Recently, after spending a couple hours mowing the grass and weed-eating, I took a moment to reflect. With the birds chirping, sun shining brightly upon me, and my dogs running laps around their freshly cared for yard, I took a moment and realized how lucky I am. Though I had just worked up a lovely sweat and was covered in grass and dirt I couldn't help but smile. I'm a lucky man. I have a job, a house, an amazing wife, meaningful relationships, and pets that keep me entertained. I might not have a lot of fancy toys or expensive belongings, but I have enough.
And for that I will always be thankful!
I have a consistent gratitude practice that I do just about every morning. Occasionally I think about larger moments in life. Certain memories and coincidences that I will never forget. This morning was one of them. The three memories I consistently reflect on are:
1. The final weekend I spent with my father. The Saturday of that weekend was the day my dad "rallied". He was present, communicative, and very responsive. Though he wasn't his true self in his final weeks with us, that day he bounced back and will be a day I never forget.
2. The volleyball game I met Amber at. Life is funny at times. Sometimes a single coincidence can be life changing. This day was one of them. Typically I don't talk to strangers and would sit by my best friend Dominic during sporting events. Dom wasn't at this game, and instead of leaving after my administrative duties for Maroon Madness were over I approached Amber and asked if I could sit by her. Though I didn't have any romantic intentions at this encounter, I'm glad I chose to stay. It was life changing!
3. Our wedding day. It was the perfect day! Weather was beautiful, food was delicious, the atmosphere was great, dancing was extremely fun, and I married the love of my life. Nuff said...
These three memories will be with me the rest of my life. For that, I am very thankful!
This weekend Amber and I will be spending time is Estes Park, CO. Estes parks sits within the Rockies right on the cusp of Rocky Mountain National Park. This stretch of the U.S. is stunning. The wildlife and views make for an unforgettable experience. If you've never been to this region you should add it to your bucket list. It will take your breath away (partly because of the altitude)!
I am very grateful, and excited, to be visiting once again.
I'm a warm weather fan. I am not a fan of cold weather, ice, sleet, or even snow to be honest. Sledding is fun, but I can live quite happily without it. I would easily trade sledding for a sunny day anytime.
As spring rolls around my optimistic personality becomes even brighter. Hearing the birds chirp in the morning, seeing the flowers blossom, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin just invigorates me. I love it. Walking out in the morning or after work and knowing the beautiful setting I'm surrounded by creates so much joy and excitement within. I can wrap up a busy, stressful day of work, step outside, and feel immediate relief wash over me. My mood and energy instantaneously receives a boost.
With spring here, I'm so thankful to be alive to experience all the beauty, energy, and life that is about to emerge during this wonderful time of the year.
Chasing your dreams is an incredible inspiration. Looking forward to your future is an exciting experience. Yesterday afternoon provided Amber and I with an opportunity to visualize our future.
We spent the day house hunting across southwest Missouri. Visiting different homes with a variety of features and locations provided great insight and motivation into what we hope to have one day. Placing yourself in different scenarios gives you a chance to see how your life could unfold in different settings. We visited houses that overlooked miles upon miles of beautiful hills and forests imagining sipping coffee as the sun rose. We sat on a deck overlooking a river pretending what it would feel like to be on the water every day as the sun set. We visited unique, custom-built homes that had character rivaling that of a fairy tale. It was a beautiful experience.
It's days like this that make you feel fortunate for what you have, as well as what you could have. These experiences lift your spirits and motivate you to shoot for the stars. It's exercises like this that can bring out the best of us, and for that we are extremely thankful. We are blessed to be in a position where everything we imagine could be our reality. As long as we have faith, support, and the drive to succeed, we have no limits.
I am thankful for all the amazing women who have been, are, and will be a major part of my life. I would not be the person I am without their influence, leadership, and support. From my mom and the way she raised me to my wife and the way she loves me, I am incredibly grateful. For the wonderful women I've learned from, worked with, and continue to admire, thank you for all that you do.
We all have goals. We all have dreams. We all have "things" in life that we want to do. Too many times we put these off. "Next year..." is what we tell ourselves. Many times "next year" never comes around as we continuously put off taking the adventures we want or chasing the dreams we desire.
Amber and I have longed to travel more. We are finally making that a reality in 2018. Too many times in the past we skipped trips because of our pets, finances, or some other obstacle that we allowed to get in our way. These obstacles are being broken.
We have many plans to travel this year and travel we will! With trips to Colorado and a cruise already booked, we are also in the process of planning trips to Portland, Las Angeles, and Las Vegas. We created a vision board with pictures of all our destinations as both a reminder and a motivational tool.
Everyone can come up with wishes and dreams, but we must take action to make these visions a reality. Quit procrastinating. Quit waiting. Quit hesitating.
Be thankful for the time you have and maximize your experience. I'm grateful that Amber and I are finally making our dreams a reality. We aren't letting small risks or obstacles stand in our way. We are creating great days and a great life with each passing moment.
Amber and I have plenty of traits, goals, and beliefs in common, but we also have plenty of behaviors that are not in sync. It's these differences help stretch each of stretch our comfort zones. One perfect example occurred this past weekend.
I'm typically very conservative when it comes to spending large sums of money. Even when it's something we need or I know we will be able to afford it, I struggle to relax and make the purchase. I found myself in this situation again as Amber and I were planning our vacations.
For our honeymoon, Amber and I booked a 7-Day Caribbean cruise. It was fantastic. Hands down this was one of the best experiences of our lives. Since that day we have talked about doing another cruise. We have never pulled the trigger on that second cruise however until a couple days ago.
We hesitated, deliberated, and weighed the pros and cons. It was something we both wanted, but it was awfully hard for me to commit. I held up the decision, but Amber kept reminding me how long we've talked about doing another cruise, how we could make it happen, and that if we don't book now, when would we?
It was hard, but she convinced me to do it. We put down an initial payment and are now locked in. We're both beyond excited to do this again. Without our difference of opinions in this situation, we might've never booked this vacation.
I'm thankful that Amber and I have our differences. Our opposites keep us each grounded. Our differences allow us each to grow and develop. Even when we have our disagreements, in the end we compliment one another.
This morning I woke up to an awesome text from a friend of mine that I grew up with. It was a genuine text that immediately made me smile. As I was processing it, I might have even teared up a little. Texts like these are so meaningful. It's wonderful when you share your true thoughts and feelings with those you care about. It truly will make their day. I know this text made mine.
Today I'm going to list ideas for expressing thanks. Some are obvious, some might seem odd.
Have anymore to add?
We are Amber and Jordan Kirbey. We are excited to share our experiences and ideas with you!