Every day, I count my blessings. The wonderful people I have in my life, the interesting work I get to do and adventures yet to be discovered. Here’s a list of so many things I’m very grateful for this year:
Our adorable son, Jack. His overwhelming empathy and sweetness, contagious sense of joy, hilarious sense of humor and unending curiosity about the world never cease to amaze me. I’m so proud and excited to watch the little man he’s quickly becoming. But not too quick, pleeeease!
My husband, Casey. Even after all these years, he still makes me laugh harder than almost anyone and for that I’m so grateful. Plus, he’s super smart. I mean, not as smart as me, but…
Our pup, Mr. Pants. This precious little fur monster is my very best friend, my confidant, my comic relief, snuggle buddy, Jack’s BFF and bodyguard and is pure love and light through and through. Simply put, he’s the best.
The rest of my family. From my totally incredible mom, step dad, and my loving in-laws to my sister and brother in Dallas and brother-in-law, I feel so blessed to have such wonderful family who loves and supports us, even if they do it from across the country. I’m also grateful to my dad who I know watches over all of us every day from heaven.
Dear friends who are like family. From the incredible friends I’ve had since elementary school to the friends we’ve made over the years who’ve become like family – two are even Jack’s godparents, I’m forever grateful for these caring, loving, brilliant, hilarious souls. Why they hang out with a weirdo like me, I’ll never know, but I’ll take it!
Mom pals. Before I had kids, I’d always hear the phrase, “it takes a village” and would roll my eyes. But boy do I ever get it now. I’m so lucky to have made such incredible mom friends starting back when Jack was just a baby going to Mommy & Me to all the fun, lovely friends we’ve made at Jack’s preschool. These moms love you as much as they love your kids, they are hilarious, give great advice and are a total blast to hang out (and drink wine) with. They are the best!
My son’s preschool teachers. Oh man, how we love this group of amazing men and women who give so tirelessly to these little rugrats every single day. They are so hopeful, creative, loving, brilliant and most of all, they go out of their way to really get to know our son. The thought of having to leave Jack’s preschool at the end of the year is heartbreaking, but we know they’ve helped prepare him to take on the next adventure ahead! We love you, Fountain Day School!
My job as a writer. As a writer, I’m so blessed to tell stories for my profession – whether they’re interviews with strong, interesting people who are doing fantastic things or it’s creating my own comedic stories that will (fingers crossed) make people laugh and help all of us find some small sense of relatability in this insane world. It’s an honor to put pen to paper every day.
New beginnings. We’ve wanted a house for a long time now and are so grateful to have sold our condo so quickly. We cannot wait to find a cozy house that we’ll all love and adore for years to come. A cheery home to host dinner parties, game nights and holidays gatherings. A great backyard where we can BBQ, camp out in tents and Jack can have buddies over for play dates and s’mores making fun. It gives us a lot to look forward to in the new year.
California livin’. Admittedly, I had dreams of moving to Big Apple for the longest time and was pretty over LA, but ever since Jack was born and we decided to put down permanent roots here, I have grown to really love not just our city, but everything about California. The people are super nice, open-minded and creative, you have the ocean and mountains within four hours of each other, the weather can’t be beat, we’re always on the cutting edge of everything from fashion and music to politics and the environment, and there’s a constant spirit than anything is possible.
Groovy new takes on old songs. Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick’s acoustic take on “True Colors” from the Trolls soundtrack (which is actually so fab by the way – yea, I know! Trolls!) and Boyce Avenue’s take on “Closer” featuring Sarah Hyland from Modern Family (who knew she could sing?!)
Smart comedy. Comedy is so important in my life – now, more than ever. I’m so grateful for my fellow comedy writers out there killing it right now on brilliant shows like Veep, Difficult People, Catastrophe, Master of None and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Oh John Oliver, you truly are the bees knees.
For really kind kids like this. 6-year-old Alex wrote a heartfelt letter to President Obama to offer his home and family to 5-year-old Syrian bombing victim, Omran Daqneesh, whom he’d seen on the news. In light of everything else going on right now, this little guy gives me hope.
Mmm, mmm nachos. Is there anything more comforting on Earth? I think not! A special shout out to Loteria Grill’s shredded beef nachos at LA’s Original Farmer’s Market. To. Die. For.
My J.Crew boyfriend jacket. This is the go-to staple in my closet. It has come through in many a fashion pinch, kept me warm on countless flights and never ever lets me down. Similar one here.
Traveling. There are so many places I’m dying to visit and I can’t wait to plan some fun trips this year. After things settle down with our move, I’m hoping we can revisit the possibility of Ireland, or Switzerland, South Africa, going back to London, a ski trip in Colorado, another long weekend in Ojai and some quick getaways to Palm Springs.
The Metro. My child loves a train ride like nobody’s business and I’m so happy LA is finally expanding it’s subway system so we can skip the traffic nightmare and take a quick ride downtown, to the beach, or over to a Rams football game. The 101 is for suckas!
Date nights. I’m so grateful for those rare (and desperately needed) evenings Casey and I treat ourselves to a sitter for a nice dinner at out at a new spot we’ve been dying to try, or to see a movie (one not made by Pixar – sorry Pixar) or to catch a live show. It’s our time to reconnect with each other and remember that we’re also still “Jen and Casey” in addition to being “mom and dad.”
Downtown LA. I love that this part of LA has been so revitalized – it’s absolutely my fave place to go out in the city. I’m grateful to all the designers, architects, small business owners, restaurateurs and yes, even local politicians who had the foresight to bring it back to life.
This dear country of ours. We still have love. We still have hope. We still have freedom. And I believe goodness will prevail.
Sense & Serendipity. To write this blog we thought no one would read but us, to constantly challenge ourselves, to create and grow something from the heart and to do it all with two of the best girlfriends a gal could ever ask for – well, I’m pretty darn lucky and can’t wait to continue this adventure together!