0 9 . 1 1 . 1 3 // what are you thankful for in this life?

So today is my birthday! the big 2-8! & boy do i feel old.  i've grown a lot this past year and truly am so so so so happy!  Even at times when work is so stressful, and all i want to do is hide under the covers and not get out of bed.... i really do still wake up happy!  eager for what's in store, with the biggest "smile" on my face!  that's an awesome feeling!

so lets just talk about my birthday for a second. 9/11. yup thats my birthday.  (insert the "i feel so bad for you" look) that comes immediately after i tell someone my birthday.  yes, it's kind of a bummer, and don't get me wrong i do feel the atmosphere of tragedy and sorrow that we all do, but i also (since the day it happened) feel this huge responsibility to celebrate this life!  not just my life, but everyones life.

my dad is captain of the los angeles fire department and has been my entire life.  i remember when that day happened, he made it a point to help me look past the tragedy and see the pride, strength and selflessness of his "brothers" in new york and the millions of others who responded to help someone in need.  i cannot put into words the feeling, but since then, i've made it a goal of mine to always, always keep a smile on my face, be proud of my birthday and to never, ever think otherwise.  i am lucky and grateful to have such a beautiful life and so are all of you!  there's no forgetting what happened that tragic day.  some of us will never fully understand the reasoning behind that fateful moment in time, but you can make it a point to celebrate the life you have.  so in the spirit of everything i love, everyone i love and for everyone and everything that you all love, i am doing my first blog giveaway! :) woo hoo!

all you have to do is comment below on "what you are thankful for in this life?"  for every comment + like on the blog, instagram, Facebook and twitter i will be donating to the 9/11 memorial in new york!  its my little way of helping to contribute and to honor the last place of remembrance and reflection for 9/11.

today i am thankful for everyone in my life who has supported me in the past and who support me today in my crazy dreams!  thank you for sharing your life with me.  when i stop and look around, it's all so amazing!  isn't it?  xoveronica

p.s. if at any point you ever find yourself in new york, please make it a point to stop on by the 9/11 memorial.  it's breathtaking.  

images via // pinterest