We’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday season and the craze is real! We’re currently in Boston spending the holiday with Charlie’s family and preparing for his mother’s funeral this weekend. During the flight up here (which I have a story for, but we’ll save that for my upcoming travel post) I was reflecting on life as of late and people-watching on the plane.
This past year has been the most trying period in my life – there’s so much I have personally gone through (add in a dramatic haircut) as well as my family and my marriage. I started thinking about where I was mentally/physically/emotionally this time last year and how I am right now. SO much has changed! With those changes and thoughts, I decided I’d like to do an A-Z list of thankfulness and gratitude because after all, I am still here!
A – Ambition
You guys – I won’t lie, I am an extremely ambitious person. I live largely and chase grand dreams. I don’t do things with a small mindset meaning I come upon a dream or a task and see it on a grand scale – where it’s going to be in five years, what may come of it, etc. That ambition has grown this blog on a massive scale and to be honest, has saved me from myself more than a few times when I’m in my darkest of days.
B – Brother
I don’t talk about my brother that often on here. We are extreme opposites. I’m into fashion and he wants shirts he doesn’t have to iron and often wears them a size too small. I can’t get enough of shoes and he wears the heck out of his ratty tennis shoes. I’m type A and he’s cool as cucumber – I hate cucumbers and he loves them. We both live in Dallas and pursue big dreams. He’s an incredibly talented chef (who never cooks for me btw). We don’t talk as often as we should, mainly because we’re both so busy, but he’s always there if I need him. We both grieved heavily at the loss of our cousin, but he and Neal were best friends. Ricardo’s sisters and I were the same age, and we often ganged up on the boys while we were all at grandma’s house for the weekends. I couldn’t imagine losing my brother the way Martha and Marlena lost Ricardo. He makes me laugh, used to hide fake cockroaches underneath my toothpaste or a fake snake in the bed, and LOVES to hide and jump out at you. He’ll never read this, but he knows how immensely proud I am of him.
C – Charlie
Charlie aka the hubs is without doubt the best human being I know. He’s selfless, generous, and patient beyond description. His patience with me throughout our marriage is mind-boggling, especially while we were living worlds apart. He understands how my insane mind works, and gives me unconditional support and love. If there is anything I wish for you all, it is to be loved and to find the love I am so fortunate to have. Finding the person in this world who knows every single bad thing about you and yet loves you even more is such a precious gift.
D – Daiquiri
Daiquiri is my chihuahua, for whom this blog is named. She loves everyone, never misses a dropped crumb of food, and always waits for your toes when you step out of the shower. I got her the summer of 2006 and cannot imagine my life without her. You know those times when people broke your heart or you were so stressed from life you just broke down into tears? Daiquiri has been the shoulder I cried on when there was no one else. How are dogs so insanely loyal and loving? I believe they’re one of God’s greatest gifts.
E – Education
As much as I grumble about school – I am so fortunate to be able to continue my education. As a teen, I was set on being a doctor. My path led me to nursing, a position I firmly believe I was called to do. Getting my doctorate and becoming “Dr. Fuller” is my biggest passion. There are so many incredible opportunities awaiting the completion of my DNP – the anticipation of seeing those opportunities to fruition is so amazingly exciting. Never ever stop learning, ever!
F – Friends
One of the coolest things about this blog is the connections I have made with so many new faces. Connecting via social media or events has widened my network of professional contacts and new friends. While I have grown apart from some friends of the past, for better or for worse, it is really awesome making friends with people who understand your ambitions and dreams!
G – Gratitude
Do you ever sit back and count your blessings? I feel like this year has been insane for everyone across the globe. Political changes (we just won’t go there), earthquakes, massive hurricanes, horrific acts of terror, crimes of hate, the list goes on and on. We not only are blessed to still be here, but fortunate enough to be accepted for who/what/how we choose to live our lives. And if there are people in your life who don’t accept you – toss them away.
H – Health
You never know what a precious gift health is until it’s gone. As a nurse, I see this every day. But when the tragedy strikes home, it’s an entirely different feeling. The recent sudden loss of my mother in law has been heavy on our hearts. Even now, being in Boston without her scurrying around the house still doesn’t feel real. Her cancer struck so suddenly and with such an unforeseen vengeance – she didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to her loved ones. Never ever take a single moment for granted nor your state of health. Tell those dear to you how much they mean to you – life is fleeting.
I – Independence
As a military wife, I know the price of freedom. Our independence is something so many people just assume is theirs but do they know or ever consider the sacrifices of the men and women who protect that freedom? My husband is extremely humble, I often have to brag for him, but he never demands attention to what he is or what he has done – many veterans don’t. They’ve dedicated their time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears to fighting for our freedom and the freedom of others. They’ve given up memories and moments with their families to ensure others are given that same opportunity. I come from a long line of military service – and I couldn’t be more thankful.
J – Journey
This summer we went on a two-week vacation to France. While I had been to Nice two years back for work, I hadn’t been anywhere else. We ventured from Paris to Normandy, and continued driving from North to South. We saw prehistoric caves with cavemen drawings predating BC era and castles where Mary Queen of Scots and Catherine Medici wandered, Versailles and the beautiful hall of mirrors, including the Petit Trianon where Marie Antoinette housed, and the cell where she stayed up until her execution – the experience was something I’ll never forget. I keep meaning to put up a post about it to show all of our pictures. I will!
K – Knitting
I’ve made a goal to learn how to knit for the next upcoming year. I’m sure there are tons of youtube videos out there, right? I’m obsessed with those chunky knit blankets but I don’t want to pay $300 plus for one!
L – LA Fitness
More specifically, I’m so grateful for my trainer, Brooke. She pushes me, encourages me, but doesn’t absolutely kill me. Having time to go to the gym, work off all the stress, and feel good afterwards is the best! Aside from some of the stereotypical meatheads, I rather enjoy the gym. The only thing I don’t like is trying to lift weights by myself. I will always get a creeper every single time – hence why I workout with Brooke!
M – Movies
Y’all I am such a movie junkie! My iTunes collection is out of control and by that I mean 1000+ movies. What?! But they’re all collected in the cloud and take up zero space in my home – yes! Movies are definitely my way to wind down and chill out. I’m not big on horror films but I love everything else! Any LOTR/Star Wars/Harry Potter fans in the house? Expecto Patronum!
N – New Adventures
This upcoming year has a lot of fun surprises, which I can’t share quite yet. But having something to look forward to helps even the worst of days be just that much better. Don’t worry – I’ll share the details soon. Do you have any new adventures in your horizons?
O – Organ Donation
Having worked in transplant for what seems like the better part of my career, I can’t help but be thankful to the countless individuals who gave the ultimate gift to others, often not knowing them. Transplants are something with a world of misconceptions and false information swirling around – even Grey’s Anatomy gets it wrong. Are you a donor, or do you know anyone who has had a transplant or is waiting for one? The magic is real y’all. Organ transplant is something I will talk about for days and days – if you have any questions, please ask!
P – Photography
Y’all, I owe a HUMONGOUS thank you to Megan Weaver. She was the first photographer I worked with in Dallas (and I was suuuuper awkward on that first shoot). I can’t even count the number of shoots we’ve done together, but no matter what hair-brained idea I might have, she’s up for it!
Q – Quality Time
Now that Charlie is stationed in Texas, we actually get to spend the weekends together. That may seem like little time to most, but we’ve gone periods of months without seeing each other. Our relationship has grown so much over the years, but being this close all the time has done wonders. It’s kind of fun – feels like we’re dating all over again!
R – Rest
Catching a cat nap every now then is something I’m now able to do since I’m not on call 24/7 and constantly working at the hospital or bringing work home with me. Between my studies, teaching my students, and working on the blog – I still get super tired. On the days where I need to take a break and rest my body – I am super thankful. I must say, my migraines have improved 150% since leaving the hospital world. I feel like that’s a huge message!
S – Sunshine
Does anyone else get super gloomy and grumpy when it rains/overcast for several days? It’s raining cats and dogs here in Boston and it had been extra gloomy in Dallas before I left. On the days when the sun is shining, I try to get out and talk a walk or take a drive with the radio up. It’s SO good for the soul!
T – Tea
Who loves a hot cup of tea? I need a cup of coffee in the morning, but boy do I love hot tea throughout the rest of the day. I also have a humongous obsession with coffee mugs, I literally have an entire cabinet full. And not the small cabinet, the double wide with three shelves. And I’m totally not sorry.
U – Uniqueness
I’m a solid believer in being true to yourself and not giving in to the whims of the herd. It’s so easy, especially with rampant social media, to feel like you need to be just like everyone else. a) that’s incredibly boring – I get so tired of seeing bloggers wearing the same stuff on Instagram. b) you have so much more to offer by being yourself – your opinions and ideas are worth being heard! Love yourself and every unique little thing that makes you – you!
V – Vaccinations
As a health care professional – I cannot stress enough the importance of vaccinations. I will argue to the death with anyone who dares to say they cause autism – that’s such pish posh and has been disproven. I won’t go off on a tangent but I am so thankful for modern medicine.
W – Wealth
Not the monetary form – wealth in love, friendship, knowledge, opportunity, health, happiness, laughter, kindness, generosity – those things define wealth and I wish them all to you.
X – Expel
Okay so I couldn’t think of anything good that started specifically with an “x”. The past few months have been all about expelling the negativity from my life – thoughts, processes, people, excess junk/waste – I’m done with it! I’m also trying to be better about no gluten, no dairy – less sugar. Still working on that one.
Y – Youngsters
Oh man – I take many lessons on the youth of the world. More to come on that in my upcoming travel post. I see the innocent kindness and love all the world needs in my eight year old nephew, and see a frightening amount of selfishness, greed, and laziness in the millenials of today. Is anyone else scared of what the world will look like in the hands of millennials?
Z – Zero Regrets
I believe in living with zero regrets because it’s the what if’s that’ll getcha, that will keep you up at night. I’m no stranger to death, or people living with regret in some shape or form. Live in such a way that is profound, noteworthy, and exemplary. And on that same note, surround yourself with people who will support those qualities in you!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
The holiday sign I found on Etsy at this shop. I don’t see it listed anymore but you could contact the owner if interested!