My Thankful List

I'm taking a little pause from catching up on my monthly recaps and Quick Lit reviews to share two fun, holiday-inspired posts! Today, I'm reflecting on the things I'm thankful for in 2019. Tomorrow I'll be sharing a Christmas wishlist. And yes, I've noted that my gratitude is followed by greed. Blame Black Friday! It was fun to flip through photos, notes on my phone, and my journal to create this list. Some things came to mind immediately and others were surprise additions as I reflected on the past eleven months. I added commentary, too, because I'm me.

For the last three years, I've made thankfulness one of my daily practices by keeping a "Three Good Things" journal. It was inspired by a passage in one of my all-time favorite books, Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center, and started during a year where I needed the blessings to be what I remembered most. The habit of sitting down each night and finding the good moments in every day, even when they're small or silly, has been life changing for me. My list looks like flipping through my journal – some deeper things mixed with small delights.

1. Celebrating 30 years of life.
In February, I celebrated my 30th birthday. I spent the day cuddling my baby, reading a good book, and going on a date with my sweet husband. And this milestone inspired one of my favorite blog posts of the year: 30 Things I Learned by 30. It was so meaningful to reflect back on my life thus far and anticipate the next 30 years.

2. Rereading some of my most beloved books.
At some point in 2018, I joked to Kelly that I wanted to ignore my TBR for a month and just re-read old favorites. "Why can't you?" she asked. So we did! #FebruaREREAD was born out of that conversation, which was so energizing for my reading life. Plus, we set a goal to re-read one series a month – and that's been fantastic, too.

3. Being able to travel with my bestie.
My birthday gift from my husband and family was an international trip with my bestie. We went back to England and spent a day in Paris, too. The laughter we shared and places we saw are things I won't forget. Whether down the road or across the pond, traveling is so worth it! And I loved time away from my normal routine.

4. The sweetest family adventures, usually involving animals.
Nick and I were able to take our son on so many local adventures this year, and I cherish those photos and memories. Since he is an animal lover, lots of those activities involved animals – the aquarium, zoo, a drive-thru animal park, neighborhood petting zoo, wandering the pet store, and more. He's at a great age for exploring!

5. A lighter-than-usual travel schedule for my husband.
My husband works from home when he isn't traveling. Usually, he's traveling a pretty decent amount. Some trips are a few days and others can be as long as six weeks, but it's both domestic and international. We miss him so much when he's gone! It felt like we had him home more this year, and we loved every minute of it. 

6. Three years since my thyroid cancer was removed.
June marked three years since my surgery to have the remaining half of thyroid removed, due to a mass on it that turned out to be cancerous. It was news I never expected, and it was particularly hard since it came only six weeks after the birth of my son. My blood tests have been normal since then, and I'm so thankful. 

7. Waterproof casts in the summer.
While enjoying an afternoon at the playground with my husband, our sweet boy walked right off one of the platforms and broke his arm. We were thankful it was only a buckle fracture, which is both common and heals quickly. And since it was June, a waterproof cast was worth the extra money and didn't slow our boy down at all.

8. Hours-long phone calls and frequent flights.
If you'd told me when I found book blogging world that I'd find my best friend, I wouldn't have believed you. Because how would that work with states between us and no "real life" meeting? Now I know the answer – with showing up in all the ways that count. Whether it's on FaceTime or in my library, I'm thankful for Kelly.

9. Preparing for a second baby to join our family.
It took me a few years to get pregnant with our firstborn, and we'd been going through the same thing while trying for another baby. We were overjoyed when we found out that another little boy is headed our way next year! The last six months have been all about nesting and savoring this time with my firstborn, which I've loved.

10. One year in our new home.
Last September, we moved into a house that I love more every day that we're here. The neighborhood and floor plan were what sold us in the first place, but the changes we've made since then have truly turned this into our home. From exterior paint to new blinds, it's all making me hope this is where we'll live forever.

11. A special beach trip with my mom and my son.
I love going to the beach in the summer, and I'm always stalking Nick's travel schedule in hopes we can plan a trip. It wasn't going to work out this year, and then my mom suggested this alternative. And oh my word, the three of us had so much fun! It was a quiet, relaxing week with gorgeous weather and sweet memories.

12. Beautifully crafted paper products – planners, journals, and more.
When I was looking at my gratitude entries, I laughed at all the references to things I'd bought that brought me joy. So many of those were paper products! I've got a new weekly planner I'm loving, a goal planner that I'm excited to use in 2020, my next reading log ready to go, and more. I'll link to all of them in my 2019 favorites post.

13. Our pediatrician and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
We thought our son had a stomach bug but soon knew something wasn't right. I'm thankful for our pediatrician who ordered an ultrasound, just in case, and everyone at the children's hospital who took care of my son before, during, and after his surgery for a ruptured appendix. I didn't even know it could happen to someone his age!

14. My family (and living so close to them).
The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I am to have the family that I do. I've been extra grateful for my parents this year, and I can't even put all those reasons into words. From babysitting my son to helping me decorate my house, the list is endless. What a gift to live just a few minutes down the road from them.

15. Apps that make my life more productive, organized, and functional. 
This seems like the most ridiculous thing to include on my list, especially since I've had a love/hate relationship with my phone lately. But I can't deny that some of the apps I bought this year have helped me do things like save money, prioritize my to dos, tackle my digital photo clutter, and sort my notes. They've made my life easier!

16. Getting out of my comfort zone.
One of my goals this year was to be more social. I don't have many local friends, and I know that meeting people requires me to put myself out there. It's just scary – and I can feel so awkward! But I joined a small group this fall and have been striking up conversations with other moms at the playground. Little by little, it is progress.

17. Audiobooks and wireless headphones, forever and always.
This certainly isn't a new discovery in 2019, but it still had to make my list. You want to know how I'm able to read so many books in a month? This is my secret! I am a fast reader, but audiobooks take it to the next level. They make household chores and errands so enjoyable! Plus, I love how it allows me to fit in so many rereads.

18. A hobby that encourages me to be more creative.
Blogging had to make my list, even though I took a long hiatus from it this year. I love talking about books, engaging with other readers, learning new skills, and challenging myself to be creative. And I'm extra thankful for encouraging comments and blog readers who stick around, even when my content isn't consistent.

19. My calm, steady spouse and the bravest, best three-year-old boy.
I had to save the best for last! I'm most thankful for my husband and our handsome little boy. Nick is so dependable, hard-working, and loves us so well. And I'm grateful every single day for this little boy we're raising. He's brave, smart, affectionate, sassy – I could go on and on! I just adore being his mom.

What are you thankful for this year? 
I hope today brings you joy!


  1. Not exactly book related, but I would LOVE a blog post on those apps that have made life easier! :)

  2. This is such a wonderful list, Hannah! <3 And, as a side note, I am grateful for you and how you always inspire me in a lot of different ways :)


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