Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Overstuffed with daily bread

I am horrible at keeping up on things, and so I didn't post all the things I was thankful for like I had planned on doing at the beginning of November. But I have just so many things to be thankful for that I figured I'd list them out in one post and maybe, just maybe, that could make up for it.

In addition to all the others I have listed, here are a few more things I'm thankful for:
1. Old friends - They know your dirt and still love you.
2. New friends - They are learning dirt and lovingly help you grow.
3. My job - puts a roof over my head, food on the table and clothes on my back.
4. My home - a safe haven of love and creativity.
5. Cooking skills and food - Thank God for blessing me with cooking skills because I seriously can whip up some tasty and healthy food.
6. My boss - She is patient and easy going.
7. Wine - I really am thankful for it. Wine warms the heart and reddens the nose.
8. Laughter - It cures a multitude of ills.
9. Forgiveness - I'd be lost without it.
10. Love - most important of all and most thankful for. 

And this is how we spent our Thanksgiving - snuggling and reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for. Every good and perfect gift is from above.

“[Thanksgiving] I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—” 
~ 1 Corinthians 1:4-5

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful for my Bestie

I have been extremely blessed by the friendship of my bestie and "soulmate...of friends," Janellie.
So today, I'm thankful for:

Miss Janelle.

Miss Janelle is one of those friends that is more like family. A sister from another mother, if you will. She is also a mentor, confidant, adviser, personal comedian, life coach, etcetera, etcetera. 

We are one and the same. Well, that's not true, when you get her going she sounds a lot more like Eddie Murphy than me, but boy, is it glorious when she does. Ya see, if my writing changes when I start talking about this girl. I start using words like "glorious" and "etcetera, etcetera." She brings out the ridiculous, the real, and the best in me. 

We found each other at a very low point in our lives, both needing love, acceptance and strength. It is my personal belief that God placed her in my life for that purpose, which she continues to serve. She is another strong woman I dearly love. On a public level, her strength roars, and she is a beauty to behold. But in the quiet, raw moments, her strength really shines. She is one of God's really awesome blessings that I just know He must be so proud of. I'm sure that when He looks at her, He thinks "Dang, I did good on that one. Some of my best work."

This woman is a lot of things to me, but most of all, she is a blessing from God.
I love you, J.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cousin Love

I love all my cousins dearly, but this little lady is not only one of my best friends, but she is also delivering her third child today. So, today I'm thankful for:


Cousin {as we affectionately call one another} was my first best friend I ever had, and we have been best friends ever since. From building forts (and locking her in them along with my other cousins) to picnics to inappropriate mullet haircuts to weddings, we have been there for one another. 

While I say this about pretty much all the women in my life, Cousin truly is one of the strongest women I know. She is a wonderful Cousin, wife, mother and Christian. She is extremely patient, forgiving, loving, wise, trustworthy and compassionate towards her family and others. She is a wonderful example to me of a wife and mother. I can only hope to be as patient and loving of a mother as she is one day. AND, she is funny to boot. Love this girl and her growing family that will become a family of 5 today!

The "Cousin" pose.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The In-Loves

In-Loves = Double the love, my friends. Unless they're scary in-loves and then its not so lovely. Fortunately, the Lord has my back and blessed me with a fabulous mother and father-in-loves. 
So today, I'm very VERY thankful for:

My In-Loves.

Where to begin with how thankful I am for these two folks? They are two of the best parents I know, next to my parents of course ;) HA! But they are extremely loving, supportive and strong for their family. They have created two of the strongest and kindest people I know, The Hubs and Abbs. I write like a dork, but I'm serious. I often ask them how they created such strong, independent (and stubborn) children, and they say "Oh ya know." But I think it was all by example. My father-in-love has a huge heart and would literally give the shirt off his back if I asked for it. And my mother-in-love is, well, a stud. She is extremely kind, hilarious, loving, giving and doesn't care what others think. She is a strong woman and fierce with love. 

If I ever need directions, I call the FIL. I know he'll always answer his phone and he'll always get on it right away. And if I get a text, it most likely is from MIL with some ridiculous photo or text that just makes me laugh and smile. They get me, and I get them. It works.

When I look at the both of them, I see strength. I'm not going to go into detail, except to say that they could have really failed at being parents and it would be understandable. But they rose above it by the skin of their teeth and put their family first. They are fighters, and I like that about them. I know that I have a lot to learn and take away from their example when I'm a mom, and I am so thankful that I have them to look up to. 

Love you In-Loves!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I never had a sister, but always wanted one. And I finally got one the day I got married. 

Today, I am thankful for:

Miss Abbs.

I am very thankful and proud to call Abbi my sister-in-love. Not only because she is my sister-in-love, but because she is a wonderful example of strength, perseverance and love to me.

Abbi is my Hub's little sister, and she is the epitome of "kid sister" in the most positive, loving way. She adores, supports and loves her brother. She looks up to and respects him, and is his biggest fan, supporter and will beat you down if you do anything to hurt or upset him. Not that I know from personal experience, but you just get the hint by her actions and words towards him. Ain't nobody gonna mess around with him when she's around. And now that I'm in the family, she'll take you down if you mess with me too. And vice versa. I mean, fo realz. Just look at this picture of us. You're scared aren't you?

This girl got some serious strength and heart. When she is passionate about something, she goes for it with all her might. She loves and pursues life with abandonment. And while she acts all tough and whatnot, she has one of the biggest hearts I know. She isn't afraid of or judgmental of anyone. She embraces others with love and her sweet laughter. I've seen it first hand, and I am humbled by her spirit. 

She is hand-picked by God to be my sister-in-love. She has shown me much love, grace, strength and forgiveness, and I know that she only has more to show and give.

I love you, Miss Abbs. And while I know you are feeling awkward reading this (because she claims to "hate mushy stuff), I want you to know, it's all true. You are strong. You are kind. And you are important :)
And I love you.

Thankful for my Chimichangas

Today, I am so thankful for my two little Chimichangas:
Buddy & Peeps!

Aka my nephew and niece. I love these two little rascals. They are seriously the most adorable, well-mannered and awesome chillens you will ever meet. AND they speak English and Spanish, and they are only 5 and 4 years old. Hey, I'm their Tia (aunt), ok! An auntie can brag :)

Buddy and Peeps (their nicknames) bring so much happiness, joy, laughter and love to my life. I love being a Tia to these two lovey doveys. They give me oodles and oodles of hugs and kisses. They also think I'm awesome and make me feel pretty cool for an oldie. 

I also love watching these to accept my Hubs into their lives. They LOOOOOOVE Uncle Blake, and think he is just the coolest thing since sliced bread. Peeps is his biggest fan and side kick when he is around, and Buddy wants to grow up and be big and strong like Uncle Blake. Make my heart melt!

But what I love most about these two is that they remind me about God's love for us. Their child-like faith is so sweet and inspiring. They approach everything with trust and love, and are quick to forgive and give you a hug. They are the sweetest glimpses and reminders of God's love for me and you. Unconditional.
I'm over-the-moon blessed by their love and sweet souls, and I can't imagine life without them in it.

Thank you for your love, Buddy and Peeps. I pray that you will always embrace life with vigor, joy and laughter, love and forgive others unconditionally, and trust in God and learn to walk with Him throughout life's journey. 

God bless my sweet Buddy and Peeps.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Sister-in-Love

A few years ago, God blessed me with a sister...in love. My brother's wife, Elsa, is truly a blessing to this family, which is why, I am thankful for my sister-in-love today.


I never would have thought there would be a woman out there who could tame my broseph. But along came Elsa. She has brought so much joy, love and happiness to my brother's life. AND, she is the mother to my favorite niece and nephew - Maya and Miguel. She is a wonderful example of a mother to me. She is playful, kind, patient, loving and nurturing to her family. She also is a great nester. She loves to cook, rearrange her furniture (multiple times a day!) and make her home peaceful and cozy for all who enter. 

If she is the hostess, she serves everyone till they are done with seconds, and THEN she might sit down and have a bite to eat, but that's doubtful. And don't even think about trying to clean her dishes. NO! You are the guest at her house, and guests do NOT do dishes. Unless she is the guest at your house, and then she cleans your house till it is spotless. She definitely has God's command of a "servant-like attitude" and "the first shall be the last" down, and of course, a smile and cheerful laugh to go along with it. 
My sister-in-love blesses my family's lives with her joyful spirit and serving heart. And I'm very thankful to call her my sister...in-love.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Today, I'm thankful for

My Brother.

Though he is 7 years older than me, I feel like we are very close in age. Must be because of how mature I am. HA! But really, we are both just very young at heart and have a ridiculous sense of humor, which equals a strong bond. The best Christmas present he ever gave me was a calendar of all our funny faces we make. We are quite ridiculous together. And even though he has little children of his own now, we still find time to act goofy together, and now the chillens (yes, you read that correct, chillens) join in on the ridiculousness that is Beanzer and Broseph. And for your information, Broseph is just one of his many names. For example, Jeffy, Jefferson, Hefty, Jebby, Jeffari (ala Janelle), Jubby, Brudder, etc. So many special names many have developed for him over the years. haha.

But in all seriousness, I am very thankful for my brother. I love him very much. I have never felt the age difference between us because my brother always made me feel loved and important. We had the best times in the car riding for hours to our family vacation destination making up words, secret languages, songs, you name it. And every Christmas Eve, we'd sleep in the same room talking the night away about nothing and everything. I can even remember one instance where I bawled my little 3-year-old eyes out because he was going to spend the night at a friend's house and I didn't want him to leave me. He gave me one of his favorite toys to hold on to for him while he was gone. And I still remember it, and I was 3! Yes, it was a bribe (and it worked), but it meant a lot to me. I took really good care of that toy for him, too!

He has taught me about God, perseverance, faith, hope, unconditional love, the importance of joy and laughter, family, forgiveness, patience and parenting. It also needs to be said that he is one of the best father's I know. I'm sure he doesn't feel like it all the time, but he is very patient, loving, supportive and strong for his family. He is one of those strong, silent types like my own dad. He brings so much joy and laughter to my life, and for that I am extremely grateful. 

Love you, Broseph :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Ma n' Pa

Those are two faces that only a mother could love. And I guess their children, too {wink}. 

Today, I'm thankful for those two crazy kids shown above who I am proud to call my parents.
(now you know where I get it from, huh)

Mom and Dad.

 You know God must love you (or think you are in need of some divine intervention) when He gives you good parents because you really don't see too many marriages that last long these days (ehm, Kim Kardashian - 72 days to be exact, not that I'm judging...just saying) or good parents. My teacher friends tell me stories that bring tears to my eyes about some of their students' parents. And, you can just see by some people's character and behavior that they were not raised by good parents or maybe their parents were just plain old absent from their lives. But by the grace of God I turned out well thanks to good parents. 

My parents have taught me a lot of things, but here are a few that come to mind: commitment in marriage, selflessness, humility, God, the importance of a good work ethic, spreading joy, laughter, perseverance, forgiveness, individuality, embracing your strengths and laughing at your flaws, patience, hope for sunny days, strength on rainy days and love. 

My parents give and give and give, and don't ever ask for anything in return. I see God in them every day, and I am humbled by their love for me. I don't know what I did to be given such loving and funny parents, but I do know that I am beyond blessed and a better person because of them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So thankful for my Hubs

Today kicks off Thankful on Paper.
A chance, this Thanksgiving, for each of us to truly reflect on who we are thankful for and actually write them a letter telling them so.
It makes me so excited to think of all the snail mail going out. People's hearts will be touched and smiles will abound.

This week I started with my Hubs, who also happens to be the 2nd thing I am thankful for this November:
I wrote...

My Hubs.

Why I'm thankful for my Hubs:

*He loves me.
*He accepts me and my quirks.
*He participates and encourages a lot of my quirks.
*He listens to me and helps me to be a better person.
*He brings a lot of joy, laughter and peace to my life.
*He draws me closer to God.
*He is patient with me.

So, today....I am Thankful on Paper and for the 2nd day of November.....for my Hubs.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!"

Psalm 105:1

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy November!

{Rifle Paper Co}
"In all things, give thanks." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Happy November, friends! Can you believe it is already here? Wasn't it just over 100 degrees not to long ago when I was laying out by the pool and getting my tan on? Sheesh, time really does fly when you are having too much fun.

November means Thanksgiving and that means Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Well, that AND Giving Thanks :) So I thought I would spend this month Giving Thanks to the One who has blessed me with so much. 

Therefore, of course I have to start off the month with thanking God for finding and saving me. When I think about who I would be or where I would be had God not rescued me, I am beyond humbled...and thankful. I honestly can't remember life without God, having been raised in a Christian home, but I can remember times where I felt lost or when I ran from God, my sin and my shame. It is a lonely feeling and a place without hope. Definitely not somewhere I would ever want to go or be in again. But little did I know then that I was not really lost or alone. God was still with me, watching over me and working through even my brokenness and drawing me closer to Him.

To put into words what God has done in my life and for my life, I'm finding to be very difficult because all that I am and all that I have is from Him. I am accepted, I am forgiven, I am found, I am saved from death and my sin (for my God has conquered both), I have hope (in His promises), and I am forever, unconditionally loved. Oh, and so much more, friends. And one of the greatest truths is, I have done nothing to receive all of this except to believe that He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the Cross as a ransom for MY sin. His love, blessings and mercies are not performance driven. They are new every morning and He extends them to me (and you) in love. 

On this November 1, I am thankful for my Lord and Savior.

May this be a blessed November for you, too!