Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away - an exercise in gratitude


While Charlotte only had 98% totality for the great solar eclipse, it was still a 100% amazing experience. I honestly thought 98% totality would be darker, but now I know that 2% of the sun is quite the force.

I'll be the first to admit, it was a very awe-inspiring, overwhelming feeling to see the entire sky go dim, the air to cool and the quiet over the crowds. The whole city stood still for a minute, even if they were standing in the street. 

In honor of the 98% totality I experienced, please enjoy this list of 98 things that I'm grateful for, in no particular order: 

  1. The best parents ever who spent their 27th wedding anniversary weekend watching me in yet another pageant.
  2. Good hair days - Charlotte humidity isn't my friend.
  3. Mini desserts at work 
  4. The greatest boyfriend ever, who is my greatest encourager
  5. Being able to walk to work
  6. Having a rain jacket and cute umbrellas for when those walks to work get rainy
  7. The Devine 9, a group of my sorority sisters (and 3 real life little sisters in that group) that have evolved into accomplished women and even better friends
  8. When the radio plays the perfect mix of songs on a roadtrip
  9. Sharing a smile and a hello with a stranger
  10. The "Jesus Loves You" guy, Sammy, Uptown
  11. Pure Barre - getting stronger every day and barely breaking a sweat
  12. Warm and friendly co-workers
  13. A great glass of red wine
  14. Sunsets over Bank of America Stadium
  15. Adult friendships
  16. Sleeping in
  17. Having a merciful, amazing God who loves me without fail
  18. Cheering on the Gamecocks with my best friends and fellow alumni
  19. Long weekends (I see you in the distance Labor Day)
  20. Fresh flowers from the street vendors on Tryon Street
  21. The first signs of fall...
  22. ..... and college football
  23. Laughing so hard I cry
  24. When Clarke, my kitty, does something silly like chasing her tail
  25. Fresh sheets and freshly shaved legs
  26. Handwritten snail-mail
  27. Scream/singing lyrics at concerts
  28. Being able to watch my best friend Emma marry the love of her life this weekend
  29. A night in with Chinese take out and a good movie
  30. Weekend getaways
  31. Having the know-how and experience to coordinate my first wedding in September
  32. When strangers hold the door or elevator for me
  33. My AMAZING glam team for my year as Miss North Carolina US International
  34. Finding an extra dollar or two in jacket pockets
  35. A fresh blow-out
  36. Sunny warm days, especially after weeks of rain
  37. Good health
  38. Random compliments
  39. Spending time with family at Edisto
  40. Winning Employee of the Month at work
  41. Opportunities to volunteer
  42. Spending time with my Little from Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  43. Finding a cute top on sale
  44. Baby animal videos on Facebook
  45. A great (spray) tan/glow
  46. "On this day" memories on Facebook
  47. Fried Green Tomatoes
  48. A solid night's rest (I'm talking a full 8+ hours here people)
  49. Spur of the moment plans
  50. The first (and usually only) snowfall of winter
  51. Lavender scented everything
  52. Chick-fil-a for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  53. The opportunity to act like a kid again
  54. Planning surprises
  55. Rainbows after a storm
  56. Buying presents that are just perfect for the recipient
  57. Other people's enthusiasm 
  58. Successfully cooking a meal
  59. Actually enjoying said meal and wanting to make it again
  60. Loving life in Charlotte
  61. Discovering new brunch spots
  62. A great messy bun
  63. A friendly network of pageant friends
  64. Being able to meet and reconnect with photographer friends for fun-filled shoots
  65. Make up artists that teach me ALL of the contour and brow magic
  66. My rattling old Honda - it gets me from A to B
  67. My dad who is constantly fixing said Honda
  68. Flexible work schedules
  69. If I'm being honest, Amazon Prime
  70. Being able to make consistent payments on my student loan debt
  71. A warm cup of green tea
  72. Chocolate croissants from Amelie's 
  73. Head massages
  74. A great job that allows me to be creative and work with people
  75. My hilarious little sisters
  76. The Skimm newsletter
  77. The Skimm'bassador Facebook group
  78. Panthers football & all of the good energy that comes with it
  79. My blackout curtains that let me sleep in just a little longer on weekends
  80. Fresh strawberries & blueberries (reminds me of summer!)
  81. Pelican's Snoballs
  82. Instant friendships with sorority alums from other schools
  83. Sweet tea
  84. Eating at Wade's with my parents
  85. Spending time with my grandparents
  86. The great relationships I have with my boyfriend's family
  87. Puppies in the park near my apartment
  88. Winning a state title and being able to compete on the national level in pageants
  89. All of the love and encouragement leading up to Miss North Carolina US International
  90. Being the QUEEN of finding things on sale
  91. Blueberry scones and muffins for that mid-morning slump
  92. Afternoon naps
  93. Feeling like I'm home when I see the Charlotte skyline on the horizon
  94. Being totally unplugged and present when I get the chance
  95. A great book
  96. Being able to have a huge family Thanksgiving
  97. For all of you reading my blog
  98. Last but not least, I'm grateful for the ability and opportunity to wake up each day 

Heading into this week feeling very happy and blessed. What are you grateful for?