quite a few distances, we are always there for each other. 
As I mentioned in my post, reunion soon? 

My Dad's side of the family is also really close. Since we mostly all live pretty close together, we do see each other a lot more often. In fact, we do Thanksgiving together every year, as well as cabin trips. We are missing our dear Aunt Bette every day, but her legacy lives on with all those nieces and nephews. 

How thankful I am to have good food, good friends, great family. Happy belated Thanksgiving friends! Love you all. 

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