26 thanks as I mark 26 years

Today is my 26th birthday. I don’t have any big plans, nor do I anticipate getting any big presents and, seeing as how the final milestone birthday was last year (i.e., being able to get a rental car without an up-charge), there’s nothing that I get to do differently now that couldn’t have been done before.

Despite that this seems like such a lackluster day, though, it really isn’t. I may not have anything new coming my way, but my life is still full of gifts. After all, here’s 26 things I’m thankful for on my 26th birthday:

  1. A fiance who loves me (even when I drive him crazy)
  2. A beautiful house that’s far too good for a couple of youngin’s
  3. An adorable puppy that reminds us that every day you need to spend at least an hour burning off energy
  4. Parents who support me in everything I do
  5. A sister who is growing into a confident woman and has big things in store for her
  6. A job that allows me to learn new things and discover what I want to do in life
  7. A network of friends that’s always there when I need them
  8. The ability to travel and see new places on a regular basis
  9. The ability to be enjoy the things that make me happy – movies, television, musicals – and friends/family to enjoy them with
  10. Enough income to live comfortably but still value hard work
  11. Work travel that allows me to see family and friends
  12. Public transportation that gives me a couple hours each day to relax, read or get stuff done
  13. Colleagues that are willing to invest in my professional development
  14. A love of reading and being taken to new (or sometimes, old familiar) worlds
  15. Social media that gives me the chance to keep in touch with friends and family I don’t get to see often enough
  16. My involvement in things like FFA, 4-H and #agchat that has introduced me to so many new people across the country and around the world
  17. Being fortunate to live in a country safe from war and disease, like what is affecting so many people today
  18. The chance to live near one of the best cities in the country, giving me the chance to experience big city adventures with Midwest values
  19. Getting to see my mom start an adventure of her own doing something she’s really passionate about, through her business Bennu Creative Entertainment Services
  20. People in my life who make me laugh every day
  21. Aunts, uncles and cousins who have gotten to be such an integral part of my life and have been there for every milestone along the way
  22. Being able to smile at the little things in life
  23. An education and college experience at one of the best places on Earth – Michigan State University
  24. The fact that there’s rain in the forecast today, since we need the moisture
  25. Good health and the ability to make myself stronger physically and mentally
  26. A positive and optimistic outlook on what the future will bring

Every day is a gift and never more so than on your birthday.