29 Things I Am Thankful For

29 Things I'm Thankful For-1-19June 3rd was my birthday. I have so many things to be thankful for, I wanted to take the time and write at least some them down. Since I’m just a brand spanking new 29 years, a list of 29 seemed appropriate. Although on the one hand I feel like I’m way younger than 29, on the other hand A LOT has already happened in my short 29 years of life.

1. My relationship with God.

God is always constant, faithful, and true. My strength is only in Him. He has been with me for all the beautiful life moments and carried me through the darkest days. I am nothing without Him.

2. My amazing, incredible parents.

They shaped me into the person I am today. They are my heroes and I realize how blessed I am to be their daughter.

29 Things I'm Thankful For-1-183. Sergi

My husband is my gift from God. He is the man I respect more than anyone else I know and his love for me and our son is humbling and melts my heart.

4. Nathaniel

He is my miracle baby, my precious son and my dream come true. Celebrating Mother’s Day for the first time this May was very surreal.

Family Picture May 2015-1

Our Family

5. Every hour of good health

This one makes me cry, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Good health is something I will never, ever take for granted.

6. Tea

My current favorites: Apple Rosehip and Wild Berries

7. Viber

This has to be my favorite app. We have group accounts for both sides of the family and it’s so nice to share every day life moments through pictures, videos and messages with each other. What a great way to stay in touch. It’s free messaging! What could be better?

8. Siblings

I grew up with these folks. We had the most amazing childhood anyone could ever dream of. Today, we are still best friends and love hanging out together.

Christmas 2014-1-7

Christmas 2014 with my parents, siblings and all our spouses and children.

9.  In-laws

I am so blessed to have wonderful in laws that don’t feel like in laws (what a weird word anyway). They really feel like my family members, just as much as my biological family. What a relief that my siblings didn’t choose duds for spouses and my husband’s family is cool:).

Nathaniel's Baby Dedication in our church with a very SMALL part of our families.

Nathaniel’s Baby Dedication in our church with a very SMALL part of our families.

10. Our Home Church

Sergi and I love our church family. Every week we look forward to Sundays.  Not only are the church services wonderful, but we are part of a small group that consists of many young couples just like ourselves. It’s really gratifying to share life and grow in our relationship with God together.

11. Grocery shopping

I’ll take strolling through aisles filled with food over aisles of clothes and shoes any day. One is a pleasure and the other a necessity.

What? Not everyone is like that?

29 Things I'm Thankful For-1-1712. Music

It touches the soul like nothing else. Sometimes a song expresses my thoughts so much better than I can. Plus, you can find music to match every mood.

13. Medical care

Modern medicine is amazing. I wouldn’t be alive or go through this difficult pregnancy without the advanced science, technology and medicine.

Family Life Pictures 2015-1-4714. Books

There’s something so satisfying about cracking open the pages of something that you’ve never read before or re-reading a favorite. Our home library keeps growing.

My cute niece Madeline, checking out some of my books:).

My cute niece Madeline, checking out some of my books:).

15. Movies, TV shows

We love relaxing on our comfy couch watching some great entertainment. Our favorite movies and shows – Shark Tank, Master Chef, Gladiator, God’s Not Dead, Blind Side. There’s many more. Those are the first ones that came to mind. My personal favorites – Little House on the Prairie and Road to Avonlea.

16. Podcasts

When driving, cooking or cleaning, nothing helps pass the time more than listening to something encouraging, inspiring or simply entertaining. Some of my favorites: Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Adventures in Odyssey, Living on the Edge, Dave Ramsey.

17. Makeup

I’m sure many sleep deprived moms, busy homemakers and hard working career women can relate. Makeup magically erases dark circles and hides all imperfections. There’s something about putting on makeup that makes me feel so girly and gives a boost to my self esteem.

I’ve appreciated makeup this year like no other, especially when malnutrition, dehydration and severe pain played a role in my outward appearance.

Both pictures are taken on my phone, no filters, just different lighting. First picture taken 4:12pm, second picture 4:31 pm.

Both pictures are taken on my phone, no filters, just different lighting. First picture taken 4:12pm, second picture 4:31 pm.

18. Cooking

29 Things I'm Thankful For-1-1519. Writing

I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to write. For me, the combination of cooking, sharing recipes and writing about a wide array of subjects such as homemaking, cooking tips, adoption, marriage, hospitality and sharing stories from my personal life feels like a dream come true. I never thought that I could combine all my passions in one and blogging does that for me. I am so thankful for all of you, all the wonderful people I’ve met through blogging.

20. Walks

21. Sunshine

22. Rain

This may seem controversial to my love of sunny days, but nothing is more cozy for me than hearing rain patter on our roof at night, or getting comfy with a good book while watching raindrops on my window, or baking cookies on a gloomy day.

23. Salted Caramel Chocolate

24. Libraries and bookstores.

29 Things I'm Thankful For-1-1125. Church Nursery

It’s lovely to be able to focus on the church service while feeling secure that your child is in good hands and well taken care of by generous volunteers. We also have childcare available during different church events, like our small groups, church date nights, etc.

26. The Grill

We grill all year long in Florida. It’s so quick, the results are delicious and there is minimal cleanup in the kitchen. We are so grateful for our grill, a generous housewarming gift from our family.

29 Things I'm Thankful For-1-1327. Homemade Bread

IMG_952228. Our Cozy Home and Lovely Neighborhood

29. Cameras and phones with camera and video capabilities

Memories captured in photos and videos are priceless. I’m glad we have so many devices that make it easy to take out the camera at a moment’s whim.

In 29 years I have experienced many beautiful moments, truly miraculous events, deep and meaningful relationships and countless blessings. I look forward to what the future holds, since I wholeheartedly believe that “the best is yet to be”.

Celebrating my 29th birthday.

Celebrating my 29th birthday.


  • Natasha of Natashaskitchen.com

    Olga, I loved reading this post. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to you!! God bless you with great health, joy and success in all you do. 🙂

  • Oksana

    Happy birthday. God bless you and your family. I’m so glad that you can celebrate your birthday in your feet and in better health, with a wonderful husband and a baby (who will carry on the family name) in your arms. Many of the things you mentioned being greatful for, we can enjoy and do, we just don’t think about them much. Thank you for pointing them out.

  • Katy | Her Cup of Joy

    Happy birthday Olga! You are an amazing woman, I am so glad that you included us all in your life stories/journey. I’ve been reading your blog ever since I got married 4 years ago and fell in love with all of your posts. May God bless you and strengthen your health, it’s something that most of us take for granted. I can’t even imagine what you went through, but only God can help you in those hard times. Your son is adorable, he really is a miracle! ( I love rainy days too, my favorite!)

  • Елена

    Hello Olga,
    First, happy 29th birthday:) God bless your family!
    Thank you for your website, I have tried lots of your recipes. My family loved them:)
    Congrats on your little angel, I just had a baby girl too on March 7th. I also had a difficult pregnancy and rough recovery and indeed still recovering. I appreciate soooo much more good health and I’m sooo thankful to God everyday I wake up feeling good. Wishing you to recover completely and good health! It’s so important to feel good, otherwise, nothing matters.

    Thank you again for your recipes:)

  • Courtney

    I am a faithful reader of your blog; I enjoy the recipes and the personal posts alike. I probably enjoy the personal posts more:) Happy Birthday, and keep shining for Him just as you do. Your reward will be great in heaven.

  • Vitaliya

    What a great post. Some of the things you have mentioned are sometimes taken for granted but it’s so so important to be thankful for all of them, especially out health! Wow!! Happy birthday again Olga and I pray this year brings even more happiness into your life and I’m sure it will with your little miracle baby growing!! Love you so much!!!

  • Yelena

    Happy birthday Olga! May God bless you dearly in every aspect of your life! Love your posts and really enjoyed cooking your recipes!

  • Natasha

    Happy happy happy Birthday dear Olga! May God continue to bless you in every way! You are a wonderful example to us all! Love your courage, enthusiasm & joy that you express through your writing. May God keep strengthening you both physically & spiritually! Hope this coming year brings you even more memorable moments into your life! Thank you for your blog & I love reading it. Your little Nathaniel is just adorable, I’m amazed at how much he looks like your hubby:) btw, we share a Birthday

  • Alina

    Happy Birthday Olga! May God richly bless you and your family with His wisdom, good health, smiles, joy. I like to read your blog. Your writing skills are excellent. You are definitely an encouraging person. Thank you for sharing your stories and delicious recipes with the world.

  • Dina

    Happy Birthday Olga! God bless you and your beautiful family:) I absolutely love your blog! You are such a beautiful, brave, courageous, strong, hardworking and wonderful woman and mother. Sergi is such a lucky man to have you as his wife and Nathaniel is very lucky to have such an amazing mom:) Happy Birthday!!!

  • Pat Soltis


    I really don’t have anything to add to what your friends have already posted. But I’m really glad that you, your husband, and especially your small son are well and happy!

    My parents taught me to love good books and to enjoy cooking. I use your recipe for kasha with mushrooms all the time. Thanks!


  • Valya @ Valya' s Taste of Home

    I enjoyed reading this post.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLGA! Let this new year of your life be special, full of precious moments, bright emotions, full of happiness and joy! Let Love follow your footsteps everywhere you go!!! God’s blessing to you!!! 🙂

  • nadezhda bgatov

    Happy Birthday dear Olga! I loved reading your 29 things you’re grateful for in your life. What a great idea! My 37th is coming up June 9 and i will definitely want to write about what I’m grateful for. I wish you all the best of yet to come! God bless you and your family!

  • Mary

    Happy birthday Olga !!!
    God bless you and your family and your little one, he’s loking handsome everyday
    May this year be an awesome one.

  • Tanya

    Hi Olechka,
    I want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday!!!! May God bless you with health, joy and peace. May you find blessing in all you do. When there are days that you feel a lot better, go slow, because you need that much strength to feel even more better tomorrow.
    Usually after all of the stress, you’ll also find that your hair is falling out and thinning. Don’t worry, it’s very normal. Biotin 1,000 is a very good and natural vitamin component for that. Just put one vitamin of Biotin per day under your tongue and it will be absorbed directly into your bloodstream and your hair will grow back relatively quickly.:) I’ve been through everything you’re going through now, except I didn’t have a husband to support. My God stood by my side and helped me to take one step at a time. Now, I can encourage others and say that God is truly faithful and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 🙂 I love your work, courage and you’re recipes. Thank you for being a blessing for everyone. My little one and I, have made a lot of you recipes and we love them!!!! I can’t wait to see when Nathaniel will start walking and will want to be in the kitchen “helping” you. The best is still ahead of you!!!!! Stay strong!

    We have a tradition in our family to wish a Bilble verse for a Birthday. So, everyone in the family write’s out on a card or e-mails a verse. I would like to do the same and wish you the a Psalm 34:10 ” Even young lions lack food and suffer hunger: but they that obey the Lord shall not lack nothing good.”

  • Alina S.


    You are incredible. Your faith, strength, courage, wisdom and positive outlook are infectious. I get inspired by you every time I read your blog. Keep being honest and humble, it’s a beautiful thing you have here… 🙂
    May the Lord bless you and your family richly in everything you do. May his love, grace and peace be with you always. May he give you many many more healthy & prosperous years to come. May he answer your most deepest & sacred wishes/prayers. So happy for you!

    Alina Skye

  • Zerin

    I truly like your entire management of kitchen and family & all the pictures you posted are lovely, simply nice.

  • Natasha

    Dear Olga ! Happy belated birthday ! I am thankful for you and your blog. It is such a blessing to see how God works in you and through your life to show His Mercy and His Glory ! I am truly amazed by it ! Keep shining for Him just as you do now !
    Regarding # 16 I want to share with you wonderful women ministry Revive Our Hearts. Their website is reviveourhearts.com and they also have a podcast. Their ministry was huge blessing for me and my friends in different times and seasons of life. Also thank you for sharing what resources are the inspiration for you ! May God bless you and yours abundantly !

  • Anna D Kart

    Hi Olga!
    Happy Birthday!
    So happy you are sharing your life with the world and your recipes are always delicious. God bless you and your family!

    Happy Medley

  • Lena

    Happy Birthday, Olga!!! Wish you all the best! I just wanted to let you know that your blog is so amazing. It’s truly one of the best cooking blogs I’ve read. You are so creative.
    I think I left a comment earlier to one of your blog posts. It must be so tough to take care of the baby when you don’t feel good. I had to reclaim my health after the birth of my second child. Started to take a lot of healthy supplements and green vegetable juices and smoothies. They helped a lot, but I still didn’t feel 100% back to normal. I didn’t read all of your blog posts so I’m not very familiar with the whole story. One of the most transformative things that helped me was listening to amazing podcasts. You mentioned that you like podcasts, too. I simply love “The Health Bridge” podcast, it’s so inspiring. Check it out, I think you’ll like it. They talk a lot about digestive health and microbiom. It’s so fascinating. I learn a ton from them how to better my life.

  • Mlays

    Hi Olga,

    I have been following your story for a while and see what a humbling kind person you are. Instead of complaining and dwelling, you move on and stay positive. God bless you even more!! Thank you for this wonderful website.

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