Day 12: Gratitude Challenge

What’s something or someone that makes you feel safe?

I’m lucky because there are several things and people I could choose from. But today, I’ll write…okay, maybe gush, about my biggest leap of faith, Coen.

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I live in British Columbia and Coen lives in Holland. I always tell him that although I hate missing him, I’m grateful I have someone to miss so much! The feeling of safety he gives me, both physically and emotionally plays a big part in how I feel.

He does all the right things keeping me safe when we’re together. Even when he’s pretending to push me into the Grand Canyon

He looks out for me and makes sure I’m not getting myself into dangerous situations. Even when we’re not together he always checks in to make sure I’ve made it wherever I’m going safely. It feels good to know he cares.

But really, that’s not what’s most important to me. It’s feeling emotionally safe with him that means the most. Coen is kind, compassionate, understanding and loving. He’s an amazing listener who truly cares about how I’m doing. He offers me support and advice and has NEVER put me down for the way I’m feeling. Even if he doesn’t understand why I’m feeling a certain way, he never makes me feel bad about it. I can tell him anything because it’s safe and never makes fun of me for crying! I trust him completely. Even when he’s pretending to strangle me.

As you can see, he was certainly worth the leap.💜

Coen, thank you for always being there for me, even when we’re apart, and for allowing me to show my true colours – even when they’re ugly! Love you💜

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Day 11: Gratitude Challenge

*DISCLAIMER FOR MOM – Get some Kleenex, haha*

What have you been given that you’re grateful for?

A pretty easy life…thanks to my parents.

My parents constantly put me and Brad at the forefront of their lives when we were growing up. Everything they did was for us. They drove us and coached us, encouraged us and supported us. They volunteered on field trips and came to Christmas concerts. They never missed a sport game or dance recital.

As we got older their support and love never waned – even when we had a little attitude (or a lot of it) and didn’t quite undertand why they needed to know what felt like EVERYTHING! I remember my mom staying awake until Brad and I were home at night even though we were in our late teens and early 20’s. I thought she was crazy – until a friend from college told me I was lucky. She told me she could have not shown up at home for days and her Dad wouldn’t have cared. She said she wished she had someone who loved her enough to stay up until they knew she was home in one piece.

My parents paid for our education, expecting nothing but hard work in return. They helped us out financially to buy our homes. And seem to have accepted that I’ll pay them back fully eventually! And they let us “shop” at their house! They still take us on vacations and always ask what they can do to help us.

Brad and I are in our 30’s now and our parents are still by our side every step of the way. They’re incredible grandparents to Benny and great in-laws to Kendall. They’ve welcomed Coen with open arms (even if there’s potential that he’ll steal their little girl off to a far away land, haha.)

I certainly wouldn’t be who I am today if not for the support of my parents. Thank you for everything, Mom and Dad. I love you.💜

Day 10: Gratitude Challenge

Open your phone or photo album and find a photo that you like. Why are you grateful for this photo? What are you grateful for in this photo?

I’m grateful for this photo for so many reasons. Here are my top 3:

1. Opportunity to Travel

This photo was taken in the charming little town of Cochem, Germany in August 2016. I am grateful that I have the time and the means to explore the world. This was part of my solo trip to Europe and I’m so thankful for that experience. You can read more about it here. 🌎

2. Happiness

The smile I’m wearing in this photo exudes happiness. I’m grateful that I live a happy life. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by people who care about me and look out for me in all that I do. 😁

3. Coen

He’s over 7000km away but he’s always there for me. I’m grateful for this man and the adventures we have been on over the last couple years. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.💜

Day 9: Gratitude Challenge

What’s a possession that makes your life easier?

My cell (LG G6)

While I admit sometimes I’m glued to it too much, I don’t know how I would manage without it.

It’s easy to grab at work when one of my students asks me to take a photo of something they’re doing and I can upload it to their Freshgrade portfolio using the app on my phone. It’s pretty great when I get a notification that a parent has commented – the kids are always so happy when I show them!

I use it for all my photos while I’m exploring the world – at home and away!

I use it daily to communicate with Coen (WhatsApp), which is obviously incredibly important. It makes things slightly less difficult to know he’s a message away whenever we’re both awake.💜

Day 8: Gratitude Challenge

What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?

Singing at my school’s talent show.

My friends encouraged me to join them at band but I was too shy to sing in front of others for the longest time. The first year I played a little drum for the talent show performance. I sang a duet the second year. And last year I did another duet but Darryl really only sang the chorus with me. This was HUGE! Now that we don’t have a guitar player at our school we won’t be performing at the talent show so I’m grateful I had the opportunity to face my fears the last couple years.💜

Day 7: Gratitude Challenge

Open the door and look outside. What’s something you’re grateful for outside?

My parent’s BBQ! I was at their house when I started to write this.

Why am I grateful for a BBQ, you might ask? Well, it’s simple really…Burger Night! Every Saturday is Burger Night at my parent’s and my dad makes a mean burger. I go whenever I’m free!

Now that the weather is better there’s an extra special treat out there…

Cacti and succulents galore! Haha.💜

Day 6: Gratitude Challenge

What’s something about your body or health that you’re grateful for?

My health in general. Aside from tubes in my ears when I was little, a broken wrist when I was 7, a bout of what I suspect was gout one time in my 20’s and some odd stomach pain I had a few times, I have to say I’m pretty darn healthy. I pick up the usual bugs that can be expected teaching in an elementary school but overall I’m incredibly lucky. I’m grateful that I don’t have any health problems that prevent me from doing the things I love and from living my life to the fullest.

To each and every one of you who have health challenges, be strong, be brave and be positive. You’ve got this.💜