So, uh, yeah, totally spaced doing my gratitude-ness yesterday due to the fact that I can apparently only remember to write one thing a day (if that), and Fridays that would be my weekly e-mail to my freakin' awesome little brother, who's on his mission in Chile, James DeMill Anderson. Yep. So that happened. This did not. Thus, today will be a combination of Parts 4 and 5.
- Man, I am forever grateful for technology. Seriously. Brad and I were talking about when we were kids how things we were done and how that compares to the craziness amazingness (man, am I a woman with words, or what?) that is technology today. I remember my parents purchasing me a disposable camera or two for the end-of-the-year party every year in elementary. I remember watching the dial tick down with every photo and being careful what pictures I took because I only had so many before the film was fully used. Now? Yeah, I snap eight bazillion photos a minute on my phone. This is something I'm very grateful for, otherwise I'm almost one-hundred percent sure that three-fourths of the photos that I take of George would be blurry because that kid never stops hustling around. I'm grateful that I don't have to worry about how many pictures I have left. When my phone's memory is full, I've got my memory card. When that's full, I can transfer my 1,000+ photos in like five minutes (which today is basically forever, but you know, awesome in retrospect).
Today I took a video AND took pictures at the exact same time. And you know what I was filming/photoing? George and Brad playing Diablo III together and laughing. A tiny moment that I'd otherwise have to question if I had enough room for it, let alone would have to decide if I'd rather have photo or video of it, I couldn't have both. Technology allowed us to talk to Ben and Kaydee yesterday via Google Hangouts. They're over 12-hours away and we can see each other in an instant! That's just epic! So yeah, I love technology.
- I'm super grateful that my dad decided to start Crew Colors. Even in my decision to be a stay-at-home mother, this business and the way my parents run it has allowed me to continually learn. Way back when I was probably fourteen, Dad told me that I should learn Adobe Illustrator so I could do work with Crew Colors outside of Adobe Photoshop. I had been using Photoshop since I was nine and I was happy with that skill I had. Illustrator was hard and totally different than Photoshop. Photoshop was so easy to me, I didn't want to learn Illustrator. But, thanks to my dad's encouragement and to my involvement in Crew Colors, I did learn. And you know what? Totally like Illustrator more AND I earned a new skill-set thanks to this business. Working at Crew Colors has also pushed me to learn things that otherwise I don't think I would have ever known.
The other day working with a customer to re-create their dad's old business card showed me the Smoother Tool in Illustrator. Seriously, had no idea it existed before. Now, it's opened up a whole range of possibilities and ease-of-use in future projects. Without Crew Colors, I would have never gained knowledge about high quality printing, including printer profiles, image resolution, and color profiles. The best part is that I just continue learning more and more with every job I do. It's given me a great perspective on the service industry, on how service providers should be treated. I am so grateful for the learning experiences I've had and will have!
- This may sound stupid but, man, I'm so glad that soda is in the world. I'm a big Coke drinker by appearances, but seriously--I just love carbonated drinks. I love the fizz, the burn, oh man! SO DELISH. Drinking a soda super fast? Favorite thing ever. Drinking an ice cold soda on a super hot day? Another favorite. Soda with pizza? A must. Soda with a burger? Yes, please. Coke reminds me of home, of family. A Coke seriously will brighten my day. A classic Coke with lemon reminds me of my mom. Vanilla Coke reminds me of James and our many nights of playing Kingdom Hearts and Sims City; it also reminds me of hours of practicing Halo together with me. A 44-ounce from the gas station reminds me of Brad, and that first summer we spent married, living at Wymount, hitting the gas station down University Parkway every day with the change we could find. Non-Coke related, but a Baja Blast reminds me of Alix and late-night Taco Bell runs. Diet Pepsi reminds me of my dad. Like I said, it may sound super dumb, but soda is a total comfort for me. I probably should've chosen, like, apples or something as my comfort. But, you know, it's soda. And I love it. I'm grateful for it's comfort, as unhealthy as it may sound!
- Super grateful for the nap I had today. Bradley let me stay in bed and him and George went to Brad's parent's house to help pick grapes. Michelle was awesome enough to play with George while he picked. I got to sleep in till NOON! Yes, and it was sort of the greatest thing ever! I haven't legitimately slept in (especially not that long) since I'm pretty sure when I was pregnant. It was so nice. SO NICE.
- I'm so thankful for my husband's humility. Every marriage requires adjustment, and I'm constantly amazed at my husband's willingness to do better and be better. For me, it was always super hard for me to admit that I was wrong. Seriously. Super hard. Ever since we were sealed over three years ago, Brad's example has allowed me to be more humble and more willing to admit when I'm wrong. Brad's humility has brought so much peace to our marriage, and the help he's given me has actually better enabled me to help him in his struggles. I know that I've said this before, but I'm so grateful for the fact that our relationship has been such a team effort. People make comments all the time about wives telling their husbands what to do or basically being the pants in the relationship, but it's really thanks to Brad's humble example and willingness to change that we've legitimately become a team effort rather than a tug-of-war. Are there still rough patches? Yes. Duh. That's why marriage is fun. It is thanks to that insertion of humble attitudes by Bradley's example that has allowed us to continually better ourselves individual and as a team, and I am forever thankful for that.
Basically, I think we're a pretty awesome team. No matter how it may appear, both Brad and I are happy to stick to our guns, no single individual calls the shots in this relationship. There's no major power who makes decisions all of or even the majority of the time. Both Brad and I are obnoxious in the fact that we're always happy to put in our two-cents... into everything. But that humility that Brad brought in early-on in our marriage has given balance to our strong personalities and has allowed both of us to feel like we're being heard and that we both have a say in the decision-making in our marriage. I am so, incredibly thankful for that because neither of us feels suffocated or under-appreciated--all thanks to Brad's amazing ability to be humble.
- I am grateful for everything that makes me laugh. My family is especially keen on laughter and growing up we were taught especially to learn to laugh at ourselves. Not at-the-expense of ourselves, but legitimately at ourselves. If that makes any sense to anyone but me. But seriously, I've found that it's such a valuable tool to not take yourself too seriously. People say stupid things, things that we can choose to get offended over or just laugh off. Laughter has given me a perspective that has allowed me to move forward, to not dwell on the unimportant. Laughter has given me life-long friendships, like my best friends Rachel and Laurelyn, and it's also given me my eternal companion, Brad.
My favorite memories in life are the simple ones because the only requirement is laughing! I still remember my dad giving an explanation of why people say, "I'm going to the john to take a crap," which is due to the fact that the man who invented the toilet was named John Crapper. "If I had invented the toilet," my dad explained, very matter-of-factly, "We'd say, 'I'm going to the Ken to take an Anderson,' instead." My whole family bust out laughing in that car that day. It is something we still talk about and continue to laugh about, especially the fact that my dad wasn't even trying to be funny. Those moments that laughter provided me have taught me that there is a strong need in life to relax and enjoy right now. Those moments have also taught me that every time we're allowing ourselves to be offended or stressed, every time we over think things or become over involved our paranoia about how others perceive us, we're totally missing out.
Laughter, enjoying the moment, humor, and everything that follows that, isn't forced. It can't be. It can't be faked, it can't be manipulated or created, it's something that happens because we're allowing ourselves to be ourselves and we're happy with that. That's why I'm grateful for laughter because it's such a simple and yet powerful tool for bringing people together.