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This year, for the first time, we are celebrating Thanksgiving on our own, with just the three of us. I've grown up surrounded by my huuuuuuge family on either side (and, eventually, Jimmy's large extended family as well), so this is quite a change for us, but I'm grateful that we are here and that we have each other.

I don't have to cite examples to prove that times are difficult right now, for so many people, in so many different ways. It seems indulgent, maybe, to try to find the joy in our daily existence. But it's what I find myself being drawn back to, again and again. To quote author John Green, "The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy." If you're lucky enough to have joy in your life, especially daily, then it would be foolish not to hang onto that. Be grateful that you have it, you know?

I've been doing a little Daily Gratitude journal for the month of November, and it consists of a different question each day about something we're grateful for. And I love how it's very specific - "What scent are you grateful for?" "What ability are you grateful for?" "What season are you grateful for?" - because it forces me to thinking about little things that I truly am grateful for, things that I would've overlooked otherwise. (It asks about big things too.)

I think it's easy to get lost in the bleakness of the world and to forget to find the beauty. I'm not saying that we should ignore the ugly stuff. (On the contrary, I think there are a lot of battles to be fought, and they definitely need to be fought.) I just think that, if we lose sight of what it is we love so much about the world, big and small, it makes the fight that much more difficult.

So, this Thanksgiving, here's to the little things:

Here's to the random rainbows I see in the sky (because it rains a lot here).

To the smell of spices cooking in my kitchen.

To the sound of Jimmy's heartbeat when I lay my head against his chest.

To the smell of Jolie's skin when I kiss her awake in the morning.

To the punny riddles that my coach writes on the workout board every week.

Here's to the feel of alpaca yarn sliding through my fingers. Here's to family game night. Here's to having multiple fandoms and hobbies, and people to share them with. Here's to living within 20 minutes of at least three different bookstores. Here's to the sound of breathing in the middle of the night that reminds me I'm not alone in the dark. Here's to PUMPKIN EVERYTHING during the fall, and peppermint hot chocolate during the winter.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you're able to find more than a little joy in your day.