Day 9 – November 10, 2011 – 29 Days of Thankfulness – written down
Today I am thankful for the awesome communities for photographers that we have in Denver. SmugMug, Mile High Photographers, Collages, and the Denver PUG – we have some pretty amazing groups. I have met so many awesome people and feel so blessed to have groups that I can go to with questions or if I need help with something.

Day 10 – November 11, 2011 – 29 Days of Thankfulness – TODAY!
Today I am thankful to have been born and raised in a country with so many blessings and opportunities. And I am extremely aware of the fact that those opportunities are available because of the men and women who have fought and died to make sure that those rights remain ours.

Let’s be honest here – the US isn’t perfect. Right now we are going through some pretty crazy things. The whole OCCUPY thing, politics, religion – details details. There are things that are pretty crappy. There are issues, and there are problems. But overall, we live in an awesome place. I know what people in other countries go through just to have a mere taste of what we get to experience every day. Particularly women. And again, I know that there are countries that have certain women’s issues figured out in ways that we don’t – yet.

We are so, so blessed. We don’t realize what a big deal it is to get up in the morning out of our plush beds and turn on the lights to get ready for work. For WORK. A job that we can sit in a climate controlled building while working instead of being beaten or working in horrendous conditions. And to come home to our family and have a meal together. A meal that usually consists of meat and veggies and potatoes or something similar. A meal with (usually) clean and safe food. It is a big deal for me to know that my child is healthy. That if something were to happen to him, if he needed medical help, that I could get help and that it’s only a car ride away, not a 20 mile walk from my village.

These are just a few of the things that we have access to, the opportunities that we have and the PRIVILEGES that we have because we live in the United States of America. And there are soldiers that put their lives on the line every day to ensure that those rights are protected.

We went to the Air Force vs. Army football game last weekend. I was thrilled to be there. Who doesn’t love a football game on a crisp, fall day? And the cadets everywhere in uniform didn’t hurt either, right ladies? I’ve been to football games before. Nothing really of this caliber, but I’ve been to several games and I’ve seen them on TV. I knew what to expect. I knew the calls, the mascots, the cheerleaders. I knew there would be people decked out in their teams’ colors and the palpable tension in the crowd when plays were OH so close. What I didn’t know was that by attending a military football game, I would get to see ceremonies that I’ve never seen before. A high ranking general sat on the Air Force side for one half of the game, and moved to the Army side for the other half of the game. Officials were recognized. Bronze stars were awarded for heroic actions while in combat.

I watched them pin the star on, and listened to their actions as they outlined, in detail, why this star was being awarded. I didn’t know this was going to happen, but what was even more surprising to me was that I didn’t know how I would feel when it did happen. The award, and the actions that were required for that reward, and the people that are still going through these types of situations every day really hit me, and I felt humbled.

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I’ve never been in the military. My husband is not in the military. But even though I don’t live that life, I have the utmost respect for our men and women that serve, and their families. So today, I am thankful for them. For their sacrifice, for their service, so that I can live a life that millions in the world only dream of.