Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thirty Seven Dollars

As Thanksgiving 2012 is upon us, I have so much to be thankful for this year. At the end of the post, you'll find a list of some of the things I'm thankful for this year! Most of all, I'm thankful for my wonderful job, my wonderful fiance, and a circle of friends and family members that support me and lift me up every day. But as we are going into the holiday season, I wanted to share a story that I heard for the first time today, a story from my childhood, that brought tears to my eyes.

As we were driving home from Kansas City this weekend from an eventful weekend with my family at Ameristar Casino, my mother shared a story that I had never heard before. Last night she won $75 on a quarter slot machine, and we were laughing at how crazy it was to gain so much money off of just a quarter bet. She treated us to drinks last night after her "big win."

"I remember one of the first times I ever came to the casino was with your dad," she said to me. "Pepsi sent us up here on a bus. We were broke- we only had about $20 between us, and we were rationing it for the entire night. Your dad put some money into a machine- the Trifecta, I think it was called- and all of the sudden, he won! He won thirty seven dollars and we were so happy! We were hungry, so we bought some appetizers and had a beer. Isn't that interesting, how thirty seven dollars made all the difference to us for that night?" 

I don't think that we were ever poor growing up, but this brought tears to my eyes- so many times I take for granted... when I want something, I purchase it on my own. What a difference it was for my dad took on three daughters when he married my mom, and they bought a house in the country where we all had our own rooms and room to run. When I came along, my mom and dad were both working to support us. I know that things were tight supporting a family of six, but I had a fun childhood- we never went without.

Being thankful is at the forefront of everyone's minds right now, but it should be year-round. Being thankful is easy when things are going right, when you're gainfully employed, have money coming in, and your relationship is fabulous. As 2012 fades away and 2013 emerges, I hope that we can all remember to be thankful this year, all year, for not only the things that we have- but those that we don't. There was a time this year that I didn't know it, but losing my job would be an immense, life-changing blessing for me- and I am so THANKFUL for it now.  Being thankful doesn't mean you have everything- but it means that you can look at your life and say, "WOW! I am blessed."

And I am, blessed. This year and every year.
I didn't do the 30 days of Thankfulness, but here's a partial list of things I'm thankful for, some with explanations... and some that need no explanation!

1-Adam, the man that walked into my life and changed everything, when I thought I would be changing HIM!
2- My crazy, ridiculous family!
3- Gainful employment that has given me a great view into a corporate career!
4- Coworkers that I adore and love seeing every day (and lunching with!)
5- Loyal friends!
6- Early morning cuddle time with Adam and the girls
7- A sense of humor that tends to see the humor in every day life!
8- An EDUCATION that I cherish.
9- Torrid and fancy plus size clothes.
10- Adele, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, and all other women artists that speak to my soul.
11- Christmastime and the season of giving!
12- My soon to be inherited family- Adam's- full of amazing minds and personalities. I am so proud to call you family!
13- My cat Duchess, who has stuck with me since I was 13 years old, and still crawls into my lap and purrs every night, reminding me that she's still here for me.
14- The years 2007 and 2008, which were my biggest growing years and when I truly started unraveling the Real Laylan,
15- Roxy, who we adopted in 2010. We've been through a lot with her, and she's amazing. I truly feel that she is exactly what Adam needed when she came into our lives.
16- Cora, who is my absolute best friend and the best dog I have ever had.
17- Reality tv, which keeps me ridiculously sane on the days when nothing else works.
18- Sweet tea.
19- My mother and father who still call me their "love child".
20- Scentsy Enchanted Mist, which keeps me calm on the days that I come home frazzled!

Some were silly, some were serious, but they all make up my crazy life!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Oh, happy day!

I can't believe I've neglected this blog since July! I thought about writing a few times, but I didn't think I had anything newsworthy to write about! My life has been blissfully, happily, wonderfully drama-free the last six months. I'm still working at my amazing job- I've earned two awards since I started- one was in July, two months after I started working there!

And in other news......... Adam and I recently got engaged! The day before Halloween, Adam asked me to marry him- with a 2 carat round stunner that is simply jaw-dropping. He has exquisite taste and got the most beautiful, clear, perfect ring that I could ever imagine.

We are planning an October 2013 wedding and are thrilled to be getting married after 3.5 years together! It almost doesn't seem real, especially looking at this rock on a daily basis!

Adam and I have been through a lot in three years, and every trial has strengthened our relationship. But now, it's just joy. Someone recently said to me, "You must laugh together a lot." This made me smile, because Adam and I truly laugh with, and at! each other, all the time. We adore each other!

So that's it for now- just a quick update!