If it was left up to me, I would pick this image apart.  I can list at least 10 things - within first glance - that I don't like about myself.  In my head, I am younger, blonder, and have less wrinkles.  I am probably the only one who looks for those things in this image, and if I'm not careful - I will ruin this rare moment all too quickly.  For those of you who love me - you will sweetly combat my list with a list of things you love best about this image.  A sweet friend took this for us the other day - and I am choosing to NOT look at my flaws.  I am choosing to be grateful - for her, for loving us enough to take it - and for us, for letting her.

On this first day of November - I am thankful for my family.  US.  Together. 

Most of you are the same way...  You will tell me all about it these next few weeks.  I understand.  But this year - I encourage you, Please - look at the gift of togetherness first.  Look at the way THEY see you.  A husband who is standing there, right beside you, proud of you and proud of the family you have created together. And look at your little ones - hugging you tight, believing with all their hearts that YOU are - the most beautiful woman in the world.  Let them love you.  And let that be enough to be fully present in the moment.  Because your family is not your family without you...  they are just pieces.  You are the connection that makes them wholly an "us."  And not just a "them."

Let's call the wrinkles - trophies of happiness.

Let's say that gray hair means we've finally reached the platinum level.

Let's say that our skin has aquired a patina from years of love and slobbery kisses.

Let's say that the moment - right here, right now - is better than the one we have in our head.

And if you are still just having doubts - call me.  I have a list a mile long of what I love about each and every one of you.  I'll share it if you let me.  Because, you see, I've been studying your beautiful faces for years now...  and watching the dynamics of your sweet families.  And I've been overwhelmed by the moments in between, the love you share, and the way it all bubbles over just because you are TOGETHER. You have blessed me abundantly, dear ones.  And I'd love to return the favor

So start there - on day #1 - and be thankful with me...  for your familes.  For YOUR togetherness.

I challenge you, sweet friends.  To celebrate this entire month with us.  A month of thanksgiving.  A new thing, each day, that you list out loud.  And then share it with us!  This year marks our 4th year of this little tradition.  Thank you to those who have shared in each of those years...