12 things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of America’s oldest, and most delicious, traditions dating all the way back to 1621. Yet, the one thing I enjoy about Thanksgiving more than the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie is the spirit behind the holiday.

Thanksgiving is the one time of the year that people take a step back and recognize all of the things that they are thankful for. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the things that I’m truly thankful for and here’s my list of 12 things that I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving:

Art, culture and history: Des Moines is a booming spot for art, culture and history – we just need to embrace it. Places like the Des Moines Art Center, Salisbury House & Gardens, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Civic Center and the Des Moines Social Club work everyday to keep art, culture and history alive.

Good food: A warm meal goes a long ways, especially when it’s homemade and simply put, delicious. Des Moines has a great array of local restaurants (Café di Scala, Christopher’s, Alba, The Latin King, Flying Mango – to name a few), which are managed/run by people who care about your dining experience and know all about good (and local) food.

Local non-profit organizations: There are so many good people giving their time, energy and money to support dozens of worthy causes. Des Moines wouldn’t be the same without local non-profits that touch the lives of people right here in our community.

Networking to meet great people: Since graduating and networking around Des Moines, I’ve met some of the hardest-working, passionate, and creative people. I’m thankful that these people call Des Moines home and that they are working to improve our community daily.

Going to college: My education at Simpson College and my internship experiences with Salisbury House & Gardens and Children’s Cancer Connection have given me the skills to become successful as I start my career. I also have to thank my parents here too because without them I wouldn’t have been able to attend Simpson.

Traveling: While I do love Des Moines, traveling around the world has really shaped who I am as a person. I’ve broadened my horizons, met new people, opened myself up to new cultures and traditions, expanded my palette and I’ve gotten a better understanding of how the world works. Places I’ve visited: Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.

Facebook/Twitter/E-mail: These forms of communication have made it easy to meet new people while keeping in contact with those from the past. I’m thankful that I have friends that still keep in contact with me and care about me from miles away.

Invitations: While I can’t always attend everything that I’m invited to, it’s nice being invited. It means that someone out there is thinking of me and quite frankly, that’s comforting.

Memories: While many of my college friends have moved away and moved on. I’m thankful that I have memories and photos to look back on and to laugh at. My past experiences have gotten me to where I am today. The things that I’ve learned and the memories that I’ve made are priceless.

Those who read what I write: I’ve had a great time sharing my experiences around Des Moines with my readers and I’m thankful for those who have taken their time to read my posts and to comment. Thanks for supporting one of my passions!

The little things in life: Through mentoring with Mentor Iowa and Everyboy Wins! Iowa, I’ve learned to take a look at the big picture and to enjoy the little things in life. Hugs, PB and banana toast, sleeping in…I’m thankful for all of these little things because all of these little things add up to a great life.

Change: Some things are good they way they have always been and some things are better with change. This year, I’ve learned that even though change can be difficult; sometimes it’s necessary. Change has a way of working its magic and for that, I’m thankful. What are you thankful for this year?

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