This year has made us all reflect back on what we took for granted that we won’t in the future. As soon as I woke this morning and remembered it was Thanksgiving Day, I felt a deep and content feeling of thankfulness. My next thought was the irony of experiencing such a significant feeling in this year of sadness, hardship, and general craziness. But, I guess that’s what a day of acknowledging thankfulness is for, right?
Here are 30 things I am thankful for in 2020:
A loving, close-knit extended family
We are blessed with a close extended family. Family get-togethers are my absolute favorite thing and luckily since we live so close together, we are blessed to be able to do that more than many families. Not being able to gather has not made me feel distanced from other family members at all. It just feels like we hit the pause button on big group gatherings. We have a foundation of love, caring and interest in each other that is carrying us through.
Wonderful and loving children
I share so much about my Jess and I know we are all thankful for the joy and happiness that she exudes and shares with others.
My other children, Madison and Hannah, also bring to me joy and happiness. The are kind and giving people and both chose career paths that are service oriented. Madison is a Senior Neurology Resident, and Hannah is an American Sign Language Interpreter. Not only do they give to others, but they also give to me love, kindness, respect, and happiness.
Wonderful, loving, and involved parents
Nonnie and Granddad!! Many of you know them from our videos, and if you don’t, you are missing out. They are the best support system for all of their children and grandchildren and have set a wonderful example for us all to follow in our lives.
In an (autism) world where there seems little time for friends, I’m thankful for the ones that have stuck around, and loving and supportive and only a phone call away.
Abby is our ~ 13 year old border collie mix. She has lived with us for 10.5 years and has been the best pooch. She has always been calm and is so loyal, smart and loving.
Omg – What to even say about this one. Zoe is our 5 month old poodle puppy. We feel super duper thankful for adding this amazing pooch to our family and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
Especially in these times, I’m super aware of my thankfulness for the health and wellbeing of myself and my family and friends.
We are blessed with the ability to have quality and nutritious food to eat on a daily basis
Biscuits and Gravy
I can’t imagine life without biscuits and gravy. Wondering what the heck are biscuits and gravy? Check out this blog post: What are Biscuits and Gravy? (Recipe)
I’m thankful for Jessica’s full-time caregiver, Marlow, who makes a huge and positive impact on our lives.
Bless all of the doctors out there who are dedicated to keeping us healthy and guiding us in healing when we need it and do so at the detriment of their own health and that of their families.
Naturally, I have a special place in my heart for nurses. I know first hand how nurses give their patients their all and are a major key in teaching and healing the sick and wounded. Thank you, nurses!! We love you!
A College Education
This year, I have been extra thankful to have a college education that taught me to think for myself and seek out science and current and reliable resources for information.
Working from Home
For the past 6 years, I have been blessed to be able to work from home by piecing together projects via independent contracts. Without this, Jess and I would not have been able to remain independent in our own house. I am thankful for this every single day.
Thankful that we have a roof over our head, and a safe and cozy space inside to spend our days.
A Big Backyard
I’ve never been more thankful for my backyard. In fact, I have cursed it many a time because it’s such a steep slope and not fun to maintain. However, this year our leisure time along with visits with friends and family has moved to our backyard, and it’s nice to have such an open space in nature to hang out. Also, Zoë especially appreciates the big back yard to run around in.
Jess has had Medicaid Waiver funding for 6 years. The Waiver has been a lifesaver and is so good for her.
This is how we are able to have paid caregivers for Jess, allowing her to have social interaction, leisure time, stimulation, community access, and to continue working on developing self-help skills. While she is having this positive interaction with caregivers, I can focus and work to earn money so that I can pay my bills.
Club Crispy Supporters
Ah! Club Crispy! If you enjoy our videos and content, you should also be thankful for Club Crispy supporters. Without their support, I would not be able to spend time creating content and would instead have to find more independent contracts. You can learn more about Club Crispy here: Why We Started Club Crispy
I am eternally grateful for Autistic Interpretation followers. You have changed our lives in more ways than you can ever know. Our lives were so closed up before we started blogging and vlogging and found people who either understood our world or wanted to understand better. We feel so much love from you everyday! Thank you!
I was a latecomer to Apple products because, yes, they cost more. Thankfully, my eyes were opened to the wonderful world of Apple and, just, yay! Thank you, Apple!
Memories of Disney Trips
Sadly, we canceled two pre-planned Walt Disney World vacations this year. However, I am thankful that we have many Disney World memories to fall back on, and that we got to experience the Disney before Covid because I feel certain it will never be the same again. Not that it will be bad or worse in the future, just different.
I love mountains, especially the Great Smoky Mountains! It’s my go-to place when I need to chill and re-group. Love. I’m so thankful.
I also love the ocean. It’s a different kind of peacefulness laying or sitting in the warmth of the sun by the ocean. I sort of feel like I’m going home when I’m heading to the ocean, as I was born near the Emerald Coast.
Where would we be without our coffee ritual? I’m /ALWAYS thankful for my morning coffee. I grind beans for my coffee every morning and like m coffee with French Vanilla Creamer.
This year has been a test of traditions. For our family, there have been many that have had to be adjusted or put off until next year. I’m thankful for the memories of old traditions and knowing they will still be there next year.
Isn’t it nice to have the ability to try out some new traditions to get us through 2020? In our family, reconfiguring routines and traditions has been an important part of making it through this pandemic. I’m thankful that we have been able to establish new ones especially to help Jess get through all of the changes.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I have a thing for apocalypse type shows, but watching them definitely makes me be thankful for the simple things, like having electricity and all of the things that run off of electricity
Toilets that flush
Ditto. Plus, we got a new toilet that flushing 1000x better than our last one, so yeah, toilets that flush.
In 2020, where would we be without Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, the CW (Supernatural), etc? Thank you, Thank you!!
Thelma Kay Jennings
I sent a cookie recipe that I thought Jess might like through Instagram. I hope you received it.
I’ll looking for it!
So I am super late to the post but I have to say I am most thankful for my health, breast cancer will definitely change your outlook on life. I am thankful for my children Jacob (21) and Claire (14), thankful that God gave me good children. Like you I am thankful for an education, bachelors degree in special education has open so many doors for me, even during the last year I had a job and didn’t have to worry about paying my bills. Even though I started a new job this year (Autism Self Contained) I have become to attached to these kids and they have fueled my desire to learn more about the Autism Spectrum I plan on going to get my masters degree ASAP. I am also so very thankful for my grandmother, loosing my mom in 2012 brought us closer together
I am so so so excited to have you as part of our inner group! Thank you for adding to our thankful post. In a year that has been so bad for so many, lots of us have certainly been blessed.
I’ve been a special education teacher for 40 yrs. My most favorite has been in a high school self contained, life skills classroom. This is where I became experienced with autism. I LOVE THESE YOUNG ADULTS! Its where I belong. As I contemplate retirement in the next 3 yrs, I’m not sure if or when I will do so. My students amaze and amuse me. They are a delight to watch grow and become more independent. With Covid, we’ve had to change how we do things. Its really brought about some great new learning strategies, goals and adventures. Im so thankful for my job, my career, my passion for it, my strength at advocating and building trusting relationships with the whole family, with being creative and flexible, for having great support staff and an administration that backs me, for falling in love with autism, for seeing my students as people… first and for students and families who trust ME. I am thankful for my own family that understands my work hours, who embraces and accepts my gift, my passion for it. And, I’m grateful for writers, vloggers like you, who share and show me so much. I learn something each time. Sometimes even if it’s to remind me that tomorrow is a new day and at anytime I can start my day over. This is a process. Yet, how lucky I am to be brought into this amazing experience. P.S. Im VERY grateful for my own Fritz! My 4 yr old Beagle who is the delight of my life!
Heidi VanLeuven Weathrrly
Thank you so much for being so dedicated to your passion! It has been my experience that teachers like you are few and far between. I appreciate you sharing!
What a delightful thing To have a come across. I don’t even know how. But I have absolutely FALLIN IN LOVE. You are a fiercely loving family. I am so grateful for life and even our trials. They help us grow and stretch. I am grateful for my health. Lots of issues in that department. But it could also be worse. Grateful to hear and see things in the beautiful world. Grateful for my adoring and wonderful family. And for my incredible 4 kids. Grateful for my 19 year old autistic son. He brings us so much joy we couldn’t imagine our lives without him. Grateful to be alive!!!!!
Liked this post. So important to not forget the good things in our lives.
Things I am thankful for…
1. Having a house with room to garden….I literally feel grounded getting my hands in dirt.
2. My dog Maisy-almost 9 years old. My best buddy -truly.
She was a rescue 6 yrs. Ago and has such great energy, is a little bossy and never tires of her walks. Plus that greeting everytime I get home. She intuitively was fantastic with my mom on hospice 4 yrs ago.
3. My siblings who have all helped care for my Dad at home. They are great at de-stressing me.
4. My job as a PA. Best decision ever. I love the crazy energy of the hospital setting. I am thankful everyday that I made the decision at 38 to go for it in Medicine.
5. Knowing how to sew. I inherited my moms sewing machine and my great grandmother, grandma and mom’s abilities. I love working with colors. I did not know I had sewing skills til age 54.
6. My BFF’s – my sister and my dear friend who I met during my teaching days. They love me despite my quirks.
7. My health
8. This vlog- I agree Saskia! Jess reminds me of a few of my students and those are cherished memories to me. My first job was as an aide for a classroom of elementary aged kids with autism. I absolutely loved that crew and it seems like a lifetime ago that I did that. I think that 7 years helped me be a better PA today.
9. Creative funny memes that just make me laugh.
10. Having good insurance and benefits- truly truly grateful.
11. The ocean- I love the power of it and the calmness.
12. Being happy living with a dog and 3 fiercely independent cats….I am content and that’s a blessing. I think I was destined to be single and that is fine with me.
13. Sitting outside on sunny mornings to have my coffee.Definitely cherish sunshine. Literally will not be able to do that for 6 months!
14. No work furlough! I have been blessed with steady work 🙂
Val,Jess, Hannah and Marlowe thanks for sharing your humor and day to day life. You ladies are a bright spot on social media.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! I’m so thankful I stumbled on to one of your videos and from that first moment I knew I wanted to see more of your day to day. I look forward to your videos everyday!! We never know what challenges we will face. To see you and your family navigate so effortlessly ( it looks that way?) is such a joy. I look forward to seeing more of Jess and Zoe and the rest of the gang!! Peace and Love – Beth
Thank you, Beth!
1) I am thankful for my family. My sisters and I are really close. My one sister just moved here last week… She hasn’t lived here since 1993. So us 3 are together again ❤️
2) My autism community that I have online… coming across your page has really touched my heart. I just love your family.
3) My children’s Medicaid Waiver… I have navigated services alone since their diagnosis 8 years ago. Then came across several moms in waiting rooms of therapies and we would talk about what’s else was out there. I am grateful for those ladies I have built friendships with along this journey.
4) The program Project Lifesaver … my 2 are flight risk and it helps with the pit in my stomach if they ever come up missing. They wear their bracelets proudly.
5) All the teacher and therapist over the years that have worked with my lils to help them… even if it was just an inch.
6) These Sunny days… it helps with my depression.
7) All the doctors that I go to that I am under their care for .
8) All 4 of my kids… they are my strength. My oldest 2 help out so much and are the kindest teenagers. Best brother and sister to their lils with autism.
9) The roof over my head… need I say more about that.
1. this post! ?
2. family (near, far, old, new, virtual)
3. friendship (near, far, old, new, virtual)
4. sunrises and second chances
5. sunsets and the feeling of rests well earned
6. clean sheets – nothing better
7. dogs to snuggle (sometimes in clean sheets!)
8. a “lagom” character and outlook
9. lists (especially crossing out to-dos)
10. embracing uncertainty 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving to you & your whole family?
I am thankful for finding your blog. Love following Jess & watching her daily posts.
Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving! ?
I am thankful to be able to spend another holiday with my family despite COVID. Instead of black Friday shopping, I’ll be sitting at the hospital for 5 hours doing chemo. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.
Patti I wish you all the best as you warrior through chemo!
You really are a great family x
But I still don’t get biscuits and graveyx???????love and peace to u all xx
That’s okay, I’ll overlook it! ??? ?