What Are You Grateful For?

soft-baked-chocolate-chip-cookies-6

It’s been a month of complete chaos, deep uncertainty, and divided opinions. As we sit here, less than a week from our Thanksgiving feast and just over a month until Hanukkah as well as Christmas day, I’d like us all to take a moment and list what we are most grateful for. Why? I feel it’s needed, for us all.

Often, we all feel lost in the season’s big demands of little details. And trust me, I default to hustle mode every single year.

  • Is my pie pretty enough?
  • How do I make the best tasting turkey for all 15 people?
  • I don’t have enough oven space for 54 side dishes!?!
  • I need 5 dozen cookies for the school’s bake sale and I need them yesterday.
  • My house is in a constant state of epic mess.
  • Pinterest makes this DIY mason jar ornament craft wreath thingy look so easy.
  • Work holiday party
  • Friend’s holiday party
  • Family holiday party
  • The dog keeps stealing and hiding my socks. (Looking at you, FRANKLIN.)

And we forget the real, the right now, this moment, the big meaningful stuff. We’re lost in the busy; missing the meaning, compassion, and depth.

Today there’s no recipe, no giveaway. Except for those soft chocolate chip cookies you see above. Recently reshot! Simply 5 things in my life that hold the most weight. This is what I’m most grateful for this holiday season.

And I invite you to do the same.

(Either in your thoughts or comment below!)

  1. My family, friends, and hard-working husband
  2. Our new home
  3. Good health
  4. Jude and Frank 🙂
  5. This unbelievable career, the stronger person I’ve become of it, and the relationships I’ve developed along the way
  6. Ok just a couple more! apple pie, coffee, photography, weekends, oversized chunky sweaters, prayer.

Hopefully we can leave behind the pressure we put on ourselves these last few weeks of 2016 and remember what’s at the heart of it.

91 comments

  1. 1. Embarking on a new journey with my husband this year after moving across the country to be together.
    2. The unconditional love and support of my family.
    3. Quality friendships that reach beyond separation by distance or time.
    4. Having the ability to further my education and career.
    5. Being privileged enough to always have a safe place to live, food to eat and share with others and an abundance of other comforts in life that are many times taken for granted.

    Best wishes for a holiday season filled with with acts of kindness, positive and productive conversations and good health to everyone! I hope we can remember these things we are thankful for throughout the year after the holidays have passed.

    • What a fun adventure you took this year moving cross country! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, Denise. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I feel funny talking about my personal stuff (so I’ll keep that to myself, haha), but I did want to comment and say that I am grateful for your site, Sally! Your recipes have inspired me so much. A lot of your dishes have turned into traditions for us (your pumpkin pie and gingerbread men, for example!). My daughter makes them with me, and they have become our ‘family recipes’. Thank you for sharing your work, and for being a kind and inspiring person! I hope you have a really nice Thanksgiving 🙂

    • Laura, I’m truly appreciative for readers like you. Making my recipes part of your yearly holiday traditions. Your family recipes! <3 Thank you!

  3. I sit on the couch every night and think how lucky I am to have a healthy family, a roof over our heads and food on the table.

  4. I am thankful for so many people and things that it’d take a long while to list. I would, however, like to thank YOU. Your recipes are the ones I use almost exclusively when I bake. I have found that baking calms my mind when I just need to slow down and I browse your blog and/or your cookbooks to find inspiration. So, thank you, Sally, for the awesomely delicious recipes! I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. the cookies I have baked ever since I first came across this gorgeous blog of yours have pleased so many of my beloved ones. and I cherish it and am very greatfull to you and to the ones I love.

  6. Love this!!!

    1. My husband-I love my Michael 🙂
    2. My family.
    3. My beautiful new home.
    4. The ability to live the way I do and pursue my passions-including my newfound wedding planning career 🙂
    5. Also…good health. lol–I feel like our lists are similar, but that’s prob because these are the things that are the most important in life 🙂

  7. I am not a social media person, and have only ever posted to this blog, but there is something familiar here that makes me feel like I am sharing with friends. Because of that, I would like to say that I am most grateful for the finding ways to be positive after dealing with tragedies/hardships. Two and a half years ago, my son (our youngest of three and only boy) had open heart surgery at 5 1/2 months old. Three weeks before his surgery, my grandmother (my world, my rock) passed away unexpectedly. It was a very hard summer for my family. But, that time caused my husband to realize that life really can be over in a moment, so why not live the life we truly want? We decided to move to a more rural area to raise our family in a quieter way of life, I am back in school to be the teacher I have always wanted to be, and none of this would have happened without the hard times we faced. Our son is perfectly recovered, and I’m grateful for that everyday. I’m grateful for all of the imperfect, challenging moments that come with raising a family, and I try my best to treasure it all (good and bad). I’m grateful that I am healthy, that I have a beautiful home, and that I am blessed to have family and friends who care for me. I’m thankful for this blog, and for the ways it has impacted my life for the better. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

    My Best,
    Merrily

    • Merrily, it is truly wonderful to hear from you. It’s funny that those often overwhelming and heartbreaking moments in our lives change them… forever. And without those difficult times, we may never know just how lucky we are for the blessings we do have. I’m so grateful that you shared this.

  8. I am so grateful for the unconditional love of my husband!  
    For all my family. Two wonderful daughters and one grand baby on the way. I thank God everyday for blessing us with good health. I am very grateful for my sense of humor, and being able to laugh at most things. Life is too stressful, you have to be able to laugh. I am so grateful for so many more reasons, I’m truly blessed, Thank you God!  
    Sally, I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season, and a happy and healthy new year ahead!!

  9. I am thankful to God for so much, but most especially (in no particular order) my wonderful parents, my good health, my husband and our son. November 24th marks the 3rd year anniversary of the official adoption/finalization of our son whom we adopted at birth.

  10. Even though I’ve just lost my job for at least a year, I’m thinking it’s a blessing in disguise to help ‘right the ship’ at a crazy household. I’m thankful for my beautiful wife and children and that we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. God will do things for reasons we’ll never know sometimes so, don’t get discouraged if it feels your world is caving in. Happy holidays everyone!

  11. 1. My family. Finding love for the second time when I was least expecting it and getting to spend forever with him, his sweet girls and my two precious kiddos!

    2. My career as a high school culinary teacher. It was an unexpected and much needed change that I will forever be grateful for. 3. My belief in God and where he has brought me in life. I’ve learned that sometimes the plan you have for your life is not the one God has for you and that can be hard but awesome at the same time. 4. Friendship. I have been blessed with a handful of down right amazing friends. I am a firm believer in quality and not quantity when it comes to friendship. 5. My kids. I know I mentioned them in #1 but seriously…these two are the best things that ever happened to me. I love them more than words. PS: I was also very thankful to have met you in Chicago at the America’s Baking and Sweets Show. I have followed your blog for years. It’s my favorite!!

  12. 1. I am thankful that my daughters thyroid cancer was found while it was still contained in the thyroid. 2. I have a close and loving family. 3. All 4 of my grand children are healthy. 5. My mother in law is now with Jesus and pain free. 6. I have the most amazing husband ever. 7. All my immediate family has accepted Christ as their personal savior. What an amazing year.

  13. Aww Sally, you’re so sweet.

    I am most grateful for my two little ones. I could not love anyone more than I love those two. They make every day better. =)

  14. I love this idea. 🙂

    1. My husband and him balancing work, school, and time spent with me.
    2. My very large and loud family.
    3. The fact that we are able to save money for a house so we can build our dream home instead of just buying one that needs tweaks.
    4. My career- I love my job and the fact that I’ve worked my way up in the company I’ve been with since I graduated college 3 years ago.
    5. Being able to run. I am in the throes of training for a marathon and I’m tired ALL the time, but come March, I’ll be yelling “I ran a marathon!” to anyone who will listen… And even those who don’t. 🙂

  15. 1.  My family
    2.  My friends
    3. My HUSBAND
    4.  My faith
    5.  Coffee, wine and good food 🙂

  16. Sally, I love this! I teared up reading a bunch of these just now. I recently wrote a post that was partly about pumpkin muffins but mostly about how thankful I am this year because it feels like I’ve had such a great year. Here are my five:

    1. My family and fiance, who will become “real” family next year when we get married 🙂
    2. My full time job, paid time off and my own health insurance for the first time
    3. My mini dachshund, Beanie who never fails to cheer me up and reminds me to appreciate the little things in life
    4. Great friends who share my love for great food and gossip
    5. Finally being able to earn some side income from blogging

    Thanks so much for opening up the conversation to everyone! It’s so nice to be reminded of what makes life truly meaningful.

  17. Love this post. It really is so easy to forget that the holidays aren’t about who has the most or the best, but about enjoying time with the ones who mean the most. Here’s my list:

    1) My mental health.
    2) Cooking + baking!
    3) The people in my life who have proved to be there for me through the good AND the bad. And filtering out the ones who are only around on the upward journey.
    4) Feeling at home in my home.
    5) Good food & good relationships!

  18. Sally ..I think feeling gratitude is so important to finding some inner peace. So as a (high school) librarian  I created a gratitide bulletin board, I drew a bare tree, made leaves that said..I am thankful for …and left it alone. Every day I add a leave myself but I am not alone. I tear up at reading some of the things staff and many students have put up. My tree that started bare in early November is full of gratitude! I love catching people reading it too, they always walk away smiling! This will now be a new tradition for me. My contributions were; 3 healthy children, hearing a favorite song on the radio, my new dishwasher, a friend who always sounds concern for my well being, and a full belly every day.

  19. Love this post, Sally! Thanks for pausing and reminding us all that there is always, always something to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my family, my sweet cat Latte (aka my perpetual sidekick!), my encouraging readers and the relationships I’ve built in the food blogging community, and my faith in Christ.

  20. I’m most thankful for:

    1) God giving me the ability to see another day. Every morning I wake up and open my eyes I say a silent prayer and thank God for allowing me to live another day. 2) My boyfriend…..his strength and mental ability to push through anything and stay positive is AMAZING; 3) My wonderful dogs…Sadie and Cheyenne….their love and devotion is incredible! 4) My Job…..and the ability to ‘take it with me’ to our new SIMPLE life at Lake Raystown; 5) that my BF’s heart attack was a mild one…but a ‘wake up call’ to the NEED to SIMPLIFY our lives in this crazy busy world we all live in….see #4…this was our solution!!; 5) Coffee…..without it first thing I cannot think straight; 6) My Chickens….and the gift of having organic eggs every morning and the energy they give me every day to see it through!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family, Sally!

  21. What an encouraging post to remind us all of how blessed we are! I’m thankful for so many things: 1) My husband of 30 years whom I have weathered many storms with and yet,we are still “afloat” together 2)My two amazing sons who are now kind, respectful men who love the Lord, 3) My parents and in-laws who are still with us at 91, 89, 89, & 87 and still able to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner! 4) My health–though I have an autoimmune disease, I have very few symptoms right now and that is due to the grace of God!, 5) My Lord, prayer, my church– all of which bless me daily. 6) one more– cooking!! My favorite thing!! (and wonderful blogs like this one! Sally, YOU are a blessing!)

  22. Love this! Thank you so much for encouraging all of us to slow down and think about what we are truly grateful for, what motivates and drives and encourage and inspires us! So! Here are my top five things that I am grateful for this year:

    1. My amazing husband. Four months into marriage and I am more in love with him now than ever before. He pushes me, supports me, encourages me, makes me laugh, and makes me feel so loved and secure.

    2. My family. We live so far away from both of our families, but we also have incredible communication with our parents, siblings, cousins and grandparents. We cannot wait to be back East to celebrate Christmas and New Years with our families who have given us unconditional love and support.

    3. My friends and cohort mates. Being a PhD student can be so overwhelming and exhausting, but we all have each other to lean on for support, or get a swift kick in the butt in order to be more productive and get work done. I am beyond thankful to work in a field where we are constantly challenged academically and are constantly learning and growing as scholars as as individuals.

    4. My health and ability to workout to keep myself physically and mentally fit. A little over a year ago, I decided to be completely honest with my past eating struggles and horrible relationship with food and with my body. Since then, I have joined a community of people who are exceedingly supportive, loving, kind, compassionate, and so motivational and inspiring. We are working together to help ourselves and others lead healthier and happier lives.

    5. Being able to cook and bake for those I care about and no longer being afraid to tell people how I feel about them and why they are important to me.

    6. My fur-baby, Henry. He’ll be four in December, and has brought nothing but joy, laughter, tons of love, and the best puppy cuddles in the world into our lives and taught us what unconditional and total love and trust looks like.

    Thanks again for the encouragement to share what we are thankful for! Such a good thing to reflect on this time of year.

  23. Always a good time of year to reflect.
    What tops my list…
    1. My incredible family – husband, 3 kids, dogs, parents, siblings, in-laws, my 91 yr old grandmother, and all the rest of the crazy lot! 2. Friends – old ones, new ones, work ones, sports ones
    3. A home that is lived in and cozy
    4. Health! It’s the thing forgotten until it’s taken away
    5. Cookies… it had to be said 😉

  24. Hi, I made your Confetti Cake Batter Cookies today- they ate sooo good. Thank You! in reading your post I love your idea for a thankfull list. this time last year I was Very depressed and sucidal.. through lots of hard work I am better. my list: 1) Iam thankful for my husband / my best friend of 44 yrs, who kept a constant eye on me and did whatever waa necessary to protect me from myself. 2 my DBT counselor,  Laura, who gently encouraged me to learn to love life again. 3) my son. 4) my dil who took my calls and encouraged me back into art. 5) my sisterand mom who were there, to just be on the other end of the phone. Today I baked cookies! 

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