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Gratitude in Unexpected Spaces

2019 has been a time of significant change and upheaval in my life, but it has also brought gratitude back to the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. It’s amazed me how focusing on gratitude has allowed me to see more things to be grateful for each day! Here are just a few of the items on my gratitude list.

This year, I am thankful for…

…the military.

Putting the military on my gratitude list definitely reflects a lot of personal growth for yours truly. The ups and downs of this lifestyle can wear on even the most seasoned of spouses and there are certainly times that the heartache and hard times outweigh the good. Despite the massive amount of change the military forced on me in 2019, I end the year feeling deeply grateful for my association with it.

I’m thankful for a move that went fairly smooth to a place that we’re enjoying for a job that my husband truly likes and keeps him home most of the time.

I’m thankful for the people and opportunities the military has brought into my life and for the people and opportunities yet to come.

I’m thankful for the pride my husband has in his job and I have in him.

I’m thankful for the sacrifices military families make each day for the benefit of us all.

If the military also makes an appearance on your gratitude list, here’s a great way to give back through Operation Gratitude! The organization has a goal to send 500,000 care packages in 2019 and you can help bring a little comfort and joy to deployed service members by knitting a scarf. What a perfect way to be creative and give back!

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

…my tribe.

Sometimes I think the concept of “finding your tribe” is a bit tired and maybe a little too focused on the cute t-shirt-friendly slogan. But this past year has made me so thankful for the group of people I surround myself with that I can’t skip them on my gratitude list.

When we moved, I was so worried that I’d lose some of the key people in my “old” life. That fear, more than any other part of the PCS process, worried me the most. And I shouldn’t have given it more than a passing thought! The beauty of social media and technology is that you can create and maintain deep and lasting relationships with people all over the world.

This group of people…my people…encourages, inspires and believes in me with a strength and commitment that I wish for everyone.


This one may sound a little silly, but walking has become such a big part of my life that I had to add it! It’s how I’m getting to know my new city, how I relieve stress, how I exercise and even how I complete my daily errands.

Perhaps this new “life on foot” has made me more conscious of and grateful for my ability to walk. It’s something we can easily take for granted, but as I navigate around D.C., covering miles each day, I recognize how much harder life would be if I didn’t have the ability to walk wherever I wanted to go.

…consistency and change.

If being thankful for the military indicates a lot of personal growth for me, being thankful for change probably indicates a borderline personality change! I’ve spent most of my life being resistant to change, especially when it’s not driven by me, but the military is beating that right out of me!

The past year has shown me that sometimes change needs to be forced upon you, even when you may be most resistant to it, because it ushers in something new and better. Leaving North Carolina and our life there behind has brought us into a new and equally fulfilling life.

Stepping away from a job has opened up new opportunities professionally, including growing Countdowns and Cupcakes. Leaving a familiar home base has forced personal growth and brought new and fun experiences.

While change has slowly squeaked its way onto my gratitude list, consistency’s spot has never been in question. Perhaps it’s because this has a been a season of change, but I find myself being even more grateful for consistency in my life. It’s the simplest things that I relish: eating food cooked by my mom, a new go-to date night restaurant that is always spot on and the familiar household objects that contain so many sweet memories. Those little things have taken on even more meaning and I’m exceptionally grateful for their comforting presence in my life.

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