Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving & Grace

baby kiss

If I could only choose one thing to be thankful for this year, it would have to be this little girl right here. At this time last November, I was in the final days of pregnancy. And this year, we’re a little less than a week away from celebrating her first birthday. (And, no, I have no idea how that happened either.)

I never could have imagined anything quite like this motherhood journey. The amount of love. The instincts. The savoring of every moment so much it hurts. Every age and stage is bittersweet. From the first moment I held her, the first time she smiled, rolled, sat, stood, cooed, crawled, and most recently, walked. It’s a year of never-ending firsts that happen all to quickly. A new skill or funny face, transformed or forgotten for the next. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, they said. I didn’t blink, but I already miss it.

This is my last “first” holiday with her and I’m emotional about it.

Alex asks me why I always want to cry when we talk about her growing. And I really don’t know. I’m happy she’s happy. Healthy. Smart. And sweet. As much as she’s learning, also am I. The love she brings to this life is as tangible as reaching out and grabbing it. She has Evelina Grace’d my life with the hugest blessings that come in the form of petite moments. Seeing eyes light up at her first baby doll, experiencing my parents as grandparents, my friends as “aunties”, her tiny, tender hugs, the joy she (and we) find in simple things.

It’s a love so pure and astounding that I think maybe I fear one day it’ll disappear, as quickly as her cute snorty face laugh, or her tiny kicking chicken legs all day every day until one day they just didn’t. But then she started giggling like a little girl and it made my heart smile even bigger. And she stopped kicking because she decided to walk. When she holds my finger for support with her tiny hand my insides turn into a puddle of mush. And maybe that’s why I cry. Because I’m so happy about what she’s done that I forget to think about what’s to come. And because I don’t want to forget a single second of it.

I am so grateful for the “firsts”. And glad they were the first of “many’s”.

So here’s to the past, the present, and everything beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving from me and mine to you and yours!

(And thank you for reading the words I write and supporting me here and elsewhere. It truly means more than you know.)

Grateful

 

Gratitude is a muscle that can take practice to perfect. Whether it’s finding the best in difficult situations or being content with a current happening, sometimes the feeling and use can be interchanged with “acceptance”. Last year, I wrote about having a thankful heart and though it took years for me to strengthen that part of myself, I’m so glad to have filled my mental repertoire with a plethora of “fixes” in times of need. Whether it’s taking in a few minutes of morning meditation, or calling my mom to vent, having the tools to help put and keep things in perspective is invaluable.

When I think of the most important things in my life, it’s the people and the memories, not the material. And reflecting on the past year has been evidence of that. I spent less on things and more on relationships. From small weekend getaways and big family trips to monthly ladies dinners and designated “phone a friend” times. Even taking time out for myself when needed, also known as saying no.

My heart is happy and full to have so much to be thankful for this year and always. I’m beyond blessed to have experienced a healthy pregnancy, the joy the comes with those first baby movements from within, to the excited anticipation of looking forward to having her out here. It’s been a whirlwind of happy, positive experiences, events, and happenings, for which I am insanely grateful.

To my few and faithful readers, I so appreciate you spending time with me here on this blog. Though it started years ago with a focus on fashion, this year shifted into a digital diary format and became a fun way to keep family and friends informed, and has lead to some awesome relationships and conversations both online and off. I’m honored to have you and I hope coming here is inspiring and uplifting.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving and many blessing this year and always!

The Art of a Thankful Heart

 

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With everyone showing appreciation and sharing gratefulness, it’s easy to be thankful on a day like Thanksgiving. It’s the other 364 days in a year that can be tough. And what I’m most thankful for this year, is that I’m finally finding a way to live Thanksgiving every day. I’ve learned that the quote above as absolute truth.

To backtrack a bit, this year has had it’s share of downs and bad news. The challenges that have come our way have and will change my life dramatically. Without getting into detail about the specifics, because the real point is the outcome, it is true what they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. While the struggles of the current situation aren’t over, my outlook is positive. Excited, even. And I feel happier, love deeper and live with an open heart. I’ve learned so much about myself over the last few months and more than ever before, I appreciate every moment, not taking for granted for a second that our lives can and do change in an instant and we may never have these moments again, or at least in the same way. In a way it makes things feel bittersweet, but on the flipside it makes me laugh a little louder, dance a little sillier, and hug my loved ones a little tighter when the day is over. I’m starting to feel like an expert on making the best of a bad situation, and that’s something to be proud of.  They say that happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I have finally felt that. Life is not perfect, but it’s still amazing. My daily happiness and thankful heart come from finding joy in even the simplest things. So how do I do it? Perspective and Faith.

Maybe you’ve got this life thing figured out already (kudos!) but if you feel the need for a little support and thoughts of gratefulness through tough times here are some of the tools that helped me on this journey:

  • Choose your response. Try not to immediately react, but try a different thought first. It can be as simple as being grateful that you are healthy enough to walk and stand for a little while longer instead of being annoyed at the long line in front of you.
  • Say yes to things you want, and no to things you don’t. “Busy” is often an overused excuse. If you feel aren’t feeling fulfilled with your current commitments, change it, stop it. Do the most of what makes you the happiest. It’s ok to say no.
These are just a start but I do hope they’re useful for you. And now would be the perfect time for me to say thanks to you dear reader – for following along with me on this journey of life, and sharing your stories in return. I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving’s!

P.S. What I was (am still am) thankful for last year, and the year before. Plus, two Thanksgiving’s later, I’m still in love with this.

Gratitude.

The challenges that have come our way this year have and will change my life dramatically, yet somehow in the midst of it I have learned to live with a grateful heart. To appreciate every moment, not taking for granted that our lives can and do change in an instant and we may never have these moments again, or at least in the same way. So I laugh a little louder, dance a little sillier, and hug my loved ones even tighter at the end of the day. They say that happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I have finally felt it. And for that, I am thankful. Gratitude does, in fact, unlock the fullness of life.

On this day of thanksgiving, let me say thanks to you dear readers, friends and family – for following along with me on this journey of life, and sharing your stories, support and love in return. I wish you the happiest of Thanksgiving’s. Love deeply, feel happy and live with an open heart.

P.S. What I was (am still am) thankful for last year, and the year before. Plus, two Thanksgiving’s later, I’m still in love with this.

Thanksgiving at Home

Last month, I got in the spirit of seasonal decorating and went all out for Halloween. This month, I switched it up just a bit for a Fall / Thanksgiving feel. (Which basically means I made some pom pom garland to string around in various spots.) Apparently my new favorite thing is to adorn the gallery wall. I think Charles (my deer) appreciates the effort.

Tomorrow’s the big day, so I’ll be putting on my apron this afternoon to get started in the kitchen. Happy Black Wednesday friends!

On another note, we made it back from our road trip. Thanks to everyone who followed along via Instagram! If you missed the fun you can find all the pics and stories at #LongestShortestRoadTripEver :)

Happy Thanksgiving

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In preparation for a Thanksgiving post, I went back to last year’s to see what was on my mind. I found it, read it and realized I wouldn’t change a thing. But since it would be unoriginal of me to post it all for a 2nd time,  here’s a new list of a few things I’m thankful for in no particular order:

My health, planned travel, spontaneous travel, memories, blogging networks and communities, meeting many of my favorite bloggers in real life, nail art, salted caramels, the roof over my head, the shoes on my feet, the commute that means I have a job and the busy schedule that means I have friends, family and am fulfilled.

Whether you’ll fellowship with those you love, rest and relax or shop to your hearts content, I’m wishing you and your’s the happiest of Thanksgiving’s.

Gobble gobble sweetie (pumpkin) pies!

A Thankful Heart

In true Thanksgiving fashion I’d like to tell you how thankful I am for you dear reader. I know this isn’t the biggest or best blog and it makes it all the more special that you take the time to stop by, read and comment. And trust me, I enjoy everything you share. Your blogs are an inspiration and I’m so thankful to have ‘met’ the most wonderful people in the short time I’ve been doing this.

I hope your holiday weekend is full of laugher, love and full bellies. Whether resting and relaxing or braving the crowds on Black Friday, enjoy it to fullest with a grateful heart. Life really is wonderful isn’t it?

In addition to everything on {this list}, today I’m thankful for (in no particular order): coconut crepes, health, wonderful travels, opportunity, Maroon 5, family beach vacations, theme parties, blogging, out of town visitors, Chicago summer, Tennessee winter, my spontaneous & sweet husband, and the fabulous family and friends who make my life complete.

Mwwwwahhh sweet turkeys!

P.S. If you have time for super quick craft project you can head over to Craftily Ever After for the adorable ‘Gobble On’ print pictured above.

Rules for a Successful Holiday

Rules for a successful holiday:
1. Get together with the family
2. Relive old times
3. Get out before it blows

A little chuckle via Story People. :)

(P.S. Thanks for your support regarding haircut disaster. I’m feeling a lot less serious about it now thanks to your stories, advice and kind words.  Re-reading that post makes me feel a little too negative, especially with such a thankful holiday around the corner!)

Happy Weekend {Almost Thanksgiving Edition!}

As we plan & prepare for Thanksgiving I have details on the brain. Cooking is ok, but it’s really the other things that get me excited (like list making and centerpieces. :) Originally indended for an engagement party, I think this arrangement and table setting would make the most beautiful Thanksgiving day impression. The mix of gold and grey is unexpected and divine!

Flowers by JL Designs, Photos by Jose Villa.
(See it in engagement party glory here.)

Have a lovely weekend!