As I grow older the amount of things that I have to be thankful for increases as I have new amazing experiences and encounters every day. However as I sit squished in the back seat of a minivan with my siblings I think on the things I have been thankful for in the past as well as now into the future. Within all these things there seems to be a common thread; my family. I know it seems like a pretty stereotypical answer for what you are thankful for but stay with me here because for me it’s one that has always remained true and constant. Being thankful for my family has evolved into a deeper meaning as I have gotten older. 7 year old Wyndi was thankful for her family for all the stuff that they gave her. My parents gave me food, an education, toys, and of course their love. My brothers and sister growing up were my constant play companions, always gave me a hard time, and if I was good they would even let me in on their awesome plans and adventures of the day. In some way my parents and siblings still provide me with these things but my thankfulness for my family has grown way past these small things.

I have realized how my family has been a great part of molding me into whom I am today and provided me with tools to succeed. As I reflect now I am grateful for a whole different realm of things that a younger me wouldn’t understand at all. I’m thankful for all the hard lessons that my parents taught a very stubborn me from simple things like how to cook dinner or balance a checkbook; to more complex things like the importance of good manners, a great first impression, and not to give up on anything and make sure the job gets done right. To my siblings I’m grateful for lessons such as tolerance and patience in the most difficult of situations, the importance of including everyone, and the insight that can be obtained from looking to those who go before you.  As I look back many of these lessons have made me who I am today. Although I may not always know who exactly I am I can look to my family to see what kind of woman I have been raised to be.

Now I am not saying all of who I am is defined by my family because I believe especially while in college you come into your own unique self, however without the lessons my family has taught me I don’t think I would be half the woman I am today. And that is something that I am truly thankful for. My family still helps mold and shape me and as I get older encourages me to go out and find myself and teach myself my own lessons, knowing they are always there to fall back on.

I would encourage you this thanksgiving to think on what makes your family special and why you are so thankful to be a part of this crazy group of people. Whether they are the people who taught you how to catch your first fish, told you to pour milk on your ice cream, threw water balloons at your face or simply were always just there. Appreciate them and cherish all the wisdom they can bring to your life. Always continue to learn, to be challenged, to find yourself and to be yourself. Happy Thanksgiving darlins.

Much love,