1. Words. Just simple words... but not just ANY words, either. I love that there are specific words that make me smile... not because they're great words in their own right, but because they spring to mind a particular situation or a person or an event that makes me smile... pineapple, stockings, vegetables, a goat named Chester. Words that wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, except perhaps to those who have shared the same experience. It takes very little to pop them to mind, but the warmth they bring is precious.
2. My kids. Yes, my girls are getting to an age where hormones are started to rear their little heads, mood swings are becoming more rampant, and we're getting more and more serious about moving to Montana without telling them. But they're also getting to an age where their senses of humor are becoming more refined. They're learning what's funny and what isn't... they're learning the fine art of comedic timing... and they make me laugh so much sometimes. When they were younger, you laughed because they were unintentionally funny... but now, it's more with genuine appreciation for the wit they're developing and that's pretty cool!
4. Second chances. When I first started being a fan of CT, there was this small band of fans on their website. One girl lived in Tacoma, which is not far from here. I was going to be spending spring break at my mom's, and this girl sent me a note asking me if I wanted to stop for coffee on my way back home. And I was scared. I was SO SO SURE that, sure, maybe she liked me online... but that if she met me in person, I was POSITIVE that wouldn't be the case anymore. To save myself from the hurt of that eventuality, I totally ignored her invitation. Yes, I did. A month or so later, Sharon and a couple CT boys came to town, and I ended up meeting the aforementioned girl at the event... I will always be grateful for the opportunity we had to meet... I had no idea that we would become the best friends we are now. And I'm grateful that she didn't throw her water in my face for totally blowing her off before. :) Or for stealing her seat.
5. Unconditional love. I have had many people in my life in the past who have exhibited this with me... or as close as we can get to it as humans... people who have loved me, despite my mistakes and my faults, and who have helped me to become a better person along the way. I am grateful for that in its own right... but also for the example. So that now, when I am in the place of having to extend the same type of love to someone else, I have a guide and real-life examples of what it looks like to be that sort of friend.