Sunday, November 29, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 29


Second to last day of this series!!!

I hope you have spent lots of time with your family, and have had a chance to relax before going back to the grind on Monday.

Today is all about relaxing and family.  We will be spending a leisurely Sunday morning at home resting, then heading over to my parents' house to decorate the tree together.

When do you put up your Christmas decorations?

Tomorrow is the last day! Make sure to come back for the recap.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 28


Today is Small Business Saturday!  I am thankful for small businesses.  The one I own, and the ones I love to shop from.  I feel so much better knowing my money is going to help a family, rather than a corporation.  Don't get me wrong, I do shop a big stores, but I find much more satisfaction in shopping local and small.

Who is your favorite small business?


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Friday, November 27, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 27

For most people, today is Black Friday.  A chance to grab the latest and greatest deals to get your Christmas shopping done early.  I have never been a big Black Friday shopper.  I went once.  That was plenty.

For me, today is Thanksgiving number 2!  It doesn't matter the actual date, this is the day that we are gathering with my husband's family to celebrate.  I am thankful that they are willing to move holidays to get everyone together.  When my husband worked at the sheriff's office, he often had to work holidays, so being able to celebrate with everyone when he was off work was a big deal.

So whether you are Black Friday shopping, in a turkey coma from yesterday, or having Thanksgiving #2, be grateful for everyone and everything you have in your life.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 26 Thanksgiving Day


Today is Thanksgiving Day.  I hope you are surrounded by family, friends, good food, fellowship, laughter, love, and joy.  Make the most of every moment you have with those you love.  Take pictures, exchange ideas, and give love freely.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 25


Today I am thankful for traditions.  My mom and I are planning to make cookies today.  We are going to take them with us to our family's Thanksgiving to give out as gifts.  This is the one holiday that my mom's family all gets together for, so we are giving Christmas gifts early, while we are all together. These sugar cookies are special to us and our family.  They are the same recipe that my great-grandmother used when my mother was a child.  We all have our fond memories of making these special sugar cookies with icing.

Another tradition we have, started with my parents.  Starting the year they were married, they have bought a dated Christmas ornament each year.  The ornament represents something significant that happened that year.  For example, the years that each of us were born, we have a baby's first Christmas ornament dated for that year.  The infamous year my parents didn't have a Christmas tree, the ornament has a Christmas tree on it! (My mom won't let my dad live that one down. Along with a few other stories!)  These ornaments are so special to our family.  We always decorate with the whole family there, as best we can, turn on the Christmas music, and pour some egg nog or hot chocolate. Then we start with the very first year (1978, I believe) and go in order, taking turns putting the ornaments on the tree.  I love this special tradition so much, that my husband and I have started our own dated ornaments.  I also love that my parents bought each of us a tree to put in our rooms when we were young.  We were able to pick out and make our own ornaments each year for our own tree.  I loved decorating my tree!  It is special to have ornaments that have been with me since I was a baby.

What is a special tradition that your family enjoys?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 24


Today I am thankful for having a job that is flexible!  I had something come up that I needed to take care of today, and I was able to take the afternoon off, and tomorrow too! So yay for an early Thanksgiving holiday.  My coworkers are pretty great, and I get 12 hours of personal time each month that rolls over.  None of it expires.  That is pretty great.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 23


Today, I'm thankful for the small luxuries in life.  Things like jewelry, cute shoes, my coffee maker, my cell phone, the internet, text messaging, heat!, microwaves, amazon.com.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 22


It is finally cold here!!! It seems like it took forever for fall weather to arrive.  I have still been wearing boots and scarves, even though it's been 80 degrees or more every day... But so what! It's, calendar-speaking, fall. But this weekend a cold front came through and gave us some chilly weather! Perhaps we have skipped autumn weather and gone straight to winter, but hey, it's still cooler.

I love fall/winter: boots, scarves, sweaters, fleece, thick socks, house shoes, warm colors, hot drinks, cinnamon, apples, pumpkin cookies (from Jason's mom!!!), pecan tassies (from my Granny!), crunchy leaves, blankets, bonfires.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 21

So, I have done good for the first 20 days!!! Only 10 left.  But it's getting harder to think of topics I haven't covered already!  I know there's a million things for me to be thankful for though.

Something that I have very much been enjoying is encouraging women bloggers that I have been listening to and reading lately.

Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom has been so amazing.  Her blog is great, and I love her Periscope morning show.  She shares Morning Motivation each morning around 7:30-8:00 a.m. CST each morning.  It has encouraged and refreshed me each morning. Check out here show on the Periscope app @moneysavingmom, or see the replays of her scopes here. She also has several books for sale which you can find on Amazon.

Mackenzie Monroe from Bold Turquoise has also been an inspiration!  She is so upbeat and encouraging.  I don't know about you, but I need more positivity and encouragement in my life! She has a morning show also, it airs usually around 8:30-9:00 a.m. CST. It is called Cultivating the Lovely, and she helps us grow loneliness in our everyday lives, to be the wives, mothers, sisters, and friends that God has called us to be.  You can find the replays of her scopes here also.

Who do you follow that encourages and helps you? I'd love to know!

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Friday, November 20, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 19 and 20


Day 19: I am so thankful for one-on-one time!  Whether it's my husband, parents, siblings or friends- I love spending that one-on-one time with people who matter to me.  My mom was gracious enough to go with me to an out of town doctor's appointment yesterday.  We spent the drive there and back talking about all sorts of things, and we got a little shopping out of the way while we were there!  We were also able to have three meals together, just her and I.  It was so good to spend that time building our relationship.  Now that I am an adult, I am very grateful that we are working on a friendship, and not just a mother/daughter relationship.  Though she will always be my Mamma!!

Day 20: Thankful for Fridays!!! It is wonderful to feel like you have accomplished/survived another week, and facing a few days off and hopefully some rest or fun!  My mom and I are taking another road trip tomorrow to go visit my cousin and her family for her 2nd youngest's birthday! Can't wait to see everyone! It's been too long.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 18

I am thankful for our pets!

They really do become a part of our family.  They have such little personalities and bring so much joy!  Penny is our 5 year old dachshund.  She is sweet and cuddly!  If you have a blanket for her to hide under, she will be your best friend.  Barrett is our 1 year old boxer.  He is the silliest puppy and LOVES his toys!




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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 16 and 17


Day 16:  I am thankful for Premier Designs Jewelry.  They are an amazing Christian, debt-free company that truly puts people above profit.  It has been a blessing in my life the last year.  I have been able to bring in extra income for our family.  I am able to work when I want to work, without quotas or minimum monthly orders.  I also LOVE the jewelry! I love picking out what to wear every day.  It has been so rewarding to bless women who host parties with free jewelry!  I don't know always how Premier will fit into my life, but I have loved it this far, and have hope for this year to be even better.

Day 17: I am thankful that I was taught at a young age to have a love for reading.  It took a while for my mom to teach me to read, mainly because I hated saying sounds and words out loud!  But when I learned, she gave me a set of children's books and I fell in love. I used to be able to remember the series, but it escapes me now.  She fostered and fed that love of reading all through my childhood, and on into being a teenager.  I have loved mainly fiction, and that is still my favorite to read.  I have lately been diversifying to other genres, but still love my christian mystery/suspense/romance books.  Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Frank Peretti, Coleen Coble, and Ted Dekker are a few of my favorite authors.  I am currently reading Dee Henderson's Taken, just released this year.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 15



"The summer is winding down.  Two weeks from today I will be on my way back to Mississippi.  It's always a very bittersweet thing for me.  I live in two places.  I go to school in Mississippi- most of my friends are there, and it's where I feel most comfortable right now. But my family is in Texas- I miss them so much and I feel like I should be home.  I have lived in Texas every summer in college.  Each time I finish the semester and head back, I'm always looking forward to summer, but missing everything back in MS.  And when I leave for school in the fall, I'm ready to go back, but miss everything I have in TX.  It's just not fun.  Hopefully one day I will live in one spot.  I realize that people I love will be scattered- that's just a fact of life.  But I'm ready to have my home in one place- a place where I feel most comfortable and happy.  I have no idea where that is right now, but I'll find it soon enough."

I found that exert on the drafts section of all my blog posts.  It was never published, but I wanted to share it now.  This was probably 5 or 6 years ago.  I was still in college, only a little ways from graduating.  The reason I wanted to share this on my 30 Days of Thankfulness series is because I am so very thankful for my home now.

"Home is wherever I am with you."  I love this quote so much.  It aptly describes what home is for me now.  My home while I was growing up changed periodically.  During college, I felt I had two homes- one in Texas where my family was, another in Mississippi where I had grown up and cultivated friendships.

My home is in one place now, where I do feel most comfortable and very happy, but I think there will always be two homes for me.  One is wherever my husband is.  We spend three months apart last fall, transitioning to Starkville for him to go back to school.  I felt so disjointed.  Like I wasn't settled, and it was because he wasn't with me.

The other home I have is where my parents are.  Thankfully, they are back in Mississippi and only live 30 minutes from me.  That has been such a blessing!  I love that I can drive over for a visit whenever I want, and we can spend holidays together now.  They have bought a beautiful place with an 1860's farmhouse and lots of land.  I love being there; it's so peaceful and pretty.  But it's not the house they bought that makes it home.  It is the fact that is where my family is.  I will always feel like I'm home when I'm with my family.

I am so thankful for home.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 14


Today, I am thankful for my health.

I am in decently good health.  I have some issues, as most of us do.  I also don't eat or exercise quite like I should.  But when I think about the many people around me who are physically unable to do many simple, daily tasks, I am so thankful that I can.

You know how something can touch your heart in a way you just can't understand? That is how the story of this amazing couple has been with me.  Joey Feek is one half of the country music couple Joey+Rory.  She has stage 4 cervical cancer, and they have done all they can for her.  She is now home on their Tennessee farm with her husband, Rory and her daughter Indy, and other beloved friends and family.  Rory has a blog about their journey, "This Life I Live," that you should really read.  Last night, I came across another blog that had written a post that was a letter to Joey.  You can read it here. She writes to Joey as a fellow mother, telling how she has been guilty of letting the craziness of life get to her.  She has realized now, from a picture of Joey holding her daughter, that Joey probably wishes she could do all the things that this other mother has taken for granted.

Don't take your physical abilities for granted.  They can be taken away at a moment's notice.  It take a split second for an accident to happen or an illness to set in.  Be thankful every day that you breathe, that you go on living and dealing with the craziness in life.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 13

Today is Friday the thirteenth!  So, along with that, here is what I am thankful for today: Faith.

Faith is the opposite of superstition and worry.  Faith lets you rest in the assurance that, even though you don't know how it will all happen, things will turn out for good. 

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I am thankful that I was raised in a home that was based on faith.  My parents modeled that for us to see.  It wasn't only that we went to church (which we did every time the doors opened!), but it was the conversations and actions at home that cemented them.  

I was saved at a young age, age 7.  I still remember that moment 20 years later. I knew that I was making a decision for Christ.  It didn't fully understand all that would mean, but it has always been a constant in my life.  There have been some really hard times where I have questioned and caused others to question me, but I didn't lose my faith completely.  It is hard to grow up and become an adult.  That child-like faith was so easy to me, until I experience heartache and struggles.  It becomes hard.  And especially now, in our society, it is becoming harder and harder to live your faith.  But what are we without it?  I would be nothing but for my God.  We are not the only generation of Christians to be persecuted, and we probably won't be the last.  So practice your faith, and be thankful that it is something that no one can every take away from you. 

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Review: Better Than Before

I have this urge to read all the books I can get my hands on! I have been making a list of books I want to read, specifically concentrating on diversifying my selections.  I put some books on hold at the library, and they all came in at once! So I have 6 books to get through in the next two weeks! We shall see how that goes.

I am starting with Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin.

This is a book all about habits.  Good habits, bad habits, how to form them, how to drop them.  The first chapter poses the question "If habits make it possible for us to change, how exactly, then, do we shape our habits?" (pg. 10).  Rubin began pondering the subject of habits and how good ones make us happier.  Why do they make us happier? "...I concluded that the real key to habits is decision making- or, more accurately, the lack of decision making" (pg 5, original emphasis).  We are faced with literally hundreds of decisions per day.  What clothes to wear, what to eat for breakfast, which route to take to work, which project to tackle first, whether to bring lunch or eat out, what to do when you get home, etc.  If you make some of those decisions into habits, it eliminates the need for decision making.  You make a decision once, then repeat.  Your mind is clear to focus on other things, instead of that one decision.

Now, not all habits are good.  There are not so good habits.  I believe Rubin delves into how to get rid of bad ones and cultivate new ones.

I am excited to read this book.  I am looking for ways to simplify my life, so that I can enjoy the season I am in and really be present and spend time with those around me.

I will be posting a few times as I read, letting you know what I think.  Just from this first chapter, I think it will be an interesting read!

Check out this book on Amazon, or at your local library.

  


This post contains affiliate links.

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 12

Today I am thankful for the simple things in life.

The sound of a loved one laughing
Sitting on the couch at the end of a long day and cuddling with your family
My puppies that are always glad to see me
A beautiful, sunny day
Fresh flowers sent by someone who cares
Capturing memories in the perfect photograph
Time spent with family
A simple "I Love You"
The satisfaction of eating a warm, homemade meal
Confidence that comes with a goal reached
Hope for the future


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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 11

Today goes along perfectly with my 30 Days of Thankfulness blog series.  It's Veteran's Day.

So today I am thankful for all our veterans.  Those who fought for our country many times in the past, those who are fighting now, and those who will fight in the future.  It takes a special kind of person to give up his or her life and commit to serving our country with everything they have.  Many times, at the highest cost.  Even those who come back whole in body, sacrifice in other ways as well.

It seems like support for our military in this country is so small.  There is an overwhelming unappreciation for those who serve. The men and women who come back from overseas do not come back to a ticker tape parade as they have in the past.  It's a quite welcome home from their loved ones and communities.  Our veterans are misunderstood many times.  It's not the act of war itself that leaves the mental and emotional scars, but the loss of brothers in combat. Being in a state of highest alert for months on end, then coming home and be expected to just get back to "normal."

We need to continually show our support for those we know who are serving or have served.  Give them love and thanks more than just one day a year.  Show community support for our men and women coming home from overseas.  No matter your political beliefs, these incredible people deserve our love and devotion at the very least.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 9 and 10


Made it through 10 days! Only 20 more to go!

Day 9:  As I mentioned in my last post, I am very grateful for my family. My extended family is wonderful!  Of course, they are quirky like all families are, but I love them dearly.  On my mother's side, she has 5 brothers and sisters, which makes for so many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, etc!  Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house is crazy!  There are usually around 50 people there if everyone is able to make it.  So much fun with the little ones running around and the adults having conversations from room to room.  I like to float all around, to make sure I get a chance to visit with everyone.

My dad's side of the family is rather small compared to my mom's!  My grandparents on my dad's side are gone, but we do get together with my uncle, aunt, their kids, and their kids' kids when we can.

Jason's extended family is rather small too.  I really like it too, though, because everyone can sit in one room and be included in the conversation.  It's easier to keep up with what everyone is doing and where they are.  And there are usually some shenanigans going on.  Especially when you get together Jason and his twin 16 year old boy cousins! It's a lot of fun!

Day 10:  I am thankful for my job!  I have only been at this job since April of this year, but I really love it.  I love working at the University where I went to school.  I always said I would go back to school if they paid me, and well- they are!  It's different working with college kids than the general public, but I really like that better.  I also have some pretty great co-workers.  For the most part, everyone gets along really well.  I also enjoy the hours.  I work 8-4 usually, if I skip my lunch break.  I like having the option of not taking a lunch.  For one thing, it saves me money! I always feel like I have to go somewhere if I have an hour break.  So by eating a quick lunch that I've brought from home, I don't feel the need to go somewhere.  And leaving an hour early is very nice!

This has been a great thing for my career, as well as for our finances.  I did get a slight raise when I started this position, which is very much needed since Jason is in school full-time.

Comment and let me know some of the things you are thankful for!

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