This post is inspired by Karenika.  After taking her class at Big Picture Scrapbooking last year, titled Reclaiming My Time, I began reading Karen’s blog. I find her approach to life and the body of work she has accomplished over time to be a gentle guide. I hope this is understood to be a huge compliment: I see her as the epitome of Slow and steady wins the race, or How do you eat an Elephant? … one bite at a time. While she does impressive creative work, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She doesn’t hold herself to unreasonable standards. And while she hasn’t preached this message directly, my personal takeaway from following her this year has been: why not give it a try? If I want to try to post every day in January, but I only post on 15 days, I will not feel that I have failed. I will marvel at 15 posts in a single month … more than I was able to do in 2010.

Karen’s goals for 2010 seemed overhwelming and unrealistic for my life, which has served as a good reminder that I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else. I need to look at my own life, define my own priorities, and set goals that are attainable for me (and maybe just a little out of reach.. why not give it a try?). Karen’s accomplishments this year are impressive. What I at first recognize as jealousy is in actuality a longing within myself to have accomplished similar goals and be able to look back on my year, and life, with a sense of fulfillment and gratitude.

After a year of sharing three things she was thankful for each day, Karen posted a long list of 100 things she’s thankful for. I thought it was a great way to start of the year, so here is my list!

100 Things I’m Thankful For

 1. My hilarious, dear, sweet, loving husband
 2. The privilege of not having to work
 3. A healthy baby growing in my belly
 4. Fresh local milk
 5. Stainless steel cookware
 6. Orchids
 7. Cute paper cocktail napkins
 8. Wooden matches
 9. Great hairdresser
 10. Jeans that make me feel great when I put them on
 11. The fact that I love to run
 12. Being a good swimmer
 13. Mom, Dad, and Kel
 14. Unlimited (nearly) hot water
 15. Baby quilts
 16. Having big teeth and a big smile
 17. Air conditioning
 18. Delivery food
 19. The beach
 20. Warm chocolate chip cookies
 21. Great paper for writing on
 22. Journaling, and my collection of filled journals
 23. Heating pad
 24. Coffee
 25. Sunshine
 26. Snuggling back to sleep after the alarm goes off
 27. My bike (though I won’t be riding again until after the baby comes)
 28. Inspirational bloggers
 29. Martha Stewart paint colors
 30. Living in Austin
 31. B Vitamins
 32. My iPhone
 33. Our bed
 34. Pedicures
 35. Days I get to spend with just my mom
 36. Frozen pizza
 37. Really believing I can do anything
 38. Hilarious childhood memories of our normal days
 39. Getting a massage
 40. Homemade chicken stock
 41. Hugs from people I love
 42. Car stereo system
 43. BabyCenter Community
 44. handwritten letters
 45. Great mother in law who I get along with
 46. Storm sleepmaker app
 47. Evernote
 48. My Laptop
 49. Egyptian cotton sheets
 50. The day the fresh sheets go on the bed
 51. Colorful umbrellas
 52. A whole room for crafting
 53. Binder clips
 54. Russel + Hazel
 55. Cloth napkins
 56. Having a dishwasher
 57. Big, pretty coffee mugs
 58. Unlimited cell phone minutes
 59. SMS
 60. Drive Thru
 61. Being so generally happy and healthy
 62. Sunny days in the middle of winter
 63. Yoga and meditation
 64. Runners high
 65. Being left-handed
 66. Pandora
 67. Brand new journal with blank pages
 68. Fresh flowers
 69. The way my house smells after baking
 70. Laughing with my husband every day
 71. Having a great car that is family-ready
 72. Pre-lit Christmas trees
 73. Big bathtubs
 74. Spending holidays with family
 75. Heart rate monitor
 76. Great sports bras
 77. Cashmere
 78. Fresh, local ruby red grapefruit
 79. Being a creative thinker
 80. Living so close to my parents
 81. My normal (non-pregnant) figure
 82. Living in a safe community
 83. Making and wrapping homemade gifts
 84. Chocolate croissants
 85. GPS
 86. Mobile internet access
 87. Singing in my car
 88. Etta James and Norah Jones and Sarah Bareilles
 89. Good cries
 90. Candlelight
 91. Sunday afternoon two-hour naps
 92. Giant bath towels
 93. Flip-flops
 94. Optimism
 95. Moments when it’s clear how well my husband really knows me
 96. Valentine’s Day
 97. New shoes
 98. Spanx
 99. Insurance
 100. Love! The greatest of these is Love.