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,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You're Gonna Miss This

"You're Gonna Miss This"  Trace Adkins

Right around this week each year, it becomes more and more clear...

Time goes by so very fast.

If you're not careful, you're liable to be thrown into the new year without a warning. Leaving you wishing you could remember all that took place in the past few months.

It's less than 6 weeks. The time between now and 2012.

And I want to appreciate those weeks for all that they are.

This past weekend got me thinking.
Recognizing even more...
How important it is to value time.

My brother, Nicholas', birthday was on Friday.

Somehow, in the blink of an eye, my little brother...

Turned 25

We went out to dinner to celebrate.

Dad and Nicholas

Mom and Nicholas

Dad Me Nicholas and Mom

Me and Dad

Me and Mom

and the celebrating continued...

TJ Nicholas and Steve

Nicholas and I have seen each other through a lot in our years.

One of my favorite old pictures of us. What's not to love?!...
Both of us ready for a country concert...My totally awesome stonewashed jeans and bright white socks...Our enormous cowboy hats...And Nicholas' adorable "very enthusiastic" little face!!

I'm so lucky to be able to call my brother one of my closest friends.
Cheers to 25, Nicholas!!


I was so happy to catch up and see this little girl and her Mama, after they'd been away on vacation.
Me and Chloe after our favorite breakfast.

Saturday was filled with 2 more birthdays.
Cutie Mr. Sam turned 3. He was so adorable blowing out the candles on his "Cars" cake!

Steve's friend, Jamie, celebrated his 35th.

Steve and Jamie.
It was a fun night.  Steve got to catch up with many old familiar faces and talk about the good ol' days.


Yesterday, I met Aubrey.
My stepsister's beautiful, new daughter.  She is so tiny.  Has a gorgeous head of shiny brown hair. And is beyond lovable. 


We've got a big bird in our freezer.  In less than 48 hours we'll be waking up to thaw that sucker and start preparing for our Thanksgiving.
We're hosting it.
We're excited.
We're thankful.

As I look back on the past few days...these photos honoring lives...
Lives of all ages...

I'm reminded of what a true blessing time can be.

If you allow it to, time will be one of your greatest gifts.
And one of your most cherished fortunes.

"You're gonna miss this
 You're gonna want this back
 You're gonna wish these days
 Hadn't gone by so fast
 These are some good times
 So take a good look around
 You may not know it now
 But you're gonna miss this"

Happy Tuesday Everyone!!

Almost Thanksgiving Lovin',
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