Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday -- in my life, it's always been a time to treasure community -- whether that be friends, family, new acquaintances, or a mixture of all of the above. For quite a few years, we spent Thanksgiving away from immediate family, but were always priveleged to break bread with friends old and new. Through the years, Thanksgiving activities have included playing games, busting out the Christmas movies, football, and lots of good food. This year in particular, Thanksgiving resonates with me because I've been reminded in recent weeks the importance of living a life of gratitude. Trying to be constantly aware of what I have to be thankful for, in a humble, pay-it-forward kind of way.

This year, I'm excited to spend Thanksgiving with some family in Missouri, but I think I'll always kind of miss our Wilmington Thanksgivings. Come one, come all -- from 5 to 18, it doesn't matter how many, it's always a fun time. And at the Mattox house, we always write what we're thankful for to pin to the cork board. In that spirit, here's a list of five things I'm especially thankful for:

1. Jeremy and Christina. Motherhood is a wild ride! When people ask, I say it's the hardest and best thing I've done to date, and I'm sure that will only get more true. And I'm so, so thankful to be on this adventure with Jeremy. He's the best person to have an adventure with.

2. Technology. Phone calls, texts, emails, Skype, even Facebook help me stay in touch with friends across the country, and have even helped me make friends with people I'd never have met otherwise.

3. Our neighborhood. I'm grateful to live in a neighborhood that is nice to get out and walk in. Trees, sidewalks, and a playground only 15 minutes away. We have really nice neighbors on either side of us, and it's just great to be in a place that feels homey.

4. WOW Bible study. Spring Creek Church of Christ (where we attend) has a fall and spring women's Bible study (Women Opening the Word), and I attended my first series this fall. What a blessing! Cassandra Martin is a gifted teacher, and the study based on I Thessalonians 5:16-18 really spoke to me in this season of my life (Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you). Not only that, it was nice being able to have a little grown-up time each week (thank you Amanda Wilkins for being the WOW babysitter!)

5. The little things. Earlier this year there was a little Facebook challenge going around: list something you're thankful for for 5 days, and challenge three people to do the same each day (a warm up to thankful Novemeber maybe?). One thing I loved seeing was all the "little" things people were thankful for: coffee (ummm...yeah), music, nail polish, books. It's fun to step back sometimes and recognize that some seemingly small thing can bring so much enjoyment to my day, or even just this moment. Baby giggles, fresh baked bread, a walk around the block, a beautiful sunset, a fun t.v. show, quiet time, friend time, a game of cards, a phone conversation, or even a box of tissues (which I am so thankful for today. First cold of the season, anyone? Thank you for sharing Christina).

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!