A whole year has passed. And yes, the world is a scary place right now and things are balls out nuts, and my family has had one of the absolute craziest years to date, but all of the insanity and chaos and awfulness and freak accidents and weirdness has brought me to a very thankful place. I am so grateful for all of the good things and bright spots in my days that when the ickiness happens, it just makes me all the more appreciative for the smiles in my life.
So, instead of a wish list of 37 things for my 37th birthday, I am going to give you a list of 37 thank yous to celebrate my 37th year on this lovely little planet.
Feel free to contribute your own thank yous to my list and hell, start your own list. Making lists is fun and therapeutic!
- My mom and dad- My parents are just really great people. Really great people who take excellent care of their family and friends. I will never be able to repay them for their kindness and support and just for listening to me vent, complain and cry when I need to. I'm very lucky to have them.
- Coffee- It just makes me happy. The smell, the taste. Just the thought of coffee is happy times.
- Eternal Tattoo (and Doug Bickle!)- for making mine and Natalie's first tattoo experience one of the absolute best memories I will ever have.
- My Dearborn Ophthalmology family- for being astoundingly awesome when Jeff had his fall/surgery. Between having to take sudden time off and being an absolute mess at work at times, they were supportive and understanding and always willing to give me a hug and make me laugh, or buy me coffee.
- On that same note, I'll give a huge thank you to everyone at the Westland OptimEyes/Ophthalmology. It is so rare to find a place of work with so many wonderful, generous, giving, kind people. Who would have thought that when I first worked in that office 13 years ago, that to this day, they still remain like a family to Jeff and I.
- U-Scans- It's that whole me not wanting to interact with other people thing. It's just easy and convenient.
- My mother and father in law- When Jeff got hurt this past summer, he literally couldn't do anything when he got home from the hospital. My mother in law came over every day for two weeks to help him and Charley, so I could go to work. My father in law came over so I could attend some events I was supposed to go to. Parents taking care of their kids... It doesn't stop at 18, folks!
- Game of Thrones- For being one of the most visually stunning, creative, insanely well written series of television I have ever watched. You guys. IT'S SO GOOD.
- Carrie- for being my LYBF and constantly, constantly listening to me, making me laugh, having really great conversations with me, loving my kid like her own, and for getting me out of the house when I needed it and finding an alcoholic beverage that I actually really enjoyed!
- Busy Phillips Instagram stories- I could have a really crappy day, or just be being feeling super blah and sit down and watch her instagram stories and they just make me so happy. She's funny and self deprecating and so pretty and her kids are adorable and I love her take on the world. Sometimes when I see something weird happening when I'm out, or read something online, I think to myself , "What would Busy think of this?" Seriously, if you don't follow her, follow her. She is a joy.
- Natalie- for being one of the strongest people I know and making me laugh and being so excited when I surprised her with our tattoo appointments. For always wanting to cheer me up and for always wanting to help me out and for always tagging me in ridiculous memes. For teaching me how to poach eggs... and getting me out of the house when I needed it.
- The Starbucks mobile app- I didn't order a pizza over the phone until I moved into my own house. I didn't go through a fast food drive-thru until I was 18. I have this weird anxiety about ordering things from people I don't know. That's why online ordering was invented for me!! It's the best thing ever. But you know what's even better??? BEING ABLE TO ORDER MY COFFEE ON MY PHONE AND THEN HAVE IT WAITING FOR ME WHEN I GET TO THE STORE. I don't have to talk to anyone!! And no matter how weird my order is, I just type it into that little handy app and voila! It's sitting there on the counter waiting for me, with my name on it (spelled correctly.) It's like magic. COFFEE MAGIC.
- Dawn- for being one of the best friends a girl could ask for. For calming me when I was sitting in a waiting room for 5 hours while Jeff was having surgery and bringing my kid McDonalds when she was very pregnant... and for getting me out of the house when I needed it.
- The Gong Show- This stupid, stupid show that they brought back from the 70's made us laugh our asses off. It's absurd and stupid and can be completely awesome at the same time. From Tommy Maitland (Mike Myers) to the different judges every week, we looked so forward to sitting down for an hour every week and turning our brains off. After all, it was just for funsies! I really hope they bring it back next summer.
- Bill- This dude came over every week from August to October and cut our grass because he said it was stupid for us to have to pay someone to do it. Even though him and my bff were getting ready for their first baby, even though he worked 40 hours a week, even though he was busy every weekend, he still showed up and did it for us every week. I can't tell you how lucky we are to have a friend like that. He's an awesome guy and we will never be able to thank him enough for that.
- The Ranch- My parents kept telling us to watch this show on Netflix. With Ashton Kutcher, Debra Winger, Danny Masterson and Sam Elliott. We watched it right after Jeff's surgery and it made him laugh out loud for real. It made me happy to see him happy after all the doom and gloom with his hand and arm, and to be honest, it really is a good show. We still have a few episodes to go but we really enjoyed it.
- Ben Folds- Through all the concerts and all the music and all of his projects, he has remained consistently entertaining. He's brilliant and clever and funny and he is so damn talented. I absolutely adore him.
- Harry Potter- Because Freeform is always having a Harry Potter weekend, because Charley and I are re-reading the series, because when people ask me questions about the books or movies it makes me so happy and because there is always something magical around to remind of it. It brings people together and it makes people read and it is just constant. Always guaranteed to make me smile.
- The Office- At Chuck's request we have been re-watching the series. Mine and Jeff's second go round and C's first. I was obsessed with this show for so many years. It is so cool to see Charley laugh at all the things we laughed at, cringe at Michael when he's awful, roll his eyes at Dwight and root for Jim and Pam the way we all did when it originally aired.
- The Tragically Hip- I've talked about them before so I won't get all gooey about them again, but with the recent passing of Gord Downie, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to say, "I saw them live." I was able to see Gord sweat his ass off and sing his ass off and shoot hoops like he was playing basketball. I was able to see him sing my favorite song, Ahead By a Century, live and I am so fortunate to be able to share those stories with Charley about how much his words and his voice meant to his dad and I. He was such a great guy and goddamn, it's so freaking sad that he's gone, but we were so lucky to have him for as long as we did.
- Every single person who attended or contributed in some way to Jeff's FUNdraiser- I still cannot get over how fortunate we are to have so many thoughtful people in our lives. Jeff and I were so overwhelmed and humbled and grateful that night. You all blew us away. Seeing our families, friends, co-workers old and new and some people we didn't even know come to help us out was absolutely astounding and we are so so appreciative.
- Organizations like First Step and S.A.F.E. Haven- These places that help domestically abused women are so important. They donate their time and money to create a safe environment for women who have never experienced a safe, calm place before. They give them a starting point when they feel hopeless. They give them a home when they have nowhere else to go and more importantly, they give them hope. Hope is such an important thing for someone who feels lost and completely alone. They do such good work and the world is a better place having people like them in it.
- Michael Ausiello and Zachary Levi- Every July I look so forward to San Diego Comic Con. No, not because I get to go, but because these two dudes have the best coverage of it on the internet. No one else feeds their fans the way these two do. They don't do the typical question/answer thing when it comes to the best pop culture news, they make it fun. And even though my beloved NerdHQ didn't happen this year, Zach still found a way to be involved and have his nerdom follow up with him. They are my pop culture heroes.
- My neighbors- The good ones, not the bad ones on the other side. They went above and beyond the day Jeff fell. Helping him call 911, calming Charley down and even destroying that asshole wasps nest so he wouldn't have to worry about it when he got home. They checked in with me every night and even gave me a big hug when I had a bit of a meltdown the first night Jeff was in the hospital. They are good people and even though we hate this tiny house that we live in, we are lucky to be next to such good people.
- Dave and Chuck the Freak- They make me look forward to my morning drive to work. Sure, they can be pretty gross and inappropriate at times, but oh, how they make me laugh.
- Little Caesar's $5 pizzas and crazy bread. You guys, it's just a really good deal. When I am at work all day, I don't feel like cooking by the time I get home and you know what is super easy and inexpensive? a five dollar fricken pizza. Yeah, it can taste like cardboard sometimes, but those days when it's piping hot, fresh out of the oven? Delicious.
- St. Mary's Hospital- Most of the people we encountered there from the emergency room to physical therapy were awesome. That's so huge when you're dealing with a medical crisis. It's huge. The ER nurse made us feel like we were her best friends and did everything she could to make Jeff comfortable. Not an easy task when your arm is the size of a large balloon animal.
- Leftovers- I love leftovers because most of the time it means I don't have to make lunches for the next day. And you know why that's so great? Because I hate making lunches for the next day.
- Charley- My Chuckster can be super awesome. He can also be super frustrating, but when he's super awesome, I am on top of the world. Like, last night, he was laughing so hard at me for doing a Donald Trump impersonation (I don't know why I was doing it. It was to make fun of him though, obviously) and anyway, he laughed so hard. That honest to goodness full belly laugh that made me laugh just as hard. I loved it. See? Kids are fun.
- SWORKIT- This is a stupid exercise app that I guess originated on that Shark Tank show. I love it because it lets me exercise at home, without having to embarrass myself in a gym and it makes me feel good about myself by presenting me with medals when I log in consistently and telling me how many calories I (probably) burned. The workouts are simple and they have examples of each exercise and sometimes Charley does it with me and that's cute.
- Chris Hardwick- I am thankful for him because he is a genuine fan of all the things he loves. Watching Talking Dead every week after WD makes me so happy because HE is so thrilled to be there interviewing the actors and talking to fans who are just as obsessed as he is. I love listening to his podcasts because he is an excellent, excellent interviewer. His excitement and nerdom brings me pure joy.
- My poopers- Bristow and Bryn are really annoying sometimes, but you know what? They are dogs and most of the time they don't know any better. But really, they are great dogs and they make me feel better when I am sad, and some nights Bristow literally keeps me up all night long because he wants me to feed him breakfast at 2am or 3am or 4am, but sometimes he gets so excited when I pet him that his teeth chatter. And Bryn loves when I pet her so much that she'll knock me out, trying to paw at me to put my hand back on her head, but they are special and sweet and soft and cuddly and I love them a lot.
- Sleeping in on the weekends- I don't need to explain this one. It's the best, guys.
- Bookstores- because I love being able to walk around and smell the books and look at the books and touch the books and see other people buying books. Just walking into a bookstore is enough to chill me out. Go buy some books. It's so relaxing.
- Google maps- because if I had to rely on a paper map or written directions to get anywhere, I would be absolutely screwed. Google maps is one of the best things to happen to this planet. The end.
- Hallmark Movies- All Hallmark movies for ALL seasons! I don't care if it's Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Fall, Spring, Summer or Winter- I will take whatever cheesy Hallmark movie they want to make forever and always. As long as Lacey Chabert and Candace Cameron want to keep starring in them, I will keep watching them. Jeff and I will spend entire Saturdays or Sundays watching movie after movie and you know what? It's great. You know what else? Charley absolutely hates it, hahahahahahahaha
- My Fred- because even though he has had the worst last few months and had to endure an insane 5 hour surgery and can't move his fingers or hand, he still has a sense of humor. I may have to remind him to stay positive sometimes, but he's been working so hard to try to get back to 100% and I'm so proud of him for that. I love him, dead hand and all XOXO
There you have it. A small portion of my every day smiles. I know there is a running theme throughout this list that always ends up circling back around Jeff's accident, but listen guys, it was a big deal and it was pretty awful. Sure, some people out there have it far, far worse than us, but when something disrupts your lifestyle so quickly and harshly, it's difficult to readjust. It's all good though. With the world being insane and having some really horrible people in it, we are extremely lucky to be thankful for so many things and so many people. I am so grateful for everyone's kindness and love and I hope as a favor to me, for my birthday, that you are all nice to each other. Tell someone they look pretty, or pet a dog, or tell someone what an awesome person they are. After all, it's not cool to be a dick. Nice people are the nicest.
Here's to 37, ya'll.