Thankful for…

Here’s a list.  There are sooo many things.

I’m thankful for, in random order:

1)  Sharing a cool house with incredibly cool roommates.  I have a yard, a grill, washer/dryer, and roommates that make me laugh every night.

2)  Blasting country music radio (105.1 and 95.1) on my way to work in the mornings.  I love that I will know ALL of the lyrics to ALL of the songs.  Predictable= yes?  But it wakes me up & puts me in a decent mood.

3)  Mom and Dad.  of course…not only did they give birth to ME, but they continue to encourage me, entertain me, and cheer me on in life.  We sat through Bluegrass Gospel together last Christmas in a room full of 80+ year olds and what looked like some ex-convicts, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time.  I love finding out new ways in which I’m like both of them.

4)  The Brothers.  I’m the middle child, which sounds horrible, but I’m quite lucky.  I have the big brother to knock me around a little, protect me, & set the standard for sense of humor very high.  I have the younger brother to tag along with me on any adventure, laugh about anything with, and encourage in any way I can.  Best friends through the years, and that’s pretty amazing.

5)  My Mustang.  Yes, I got a little too excited seeing the new 2010 Mustangs that are out.  I have driven a Mustang for the past 10 years, and it completely suits me.  Although I’d like to have a bigger space to fit my bike, I can’t imagine giving it up.  I never get tired of driving it around.

6)  My days at work begin with kids smiling & saying big “Hi Kristy!!!” to me, flooding me with questions about what we are doing that day, and telling me all sorts of hilarious things.  I feel completely at home & grateful for the time with them.

7)  Thankful for my surroundings.  L.A. is beautiful to me.  Whether I’m running through amazing neighborhoods, biking along the coast, or hiking some random trails off the PCH–I get such a feeling of peace from all of it.

8)  7-11.  It’s a block away from me, and I have discovered my own iced coffee combo from all their various coffees.  Clif bars, yogurt parfaits, Diet 7-up…thank you for always being there for me.

9)  Dogs.  Moving in with roommates means I get to be an Aunt to a very cute dog named Effie.  We spend lots of nights just running back and forth down the hallway.  This erases any stress from the day in about 5 minutes flat.  She is also always hungry.  We have this in common.  I want one of my own someday, but for now, I’m a great Aunt.

10)  Sam and Sophie, the most perfect nephew/niece combo I’ve ever seen (besides maybe me and my brothers).  I can’t wait to see them for the holidays and DISNEYLAND in February!!!  Their smiles are the best.  I don’t really want any of my own, but I’m a great Aunt!

11)  work friends:  It’s great to have a sense of humor when working around kids (especially middle school kids).  I’m so glad I have a wonderful circle of teachers/ assistants that can keep it fun (or complain together when we need to).

12)  My best friend is back:  Chuck is my roomie again!  13 or so years of an amazing friendship.  He’s my best friend wherever he is, but it is great having him right next door (and like last night, knocking on the door with a cork screw telling me he poured me a glass of wine).

13)  Jeans.  I live in them.  I really don’t know what I wear if they didn’t exist.  I stopped buying really expensive ones.   These Levi’s are pretty comfy.

14)  My trainer.  It’s been almost 2 years now & I can’t imagine going more than a week without working out with him.  I totally lucked out here–a really smart, talented guy who has not only helped me build strength–he keeps me injury-free & works specifically on muscles needed for triathlons.  He asks about every race & pushes me in ways that I need it.  I sometimes wish I could go back in time and be a high school athlete with a really motivational coach—but I can’t, so this works.

15)  My G3 phone through T-mobile.  It’s mapping, searching, email, capabilities have helped me so many times in the past several months.  I am not in front of a computer most days, so it’s really great to be able to check my email on a more regular basis (ie: every 2 minutes).

16)  Triathlons.  I’ve participated in about 12 of them over the past two years, and I love them more and more as I get better at them.  I love everything about the sport:  the participants, the equipment, the transition from sport to sport, the training.  All of it provides such a rush and keeps me so entertained & engaged.  With the L.A. Tri Club being so huge out here–it’s easy to find training run/bikes/swims, so it really feels like a whole other community I’m welcomed into.  I’m especially thankful for my medals this year!!!

17)  Me Extended Family:  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandma Edna–so great to see most of them on Facebook cracking me up on a daily basis & hope to see as many of them as I can over the X-mas break.  I feel completely grounded in this world–and my extended family has helped to make this so.  They are very much an extended part of what my immediate family has been to me.  Love and thanks to them all!

18)  a big new theatre to teach in.  You don’t see spaces like this in big cities…not the cramped, 100 seat theatre that’s falling apart.  This space is huge and open & clean & full of possibilities.  I love that the kids get to operate the sound and lights for the shows.  They feel such a sense of responsibility in the space, and so do I.

19)  Farmville.  Yes, I made fun of most of my relatives for joining this.  When I was guilted into it, I thought it would be a momentary thing.  I’m hooked.  I never thought I’d find harvesting my online crops to be so soothing, but it’s a great way to spend an evening.

20)  My health.  It’s been on my mind a lot this year for some reason–some people have to struggle through so much illness/disease on a daily basis & would be so thankful just to be healthy.  I hate to see this struggle, but I’m being smarter about valuing my own health and taking care of myself as best I can (though I know that ultimately, some things are out of our control).  I even got a physical last week!  Hooray healthcare (now let’s make it a universal thing!).

21)  Michael Jackson, R.I.P.  Although I hate to see the guy go, it was great to see little kids dancing to his music–many of them hearing it for the first time.  He used to be a joke, and finally is respected for what he brought to the world.  I hope it will help us change the way we tend to rip superstars apart.  Anyways, I’m thankful for all his music–it’s still a constant in my life and on my ipod.

22)  Sunshine.  This is almost an everyday thing around here, and it never gets old.

23)  Running.  This is a 10 year gift that I found & had no idea at the time how much it would help me in life.  Running, whether in the morning waking me up, in the evening calming me down, in a race going as fast as I can, or a slow run with a great running buddy–whether I come home from a run feeling tired & cranky, or revived and ready to go–each run serves a purpose.  I’m terrible with being able to focus on one thing at a time–but both running and teaching help me to really be in the moment.  When I’m running outside, my mind is there but not.  I’m not making lists of things do to, having deep thoughts, or anything like that.  It’s mostly experiencing things with my senses & one step after the other.  Also, I usually end the runs at 7-11, so what’s not to like?!?!

24)  My L.A. buddies:  These are outside of work friends, so we don’t spend our time talking about our jobs.  We spend most of our time laughing, planning activities, watching movies, partying, and sometimes doing Mud Runs.  Hanging out with them I feel totally at ease.  It’s probably the vodka.

25)  My grandmother & my Papa Tom:  I lost both of these grandparents (on my Dad and my Mom’s side, respectively) in the past few years, and they are on my mind a lot.  My grandmother is with me in every decision I make.  I think of what she wrote once to me–something about being myself & never letting anyone hold me back from being all that I could.  Of course, right after that she wrote that a woman president would be “for the birds”!!!  I miss her, but she is a part of me.  This will be our first Christmas without Papa Tom, but I’m sure he will be in all of our thoughts.  Grandparents are such a special gift, and you can look around at our  family to see how much of an impact they’ve had on all of us.

26)  Fuji apples.  This is a given.  I just bought some great ones at the grocery store today…the perfect food.

27)  People close to me who enjoy laughing as much as I do.  Sometimes I’m around people that don’t laugh much, and suddenly my own loud obnoxious laugh becomes painfully awkward and inappropriate.  I prefer to spend my time with great “laughers”–laughing with me, at me, at anything…I think it’s one of the best things about life, the feeling of laughter.

28)  Curb Your Enthusiasm’s current season with the Seinfeld Reunion.  Jerry Seinfeld–I have a massive crush on him.  I hope to see him to stand up again.  Larry David is also hilarious, so it’s great to see them together–along with the cast of one of the greatest shows ever written.

29)  NBA basketball:  This year found the Houston Rockets fighting the L.A. Lakers with everything they had & making a pretty good run for it.  Yao Ming, fix your foot.  In the meantime, Rockets, I look forward to seeing you in the playoffs again this next year.  TNT–thanks for covering it with the most entertaining sportscasters I’ve seen in awhile.

30)  Ocean swimming.  I used to hate it.  Fear it.  But at some point, I got over it & now there’s a thrill–especially when the waves are extremely high & the current is crazy.  Being in it has become increasingly fun.  And only a few miles away from the house.  Sweet!

31)  Avocado.  I hated them when I was a kid, but now I’m a California girl.  I want them on everything I order.’

32)  The view I see as I walk to my car on the rooftop parking lot at work–especially at night, the downtown skyline & the sunset= beautiful (at a moment when I’m usually dead tired).

33)  Virgin Airlines.  I hate flying.  But they have made it OK with their tv, free wifi, great steak sandwiches, awesome movie selection, & non-stop flights.  I have yet to had a bad experience with them.

34)  Self check out at the grocery stores.  I’m big into do-it-yourself.  I think I’m faster than the employees.

35)  Being able to see Tom graduate this year…go T!

36)  Happy Hour.  It’s a benefit of being a teacher.  I don’t indulge every week, but I will hit a happy hour at least once a month.  Margarita is the drink of choice.

37)  My ipod shuffle.  It’s not that fancy, but it’s so TINY!  I like that it doesn’t hold too much music.  It only has my workout tunes.  That being said, I would love to be thankful for an IPOD NANO next year!

38)  My fancy tri bike.  We’ve been together over a 1000 miles, and it’s corny–but when I’m riding it does feel like a part of me.  I’m much less clumsy on it than I used to be.  If you’re considering becoming a cyclist, I highly recommend putting some money into the purchase.  It’s a whole different experience than riding my crappy Target bike.

39) Rock Band/Karaoke Nights.  I love singing and being silly around my friends.  What a release!  I love that I have the kind of friends who are into this stuff.

40)  Single Lady.  You may here me complain from time to time about the L.A. dating scene (the one in which anyone will date you as long as it’s not “officially” a relationship), but I spent last Saturday having lunch by myself & thought “I am enjoying this way too much.  This is the life!”  As much as I would love to find someone, I really like hanging out with myself & the freedom that comes along with single life.  I’m sure some cool dude will change my mind (or accept me for my independent ways), but for now–I’m enjoying myself.  And I really enjoyed that Chipotle burrito I ate that Saturday.  It’s making me hungry just thinking about it.

41)  Movie of the year (so far) UP!=  I loved that movie.  Beautiful to watch & incredibly touching.  Hopefully I’ll see some good movies in December, but I continue to be thankful for really wonderful films!

42)  Magazines.  I love them.  I will read almost anything, but my favorites are Runner’s World, Triathlete, Bicycling, Oprah, and Entertainment Weekly.  It is a happy day anytime I get these in the mail.

43)  Road Trips.  This year I made it to San Francisco, Palm Springs, Vegas, San Diego…and I’m sure some other random spots I’m forgetting.

44)  My Hair Stylist.  We’re going on a 3 year relationship, and I totally dig her.  We have the same birthday!  She is a surfer girl who is really great at highlighting hair.  And the cut is amazing–she’s so good, I only have to see her every few months.

45)  My NYC friends.  I don’t get to see you guys nearly enough anymore, but I so look forward to the times we do get to spend: weddings, Disneyland, brunches, skee ball, etc.

46) TV watch.  These are basically recaps of some of my favorite shows: Big Brother, Amazing Race, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm.  I don’t really need the recap (since I watched the show), but it’s the opinions & comments that follow that I’m into.  It makes T.V. a much more social endeavor.  Plus, mostly they are pretty hilarious.

47)  My space heater.  I have cold hands and cold feet, always.  No, not a cold heart.  Stop saying that.

48)  Jeff’s amazing Clippers season tickets.  It’s the best seat at Staples Center.  I LOVE going to basketball games.  Mostly for the pretzel and beer & to be that close to that many really really tall guys.

49)  Facebook Friendships.  I’m a constant status updater & I’ve found friends who I never hang out with, but I LOVE their status updates & we comment on each other’s.  This is such a weird phenomenon, but I’m so into it.

50)  Darius Rucker as a country singer.  I love his cheesy “everything is all good” kind of songs.  The next Charley Pride!

51)  Being an early riser.  I complain about not being able to sleep in, but I love being up and out in the world before most people.  Life is so….quiet!  Coffee helps.

52)  on the same subject: Sleep.  I’ve struggled with getting a full night’s sleep for oh um…like 10 years!  Only in the past 6 months or so have I consistently been getting good sleep.  I am SO thankful when I wake up & it is light outside!

53)  Funny texts.  I love when just looking down at my phone, one phrase or sentence or picture can totally crack me up.

54)  my foam roller.  Have you used one of these things?  Has totally helped keep my injuries at bay & is like getting a free massage.

55)  Blog readers (mom!)= are you STILL reading this?

56)  My Texas roots.  Always thankful for that (and that all of my roommates are Texan, so basically better than most people).

57)  My grill.  I love outdoor cooking–the smell, the grill marks, turning the meat over.  I’m so easy to please.

57.  That’s a good number.  This is my favorite holiday.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving & have a list 3 times this long of great things in your life (though no need to show off & post it like I did.  I mean, we have parades to watch.)