1) My safety. Sandy and then Athena have shown me how blessed I am to have been spared even the mild inconvenience of a power outage. My heart hurts for those that have lost their homes and mementos. I wish I could do more than to send supplies and clothes.
2) Amazing roommates. I am living with two of my good friends from College. It is great not having to get to know them on a base level. I have lived with Caitlin in the past and while it took some time to get used to it again we have hit our rhythm. Learning to live with Dana has been fun. While Caitlin and I are similar in many ways - Dana is the complete opposite from me and it has been a joy to get to learn new ways of doing things and getting to see the world the way that Dana does.
3) My Family of course :) I have always held that my family is one of the best out there (as I am sure many people do). I have grandparents that have nothing but pride in their grandchildren and simply enjoy watching us grow and become our own people. I have aunts and uncles that enjoy seeing their families and having crazy Dutch Blitz or Spades games. I have Cousins with whom I thoroughly enjoy spending time. Even though I am 4+ years older than all of them, age never seems to matter when we are together.
I have parents that have supported me and my siblings regardless of our actions and delight not only in their kids but in each other. They are my example of Happily Ever after. They make love real. Katie is my opposite in every way. Where I am reserved she is outgoing. Where she is spontaneous I am planned. We spark each other. In our youth these sparks became fights. Now in our adulthood they (mostly) mean a thorough adventure. Katie says we go and I find a way to get us there. Kristen is who I aspire to be. She is confident in who she is. She is quirky and fun and humble and outrageous. She frequently acknowledges her hate of spelling and then says that it instilled in her a knowledge that some things have to be fought for. John is the lynch pin of our family. He is truly spoiled. We didn't realize what our family was missing until he came along. He is fun and sweet and love sports and is so smart that he makes me sick. And popular. That kid walks into a room and everyone wants to be his friend.
4) The boat that is my car. The Caddy has taken good care of me though you can't really same of me for it. It is a well made car and I don't think that I will need a new car for another couple of years which means that, hopefully, I will have enough saved up to just pay cash for a new one.
5) My Job. I got my job in the middle of the worst part of the economic downturn. Luckily I was a part of a program that was trying to get off the ground and it was spearheaded by the CFO. I had a job when people I graduated with were fighting tougher and tougher competition to get what jobs there were and the number of those jobs had dropped dramatically. Through that program I got to do something I love, auditing, and auditing has taken me to the west coast, Canada, South America, and Asia. The travel is tough and I complain about it some but some people never leave their home town and I feel extremely lucky to experience new cultures (biggest lesson I have learned: Argentines REALLY do not like that Las Malvinas are under the British Crown).
6) My Faith. And for so many reason and much bigger reasons than the one I am going to put here but if it wasn't for my faith I would be a push over. No really. I am a people pleaser to the extreme. If it wasn't for the faith that I believe in, and my need to actually defend and stand up for it, I might have compromised on a lot of issues that aren't even related to my faith.
7) Penn State. College is where I decided to come into my own. I made friends with a ton of great people, lost a friend for a while, had a boyfriend, and shortly after graduation got a tattoo. Got an amazing education. Learned to have school spirit (never had it in middle school or high school). Most of all, I became Jessie. I was on my own and making my own decisions. I admitted my love of hip hop, country, sci fi, and other genres of reading beyond romance. Though I continue to grow, Penn State is where I stepped out of my parents house and started taking responsibility for myself. Those 4 1/2 years were amazing and I wouldn't trade them for anything.