Tuesday, November 29

Lately, still thankful

It's been a while. I've been busy with Thanksgiving festivities that I haven't spent much time writing. So this is what's been going on lately.

I had Wednesday off from work, so I got to spend it doing things I don't normally get to do. Like sit and drink tea and read on the couch in my pj's. 

And I got to hang out with this sleepy puppy.

We then headed to Illinois for holiday gatherings. Thanksgiving day was spent at my grandmother's house, which is actually a first. Usually, that family gets together after the day, but this year we all made it to grandma's for turkey. It was so wonderful to have everyone together for the day. We caught up, we laughed, we stuffed our bellies more than once. We played cards, we talked weddings, job changes, moving, school. It was wonderful. Sitting by the fireplace, chatting, and sipping wine with my favorite people is the kind of day that warms the soul.

We also got the chance to see the rough draft of our family cookbook. I'll tell you more about it soon, but I will say that it is going to be awesome. I cannot wait to see the finished product.

The next couple days were spent lounging, enjoying doing a whole lot of nothing with my family. We went to a movie, laughed til coffee came out of our noses at Starbucks, celebrated Dad's birthday, and enjoyed being together.

Saturday, Jake and I jumped in the car and headed northeast to see Jake's family. It was very much the same thing. Fun, laughter, relaxing, food, and great people.

I am so thankful that Jake and I are so blessed with two families that are so dear to our hearts and who we cannot get enough of. It's truly something to be thankful for.

Even though Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas music has been turned on. It is still necessary to remember to be thankful. Thanksgiving isn't reserved for November and December, but throughout the whole year. For it is when we are thankful, that we really realize how blessed we are.

Tuesday, November 22

Thankful: Day 2

Today is Tuesday, but really it's like my Friday.

Why am I thankful today?

Do I really need to tell you? Today is Tuesday...and my Friday.

Also, last night I got to have dinner and a sleepover with my best friend. It was so great to have some quality, catch up time. It was much needed and much enjoyed. Tomorrow I am going home to Illinois. Back to the country, to the farm, to the home so dear to my heart. Back to my family and a big Thanksgiving celebration. It's going to be so great.

I truly have some of the best people in my life. These people are what make my life and spending time with them is what makes it all worth it.

Oh and Winnie, we cannot forget the Winster...

Monday, November 21

Thankful: Day 1

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I am dedicating the next few blog posts to Thanksgiving.

I have often heard that the way to prevent ungratefulness, envy and selfishness is to be thankful. Makes a good point. If you are focused on what you are thankful for, then you don't have time to think about what you don't have or things that you think you want.

So, what am I thankful for today?

I am thankful that it is Monday and that I have a job to go to. I am also thankful that today is my Thursday. And I am thankful for this past weekend.

This is what my weekend consisted of...

1. Coffee out of a mug.
2. Wedding planning.
3. Snuggling with my puppy.
4. Spending quality time with my future Mr.
5. PJs...all day long!
5. Delicious soup and corn muffins.
6. Snuggling up on the couch and watching a comedy/chick flick with the future Mr.
7. Sleep, and lots of it.
8. Church.
9. A big W for the Bears.
10. A great evening with my mom and grandma and wedding dress purchase!

Also, I ended up losing my voice and had a bit of a cough, so this weekend was exactly what my body and soul needed.

Stay tuned for more...

Friday, November 18

We made it...

Well, we all survived it...it's Friday again! It couldn't come at a better time. This morning I woke up with a cough and froggy voice (think Kermit), so obviously that means it's time for the weekend.
What is even more exciting is that I don't have ANY plans...well minus tonight. But tomorrow I am going to sleep in, snuggle with my puppy and boy, drink coffee from a mug, and enjoy. It has been almost two months since I've had a weekend at home.

I've been thinking a lot about homes this week. The other night I was watching My First Place and House Hunters. I love watching people dissect every details of houses. I usually laugh at most of what they say but I also love to see the different types of houses.

I cannot wait until the day where I can come home to the same house and know that I'm not going to have to move within a year. I'm going to be able to get live in a house that Jake and I own. To decorate and change and make memories in.

I want a porch so we can sit on the swing on summer nights. 

I want a wrap around porch so that I can watch the sun rise on one side
and the watch it set on the other.

I want a nice big kitchen where people spend most of their time. I want to host dinner parties and events. I want lots and lots of good smells coming from here. 

I also want a vacation house on the lake where we can spend our
weekends with friends and family

Happy Friday, all!

Tuesday, November 15

Can it be Friday, yet?

I am going to be perfectly honest. It's only Tuesday but I really wish that it was Friday. I'm tired and ready for another weekend. This past weekend, I was down in good ole' Nashville celebrating the upcoming wedding of a dear friend.

This is Ashley. I met her during grad school. She was the quiet girl from Nashville who quickly became my survival method for grad school. Although we only spent that year together, we managed to form a friendship that is meaningful to us both.

We had a great time celebrating her last few weeks as a single gal, before she marries her prince, Mr. Charlie. I am so excited for them both. Ashley deserves nothing less than being treated with the utmost love and respect. And I know that Charlie we do all that he can for her.

But this weekend, reminded me of how I have quickly become an what I claim as an "old soul." I consider myself a night owl, but I am just not as quick to rebound after only 3.5 hours of sleep and a 6 hour drive to and from Nashville. Hence, why I am so tired this week.

Anymore, my idea of a great weekend involves conversation, good food, good wine, and good friends. I'm amazed at how my idea of a great weekend has changed. And honestly, I'm grateful for that.

I'm also amazed that Thanksgiving is next week! Where did November go? It just seems to be flying right by. There are already Christmas decorations up and I heard Christmas music the whole time I was at Starbucks today. I love Christmas, more than any holiday, but I am one of those that believes Christmas shouldn't start until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Let's not forget that there is still an important day to be celebrated.

I cannot wait until next week when I am back at the farm, celebrating all that we have with a family that I am so thankful for. And maybe eating some pumpkin pie...

Tuesday, November 8

It's getting to be that time of year again

Today I had a moment. One of those humbling kind of moments. It was after work and I was at the store. I needed to pick up a few things since I haven't gone grocery shopping for about a month...it was about time to get some milk and bananas.

Our small group decided to fill a couple shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child. You can learn more about it here. It's a really great opportunity to give a child a boxed filled with Christmas gifts. The gifts can range from hygiene items, toys, mittens, etc. You pack all the items in a shoe box for a specific gender and age, then you drop it off and it gets delivered to a less fortunate child during the Christmas season. Like I said, it's a great idea. If you haven't ever done it, take some time to do this small task. It's well worth it.

As I was picking items to select for the boxes. I noticed myself watching the price of what I picked up, trying to budget the amount that I was spending. Now,I am no means trying to gain any sort of self righteousness in regards to my generosity. But, it eventually hit me...I was questioning how much I was spending on these children who have next to nothing but not thinking twice about paying $3 for a box of cereal. Does it seem like there is something wrong with that?

It sure seemed like it to me.

I am somewhat embarrassed and disgusted with myself. I felt convicted, guilty, and spoiled. As I was going to my comfortable, heated home to make a warm dinner then sit at my computer and blog, while possibly looking at a few new wedding ideas, there are so many people out there who are so much less fortunate for basic needs to be met. It really shook me. It bothered me how I was evaluating whether or not to spend $5 on a toy for a child who has nothing. Yet, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Christmas present for a sibling which costs much more than $5. I feel like I need to give myself a reality check.

It's getting to be the time of year that generosity is often sought after. We are asked to give and to donate and to volunteer. But I feel like this shouldn't be something that we do just during the holiday season. This should be a way of life.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." ~Matthew 25:40

We are commanded to take care of the less fortunate, the oppressed, the poor. I know I need to do a better job with all of my resources. At least it's something for me to chew on right now...

Friday, November 4

The value of a heart

It's Friday. Its actually the first week in awhile that I have worked all five days and its been a week. I'm exhausted. So, therefore I am so pumped that it's Friday.

Also, I am pumped because I get to introduce my family to my future-in-laws this weekend. Another first. This will be great. I cannot wait for them to meet. It's like the two pieces of bread coming together with Jake and I being the peanut butter and jelly. We'll all be one big, squishy mess.

When I was little (or at least up until middle school) when my parents would hug, I would run in between them and tell them I wanted to be the peanut butter. So I still stand on the fact that I am the peanut butter.

I am also excited because Jake and I found a reception site and a date. Yay! This is really going to happen! **I promise there will not be many more wedding blogs. I promise there will not be many more wedding blogs**

Something that has been a theme this week has been the concept that people need to know they're valued. People matter, they are important. People are why we are here on this earth. Getting to know people, hearing their stories, loving each other, helping each other, serving each other. This is the reason we're here, right?!?

What determines the value of a person? Is it their material wealth, their work status, how much they volunteer, how many times they go to church?

It's about the heart. It's about what goes on in the heart. One of my favorite sayings that I have to remind myself is "to remember that everyone you meet is fighting their own battle".

You just never know what people are going through. So be the light in their life today.

Try it...see what happens.

Happy Weekend!