Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Day Of Thanks

It is that time of year again.  Time to stop and take a moment to see the many blessings in your life and to be thankful for them.

Every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we have our own little Thanksgiving feast here--just us--before we load up the van and travel the next day to spend Thanksgiving with our families. Jacob and the boys really enjoy it and this will be Kaitlyn's first year to eat thanksgiving foods.  We have turkey, of course, and I make homemade cornbread dressing and homemade mashed potatoes and gravy.  We always have green bean casserole at other gatherings so I make Sautee'd Brussels Sprouts instead. We have a relish tray for a certain 6-year-old boy who loves pickles, black olives, and cranberry sauce.  We also have dinner rolls.  For dessert we have--every year--pumpkin and pecan pie with Cool Whip. It is a lot of work but my family loves it and that is all that matters to me.  It is a chance for us all to be together to celebrate something special and be thankful for each other, the food we are eating, and everything that we have and everyone in our lives. It is important to me to be thankful for all I have but to also teach my children to be thankful. Each night before bed they pray and thank God for one thing.  It is so cute.  One day Logan was telling me about a kid at school who had holes in his shoes but his parents wouldn't buy him new shoes.  I said, "Maybe they can't afford to by new shoes for him right now." That night Logan thanked God for shoes that don't have holes in them and it really touched my heart.

This past year started with our eldest having surgery.  Kaitlyn was hospitalized this year and a lot has happened.  We are thankful for so much this year! I am especially thankful for our families and for my closest friends and my very best friend for reminding me (again) today that instead of focusing on the stress factor of traveling for holidays with small children I need to be thankful I have a family to travel home to.  I need to be thankful for that time with them.  Wise words from a wonderful friend!

Happy Thanksgiving, world!  May we all take a minute to focus on all our many blessings.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Decade!

This man--to say I love him is an understatement.  Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary and I still get butterflies in my stomach and feel a smile creep across my face when I think about him.  Some days I feel like a silly little school girl who is crushing on a boy.  I LOVE this man. He is respectful, caring, and funny.  He still makes me feel like I'm some one special after all these years.  He helps me around the house and thanks me for all I do for him and the kids.  He is encouraging and listens to me when I'm rambling on and on about stuff I know he could care less about.  LOL He still opens doors for me and when we go on dates, just the two of us, he will still open my car door for me. He is the best father to our three children--I love watching him with our kids.  My heart is his and I couldn't imagine a world without his smile, his strong arms holding me, or his laugh when he's playing with the kids. He is a friend to every one and never treats anyone badly or acts snobbish towards them.

When I first met Jacob I thought he was cute.  He tried so hard to get to know me and I just kind of didn't give him the time of day.  I was at a point in my life where I just didn't trust anyone and I had a lot of baggage and was kind of a mess.  I remember he would stand by the vending machines and wait for me every day before one of my classes and while I was getting a soda and candy out of the machine he'd talk to me.

We became friends and I realized that he really was a super great guy--and he was cute, too.  How often does that happen?  ;)  One day he said, "Would you want to get together and do something fun, just as friends?"  We did and it was a blast.  That night he asked me out.  I couldn't stop smiling.  He put up with a lot while dating me and he stuck around.  To this day I claim that he saved me from myself--and in a way, he did.

I can't believe it has already been 10 years since our wedding day and over 12 years since we started going out.  I love him more than words can express and I look forward to spending many, many more years with him!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover

We have all heard this saying.  Sometimes we even hear it from the most judgmental people. Regardless of who says it, it is a very true saying.  We encounter different people every day.  We meet people who seem to have it all together and we do one of three things.  We either envy them or we find that we like them because they are happy and stress-free or we are jealous of them.  "They haven't been through what I've been though."

The truth is, there are a lot of people out there walking around with secrets.  Secrets from their past that they hold tightly because they want you to think they have it all together.  One of my favorite movies is Bride Wars.  There is a scene where Emma tells Liv that she doesn't have to have it all together all the time.  Nobody does and if you know some one who does they are either lying or just doing a very good job of covering it up.

We can't use our past as an excuse for why our lives haven't turned out the way we wanted.  That woman you encounter at your child's day care who is always happy and friendly and seems to have it all together--she has a very dark past that she had to work very hard to overcome.  Some days she sits and cries and feels weak and then she gets up, wipes away her tears, and forces a smile.  And, as they say, life goes on.

I am writing this little rant because this week I have encountered more than one person who just seem bitter because people they know are happy.  "If you had been through what I've been through then you'd understand."  This makes me smile and it always makes me want to say, "Try me."  Yes, I had a wonderful childhood filled with fond memories, but we all grow up and sometimes we don't make the best decisions and these decisions get us into trouble or worse--situations that we never imagined we'd find ourselves in.  It happens and it happens every day.  The difference is that some people choose to get up and take their lives back and CHOOSE to be happy while others choose to just wallow in the dirt and slime.

So, the next time you see that happy woman don't judge her and claim she is happy today because she has had an easy life.  Remember, you can't judge a book by it's cover. Whether or not your life has been easy is not the key to happiness.  You have to make a choice. So, what do you choose?  Are you going to be happy or continue being miserable and blame a hard past on that misery?

Something to think about, perhaps?
Yeah, that's what I'm here for. ;)