27 Things I'm Grateful for on my 27th Birthday

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I’ve thought about this list on and off over the past couple days. As I sit here in front of my computer, it’s really hard to write. Since I started this last year, I’ve been excited to share an update of all the wonderful things in my life. But since my brother passed away suddenly five weeks ago, everything feels different. The world looks different. I am different.

Someone told me that the pain you feel when you lose someone is inverse to the love you shared. That seems right to me. It’s the only way of thinking that gives me context to explain how I’ve felt. At one point, in the week after he passed away, I thought my appendix had burst because the physical pain was so intense and all-consuming.

All I know right now is that it is impossible to describe the pain of losing him, but it is also impossible to describe the feeling of being his sister and friend. For Carla, Jack, and I to have the relationship of being best friends, always wanting to spend as much time together as possible whether working or playing, adoring and admiring each other, and knowing that, without question, we would be there for each other is a kind of unconditional love and connection that is impossible to describe. It is what I am most grateful for today.

I am still processing what has happened and have thousands of thoughts on him, losing a sibling, life, and death. For now though, I will have to share the little things. Losing Jack has made everything seem insignificant, but somehow simultaneously more special. I’m probably not making much sense (even these weeks later it is still so much to process, please bear with me) and I have a feeling I’ll share more on this experience in the future.  So here it is. The random list of 27 things I’m grateful for on my 27th birthday.

  1. Our home office in our sunny front room where I write this

  2. Getting suddenly laid off in January and the immense support of my family and friends to pursue this business full time. I knew it was what I wanted to do, but their encouragement made me feel courageous. When I walked out of my office for the last time, crying and on the phone with Carla, her first words were “Congratulations!! This is the best day of your life!!!!!” Jack said something similar. Fiercely supportive.

  3. The amazing clients I’ve had the honor of serving

  4. The adventures they have taken me on (like to Nantucket and San Francisco)

  5. Every single baby cake smash (more coming to the blog soon)

  6. Monday night ceramics class with my mom and sister

  7. A home that I love coming back to

  8. The wood stove in our family room. Pure hygge. We’ve accidentally gotten the house up to 80 degrees before, ha!

  9. The wooded path just down our street that I walk/run on. Grateful to have easy access to such a beautiful morning setting

  10. My parents who live just a little further down the street (half a mile to be exact). The strongest people I’ve ever met.

  11. Carla. My sister, my heart, my soul.

  12. This past summer spent working from home with Patrick while he was off of school (teaching) and working on graduate school. We’d never had that flexibility at the same time and I know how lucky we are to have had those weeks together.

  13. Days at the lake

  14. Finding my perfect jeans. I’ve learned I’m fairly minimalist in most areas and love having just one quality product/item to serve a purpose (ex. I have one pair of sunglasses, wear one style of underwear- TMI?, have three bathing suits total, etc.). The best part is these are really affordable.

  15. Bhakti Yoga DC where I’ll begin my yoga teacher training in January!

  16. Cookbook 1: Deliciously Ella

  17. Cookbook 2: Ina Garten

  18. Cookbook 3: Thug Kitchen

  19. My health and this morning when I got to wake up to experience another day

  20. The man at the bank that was so kind helping me set up my business accounts

  21. The warmest slippers ever

  22. Patrick, my love and my rock.

  23. Each person who has supported me and my family these past weeks. The people who texted every day, even when I never responded (I still may not have responded to everyone). The people who brought meals and sent flowers and plants. The dozens of Jack’s friends that showed up to hug my mom and cry with us. Thank you for hanging out with my dad for hours in the garage he shared with Jack. The millennials that left voicemails. The people I would have never expected to reach out, but did. The people who prayed for us. The people who were here. I’m eternally grateful for you.

  24. My best friend Nicole who booked a one-way flight before she’d even spoken to me on the day he passed away. She showed up at my house and then she stayed for two weeks. She’ll never know the impact of what she did for me and my family in those weeks by being here. I can’t think about it without crying.

  25. The little community of local creatives I’ve been lucky enough to meet and connect with

  26. Trader Joe’s frozen almond croissants

  27. The honor of being his big sister