sunset over

The Thankful List! (2015)

There are certain times of the year that help us slow down and reflect. For me Thanksgiving is a perfect time to stop and be thankful,Ā as the word implies. Usually, this takes place quickly around the dining room table in answer to the “what are you thankful for this year” question. I wanted to be a bit more thoughtful this year and was inspired by The Frugal Girl who publishes a yearly Thankful List with 50 things she is grateful for during that year. So often we rush through life and forget to reflect on all the amazingness it has to offer. So in the spirit of daring to delight in the ordinary beauty of life, and then document it, I am listing what I am thankful for. Here it goes.

I am thankful…

  1. for girlfriends who met over wine and dive right into deep and hard conversations. Who bare their soul and share their hearts. Who push me to be my most authentic self.
  2. for photography. It has awakened my soul and allowed me to see the world around me in a way I never have before.
  3. for Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. My love for these grocery stores is deep. They allow me to eat well and provide clean food for my family.
  4. for the crazy, silly, hilarious memes that fly back and forth over text between me and my sister-in-law. Girl, keep those coming šŸ™‚
  5. for coffee with cream and coffee shops that perfect their craft.
  6. for my home. It is not my dream home but it has served me well for 5 years. It is now the place my husband comes home too and for that I am truly grateful.
  7. for my health. After 4 crazy years in and out of the hospital to have a diagnosis and a treatment plan, to be having more good days than bad and to have modern medicine (including medication) is a blessing.
  8. for being an auntie. These three kiddos rock my world.big brother and big sister holding newborn brother
  9. for Adele and talented musicians everywhere. She is the soundtrack to my days and I love her humble approach to her art.
  10. for the trust my clients give me by inviting me into their lives. From day in the life sessions, to weddings, to births, these are all intimate moments and I treasure documenting each one of them.
  11. for the She Reads Truth ladies and the app they developed. Being able to read my bible daily, to participate in bible studies, to have beautiful art that helps me memorize scripture and to do it all in a community of women is amazing.2015-11-25_0005
  12. for my Fitbit that reminds me I have one body and to get it moving.
  13. for the ability to live in Los Angeles. This diverse city filled with wonderful chaos still amazes me after 8 years.
  14. for mountains and hiking. Being in natureĀ feeds my soul.
  15. for Thai food. One of the perks of being in an interracial marriage is being fed really great food. Now to just learn how to cook it.
  16. for quotes. I LOVE quotes. I love collecting them. I love the power of words. I really enjoy the Pieology quote wall too.quote wall from pieology
  17. for my husband’s love and support. He extends more grace to me than I could ever deserve. I never question his support or love. He genuinely wants to be with me and tells me I am beautiful. His tenderness and strength get me every time.
  18. for my camera. It is an extension of me and the equipment that allows me to document the beauty in every day.
  19. for red wine, Malbec to be specific. Antioxidants and amazingness all in one bottle.
  20. for Christmas. It is my favorite season and it can never start early enough. Sorry to all the other holidays.
  21. for artists of all types. To watch a master of their craft is truly inspiring. From writers, to calligraphers, from actors to dancers, and everyone else who creates, I am truly inspired by you all.
  22. for sunsets. I am obsessed with how God paints the sky for us every night just to bring us joy.sunset over hollywood bowl los angeles
  23. for essential oils that allow me to reduce toxins from our home and provide other health benefits. My journey towards health has pushed me to know more about all the items we use and I am so thankful for all natural alternatives.
  24. for my siblings who are crazy, messy, beautiful and wonderful all rolled into one. I am big sister to 7! I got to grow up with 2 amazing little brothers, who will always be my littles even though they both tower over me now. Recently, I have gotten to know 5 more kiddos through the gift of adoption as my parents are using their retirement to rescue kids from the foster system. It gets messy but we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
  25. for the wealth of knowledge on the internet. My photography journey would not be possible without the wealth of information availableĀ from the generous souls that share their expertise with the world.
  26. for books. Did I mention I love the written word and all of its power to inspire and transform? Books are my escape and my joy. Give me a good novel and let me be for a few hours and I am a happy girl.
  27. for boots and scarves and sweaters. There is something so comforting about these pieces of clothing. I get excited when it gets cold enough (by Cali standards) to pull them out of the closet again.
  28. for parents that have turned into friends. This adult relationship with my mom and dad is a thing of beauty, messy from time to time, yet oh so beautiful.
  29. for my church and a pastor that speaks truth from the word of God week after week. My heart is learning and growing more than I ever thought possible.
  30. for my husband’s courage to go back to school and work so hard for our future.
  31. for clean sheets and a bed. There is just something so wonderful about a freshly made bed. It is a privilege I am often reminded of as I walk the streets of Los Angeles where the homeless make their beds on the concrete.
  32. for the beauty of adoption that makes an orphan a dearly loved son or daughter. This year I have been personally touched by adoption on so many levels and I love how God uses this tangible reminder to show us the reality we have in him as adopted sons and daughters through the grace of Christ.
  33. for Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx. I owe most of my wardrobe and house decor to those stores.
  34. for my 35 mm lens. It is the perfect lens for capturing the way I see the world and hardly ever leaves my camera.
  35. for my husband’s sense of play, joy and silliness. He balances this serious girl so holding up a globe
  36. for CreativeLive and all the knowledge shared freely by their teachers who have become my mentors. This site is a wealth of knowledge and had expanded my skills in so many ways.
  37. for The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book has truly changed the way my husband and I look at stuff. We have learned to ask if the items in our home bring joy and to let go of our attachment to material goods. I think the local Salvation Army is also grateful for this book as we have dropped off bags of stuff.
  38. for the new Star Wars movie because even thinking about it brings my husband so much joy, which brings me joy.
  39. for parents who have stuck it out for 33 years, teaching me that marriage is hard work and oh so worth every ounce of effort. It is a blessing to watch them get better with time.
  40. for contacts and glasses. Without them I would run into walls.
  41. for a best friend who lives miles away and yet is always close to my heart. The comfort of someone who has known you and loved you for 13 years is so precious.
  42. for women who do scary things and are their most authentic selves. They free me to embrace who I am and live that loud.
  43. for Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker’s Against All Grains. I have yet to make a bad dish from this cookbook. It is indeed simple and delicious. Most of all it helps us to keep healthy while enjoying food.
  44. for date nights with my hubby. We love our simple outings around LA. Museums, bookstores, walks around town, the Griffith Observatory, restaurants, and the beach are all places we love to explore together.Ā man and women out at date night
  45. for a good hair cut. While I firmly believe that hair is just protein growing out of your head and doesn’t define a woman, there is something to be said about the way a good hair cut makes you feel.
  46. for the mountains that make me feel grounded by their strength.
  47. for photojournalists who risk their lives to tell the stories of those who don’t have a voice. For the pictures they make that confront us with our complacency and push us out of our comfort zones.
  48. for my car that carries me all over So Cal so faithfully. Oh and it is fully paid off which is the best kind of car.
  49. for you, my dear reader. Your support and belief in what I do is more precious than rubies to me. Thank you for being along for the journey.
  50. for all that this next year will bring. I cannot wait to see what God writes into our story. Maybe a baby?! Sending some prayers up to heaven for that one šŸ™‚ Ā Whatever it holds I know He is faithful and I am so blessed. It is well with my soul.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for this year. Leave me a few of your “thankful for” thoughts in the comments below or link to your blog post if you wrote a thankful themed post this year too.

Enjoy your day with family and friends. Please don’t forget to document it. I promise those images will make it onto a thankful for list one day.