Thursday, November 29, 2012

thankful life

Generally speaking, I’m not a person who does simple. If there’s a keep it simple path and a drive yourself and everyone around you nuts path, I’m inevitably trailblazing the latter. The day before Thanksgiving was spent prepping the recipes, but in order to get to that point, I made 3 trips to the grocery store inevitably forgetting something from the trip prior. All the while, popping the whip at the husband and children to clean up their designated area in the house.

Thanksgiving morning came early. The husband and I straightened up the house a little, mixed up the final ingredients for the sourdough stuffing and bacon-wrapped green beans and stuffed mushrooms and sweet potato soufflé (oh my!), with one last trip to the grocery store in the midst of all that cooking. I think the excitement of hosting Thanksgiving lunch for the first time in our home of 2+ years made it all worth the added efforts.

Thanksgiving Day dawned bright, warm and sunny….we were thankful. We enjoyed our traditional 12 or so hours of feasting, laughing, playing, talking, walking, singing and music making first at our house with the Roach’s and later with the Lacy’s at the ranch.

We gathered around our Thanksgiving table, extended by our kitchen table, and Pete gave a tear-filled thankful sharing that made my heart burst with gladness. I’ve never heard the man pray like that before. You know one that REALLY pulled on the heart strings. I mean, I had been up since 7 cooking and I had already had 2 glasses of wine, so I was pretty well greased for some sappy stuff to bring me to tears.
Our nephew, Breckin, discovered a liking for sweet potato soufflĂ© (yay me!) while our son, Reef, munched away on Wendy’s pumpkin cookies.  Pete and I breathed a collective sigh of relief that one more food has been added to Reef’s very limited and beige repertoire….plus (pumpkin! healthy!…right?). Otherwise, he is purely a meat and potatoes man. Err, wee man.

It was indeed another perfect Thanksgiving Day. Thank you, family!

And now for what I am thankful for…(I have several days of catching up so here goes).

·   Gracious and generous family and friends who come together to help us to create picture perfect memories, year after year. Our Thanksgivings are Norman Rockwell paintings come to life, and I appreciate them so much.  I love that my children have a stockpile of experiences like these in their memory banks.
·   Family and friends who are foodies! I may be biased but I find it hard to believe that many people enjoy a more delicious and varied spread than we do on Thanksgiving.
·    The fact that nearly every member of my immediate family was able to celebrate with us. Nobody had to work on Thanksgiving Day, and nobody was sick (hooray!)
·    Glorious sunny weather and the opportunity for my family to get out and enjoy it. On Thanksgiving Day there was basketball, pogo-sticking, running and jumping…and all of it OUTSIDE.
·    Laughter. I am so blessed to know so many people who understand my weird, irreverent sense of humor and are not offended by it, and who regularly make me laugh until I cry.  Life without laughter is not a life worth living and I am very, very wealthy in the currency of laughter. My smile muscles are always the most tired part of me.
·    The fact that I have never been a witness to the darker side of Black Friday.
·    Left-overs! No cooking for a full 3 days? Yup, this works for me. Turkey sandwiches on ginormous dinner rolls, topped with fresh avocado, havarti cheese and mayo kept my stomach content for days. Not to forget, leftover chocolate pie from Goode’s.
·    Traditions. Have I mentioned this before? Probably. But it bears repeating. I love them. They make life meaningful, they make memories. I am thankful to have friends and family who indulge me in my love of traditions.
·    Mrs. Meyers Basil Kitchen cleaner. It turns drudgery into a spa like experience (at least for my nose).
·    Pineapple. Without it, Reef would probably starve. 
·    Chocalate. It deserves a special mention I think. Chocalate is a sure sign that God loves his children. 1-2-3 made by both my M-I-L and step-mother, is especially worthy of gratitude. Especially since my kids love it enough to make a meal of it. Oh, yes I did! (There was a bit of an incident last year whereupon someone else who shall remain unnamed took it upon themselves to eat the leftovers without my help..and the family has been helping me to compensate for that great wrong ever since). J
·    Functional indoor plumbing. Because really, how did/do people live without it? I don’t know and I never want to. I can honestly say I give thanks almost every time I get into a warm shower. Add flushing toilets to that and none of us should ever complain again.
·    Waking up to a much cleaner house than I fell asleep to last night. Thank you dear husband. A wife can receive no greater gift.
·    The fact that most of my worries and irritations are about things that really and truly don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  It is a great luxury to have most of the worries that I have.

Thanksgiving has really inspired me to live a more thankful life all the time and to see beauty in the simple blessings that I take for granted every day.

Enjoy a few photos on me!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

christmas entertaining

It's never too early to talk about Christmas parties, is it?

I haven't hosted a Christmas party in years. Years! But Pete and I have suggested it every year since we've been in our home. One of us bringing the other back to reality rather quickly. Still, it sounds like fun, and maybe we will one of these days -- we love entertaining. Nevertheless, it's fun to think about how our party would look.

Here some ideas/inspirations that I have been looking at...


...homemade hot chocolate bar. 


...party favors. (Use sharpie to write on dollar store mugs and then bake them in the oven.)

Do you have a great recipe or party idea? I would love to hear. 

Xoxo
M.


Song: Sexy Party   Artist: J. Rabbit & Tremourz
(I know, not very Christmas-y, but my son and I bond discovering new techno songs, and this is one of them.)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

products i love: my picks for fall

one of the things i love most about fall/winter is the opportunity to wear scarves. pete named me "scarf girl" early on in our dating days. i seriously have a closet full. and still, i want more.

right now, i really love infinity scarves. do you have a love (obsession) for scarves like me?!

xoxo
m.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

{baby's 1st} ren fest

















Wednesday, November 21, 2012

i am so thankful

Words cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for my life.  Sure, there are challenges at times, but this incredible journey that I’ve been blessed with is worth the ride.

I have the utmost perfect children. Watching them unravel the world makes me see life in so many more angles than just my own. I had no idea how much I desperately needed them in my life before they were born. For them I am thankful.

I married the most perfect man for me in the entire world, one who loves me unconditionally, makes me laugh harder than anyone else, and continues to surprise me every day, and for that I am so thankful.

I have the most wonderful parents and siblings who raised me with love, patience, joy, humbleness, and grace.  They are the reason I am who I am, and for that I am so thankful.

I have the best friends I’ve ever had in my entire life who surround us every day by their love, laughter, guidance, and prayers, and for that I am so thankful.

I have an outlet to write and YOU amazing people who read my words, something that humbles me to my core.  I am so incredibly thankful for you all and the encouragement you provide for me daily.

Most importantly I am blessed to be a child of God in this world, something that I could never, ever do without.  Something that’s more important than air, sleep, even butter.  And I could not be more thankful for the sacrifice that He paid so that I could be with Him.

I am very blessed, and for that I am so thankful!


Song: You're Beautiful   Artist: Phil Wickham

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

YOU ARE IT

Call it a village.

Call it a support system.

Call it a network.

Whatever you want to call it, YOU ARE IT.

As you know, Little Mister's surgery/biopsy was today. I had asked that you hold him in your hearts; think on him; send prayers, well wishes, and true love his way -- and you did.

He’s doing great!

There have been countless calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages with words that have touched our very core. Even a toy drop-off! I can't thank you without my eyes misting over. You are more wonderful than any words I can ever conjure up.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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"We cannot hold a torch to light another person's path without brightening our own." - Ben Sweetland

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Song: Only You   Artist: Yaz

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{wordless wednesday} arts festival

Friday, November 9, 2012

conversations at home

Daughter: “I think Isabelle and I are good friends because she’s blind and I’m def.”

Me: I guess the two of you combined make one perfect person?

Daughter: No, because then we're both blind AND def.

Me: [wrinkles nose than smiles politely]

Thursday, November 8, 2012

election woes

I hadn’t intended to write about the Presidential election. Not one iota. Until yesterday morning, when I briefly glanced through my Twitter feed and saw the jubilation for the re-election of President Obama.

There were small amounts of tears and disappointment, but predominately celebration. To the extremes. Very hateful extremes. Essentially slaying the losing party via social media.

Have we forgotten?! This isn’t about how Democratic you are! Or how Republican you are! Or how black you are! Or how gay you are! One’s vote should reflect his/her support for a candidate’s stance on very important issues that affect you and your loved ones. There has been far too much racial commentary openly admitting to voting for/against a candidate on the mere color of his skin.

Too, I'm tired of feeling uncomfortable to show favoritism towards a candidate, in fear of scrutiny or a hailstorm of comments. Even with the classiest of delivery! People are just downright mean when it comes to politics and religion. I’ll never understand the lack of common courtesy people have for one another.

***

Now that the election is over, can we all return to normal. Yes, normal. You know…where we all know nothing about politics or government!

Kum-bah-yah, people!

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2 Chronicles 7:14 - 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TO ANOTHER MOTHER

I saw your picture tonight on Facebook.  You know, the one with your hubby snuggling your precious firstborn.  I cried.  I cried because I remember that moment like it was yesterday.  I remember my husband flying my firstborn around like an airplane while laying on the couch.  I remember him sitting at the dinner table with baby propped up on his lap.  I remember the sleepless nights. I remember the swaying and the sh-sh'ing.

I am writing you because I didn't know.  I didn't know how much those moments would mean to me years later.  I had no idea how they would move my mama's heart to tears.  I had no idea that they would be mere memories so quickly. 

No one can truly explain how precious those moments are.  You are in the midst and it seems like you have all the time in the world to soak it up.  Those sweet glances from a freshly bathed babe and the giggles that can stop time in its tracks.  It seems like it will hang on forever- but, it doesn't.  One day, those cheeks will thin down and the dimpled hands you used to hold will shows signs of aging.  The "mommys" will turn into "moms" and you won't know where the time has gone.  But it has- it's gone. 

So, from a mommy who is bidding her "baby years" goodbye, to a mommy beginning it all... cover yourself in it.  Let yourself bathe in the blessing of baby-hood.  Rock that baby at 2 am and don't wish a moment away.  Hold him, even when she's been crying for an hour straight, and relish in the time not wasted.  It is not time wasted.

There will be pressure.  I'm telling you right now, there will be temptation to hope and wish for the future.  To dream about the days when you won't be toting a diaper bag.  The days when you can get in the car and all your crew members can buckle themselves.  You will sit in that chair, at 2 am as you are rocking your sweet baby, and you will be tempted to wish the late night feedings gone.  

Don't.  Don't allow yourself to be sucked into the mindset that tells you the grass is greener.  Precious Mama, the grass is perfect right where you are.



Saturday, November 3, 2012

loving with expectations

“Repeat in your head, ‘I am enough!’” was a recent Facebook post of mine. But I can’t stop there – I need to elaborate – there are friends who need to hear this.

The problem is, people often love with expectations…  You offer love, hoping that you will be loved in return.  You offer kindness, hoping that you will be recognized and valued.  You offer yourself, hoping that others will accept you and value you.  Loving like this will most likely lead to disappointment.  You’re putting a person and/or people in charge of your happiness.  And as a result, the disappointment you experience puts fear in you.  Loving then becomes risky.  You grow to be guarded and less willing to love fully.  And so...vulnerability takes a backseat.  And so does life.  And living.  And fullness.

This kind of fearful love, riddled with expectations will continue to end tragically. 

If you know that worth is inherent and intrinsic to who you are, you know this too applies to everyone else.  It is knowing that someone is worth your patience.  Your kindness.  Your forgiveness.  Your compassion.  You don’t need reciprocity if you value yourself.  Instead, offer what you can out of love, and then let each person carry out their own life and their own path. This is the essence of love.

Seeking after the virtue of LOVE helps you to become your truest, most worthwhile self.  It's the core of who we are. If we let love power what we are doing....we can do the hardest things we've ever had to do in this life.



Song: Waiting for My Real Life to Begin   Artist: Colin Hay

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