There’s a line from a beloved film that captures my life philosophy well. It says…

I’ve always been a perpetually positive person, but my smiles aren’t empty. They’re fueled by people, places, things & experiences that fill me with joy no matter what circumstances I find myself in. Here are a few sources of smiles that I am thankful for this week & always.

My Motley Crew (AKA Family)

We’re weird, y’all, but I dig it. My immediate family includes four of my favorite humans alive. Sometimes we make each other nuts, but we love each other unconditionally…& we like each other, too. That’s the part I’m most thankful for.

My brother (Bub, Bubba, Aaron) is one of my best friends & I love making music with him. I’m so proud of who he is & I love all our inside jokes & shenanigans. He married a beautiful soul, our Shirley, & I adore having a sister to make FRIENDS jokes with & gorge on sushi when he’s out of town. My Momma is the only person that I can laugh with & after 10 minutes of cackling still not know why we started. She is the best listener & comforter in the world. My Daddy will always be Superman to me. There’s nothing a Dad-hug can’t make better. I love talking to him, laughing with him, going to Cards games with him (for better or worse) & picking on him for losing almost all the things.

See, we’re nuts…& awesome.

My Ven Diagram of Friends

 Imagine a dozen little circles, barely overlapping, with me in the middle. I have so many groups of friends from different times in life that I still get to see & spend time with. They don’t know each other, but I wish I could get them all in the same room. The awesomeness would reverb across state lines.To all of you who keep me sane, laughing, & feeling understood. To the ones who really see me & take me as I am. To the ones always up for adventure. The ones who share their stories with me (& their kids & pets & homes). To the fires on cold late nights, bourbon on the porch, road trips singing at the top of our lungs at 3AM to stay awake…

You know who you are. I love you all.

The Eastern KY Crew

My 2001 Honda Civic…& Passport

With almost 300’000 miles, many little dents & scratches, & a crack in the windshield, my Honda girl has gone the distance with me in every way. We are road warriors, stress drivers, always a concert on wheels. I’m thankful for my less than glamorous mode of transport & the escape & opportunity it gives me. It’ll be bittersweet when it’s time to pass the travel torch to a new(er) set of wheels.

I need to renew my passport. Both because it just expired & also because it’s full. I’m more thankful than I can describe for the opportunities I’ve had to see this amazing world we live in. From a morning hike on the Great Wall to stumbling the streets of London late at night, Easter mass at Notre Dame to morning snuggles with a little half-Kentuckian & his Peter Rabbit at their home in Wales…it has been amazing & I’m not done yet. Not even close.

Freaking Out at The Louvre!

My Cancer

I’m almost three years cancer-free! I am definitely thankful for that, as well as my many doctors, nurses, & everyone who supported me through that crazy season of my life. But, I am also grateful for cancer itself. You see, cancer gave me far more than it took. I’m thankful for the people who are in my life today that I would never have known if cancer did not take me to Gilda’s Club Louisville for support.

I’m grateful for the perspective it gifted me. I don’t worry about things that are out of my control anymore. I don’t have time for what I don’t have time for. I love harder & live fuller on this side of cancer. I also don’t give a flying flip about what people think anymore. That’s liberating in a way I can’t even begin to explain. I have cancer to thank for that.

Ready to tackle surgery #9!
My reconstructive surgeon was a cowboy & I loved him! Thank you Dr. C!

My Two Fleur de Lis

I am in love with Louisville, Kentucky. I grew up on a farm just outside the city in Oldham County (so I always fail the high school question) but I am proud to be from this area. From Sunday afternoons walking the galleries at Speed to late nights swinging on my little porch in Germantown, I truly love life here. I’ve lived other places & always come back to Derby City. It’s even my job now to help people discover their city & discover themselves through YesLouisville.com! I feel spoiled every day to have a career focused on helping others make the most of life in The Ville! Shout out to Jason, Tanya, Charles, Rose, Jeff & JC…how blessed are we to do what we do together?!

Kentucky Derby Festival – Great Balloon Glow 2018

There’s one other place in the world that has captivated me in the same way. New Orleans, Louisiana is a magical place full of people living unapologetically out loud & I’m wild about it. I even joined an all-female Mardi Gras Krewe to stay connected to the revelry after moving back to the Bluegrass. My sisters in The Mystic Krewe of Nyx are incredible & we live it up as goddesses of the night! NOLA makes me come alive on another level. It’s a sacred place to me & I feel very lucky to have two heart homes. 

Ready to roll with the Sisters of Mystery Float – Mardi Gras Week 2018

My Hope

I am a HOT MESS. But I believe in a Savior that forgives my messes, no matter what. My faith gives me hope for each new day & drive to share that hope. I’m not a church-y person. I love bourbon. I curse a little. But, I know that life is not about working hard to make people think you have it all together or hiding who you really are. It’s about being honest in your struggles & sharing the Reason you can always rebound & carry on striving to make your little part of the world a better place. 

I could go on & on…but I’m a soppy mess & running out of tissues to soak up these thankful tears. So, before my MacBook gets water damage I better wrap this up. Those of you who know me know I get gushy extra easily these days…

So, to put a bow on it, I am THANKFUL.

For life.

All of it.

Especially these things that always make me smile. Cheers!

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