I've got a wonderful wife who loves me, two beautiful, smart, well behaved little girls and a boy on the way, an amazing new house that we are closing on, a fun, powerful, feature-rich new car, several great new toys, a well-paying job with coworkers who respect me (and I work with Olga, too). I live in beautiful Sacramento, where we enjoy great weather without the crazy expense of a San Diego.
I've got a great church that inspires me to always be better and try to emulate Jesus Christ, and I'm surrounded by amazing fellow church members who love and support me and who show examples of Christlike lives.
I've been given lots of wonderful talents, which have helped me, and still do help me to make the most out of life, and hopefully to lift others up along the way and leave the world just a little bit better than I found it.
I have two supportive and loving parents who strove and fought to raise me right in a sea of wrong, and who still stand ready to support me in any way. I've been blessed with three brothers who are married to amazing women, and who are wonderful, upstanding people that others look to and respect, and who are, in their own term, raising upstanding families.
I've got extended family members who have always been like good friends to me and who have helped me out whenever they could and who have enriched my life.
I'm lucky that not only do I not hate my in-laws, but I'm blessed that my wife comes from a terrific, smart, supportive family willing to drop everything and help out when needed, whether it be time, effort, or money.
I'm particularly grateful for facebook, which has allowed me to stay in touch with so many wonderful people that I have met in my life who, through my laziness, I would never have stayed in contact with. What a tremendous blessing that has been!
Yeah, you can always move a rung or two up the ladder, and I probably complain more than i should about what is going on in my life, but really, the view from hearer is pretty amazing, and as I look back on my first 29 years and move into the scary 30s, i can't think of too much that I would change (except maybe I'd buy a house next door for Andie and Anna so we could hang out more).
So don't return your birthday gifts just yet - i still want that paisley tie and fancy cheese grater (and that Garbage Plate - I'm looking at you, Brian) - but really, as i blow out my birthday candles this year, there isn't too much for me to wish for.
I always dreamed that I would be further along in life by the time I was 30, but I never imagined that I would be so blessed.
And that is the best gift i could get.
(cross-posted from my facebook profile)