10 Reasons For My Thankfulness In 2014

Nine years ago, I posted a blog on Myspace, a list of “Reasons I’m Sad Today.” Myspace was awesome for such vents (Holler, Gena!), and even though my blog was a bit of a pity party, I felt loved not judged when my BFF Shannon responded with her own list of why I should feel happy today. She both debated my own posts and added her own, really sweet comments.

So now that 2014’s coming to a close, I wanted to post:

10 Reasons For My Thankfulness In 2014

1. Going to sleep next to not only the man I love, but one who understands the importance of “cozy.” While I’m content with just falling in and wrapping scattered blankets around me, he gets all “Judi, this can’t be comfortable!,” and makes the bed properly, even sometimes when I’m laying in it.

2. Waking up next to him, and how hard it is to leave the bed of warmth and oftentimes, Doctor Von Rockenstein.

3. Doctor Von Rockenstein and Chip. Doc’s lived in literally I think 10 places since getting adopted from the farm, and Chip was originally found in a trash can 😦 Oh, and both of them have flown in the scary basement of an airplane when we moved to Colorado. Throughout all of it, for some reason, they both still love and trust me.

4. My apartment. I didn’t think anything could beat out my first Merrick apartment, but the current one does. If I’m ever blessed to have a baby, we could even still live here. It feels like a mini-house, and we have amazing neighbors.

5. Morgan. That’s my friends’ two-year-old, and she is just my favorite baby in the entire world. She’s beautiful and freaking hilarious. When she comes over for me to watch her, all she wants to do (besides exhibit her verbal brilliance!) is climb up and down, up and down the stairs. Just like when my brother Eric was a baby (20-something years difference notwithstanding), I find energy within myself that I didn’t know was there. But once that runs out and I tell her, “No more stairs plz!” Morgan is just like, “Oh okay.” Then she gets obsessed with pens. Love her.

6. That come January, Morgan might have to settle for a tie as Favorite Baby, because my brother Robb’s wife Amy is about to give birth to a little girl. Since 1980, there was absolutely no one in the world that I cared about more than my brother/s. When my mother told me of Robb’s plans to propose to Amy in Niagara Falls, I burst into tears in the Waldbaum’s shopping center, where both he and Eric had worked. When I saw he and my beyond-beautiful-in-every-way sister-in-law say “I do,” I couldn’t have been happier. Until I found out that they were having a baby. Can’t wait to meet you, Blank Elizabeth ❤

7. The Ramble family. I’ve yet to go to one, but that’s how strong the group is. It emanates – no, moreso personifies true agape love. The kind of love where no matter what happens, how awful this world can be, will always stay stronger and brighter than anything else. They’ve made me feel like maybe just maybe, it’s okay that I no longer live among my oldest and dearest friends in New York, because life throws incredible curve balls, and it’s important that you have others to lean on. And that even at this stage in the game, it’s not just possible to find new friends, but amazing new friends who challenge and inspire you.

8. The Townhouse Lounge. Earlier in the year, my parents were gracious enough to let me work for them, four days a week. When I gave my two-week’s notice to Rachelle, I cried. And she was so sweet, hugged me in the teeny-tiny nostalgic office that most people don’t get the honor of seeing. When I said that I really had wanted to tell both her and Chad in person, she was like, “Well I can wait; you can talk to Chad yourself.” So of course, I cried some more and then when I did talk to Chad, I said “I really wish I could work here on Mondays, with Pete, and just still be here.” (Monday was the day I didn’t work at my parents’ office, due to Josh’s and my then-car/school schedule.)

Chad was like, “Oh! Well if that’s the case, I’ll talk to Shelley (Chelley?). At the end of the day, we have to go with what’s best for the business, but just like how we keep Eric here (the awesome mailman in town, bartender on Thursdays, and fellow “Survivor” fan!) one day a week, we always want people we know aren’t going to steal from us and are trustworthy employees.

Long story shorter, I’m still there and the other night got to go to an amazing Christmas party with people at the first place in Colorado besides my parents’ that felt like home. Thank you, Townhouse ❤

9. Getting to work at Jan-Pro. My whole body was just giving out on me, painwise when I literally begged my parents to let me work there. When “Survivor” did their preview for the next season: “White/Blue/No Collar,” I realized I’m more No Collar than anything, but if there’s no third-party option, I’m for sure blue collar throughout. I have my BA (in English, hence certain options or lack thereof!), but I never feel more alive than when I’m running around, talking to strangers or better yet regulars, and cleaning up. I didn’t want to stop being FT at Townhouse, but there’d been a recent and lovely development of tennis elbow and the weirdest, most painful foot…something. So getting to work at a place where I could sit was good not so much for my weight, but for overall body issues as 40 approaches this blue-collar-since-’92 chick.

10. My Nanny Posch. This second half of a year has been hard, like a lot harder than I’d have expected. She was almost 92 and while science was never my best subject, I’d been “ready” for her death for awhile now. Until I wasn’t. She was my other mother since I was a baby. She made everything so beautiful and amazing and wonderful, just like she was. When I went to her house where we stayed for her wake and funeral, the absence of her presence from the favorite home I’d ever known was so palpable. I missed her voice, her twinkly eyes, her curly hair, her laugh, her sarcasm. God, I just miss her.

Now it’s Christmastime, and nothing ever said Christmas to me more than Nanny. So I’m doing my best to honor her. I still don’t have Santa Claus soaps, but I’ve placed my Christmasy belongings of hers around the apartment whilst decorating. Soon, I’ll make her sherbet punch in the bowl and cups I was so honored to get from her home. And we’ll keep her memory alive, as despite my ambivalent faith, hope that somewhere, she’s with Pop-Pop now, and happier than ever.

PS So many amazing people in my life had incredibly good things happen in their lives this past year! I’m so thankful for all of them too! I love Morrissey (though not as much as my brothers and Jordan do!), but I really am happy when my friends become successful, whatever kind of success that is! I’ve seen incredible, kindhearted, brilliant people get married, move, have babies, and make really big life decisions. It’s all so great, and thank you to anyone reading because if you think it may apply to you, it probably does!!! Cheers to 2015 ❤

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