Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankfulness in All Things

As I wrap up this month of thankfulness, I'm feeling a bit sentimental.  Is that the right word for it?  Nostalgic maybe?  I don't know.  I'm feeling very reflective like I want to look back at how things were, where we've gone, but instead of longing for the way things were, I want to sit in a place of thankfulness for the way things are.

It was about this time, two years ago, that our lives slowly began unraveling.  The Hubs began experiencing some medical issues that, at the time, we were blowing off.  There was always something else to blame the symptoms on.   Too much work, not enough sleep, a stressful work environment, and on and on and on.  By January, the wheels had fallen off the cart, and we were in deep. 

I've already told most of the story last year, so I won't spend time there now.  Instead, I want to work through the other stuff.  The part after the wheels came off.  The part where we started to catch our breath, surveyed the damage, and took steps forward.  Yes, there were some steps back.  There still are.  This is a life long journey, no doubt, but it's the steps forward that I want to sit in.

As I spend the day (and if I'm honest, I've been reflecting on my thankfulness with this situation for a few weeks now) reflecting on what I'm thankful for, I am most thankful for this journey.

Listen, I'm not saying I want this to happen again.  Like we had/are having a grand time.  We didn't/aren't.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  However, there is beauty in the ashes, and life in the dust.

I'm thankful for a deepening in faith that I could never have reached without having to trust and follow God with each breath given to me.  I suppose He would have lead me there eventually, but I got a crash course, and am thankful I didn't have to wait my whole life to know Him the way I know Him now. 

I'm so thankful for His faithfulness and love I have experienced as He slowly picked me back up and put me back together again.  I had read about it before, I had heard other people talk about how it had worked in there lives, but now I have experienced it. 

While I spent a long time sad, and yes, angry, at the type of marriage that this illness had left me with, I'm now thankful.  Is my marriage anything like what I imagined or even dare hoped it to be?  No. It's better.  It's stronger, more open, more honest, and more centered on Christ than I ever could have dreamed of.  Which is funny.  There were many times I thought we couldn't make it one more step, let alone a lifetime together.  Now we share a bond.  A bond I share with no other human being.  While the bond may be ugly, He makes all things beautiful.  He has used something that was meant for harm, and brought us goodness. (Gen 50:20).  He has carefully and intentionally re-shaped our hearts for one another in a way that is much deeper and stronger than ever before.

And I can say the same thing for my kids, and their relationship with their father.

And while I'm talking about shaping hearts, I am also thankful for the way He has used this journey to soften our hearts and open our eyes to other people and opportunities we would have surely passed by, otherwise.  I'm so thankful for those people and opportunities.  They are forever imprinted upon my heart. 

While this turn of events in our lives has proven to be more of a life long journey, instead of a slight interruption, I am now excited to see where God will be taking us.  I'm so thankful that I can place all my trust in Him who makes ALL things work together for our good. (Rom 8:28)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Little Gift to Myself

Tonight, I made the final decision, and made all the arrangements.  I decided to give myself and The Girl a gift. 

A math Tutor.

I always thought I would wait until I no longer understood what the kids were doing in math before I did the whole tutor thing.  But then, the other night when sister's boyfriend came over, I realized there was no need to wait.

And instantly the stress lifted.

I am breathing easier knowing that I don't have to commit  an hour plus, four nights a week, going through her math work with her.  And, on these two nights per week, I am looking forward to: no tears, less frustration, and most importantly MORE LEARNING.

The Girl is looking forward to getting better grades, more consistently, in math.  Also, she thinks this will cut down the amount of time she spends on homework each night.

It's a win win.

And I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Where I am Weak He is Strong

Tonight, as I prepare to head over to a local juvenile detention facility, I am reminded of God's faithfulness, and I am thankful.

Every month, on the fourth Wednesday, I head over to this facility and lead a Bible study for the girls that are there.  No, I don't have a heart for teenage girls, let alone juvenile delinquent girls, but He does.  No, I don't relate to or understand their broken lives, but He does.  No, I don't have a natural gift of knowing what the girls need to hear and then delivering that message in gentleness and love.  I don't have to because He does.

I felt God asking me to serve Him about a year and a half ago.  I didn't know how or where or who, but just that I needed to go.  This opportunity came along, so I took it.  As imperfect as it was for me, I took it. 

I'm so thankful for this imperfect opportunity I have each month.  Each time I go over to this jail, not only are my eyes opened to a whole different world than the one I live in, my eyes and heart are open to Him.  He faithfully meets me there each and every month.  He faithfully give me the words to speak, and the love I need to share with these girls each time.  He faithfully shows me that it isn't about me at all.  It's all about Him.  It's His love, His words, and His passion for these girls.  I'm only asked to be obedient to His call.  He does all the rest.

And then in His goodness He somehow sees fit to bless me.

Teaching Bible Study at a juvenile detention facility has blessed me more than I can explain, and I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You're Hired!

Today, we had my sister and her boyfriend over for dinner.  While their company was fabulous, I appreciated something else a little more.

See, my sister's boyfriend is a high school math teacher.  So, when The Girl finished her math homework right at the same time as I was preparing dinner, he jumped right in. 

He and The Girl sat down and worked through each problem one by one.  There were no tears, no screaming talking loudly, and there was actually extra learning going on because there was no refusing to listen to old, crazy, mom.  It was amazing.

I am so thankful for the peaceful evening we could all enjoy because of his helping hand.

Oh, and yes, he's hired!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Faithful Father

Today, I sent both of my babies to school with heavy, sad, anxious hearts.  Both had different reasons, however both involved friendships.  My kids are both peacekeepers and people-pleasers.  It's just in their nature.  They want all to be happy around them, even at the expense of themselves.

Knowing they both had issues they needed to face today, we spent some time in prayer the night before.  Prayers for strength and courage. Prayers for changed hearts.  Prayers that somehow, someway, things would be different this time, and prayers that we would be able to visibly see Him at work.

Both kids came home from school yesterday happy.  They both proclaimed that their prayers were answered.  Friendships restored, friendships unaffected, and grace extended.

While the troubles my kids were struggling with were small to me, and in the scope of life, they were big to them.

I'm so thankful for a Father who knows what we need when we need it.  He has no shortage of supply.  Out of His great love for us, He bestows great gifts to us.  Whether our need is big or small, He loves to give, and shows Himself faithful to us and our needs each and everyday. 

I'm so thankful for the way God showed Himself to my kids today.  What a priceless gift!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Belly laughs.  There is nothing better.

Almost every Sunday, we watch America's Funniest Home videos together. Today, as we sat and watched, I sat on my computer to catch up with this here blawg-o-mine. 

I had to stop and soak in the belly laughs from the couch across the room.  The kids were dying of laughter as video after video of silly dog tricks, people falling, people hitting their heads, and yes, the infamous crotch shots. 

Today, I'm thankful for laughter.  I love to laugh and completely enjoy taking in other people's joy and laughter as well. 

Especially when it's coming from my sweeties.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Today, we celebrated Thanksgiving. 


This time the entire fam headed over to my mom's house to celebrate with my side of the family.

We were the last to arrive, and we walked into a home full of 20 people. 


We were numbers 21-24.

Holy smokes.

It's no secret that I love a more intimate affair.

However,  how special is it that we have so many family members that choose to spend the day together?  Also, my ninety-five year old grandfather was there.  Ninety-five. 

Aunts, uncles, cousins, and even in-laws altogether. 

Laughing, talking, eating, celebrating, encouraging, and loving.

Today, I'm thankful for my extended family.  I am so thankful that we all keep in touch, and we all get along.  These days, that is rare and precious.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I am a creature of habit.  I L-O-V-E traditions.  I can't get enough of the anticipation of doing the same things as a family year after year.  While they are the same things, they change.  Because we have changed.  So while it may seem repetitive, there's always something new to be discovered year after year.

One of my favorite traditions happens on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  After a small bit of time doing some Black Friday shopping, we spend the day ushering in Christmas.  Christmas decorating, Christmas music, and Christmas movies are on the menu for the day.  At the end of the day, we all snuggle in bed and watch Polar Express while sipping hot cocoa.  Since the kids are not normally allowed in our bed (I have issues with sharing my clean sheets with anyone other than The Hubs, and I've accepted that I'm totally weird), they find snuggling in our bed to be a bigger treat than the hot cocoa.

This year I wasn't feeling it.  Thanksgiving came a bit early this year, right?  Also, it's been super warm this year.  Whatever it is, I can't wrap my brain around the fact that in a few short weeks we will be celebrating Christmas.  (Do I say this every year?  I think so.  Weird.)

So, I declared we were going to put off Polar Express night for another night.  I thought my kids were going to have a heart attack.  Seriously.  You would have thought I was canceling Christmas all together. 

Today, I am thankful for kids who love tradition as much as I do because, even though they no longer fit our bed, it was super sweet to usher in this season, together, as a family. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Day

Today is the day that the "Month of Thanks" was started for,  Thanksgiving day.   The kids and I headed over to the In-laws to enjoy turkey, potatoes, veggies, and let's get real, appetizers and desserts.  It was a small intimate affair, which is perfect in my opinion. 

After our feast was consumed, and thanksgivings for the year shared, The Hubs walked in after almost a full week away in Germany. 

So thankful to see his wonderful face again.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sisters and Photoshoots

Since The Hubs is away in Germany for business, I have had to be creative with childcare for the last few days.  Many people in my family have stepped up to the plate, and today, my sister was one of those people.

I'm thankful that I was able to go to Bible Study Fellowship today because my sister gave up her morning to sit with my kids.  It's so nice to have someone else understand how important it is to go to Bible study each week, and then support you in making it happen.

Later, my sweeties gave me a wonderful fall photoshoot for the mere price of a movie in my room and a cup of hot cocoa. 

Done and done.

Here's the fruits of our labor:

So thankful for these memories.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Little Things are Big Things

Today, I am thankful for what I think of each day as "The Little Things".  Things like a dishwasher, a clothes washer and dryer, a vacuum, clean water, heat, a refrigerator and freezer, an ice maker, computers, and I'm sure a whole host of other modern day, first world conveniences that I take for grated each day.

I think about people living without running water in their homes, traveling miles each day, carrying their water home in jugs (most of the time it's not even clean water), and yet I flip on my faucet without so much of a thought.  I never have to consider what it would be like to turn the handle on the faucet/flush a toilet, and have nothing happen.  Not only that, I've never think twice about if the water coming out of said faucet is safe for me or my family to drink.

Taking that a step further, while some people in the world ration their daily water, clean or unclean as it may be, I don't think twice as clean water runs through my dishwasher and clothes washer, cleaning my dishes and clothing.  The same clean water gushes through my sprinkler system to water my grass in the summer time so that my home can have "curb appeal".

Choosing one day to be thankful for these "little things" seems too small, and not even remotely close to enough.  I should be more thankful each day for these "little things" because in the majority of the world, my "little things" are "big, life-changing things".  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Full Circle

When I had The Girl, almost ten years ago, I joined a group called MOPs.  It stands for Mothers Of Pre-schoolers.  The idea behind this group is to create a place where moms can drop off their children, in a childcare environment, and then join other moms who are in the same stage of life.  We would hear speakers share with us about stuff like diffusing sibling rivalry and how to get your home organized.  We would also encourage one another, ask each other questions about mom type things, and just enjoy some conversation without our kids needing our attention.

This organization is also Christ centered, and there was always a Christ-focused topic of conversation.  At the time I joined, I was not a "Christian".  I knew all about God, Jesus, and the whole church thing.  I had even been baptized when I was twelve, by my own choice.  However, in the years that followed, I stopped seeking out God and what he wanted in my life.  I lived my own life and did what I wanted when I wanted.

Then I had this baby.  And she rocked. My. World. 

Many things changed for me, and most importantly, my heart changed.

Through a testimony shared at a MOPs meeting, I met Jesus again.  Somehow, I was able to see Him in a whole new way.  He was different than the Jesus I remembered from Sunday school.  I gave my life over to Him that year, and have never looked back.

Fast forward almost a decade (gulp, I still can't get over that), and Christ has completely transformed my life.  I am a whole new person.  He has blessed me with so much.  One of His most beautiful gifts to me has been photography.  Knowing how much photographs speak to my heart, He has given me this gift to take images of my children, that speak so deeply to my heart, and keep them forever.  And, He lets me do it for other families as well. 


A couple of weeks ago, someone contacted me on my business's Facebook page.  They were from MOPs, and they were wondering if I could speak to a group of teen moms about photography.  They were hoping for something that would help these girls, who could not afford to have custom portraiture taken of their kids/families, take better pictures of their kids.  To be able to capture their own memories of this precious time in their lives.

I didn't even have to think twice about it.

As I drove in to the church's parking lot, I reflected upon this wonderful gift.

First, God drew me to MOPs which renewed my relationship with Him, completely changing my life, and the life of my family.  Then, He gives me this beautiful gift of photography, which blesses me and others so much.  And now, I get the chance to share, with a group of girls, at a MOPs gathering, this gift He has given to me, in the same place He found me.

It's too much for my heart to handle. 

He is the giver of all good and perfect gifts, and His plans for my life are far better than anything I could ever imagine. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Boy

Yesterday was all about The Girl, and now I get to brag all over my Little Man.

How thankful am I for this little boy? Oh, let me tell you the ways.

This kid is so funny.  I love the way he makes me laugh when he's not even trying to be funny. 
D: Hey buddy, you have a bat in your cave (I guess this is the way they tell each other they have a booger hanging out of their nose)
P: Oh! I do? (Grabs a Kleenex and shoves it up his nostril).
D: No not that cave, the other one.
P: Oh.  OUCH!  That guy is sharp.  WOW!  That hurts.  Man, I think this bat's got some sharp teeth!

Dying. Of. Laughter.

He's also a big encourager.  He always encourages people in whatever they are doing. 
D: Mom, when I was dancing on stage, did I look stupid?
me: No, I thought you looked great.
P: Ya, sister.  You know, you are a really good dancer.
D: I am?
P: Ya, like really good.  I mean, you're not as good as me because I can break dance, but you're still pretty good.
D: I wasn't supposed to break dance.
P: Oh.  Well then, you are awesome.

Again.  Dying.

He's also super thoughtful.  His heart for others is pretty huge.
P: Mom, since dad is in Germany, I think we should record the Bronco game for him.
me: That's a great idea.
P: Yea, I can just imagine how happy he'll be when he gets home and sees that we were thinking about him and did that for him.  It's going to be great.

Heart. Melted.

And that was just the things he said today.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The White Queen Reigns!

Today, I am thankful for my girl.   I still can't believe God chose me to be her mom.  What a precious gift she is to me. 

Before becoming a mom, I never knew I could love the way I do.  So powerfully, so completely, so unconditionally. 

It's so wild to watch someone so attached to your heart walk around outside of your body.  Making choices,  doing their own thing, becoming their own person.  And, as they get older, they make those choices and do their own thing without you. 

It's astonishing to sit back and watch your babies grow up and become their own people.  It's was amazing when she was two, and she started getting her own little attitude personality, and it's still amazing to me as she reaches almost ten. 

Just a few years ago, we were struggling to find something that was "her thing".  Something she enjoyed doing.  She didn't even have to be good at it, I just wanted to see her enjoying herself and doing something that she felt confident doing.  We had tried all kinds of sports.  Cheer leading, dance, and gymnastics were even thrown in the mix.  But after a few months, it was the same story over and over.  "I don't like this",  "I'm not good at ______ like ______is",  "I feel stupid when I try ______".  And then she would beg to quit. 

Then she tried out for a play in our town.  She got a very small part, but she loved every second of it.  After that, she tried out for the school play.  She didn't get a speaking roll for that play, but surprisingly, after initial disappointment, she loved being apart of the production.  She kept saying how fun everything was, how she loved trying new things,  and how she was always learning something new.  

In theater, she is always happy with what she is doing, and always wants to go back again.  She is always looking forward to what the next show will be. 

This year, she got one of the three main rolls in the school's production of "Through the Looking Glass".  She was the White Queen!  This was the roll she wanted from the first time she read through the script.

Today, I got to see my baby girl doing her "thing" and it was amazing.  To watch her perform, and see her joy and confidence in what she was doing, made my mama heart swell with pride.  I sat watching her, dumbfounded, at how awesome she was.  My normally quiet, introverted, submissive girl was on stage, in front of a gymnasium full of adults, and she was on fire!   She never missed a beat. 

I'm so thankful for this sweet little girl, and who she's becoming.

Here are some pics from this weekend:

So beautiful and grown up looking here:

"You know what they say about curiosity."
 She had a very small solo in the song "Jabberwocky".

My shy girl, getting her groove on during the song "Responsibilities".

The final song:
 And she takes a bow:

Doesn't she just glow?


So. Incredibly. Thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Never Thought I Would Be So Thankful for Needles

This morning I woke up, for the first time in two months, without shoulder pain.  Right around the beginning of September, I hurt my shoulder doing hot yoga.  I have no idea how it happened, or when, I just know I hurt the next day. 

And everyday after that. 

I thought if I gave it some time with no activity, it would heal. 

That never happened.

Yesterday, I mentioned to my acupuncturist that my shoulder had been bothering me for about two months.  With a couple of needles, placed in strategic areas, and some heat, bada-boom bada-bing, I'm all new again!

I'm so thankful that I didn't need to get a cortisol shot like my last "shoulder incident".  Those things are evil.  I'm even more thankful to be pain free, and I'm already thinking about all of the different ways I can re-injure myself things I can do again, all of which I've missed so much.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Hubs Does It Again!

Today, I am so thankful for The Hubs.  As I was getting ready to come to grips with the idea that I was going to have to stop fixing dinner, get out of my jammies and back into normal clothing, and then leave my warm house to pick up The Girl from her last theater practice, he jumped in and saved the day.

Hubs: What do you have going on tonight?
me: Well, I have to go get dressed so I can leave here and pick up The Girl.
Hubs: I have to run by the post office.  Do you want me to pick her up so you can stay here in your jammies?

Gee.  Let me think about that for about half a second.  Yup.  That sounds like a brilliant plan.

I stayed, cooked dinner, and most importantly kept my cozy jammies on the whole time.

So thankful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's Like I'm Goldi-Locks

Wednesday mornings are my mornings to enjoy Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).  I love spending time chatting with other women about all that we have learned the previous week about God and His Word, and how that is changing them and the people they share life with.   I also love to study and to learn, and this study digs deep.

The group of women that meet on Wednesday mornings numbers in the 400's.  Give or take a few.  And many of us have small children (not yet in full-time school).  So, our particular BSF group also provides childcare.  The childcare teachers are amazing.  This is no drop-off, your kids run wild for two hours, hope no one dies affair.  The kids get to learn all about God's Word, have a craft, sing songs, practice sitting still for quiet time, they learn how to pray, and many other things in the two and a half hours they are there.  I know, not just because The Little Man was part of this program for three years, but because we are often recruited to volunteer.

Not going to lie, as thankful as I am for this program, this is not my favorite thing to do.  No, Ma'am it isn't.  While I'm always amazed at how well things are run, and how loving each of the teachers are, I would prefer to just watch behind some glass...or something. You know, like when you go to a zoo.

Today, was one of those days for me.  I was a childcare volunteer in the toddlers room.  These kids are between the ages of one and two.

Do you know how long it's been since my kids where that age?  Long enough for me to forget completely how to interact for longer than five minutes with these little ones.  Yes, some of my friends have small children, but no, I don't take them from their moms and hang out with them one on one for two plus hours.

Childcare is not an innate thing for me.

I just see tears, buggers, slobber, and can only smell poopy diapers (despite people telling me they smell so sweet).  Honestly, looking back on my life, I'm not sure how I even survived my own children's toddler years.  It was the grace of God alone that got me through that time.  Don't get me wrong, I love me a sweet infant, and I am totally digging this school age phase we are in, but from about 15 months through four years of age, you've totally lost me.   You know what's weird?  I don't remember feeling this way at all when my kids were little.  I think I even remember loving that they were so small and cute, and I never wanted them to grow up.

Today, I am thankful that they have indeed grown up.  I am so thankful to have a seven and almost ten year old.  They talk to me (and sometimes they aren't even sassy!), laugh with me, share their feelings, wipe their own noses (and butts!), clean up after themselves (even if the threat of no TV has to hover so close they can practically reach out and touch it), and they are just plain cool, sweet, and fun.  I recognize I am in a pretty sweet spot right now.  Even though I might have to deal with heavy heart issues (at times), they aren't too little, and they aren't too big.  They're juuuussst right.

I am thankful for this stage of life.

My "babies" coming home from a long day at school.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Many Hands Makes the Workload Light

Today, I got an early morning call.  It was the school.  They needed subs in a bad way.  Remembering how refreshed I was the day before, I figured I had some energy to spare. 

However, when I saw the time, I quickly realized I was VERY short on time.  If I was to get ready (hello, hair that hasn't been washed in a few days!), pack lunches, and make breakfasts for everyone, I needed to be up and at 'em about 40 minutes earlier.

That's when I enlisted the help of The Hubs.  Expecting some grumbling, I was surprised to see him jump into action.  He packed lunches, got snacks put together, everyone had water bottles, and breakfast.  We can't forget breakfast!  Not sure if we all got our teeth brushed, but we did have our hair brushed, and I had mints in my purse (I did brush my teeth, not sure about the kids, though).

Bada boom!  Bada bing!  I was out the door only a few minutes behind, and the kids were right on time. 

All thanks to The Hubs!

Today, I am so grateful for my sweet, hardworking Hubs.  Not only did he totally save my rear end today, he had such a great attitude about helping.  He is such a great example to me for not allowing our circumstances dictate our moods.  He is a selfless servant. 

I am so thankful to call him mine!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Cup Runneth Over

"After plodding uphill for many weeks, you are now traipsing through lush meadows drenched in warm sunshine.  I want you to enjoy to the full this time of ease and refreshment.  I delight in providing for you.  Sometimes My children hesitate to receive My good gifts with open hands.  Feelings of false guilt creep in, telling them they don't deserve to be so richly blessed.  This is nonsense-thinking, because no one deserves anything from Me.  My kingdom is not about earning and deserving; it's about believing and receiving." Psalm 23:5; John 3:16; Luke 11:9-10; Romans 8:32
-Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

After many weeks of running, rushing, and squeezing in, these words were nourishment for my soul.  I had a day (today) laying before me with nothing on my calendar except for some sweet girlfriend time later that evening. 

How could it be?

Surely, I was missing something.

Something would come up, right?

Then I started to feel guilty as I thought about having a day to myself.  In front of the computer.  With no important projects.  No where to be, and nothing to squeeze in.

Then my Heavenly Father whispered to me through His Word, like He does every morning before I get out of bed.   He's so faithful. 

Receive and enjoy.  No guilt.  No earning. 

"When you receive my blessings with a grateful heart, I rejoice.  My pleasure in giving and your pleasure in receiving flow together in joyous harmony."

While, it may be early,  I am so thankful for my time, each morning, to spend sitting at the feet of my good and faithful Shepherd.  He blesses me so richly.  Today, He led me beside quiet waters and restored my soul.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Snowy Family Weekend

All day, Saturday, the weather was changing.  Cloudy, windy, cold, sunny, rainy, snowy, sunny, windy, and on and on all day.  We saw all of it. The forecast called for a snowy and cold day, so snow, cold, and wind were not too surprising.  The clearing skies and sunshine were welcomed and a fun break.

That evening, however, the skies grew very dark and low again.  As we headed out for an evening with friends, I thought I heard thunder.  That couldn't possibly be right? However, as we drove off into the lightly falling snow, we saw it.  A large lightening bolt.  And then, yup, very loud thunder.  I have heard of "Thunder Snow" before, but I'm not so sure I've been in it before.  It's kind of weird.  But then, it got even more strange.  Hail.  Heavy, pea size, hail.  So it was snowing, hailing, and there was lightening and thunder.  

While this was all very strange to me, I sat there thinking about how awesome and powerful our God is.  Each lightening bolt left me awestruck.  I was so thankful to be a witness to His power and strength.  He makes His own rules and there is no thwarting Him.
Some left over hail mixed with snow.
Tonight, we had the perfect family night.  I'm so thankful for my sweet babies kids who still love to spend time with us.  The Little Man, asked earlier in the day if we could play a game later tonight.  When I told him that this sounded like a fun idea, he kept saying to whomever would listen, "Well, we are having a fun family game night, tonight." We ended up playing Qwirkle and then topping the chilly evening off with breakfast for dinner.


I'm so abundantly blessed with these sweet people God has placed in my life that I get to call my family. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

He Is Beauty

Have I blogged too much about how I've been enjoying the Fall weather and colors?  Well, sorry.  Today was no different.  Tomorrow, there is a forecast for snow.  So, today I tried to go outside, as much as I could, to soak in the wonderful weather before it changes.

In our front yard, we planted a new tree about three years ago.  The tree previous to this one was the type that had green foliage and flowers in the early spring, and then turned purple for the remaining spring and summer.  The flowers were glorious.  They filled our neighborhood with a fragrance that was perfection.  However, once the leaves turned to purple, after the blooms faded, there was no more color change for this tree.  The leaves simply fell off in the fall.  That was it.  That tree died, and so we planted a new one.  Our new tree blooms in the spring (although the fragrance isn't as sweet), and changes colors in the fall.  This fall, in particular, the tree was radiant.  It is yellow in the center and red on the outer edges.  It looks like a glowing ember.

I smile each time I see this tree.  I have always adored trees that change color in this multi-color way in the fall.  They are my favorite.  However, I knew that the tree we picked out as a replacement, would not do this.  It is supposed to simply turn red.  (Which is gorgeous, by the way, especially in a state where all the native trees turn yellow.)  So, when I see this tree, I smile because I know that this tree doesn't have to look this way.  But it does.  Why?  I believe it's God's sweet gift to me this year.  For whatever reason, and certainly not because I deserve it, He has chosen to bless me in this special way this year.

Our devotional, that we study as a family, reminded us just a few days ago that God is in all things beautiful.   When I look outside, drive up to my home, or sit on the porch, and gaze upon this tree, I am thankful to be given this reminder that I have a God who loves me so much He chooses to give me beauty to look at each day.

"Worship me in the beauty of holiness.  All true beauty reflects some of who I am."
 -Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Each Day Is New

Yesterday, I had the worst neck, shoulder, and back pain.  I felt like I was hit by a truck when I rolled over to get out of bed.  As the day progressed, it continued to get worse.  The sources: A hot yoga class combined with an injury on the opposite shoulder, leading to overcompensation on the other side.

Yada, yada, yada.  I HURT.

This morning, I woke up a new woman.  While I could still feel the remnants of lingering pain, I could turn my neck to the left almost all the way.  By the way I was feeling yesterday, I was certain today was going to be a rude continuation of the same.  But! Today was a new day.

So thankful for heating pads, ibuprofen, and no more pain!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reflective Thankfulness

Yesterday, the kids' school was in session.  Unlike  all of the other schools in the rest of the state, apparently.  I also subbed all day in the first grade.  At first, I was a little bitter.

OK, I was grumpy.

But then, I remembered how nice it is to have work.  No, it's not a full time or even a part time job, but it's work.  Also, I got to work with The Little Man's teachers.  I was reminded how thankful I am for them.  So nice, so caring, so committed.

The day went rather smoothly, and I was thankful that my prayers for the day, which were prayed in the wee morning hours, were answered. 

Later I got to sit down with this sweetie:
We met up with a friend and her mom. I was thankful for the time this friend and her mom committed to meeting with us to work out some differences that we had recently encountered. I remembered some past relationships that didn't work out in the same way.  I was thankful for the opportunity to work on the relationship, and not give up.

The Day After...

Today is the day after the presidential election.

So.  Thankful. It's. Over.

I was excited to  turn on the TV, have a day when my telephone didn't ring (Hello, RNC, I'm talking to you!  Thanks for calling me 3 times a day for the last few weeks.  Boy, your persistence really made me want to register for your party...*ahem*), and a day when I could go back to actually liking my "friends" on Facebook.

Well, two of the three happened.

People are crazy.  On both sides.

The end.

I'm thankful that no matter who is the president of our country, Jesus is King.  God is sovereign and unchanging.  He is faithful, trustworthy, and good, and I can put my hope in Him all day long.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chatting Over Coffee

If I had a picture of a Starbucks cup and a cute friend, I'd insert that here. 

I don't. 

I was too busy catching up with life, laughing, and engaging in girlfriend conversation to take a picture.  It's so nice to have good friends.  Friends who listen, who know without explanation, and who understand. 

Today, I'm thankful for friendship.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I Heart Cheeseburgers

This past weekend was glorious.  Not only did we get to set the clocks back an hour (YAY, extra sleep!  BOO, sunset at 4:30), but we were completely without plans.  This meant a lazy Saturday morning, followed by delicious afternoon, and then another lazy evening.  Sunday brought me to The Girl's Sunday School class as a teacher, some church, and then, you guessed it, another lazy afternoon.

It was bliss.

For Saturday's delicious afternoon, I got all crazy and thought it would be fun to try out this burger joint I'd heard whisperings about.  I love a good cheeseburger, yes I do!  However, I have found that I am pretty particular with my cheeseburger choices.  I mean, if I am going to commit to consuming an entire week's worth of calories in one sitting, it better satisfy.   For me, cheeseburger satisfaction equals spicy, gooey, and unique.

So, we hit up Crave, and I knew from the menu I perused before we were sat, that I would be in love.  The burger choices ranged from very plain (typical cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion), to very unusual including burgers that were smeared with peanut butter and jalapenos, burgers with Krispy Kreme doughnuts as the buns, and the one I picked which was topped with fried cream cheese, jalepenos, avocados, and chipotle mayo (it was supposed to taste like a jalepeno popper and a burger collision). 

It was D-E-V-I-N-E. 

The end.

No, I didn't eat the whole thing.  I had to make a choice between the whole burger or part of the burger and some sweet potato fries.

In my world that's a no-brainer.

Can I be super shallow and be thankful for a cheeseburger?

No?  OK, then I will say that I am super thankful to have a family that loves searching for a great cheeseburger.  Seriously.  Both kids just started liking cheeseburgers this year.  I know.  There are no words.  Instead of trying to understand their crazy palates, I will just say, I am thankful for their change of heart and their deep desire to find the best burger.  It's so nice to have partners in crime.

I have no picture for Sunday.  If you are sad about this, just imagine: Me, The Hubs, the kids, my sister, and her boyfriend all in our jammies/cozies.  We are sitting in front of the TV/ laying on the floor/lounging at the kitchen table.  We are doing NOTHING but just enjoying each other's company.

That is something to be thankful for.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Thankful to be apart of a group of women committed to praying over our kids, their school, and the staff.  I've been blessed with great friends, encouragement,  and opportunity to grow through His word and prayer because of this group.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Month of Thanks-Revisited

Last year, I spent the whole month of November blogging about things I was thankful for.  It proved to be much more eye-opening and heart transforming than what I thought it could be.  Turns out, when you think upon those things which are "Excellent and worthy of praise"  peace, trust, and joy fill your heart.  Crazy.

I have carried this with me through out the year, and have looked forward to making a concentrated effort not only to put this into practice again, but to also write about it.  Something about putting things down on paper (or in blog land, whatever) seems to really solidify things in my head as well as connect those learned things to my heart.

All that to say:  "It's BAAACK!"  All month, (God willing) I will be blogging about things in which I am thankful for.  In addition, I have made a small change.  I will also be trying to stretch my creativity by trying to Instagram it as well.  Hey, it worked for me this summer.  What can it hurt?  The kids are participating in "A Month of Thanks" as well.  They are filling out one leaf each night at dinner with one thing they were thankful for for that day. The leaves are then getting strung out garland style.  My hope is at the end of the month, and right before we start Advent season, we can look back at how blessed and loved we are.  With this reflection in mind, we can go into Advent season full and ready to give and love because we have been so abundantly provided for and loved first. 

So with that in mind, we have Day 1:

I am thankful for the bike ride I got to take today.  While on the path I was fully aware of the beauty that God gives us through Autumn.  I tried to soak in as much of the colors and mild weather as I could, knowing it would be over soon.

Later, I hit up the grocery store and I was thankful for not only the abundance of food we have in this country, but the variety. 
At any given time, I can go to this grocery store, either by foot or by car, and pick up anything my heart (and stomach) desires.  I do not have to worry about a shortage, or even if things are in season (as long as I want to pay the price for out of season produce).  It's there waiting for me each day.

How very blessed we are.