Thankful Heart Project: 52 Weeks of Thankfulness; January

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Last year I did my very first 365 day project. I completed it, and I am so thankful for the experience. That being said, I am not sure I am ever going to do that again. I knew I needed another project to keep me inspired and shooting so I reached out to some photography friends for advice. I ended up finding this group of women who are involved in this project called The Thankful Heart Project. Every week there is a prompt and we are encouraged to take a photo based off the prompt and write a letter to someone we are thankful for. A month in, and I am so thrilled with this project. 

Week 1. Thankful for Myself

Dear Me,

Thank you for voting this year. Thank you for overcoming social anxiety and doing new things and meeting new people. Thank you for just making it through the day, everyday. Sure, not everyday is a perfect 100% effort day, but you still did it. Thank you for taking the time to discover yourself. Thank you for processing the large amount of mom guilt that comes with such and inward focus. Thank you for loving yourself most days. Thank you for FINALLY feeling comfortable in your own skin. Above ALL, thank you for being brave enough to be honest with the world about who you are. Feels good, doesn't it?
All the love in the world,
You <3<3

Week 2: Thankful for Lessons Learned

Dear Robert, 
I know I already explained much in person, but I wanted you to have something tangible. Thank you for being such a big influence in my life. When you first started as the youth pastor at BIC, and I'll be honest here, I was skeptical. My life experience had taught me to be skeptical of father figure types. But you kept me involved. You kept engaging me. You helped me learn to trust. You treated me like family. You placed an image in my head of what a father is. You instilled in me a large amount of knowledge, not just of God, but on real life. Thank you for being a big influence on my life through some major milestones- hs graduation, college, marriage. Above all thank you, that even after 8 years of not talking (sans facebook) that you agreed to lunch with me today.

Week 3: Thankful for Old Friends

Luree,
How can I put into words 19 year’s worth of thank yous? (And still fit it on this card?) I definitely won’t be able to… but I can try. First off, a HUGE thank you for putting up with my crazy for 19 years. You’ve been my “anyways friend”- someone I can tell anything to and you’ll be my friend anyways. We’ve been together through pretty much any life changing event a person could go through. Parents divorcing, middle school, high school, graduation, boyfriends, college, marriage, kids… the list could seriously go on forever. 
Thank you for the times when our closeness seemed so far away. When we were just on different pages and we couldn’t click like normal, during those times, you never left. We both took a breather and when we came back, it was right again. Thank you for being my soul friend. Someone I know I am supposed to keep in my life forever. Someone I have a connection that rivals that of my connection to Zach. Thank you for loving my kids the way you love me. There is so much I haven’t said. There are so many thank yous that I can not even put into a words and can only translate over coffee or wine and a hug. I am looking forward to the future with you by my side. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for being not only the longest standing friend I have to date, but the closest one as well. I love you Weege.

Week 4: Thankful for New Friends

Dear Rachel,

I just wanted to write you a little note saying thank you. You moved in 2 years ago, and I remember seeing you carrying Ava and thinking, AWESOME! A neighbor with a kiddo Lucas’ age. I was really beginning to worry that he would have to settle for just playing with his brother’s friends. We quickly became friends and I have never been happier! Thank you for being someone I can go to for mom advice, without judgement. Thank you for watching the boys on a whim when things got crazy. Thank you for being the neighbor that I can text for butter, sugar or milk. Thank you for helping our little neighborhood really take on the “it takes a village” mentality. More than anything…. Thank you for walking into the tornado that was my house when Lucas had his anaphylactic reaction. Thank you for helping me when I was literally shaking with fear. You walked in, and took charge while I called the paramedics and clung to Lucas, fearing for his life. Without hesitation, you agreed to watch Owen so I could ride in the ambulance. You were my calm in those moments that I needed it most. I will never be able to thank you enough.

Erin Berry