Monday, November 28, 2011

Thank You

"Thank You"  Dido

I woke up very early Thanksgiving morning.
Quite a change, rising at that hour, when I'm used to it often being my bedtime.
I was thankful. I was well rested. The house was quiet. Steve was still asleep. And I didn't want to wake him. I wanted to savor some time alone with my thoughts. I went into the kitchen, lit a candle, put a batch of corn muffins in the oven (my 2nd time using our muffin tin...ever!)

And I prayed. I shed tears as I counted my many blessings. I took in the peace of knowing that we had the whole day to be at home. To prepare for a day of good and great things.

Somewhere around 7, Steve joined me downstairs. He had a smile on his face. A slight smirk almost. His expressions did the talking before he even spoke. You see, it's a rare occasion - to find me in the kitchen with a few different projects going on at once.  And NOT burning the house down. It's also extremely rare I hear my husband say, "All the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen woke me up."

The oven was now unoccupied...ready to host the bird for the day. I moved into the living room to tackle some cleaning while Steve prepped the turkey. I turned on my music, opened the shades, and let the sunny day in. I decided it was the perfect time to pull off the couch cushions and do some deep vacuuming and treasure hunting.

Muffin had to get in on the action.

Here it was, Thanksgiving morning, somewhere nearing maybe 8am.  I was filled with such intense emotion.  It was hard to put into words exactly what I was feeling.  In the three hours I'd already been up, I played so many memories through my mind. Thought about Thanksgivings past...the past couple, especially. I thought about where I was in that very moment.
And as I dug a little deeper into the couch...
and into my heart,
I collected quite a handful of peace and clarity.
Forget the 89 cents, the green peanut M & M from last month's Halloween candy, or the packet of fire sauce that makes Taco Bell even more heavenly...

It was the fresh, almost brand new crayon that caught my attention.
It's name...Bittersweet.

Yep, that was it.  Tears filled my eyes. There it was, the perfect word to describe the sweet aching in my heart.
The happy.
The sad.
You blend them together, and you get the goodness that is...

Thanksgiving 2011 exceeded our expectations. All the hours spent cooking, making huge messes, cleaning them up...
They're all rewarding hours.

Last Thursday proved to me, again, how important TIME is. To each and every one of us.

Time allows us to reflect. To evolve. To appreciate.

Time allows us another chance...whether it be to make another batch of muffins...

or to "make a baby."

Time IS a healer if you give it the time to be.

Time builds your confidence.

Time is such a bittersweet gift.
And I'm so very thankful I got to spend Thanksgiving (and the days surrounding it) with such true blessings.


Tuesday's blessings.

A new Tuesday schedule falling at the perfect moment...just in time for "Tini Tuesday." A hot pot of fondue, a friend forever, a trip to Walmart together til after midnight.

Wednesday's blessings.

Babysitting this beautiful little girl.
Story time with Chloe.

Recognizing how sunny a rainy day can be when spent with Chloe, her sister, and her Mama.

Thanksgiving blessings.

A well cooked turkey. A husband who's a great cook. And an even greater friend.

A visit with our Nani.
Nicholas and Nani

Plenty of food to go around...

Let's not forget about the fluffies.
Muffin claiming her seat (in a Target bag).

Mom and Twinkie (before he lunged off her bicep and took a piece of it with him! ha)

Shy Krimpy...not being so shy.

And my favorite of all blessings...


Dad, Brigid, Nicholas, Mom, Me and Steve

Me and my cousin, Ashley

This picture means a lot to me.  It represents a simple and wonderful Thanksgiving.  It represents the sum of many years past. 
It represents the sweet reward of time.


Friday's blessings.

Sleeping in.  Not participating in the never ending lines and crowds at the malls.  A day with the Mr.
An unbelievable sunset when and where you least expect it.
A sky that went from this...

To this...

A double dose of Jessica in one week.

More time to sit and chat...while our men got in some "gaming time."

The four of us.  Friends always.


Saturday's blessings.

Spending all afternoon with this girl.

Being treated to happy feet, pumpkin coffee and a long lunch.

Being treated to...
the company of an amazing friend.


There's always much to be thankful for.

Give thanks each day.

I'm so grateful for the blessings in my life.  The ones in this post.  The ones throughout this blog.  The dear and sweet people that have come into my life through this blog.

To all my blessings...

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

"And I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life.
 Oh, just to be with you, is having the best day of my life."

Thank You,


Judy Haughton-James said...

Hi Maria,
I am glad that you had such a wonderful Thanksgiving and weekend. This post reminds us all how important it is to take time out to reflect and give thanks. It also makes us realize that as we reflect we will note the ups and downs but still live in hope. As always another great post with VERY BEAUTIFUL pictures. Thanks for being such a wonderful friend. I am lucky to have met you through Blogging. I wish you a good day and all the very best for the future.
Lots of Love & Friendship always,

lisa said...

Oh my it looks like you had an amazing day! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Oh and the pics of the food made me hungry...thanks a lot! ;) LOL


Jessica @ TheCrazyChaoticHouse said...

Looks like you had a wonderful week filled with family and friends. No matter how tough things get we all have something to be thankful for. You have such a positive outlook on everything. Sometimes I wish I was as positive as you:) I love reading your blog.

Kelly @ Stay at Home Trader said...

Um, next year, I am totally coming to YOUR HOUSE for Thanksgiving! Oh my gosh, the food you had looked so amazing!!! Wow, you guys did a wonderful job! It sounds like you had a wonderful week, and I love this post so much! And, I would like both of Jessica's scarves, all of your outfits, and that cobalt blue shirt Kelly has on - Please & Thank You! hahahaha! You are so right, this year has been so bittersweet (for both of us), but I admire you so much for staying positive and keeping your chin up. I love you lots and lots and hope that you have a great week! XOXOXOXO Kelly

Anonymous said...

Yum...looks delish! And I love your T Day outfit. Glad you had a good holiday!!

Mrs. E said...

Well, I for one am very thankful for you =) I'm glad you had a good day! So crazy about the crayon (okay, I totally just spelled that "crazyon"??). It's funny how little things can sometimes have so much significance..."bittersweet"... Honestly, I can't wait until the day you find the "sweet" crayon (ew, that was kinda corny, but you know what I mean lol!) Sending you lots of love and some yummy taco bell to go with that sauce!! xoxoxo~~

Adi said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope the next year brings you only joy.

Stephanie of Gumdrop Pass said...

:) All of this just makes me smile - the pictures, the words, the bittersweet crayon - all of it!

I'm glad you had a great holiday and weekend. I love all of the pictures! You are one lucky lady to be surrounded by so many who love you! I don't doubt for one minute that you don't know that either! :)

Again, thanks for giving me some perspective. I know I'll always find at least a little bit of that when I visit your lovely blog!

I hope you're having a good day!

<3 Stephanie

SJB AKA SUE J-B. said...

Hi, follow you via The Monster Hop

Erin said...

It's looks like you had a perfect Thanksgiving. You walk in such beauty and grace, it always blesses me!
Thank you for stopping by my site. Sorry I haven't stopped by here lately. I have pneumonia and am so weak, but I'm getting better!!!

Bernadette & Duane said...

Dear Maria, Thank you for your lovely comments. You are such an inspiration-- always counting your blessings and finding happiness in things that matter most. May you have a wonderful holiday season with all th things you love! B xoxox

KERRY said...

You are a sweet blessing in my life, even though we have never met, some people just touch your heart and leave a lasting impression. I find it truly amazing that you found a crayon named bittersweet, wow, the universe certainly is at play some days isn't it!
Great pics, a wonderful looking Thanksgiving and another sweet post xo
Thank you for always visiting and leaving the best comments ever!!

Ashley said...

Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! You totally deserve it! Time with family and friends is my favorite part of this time of year. You always write from your heart and it makes me feel like I really know you. I hope you are having a great week!

Rachel said...

It looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so glad you had such a nice time with your family and friends over the Holiday and other fun days! Big hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm your newest follower. What a wonderful post, very poignant. xxx

waitingforarainbow said...

I am so happy for you! It's nice to see you so smiley and happy. Muffins at 4am sound like a dream! I find baking nummy food like muffins to be quite peaceful. Your thanksgiving feast looks fantastic!! I got so hungry just looking at it!! How random is it that you found that crayon in your couch?! You are JUST like me, if I were to find it, I would take it as a sign too. It would seriously make me stop and think. Thank you so much for all of your nice comments, Maria. You're one of the sweetest ladies I know, and you have such a big heart. I hope that you find happiness in everything you do, and still always hoping that all of your dreams come true!

aliciamarie911 said...

Wow. It looks like yo had a wonderful Thanksgiving! If my husband ever found me in the kitchen that early in the morning, or at all, he'd wonder what in the heck I was doing. The kitchen and myself do not have a well developed friendship just yet. The food look delightfully yummy, too!

I'm your newest follower. I'm coming from

Maria said...

Your dinner looks amazing! Seriously, can I come over next year! I am not a huge fan of turkey and even that looked yummy to me! I'm thankful that God put us in each other's path. Happy Thanksgiving!

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

I have tears in my eyes! You are my far one of the most optimistic people I have ever "met". You make the most of each moment and day. I really look to you as an inspiration. I also love those early morning "thoughts" to myself. The pictures of Thanksgiving look fantastic. Is that your mom- you look so much like her- Beautiful!!

Renee said...

Muffin is so cute. I enjoyed your holiday recap. Following you from Finding Friends blog hop :)

Lacee said...

Hi Maria! New follower here from the blog hop! Thank you so much for joining us :) Love this song from Dido!

April said...

Cute blog!! I'm a new follower from the hop..would love a follow back! Cheers!

April said...

Cute blog!! I'm a new follower from the hop..would love a follow back! Cheers!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Girl, you have a way with words. I loved your post of gratitude! And I love how you cherish what you do have. You will be such an amazing mother when that time comes.

I was behind on my cooking and a little cranking Thanksgiving morning, but it still turned out to be a beautiful day.

I'm glad you had a beautiful day too. :)

virginia said...

Looked like an amazing day for you and so many other people who are lucky to surround their lives in yours.

The bittersweet crayon brought me to tears. It's the little things like that that renew our faith and our hope.

Many blessings for a wonderful remainder of the holiday.

Mommy LaDy Club said...

What a lovely day:) Thanksgiving really is the best time of year I think, and time with family is the most important;)

Em @ And Nothing Else Matters said...

Such a beautiful post. Thanks so much for joining in on our Tag-Along Thursday Blog Hop, I am now following your blog. Em

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