Tonight I am reminded of the need to feel thankful.

I am thankful for my husband.  No matter how far away he is, he can make any day better just by telling me he loves me.  It's such a great feeling to know that he chose me to spend the rest of his life with.  I love knowing that if/when things get rough, he will be right next to me going through it all with me.  Today I was reminded things can change in an instant.  My lunch break was when I received word that Rob had had an accident while playing for the company soccer team.  5 to 10 minutes not remembered, a ride in an ambulance and the discovery of an arachnoid cyst later and the headache still lingers.  Hopefully no MRI's show anything more.. I can't imagine where I'd be without him.  He IS who I want to spend the next 60 to 80 years with before moving on to Heaven (hopefully) to spend eternity with.

I am thankful for Piston.  It's amazing how that little fur ball can make me smile so much one moment and make me so frustrated the next.  I can't express how hard it is to take care of him by myself, but I wouldn't change it for the world.  Sunday night I spent the evening without him while he was still boarded and his presence was missed.  Greatly.  All of his little quirks remind me of how much I love him.  And it helps to know that someone is waiting anxiously for me at home.

I am thankful for my family.  I'm 100% positive one of the best decisions I made was moving back to Kansas for this deployment.  I've been battling feeling lonely a lot lately and it's great to know that I can call up Mom or Dad and grab some dinner, or come hang out at the house for an evening.  Even just being back within driving distance of my sister is a great feeling.  We may not all always get along, but we do love each other at the end of the day.  Sometimes you take for granted having that love around, and when you live so far away, you wish more than anything you could just drop in for an afternoon of chit-chat.  Now that it's just 20 minutes away from me.. I'm soaking that love up.

I am thankful for my friends.  They are few and far between, but they know who I am and what I stand for better than the average person obviously.  It's amazing how quickly I turn to Allison for advice or a quick vent.  She could probably tell you how I am feeling before I even finish my statement.  And vice versa.  Even though we don't get to see each other that often, when we do.. it's like we see each other everyday.  Closer to home there is Kara.. someone who can come over and just drop in for some drinks and some Sex and the City and feel content in going through old memories and laughing at new ones.  And whenever I need a break from life's daily routine I can meet up with Lindsay for dinner and an evening of catching up.  Perfect for us married ladies.. where would I be without the support of these main 3?  Even lonelier.  As we grow up, sometimes different people enter different phases at different times which makes things hard on a friendship.. the key is to know when to fight for it and when to let it go.  One of the decisions that will never be easy for anyone.. but part of life I suppose.  I wouldn't even be able to list all the people that have made an impact in my life over the years and left that lasting impression that molded me into who I am today.

I am thankful for my life and being able to live it in freedom.  I've had my fair share of learning experiences over the years.  I don't regret any of these things, but I promised myself I would learn from them.  Most days I feel I have done an extraordinary job at this.. I can look back at the last 21 years and pinpoint obstacles I've had to overcome, memories I care to not remember and those little events (Dec 20th anyone?) that led to how my life is today.  This life is what you make it.. I am so thankful for what I have and who is in it.  At the end of the day I am who I am and I am not molding to fit any certain model of who I should, would or could be.  I am just Amanda, but I have so much to live for, and I am beyond thankful for what God has blessed me with in this life, here and now.

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